Not a personal affair

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On Sunday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will bring the matter of IDF reserve soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser before his cabinet. The two reservists, who are presumed dead, have not been heard from since they were kidnapped to Lebanon by Hizbullah on July 12, 2006. Olmert will instruct his ministers to vote on whether Israel should release Samir Kuntar and three Hizbullah terrorists from its prisons to secure the return of their bodies.

On April 21, 1979, Kuntar and four other terrorists infiltrated Israel from Lebanon. Kuntar entered the Nahariya apartment belonging to Danny and Smadar Haran and their daughters, two-year-old Yael and Einat, a four-month-old baby. Kuntar forced Danny and Einat to the beach below. There he shot Danny in the head and then drowned him in the sea. He crushed Einat's skull on a rock with his rifle butt. Smadar evaded capture by hiding in a crawlspace of their apartment with Yael. While trying to keep Yael silent, Smadar inadvertently suffocated her.

Kuntar has pledged that if released, he will join Hizbullah and continue his quest to bring about the destruction of Israel. He has no regrets.

As the government ministers vote to release Kuntar and his associates in exchange for Goldwasser and Regev's bodies, Ofer Dekel, Olmert's point man for hostage negotiations, will be sitting in Cairo. There he is negotiating the price of releasing IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who for two years has been held hostage by Hamas and its fellow terror groups in Gaza. Unlike Regev and Goldwasser, Schalit is presumed alive. His captors have forced him to send messages to his parents demanding that Israel release Palestinian terrorists in exchange for his freedom.

According to the Egyptian media, Hamas is demanding 1,000 terrorists now in Israeli jails in exchange for Schalit. Most of them are convicted murderers. For its part, the government has expressed its willingness to release murderers for Schalit. But it is still unclear how many.

Among the many killers whose release Hamas demands are the masterminds of the Seder massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 people were murdered on March 27, 2002. According to the Arab media, most of the masterminds of suicide bombings in recent years are on Hamas's list.

It is impossible to know precisely how many Israelis will be killed in the future if the deals now on the table are approved. But past experience shows that at a minimum, dozens of Israelis now innocently going about their business will be murdered by the terrorists Israel releases. And at a minimum, one or two Israelis will be abducted by Hamas or Hizbullah or one of their sister terror organizations. They will be abducted in Israel or while they are travelling abroad and they will be brought to Lebanon or Gaza and the cycle of blood extortion and psychological warfare will begin anew.

That Israel will pay a price in blood if the deals go through is a certainty. That more Israelis will meet the fates of Schalit, Regev and Goldwasser is a certainty. The only thing we do not know today is the names of the victims. They could be any one of us. Indeed, they are all of us. For all of us are equally targeted simply by virtue of the fact that we are Israelis.

Given these certainties, it is obvious that the deals now on the table ought to be rejected completely. And yet, they will both almost certainly be approved. The fact that this is the case is yet another damning indictment of Israel's elected leaders and its media. In equal parts, they share the blame for the fact that Israel is about to accede to Faustian bargains that will bring untold suffering to the country.

TO DATE, the only clear public call to reject these deals was made by former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon. At a conference on military leadership Tuesday, Ya'alon argued against the deals explaining, "In some situations, the price to pay as part of the deal is much heavier than the price of losing the captive soldier."

Ya'alon's statement should have been a springboard for a reasoned debate. But the local media would have none of it. Rather than enable a responsible debate, the media called on Schalit's father, Noam Schalit, to rebut Ya'alon.

Noam Schalit brutally and unfairly denounced Ya'alon as a political operative. In his words, "No politician or political operative has the right to determine the fate of an IDF POW, except a commander during battle. Ya'alon was an army commander, but today he is mainly a politician and a political operative. He and anyone else can determine a POW's fate only if it concerns their own son."

Piling on, Goldwasser's father, Shlomo Goldwasser, said, "Such words can only be spoken by a man whose son is not held captive by the enemy. He would have spoken differently had the matter been a personal concern of his."

