December 30th, 2008


Olmert's Final Failure

Вчерашняя редакционная заметка из "Washington Post" Olmert's Final Failure, в которой автор кратко, но в то же время выразительно, подводит итог 3-х летнему правлению Ольмерта, довольно широко разошлась по интернет- и печатным СМИ, в частности, появилась (как минимум) на сайте англоязычной иранской (!) газеты "Tehran Times".

Israel's new battle with Hamas in Gaza means that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be remembered for fighting two bloody and wasteful mini-wars in less than three years in power. The first one, in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, punished but failed to defeat or even permanently injure Hezbollah, which is politically and militarily stronger today than it was before Olmert took office. This one will probably have about the same effect on Hamas, which almost certainly will still control Gaza, and retain the capacity to strike Israel, when Olmert leaves office in a few months.

The saddest aspect of all this is that Olmert, a former hard-line believer in a "greater Israel," was more committed than any previous Israeli prime minister to ending the country's conflicts with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians. Thrust into office in January 2006 by the incapacitation of Ariel Sharon, Olmert won his own mandate by promising to unilaterally withdraw Israeli soldiers and settlers from most of the West Bank. When that project was undermined by the Lebanese war, he launched into one-on-one negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbasin which he discussed terms for a two-state settlement going well beyond those previously offered by an Israeli government. He also initiated indirect talks with the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad over the objections of the Bush administration.

Olmert has the passion of a latter-day convert to the two-state solution. He is convinced that, unless Israel is able to separate itself from the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in the relatively near future, it will be overwhelmed demographically and will have to give up either its democracy or its status as a Jewish state. As recently as his last visit to Washington in late November, he was still pushing -- after virtually everyone else in Jerusalem and Washington had given up -- for some kind of "framework agreement" with Abbas that would spell out the terms for a deal, and be ratified by the U.N. Security Council.Collapse )
Конечно, автор смотрит на ближневосточные события с типично "либеральных" позиций, будучи уверенным, что "незаконные" еврейские поселения являются "препятствием к миру", и что если бы Ольмерт более активно противостоял бы организациям поселенцев, это принесло бы какие-то положительные результаты, или же полагая, что раз Нетаньяху "правый", то ему труднее будет пойти на соглашения с палестинцами, и.т.п.

Но главный вывод (который, автор, впрочем, явно не формулирует), на мой взгляд, верен - Ближний Восток остро нуждается в современных лидерах, которые опирались бы на более современные идеи, нежели нео-средневековый фундаментализм. Когда такие лидеры появятся (а уроки истории показывают, что появятся они, скорее всего, в нескольких странах одновременно), появится и шанс к миру. А пока, как уже было сказано - время войны.