Monday, December 29, 2008

Meretz Flip-Flops on Support of War – Better Late Than Never

Arutz Sheva/Israel National News is reporting here that Meretz ended its support for the Gaza War today, less than a week after it announced it.

The Knesset held an emergency session on Monday and approved the government's decision to embark on Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza. The Knesset session was punctuated by stormy comments made by the Arab Knesset Members, who were repeatedly thrown out of the session. The mixed Arab-Jewish party Hadash boycotted the session entirely.

All Knesset parties except for Meretz and the Arab parties approved the decision to support the action in Gaza. The decision stated: "It is the right of the State of Israel to defend itself just as it is the right of any nation to do so. It is the right of the citizens of Israel to live with security just as it the right of any other citizens to do so."

I haven 't seen this on any other website yet, and I don't know whether Meretz voted against or abstained.

Of course, the Meretz folks will tell you that they never endorsed a big operation, only a limited one. How limited?

Apparently 72 hours-worth.

What should Meretz have said last week? "We oppose military action in Gaza as immoral, counterproductive, and not in the best interests of either side. We call upon both sides to respect the cease-fire. Israel cannot stand idly by while its citizens are being shelled, but we have learnt from experience of two wars that limited aims give way very quickly to broader goals."

But it is election time, and they had to rattle some sabres.

Remember when this war was supposed to be about stopping the shelling? Now, apparently, it is about an "all out war on Hamas" and regime change in Gaza.

That's the funny thing about these wars – the aims shift, the circumstances change, and you don't know what you are getting into, even when you declare one set of aims.

You would think that Meretz would know about that last week?

Still, better late than never. Welcome aboard, Meretz!