Wednesday, April 05, 2006

From union boss to top security post, feel safer?


The recent news that the Defence Ministry will be handed to Labour leader Amir Peretz has struck me as shocking. The person most in charge of our nation's defences has abolutely no security background and his biggest achievements to date have been to shut down the country at least once a year as his role as Histadrut (Union) boss.
This is made all the more disasterous as our Prime Minister designate Olmert also has absolutely no security background. I am not saying that any civillian can be defence minister but surely one whose whole raison d'etre was social should not be given a portfolio so inappropriate to his background.
Not everyone agrees with me, apparently. Ofer Shelah of Ynet says, "the nomination of a civilian figure such as Amir Peretz to the defense ministry is a step in the right direction. We must provide him with a strong decision-making apparatus – a strong National Security Council that would weigh each cog in the wheel – and especially intelligence – and that would present the government with real options, so that the army's worldview and operational proposals are not the only issue on the table."
At first it seems that Shaul Mofaz, who held this position and was a Chief of Staff of the IDF was not too impressed with Olmerts decision. However, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz distanced himself Wednesday morning from reports that his associates slammed the intention to hand over the Defense Ministry to inexperienced Labor Chairman Amir Peretz.
In a talk with Peretz, Mofaz said the headlines did not reflect his views, expressed his appreciation to the Labor leader, and said he was confident Peretz would perform well in any post assigned to him.
"The feeling is not a good one," one source was reported as sayingTuesday night. "How can the State of Israel have a prime minister without security and military credentials and also have a defense minister without any credentials for the post? This is irresponsible. This matter should very much disturb the public."
The associate said that the right thing to do is appoint a minister with proven experience at a difficult period on the security and diplomatic fronts.
"We're facing several serious threats, such as the Iranian threat and the Hamas regime, and are also facing the convergence plan in Judea and Samaria," the source said. "I have a feeling not enough thought is given to this move. It's a complex system. Amir Peretz will assume the post and they'll ask him to cut (the defense budget.) Does he know what to cut?"
Sometimes the politicians should stop and think about what they are doing. Is the nation's safety subservient to a stable coalition and appeasing certain members. Also, one has to ask what service Peretz will provide when he has promised his electorate a 'social revolution'. As we say in Israel....Y'hieh b'seder (it will be good)?!?!?!

1 comment:

Michael Lawrence said...

I am ACTUALLY astounded Ashley. Firstly that a man whose lack of military, strategic expertise was a focus of the electoral campaign can even be in line for such a job and secondly, that the man who stood for social issues would still go panting and begging for Defense, Foreign Affairs and Finance briefcases when in fact what this country wanted and needs from Labor, Pensioners and others is a major shift towards better EDucation, Health and Welfare - all of which are continually suffocated by defense and diplomacy.