The Single Greatest Threat to Israel
It’s not demographics, it’s no secular vs haredi issues, it ain’t even Iran. The greatest threat Israel faces is the perpetual watering down of the country’s principles. I’m talking of course about Gilad Shalit, who’s been rotting away as a Hamas captive for 3+ years. Do we want him back? Don’t you know it.
The question becomes is it Gilad Shalit being held hostage now or the State of Israel?
Arguably it is both. We’ve taken ourselves hostage by negotiating with terrorists & worse, giving in to their outrageous demands. After Lebanon War II, every western nation & even the UN stated matter of factly that Israel’s soldiers (including Shalit) must be released unconditionally.. That morphed into releasing a cold blooded child murdering terrorist & an undisclosed numbers of other terrorists in return for a few mutilated body parts. The Lebanese declared it a national holiday after robbing us blind & I watched in horror as the exchange took place live on Israeli TV.
The reaction in Israel was less than boisterous. The whole thing was media pumped to no end, ‘we must do this’ the media said endlessly just as they do now. No, in fact we mustn’t do this. As much as I empathize with the Shalit family, and did so with Regev & Goldwasser’s families – They are manipulating Israel & using media as a bludgeon on our better sensibilities.
After the last few exchanges the consensus was these were a mistake, no kidding? Ya Think? Israel set up a commission who’s findings are not being officially released, but the recommendation after these fiascos was all future swaps be 1 for 1 – Period. Here’s the tally, it’s not not pretty.
- June 2008: In exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Israel frees a Lebanese convicted in a fatal 1979 apartment house attack, four other Lebanese prisoners, an undisclosed number of Palestinian prisoners and dozens of bodies of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.
- January 2004: In a deal with Hezbollah, Israel trades 436 Arab prisoners and the bodies of 59 Lebanese fighters for an Israeli civilian and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.
- July 1996: Israel frees 65 prisoners for the return of the bodies of two soldiers from Lebanon.
- September 1991: Israel frees 51 prisoners for proof that one of its soldiers held in Lebanon is dead.
- May 1985: Israel swaps 1,150 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon after Israel invaded in 1982. Criticism over the lopsided deal intensified after many of the freed prisoners played leading roles in a Palestinian uprising that began in 1987.
- November 1983: Israel swaps 4,600 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners for six Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon in September 1982.
Now, a thousand-plus more are to be released, despite these statements regarding who’s on the Hamas list..
According to Israeli security officials, the 450 prisoners included senior terrorist engineers who planned and carried out “the most murderous terrorist attacks that the State of Israel has ever known.” Releasing and returning them to the West Bank and Gaza would severely endanger Israeli civilians.
I’ll say it
Because not many people in Israel will outloud despite their agreement. The price is too high. The People & State of Israel cannot be held hostage for one man irrespective of who he is or what the circumstances are. Not even for 10 men, or 100 for that matter. There are 7 million people here, we take combat losses, we lose civilians to terror, we lose 20+ people a week to bad drivers. Israel is a dangerous place, we are only making it ever more dangerous with this insanity.
I thought it was Barak responsible in earlier exchanges. Then I blamed Olmert, now I blame Bibi who just lost my vote. If the PM can’t make the hard decisions he should resign. Sacrificing the State of Israel for one man, whomever he may be, is against every Zionist (not too mention Jewish law) principle.
I do not support negotiating with terrorists
I most certainly do not support releasing them from prison - No matter what.
I support killing them, nothing less, nothing more. If the goal is to lose more lives (which this deal will certainly accomplish) then send in Commandos. Some will die, Shalit too probably but they will do so with gusto defending the State as they are combat soldiers rescuing one of their own.
It is preferable than releasing hundreds of terrorists who will murder & maim countless Israeli civilians. At least then we’ll still have our honor, because only a fool makes a deal with the Devil - But it takes a nation of morons to keep on making the same bad deal over & over again.
