Archive for January, 2007

Resisting the occupation, one bakery at a time

Monday, January 29th, 2007

As everyone knows, a suicide bomber today sneaked from Gaza to Egypt and then back into Israel to blow himself up in a family bakery in Eilat, killing three.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called Monday’s attack a “natural response” to Israeli military policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as its ongoing boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government. “So long as there is occupation, resistance is legitimate,” he said. — Jerusalem Post

Of course he must mean the ‘occupation’ of the whole of Israel, since the occupation of 97% of the territories could have ended in 2000, had Arafat chosen to accept Barak’s proposal.

According to the IDF, more than 100 terrorists were caught trying to cross the Egyptian border in 2006, including suicide bombers, weapons experts, and would-be kidnappers.

This bombing was carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a particularly nasty bunch, funded through Hezbollah by Iran and headquartered in Syria. They are said to have carried out more than 30 (!) successful suicide bombings since 1995 for a total of 159 fatalities. They have employed suicide bombers as young as 15. It’s time to wipe out this organization.

Acts like this have been committed against Israel (and against Jews in pre-state Palestine) for the last 100 years, despite partition, peace talks, hudnas, or whatever. It’s about time for the world to realize that the Arabs simply are not interested in peace with a ‘Zionist entity’.

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Finding somebody’s voice

Monday, January 29th, 2007

By Vic Rosenthal

I went to the ADL’s Finding Our Voice conference in San Francisco on Sunday (see my earlier post). The conference was an attempt to bring together Jewish activists on the Left and Right – at least those who profess to support the continued existence of the State of Israel – to learn about ‘the new’ (i.e., left-wing) antisemitism and how to deal with it.


A Palestinian civil war?

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

The number of Palestinians killed in fierce fighting between Fatah and Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip over the weekend rose to 25 on Saturday night, with dozens more wounded in the clashes…

A public opinion poll published Saturday showed that more than half of Palestinians believe that a civil war has begun. — Jerusalem Post

It’s not clear if either Fatah or Hamas has an actual plan, or if the fighting is primarily fueled by by each side getting revenge for previous killings. it’s hard to see how the cause of Palestinian ‘moderation’, which the US and Israel are supposedly supporting can be helped by continued fighting, which will lead to the ascendancy of the more violent elements on both sides.

MEMRI has translated an interesting article by Dr. Mamoun Fandy who argues that the conflict between Fatah and Hamas is “a struggle over who will capture Palestine as a symbol – the Muslim Brotherhood, as represented by Hamas, or the nationalists, as represented by Fatah…[before] the incitement was nationalist [in character], while today – after the Muslim Brotherhood has conquered a significant part of the symbolic Palestine – the incitement has become Islamist”.

We see a similar struggle between nationalistic and Islamic forces throughout the Muslim world: in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Syria, etc.

From the point of view of Israel and the West the Islamists are a much more dangerous enemy — not prepared to compromise, willing to use suicide as a tactic, and possessed with a powerful ideology for recruitment.

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A thought experiment

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

By Vic Rosenthal

Suppose that every Israeli and every Palestinian had two buttons that he or she could push.

  • Button 1 would magically transplant all the Jews from the territories into Israel proper. It would also change the hearts of all the Palestinians so that they would wish to live at peace in a state alongside Israel.
  • Button 2 would make the other side disappear from the face of the earth.

My guess is that a large majority of Israelis would push button 1. But an even larger majority of Palestinians would push button 2.

I will write another post later about what we can learn from this. In the meantime, I would appreciate comments. Am I right about this? Is it a fair comparison?

I am (almost) struck dumb

Friday, January 26th, 2007

By Vic Rosenthal

Although details are sketchy, it seems that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is moving ahead with American support (or under American pressure, depending on one’s point of view) with negotiations with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.