1. Reuters “Zionist pig” death threat update
2. “Nothing will stop me”
3. Listening to all opinions
4. “Democracy is a precious commodity”
5. The current Nobel laureate speaks out
6. “Israeli concessions will also make the U.S. look weak”
7. “Not statesmanship, but stupidity”
8. Not heard on BBC or CNN
9. “Tough love from Israel’s friends” (By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, May 24, 2006)
10. “A two-state disaster” (By Youssef Ibrahim, New York Sun, May 26, 2006)
11. “West Bank terrorist state” (By James Woolsey, Wall St. Journal, May 29, 2006)
[Additional note by Tom Gross]
Following the previous dispatch, Reuters employee issues “Zionist pig” death threat (May 30, 2006), several journalists have asked me to confirm that Inayat Bunglawala is an employee of Reuters. He is. Bunglawala, who also serves as media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, and in the past has made various anti-Semitic comments, works as a senior systems engineer in the Reuters Docklands offices in east London.
In the last two days, the influential Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) has rushed to the support of Bunglawala, even though Bunglawala has strongly denied any involvement with the anonymous death threat sent from a Reuters computer to the publisher of the Little Green Footballs blog. (Bunglawala did refer to Little Green Footballs in a comment he posted under his name on the website of The Guardian newspaper a few hours before the anonymous death threat was also sent from a Reuters computer; hence some suspect him of being the sender of the anonymous threat too, or at least being near or in contact with the sender who also used a Reuters computer.)
MPACUK has in the past included images from neo-Nazi journals on its website. In August 2005, the MPACUK website featured an image of a supposedly “Jewish” monster with horns holding up the American flag. Sources tell me that the image came originally from the web site of the neo-Nazi magazine “National Journal.”
MPACUK has also vilified supporters of Israel “accusing” them of being Jewish, such as former British Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimons (who is not Jewish).
In the last year, MPACUK has also republished articles or quotes that originated from the extreme right-wing newspaper, the American Free Press, and from David Irving’s website.
“NOTHING WILL STOP ME”
[Note by Tom Gross]
This dispatch contains three articles, and a number of other views, opposing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s proposed “convergence” plan to withdraw from over 90 per cent of the West Bank and from a portion of Jerusalem.
In an interview today with Yediot Ahronot, Olmert clarifies that he wants to withdraw from the West Bank in one fell swoop. “Nothing will stop me, I hope at the end of my term reality here will be completely different,” he says.
Others, such as Shimon Peres, have warned against this, saying it is not logistically possible. Peres believes it will take a decade to find new homes, schools, communities, and so on, and will costs tens of billions of dollars. Israel has still not found housing for all the 8,000 Jews removed from Gaza last year and it is not clear what would happen to the tens of thousands Olmert plans to move from the West Bank.
LISTENING TO ALL OPINIONS
I am not necessarily in agreement with the views expressed below. However, I think it is important that they are aired to a wider audience so at least we might seriously consider them.
One of the problems during the period of the Oslo peace process was that those warning that it was a terrible mistake (both for Israelis and for Palestinians who wanted neither the dictatorship of Yasser Arafat nor Islamic rule) were simply not listened to. For years it was simply impossible to get those views into the mainstream media. Today, many people now admit Oslo was a dreadful mistake for both Israelis and Palestinians.
So when voices as experienced as the former director of the CIA (article below) and the world’s leading Game Theorist, speak out against the wisdom of Israel withdrawing from the West Bank at the present time and under the current circumstances, I think we should at least listen.
“DEMOCRACY IS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY”
Youssef Ibrahim, writing in the New York Sun, argues that “a new Palestinian state, carved out of Gaza and the West Bank and governed by Palestinian Arab Jihadists, would be a recipe for disaster.”
Ibrahim sees a Palestinian state as a future threat to “the Arabs who live in places like Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and beyond. Giving Muslim fundamentalists a base in Palestine from which to operate and finish off these dying regimes would be unconscionable.”
Ibrahim concludes that “the Palestinian Arabs, who just elected a radical, mindless, bloody Islamic fundamentalist regime, Hamas, as their first freely elected government, have not demonstrated they deserve further indulgence. Democracy is a precious commodity. It has to be consumed by the right people at the right time.”
