Los Angeles Times
July 20, 2006
Before he became prime minister, Ehud Olmert publicly declared these extraordinary words: "We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired
of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies." In that demoralized spirit, the state of Israel retreated twice in five years under fire, from Lebanon and from Gaza - and now, as a consequence, is fighting wars in precisely those places.
I suggest that the executive branch take Olmert at his word and buck up this fatigued but exceptionally close ally. Even if Israel can very capably defend itself (as recent events have confirmed), it lacks the will to make the protracted efforts to defeat its enemies. And Israel's enemies - Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran - are also America's enemies.
Building on this assessment, I suggest that the administration make the following requests of Tel Aviv, to protect American interests. Specifically...
...Do not turn the West Bank over to Hamas terrorists. This endangers U.S. interests in several ways, notably because it would threaten Hashemite rule in Jordan.