Wednesday, July 27

Comparison to Martin Luther King's Freedom March on Washington

How disgusting! There is no comparison to Martin Luther King's famous march to Washington DC on August 28, 1963. The anti-disengagement marchers are certainly no freedom fighters nor are they stalwarts of democracy. Many are religious fanatics whose aim is to maintain their right to settle in Gaza and not make any sacrifices for peace, which is for the well-being of Israel in the end. Their religious zeal is occupation of lands and not a march for human rights and democracy. This is a march of abuse of human rights. Tom Segev had mentioned this fact in another article. He compared it to the march on Rome under Mussolini.

The comparison to Martin Luther King jnr's aspirations could not be further from the truth. These right-wingers are NOT democrats nor have they any aspirations to be such. They are religious Zionist fanatics of the worst kind whose ideology is not very distant from fascism. They take the law into their own hands. Now some are giving support to the assassination of PM Ariel Sharon in macabre "pulsa denura" ceremonies. Where does this compare with the late Martin Luther King jnr? It takes a rather twisted and sick mind to make this ridiculous comparison. Apart from that, Martin Luther King's March was legal whereas the anti-disengagement demonstrations are not. They have created havoc towards those who were not involved by blocking roads and burning tires not to mention damage done to private property.

The settlers in Gush Katif have made very little contribution to Israel. Perhaps their contribution is to increase the population according to the first commandment. They have complicated the negotiations for peace with the Palestinians, which is not straight forward as it is. They have a fanatic religious zeal to conquer Palestinian land and pay any price to remain there.

They make cynical use of democracy to attain that goal of settlement expansion amongst a population that does not want them on their doorstep. These settlers are not fighting for democracy or human kind but for their own selfish and racist interests. They wish to keep the Palestinians under occupation and a cheap source of labour for working in their hot houses. There is nothing democratic or liberal in their ideology. One must also remember that fanatic, orthodox Judaism which these people follow is not democratic and is bound up with conquering territory and subjugating the Palestinians.

The disengagement has its pitfalls. When Israel had withdrawn from occupied territories such as Sinai and Yamit in the past, there was no Hamas, Islamic Jihad to fill that vacuum. Today, there is some danger in the withdrawal. Hamas and Company terrorists could fill the vacuum because of the disengagement. They may continue firing Kassam rockets and missiles into Israeli towns such as Ashkelon – not to mention Sderot, which is still under fire from the Palestinian terrorists.

Today the Palestinian Security forces are in total disarray and their ability to control the terror against Israel is highly questionable. Nevertheless, it is not in Israel's interest to remain in Gaza and sacrifice soldiers lives in order to protect settlers living in Gush Katif. They must return to Israel's mainland.

Wednesday, July 20

Ken Livingstone – the Mayor of London has done it Again

Ken Livingstone – the Mayor of London defends the use of Palestinian suicide bombers. Apparently, the honorable gentleman differentiates between terror directed towards his own people and Israeli citizens. He condemns the London bombings in very strong terms but justifies Palestinian terror when directed at innocent Israelis. This person is an example of double standards second to none.

The reasoning is crooked and illogical. It also illustrates Mr. Livingstone's total ignorance of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. He views the Palestinian as the underdog, suffering and subjected to inhuman treatment by Israel. He also sees Israel as abusing Palestinian human rights. This gives the Palestinians legitimacy to kill innocent Israeli citizens by using the suicide bomber. According to him, Israelis are violent and the poor Palestinians, who have limited resources to defend themselves from the might of the Israeli Army, are using a legitimate tactic against Israel.

This means that Mr. Livingstone is not a man of peace. He condones terror when directed at others and not his own. He is an amoral person. Terror is terror that is directed towards innocent people. He who does not condemn terror will eventually be a victim of it himself. There is no such thing as justifiable terror or otherwise.

