Thursday, June 10, 2004


Partners for Peace

At least the US isn't the only place where military intelligence is manipulated by political figures to reflect the views they already hold. A report in Ha'aretz by Akiva Eldar indicates that Major General Amos Malka, former director of Military Intelligence in Israel, feels that Major General Amos Gilad (head of MI when the second intifada broke out in October of 2000), misled the cabinet on the cause of violence and to the mistaken conclusion that there is no Palestinian partner for peace.
Malka told Haaretz that Gilad, who today heads the Defense Ministry's diplomatic-security unit, was "a very significant factor in persuading a great many people... [yet] in all the time that I served as head of MI, the research division did not produce so much as a single document expressing the assessment that Gilad claims to have presented to the [then] prime minister [Ehud Barak]. I assert that only after the Taba talks were halted, on the eve of the 2001 election, did Gilad begin to retroactively rewrite MI's assessments."
Well it's good to hear somebody in a position of authority and knowledge come out and say it, only it's unfortunate that the "no partner" agenda has been propagated for almost four years without a strong and authoritative rebuttal. The "no partner" line has become ingrained into the public of Israel and the US. It's been said and heard so often it's become second nature, irrefutable, undeniable truth. At this point too many have the closed-minded mentality of Amos Gilad. Although Malka's view is shared by people such as Colonel (reserves) Ephraim Lavie, the research division official responsible for the Palestinian arena at that time, former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon, and Orientalist Mati Steinberg, former special advisor on Palestinian affairs to the head of the Shin Bet, in Gilad's mind there is no room for compromise.
Asked about these divergent views, Gilad responded: "I would have no problem if 1,000 people thought differently than I. That still doesn't mean that they're right."
This is really what is wrong with the Gilads, the Sharons, the Bushs, the Rumsfelds, the Cheneys in power - there is no temperance, no compromise, no moderation no matter how many or how informed the opposing view. It's self-assuredness to the point of total arrogance and complete ignorance.

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