This isn't me saying this, all the newspapers even Haaretz are saying this.
Though to some extent, Israel will have to admit defeat, this is preferable to expanding the Lebanon offensive.
ב"אל-מנאר" כבר משדרים קליפים של ניצחון
ההסכם המתגבש להפסקת אש הפיח רוח ניצחון בחיזבאללה. ברשת "אל מנאר" החליפו קליפים עליזים של ניצחון את הרוח הלוחמנית. "ניצחנו את הצבא הבלתי מנוצח", טענו
On Al manara (Hezbollah TV) they are already showing victory clips. The agreement that is being worked on gave Hezbollah an air of victory. On Al Manara they are showing victory clips. We defeated the undefeated army
Here is what the army is saying:
Military chiefs strongly opposed to truce terms
However, the Defense Ministry and the IDF General Staff are fiercely opposed to the emerging cease-fire, and senior defense officials accused Olmert of blocking the proposed advance to the Litani, thereby denying Israel a significant military achievement.
The officials charged that the emerging resolution is very problematic for Israel, because it makes no provision for the immediate return of the kidnapped soldiers (it urges their return, but this is not one of the resolution's operative clauses), includes no stringent supervisory mechanism to prevent a renewed flow of arms to Hezbollah, and does not guarantee the organization's disarmament. "[Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah will continue to mock us, and in the end there will be another war," said one.
"We understand that the leadership wants to do everything possible to save soldiers' lives, but too much is in the balance here," added another. "We must continue."
The defense officials argued that the cabinet should have allowed the expanded operation approved on Wednesday to start immediately, thereby creating military pressure for a cease-fire more favorable to Israel. By delaying the operation, they said, this opportunity has apparently been missed.
There is no doubt about it. After a month of fighting the bottom line is that Hezbollah is still shooting 150+ rockets a day into Northern Israel and is still in Southern Lebanon near the border fighting with the army. The ceasefire does not require the disarmament of Hezbollah nor does it return the 2 kidnapped soldiers. It also reopens the Shaba Farms discussion. In short, it reinforces the idea that the only way to get anywhere with Israel is violence and that violence definately pays.
The government and Olmert in Orwellian fashion will declare victory. The only bright spot is that even the press realizes the idiocy of this claim and that the emperor has no clothes. See for example this article in Haaretz.
OPINION: Olmert cannot remain in the prime minister's office
Ehud Olmert may decide to accept the French proposal for a cease-fire and unconditional surrender to Hezbollah. That is his privilege. Olmert is a prime minister whom journalists invented, journalists protected, and whose rule journalists preserved. Now the journalists are saying run away. That's legitimate. Unwise, but legitimate.
However, one thing should be clear: If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day. Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say - oops, I made a mistake. That was not the intention. Pass me a cigar, please.
There is no mistake Ehud Olmert did not make this past month. He went to war hastily, without properly gauging the outcome. He blindly followed the military without asking the necessary questions. He mistakenly gambled on air operations, was strangely late with the ground operation, and failed to implement the army's original plan, much more daring and sophisticated than that which was implemented. And after arrogantly and hastily bursting into war, Olmert managed it hesitantly, unfocused and limp. He neglected the home front and abandoned the residents of the north. He also failed shamefully on the diplomatic front.
We can only hope that Lebanon/Hezbollah is stupid enough to reject the ceasefire and victory and that in the end the Army is actually allowed to fight.
So far the Lebanese are following Abba Eban's dictum The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.