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With Gaza raid, Barak is back in the political ring
by Haaretz, Israel (reposted)
Saturday Dec 27th, 2008 9:06 PM
Two months after Ehud Olmert was elected as Israel's prime minister, the Second Lebanon War broke out. Two months before Olmert departs, the military campaign in the south breaks out.

But Olmert isn't the story here; he's on his way to the Prime Minister's Bureau pensioners' ward. Ehud Barak is the story here. The man who, until yesterday, had to remind the Israeli voter of his existence with self-ridicule on billboards and satirical shows is returning to the political ring with force. In the coming days, weeks maybe, Barak will stand in he center of the public's attention. For better or worse, he's in his element.
The beginning of the raid in Gaza bears the wily and deceptive fingerprint of Barak, the Israel Defense Forces most highly decorated combat soldier. This does not make him the most suitable candidate for the premiership, but it may deliver him and his party from the humiliating defeat the polls are predicting.

Who knows, maybe even Barak's performance in Eretz Nehederet ("A Wonderful Country") was part of the disinformation effort. Hamas might have thought that if the Israeli minister of defense has enough spare time for making a fool out of himself, then an attack can't be too close.

by Haaretz, Israel (reposted)
Saturday Dec 27th, 2008 9:07 PM
The other shoe dropped Saturday with full force, as if Hamas had asked for the shoe to be sent its way. Now we need to start thinking about the end game, an end which will not be cut and dry as we would like. In wars, the beginnings are usually the easy part, and only later do they become dicey. I can only hope that this time, for a change, we will know when to stop.

This war must be described from the get-go as a war "to be on the safe side," rather than of necessity, and it is still unclear whether the last missile fired will be fired by us or by them.