Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Sharon's Hypocrisy

How sad, but true.

This is why Sharon's end as an Israeli political leader is on the horizon - he has fallen into the same trap as Rabin, the other "Mr. Security", that Israelis followed blindly into today's oslo war.

A good read....

Look who’s Talking about Defeating Terror

By Israel Harel

Haaretz 09/09/2004

"You cannot make compromises with terror," Ariel Sharon told the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. "It must be fought and defeated."

And the sorrowing guest - this revolutionary lesson being taught to him at a time when most of the victims had not yet been laid to rest - did not respond, at least according to the communique that reported the above lesson, "Look who's talking about defeating terrorism." But if not publicly, than at least during their private conversation, it would nevertheless have been proper for the guest to put his host in his place."If one cannot make compromises with terror," Lavrov might have asked (though he apparently did not), "why did you declare, at the height of the terrorist war against Israel, that Israel recognizes the Palestinians' right to a state? No prime minister before you ever said that, and so from the Palestinians' point of view, that statement was not merely a compromise - it was capitulation. And from the standpoint of those who are fighting Islamic terror worldwide, Israel, who gave the terrorists a state before defeating them militarily, thereby encouraged terrorism against us, however unintentionally."And even when the terrorists continued their atrocities, thereby proving that they were not fighting only for a state - since if they had been, they would have stopped blowing up buses and started establishing their state - you compromised, in defiance of the lesson you just taught me, with the ongoing terror."Fact: Instead of defeating them, as per your own doctrine, you began to build a fence. And even before the fence had been completed, you hastened to announce an additional compromise: the `unilateral disengagement.' And the disengagement, in addition to being a compromise with terror, is also causing an internal rift in your nation and your party the likes of which have never been seen before."In the past, Israel acquired a reputation - in Operation Jonathan in Entebbe, for instance - as a country that does not give in to terrorism. And in a world in which countries many times larger than Israel, such as Germany and France, did give in to terror and even paid it protection money in various forms, your uncompromising stance aroused admiration and constituted a strategic asset."No longer. And, though it pains me to say so, this process of Israel losing its deterrent power in the face of terror has occurred precisely at a time when someone like you, who contributed perhaps more than any other Israeli to your country's deterrent image, is at its helm. The fact that you, of all people, are the one who decided to grant the Palestinians a state in response to terrorism, and to hide from terrorism by means of a fence, and who afterward chose the already tested option known as `unilateral disengagement,' has caused a vast erosion - whose negative ramifications are hard to exaggerate - in your country's deterrent power vis-a-vis other, `conventional' enemies as well.Moreover, instead of waging the offensive war that previously characterized your army, and particularly your own military leadership, you are putting your people and your army into a narrow ghetto, both mental and territorial, and turning the Arabs, the originators of suicide terrorism, into the victors and heroes of the Muslim world. And that fact also impacts on us: We assume that the Palestinians' impressive achievements - yes, impressive - will also encourage our terrorists and increase their motivation."You know that we oppose the settlements. But tell me: What is the rationale behind packing them up now, before you have defeated the terror? If that is the conclusion you draw from the rule you advised us to adopt - that `one cannot make compromises with terror' - then I must say, with all due respect, that this capitulation is a negative contribution to the war that we and the rest of the world are waging against terror. And don't be impressed by the compliments you receive - including, publicly, from us - for uprooting settlements: That is part of the verbal protection money that we also pay to buy a little quiet. But, as was proven in Beslan, to no avail."Despite the flattering articles in favor of disengagement that have appeared both in Israel and the rest of the world - articles whose purpose is to push you into additional concessions - you will never achieve the rehabilitation for which you long so greatly. Even now, they are saying that the fence is an act of apartheid and that you should be put on trial, along with the defense minister and senior Israeli officers, on charges of crimes against humanity. And such things were never said before, even when you controlled all the territory, when you built settlements on it, when you declared that it was the inheritance of your forefathers and that a Palestinian state would never arise upon it."Your excessive concessions have led the Palestinians, and all Muslims, to reach one clear conclusion: Terrorism pays. And that is what worries us. Just as international public opinion justifies terror against you, it is liable to justify terror against us, even though we are a great power. And we are liable to lose all the autonomous Muslim republics, not just Chechnya."Presumably, these things were not said. But there is no doubt that Russians, Americans, Britons and even Frenchmen who are engaged in the war on terror are indeed astonished by what has happened to Israel, which has lost its self-confidence - a development that, as noted, also impacts negatively on the entire world's ability to fight Islamic terrorism.
The Tide Is Continuing to Build Up

Enjoy the read....

Right-wing petition calls for refusal to evacuate settlements

By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

Haaretz 09/09/2004

A right wing petition signed by 185 officers, former MKs, scholars and other public figures is calling on police and Israel Defense Forces troops to "listen to the voice of their personal and national conscience" and refuse to take part in the evacuation of settlements, an act they define as a crime against humanity, a national crime and an explicitly illegal act.

