So Condi Rice stayed around in Israel an extra day to apply pressure on the Israelis to compromise with the Palestinians regarding passage into and out of Gaza. Since Israel’s unilateral exit out of Gaza, there has been an unofficial stream of people and, uh, things in and out of Gaza. However, officially and practically, it remains difficult to move things and people in and out of Gaza, hence the ongoing discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

In truth, the Israelis’ leverage wasn’t all that great because they are no longer in there and have successfully lobbied the world to recognize their departure as a conclusion to the occupation of Gaza. As a result, the Palestinians were able to demand control of entry and exit points from Gaza. Of course, the Israelis are concerned about these entry and exit points because instead of things, like, you know, food, the Palestinians might expend their resources procuring weapons. As talks progressed, the Israelis abandoned hope of controlling the crossing and instead agreed to allow EU monitors to guard the border crossings.

Well, the EU, true to form, indicated that they would monitor but refuse to actively control the border; the Palestinians ought to do this according to the enlightened Europeans. The Palestinians, of course, agree with this and demand that as “sovereigns” they should control these crossings. So it came down to the issue of monitoring via cameras, and the Israelis agreed to a situation where they monitor along with EU monitors while Palestinians actually control the crossing. If the Israelis see something amiss, they can have the EU monitors demand of the Palestinians not to allow the person or thing to go through the crossing.

Yup, not exactly reassuring.

What is worse, however, is that the agreement also opens the door to a much larger number of trucks that may enter and leave Gaza, while the time spent checking them is to be minimized. The final part of the deal is that access points between Gaza and the West Bank will now be opened to Palestinian traffic.

Did I mention that the Palestinians get to build a sea port?

Here, you can read some detail in this article.

Netanyahu spoke out strongly today against the access granted between Gaza and the West Bank. In what is surely a no-brainer, he predicts that arms will be smuggled into the West Bank and will threaten Israeli communities, not to mention airplanes taking off at Ben Gurion Airport. He predicts a stream of smuggled weapons that will eventually enter Gaza through the new sea port and end up threatening Israeli lives inside the Green Line, not to mention outside of it.

He warned the access links would enable large quantities of weapons from Gaza to enter the West Bank, including Qassam rockets and mortar shells. From the West Bank, they would be fired at Israel, he said.

“You can’t treat the Palestinian Authority like a properly run state. It’s a failing regime that does not fight terror, and the security ring around it cannot be loosened,” Netanyahu said.

What can one say other than he’s right? He’s right. It’s so clear that he’s right, that it’s difficult to understand how the Sharon government failed to stand up to the American pressure to close the deal whatever it takes. The Palestinians are still at war with Israel; they have not made any attempt to stop the terror groups or disarm them; the PA itself collaborates with Fatah, that also launches attacks against Israel; Palestinian leaders continue to praise the supposed efficacy and heroism of terrorism; every Palestinian leader has come out and listed Jerusalem and “right” of return as non-negotiable national objectives.

So if the Palestinians remain at war, despite the possibility of terminating the war, why give them the means to take the war to the West Bank? If they want access in and out of Gaza, why not wait until after their elections to see what happens? Will they disarm militant and terror groups or not? Will they seek peace or not? If they don’t, then they don’t deserve to control means of increasing their arms stockpiles. This is very simple and Israel is making a terrible mistake in allowing American pressure to force its hand. Mofaz is already talking about early warning systems for rockets coming in from the West Bank. Um, those systems are useless other than providing a short warning period. They don’t prevent the attacks. If the Minister of Defense knows the attacks are coming, why propose a leaky band-aid, when you could simply avoid the dangerous event to begin with?

By the way, all the anti-disengagement people can save their energy and protests – leaving Gaza was one thing and had nothing to do with providing the Palestinians with the means to attack Israel from the West Bank. It remains the right thing to have done.

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  • I totally hear ya. Leaving Gaza is one thing, but allowing the Palestinians to have unrestricted accesss to the world’s arms market, well that’s something completely different. Causing harm to Israel is the surest way for the Palestinians to lose everything they have gained to date, and then some. Sometimes you have to wonder what people are thinking.

  • uhhhh…. nice try, middle, but: The expulsion created the problem, as you yourself explain in your opening paragraph, by replacing the “roadmap to eventual Pali sovereignty” with a fast-forward to the perception of sovereignty, and a widely trumpeted Israeli policy “not to interfere in Gaza.”