The brutal truth is that the hostages' fathers have things precisely backwards. With all due respect, it is they that should not be listened to.

Through no fault of their own, the Regev, Goldwasser and Schalit families have become the mouthpieces of Hizbullah and Hamas. This is as natural as it is tragic.

The moment their sons were abducted, the Schalit, Regev and Goldwasser families also became prisoners. In constant agony over the fate of their sons, these families are incapable of acknowledging the cruel and devastating fact that the safety of three soldiers cannot be placed above Israel's national security. In their unmitigated suffering, they cannot come to terms with this horrible fact because for them the country, and indeed the world, is made up of their loved ones. This is the natural human condition. Each person's world is defined by the presence and absence of his loved ones. For the Goldwassers, Regevs and Schalits, Israel is a meaningless, cold, dark place when it doesn't include their sons Ehud, Eldad and Gilad.

And it is precisely for this reason that they cannot be allowed to dictate policy. It is precisely for this reason that the only ones who can responsibly weigh Israel's options for releasing them are those who are not personally affected by their plight.

IN 2005, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon had his ministers vote on a proposed deal in which Israel would release hundreds of terrorists in exchange for the bodies of IDF soldiers Benny Avraham, Omar Suweid and Adi Avitan, and for Elhanan Tenenbaum, an Israeli drug dealer held hostage by Hizbullah. Among the few ministers who voted against the deal was former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky.

Sharansky recalls that Sharon called him the evening before the vote in an effort to secure his support. "He told me, 'As a former prisoner, you above all should understand our moral responsibility to bring about their release.'"

Sharansky responded that, indeed, "As a prisoner, it is important to know that your country is doing everything it can to secure your release. But it is also true that you are not willing to be released at any price. There are things that are more important than your personal survival."

It is a stinging indictment of Israel's political and media culture that the debate about these life-threatening deals has been dominated by the impassioned and tragic pleas of the hostages' families. As Sharansky notes, if as Messieurs Schalit and Goldwasser argue, issues of paramount national security are to be determined by the parents of soldiers, then no government can ever commit forces to battle. It is an abdication of national responsibility for Olmert to send the Goldwasser, Regev and Schalit families to his colleagues to beg them to vote in favor of these blood deals. And it is an abdication of responsibility by the media when they provide these terrified, victimized families with an open microphone to rail against our politicians for refusing to have mercy on them.

Due to Hizbullah's and Hamas's deliberate, evil des
igns, the Goldwasser, Schalit and Regev families find themselves set apart from the rest of their countrymen. And since their personal suffering is easier to understand than the general suffering of the public if the murderers go free, it is difficult, but not impossible to understand what is at stake.

Again, that the price is not clear is the fault of the media and the pandering politicians. Disgracefully, both have left the Israeli people as a whole unrepresented in this debate.

AND THIS is not a unique situation. In recent years, led by the hydra of its media and self-interested politicians, the Israeli public has had next to no representation in the public square. This came across clearly in the politicians' handling and the media's coverage of the other major story of the week. That story of course was the backroom deal forged Tuesday night between the Labor Party and Kadima that torpedoed the opposition's plan to hold a preliminary vote Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset and move to general elections in November.

The deal, in which Kadima committed itself to holding a primary for its leadership post in September, guaranteed the Kadima-Labor-Shas government another nine months in power. Olmert, Labor Chairman Ehud Barak and their surrogates have defended the deal by arguing that what Israel needs most now is political stability. The only one harmed by their decision, they proclaimed, is Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu. The media parroted their arguments, scoffing at Likud politicians for "sewing their ministerial suits too early."

As with the hostages-for-terrorists deals, by personalizing the issue at hand, both the politicians and the media ignored the public. The reason that "stability" can only be assured by preventing elections is that for the past two years, public opinion polls have consistently shown that the public wants to replace the Kadima-Labor-Shas government with a Likud-led government. It is not the personal ambitions of Likud politicians that were scuttled on Tuesday night. It was the public's will.

