In a Ynetnews interview, Ehud Olmert derided Hezbollah’s recent massive ‘victory’ rally in south Beirut:
Let’s turn to the post-war Lebanon. When you saw Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah celebrating in Beirut’s Dahiya on Friday – what did you feel?
“I did not see it. Had I seen it, I wouldn’t have been moved by it. Nasrallah’s need of this show of force by the masses is a consequence of the increasing anger toward him and the growing opposition against him in Lebanon. This doesn’t mean a thing. I am not impressed by it.
“I must tell you that my natural association is that such declarations and demonstrations by Arab leaders, who live in non-democratic societies, always have something to do with the need to survive anger or disagreement or increasing criticism.”
Where to begin with this hopeless drivel? First, someone needs to tutor Olmert on the difference between democratic and “non-democratic” societies. One can argue that Lebanon is a weak nation with political weak institutions. But one cannot argue that it is non-democratic. PERHAPS, if he’d said that Hezbollah itself was non-democratic he might’ve squeaked by with some measure of accuracy (though Hezbollah ran in elections and participates in the Lebanese parliament). But he didn’t say that. He said that Lebanon was a “non-democratic” society. A flat out inaccuracy or lie depending on your point of view.
Second, though I’m by no means a supporter of Hezbollah, it is utterly hypocritical of Olmert to dismiss the massive turnout of Hezbollah supporters at the recent Beirut rally. The Israeli PM would salivate at the prospect of 200,000 Israelis showing up in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to support him. Unfortunately, for him the only people who’d show up right about now would be his lawyer, real estate agent and developer cronies, his mother (if she’s alive) and perhaps his wife (who does not share his dovish views). Not even his own daughter would show up to support him since Dana Olmert supports the anti-war movement. That’s how bad it is for him now. He couldn’t get elected dog catcher.