Giora Eiland
Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv, June 12, 2010.a Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Giora Eiland, everyone knows, has an easy temperament as far as investigations go. He likes using waffling expressions such as on the one hand but on the other hand, thus, otherwise and however. Eiland is not keen on chopping off people's heads and watching them drop in the basket under the guillotine.

Unwittingly, he represents a pessimistic approach. What does it matter who is dismissed and who replaces him if the same policy and conduct produce the same results?

Nobody can say Eiland has not studied history, and he knows because he has learned from experience. Forty-three years have gone by and every time Israel is surprised anew, as though it hasn't been taken by surprise before, as though it will not be taken by surprise again.

After all, the eclipse has been going on since 1967. Nasser closes the straits out of the blue and nobody here has a clue of what he could want. The Six-Day War erupts as a result of a series of misunderstandings, each side contributing its own miscalculation.

The Yom Kippur War was heralded by alarm bells and red lights, but who bothered to see, listen or understand?

Anwar Sadat also surprised us with his peace gesture, which Military Intelligence warned was a dangerous trap.

The first Lebanon war was a startling shock. The Christians, of all people, whom we were counting on, turned out to be unreliable and too many Shi'ites were found in the south.

The first intifada broke out on a clear day. Who imagined that after 20 years of occupation the Palestinians would go mad and show signs of resistance? The second intifada, in contrast, was a little more expected, though the argument is still about whether Yasser Arafat initiated it or jumped on the bandwagon.

The Second Lebanon War was based on flimsy intelligence. Combatants were sent to the battlefield without an overall picture or details of the hill in front of them. And Operation Cast Lead only deepened the blindness, not distinguishing between criminals and innocents. It killed them all, bringing on us the Goldstone disaster.

So how were the intelligence community and captains expected this time, for a change, to act intelligently vis-a-vis a ship at sea? Aren't we expecting too much of them?

Aren't we going to believe in the future as well that somebody up there knows what they're doing because they know more? Aren't the Eilands right, in their lenient and considerate approach?

No, they're not all complete idiots, the military and political leaders. They're even capable of making intelligent decisions every now and then, if they really want to see reality for what it is. They simply don't want to because reality doesn't suit them. It's not convenient. They feel at home only among their used mistakes, whose touch and smell are familiar to them from their old memories, from the good old days.