(The government of Jordan, incidentally, has also been lobbying hard with the Bush administration to stop Olmert pulling out of the West Bank, fearing that it will greatly strengthen Hamas and radical Islamists throughout the region.)
THE CURRENT NOBEL LAUREATE SPEAKS OUT
Another prominent critic of Israel’s plan to withdraw from the West Bank is winner of last year’s Nobel Prize for Economics, Prof. Robert Aumann. Aumann, the world’s leading expert in Game Theory (on how individuals and groups act when they have different, and often opposing, goals), says “Israel’s leaders and the West are not playing the game correctly.”
Aumann claims that the West Bank withdrawal will simply encourage further acts of terror against Israel and embolden Jihadi terrorists the world over.
He argues that Israel must show patience. “Merely taking action for the sake of doing something, by withdrawing, will lead to greater militancy and more bloodshed. The current drive for peace now, not tomorrow, is liable to bring about the opposite.”
Israel is showing “fatigue,” he says. “It is the exhaustion experienced by a mountain climber or a skier who has become stuck in the snow all night; all he wants to do is sleep, but it is the sleep of death. A mountain climber in that position must resist the urge to sleep. He cannot give in to that fatigue, because if he does, he will die. Israel is in mortal danger because of that tiredness.”
“Israelis can take care of themselves against outside enemies, but they do not know what to do from the danger that comes from within their own ranks,” he added, alluding to supporters of disengagement while Hamas is in power. Ehud Olmert and his government, he says, are “well-meaning patriots who think they are doing the right thing, but they are not doing the right thing.”
“ISRAELI CONCESSIONS WILL ALSO MAKE THE U.S. LOOK WEAK”
James Woolsey asks in respect to Olmert’s recent request in Washington for money to implement the “convergence plan,” “what does one say to a good ally who seems determined to reinforce failure?”
The former director of the CIA maintains that “Israeli concessions will also make the U.S. look weak, because it will be inferred that we have urged them, and will suggest that we are reverting to earlier behavior patterns.”
Since “it seems increasingly clear that the Palestinian cause is fueled by hatred and contempt. Israeli concessions indeed enhance Palestinian hope, but not of a reasonable two-state solution – rather a hope that they will actually be able to destroy Israel.”
Woolsey mentions that “today we cannot envision the 250,000 Jewish settlers who live outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders being permitted to live at all, much less live free and unmolested, in a West-Bank-Gaza Palestinian state. But some 1.2 million Arabs, almost all Muslim, today live in Israel in peace among some five million Jews.”
As a result Woolsey concludes that “a two-state solution can become a reality when the Palestinians are held to the same standards as Israelis – to the requirement that Jewish settlers in a West Bank-Gaza Palestinian state would be treated with the same decency that Israel treats its Arab citizens.”
“NOT STATESMANSHIP, BUT STUPIDITY”
Jeff Jacoby argues that to replicate the “debacle” of last summer’s evacuation from the Gaza Strip would not be “statesmanship, but stupidity.”
“Israel cannot afford to succumb once again to the delusion that retreating in the face of terror will bring safety and peace of mind. Wars are not won by evacuations, as Winston Churchill told his British countrymen in 1940. Israelis, weary after so many years under siege, wish to pretend otherwise? Then it is up to their friends to tell them the truth.”
NOT HEARD ON BBC OR CNN
Other prominent voices speaking out against Olmert, but whose views are not heard on BBC or CNN, include Moshe Ya’alon, the recently retired chief of staff of the Israeli army. Ya’alon, a kibbutznik from a Labor background, laments what he describes as widespread combat-fatigue among Israelis and says Israel must come to grips with many more years of needing to occupy the West Bank in order to bring about a situation when enough Palestinians are finally prepared to live in long-term peace with Israel. “It will take at least a generation – probably more than one – for Palestinian society to ripen for peace negotiations, and stop planning measures to destroy Israel,” he said in a speech recently.
Ya’alon says he does not share the views of the ideological right who want a “greater Israel.” He says his views are based on realism – not ideology – stemming from a correct assessment of Palestinian society and goals.