    Thereby forefeiting the ability to attach conditions to demands for free passage in relation to the security situation.

    That is, it’s no longer a negotiated scenario, in which the Palis must provide a quid to get a quo. Any attempt by Israel to pin conditions on the Pali border crossings is “interference” and “denial of sovereignty.”

    All of this a direct result of the expulsion.

    I am sure many Sharon-loving contortionists and leftie fantasists will find a way to portray this as a “brilliant strategy” and show how it paves the way to a New Middle East.

    In fact it has bolstered Palestinian national claims at the expense of Israel’s legitimacy.

    Once again the civilized world has praised the Jews for chopping off their hand – and then cooly demanded the rest of the arm, giving the Palis everything they wanted with no preconditions.

    Oh, yeah – this is real progress.

  • … and more important than what Netanyahu says now is that he was saying the exact same thing before the expulsion.

    Every “good will gesture” and “recognition of Palestinian aspirations” translates into a loss of leverage.

  • middle, why bring this up as if you were surprised? Did you really think we could retreat from Gaza and still keep control over it? What do you think about the upcoming disengagement sequels? There’s a border crossing going up in tzomet tapuach, and there’s already one at the souththern end of the Beit Shean valley.

  • Yes, you can leave Gaza and maintain control over security issues that relate to Israel. If they want to enter Egypt, I can understand that. However, as long as they do not become partners for peace, any movement to the East, North or South of Gaza should be severely restricted by the Israelis. I don’t see any problem with supporting a unilateral disengagement that benefits Israel and its security, and supporting a unilateral security arrangement that benefits Israel and its security.

  • They have democracy. They will have an election in January. What does democracy have to do with blocking off a border?

    If they want to link up with their brothers in the West Bank, that is a noble aspiration. Sometimes, in order to achieve noble aspirations, one has to sacrifice. They can sacrifice their war on Israel and they can then enjoy travel back and forth to the West Bank. Likewise with trucks carrying produce. It’s not as if they are locked in, Egypt has a border with them and is welcome to open it.

  • dont sderot people have the right to achieve the noble aspiration to live in peace too

  • It’s just a tad late to jump on the Netanyahu bandwagon isn’t it, Middle?

    You just don’t get it do you? Israel’s great friend, the US of A, is behind this. It’s just another “bend over and grab your ankles, Jews, and forget about the lube”. How can you act surprised? You write and talk like a schizophrenic. You must have known this was going to happen. I just don’t see how you could possibly be such a naif to be surprised about this.

    The Americans are powerful, but also stupid and hypocritical. They can go across the world and invade and occupy Iraq even though there is no solid proof that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, but just let the Jews try to off a few terrorists that they KNOW have murdered people and all of a sudden it’s “violence doesn’t solve anything”. Lying scum, all of them.

    The US is still not really fighting any “war on terror”; if it was they would give the Israelis carte blanche to shoot terrorists on sight, starting with Abbas. But they’re not, because they’re still hoping that if they are seen to bleed the Jews a bit the Saudis will like them. So, terror or no terror, the fucking paleostinians will get their little shithole state. They’re all filthy whores, Condi Rice especially.

    This is naked power, plain and simple. Just how do you expect Israael to insist on maintaining this, that or the other when The Americans know that if they push hard enough the Israelis will have no choice but to do whatever they say? You’re a Pollyanna, Middle. Wake up and smell the humus why don’t you? The Americans will get whatever they want, and the Israelis will pay in blood.

    The horrifying thing about this is that Bush is better for Israel than any Democrat would have been.

  • You know, maybe his rhetoric may be a little over the top, but I agree with Ephraim’s main contention that the US doesn’t really give too much of a shit about Israel. Or, at least, when you weigh Israel against Arab oil and money, we all know who would probably win.

  • Bush is not better than any Democrat. Sorry.

    Also, who is surprised? I’m disappointed in this government.

    And, who is on Netanyahu’s bandwagon? Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    But we agree that the US is using its power to affect Israel in a way that could harm Israel’s security. In combination with recent problems like the arms sales protests, the elimination and return of Israel to the jet development program, the AIPAC affair, numerous public statements from different US agencies belittling or attacking the Israelis, and coerced agreements such as this, one can only hope all these red flags don’t indicate a sea-change in the relationship between the two countries.

