Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote By Flexing Military Muscle

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seemed headed towards a quick exit as the leader of Israel. His government is being condemned not only at home with a 0% public support when the margin of error is figured in according to a recent poll, but is also a target of World Bank attacks as one of the most corrupt governments in the world. The President of the country is also under criminal investigation for sex crimes which include rape and forced sex from female employees. And government contracts are routinely awarded due to corruption influences from the Olmert government.

About the only thing that could help Olmert survive a no-confidence vote by his nation's Knesset(parliament) was to flex Israel's military muscle. Like clockwork, Olmert launched a tough crackdown on West Bank Hamas militants, arresting at least 26, and this use of military muscle and creation of a new security crisis, has managed to help him survive a no-confidence vote for at least this time.

If anything, Olmert has pulled the oldest political gimmick out of his bag of tricks. The use of military power during a political crisis. Hamas radicals have been smuggling in arms from Egypt into the West Bank for months now. As many as 20,000 arms including antitank weapons and rockets have been smuggled in according to Israeli military intelligence officials. But Olmert waits until he is about to be tossed out of office, and removed from the corrupt government he runs, then decides creating an 11th hour military security crisis is just about the right time to use the Israeli military in a high profile event sure to get plenty of press coverage in Israel.

Just like a condemned man on death row, Olmert found a way to get a last minute stay of execution for his corrupt government. But these last minute appeals usually don't last too long. Olmert may have to create an even bigger military use of power to keep his job for very many more days. However, if this use of military power is indeed a geniune response to Israeli security concerns, then that is one thing. But on the other hand, if going to extremes to start a new war or some similiar action is merely meant to keep his job, then that is indeed a very dangerous scenario.


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