It may seem crass to conflate issues affecting Israel's national security with issues affecting the identity of Israel's national leadership. It can be argued that they are unrelated. But the fact of the matter is that in both cases, no one is representing the public interest. In their rush to treat general issues as personal stories, whether of victimized families or of ambitious politicians, both our media and our leaders behave as if there are no general consequences for their actions.

Personal stories are always powerful. Whether they are tragic, titillating or irritating, they never fail to attract our attention. But their attraction must not dwarf matters of national concern. Looking ahead, Israel's troubles will not end until our leaders and our media finally accept that Israel's collective fate is not the personal affair of any one of us.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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17 Comments

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 06/28/2008 at 0:17

    Unfortunately, it will take a regional war to awaken Israel’s media and political establishments. When Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear sites, there will be retaliatory strikes on Israel from within and outside the country. Israel will ultimately prevail in a war against her enemies with God’s help. Now is the time for Israel to stop negotiating with terrorists, and end releases of convicted murderers. As Israel allows terrorists to have a free pass, more innocent Jews will pay the price, and that policy cannot be tolerated.

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  • Phil S 06/28/2008 at 1:45

    This tragedy shows how ridiculous it is to not have the death penalty for terrorists. If Kuntar and these other savages had been properly executed years ago we would not be having this awful argument.

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  • Marcel Cousineau 06/28/2008 at 2:07

    The ongoing surrender and decimation of Israel proceeds according to plan ,of couse with the help of the kapos put in place by the powers that be.
    This is the only reason why Olmert remains in power after so many falls from grace that would have brought down any leader before him.
    Kapo’s rule and Israel always suffers whenever they make any decision because their every decision is always against Israel and for her enemies.
    The fifth column speak Hebrew and lead Israel’s political parties.they’ve all been bought and sold to the highest bidder,Olmert being the best example to date..
    What most of Israel’s passive sheeple miss is that the trains are running to the new camps and another holocaust is on again.
    This time a majority of Jews are being extremely helpful to their latest executioners.
    The gate keepers at Jerusalem Post wouldn’t permit this(above)in response to your article there.
    I notice how limited freedom and democracy is in Israel.
    It seems Sheikh Saleh and his ilk are the only one’s afforded freedom over there even when he openly incited his cult of death followers against Israel and Jews in particular.
    I’m amazed that they even let you write over there !