  • Name me a Democrat who is better, Middle. That cheap carpetbagger Hillary? No fucking way. She would sell her mother to get elected. You can’t believe a word she says. Kiss Shuha whenm she thinks it will help her, kiss the Kotel when she thinks it will help her. When the Democrats disavow the Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons and the MoveOn moonbats, I’ll believe that they have reformed (and I’m a registered Democrat). But if the Republicans are smart and nominate Giuliani, I’m voting for him. He will make the Democratic candidate wish (s)he had never been born.

    It’s a bad deal all the way around. Israel is just going to have to take its lumps.

    There will be a wholesale retreat in Yehuda and the Shomron, almost all the way back to the ’67 armistice lines, and no one will stop the paelostinians from launching the next round. There will be another general war, and if Israel is lucky or smart, it will result in the final extirpation of the the majority of the Arabs from Eretz Israel.

    If the Arabs come to their senses, this need not happen. But I don’t see any way it can be prevented, really. I don’t believe the Americans will be strong enough to insist on the Arabs ceasing their warmongering. They’re going to paper over the cracks, pretend everything is OK and then walk away, just like they have always done.

  • From Ariel Sharon’s speech on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:

    ‘Mr. Speaker, the sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered.

    “Do not put your trust in men in power,” said the poet of the Psalms. And indeed, during the most terrible, critical hour, those in power and the declared friends did not lift a finger. This is the Jewish lesson of the Holocaust and this is the lesson which Auschwitz taught us, the enchained people.

    The State of Israel has learned this lesson, and since its establishment it has done its utmost to defend itself and its citizens, and provide a safe haven for any Jew, wherever he may be. We know that we can trust no one but ourselves.’

    ‘Israel is a very small country, blessed with talented and courageous people. However, it must always be remembered that this is the only place in the world where we, the Jews, have the right and the capability to defend ourselves, by ourselves. And we will never relinquish this.

    It is our historic responsibility. It is my personal historic responsibility.’

  • Yes, I believe it’s a given that Israel will move back to the fence and it will become the de facto new border for Israel. Future negotiations might get the Palestinians another couple percent of the West Bank (the fence leaves about 7% in Israeli hands) and better access to Jerusalem.

    You are probably right that there will be another war before any peace is concluded.

    As for Dems who are better, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Do you think we’d be in this current mess if Kerry had been elected? I’m no fan of Kerry or even Gore, but either one would have been superior to what we got instead. By the way, McCain would have been much better too.

  • What mess, Middle? I need your definition of “this mess” before I can know we’re even on the same page.

    Explain to me how Kerry would have been any better, at least for Israel. The Democratic party has become the de-facto party of the anti-Semites. Oslo, under CLinton, is what has put Israel in this predicament. That is very much the fault of Peres as well. And there is no way to tell if Rabin would have done any better than Sharon, had he lived.

    And McCain is a Republican, Middle. Get a grip.

  • He’s Republican? Really?

    Listen, I don’t feel like getting into the whole spiel of what’s wrong with this Administration, but consider the fact that as I write, the head of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting is being told he violated the law when he tried to politicize this apolitical institution. He is, of course, like the former head of FEMA, a Republican operative and friend of the Bush inner circle.

    The sheer incompetence, not to mention hubris and disregard for the best interests of the nation, that one sees in these minor appointments is simply a mirror to what we see on the big decisions.

    It stupefies me that I pay far more in taxes, as a percentage of my income, than Warren Buffet, while we grow the deficit and debt and try to manage a war and rebuild an entire city. Stupefies me.

    Also, it turns out that we went to war after our Administration worked us all over. This war might still work out, but it ain’t going too well and that’s because of poor planning and the same hubris that causes these pro-election-winners to think they know better than the institutional heads who try to tell them otherwise. Remember how we were going to reconstruct Iraq and people were crying about Halliburton scamming us all? We should have been so lucky to have that as the worst of our problems over there.

    Yeah, Kerry and Gore would have reacted differently to 9/11. Same with McCain. All three would have been more responsible with respect to managing government resources. All three would have appointed qualified individuals to head national organizations.

    Simply put, instead of a cynical President who cares primarily for cronies, friends and their friends, we would have leaders in power who realize – to a far greater degree, although I don’t claim they would be perfect – they are supposed to govern everybody and for everybody.

  • If we are discussing the domestic US situation, I agree with you, in the main. But I was talking about Israel. Kerry would have sold Israel down the river without even blinking.

