A State Inquiry Into Sharon Et Al

It is odd, nevertheless, that while everyone is concerned with money matters, no one is asking Sharon to be accountable for the blood of the past five years.

The "peace camp's" support for Ariel Sharon can be excused with the Yiddish saying, "When you need the thief, you take him down from the gallows." MK Yossi Sarid even offered National Union MK Zvi Hendel the slogan, "the depth of the probe dictates the depth of the uprooting." Sarid's Meretz-Yahad faction then offered Sharon a parliamentary "safety net" until the disengagement is completed. In fact, the comprehensive insurance policy that the prime minister purchased for himself with the withdrawal from Gaza will also stand him in good stead against the ammunition the new book "Boomerang" [by Raviv Drucker of Channel 10 and Ofer Shelach of Yedioth Ahronoth] provides to the theory that the disengagement plan was born out of the sin of the Greek island affair. After all, what are a few million shekels deposited into the savings account of "the kid," compared to the saving of the lives of Israel Defense Forces soldiers entrusted with safeguarding the children of Netzarim?

It is odd, nevertheless, that while everyone is concerned with money matters, no one is asking Sharon to be accountable for the blood of the past five years. The generous lawyer's fees that Gilad Sharon received from David Appel are small change in relation to 1,000 Israeli and more than 3,000 Palestinian fatalities, thousands of wounded, billions of dollars down the drain, and an obsolete hope for peace. It's not a police investigation that is called for. We need a state commission of inquiry. The disengagement plan is an admission of the total downfall of the policies of all Israel's governments since Sharon visited the Temple Mount.

Some 72 percent of the Palestinians who told Dr. Khalil Shikaki's pollsters that the disengagement is the victory of the armed struggle are living testimony to the failure of the hard-handed approach and humiliation, and to the downfall of the "burning-it-into-their-consciousness" attitude. Hence, not only the prime minister, but also his predecessor, Ehud Barak, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and his predecessor, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, should come under investigation - to be followed by former chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon, former Shin Bet security service chief Avi Dichter, former head of Military Intelligence (MI) Amos Malka, his deputy, Amos Gilad, and his successor, Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, former military advocate general Menachem Finkelstein, the heads of the IDF commands, and brigade commanders.

"Boomerang" adds spine-chilling revelations to its predecessor, "The Seventh War," by Amos Harel and Avi Yissacharoff, and the Haaretz probe from June 2004, about IDF commanders who stoked the fires of the intifada and carried out something of a military coup. The book confirms that high-ranking intelligence officers marketed the "no partner" myth to serve the interests of Barak and Sharon, despite there being no support for this in the assessments of MI, the Shin Bet or the Mossad.

The two experienced journalists and a respected publishing house (Keter) describe a process in which members of the highest level of government and the defense establishment turned the "targeted killings" into wholesale liquidations.

The book speaks of the licentious use of the threatening term "highly specific alerts," by means of exploiting an enlisted and intimidated media. The writers charge that the former military advocate general gave a stamp of approval to the light finger-on-the-trigger policy, and was rewarded by becoming the first military advocate general to wear the rank of a major general. They describe a long series of Israeli acts of sabotage on cease-fire initiatives that ended in terror attacks, alongside a long series of foul-ups in the construction of the separation fence, the delay of which continues to exact a human cost. They accuse ministers Shimon Peres and Ben-Eliezer of criminal negligence by lending a hand to the deterioration in the situation in the territories, and by standing idly by while Sharon, Mofaz, Ya'alon and Dichter undermined every chance for an easing in the hostilities.

Due to the attorney general's decision, the public will never know if the disengagement plan was indeed designed to take Sharon and his sons down from the gallows. Nevertheless, the liberation from the yoke of the occupation of Gaza is neither a certificate of integrity for Sharon and his partners in the dance of folly, nor a stamp of approval for the morning after.