‘It’s the right thing to do, the moral thing to do’..
No, I’m sorry, it most certainly is not.
Mofaz tables Disengagement+ in bid to top Livni
The internal battle for the Kadima leadership rolls on. Shaul Mofaz the party #2 seized an opportune moment (all Israeli political heavy weights abroad) to let loose a bombshell as part of his leadership bid, a new peace plan.. To recognize a Palestinian State!
[...] Under the plan, Israel would annex settlement blocs while withdrawing from 60 percent of the West Bank, comprising Areas A and B, where 99.2 of the Palestinians live, and additional land to create territorial contiguity. A Palestinian state would be set up in those areas of the West Bank and in Gaza, while no settlements would be evacuated at that stage.
Israel would then negotiate the fate of the rest of the West Bank and other core issues of the conflict with the leadership of the new Palestinian state, while passing legislation sanctioning compensation for settlers living in outlying settlements that would be evacuated.
“As a candidate to lead the country, I felt I had to present a plan” – Mofaz. [...]
Mofaz’s plan is very different than Livni’s Annapolis process, in which Israel would make no concessions to the Palestinians until a final-status deal would be reached on all issues. Bypassing Livni on the left, Mofaz said he would be willing to negotiate with Hamas under certain conditions to advance the plan.
“If Hamas would be elected and would want to negotiate and accept the quartet’s conditions, from that moment, it is no longer Hamas,” Mofaz said. “Responsible leadership in Israel would sit with those who changed their agenda.” [...]
Please everyone but Israel plan..
Not quite sure what if any benefit would arise from Mofaz’s plan. We already tried the disengagement plan in Gaza with poor results. This time out Mofaz seems convinced the entity leading this proposed Palestinian state may be Hamas from the get go, yet he’s undeterred. Isn’t the objective supposed to be gaining some peace? It seems highly unlikely any deal would result from this disengagement+ plan, we’d be in the same spot we are in now less the land and with 10x the security threat.
Equally, this doesn’t assist us in any way securing a regional peace deal with the Arab world. Sorta looks like a plan full of rewards for all the wrong people (including terrorists) with little payoff for Israel. Mofaz is clearly gambling he can rely on his solid right military credentials.. While leaping way left, poaching at Livni’s support base in the mix of Labor, Kadima, Meretz liberal soup that exists.
Time will tell how solid that keeps his right flank in Kadima & beyond. The center party is comprised of both right & left after all. Is this electable? Olmert certainly tried, but witness the backlash in Israel with the resurgent right as a result.
Not that it matters much – Hamas responds..
Former Palestinian Authority foreign minister Mahmoud Zahar of Hamas responded that it would never accept the Quartet’s conditions, which include recognizing Israel, disarming terrorists, and accepting diplomatic deals signed by the PA.
“Hamas will not negotiate with Israel,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “We do not believe in engaging with the occupation, or in talks that would beautify its face in the eyes of the world.” [...]
Mofaz is gunning for Livni
Shaul is sure to get much more headway with his plan internally within Kadima. He upstages Livni who’s leadership qualities are being weekly challenged within the party, he even tosses in the fact Ehud Barak & President Peres support the initiative. All subtle jabs at Tzipi. Her personal relationship with Barak is frosty at best, and her own plan beyond opposing Netanayhu in everything remains obscured. The strategy of undermining her here is already paying off..
Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Tuesday slammed party rival Shaul Mofaz’ plan to open negotiations with Hamas in order to push forth the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying the concept ran contrary to their faction’s political platform.
While Livni would prefer to ignore the initiative of her number 2, however, she will not be able to avoid the issue for very long, as Kadima MKs are demanding a serious discussion. [...]
A number of Kadima MKs, some of whom supported Livni in her primary fight against Mofaz, support discussing his proposal. [...]