    Just to play Devil’s advocate, while I am sure that things could have gone better in Iraq than they did, overthrowing a malignant dictator and holding not one, but 2, national elections that have put Iraq on its way to actually becoming a democracy while only losing 2,000 soldiers over a period of a few yewars is, by any stretch of the imagination, an incredibly successful war. I know that sounds heartless, but in wars people get killed. Iraq over the last few years doesn’t even add up to the first few hours of D-Day at Normandy.

    Just as an example, the Battle of Okinawa in WWII killed 12,000 US troops, 70,000 Japanese troops, and 80,000 Okinawan civilians. And that was only one battle! The savagery and inhumanity were shocking beyond belief. So compared with almost any other war the US has ever undertaken, Iraq (and Afghanistan) is a resounding success, if you look at it in that way.

    Of course, if you think that getting rid of Saddam wasn’t important, then what can I say? And, yes, the whole thing may still fail. But the jury’s still out.

    And like I have said before, I don’t give a rat’s ass about we have taken a hit in “world opinion”. “World opinion” would leave Israel prostrate before its enemies, so fuck it.

    Yes, Kerry would have reacted to 9/11 differently. He would have let the Frogs tell us what to do. And we know how upstanding and honset the French are, with their innately superior European sensibilty.

    Basically, I wanted a guy like Lieberman elected (not because he’s Jewish, either). A Democrat who would have had the domestic policies I wanted instead of the cluisterfuck we have now, but a muscular foreign policy. But we saw how far he got.

    Anyway, I thought you were a Canadian.

  • Adam, how did you figure out that I’m stupid? I’ve been faking everybody out all these years and then you come along and expose the truth. Oof!

    Ephraim, the war on terror isn’t going to be won in Iraq. There were other ways to fight this war, sophisticated and intelligent ways using far fewer resources and risking far fewer lives. We are not in Iraq because of 9/11, yet we are expending the resources we need for the war on terror over there and the Administration is doing such a poor job managing it that we have strengthened the enemy.

    Going to Iraq was not something that McCain, Kerry or Gore would have done. Would they have sold out Israel? We differ on the meaning of that because I believed in 2000 that the Palestinians were given a fair offer by Clinton, and one that was good for Israel if the result was the end of conflict. Clinton didn’t push Barak too hard, he had to push Netanyahu. I don’t consider that a sellout.

    Look at what Sharon is thinking. At this point it’s clear that his vision is not that far away from Clinton’s or Barak’s. It’s not because he was pushed by the US to that vision. He was pushed there by a careful analysis of the situation. And do me a favor Ephraim, don’t tell me Sharon doesn’t know how to analyze or strategize – he’s basically made mince-meat of every opponent he’s faced over the past several years.

  • I got absolutely no sense that Kerry could have fought a more “intelligent” WOT, whatever that means. I got the impression that he would have first asked the UN whether he could fight it or not, and then when they said no, would have thrown up his hands and said “Well, I tried”. I don’t think anybody was fooled by his tough-guy talk. And the fact that the Frogs wanted him to win just proves that he was the last guy who should have been elected. The Frogs wanted Saddam to stay in power so they could continue getting their sweet deals. Just the fact that they supported him should have been enough to make anyone wonder about him.

    Any resistance to the terrorists is going to piss them off and “make them stronger”, Middle. I’m not so sure why you say the WOT is not going to won over there. I know that is the fashionable thing for the cognoscenti to say, but what does it mean? Where is it going to be won, then? On the streets of Amsterdam, Paris and London?

    I don’t understand your remarks about Sharon. Anyway, you are dreaming if you think that getting their little Hamasistan in Gaza, Yehuda and the Shomron is going to end the conflict. In a few months, Hamas will be running the PA and everyone will still be pressing Israel to talk to them in spite of what everyone knows they want to do. Israel is going to have to fight them sooner or later. I hope that something happens in the geo-political situation that will allow Israel to take the fight to them and finish them off. Otherwise the next war is going to be very, very bad.

  • Ephraim, just to remind you, Kerry is a war hero. Forget the Rove attack dogs, the guy is a brave man and afraid of war in the way one would wish Cheney was.

    I don’t let the French decide who should lead my country. Why do you? And if Kerry had gone to the UN and had aligned himself with some allies, would that have been so bad? Is it better for the US to have the world hate us? We squandered a hell of a lot of goodwill after 9/11 and it was because of hubris, not because it served us well.

