Now everything is clear: Everything happened because no one consulted with Shaul Mofaz. The Winograd Committee protocols published last week indicate that the committee members were surprised the former defense minister did not play a more active role in the Second Lebanon War. "You are the most experienced person," committee member Ruth Gavison said to him. Is she also unaware of what Mofaz's "experience" has generated? Do she and her colleagues still fail to understand, when Gaza is becoming Hamastan, the extent to which his policy contributed to the abyss we are facing today?
"I thought it was necessary to strike very hard," Mofaz said, expressing his sole tenet and offering the committee a meaningless play on words: "I thought it was a battle and not a war." Battle or war, the government should be praised for not taking interest in Mofaz's proposals. The fact that the committee of inquiry nearly scolded him for not being more active should cause us considerable concern. If, heaven forbid, the government had listened to Mofaz, the war would have dragged on and on.
Mofaz is the last of the government ministers whose security advice the committee should solicit. As chief of staff and as defense minister, he caused Israel enough damage. In a proper state, he would have been denounced or sent packing long ago over his responsibility for the stupid policy that brought serious disaster upon Israel and its neighbors, as the scenes in Gaza are demonstrating.
"To strike very hard" - that is the essence of his entire world. That is the only thing he knows how to do. He has never used another language. If there is one person who epitomizes Israel's belligerent outlook, it is him. The result: 1,705 Palestinians, including 372 children and teenagers, were killed during his term as defense minister, six times the number of Israelis killed; Israel assassinated 191 people during this period.
But this is not only a matter of a distorted morality, but also of the rotten fruits of this crazy policy. Mofaz was not only Ariel Sharon's liquidation contractor; he was also the person responsible for carrying out the liquidation of the Palestinian Authority. Even as chief of staff, a stray microphone caught him whispering to the prime minister that Yasser Arafat should be deported. Under Mofaz's command, Israel destroyed all the apparatuses of the PA. No one, certainly not Mofaz, asked what would arise in its place and how it would help us if we were to dispose of Arafat, the only Palestinian leader capable of unifying his people and reaching an accord. Who did Mofaz think - if he thought at all - would replace Arafat? Not Hamas?
You do not have to be a leftist to long for Arafat. The terrible anarchy in Gaza is a direct result of the crushing of the Palestinian Authority. Mofaz (as well as Sharon, of course) is responsible for this. Hamas has entered the vacuum, which is characterized by hunger and despair. This is unforgivable. Historically speaking, this is a much more fateful mistake than the war in Lebanon. Instead of Arafat, who was portrayed as an obstacle to peace, and instead of the PA, we now have Hamastan. Mofaz's policy led to this. If a committee is ever formed to investigate what led to missing the chance for peace and the rise of Hamas, Mofaz will be its central subject.
This is the man whose experience the Winograd Committee sought. This is the man who is now a candidate for promotion in the Olmert government. We have to thank the Labor Party voters who chose Ehud Barak, thus preventing Mofaz's return to the Defense Ministry. This man, whose main contribution to security was the "Mofazit" - a plastic device for attaching a magazine to a rifle - has already inflicted enough damage upon Israel.
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