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  • Dan 06/28/2008 at 10:10

    Hezbollah is a wing of Iranian Intelligence, which means the Iranian ruling council.
    Thus the real party at interest here isn’t Hezbollah, which is a wholly owned and controlled subsidiary. The real party at interest is the principal, ——— which is Iran.
    So why hasn’t Israel started grabbing hostages in response?
    Orwell said “if someone comes and drops a bomb on your mom’s house, ——– go drop two on his.”
    So if someone is grabbing Israelis to use as bait, {which is a characteristic of islamic warfare stretching back to antiquity} then why isn’t Israel grabbing family members of connected Iranians, to use as counterbait.
    They hit you, ——— you hit them.
    They launch cross border raids at you, ———– you’ve responded in kind.
    They attacked you, you’ve fought back, and sometimes you smashed them while they were building up, {rather clever that!}.
    So now the war has altered a bit. Instead of tank battles akin to those of the Eastern Front, going down in Sinai and the Golan, ———– instead of that they’re grabbing young Israelis and brutalizing your society emotionally.
    Seems pretty clear to me what to do.
    Which begs another question.
    The house of saud has financed killers of Israelis for decades now.
    All under the auspice of “charitable donations.”
    Now members of the house of saud have some rather fancy yachts, have some nice ships, apt to dock at scenic locales like Monte Carlo, Capri and Sardinia.
    If sauds are financing the killing of young Jews, if they’re financing terror groups that seek to blow up Jewish Grandmothers with their little grandkids at ice cream parlors, if that’s the case, and it is, ———————————————— why hasn’t Israel dispatched some teams to wreck havoc and vengenance on sauds, and their family members, when they’re out travelling the Med.
    Is Israel serious or what?
    Back in the day when European scientists, {mostly German it seemed} were helping the Arab powers build a true military, and a real rocket program, ————— Israel responded by knocking them off, whacking them and sending the signal that it didn’t pay to take money from Arabs, because you weren’t going to live to enjoy it.
    Such support for the Arab programs evaporated rather rapidly.
    Assasination worked then.
    Why has assasination been shelved now?
    Why have you allowed the sauds to get so comfortable tossing their weight around in Washington. You knew that if the sauds started buying love, that it would injuriously redound to Israel, but also the Western powers.
    The sauds are effectively buying the silence of places like Columbia and Georgetown. But what’s more, they’re actually buying love, they’re hiring political pistoleros, who are gunning for you, and for the West at large.
    Why hasn’t Israel acted against such a program by going after those involved?
    Right now the sauds are artifically inflating the price of crude.
    Don’t you think that this is a good time for Israel to remind Americans, ORDINARY Americans, those not likely to receive invitations to Davos, isn’t this the time to remind America the benefits of having Israelis as friends.
    The sauds have threatened the President concerning the dollar, and the price of crude, as well as the amount of crude made available on the global market.
    You guys know that.
    So why haven’t you stepped in and gotten a little message to our “friends” in Riyadh, that they were overstepping the mark, taking too high a profile, and deluding themselves that they were going to pull the tail of the tiger, and get away to tell the tale. Why didn’t you simply tell them to knock it off, ————————— or else.
    Again, not air strikes, not armoured columns moving in strength on the enemy capital in question. None of that was needed. Just targeted hits, targeted assasinations. And this time, not terrorists, not operatives who’ve been trained to remain in the shadows, not “the engineer,” no members of the house of saud, who enjoy shopping, who enjoy frequenting Cartier’s, who indulge their tastes for European prostitutes.
    They’re coming after you.
    Why haven’t you gone after them?
    Has Lex Talonis fallen out of favour or something, and I just didn’t get that memo.
    If the nature of the war has changed, and it’s become a battle to isolate Israel, ————- then Israel’s response has to change as well.
    You’ve got to get a message to the MAIN power seeking to separate you from your main ally, and seeking to isolate you, so that you might become economically and politically non-viable.
    The war against Israel has changed.
    And it’s become much more dangerous, much more dangerous than ’73 even.
    Your enemies, ENEMIES TO THE STATE, enemies to a sovereign power, those enemies have to learn once more to fear you.
    They love to use their ships, they love to have wild orgies on them.
    And the guys on those ships, enjoying those orgies, away from the roving eye of their religious police, are connected, ———- are they not?
    From what I understand, S. Arabia has desalination plants. Blow up a few, create a shortage of water.
    Make sure your fingerprints aren’t left at the crime scene either.
    You guys monitor Saudi television, you’ve seen some of the wild ravings of their “preachers,” —————– why haven’t you polished off a score or so of the most obnoxious ones?
    They’re crying out for jihad, for more jihad, they’re crying out for the blood of the Jew and the Infidel, {their phrases, not mine, I didn’t make it up}.
    They are doing that, ——— I’m not making it all up. It’s not some figment of my imagination, there are websites devoted to translating some of the kooky utterances of some very prominent religious figures in Arabia.
    So go after them.
    Can you imagine the panic that might set in if 20 or so disappeared, just disappeared, all on the same day.
    Think that might get somebody’s attention?
    I do.

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  • Leaky Mutahi 06/28/2008 at 11:20

    It is somehow similar to the story of “King Solomon’s decision of who owns the baby”. In this case which side is being hurt the most. Wisdom needs to apply here -i.e who opposes who And above all prayers since Yawheh is the only solution to Israel’s plight.

