There are definite signs in the air that 2012 will be an election year in Israel and, as a consequence, all manner of people are speaking up about a range of matters that will have an impact on election day.
Israel is, after all a vibrant democracy and in such circumstances it's not unknown for there to be disagreements between governments and former public servants who might have an eye on a political career so one has to take with a grain of salt articles such as that written by Jodi Rudoren (Ex-security chief attacks Israeli leaders over Iran) which appeared in today's Age, straight out of the New York Times.
Truth be known, we expect rigorous debate in a democracy and, although it's unlikely that the Age selected this article for publication to demonstrate this fact, I'm pleased that it disclosed to its readers that Yuval Diskin, who retired last year as the director of Shin Bet, that Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad spy agency, that the current head of the Israel Defence Forces, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz and that blogger Meir Javedanfar can all freely express their views on the Israeli government.
What I don't understand is why the Age never publishes anything about the other side of the coin in relation to this conflict.
Why we do we never hear about the anti-Semitism, homophobia and misogyny that pervades Hamas, the Palestine Authority, Hizbullah and Iran?
Why is the Age only waking up now to the hideous nature of the murderous Assad family in Syria?
Why has there not been a word written about the censorship of websites by the Palestine Authority and of the lies that are told about their banning?
Why has nothing been written about the divisions within the ranks of the Palestine Authority and the failure of the farcical unity talks between the PA and Hamas?
I guess all that will be forthcoming any day now but only if the journalist who writes the story can put an anti-Israel spin on it - otherwise, it all goes straight into the blank pages ...