Short takes: Palestinian cruelty, bunker-busters, Olmert’s wishful thinking

Palestinians enjoy twisting the knife

News item:

Kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit is not only alive and well, but is being treated to annual birthday parties which include “cake, candles, and music,” a report published by The Sunday Times quoted a leader of the Gaza-based Doghmush clan as saying.

“He’s not being kept in a closed room all the time – this would not be healthy. He can go out and take fresh air,” Abu Katab Doghmush, one of the clan’s elders told the British newspaper. “Every year, a party is held to celebrate his birthday. Yes, there is a cake and candles, music, everything” …

“The only faction that controls his life now is Izzadin Kassam [Hamas’ terrorist militia],” he said. “But I can tell you that Schalit is living in a paradise. Our religion of Islam demands that we look after prisoners even more than we do our own people.”

How many times will I need to repeat myself? If it’s not possible to rescue him, then make Hamas pay a price that is too much for them to bear.

US attitude toward an Israeli preemptive strike improves, maybe…

News item:

The US Department of Defense has notified Congress of a potential sale of 1,000 small diameter bunker-buster missiles to Israel, which would likely be used in the event of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The notification of the possible sale to Congress was made over the weekend by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the branch of the Pentagon responsible for evaluating foreign military sales. The bunker-buster missile Israel has asked for is called GBU-39…

The DSCA announcement came amid growing concern in Israel that the Pentagon was not willing to sell Israel advanced military platforms such as bunker-buster missiles in an effort to dissuade Jerusalem from attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. Bunker-buster missiles are a vital component of a potential airstrike since many of the Iranian facilities, such as the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, have been built underground in heavily fortified bunker-like facilities.

This is a welcome development, and may show a change in the US attitude toward an Israeli preemptive strike on the Iranian nuclear program.

There will undoubtedly be voices raised in Congress against this sale. But US policymakers must understand that they cannot keep Israel from acting in the event that an Iranian attack becomes imminent. The best way to prevent conflict is to defuse the Iranian threat with real, punitive sanctions; limiting Israel’s capability will only tend to make Israel’s strike less effective, a poor outcome from the US point of view.

Olmert misses the point

At a cabinet meeting today, PM Ehud Olmert argued that withdrawal from most of the West Bank and a ‘peace’ agreement with the Palestinians was the only alternative to the end of the Jewish State. He said,

I used to believe that everything from the Jordan Riverbank to the Mediterranean Sea was ours. After all, dig anywhere and you’ll find Jewish history. But eventually, after great internal conflict, I’ve realized we have to share this land with the people who dwell here – that is if we don’t want to be a binational state…

We can argue about every single detail, but when we finally hash out an agreement we may find we no longer have the international community’s backing, or a partner for that matter. We’ll be left with nothing but the feeling that once again, as for the past 40 years, we were right…

I’m not kidding myself. I know the change I’m talking about won’t rid us of all the threats. We’ll still be facing Palestinians [sic] threats across the security fence, since they have no real security establishment, but we can deal with all of that and we would be better off dealing with it than cementing the notion of a binational state in the international community’s mind…

This is the time to push for peace with both the Palestinians and the Syrians. If we know how to do that, other Arab countries, which are yet to acknowledge us in public, will soon follow.

This would be persuasive if we thought that the Palestinians — any Palestinians — and the rest of the Arab world want a Palestinian state alongside Israel and a ‘peace’ agreement as an end in itself, and not simply a means to get closer to what they really want, the end of Israel.

Olmert has replaced realism with wishful thinking.

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One Response to “Short takes: Palestinian cruelty, bunker-busters, Olmert’s wishful thinking”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    The Olmert negotiating thing is so infuriating. Here is a man who is being forced to resign from being Prime Minister. He has no mandate from anyone to make concessions, even imaginary ones. And yet he promises away all of Judea and Samaria and works to bind Israel to an agreement disastrous to it.
    This is truly shameful behavior. Chutzpah to the first degree.
    What has happened to Israel that we have this kind of leader?