Not Ready for Prime Time
All in all it doesn’t look like Mofaz’s plan will gain much traction in the wider Israel arena, it’s too far left for the climate, not too mention dreamy in regards to Hamas. But I’m not sure it was designed for that purpose. With Bibi, Lieberman, Barak, Livni all clamoring at the top for the leadership of Israel stakes, it is a bit crowded up there right now.
Mofaz has other things to worry about, he’s got to knock Livni out of the Kadima leadership perch before he can play on their turf. His plan looks like the latest in a series of ever more forceful branch shakes.
Link Update: Mofaz taking heat & clarifying his Hamas statements (Jpost)
“I was the one who fought Hamas through the crosshairs of an Apache [assault helicopter], I stood behind the assassinations of [Sheikh Ahmed] Yassin and [Abdel Aziz] Rantisi and did everything I could to halt the suicide-bombers’ terror from Judea and Samaria during Operation Defensive Shield, and was in charge of the ongoing hits on top Hamas figures between 2003-2005 in Gaza. Nobody can doubt what I think about Hamas.”
Could Dalia Itzik & Tzipi Livni be MORE Out of Touch? Doubtful.
This week Kadima made a grand affair of repealing the Drought Levy going into effect this month. Personally I can’t believe it. Israel’s Kinneret water source is a full 5 meters below its waterline.
It is hovering at a critical level - Meaning any further water tap below these levels can permanently damage the entire source. In Israel they are already talking about a dead lake soon (meaning not enough water to sustain the Lake’s balance which can lead to oxygen depletion & the death of all the fish & wildlife) not too mention the depletion of our fresh water source.
Aquifers Also Tapped Out
The same can be said for Israel’s natural below ground aquifers, they are in danger of permanent damage from salination due to excess pumping. Israel is in a severe drought and it will take a few years to build desalinization capacity to equal current consumption. Thankfully, the water levy encourages conservation in the mean time until that can happen. And let’s be clear, without a lowering of consumption the forecast is that turning on the faucet will soon result in NO WATER COMING OUT!
Under the levy now in effect as of November, every household member is allocated a certain monthly amount of water, which incidentally is quite cheap overall and sufficient. Excessive use beyond the allocation is charged at a higher level, pretty reasonable stuff considering the national challenge.
Bonus, since the plan was announced a dramatic lowering of consumption has resulted – During the peak summer months yet! Clearly, when faced with a levy for excess use people perk up & pay attention, water consumption goes down. This isn’t rocket science, nor is the levy unmanageable fiscally by any stretch.
Kadima’s press conference this week complete with signage & catch phrases was the latest irresponsible play by the party. They are calling it the water tax & want it repealed. Do they have alternatives to suggest? Not really. Are they being irresponsible in the extreme? Most certainly, and what’s the payoff? Sheer Populism. Livni stripped of her titles, Dalia Itzik stripped of her Knesset speaker’s chair are both rather desperate it seems to gain cheap political points any way they can in a most pitiful manner.
Kadima in Opposition.. With the World.
At a time when the whole world has moved to reduced largess, conservation where possible, sustainable development and due to economics an effort toward some minimalism & enhanced personal responsibility - Kadima bucks the trend. The ‘drought tax’ according to Kadima is get this a “violent, unjust tax”.
If Kadima thinks that’s violence, wait till they see how people react when they don’t have any water in their taps. We need to conserve, many Israelis are sadly oblivious & I see copious water wastage often enough. Ok so some people are pigs, c’est la vie – No problem, let them pay to fill up the trough.
Link: Haaretz of all places savages Dalia Itzik, Livni & Kadima over this frankly absurd play..
Who can blame them? This is without a doubt the dumbest idea to pour out of Kadima in a while and there have been a few. Livni is proving to be a terrible leader & in lowly opposition yet. What a disaster if she were the Prime Minister of Israel, it is as simple as that. The Kadima motion will go before the Knesset to repeal the already voted on & passed water levy bill – That’s how stupid this is..