Archive: Sep 2005

The announcements this week by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top advisers, in-house generals and Vice Premier Shimon Peres (along with Sharon's dubious denials) that the government will now begin planning more land giveaways to the Palestinians after last month's destruction of our communities in Gaza and northern Samaria ought to have caused a furor in the country. And yet it is hard to escape the impression that these latest announcements are something of an anticlimax. Politi…
Read more
There is not a single political leader in Israel who will not uphold the country's identity as the Jewish state. But what does that mean? Does the fact that Israel is the Jewish state mean that it has a unique mission in the world that distinguishes it from every other state?  The overwhelming majority of Israelis would say that the fact that Israel is the Jewish state means that Israel is a unique state and that it has a unique mission in the world. Religious Israelis believe that the…
Read more
In the months that preceded the forcible eviction of all Israelis from their homes and communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, and during last month's expulsions themselves, the commanders of the IDF and police responsible for the operation defined "preventing" or "not exacerbating" the "schism in the nation" as one of their principal goals.  This was all well and good, but it was beside the point. At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that the…
Read more
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's daily talking points are becoming increasingly delusional. Standing before foreign audiences and journalists he libels his political opponents as "radical extremists" who have stolen the Likud from him. Between attacking them personally and deriding Israel's democratic process generally Sharon found the time to launch a weird rhetorical offensive against Hamas.  In New York over the weekend the premier said that Israel would not facilitate the…
Read more
Less than a week after the IDF's final retreat from Gaza, Israel's senior military brass found itself warding off attacks on two fronts.  In Gaza, now empty of all Jewish presence, the Palestinians lost no time in taking charge of events in their own special way. First came the firebombing of the synagogues.   We were asked indignantly by such paragons of virtue as PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, "Well, what did you expect to happen?" As if it should go without saying…
Read more
Last Thursday Israel sent a plane laden with relief supplies to New Orleans to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Foreign Ministry's Web site noted that the shipment included "80 tons of food, disposable diapers, beds, blankets, generators and additional equipment which were donated from different governmental institutions, civilian institutions and the IDF."  The Web site's notice of the shipment is rather confusing. The first half of the entry announced that the IDF&#…
Read more
They say that one picture is worth a thousand words. No doubt this is true. But what is the guarantee that those words are truthful?  On September 30, 2000, The New York Times ran a photograph that, no doubt, for the photo editor, told the entire tale of the then two-day-old Palestinian terror war against Israel. The picture showed a bloodied, frightened youth sitting in the foreground and an irate Israeli border guard, mouth agape, standing behind him, wielding a police baton. In the backg…
Read more
Last Thursday's "historic" meeting between Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri in Istanbul was immediately extolled by the local media as the "first fruits" of the disengagement from Gaza.  In his statement following the meeting Shalom said, "I wish to particularly thank President Musharraf for his courage in promoting peace and moderation in our region and in general."  In the midst of the hullabaloo about the…
Read more
SADLY, IN Israel, we have no diversity in our media and therefore, we have no public debate. The Pravda-like uniformity of the Israeli media was nowhere more apparent than in its coverage of Binyamin Netanyahu's press conference on Tuesday, where he announced his candidacy for leadership of the Likud Party against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Wednesday morning's headlines screamed out against the man the media elite wish the Israeli public to view as a demonic usurper. Yediot Ahronot p…
Read more