Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Replace failing cabinet now

Year elapsed since Lebanon War, yet government has learned nothing
Benjamin Netanyahu

Almost a year has elapsed since that morning when Hizbullah surprised the entire State of Israel by forcing a war on us. All of a sudden a million citizens in the north found themselves under a barrage of missiles and rockets never before experienced by the Israeli home front throughout Israel's history. Almost a year has elapsed since last summer whereby an entire nation witnessed a series of shortcomings by a failed government.

With the outbreak of the war, the cabinet set the right objectives, primarily pushing back the threat of missiles and destroying them, as well as bringing home our abducted soldiers – Eldad Regev and Udi Goldwasser.

To my regret, the government failed: Our abducted soldiers in the north, just like Gilad Shalit in the south – didn't come home. And Hizbullah? It has already rearmed beyond its capability prior to the war, while it and its patrons – Iran and Syria – blatantly defied UN Resolution 1701. In the south just like on the northern border, a pro Iranian enclave emerged, Hamastan, just as we predicted.

On both fronts there has been no substantive progress in ameliorating home front fortification shortcomings revealed during the war.

A year has elapsed and the feeling among the people is one of deep unease. The country is stuck. Much of the population feels there is currently no leadership and that the leaders are preoccupied with saving their own skin instead of dealing with statesmanship.

Instead of guiding the people to a safe haven, through a sober reading of reality, we are hearing plans for further concessions. In the last seven years Israel erred twice in undertaking unilateral withdrawals – first in Lebanon and later in the Gaza Strip. Unilateral policies did not bring the much yearned for peace any closer, but rather, pushed it further away. These mistakes must not be repeated!

We should recognize a simple basic truth: Power distances war and brings peace closer, while weakness does the exact opposite. The Palestinians and our other neighbors will take the path of coexistence and peace only after understanding that Israel's existence is a fait accompli: That they are facing an incredibly strong nation politically, militarily, economically and socially.

Time for elections

Hence, what is currently needed is a plan of national empowerment that would fortify our defense capabilities and strengthen our international standing by motivating governments and world public opinion to take action against Iran and its satellites.

Yet it seems that with regards to this matter too little is being done in a much too feeble a voice. Iran's president is frequently announcing his plans to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. No one is speaking out, while even Israel's voice sounds somewhat hesitant and weak.

We are in need of a revolution in this area, along with the continuation of economic growth in order to reinforce our vital interests. A strong economy would also ensure a response to Israel's social needs. Only a free economy enables the existence of a state and a modern society. Free market economy alongside social sensitivity is the right answer. And this is our policy.

Any citizen who can join the workforce – let them do so. Because this is the only way that the truly weak – such as the elderly, handicapped and the sick - can really be assisted. The cabinet must promote employment, lower taxes, boost the middle class and provide excellent education to all.

Mutual assistance among citizens should be embraced alongside personal responsibility. The incumbent government is doing none of this. It is fumbling without a policy. It appears that all governmental institutions are atrophied.

A government draws its authority from the people. The roots of this government have dried up. We must return to the people and regain its trust. I believe that in these elections the people will place their trust in the Likud movement, which has proven that it and only it was able to foresee the future through level-headed, sane and responsible policies.

In such a case I will approach all the heads of the Zionist parties in order to establish a national unity government that would take the Likud's path and rise up to the great challenges still ahead of us.

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