Thursday, November 03, 2005


From Israel by Arlene Kushner, November 3, 2005

To subscribe contact: Arlene Kushner

November 3, 2005

[] In case there is anyone reading this who still has doubts about what the PA is like, I offer this:

There has been widespread "land theft" in Gaza. The PA was supposed to build thousands of housing units in the former Gush Katif, but vast quantities of this land have been fenced off by local families, individuals and gangs.

How could this happen, you are asking? Good question. The answer: Some of the thieves belong to branches of PA security forces.

In a word, there IS no PA, except in name and for international consumption. In any civilized country can you imagine this happening?

Said PA Information Minister Nabil Shaath, on a visit to the area, "These lands should not be fair play for a group of thieves...all the Palestinian security forces should start acting to stop the theft..." We won't ask why he thinks all of the forces might act, when some of them are involved in the theft. Better simply to observe that where there is a semblance of law and order, ORDERS are given to police forces to act, and those disciplined police forces obey. Ministers of the state do not speak about how forces "should" act to stop theft.

Adli Sadek, a political analyst from Khan Yunis, which is adjacent, said, "This silence on the part of the PA has also led to a black market in real estate...We see this silence as a scandal and an indication that things here are collapsing. The land grab is happening under the watchful eyes of the security forces."

It's heartening to see the signs of democracy in the PA, isn't it?

[] There is a major flap going on at present regarding alleged plans for the gov't to turn over to the Vatican real estate on Mount Zion, adjacent to the Old City. The Vatican has sought this for a long time, as this is where the Last Supper is said to have taken place. However, this site is within David's Tomb, and where the Diaspora Yeshiva has been situated for decades; a number of Jewish groups are quite up in arms about the prospect. Evidence certainly appears to exist for the possibility of this turn-over: Arutz Sheva is in possession of an alleged contract and the Vatican newspaper similarly indicated that this was about to take place. Reportedly, Israel would get an ancient synagogue in Toledo, Spain in return (and it has been suggested that down the road the Vatican would get all of Mount Zion). President Moshe Katsav, who will be traveling to the Vatican, was said to be planning to sign papers with regard to this during that visit. But Katsav denies this. MK Benny Elon says this is because of the pressure that has been brought to bear and which must be sustained -- involving the prime minister as well.

[] A mortar struck a house in the moshav of Netiv Ha'asara, near Gaza, last night. One person was lightly wounded, and four were treated for shock; it knocked out the power in the moshav.

Also last Arab stabbed a woman in Liberty Bell Park, in the heart of Jerusalem (and a 15 minute walk from my home). And another mortar landed near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.

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