Thursday, September 20, 2007

With 'slip-of-the-tongues' such as when PM Olmert talked about Israel's nuclear capabilities or when Binyamin Nethanyahu admitted, yesterday evening, that Israel carried out a strike in Syria, you never know if they are intentional or accidental. If they are planned it often remains unclear who planned them, and why. For all I know it could very well be that the PMO allowed or even encouraged the opposition leader to play a role in the war of nerves that is going on between Israel, Iran and Syria. In that case the accusations that government and opposition spokesmen and -women exchange would be part of a circus aimed at fooling all of us. On the other hand, in the case of Bibi there also is a high probability that he simply wanted to score some political points after he realized that the strike that did or did not take place raised Olmert's ratings. PS: I just watched the 8 o'clock news on Channel 2. There are no signs that Bibi's slip was anything but his own blunder. I watched one aspect of the damage, during a press conference with the American President. George Bush was visibly embarrassed and annoyed when a reporter asked him about the attack in Syria, basing his question on the words of the Israeli opposition leader. Bush declined to comment. This is unfortunately not the first time that Israeli officials were indiscrete regarding security matters that involve some sort of cooperation between the US and the Jewish state. Often such indiscretion was a result of internal political power games in Israel or of the big egos of the prattler on the Israeli side. In this case both factors played a role, apparently. Understandably the Americans do not like to be embarrassed, and incidents such as this one will make them even more reluctant to cooperate and share information ( i.e. more than the data that are absolutely necessary for vital projects in which the two countries work together ) with us in the future. PPS: To get an idea of the tense situation that still exists on the Israeli-Syrian border read this.

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