Wednesday, November 02, 2005


From Israel, Arlene Kushner, November 2, 2005

From Israel
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November 2, 2005

[] In a reversal of all former policy, the Israeli security cabinet has now agreed to monitors from the European Union at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. Apparently there is some difference of opinion as to what their role will be. The Israelis envision them hands-on and doing such tasks as searching luggage. The EU representatives at negotiations, however, saw their role more as being that of supervising the Palestinians as they search luggage. (People would come through this crossing and goods elsewhere.) Appparently details are still to be resolved. Foreign Minister Shalom hailed this as "historic" and indicated it showed a new trust in the Europeans. I am forced to ask, as I so often do, why? What have the Europeans done to foster this trust? They have turned a consistently blind eye to Palestinian behavior, such as diverting donated funds to terrorism.

[] PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not happy with Israeli objections to the participation of Hamas in the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 25. He expressed concern that Israel might try to "obstruct" the elections and declared all parties welcome to partipate. Said he, "Some parties don't want the Palestinian democratic process to succeed."

Worth noting then is what Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld perceives as happening if there is a Hamastan, that is, control by Hamas of Palestinian areas:

"In interviews given by Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, he lays out the character of the Islamist Palestinian state according to the Hamas vision: 'This will be a state which will be based on the principals of the Sharia and will be part of the Arab Islamist Umma,' he says'. In the Sharia-led Palestine, mixed dancing will be prohibited: 'If a man holding the hand of a woman and dances with her in front of people, is this a way to serve the National interest?' In Hamas' Palestine, homosexuals and lesbians which Zahar defines as 'a minority of moral and mental deviants', will have no rights...

"In the Islamist Palestinian state, says Zahar, each Palestinian citizen will be required to behave according to the Sharia.

"The Islamist Palestinian state will also refrain from negotiations and cooperation with Israel, according to Zahar: 'It is in our national interest to stop the cooperation with Israel in any field.'

"Hamas, Zahar says, will also use all the weapons in the Palestinian territory to create an Islamist Palestinian state in all of Palestine’s territory - including Israel.

"Hamas views the future Islamist Palestinian state as an extension of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, where all aspects of life would be controlled by radial Islamist laws. This state will...use terrorism to obliterate the Israeli state."

The democratic process in Palestine, indeed...

[] The gov't is in the midst of confusion as the Knesset begins its new post-holiday session.

The scenario keeps changing: Enough to know that things are a bit in flux (normal), and somewhat confused (also normal). Sharon was supposed to bring names of new ministers to the Knesset for ratification, but Likud "rebels" threated to oppose. Apparently if we are without a Finance Minister (Netanyahu having quit and Olmert have been given a temporary position that legally last only 3 months), are gov't isn't legally viable -- which makes this a bit of a crisis.

After much behind the scenes negotiations, with attempts to bring the "rebels" on board, Sharon has postponed the ratifications. Tomorrow the story may be different. [Note: The media refer to those opposing Sharon as "rebels," but I put the word in quotes because in truth these are people more true to Likud principles, against which Sharon has in essence rebelled.]

[] This comes from MediaLine with thanks to Chana Givon:

"REVEALED IN COURT: TERRORIST BEHIND 2002 HOTEL BOMBING HAD CYANIDE TO POISION WATER SUPPLY… At the trial of 'Abbas A-Sayyid, the Hamas operative charged with planning the suicide bombing of Netanyah’s Park Hotel during Passover in 2002 and a shopping mall in 2001, the court revealed that A-Sayyid had obtained cyanide from a contact in Jordan and had planned to poison Israel’s water supply. Thirty-five people died in the two attacks for which A-Sayyid is on trial. In the court’s ruling, it was revealed that A-Sayyid’s nephew, who is a pharmacist, had gotten four kilograms of cyanide in Jordan and had turned it over to his uncle. Although A-Sayyid gave names of his Hamas contacts to Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency, those named remain at-large."

I have no word for this but terrifying.

[] No less terrifying is Daniel Pipes take on Iran and the threat it represents to us here. He says:

"...Israelis estimate that the Iranians could, within six months, have the means to build an atomic bomb. Mr. Ahmadinejad implicitly confirmed this rapid timetable when he warned that after just "a short period … the process of the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple." The imminence of a nuclear-armed Iran transforms "Death to Israel" from an empty slogan into the potential premise for a nuclear assault on the Jewish state, perhaps relying on Mr. Rafsanjani's genocidal thinking.
"Ironically, Mr. Ahmadinejad's candor has had positive effects, reminding the world of his regime's unremitting bellicosity, its rank anti-Semitism, and its dangerous arsenal. As Tony Blair noted, Mr. Ahmadinejad's threats raise the question, "When are you going to do something about this?" And Mr. Blair later warned Tehran with some menace against its becoming a "threat to our world security." His alarm needs to translate into action, and urgently so.
"We are on notice. Will we act in time?"
For his full article, see:

[] Back to the evacuees from Gush Kati. Yitzhak Meron who heads the Land of Israel Legal Forum and has been working pro bono on behalf of the people has sent a letter directly to Prime Minister Sharon. Excerpts acquired from Arutz Sheva:
"Over 70 days have passed since, at your initiative, some 9,000 people were thrown out of their homes. Almost none of them have attained their permanent [housing] solution. At the earliest, they will reach it two years from now, and others will apparently have a final housing solution in only 3-4 years. "No less severe is the fact that 2/3 of the people still do not even have a temporary solution. As it appears now, a large portion of them will reach this only 3-6 months from now. "The temporary solutions themselves involve great suffering for the residents. They will have to live in very crowded conditions of 10-12 square meters [12-14 square yards] per person. Much of their furniture and belongings do not even fit into the small houses; their belongings will have to remain in containers or warehouses. The people have to buy furniture and equipment that fits their new houses - and it goes without saying that the law provides for no compensation for this.""In short, the State has taken away from thousands of expelled residents their houses that they built with great toil, and these people are now without a home. They live in crowded hotel conditions. Some of them will have to remain this way for months to come. Physical and psychological ramifications of this situation are already noticeable, and experts say they will only get worse."We warned in advance that the state did not concern itself with providing appropriate housing solutions in advance. We warned of a double uprooting, and now it appears that some people will have to be uprooted three and even four times."

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