Ya’alon says he supported the Oslo Accords in 1993, but the extremism in Palestinian society fermented by Yasser Arafat since then means it will now take at least a generation until peace can be possible. “We must stop showing Palestinian militants that terrorism pays, that Israel cuts and runs under pressure,” he argues.
Israelis and others who think that peace is round the corner are dreaming, he says. “As long as Palestinians are continuing to teach children from the age of 3 to hate and kill Israelis, peace will not be possible.”
I attach three articles below.
-- Tom Gross
“THERE IS NO NEED TO ADD MORE BATS TO A DARK NIGHT”
A two-state disaster
By Youssef Ibrahim
The New York Sun
May 26, 2006
A new Palestinian state, carved out of Gaza and the West Bank and governed by Palestinian Arab Jihadists, would be a recipe for disaster. Indeed, drawing up a two-state solution now would be tantamount to opening the gates to barbarians.
A former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, James Woolsey, was on target when he warned that a hastened pullout would unleash a wave of Islamic fundamentalist terror on Israel as well as Arab lands, without resolving anything for Palestinian Arabs.
The notion that unilateral withdrawal by Israel from parts of the West Bank would lead to peace and Palestinian statehood constitutes “flawed logic,” Mr. Woolsey wrote in the May 23 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Spot on. Palestinian Arabs are far from ready to run anything – let alone a country in the tinderbox that is the Middle East.
A few days ago, Egypt asserted that the perpetrators of the most recent deadly bombings of tourist resorts in the Red Sea, as well as those of two other attacks since 2004 that killed more than 100 and wounded hundreds more, were trained, equipped, and “weaponized” ideologically as well as physically by Muslim Palestinian Jihadists in Gaza and the West Bank.
The last thing anyone wants to do is give such folks a green light to widen the scope of their operations.
“The approach Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units; street-fighting between Hamas and Fatah and now Hamas assassination attempts against Fatah’s intelligence chief and Jordan’s ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks against nearby towns inside Israel, and a perceived vindication for Hamas, which took credit for the withdrawal,” Mr.Woolsey wrote.
That is only the tip of the iceberg. There are more reasons to be wary of a Palestinian Arab state.
A new Palestinian Arab state, governed by Palestinian Jihadists, would fling open doors to a potpourri of anarchists, assassins, and killers. It is tantamount to laying down a welcome mat for Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah pro-Iranian activists, Saudi Wahhabi preachers of darkness, Iraqi messengers of insurgency, and Muslim Sunni and Shiite fanatics, along with Muslim Brotherhood angels-of-death types, including European and Pakistani Muslims – all competing for hearts and minds in a seriously dysfunctional Palestinian and broader Arab society.
Nation-building is too serious a business to come to that. No responsible party can give such people an area of operation under the name of Palestine. Jihad is already an ideology to a lot of Muslims, indeed an obsession. There is no need to add more bats to a dark night. We already have the government of Saudi Arabia doing enough harm as it is.
Should anyone allow this, Israel will be the last to suffer from it. With superb intelligence management, technology, and informant apparatus, it will take care of itself. The question should instead be about the Arabs who live in places like Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and beyond.
Most of them are governed by failed regimes, teetering on the brink of collapse with Jihadists nipping at their heels and corruption eating their entrails. Giving Muslim fundamentalists a base in Palestine from which to operate and finish off these dying regimes would be unconscionable.
A two state Palestinian-Israeli solution may be possible one day. But not today. The Palestinian Arabs, who just elected a radical, mindless, bloody Islamic fundamentalist regime, Hamas, as their first freely elected government, have not demonstrated they deserve further indulgence.
They can wait until they learn the price of responsible governance. Democracy is a precious commodity. It has to be consumed by the right people at the right time.
“THREE FAILURES IN 13 YEARS SHOULD PERMIT US TO EVALUATE THE WISDOM OF FURTHER CONCESSIONS”
West Bank terrorist state
The folly of Israeli disengagement
By R. James Woolsey
The Wall Street Journal
May 23, 2006
What does one say to a good ally who seems determined to reinforce failure? That the U.S. will pay for the undertaking?