    Reply
  • Philippe Ohlund 06/28/2008 at 17:05

    I do not agree.
    Israel’s collective fate is indeed a personal affair, because it is only on the individual level that we can appreciate Israel.

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  • Marcel Cousineau 06/28/2008 at 17:44

    Phil S wrote ;
    “This tragedy shows how ridiculous it is to not have the death penalty for terrorists. If Kuntar and these other savages had been properly executed years ago we would not be having this awful argument”
    That’s good ,but I have one even better.
    What if President Bush and his broom closet Secretary Rice had not interfered in Israel’s sovereign internal affairs with their U.S./French led ceasefire resolution to the U.N. just when the IDF was gaining ground with Hezbollah and crossing the Litani River during the 2nd Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 ?
    A defeated Hezbollah is perferable to 1 dead Kuntar ,don’t you think ?
    No Hezbollah,no problem.
    Who keeps Israel from defeating their enemies under the guise of his piecepeace process ?
    PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE, Do not forget who called his loyal mixed breed mongrel Ehud O. and kept this defeat of Hezbollah from happening just as he has kept the FathaHamas Palestinian Army supplied and fat with millions,training and weapons while restraining Israel and demonizing Jews for the grevious international crime of building homes on their land as they say nothing about the daily bombardment of missiles on Israel cities..

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  • Wilf 06/29/2008 at 3:35

    Indeed. Caroline is right as usual. Whatever happened to “no negotiation with terrorists”? What heppened to th eobvious lesson about blackmail and how best to set yourself up for more of the same?
    Give teh SOB’s what they ask for and be assured, they WILL come back for more.
    Israel has yielded enoughtimes in the past, and the lesson has been well learned by the homicidal mechablim.
    positive reinforcement….

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  • Dan 06/29/2008 at 5:49

    What if Israel didn’t constantly seek to know whether Washington green-lighted or red-lighted a proposed course of action?
    How about that?
    Why blame Washington?
    Washington didn’t enter the situation of its own accord.
    If you recall, it was Washington that was brought into the whole peace process mess when Israel and Egypt decided that it would be peachy keen for good ole Uncle Sam to foot the bill for their peace treaty.
    Let’s not forget that.
    Heretofore, Washington has put out about 75 billion dollars to Egypt, all pursuant to Camp David.
    You brought Washington in, ———- never appreciating that when you did so, you opened the door to the sauds. And now, the sauds, buying love for decades, are beginning to wratchet constant pressure upon my country.
    That’s what’s going on here.
    Had Israel conducted itself like a sovereign power, like a mature power, which didn’t need to go off begging permission to do, what it already had legal right to do, —————– then none of us would be in this situation.
    The sauds continue to pressure Washington because they’ve observed that you fold under the weight of Washington leaning on you. Had you years ago told Washington to go take a collective flying f@#*, you wouldn’t be getting subjected to this kind of pressure, because the sauds wouldn’t have bothered, because they would have known that trying to put diplomatic pressure on Israel, indirectly through the USA, was a fool’s errand.
    You’ve folded before, and you’ve done so on more than one occasion, {and I’m not just talking here about pulling back in ’73, which was the sane call}.
    That being the case, ———————— is it any wonder that Washington now beckons and you come, says hold, and you hold.
    Start lashing out at your enemies.
    Go tell Washington to go f^%$ themselves.
    And you be surprised how the diplomatic situation would alter.
    Instead of you tamely allowing the sauds to lean on Washington, ———— and then bemoaning the fact that Washington then leans on you, ———— how about you go put pressure on the sauds, in a very personal and direct manner. When highly connected sauds, rich sauds, playboy sauds, saudi funders of terror, when such creatures start disappearing, and despite the sauds going nuts in Washington CONTINUE TO KEEP DISAPPEARING, ——————– then you will have altered the chessboard.
    You’ve allowed the sauds to start dictating the pace of diplomatic engagement, in Washington, and now you’re surprised that Bush and his gang of idiots is dancing to a tune whistled by the sauds……………..
    Come on!
    This could have been seen a country-mile down the road!