Does Mr. Livingstone not understand that Israel has an existential problem with Palestinian terrorists such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Brigades and all the other splinter groups including factions of Al-Fatah. These terrorists are not prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist. Does Mr. Livingstone support the Hamas Charter hell bent on Israel's total destruction? Of course, Mr. Livingstone I presume, you support that as they are only fighting for their freedom from the occupation. Livingstone said that Israel has "done horrendous things which border on crimes against humanity the way they have indiscriminately slaughtered men, women and children in the West Bank and Gaza for decades."Does Mr. Livingstone know that the suicide bombers have taken refuge amongst the civilian Palestinian population and whose families were promised over $500 by Iran for every family who sacrifices a "martyr" for the sake of getting seventy virgins in heaven? Surely, Mr. Livingstone, your ignorance is misconceived bliss.

None who condemns terror when it is close to home and supports terror elsewhere when it is far from home and for the sake of expediency can be taken seriously. Mr. Livingstone you are a total disgrace to your country and show lack of knowledge in what is happening in the Middle East. What about Britain's participation in the Iraqi War? Do you regard the suicide attacks in Iraq by Iraqi terrorist factions against U.S. and British soldiers and civilians as legitimate? After all, according to your logic, they are fighting the occupation with limited resources. I fail to see the difference here between Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Zarqawi – maybe you do?

Tuesday, July 19

The Triangle

Much is happening these days on all sides of the conflict, which is between Palestinians pitted against Israelis and Israelis pitted against one another. The scenario is unbelievable - almost surrealistic! The pro-disengagement establishment is confronting the extreme right wing anti-disengagement groups. The vacuum created allows Israeli security to be compromised to a certain extent as witnessed when a suicide bomber succeeded in infiltrating and blowing himself up in Netanya – killing five people and wounding countless others.

While this is happening, Hamas and Company are having a field day launching Kassam rockets and mortars into Shderot within the green line and the various settlements in Gush Katif. This is the one corner of the triangle. The second corner is the opposition of the right wing against disengagement that is tying up Israel's police force and the army to maintain order and prevent illegal demonstrations. The third corner of the triangle is the attempted infiltration of Palestinian terrorists because of the vacuum created by the lawlessness of the anti-disengagement movement under the orders of right wing rabbis, which threatens security of Israel's citizens. Overall, the country is drifting into a rather odd form of anarchy as each corner of the triangle does its own thing.

Danny Rubinstein, raised an important point in an article in Haaretz. Hamas and their Allies will continue to do their utmost to upset the applecart of disengagement. The reason is, as Danny Rubinstein correctly pointed out, that the corrupt Palestinian Authority will not share the lands evacuated with Hamas. It will be in their (Hamas) interest not to have disengagement at all under these conditions even if it means sabotaging the disengagement process.

Maybe from their point of view there is logic about this tactic. Arik Sharon has stated that there will be no unilateral disengagement. This will play into the hands of Hamas and Company. It is a matter of them cutting off their noses to spite their faces. As far as Hamas is concerned, let there be no disengagement if they cannot enjoy the results of the spoils. They will be able to accuse Israel of not complying with agreements reached and they with the Palestinian delegation will go squealing to the UN accusing Israel of prolonging the occupation and not keeping their word about disengagement. This will create a certain unity between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

From the Palestinian point of view, it is Hamas who had been more active in terror than the other factions, including Fatah. They feel entitled to being part of policymaking in the Palestinian Legislative Council. It is very doubtful if Mahmoud Abbas will give in to their demands at decision-making. Hamas and Company see themselves as being responsible for winning the battle against the occupation by having Israel under Arik Sharon approving disengagement.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the opposition to the disengagement whose several thousand supporters are now encamped in Kfar Maimon on their way to Gush Katif. The police and army have surrounded their encampment. It is an uncanny situation now. Those who oppose disengagement, as well as Hamas and company, wish to do their utmost to ensure that disengagement does not take place – each for their own partisan reasons. Both extremist groups are really two sides of the same coin of self-destruction. The right wing, under the influence of their inciting rabbis, is a threat to democracy in Israel. These rabbis are not showing any leadership qualities by encouraging their flock not to obey the laws of the land. Judaism has now become the monopoly of the right wing under the leadership of fanatic rabbis.

