Tuesday, November 29, 2005


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 29, 2005

From Israel
Arlene Kushner

November 29, 2005

[] Allow me to begin with a very brief clarification of what I wrote yesterday: east Jerusalem and the Old City of Jerusalem are not synonymous. East Jerusaelm contains the Old City, but has neighborhoods outside of the city walls as well.

[] Sharon's new Kadima party has come out for a two-state solution. This is hardly news in terms of where Sharon has been heading, but now it's official. With this, Peace Now officials are crowing that they have been vindicated. Says Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer, "...[this] proves that...there is no alternative to setting borders and peace now."

For me there is something extraordinarily perverse and dangerous about imagining that we can create "peace" unilaterally by giving the Palestinians land. They have to be ready for peace, and there is not an iota of evidence to indicate that they are. The incitement in their society continues unabated, and this includes in the textbooks (a new PA produced textbook refers to the old anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as factual). Nor has there been any move whatsoever to dismantle terrorist infrastructure -- instead the terrorists are being inducted into the PA security forces. The goal of the PA remains one of destroying us, whatever their nice words in English for western consumption.

[I have a great deal of documentation on all of this, which I will gladly share with any one who may doubt what I am saying and wishes to see the proof. One small bit of information here, by way of example. Faisel Husseini was considered a moderate within the PLO. Before his death in 2001, he gave a speech in Kuwait (in Arabic, not intended for western consumption) in which he referred to the Oslo agreements as a "trojan horse." This was his admission that the PA was not sincere, but -- in line with their policy -- simply hoping to get a foothold to make it easier to attack a weakened Israel. This is still the policy of the PA -- a state they acquired would not be peaceful, but would be used to launch further attacks on Israel.]

Until we know that the PA is genuinely sincere in wanting peace, we would be short-sighted in the extreme to weaken our defenses. Ariel Sharon and his party are, in my considered opinion, an enormous threat to this nation. Already, because of his "disengagement," and the turning over to the PA of Gaza, we now have Al-Qaida in Gaza as well as a great many more sophisticated weapons.

To keep the record absolutely accurate, the Kadima party line is that the Palestinian State would be demilitarized and "clean of terrorism." But, forgive me, there is a certain hypocrisy here: Sharon and company know full well that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of getting the Palestinians to give up their weapons and to rid themselves of all terrorist elements. Sharon is not saying that in 10 or 20 years when the PA does these things there should be a state, he is talking about withdrawing from 90% of Judea and Samaria very very soon. So who's he kidding?

[] According to unofficial reports, Shimon Peres -- who is in Barcelona at the moment -- has decided to leave the Labor party and throw in his lot with Kadima. He, however, will not run for a Knesset seat on the Kadima list. Instead Sharon has offered a ministerial level position on issue of "peace" to Peres. What Peres reportedly has demanded is that his closest political ally, Dalia Itzik, who will make the move to Kadim as well, be given a slot on the list. If these reports are true, this will be a major blow to Peretz, who had publicly appealed to Peres to stay in Labor. It seems that there is considerable ill-will between Peres and Peretz.

[] The National Union Party and the National Religious Party are on the verge of a merger, with talks going on between National Union head MK Rav Benny Elon and NRP head MK Zevulun Orlev. This is very good news, and very necessary as the fight to defeat Sharon gathers strength. Polls indicate that the two parties merging will bring in twice the number of votes that the two parties running separately would garner -- moving from the current 10 seats combined to more than 20 seats, and making this new group a real force. While this will bring all religious Zionists from the center to the right under one umbrella, there is an eagerness, as well, to bring in secular nationalists. Benny Elon, now head of the larger faction, would head the joint list.

[] The Fatah party (the ruling element of the PLO and the PA) held a primary election yesterday prior to the general election to be held in January. But, while the results will be accepted in the West Bank, in Gaza the process was stopped before the election was complete because of rioting and violence, with armed gangs clashing.

I don't have to comment on this, because a PA official has done adquate commenting on his own. Calling the situation a "huge scandal," he asked, "How can we talk about holding free and democratic elections when gunmen are attacking polling stations and threatening to kill candidates?" Fatah is now in crisis and there is talk of postponing the general elections.

[] After drafting a report that called for the division of Jerusalem, the EU has now taken a position on another matter that is more satisfactory. According to the EU Ambassador to Israel, the EU will not take Hamas off their list of terrorist organizations until it recognizes Israel.

[] The International Red Cross may be about to accept Israel's Magen David Adom (Red Jewish Star) into its organization -- this will be determined at a final meeting next week. The terms by which this will take place are still insulting, but it seems a step in the right direction. For decades the excuse was used that Israel couldn't belong to the International Red Cross because it wouldn't use the cross symbol and the Jewish star was not an official symbol within the organization. However...the Red Cross did accept the Red Crescent (the crescent being the symbol of Islam), so that there was a distinct and ugly double-standard at work. According to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, there are 56 Islamic states that have blocked Israel's participation. Fools all, because the Magen David Adom is a superb organization with considerable competency.

What will allow Israel to be accepted now is not, as might have been expected, that the Jewish star will finally be recognized, but that a new neutral symbol will be put in place that Israel can employ: a "red crystal" (sort of a diamond shape) that Israel will be able to place on its ambulances providing assistance internationally. Understand, the crystal does not replace the cross and the crescent as the universal symbol of the organization. It may now be permitted to be used alongside the cross and the crescent. So, Israel may find a place in the organization, but Jewish stars are still not acceptable.

The American Red Cross, by the way, has been sterling in its support for Israel on this matter and has actually held back payments to the international organization in protest.

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