An Israeli Soldier’s View
Writing in The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 30, 2008, Michael Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the author of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (Nortopn, 2008), and a soldier in the Israeli military who took part in the ground offensive, recalls that his rifle “literally fell apart” in his hands during the fighting, underscoring the “serious mismanagement of the war.”
Oren added: “Accountability for decision making is a tenet of the Zionist ethos on which the Jewish state is based and, unlike most nations, Israel has a citizens' army in which the great majority -- politicians included -- serve. Most uniquely, Israel confronts daily security dangers and long-term threats to its existence. Israelis can neither condone nor afford a prime minister who passes the buck to their army or shirks the onus of defense. The person who sends us into battle cannot escape responsibility for our fate.”
But while two previous prime ministers who led Israel during ill-conceived or poorly executed wars — Golda Meir following the Yum Kippur War in 1973, Menachem Begin following the Lebanon invasion of 1982 — resigned, Olmert stood, still defiant, after the release of the Winograd report.