Friday, May 26, 2006
An interesting piece on the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert. (Requires registration). Here are two excerpts:
While training with an elite infantry unit, [Olmert] broke two limbs. He used his healing time to enroll at Hebrew University, majoring in philosophy, psychology, and law. It was there that he became an activist. In 1966, just 20, he made his real political debut in a speech to a Herut conference. To the audience's shock, he called on Begin, who was actually in the room, to resign for failing to carry national elections. This was more than just heresy. For Herut, Begin was larger than life--the uncontested leader. And the crowd reacted to Olmert with unmitigated fury. Recovering from the initial shock, it rose to storm the podium. He would have been physically assaulted had Begin himself not demanded that they let the young man make his point.
That showed courage, but it also showed an inability to understand his fellows. Consider also what an amazing time this is for Israel. I had not reflected on the following:
The seven months between the August 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and the March 2006 elections was one of the most dramatic periods in Israeli history. During that short time, the political world turned over no less than four times. First, there was the pullout itself, which doomed the fate of the old hawkish worldview. Second, Sharon left Likud, breaking the old system dominated by two dueling parties. Then Sharon lapsed into a coma, and finally, after all that tumult, the Palestinians went and elected Hamas.
Read the whole thing. An interesting article, although perhaps too favorable towards Olmert.