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  • Rob 06/29/2008 at 15:56

    Brillant and brutal in its honesty. The terrorists know how to manipulate a compassionate nation and they are doing so with the permission of the world media.

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  • Marcel Cousineau 06/29/2008 at 17:26

    Why blame Washington?
    We have a big and supposedly friendly bully who uses threats against the small unloved nation with no real freinds in the world.
    This is why P.M. Sharon capitulated after his visit to the wolf Bush and agreed to surrender Gaza.
    So put the heavier weight of blame where it belongs with the deceitful bully.
    President Bush is responsible for Hamas terrorist led Gaza because his personal vision Road Map is whta he is forcing down israel’s throat under extreme pressure ,not the Saudi’s whom you attempt to switch blame to.
    The buck stops in Washington with this evil man and no matter how much lip stick you put on him he’s still serving the devil’s agenda against ISRAEL.
    Of course Sharon is responsible just as the 10 faithless spies who felt like grasshoppers next to the giants.
    President Bush told P.M. Sharon ;
    Do as you are told or we will not longer be your only friend on the planet ,and remember we are a global superpower with much,much weight and we supply you the best of $ and weapons to defend yopurselves.
    Sounds like something evil worse than extortion and so why not blame the big amoral bully who only sees $ as the end game.
    Israel has been snared under a Faustinian counterfeit peace deal by an evil treacherous and deceitful empire and so the blame goes to the treacherous dealer here playing the false ally America now paying the Divine Justice price for her treachery.
    Our economy and land are being wsted by the Holy One of Israel for our arrogance and evil.

    Reply
  • Iowan 06/29/2008 at 17:48

    Israel needs to execute murderers, so their release can’t be bargained for hostages.

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  • Pamela Geller 06/30/2008 at 0:29

    They’re dead. The men are dead.
    I have never been so at odd with Israeli leadership and inevitably the people of Israel for sanctioning the government.
    What a nightmare.
    And what joy in the Arab world.
    Forgive me if I don’t get it — even in a fundamental way. Despite defense officials’ warning that prisoner exchange with Hizbullah will prompt further abductions, 22 ministers vote in favor of deal.
    How ironic that the weakest leadership in Israeli history is left to confront (or not) its gravest threat.
    I heard Olmert is running again …. unfathomable

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  • Phil S 06/30/2008 at 0:54

    When this event started I assumed that Regev and Goldwasser were alive. I could understand (if not agree) how his parents and wife wanted him back no matter what the price. If I thought of my son being held by savages in some dungeon, maybe being tortured I might say pay any price to get him back. It would be wrong but it would be a natural inclination.
    Now we learn that these two men have been dead all along. What the h-ll are we doing here. If my son were dead I would want his body back for a proper burial. However, I would never ask for (and I can be selfish at times) my fellow innocent citizens to put their lives at forfeit to bring back his dead body. If the military wanted to take out a hundred Hezbos and bring his body back, fine. But I could never ask for that type of sacrifice for just a dead body.
    I don’t know if Israel will survive much longer in this state. I hope the Goldwasser family is proud of itself. They should hang their heads in shame. They have brought disaster down on the nation for very little gain for themselves. They have dishonored the memory of their son.

