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Thursday, December 07, 2006 

Captured IDF soldiers found?

Wish I could've posted this earlier, but I was on a trip up north today. Don't forget Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and I thank Michelle Malkin for remembering them:
JERUSALEM - In their first comment about the fate of two soldiers whose capture triggered a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas last summer, Israeli officials said Wednesday the two were seriously wounded — raising the prospect they may no longer be alive.

The Israeli military censor allowed publication of the existence of the report on Wednesday, and local media broadcast sketchy details. Military officials told The Associated Press the report determined that one of the soldiers was critically wounded and the other seriously wounded when they were captured, without giving further details. They spoke on condition of anonymity under military rules.

"If they did not receive immediate medical treatment, there is grave concern for their lives," Israel TV military correspondent Yoav Limor said on the nightly TV newscast.

After Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the Lebanon-Israel border in July and attacked an Israeli patrol, killing three soldiers and capturing the two, Israel sent regular forces into Lebanon, first to look for the soldiers and then to try to beat Hezbollah into submission.

Both missions failed, and the war ended inconclusively after Hezbollah fired almost 4,000 rockets at northern Israel despite a massive Israeli ground and air assault on Lebanon.

The outcome of the war cut deeply into popular support for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and it continues to haunt him. This week, he caused an uproar with a comment about the captured soldiers, "if they (are alive), and we hope they are alive," saying it would have been improper to extend the war to try to win their freedom. Families of the soldiers objected to his implication that the two might be dead.

Wednesday's disclosure of the soldiers' serious wounds indicated that Olmert was referring to a real possibility that the soldiers might not have survived. This would have implications on negotiations with Hezbollah, although Israel has released prisoners both for captured soldiers and for bodies. The U.N. is trying to mediate, but there are no reports of progress or of actual contacts.
Olmert's comments, which I think he made at the time he was meeting with Segolene Royal, may have been worse than that (it was reported about in the daily Yisraeli on Tuesday; I wish I had the issue so I could see what exactly it was that he said, though aside from the fact that he implied that he favored the crummy Royal as a presidential candidate, he said something a lot more offensive than what this article implies).

Which brings us to the following news, of wide-ranging calls for Olmert's replacement:
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace, a coalition of over 1,200 rabbinic leaders, calls for a "democratic uprising" to replace the Olmert gov't. Full-page ads in US weeklies call for Olmert to resign.

“Out of love for each and every Jew," the Rabbinical Congress (RCP) statement reads, "we call on the people of Israel and its leaders to begin a democratic uprising to immediately replace this government, which constitutes an ominous threat to the nation of Israel."

Former Chief Rabbis Mordechai Eliyahu and Avraham Shapira are among the signatories, as is Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of Israel's Tunisian Jewish community.
The RCP labeled Olmert’s speech in Sde Boker, in which he offered to free terrorist prisoners and give up large areas of Judea and Samaria for a Palestinian state, "an extension of Sharon’s crimes."

[...]

At the same time, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has launched a campaign calling for Olmert to resign on his own. The campaign includes full-page ads in several American Anglo-Jewish weeklies throughout the U.S.
Olmert would do well to listen to his growing number of critics, and do us all a favor by leaving office.

Update: see also these two articles about a Sanhedrin rabbi who was detained for several hours because he called for ostracizing an IDF officer who issued restraining orders against activists in Judea/Samaria.

Open trackbacks: Basil's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Customer Servant, Outside the Beltway, Pursuing Holiness, Renaissance Blogger, Stuck on Stupid.

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