We’ve all known brave soldiers who fought courageously in multiple conflicts only to succumb to lingering and debilitating illnesses years later.

Likewise, history tells us of nations that never lost a battle in combat only to die because they lost their sense of purpose, their will to survive.

I think that’s what is happening in Israel today. I think the Jewish state is terminally ill.

Israel may have won three major wars in its 60-year history, but it will be lucky to survive another decade of morally bankrupt leadership.

It’s not just former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who is comatose. It seems the whole current Israeli government is brain dead.

How else can one explain Israel’s agreement to Lebanon cease-fire terms that amount to unconditional surrender?

I know few other commentators who have explained the development in these stark terms, but this is the reality of what Ehud Olmert’s government has done. It represents, in my opinion, one of the biggest strategic blunders in the history of the country.

Let’s review what Israel has done:

It launched a war on Iran-directed Hezbollah terrorists after they kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, killed eight others and rocketed northern Israel towns. From the beginning, Israel demanded the return of its troops and the disarming of Hezbollah terrorists.

What did Israel get in the cease-fire deal? No return of the kidnapped troops and Hezbollah terrorists remain under arms.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why Israeli civilians are not massing in the streets of Jerusalem demanding the immediate resignation of Olmert and his Cabinet. The Israeli army is returning from Lebanon with its tail between its legs.

How can you ask soldiers to kill and die for a simple objective that is later abandoned without explanation or reason?

Does Olmert not understand what his surrender means? It means he has given aid and comfort to Israel’s enemies. He has handed Hezbollah its biggest victory since former Prime Minister Ehud Barak unilaterally withdrew from Lebanon, handing the southern part of the country to Iran’s proxy army and positioning it to claim it had defeated the Jewish state.

He has also proved to Israel’s other terrorist enemies – those in Hamas and the Palestinian Authority – that rocket attacks, assassinations and kidnappings are winning tactics against the Jewish state. Prepare to see more of them under the terms of this “cease-fire.”

He has demonstrated for the entire world that Israel has lost the kind of resolve it had in previous military campaigns. When the going gets tough, today’s Jews evidently will just sue for peace.

Hezbollah has won. That’s the unimaginable bottom line after this conflict. The terrorists have won – not in the battlefield, mind you. But they won before the war ever began because weak-kneed, cowardly, morally unfit leaders in Jerusalem would never permit Israel to win.

With Hezbollah’s victory, Iran and Syria have been emboldened as well. This is bad news not just for Israel, but for the entire world.

If you think I overstate the case, ask yourself this fundamental question: Is Israel more secure after abandoning its conflict in Lebanon or less secure?

You know the answer. Everyone knows the answer.

Israel may have one of the greatest military machines in the world. It may have an intelligence apparatus that is the envy of superpowers. It may even have right on its side.

But Israel is being led by men unworthy of its history, unworthy of its sacrifices, unworthy of its hard-fought victories of the past and unworthy of God’s sovereign promises to bless the Jewish state forever.

It’s clear the only enemy that could ever destroy Israel is the kind of internal moral rot we are witnessing today in Jerusalem. Israel has just one shot at surviving its terminal illness – cutting out the cancer that is the Olmert government.

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