    As for the war on terror, forgive me but I use that language in jest because it is what the Administration fed to us plebes so we would support them. The war on terror has about as much meaning as the war on drugs. However, there were ways to fight Al Qaeda that would have been far smarter than thinking we’re a hammer and Iraq is a nail. Good intelligence could have done it. A true fight in Afghanistan instead of playing games and ultimately removing many of our forces to go fight in Iraq, would have accomplished more. Yes, the war on terror will be won in the streets of Amterdam, and in the valleys and caves of Afghanistan, and in Saudi Arabia. It will decidedly not be won in Iraq and never could have been. Imagine if you had $80 billion a year to spend on crushing Al Qaeda instead of trying to control a nation with three significant minorities fighting it out and all perceiving us as an occupier. What a waste.

    Israel will have to fight them sooner or later. Correct. This is why in this instance I agree with Netanyahu. It is foolish to compromise security in this instance even if the US applies plenty of pressure. The pressure has to be placed on Abbas and the Palestinians.

  • Mazel Tov, Jewlicious!!! You got linked on OSM on its debut day! Yashe Koach to you and them both!

  • You’re way too late to the “let’s get tough with the paleostinians” party for anybody to take you seriously, Middle.

    I know Kerry’s record. So what? He tried to make a run around Bush’s right flank by intimating he would have attacked the “right country” (Saudi Arabia) instead of wasting time with Iraq. You didn’t actually believe him, did you? It was laughable.

    As far as WOT strategy is concerned, trying to establish a functioning democracy in the heart of the ME seems like just as good a strategy as any. True, it may yet fail miserably. But the idea that a bunch of Arabist appeasers like France or Iranian enablers like the Russians would be our allies in a war that they have no intention of fighting is absurd. I can’t believe that you are that naive to believe that if we had just been a little nicer we would have gotten France and Germany to go along with us. There was UN resolution after UN resolution, and when push came to shove they all crapped out. And all of the post 9/11 goodwill was just lip service. Feeling sorry for somebody is easy, helping him out in actually doing something about it is another. France has too much invested in their relationships with the Arabs to sacrifice them for the US. People talk about how wrong of us it was to go into Iraq, but nobody has really offered any real competing strategy other than to say “be smarter” or “work with our allies”. What exactly does that mean? There are no specifics. Let us say you have good intelligence. What do you do with it other than use it to fight someone? Are you arguing for a covert war with black ops against terrorists in various different sovereign nations? I don’t think they’ll exactly welcome our flouting of their sovereignty when we go to take out terrorists on their soil. Hell, the Euros won’t even extradite terrorists to the US to stand trial because they’re afraid they might get the death penalty. Israel can’t grease Yassin without people hauling them up before the ICJ. The UN can’t even agree to put sanctions on Iran when Ahmedinajad says he’s going to nuke Israel. Hell, nobody even recalled their ambassadors or broke off relations. Even with the bombings in London Blair couldn’t get his government to agree to hold terrirst suspects long enough to get enough evidence to make charges stick. People like that are not going to fight any war until the war is brought home to them in a big way.

    I will agree with you on one thing: the war in Iraq could have been handled much better. But if you want to clean out that shithole known as the Islamic ME, you have to start somewhere. I agree that the two real enemies are the Saudis and the Iranians. You don’t think having a strong and democratic Iraq will help the eventual goal of taking them on? We cannot attack either Saudi Arabia or Iran directly. But a democratic Iraq allied with the West is as good a way as any to destabilize the Saudis and the Iranians and give their people hope that something similar might be possible in their countries as well.

    As I said, this is a huge gamble that may never work. But leaving things as they were is no solution either. Right now, we finally see the stirrings of freedom from Syrian tyranny in Lebanon and the real possibility that Assad might fall. None of this would have been possible without the Iraq adventure.

    And if we have to Iraq will be the forward base we need to bomb the Iranian nuke facilities when the hapless Europeans finally realize that the Iranians have been stringing them along all this time while they built their bomb.

  • Hey now, watch it on the American bashing. Some of us here support Israel 100%, and work hard raising funds and awareness in our communities, and lobby our *ehem* elected officials as best we can. There are a LOT of Jews in America who do not agree with what the government is doing to Israel. A LOT.

    The Israeli government, and the people who elected them, have to take a good deal of the blame. They don’t have to cave in to US and EU pressure so easily. It’s like stealing candy from a baby, and it’s embarrassing. The country has lost it’s spine, and is quickly losing it’s moral compass. Grow some balls, dammit!