The petition, the first of a series of advertisements published starting Thursday in the Besheva newspaper, will be seen on other papers on Friday. It was signed by Ben Zion Netanyahu, the finance minister's father, as well as by Netanyahu's brother and uncle. The petition was also signed by Meir Har Zion of the renowned IDF unit 101, former Prime Minister's Office director-general Yossi Ben Aharon, senior IDF reserve officers, scientists, municipal council heads, former MKs, as well as writer Naomi Frenkel and Ezra Cohen.

The petition states that "in light of the Sharon government's intention to destroy settlements in the land of Israel and hand them over to the enemy, uprooting their residents and violently expelling them, we hereby declare that expulsion and uprooting are a national crime and a crime against humanity, constitute evil, arbitrary, dictatorial behavior, aimed at depriving Jews of their right to live in their country. We declare that the Israel Defense Forces' purpose is to defend against an enemy and not to act against Jewish civilians. The IDF is the people's army and does not belong to any political group."

"Therefore," the petitioners call on "public officials who are called upon to lay out the groundwork for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homeland, as well as on all of the officers, troops and policemen, to listen to the voice of their personal and national conscience and refrain from taking part in acts that will cast a mark upon them, and which they will regret for the remainder of their lives."

The petitioners also call on the "future victims of the expulsion not to cooperate with the expulsion machinery, not to receive compensation, to resist the uprooting but to refrain from harming the people of their nation, even though they come to demolish their homes."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A surprisingly refreshing read from Haaretz - written by a Left wing writer!

On terror and hypocrisy

By Yoel Marcus

September is steadily gaining a name for itself as the most damned month of the year. World War II broke out in September. In "Black September," King Hussein confronted Arafat and his cronies, and exiled them to Lebanon. The Al-Aqsa intifada, in which 4,000 Israelis and Palestinians lost their lives, began in September. The assault on the Twin Towers, which exposed America's vulnerability to foreign aggression for the first time since Pearl Harbor, took place in September. This September will be remembered for the terror attack in North Ossetia - one of the cruelest, bloodiest rampages the human eye has ever seen on live TV.
Unlike September 1939, when Europe quickly realized that it was looking at a world war, it's not clear whether Europe today realizes what America grasped long ago - that World War III is in full swing. This war is different from all the wars in history. It's not countries fighting countries. It's not a war that can be won by conquest or some cut-and-dried military victory. Because the enemy is terror. It's everywhere and nowhere.Terror is not bound by the Geneva Convention. Not only is harming civilians not a problem, but those are precisely the targets it seeks out - women, children, old people. Ordinary folk are murdered just because they happen to be there. To make it hurt more. If the Al-Qaida pilots had settled into the cockpit two hours later, the casualty figures for 9/11 would have hit 30,000.The world has known all kinds of terror since World War II: anarchists like Danny the Red and Carlos; the Irish, the Basques and the Palestinians, spurred on by nationalism. But those who have inflated terror to its current proportions - murdering indiscriminately, shooting helpless children, choosing random targets - are the Muslims, and to what aim no one has entirely figured out.In his book "What Went Wrong," Prof. Bernard Lewis speculates that it is connected to the backwardness of Muslim society since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and Islam's inability to keep pace with Western modernization. Islamic regimes have contributed nothing since then to world culture or the advancement of their people.President Bush is the only one who hasn't beaten around the bush. He says there's an Axis of Evil out there. A war without rules and borders, a war that must be stopped before the worst happens, which could be anything from a biological holocaust to a nuclear showdown. The terror organizations and those who harbor them must be fought wherever they are, using every ounce of strength the world can muster. But the strength of Monsieur le President de la Republique and Herr Chancellor lies in condolence telegrams.Europe has donned kid gloves and is playing UN. It decides which terror is justified and which isn't. When the attack is in Israel, it's because we're being tough on the Palestinians. As if terror will stop as soon as an agreement is signed. President Putin enjoys great respect in Europe even when 100,000 people are massacred in Chechnya as it battles for independence. To paraphrase Skinny in "The Teahouse of the August Moon," political pornography is also a matter of geography.In the European Union, hypocrisy and double standards are the name of the game. When it comes to gathering intelligence, the countries of Europe may help America here and there, but they won't physically participate in the war on terror or those who harbor terrorists. They won't raise a finger against Syria, which shelters Hezbollah and Hamas, or against Saudi Arabia, which supplies manpower for the most gruesome attacks, for fear of an oil embargo. They won't say boo to Iran, despite definite proof that it has been involved in mega-attacks in recent years and is building itself up as a nuclear power with missiles capable of reaching the very heart of Europe.Israel is both a victim and a member of the Bush brigade, a tiny link in a family of nations determined to defend itself against the scourge of terror. In the eyes of this family, there is no such thing as justified and unjustified terror. Terror is terror. The entire Western world is a potential target. One day, when someone decides in the hallowed name of Allah to carry out the ultimate attack-to-end-all-attacks, even Europe will not be spared.