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in Washington last week, where he asked for advice and assistance in financing the withdrawal of 50,000 to 100,000 Israeli settlers from 90% to 95% of the West Bank and major portions of Jerusalem, and for the Israel Defense Forces to be repositioned largely near the security barrier Israel is constructing. Most Americans are inclined to believe that such disengagement may be a reasonable step toward a two-state solution, even if some territorial disputes remain to be negotiated. It is also widely assumed that Palestinian hostility to Israel is fueled by despair that can only be reduced by Israeli concessions. Both assumptions, however, may be fundamentally flawed.
The approach Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by al Qaeda, Hezbollah and even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units; street fighting between Hamas and Fatah, and now Hamas assassination attempts against Fatah’s intelligence chief and Jordan’s ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks against nearby towns inside Israel; and a perceived vindication for Hamas, which took credit for the withdrawal. This latter almost certainly contributed substantially to Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections.
The world now needs to figure out how to keep Palestinians from starving without giving funds to a Hamas government in Gaza resolutely focused on destroying Israel. Before his massive stroke last year, Ariel Sharon repeatedly said he would not replay the Gaza retreat in the West Bank. With good reason: Creating a West Bank that looks like today’s Gaza would be many times the nightmare. How would one deal with continuing launches of rockets and mortars from the West Bank into virtually all of Israel? (Israel’s Arrow missile defense will probably work against Iranian medium-range ballistic missiles but not against the much shorter-range Katyushas.) A security barrier does no good against such bombardment. The experience in Gaza, further, has shown the difficulty of defending against such attacks after the IDF boots on the ground have departed. Effective, prompt retaliation from the air is hard to imagine if the mortar rounds and Katyushas are being launched, as they will be, from schools, hospitals and mosques.
Israel is not the only pro-Western country that would be threatened. How does moderate Jordan, with its Palestinian majority, survive if bordered by a West Bank terrorist state? Israeli concessions will also make the U.S. look weak, because it will be inferred that we have urged them, and will suggest that we are reverting to earlier behavior patterns – fleeing Lebanon in 1983, acquiescing in Saddam’s destruction of the Kurdish and Shiite rebels in 1991, fleeing Somalia in 1993, etc.
Three major Israeli efforts at accommodation in the last 13 years have not worked. Oslo and the 1993 handshake in the Rose Garden between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat produced only Arafat’s rejection in 2000 of Ehud Barak’s extremely generous settlement offer and the beginning of the second intifada. The Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 has enhanced Hezbollah’s prestige and control there; and the withdrawal from Gaza has unleashed madness. These three accommodations have been based on the premise that only Israeli concessions can displace Palestinian despair. But it seems increasingly clear that the Palestinian cause is fueled by hatred and contempt.
Israeli concessions indeed enhance Palestinian hope, but not of a reasonable two-state solution – rather a hope that they will actually be able to destroy Israel. The Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah-Hamas axis is quite explicit about a genocidal objective. When they speak of “ending Israeli occupation” they mean of Tel Aviv. Under these circumstances it is time to recognize that, sadly, the Israeli-Palestinian issue will likely not be the first matter settled in the decades-long war that radical Islam has declared on the U.S., Israel, the West and moderate Muslims. It will more likely be one of the last.
Someday a two-state solution may become possible, but it is naive in the extreme to believe that this can occur while the centerpiece of the radical Islamic and Palestinian agendas is maximizing Jewish deaths. A durable compromise will be achievable only when we no longer, to borrow from Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “define deviancy down” for the Palestinians.
Today we cannot envision the 250,000 Jewish settlers who live outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders being permitted to live at all, much less live free and unmolested, in a West-Bank-Gaza Palestinian state. But some 1.2 million Arabs, almost all Muslim, today live in Israel in peace among some five million Jews – about double the percentage of Jews now in the West Bank as a share of the Muslim population there. Israel’s Arab citizens worship freely – one hears muezzins calling the faithful to prayer as one walks around Tel Aviv. They vote in free elections for their own representatives in a real legislature, the Knesset. They give every evidence that they prefer being Arab Israelis to living in the chaos and uncertainty of a West Bank after Israeli withdrawal.
A two-state solution can become a reality when the Palestinians are held to the same standards as Israelis – to the requirement that Jewish settlers in a West Bank-Gaza Palestinian state would be treated with the same decency that Israel treats its Arab citizens. Until then, three failures in 13 years should permit us to evaluate the wisdom of further concessions.