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  • Dan 06/30/2008 at 7:39

    They’re not doing so “with the permission of the world media,” but rather with the knowing conivance of that media.
    The media chose a side some time ago.
    They didn’t pick Israel.
    There was a narrative battle that was waged, and lost.
    Whereas before the Arab/Israeli wars used to be described as just that, as the wars that the Arab world, through the Arab contestation states, was waging on the national incarnation of the Jewish people.
    But now those wars have been morphed into the “Israeli/Palestinian dispute.”
    And in a disupte, especially in this therapeutic age, both sides are supposed to reconcile, supposed to make concessions, supposed to concede that they’re not wholly in the right.
    Well Israel has done that.
    Israel has been apologizing for various things for the last couple decades now.
    You kicked butt, ———————- and now you’re begging to be forgiven for it.
    And you’re diplomatic efforts have followed that apologetic line. Whereas before you annexed the Golan, rightly claiming it as the spoils of war, and the natural frontier of the state, ————————- now you’ve thrown it up on the negotiating table.
    And good luck just trying to pretend that it isn’t now part and parcel of any long term deal. EVERY CONCESSION you put on the table, is a concession that WILL NEVER be taken off that table.
    Israel hasn’t any chance now of developing a new negotiating position regarding the Golan, and portions of Jerusalem. The only thing outstanding really is whether Israel will retain some portion of Jerusalem? That’s how much damage your foreign ministry has wrecked on your negotiating position.
    Every one used to say that the biggest blunder of the Palestinians was in rejecting Wye and the new Camp David offers, which Barak and Clinton put on the table.
    More error. That offer could be seized tomorrow. Even though supposedly it isn’t on the table.
    So what will work then?
    A BUY OUT!
    And I don’t mean individual Israelis buying land from Palestinian ownership.
    I mean like $50K {US}per capita for each Palestinian that leaves, and signs away forever any right to return.
    A family of 5, that’s 250,000 dollars. That would put them right in the upper middle class in just about any islamic society on earth.
    And that’s a hell of a good deal.
    Put that kind of money up.
    Make it known in America that Israel is offering that kind of cash, for everybody in Gaza, for everybody in that garbage pit, for everybody in “Jeningrad.”
    You guys need to do some serious thinking about buying out.
    Europe is taking muslims by the millions, and within fifty years, Europe could easily be looking at over 1/3 of their residents being muslims.
    So send them there.
    A few million, more or less, isn’t going to make much difference, especially in light of the fact that Europe is caving.
    As Bat Yeor, Diana West, Mark Steyn, Fjordman and a few others have amply noted.
    Europe is going down.
    But that’s in the future.
    Put up money.
    A good chunk of the Palestinians will jump at it. Their leadership will have to threaten people to not take it. Which is a perfect media opportunity. The sight of the children of the PLO killing and threatening their own, keeping them in that garbage pit in Gaza, will be something that Americans won’t much appreciate.
    The other thing is why bother with the Hamas/Fatah distinction.
    Just refer to them by using the term the PLO.
    It’s the PLO you’re dealing with, different stressses perhaps, more religious, less secular. But really, who cares?
    Secularism isn’t really holding the line in the muslim world. Look at the probs that Turkey is confronting.
    Just call ’em the PLO.

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  • Torri Fleming 07/01/2008 at 22:04

    In thee, O Lord I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me: for thou art my rock and my fortress. Deliver me O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope. O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art the that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. I am a wonder unto many: but thou art my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of my old age; forsake me not when my strength falleth. For my enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel togrther. Saying God has forsaken him; for there is none to deliver him. O God be not far from me; O my God. make haste for my help. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth will shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thy only. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have i declared thy wondrous works. Now when I am old and grayheaded, O God forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come. Thy righteousness also O God is very high, who hast done great things: O God who is like unto thee! Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt guicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp. O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips will greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; my soul, which thou haste redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

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  • Harvey Rogers 07/05/2008 at 5:04

    How can we make anyone listen to common sense? After this latest Israeli collapse, the Arabs say they will try to increase kidnapings of Israelis. No question they will.
    Israel will never get back another live kidnapping victim. After the way Israel behaved in this instance. The Arabs will feel free to torture and kill any Israeli they can get their hands on. Why shouldn’t they?
    Much of the world said Israels response to Arab terror was “disproportionate”
    No one is talking about disproportionality at this horrendous surrender to the kidnapers and killers.
    Sickening, isn’t it.
    After WWII the Jewish slogan was “Never Again.” What happened?

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