    In my dreams, either Israel starts a major war, complete with nukes, and eliminates all the paleos, or the Mashiach comes. I’d be happy either way. It’s all this waiting around with our thumbs up our asses that’s killing me. Hell, if I were 20 years younger, I’d pick up a rifle and do it myself.

  • Oh please, we launched a full scale war and it had nothing to do with the UN and its resolutions.

    As for “getting tough” with the Palestinians, I believe I’ve been consistent throughout the past year regarding the Palestinians. Advocating for a unilateral withdrawal so that we can secure ourselves better is pretty consistent with what I’m advocating above. Not that it matters if you don’t believe me…simply read old discussions we’ve had and you’ll find plenty of consistency.

    Grace, a war complete with nukes renders Israel uninhabitable unless you want a lot of dying Jews and monstrous-defect babies. And don’t worry about the mashiach coming, Fifty Shekel is praying hard for all of us.

  • Yeah! Hey! Let’s have the tiny nation of 6 million people start a nuclear war! That’s, like, OMG, super duper smart! Like, ‘cuz, there’s no way in the entire world that one of the other dozen or so nuclear powers could, like, ever fire back! And it’s not like even if they did one little ol’ nuke would, like, do any damage to a little tiny country! I mean, hey, I totally love radiation in my Cheerios!

    OMG! Your proposed foreign policy and casual support of genocide is, like, so brilliant and farsighted! Whoooooo! Nuke ’em all!

  • Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? I never said it was practical. Besides, in my dream, these are paleo-seeking nukes, and there is a magical effect that makes Jews immune to the radiation. Then, while everyone is distracted by that, we send in our sooper-secrit IDF folks to take out our enemies’ bases of operation so that they can’t retaliate. Then the whole world has to realize that Israelis kick ass, and that they have to be nice to us from now on.


    Mashiach comes and straightens everything out for us. (But don’t you ever worry that he might ask “what have you been doing to secure the land?” “Uh, what land?” “You know, the land who’s borders are described for you in the Torah. . . You gave it away to WHO?!”)

  • No. To be honest, I’ve never worried about that. Not even once.

    But if you are, you could always say, “Mr. Mashiach, how are we even supposed to know the borders of the land? The Torah gives conflicting, inconsistent reports.”

    Also, incidentally, just to, y’know, play Devil’s advocate, God promised the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates to Abraham’s descendants. Given that traditionally Arabs are also Abrahram’s descendants, one might say that this promise has already been fulfilled, so the Jews are under no covenental obligations to expand their borders.

    You can argue for an expanded Israel using a variety of arguments. But “If Mashiach comes, he might ask us why we didn’t wipe out the Palestinians!” is a really bad one.

  • Muddled blogger, muddled thread.

    We’re talking about SOVEREIGNTY folks – American, Israel, Palistinian.

    That means using all the tools of “statecraft” (which is a fancy word for violence and blackmail conducted by governmentos a pinstripe suit instead of mafiosi).

    The president and congress of the United States have ABSOLUTELY NO obligation – moral or otherwise – to ANYTHING by the welfare, safety, and prosperity of the American people. They will dump or assist Israel as it suits THEIR INTERESTS.

    Israel represents the first time in over 2000 years that the Jews have been able to use all the tools of sovereignty to defend themselves and further their own interests. And the Palis are angling for their own control and power.

    The game is run by rough schoolyard rules. If you show yourself to be weak, you will get squeezed.

    Israel has shown itself to be weak. So it’s getting squeezed. Other, smaller, less valuable allies have refused to cede their own sovereignty – and the Americans backed off and/or tried other tricks.

    The large amount of American aid also creates offers that can’t be refused.

    Earlier generations of Israel leaders thumbed their noses at America, the UN, and the world -with much more to lose, and much fewer economic, military, and political cards in their hands than today’s leaders.

    We are now going through a period of Israeli self-doubt. That is, in some ways, more deadly than war or other hardships – because by the schoolyard rules of geopolitics, it invites others to fill the void with their own power plays.

  • Sorry, Middle. I know you say you say that, but you’re living in a fantasy world. Israel can’t give away the store and then complain when the new owner does whatever he wants with it. Israel has knuckled under, plain and simple, and will soon pay the price for it. You seem to think that Israel has been negotiating with honorable people who have its best interests at heart and that these interlocutors are honorable men who will keep their word. In an ideal world everything you say should be true. But we don’t live in that world. Wake the fuck up, will you?

