By Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East Analyst & Commentator
Arik Sharon, the driving force of every successful war Israel had to fight, was ambushed by a young high school girl, coached to lie for Ehud Barak. Arik Sharon was ambushed by a young high school girl who stood up in her Barak T-shirt and asked why he did not take responsibility for her shell-shocked father, caught up in one of Sharon's battles in Lebanon.
As it turned out, her father, a Barak supporter was wounded in a battle directed by Ehud Barak at Sultan Ya'akoub. HA'ARETZ reported January 23rd that Barak commanded the Sultan Ya'akoub battle, advancing forces into a Syrian trap without proper cover. This was the largest battle under Barak's command. Barak was second-in-command and took the initiative when his senior commander was away, ordering the forces to advance and grab what they could. While intelligence agents at the time warned of the presence of Syrian forces in the area, Barak's reconnaissance did not pick up the trap. Three Israeli soldiers, Zachery Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Tzi Feldman remain missing in action from that battle at Sultan Ya'akoub in 1982.
This was not Barak's only military mistake. The others have conveniently been pushed out of sight on his carefully managed career aims toward a political future for the Labor Party.
This 16 year old girl was coached to lie and it just happened that Barak's campaign director managed to have a TV film crew there to watch Arik fumble for an answer. Arik said very clearly that "I suggest transferring the blame to its right address."
Evidently, Barak's planners, like James Carville, are still there planning dirty tricks and succeeding - only now we can add the NEW YORK TIMES, the State Department's mouthpiece, as a willing participant in promoting Barak's election campaign.
Even as the lie they fed to this vulnerable young girl was exposed in Israel's most Left wing newspapers and became known to all the foreign journalists, Deborah Sontag of the NEW YORK TIMES carried the lie on the TIMES front page January 24th. In her story Sontag supports the lie by saying, "But with emotions too raw for anyone to charge publically that they [the girl's accusations] were contrived, a teenager was confronting Mr. Sharon with his checkered past and suggesting to the country that it may not be overlooked."
Sontag has become known as a purveyor of biased journalism and is clearly linked to promoting Barak's candidacy and the policies of the Left/Labor-Meretz parties. This has been the anti-Jewish policy of the NEW YORK TIMES' editors from at least as far back as World War II. Any journalist who covers Israel has to toe that line. It is remarkable that so many of them, especially the Jewish ones willingly act as the TIMES' hatchet men and women against Israel.
Clearly, Sontag. has stepped so far past the red lines of honest reporting that her journalist's credentials should be lifted and she should be sent out of the country. She has dishonored ethical journalism and brought shame to her family. Ms. Sontag, have you no shame - no decency - no standards of ethical journalism? As the NEW YORK TIMES, with respect to the Jewish issues, if there ever was an Evil Empire of journalism, the NEW YORK TIMES must be it.
Why did this happen? Quite simply Arik has surrounded himself with a well meaning team of amateurs who could not think ahead. Arik's team has cut itself off from hard thinking planners and organizers from the Right. They can anticipate tricks and plan strategies to overcome. Arik's team is not really connected to the street so they only prepare ideas with little opposition or debate. Many of Arik's advisors also guided Bibi Netanyahu's campaign and similarly cast off his supporters from the Right in their hunger for the undecided Center.
The Left planted this little 16 year old girl Ilal Comay and her father, Tzvika, as a lie to be delivered on TV. Any amateur campaign manager would have looked ahead and planned for such an ambush. The myth that Arik was culpable in the Sabra and Shatilla massacre was disproved when he won his libel suit against TIME Magazine. And yet, this smear is used against Sharon in every article about him - in Israel and internationally.
But, Arik's team, cut itself away from the hard fighters and thinkers of the Right. He is surrounded by Yes' men who really have no clue as to how to fight the battle. Worse yet, Ark keeps thinking of a unity government after the elections so he does not speak of Barak's failures. How can he speak of these things if he plans to enlist Barak in a future cabinet?
Israeli voters are very changeable, often in a day. Arik may find, at the last minute, he could lose the election and when he turns to what should be his bedrock of supporters, they will not be there. Who wants to hang around when you have been taken for granted, ignored and pushed to the side? Right now the Israeli voters are voting against Barak and not necessarily for Arik. This has happened before when the voters voted against Peres, not for Bibi. In both cases, the candidates pocketed the vote of the Right, accepted their fervent help and then arrogantly pushed them aside.
Perhaps Arik, in his election campaign battle plan, will remember that it was the Right who cut short the term of office of these last two Prime Ministers. It's just not smart to make enemies of your friends and supporters.