The Blog

The Hapless Israeli Defense Minister

2:14 PM, Feb 23, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Israel's political and military leaders are facing a crisis of confidence. The consensus view in Israel, as Peter Berkowitz wrote in THE WEEKLY STANDARD just a few weeks ago, is that Prime Minister Edhud Olmert, "and even more his hapless defense minister, Amir Peretz, as well as Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, an honorable man who only two weeks ago resigned as chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces--had proved themselves in the Lebanon war last summer unfit to continue to lead the nation."

Hapless indeed. Yesterday Peretz was inspecting troops in the Golan Heights alongside the IDF's new chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. According to press accounts, "Peretz gazed through the capped binoculars three times, nodding as Ashkenazi explained what he was looking at."

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What's wrong with this picture? (Effi Sharir / AP)