Thursday, January 19, 2006


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, January 19, 2006

Arlene Kushner

January 19, 2006

[] Suicide bombing in Tel Aviv this afternoon, Israeli time. Thank G-d, no one died except the bomber himself, who was from a village outside of Nablus in Samaria. He detonated himself outside of a schwarma (grilled meat) and falalfel stand near the bus station in Tel Aviv. Some 30 people are injured, a couple seriously. I have picked up reports about both Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Brigades (which is Fatah) claiming responsibility.

An increase in terrorism is expected in the days before the PA election, scheduled for next Wednesday if it happens.

[] The police and soldiers have been called off for the time being -- in Hebron, that is. There had been a military blockade of the area, with orders to evict the Jews that the court has said are living illegally in the small Mitzpe Shalhevet neighborhood.

They are "illegal" because of a dispute as to lease and specific ownership, but there is no dispute about this being Jewish land. I repeat this fact because I have picked up news that referred to the land as Palestinian. It is not. What is more, the people went in there in the first place to take a stand against Palestinian terrorism, which had been initiated in the area.

Now there has been an announcement that the police will be back in force after the Palestinian elections to do the evictions.

The same court that said the people were there illegally proposed a compromise solution regarding leasing of the area to Jews by the State. A peaceful compromise was (still is) possible! What Olmert is doing is despicable. He is grandstanding for political reasons, appealing to the left by showing that he is "tough" on "settlers." The settlers are the bad guys.

"Olmert is instigating a civil war," charged Aryeh Eldad of National Union and, in my opinion, he is indeed correct.

[] Part of what is so distressing is that Olmert is coming out tougher on fellow Jews than he is on Arabs. Dr. Justice Wiener, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, headed by Dore Gold, has released a major report on illegally constructed housing in Jerusalem. There are 6,000 illegally constructed Arab units in the city. But Olmert (who was mayor of Jerusalem not so long ago) doesn't confront this illegality and demand that the law be obeyed. That's a political hot potato. Going after 50 people in Mitzpe Shalhevet, saying that their disobeying the law cannot be tolerated and implying that the integrity of the state demands enforcement -- that's easy, and cowardly.

[] There is a good deal of political disarray in the country, with various parties not able to get their acts together and rebelious moods against the party leaders expressed -- this is so in Likud, and in Labor.

Moledet, the major faction of National Union, has just begun its campaign formally. This is without the merger with National Religious Party.

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