    Sigh. Michael, the Torah specifically says that Abraham’s descendents will be reckoned through Isaac, not Ishmael. All the promises made to Abraham and his descendents are promises made to us, not the Arabs. Ishmael and his desendents had their own promises, because Ishmael was Abraham’s son. Hashem said that Ishmael would be a “wild ass of a man who dwelt over and against his brothers” and that 12 nations (I think that’s the number) would come from him and that they would have their territories. I’d say it worked out for the Ishmaelim pretty well.

    Grace: all your base are belong to us.

  • wild ass?

    From last week’s parsha:
    Breishit/Genesis 16:11-12

    11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her [Hagar]: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’

    ’nuff said.

    Shabbat shalom all.

  • Sorry,
    I should have explained that in “wild ass of a man”, ‘man’ is the adjective.

  • Ephraim, I don’t think we’ve been negotiating at all. The Israelis pulled out unilaterally, remember? It’s true that they have no real ability to control Gaza anymore, but they can contain any violence that might be directed at Israel, and they can control any traffic that leaves Gaza for the West Bank. This is what I’m advocating. When I say Netanyahu is right, I am speaking about this particular issue, not the disengagement in general. Let them have Gaza. Let them have Gaza all day long.

    Hey, Ben David, don’t blame me if the situation is muddled.

  • The Israelis negotiated an “agreement” with the Egyptians about policing the Gaza border which didn’t even hold up for 30 minutes. Did anything happen to the Egyptians when they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain? Did Israel unilaterally scrap the agreement and reassert their control when the Egyptinas reneged? Did anything happen to halt the flow of weapons and terrorists into Gaza whence they will now flow into the WB? No, no and no. That’s what I’m talking about, Middle.

    And now Israel has “negotiated” an “agreement” with the US and the paleostinians (read: given in to US pressure and threats) that apparently doesn’t even give Israel the right to inspect traffic between Gaza and the WB that travels over Israeli territory or unilaterally stop anyone they think is suspicious.

    Yes, this is from Debka, and I know people think they’re alarmist. However, if it is true that the only recourse Israel has is to complain to the EU inspectors (EU inspectors!) if they think something is wrong and hope the EU inspectors (EU inspectors!) do something about it, then they are royally screwed.

    What, you mean the paleostinians will take advantage of Israeli weaknes and stupidity and smuggle weapons and terrorists from Gaza to the WB? Why would they do that? That wasn’t in the sgreement. After all, the Americans said they would ask Abbas to rein in the terrorists, so everything should be fine!

    What Ben David said. This Israeli weakness is just astonishing. They might as well be asking to be attacked.

    Re: Ishmael, how is “man” the adjective, Josh?

  • Yes, they negotiated with the Egyptians, not the Palestinians.

    But we agree on everything else you wrote in this last comment…hence this post and my comment that Netanyahu is correct. I haven’t read Debka, but my impression is also that goods will travel between the two areas with little supervision. If this is true, it is folly. It is sheer insanity. Let us hope it’s not true.

  • I change my comment about Condi make on a previous post. Guess she was doing “hot sweaty thankless ‘harmful'” work instead.

    The USA does care about Israel and the Jewish people. If push comes to shove, Israel would be the last nation shoved off our plate. Israel is our best ally, and vice-versa, and it is proven over and over again with stand-alone support in the UN when necessary and money when needed.

    And Ben David, it is altruistic in nature. We don’t need or expect anything in return. See, the world isn’t selfish and bad, just mostly.

  • Israel’s strong. Super strong. She’ll survive this. And if the Islamobots get out of hand, you can bet that Condi gave us the green light in advance to “Iraq” the joint; that is, to disable and neutralize the enemy in the same way the Americans are doing in Iraq – and which they are doing so well (thanks to Israeli tactical methods and despite what the anti-Jewish Western media would have you believe.) We’ll be just fine, thank you.

  • Yes, I think Bush and Condi play the long game, and will make short term concessions so long as larger goals are not compromised. There’s nothing here that can’t be reversed, and placing responsibilities on the Palestinians is a way of ushering them into responsible governance, even if that goal remains one or two generations off, given their nazification.

  • Oh, thanks Jeremy for wrapping it all up about “the long game” – but I notice you live in the USA. Would you care to move within missile range for that “one or two generations” it will take the Palis to pull it together…

    … and they say we Israelis have chutzpah….