Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

From Israel by Arlene Kushner, November 9, 2005

From Israel by Arlene Kushner
To subscribe contact: akushner@netvision.net.il

November 9, 2005

[] A protest rally was held in Jerusalem last night on behalf of the evacuees from Gush Katif who continue to suffer from the shabbiest sort of treatment by the gov't. Some 600 families are still in hotels, tents and dormitories; at least that number are in temporary housing solutions (such as caravans) for an estimated 2-years, awaiting their final housing. Most have received no compensation whatsoever because of an incredible amount of red tape -- proving how long they lived in Gush Katif, officially having changed their residence, etc. etc. The evacuees are struggling with deep depression as well as economic crisis, as most are still unemployed. There is the feeling that they have been broken; certainly the communities are finding it terribly difficult to hang together as they want to do. The Land of Israel Legal Forum, which works on their behalf, will be presenting a petition on behalf of the evacuees to an emergency session of the Supreme Court tomorrow -- demanding that all emergency compensation monies be released without further delay.

More protests will follow, reportedly with the theme "kol yisrael areyvin, ze la'ze" (all Israel are guarantors, one for the other).

[] Although PM Sharon declared after the "disengagement" from Gaza that there would be no more unilateral pullouts and the way to go was with the roadmap, in an exclusive to The Jerusalem Post, unnamed Sharon advisers have confided that what he would like is early elections so that he has the mandate to proceed with a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. Said one adviser quoted in the Post, "There is no doubt that Sharon wants to draw the borders. Sharon thinks that only he can do it...and this is his historic mission."

Of course, no one who knows anything about Sharon imagined that because he said there would be no more pullouts that this was necessarily going to be the case, so this cannot be said to be a surprise. And of course, as well, Sharon's spokesman responded that "the only diplomatic plan for drawing Israel's final borders is the roadmap, under which the border issue will be considered only if the Palestinian Authority keeps its commitments..." This is all they are going to say now.

For the record, if the gov't falls and there will be early elections, Likud rules require a primary (currently scheduled for April) be held before that election; there is the possibility that Sharon wouldn't be at the head of the party by the time of the election and thus would be deciding nothing about borders or anything else.

The next political hurdle Sharon faces in the Knesset is the budget, which Labor has said it will not support. amd which some Likud members may refuse to support as well.

[] With some fanfare, Avi Yissakharov, Israel Radio Arab Correspondent, has reported on an exclusive interview he had with Mahmoud Zahar, the senior leader of Hamas. In the course of this interview, Zahar, for the first time, said Hamas would be willing to participate in negotiations with Israel after the election. (Hamas has always refused to consider negotiations.)

The catch: Zahar said Hamas would do this to help it achieve its goals, and nothing has been said about Hamas moderating those goals, which call for Israel's destruction. A dangerous state of affairs, this apparent "moderation," designed to make Hamas appear more acceptable pre-election.

[] A return once again to the issue of the riots in France. I keep returning to this because the lessons to be drawn from it are considerable. Yet another point to be recognized is that if the Muslim young people currently doing the rioting feel alientated from French society, it is not by any means substantially because of a failure on the part of that society to absorb them and be sensitive to them. These Muslims have OPTED to be separate from the Christian or secular, mainstream society. This is part of their worldview. As Caroline Glick explained, citing Theodore Dalrymple, "the Muslim youth rioting today feel nothing but nihilistic or Islamic hatred and alienation from their country."

Mark Steyn, writing in today's Post, speaks of these young people who are "growing ever more estranged from the broader community... and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity..." Says Steyn, these Muslims are "testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the 'burbs' gets you more 'respect' from M. Chirac, they'll burn them again and again."

Lest you think this is a French problem only: Steyn reports that in Brussels police are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Sweden there are Muslim areas where ambulance drivers won't go without police escort.

The plan of radical Muslims is a Caliphate that controls the world and supercedes a decadent Western culture. Many have scoffed at this as an exageration of what is possible and thus not something to be overly concerned with. The time for scoffing is past. Muslim population has spread throughout Europe, and is now becoming assertive.

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