Those who oppose the disengagement are destroying the country that nurtured them. They are creating a schism that will serve the interests of the Palestinian terrorist groups. While the security forces are involved in maintaining law and order in the anti-disengagement camp, the terrorists will continue with their attempts to infiltrate Israel as Israel's underbelly becomes more exposed.

The fact that so many Israeli soldiers have fallen in their line of duty protecting the Gush Katif settlers does not seem to make any impression on the right wing. They are obsessed with the idea of remaining in the Gaza Strip at all costs.

If sanity does not return to this part of the world and incitement between the various parties does not cease, this includes the extremists in both Israeli and Palestinian Camps, we shall have more bloodshed in the future as the poor chances of a peaceful settlement becomes even dimmer.

Wednesday, July 13

Orange Ribbons and Terror

On 12th July 2005 at 6.30 p.m. a suicide bombing occurred in Netanya that killed four people and injured scores of others. There had been a certain amount of complacency over the past few months. There was relative calm from suicide bombings in Israel. Now it is occurring again. The right wing, with their orange ribbons, has been engaged in anti-disengagement activity resulting in the police becoming involved in keeping order.

The demonstrators planted dummy bombs at various public places in Jerusalem tying the police up in dismantling them. It would not be surprising if Islamic Jihad had been observing the right wing demonstrations and the way the security forces had been involved in dispersing them. This had served their purpose by default. If the police are so involved keeping law and order because of the right wing demonstrations, surely this affects their resources for preventing Palestinian terror.

The orange ribbon crowd is a danger to Israel's well being. They are helping suicide bombers to infiltrate by tying the police up with their dummy bombs and demonstrations.

They disrupt traffic by blocking roads. Parents are making cynical use of their children in anti-disengagement activity. They are weakening Israel's anti-terrorist activities. It is hardly surprising that a suicide bombing arrives to bring us all to our senses.

Sharm-al-Sheikh agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, resulting in a cease-fire, created an impetus for Islamic Jihad to regroup. They achieved this under the nose of President Mahmoud Abbas. While he had promised to fight terror and paid lip service to doing so, he had in fact, done nothing.

There is no doubt that Mahmoud Abbas has proved that he is unable to rein in the terror. He prefers to have friendly back slapping chats with terrorist leaders residing in Damascus and Lebanon in the hope of containing their terrorist activity. He seems to be playing a similar game to Yasser Arafat. He pays lip service against terror while allowing it to occur unabated. He has not arrested one terrorist nor has his "Security Police" taken any deterrent measures.

This country is back to square one in its fight against terror. If Israel would help Mahmoud Abbas with intelligence without publicity, and he shows a desire to cooperate with Israel in the fight against terror, maybe the suicide bombings would cease. However, if cooperation with Mahmoud Abbas in the fight against terror is publicized, the latter stands a chance of losing support and being branded as an Israel lackey or US stooge. His life would be in danger from extremists in his camp.

There is no doubt that Israel has an existentialist problem with the Palestinians if not with the Arab world at large. There are signs of Palestinian pragmatism but these signs are not strong enough to build trust in order to carry the peace process forward to its conclusion. Islamist terrorists such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas will not allow this to happen. The Orange Ribbon right wing demonstrators, who are neutralizing the Israeli Police in their fight against terror, are also aiding Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Company by default.

Saturday, July 9

The Terror Attacks in London

London has witnessed one of the biggest attacks on her transport system in history. There had been warnings in the past that London is a potential target for a mega terrorist attack. It was a matter of time before it would occur. The time had arrived and caught the British People by surprise. The nature of this attack is similar to Al Qaeda mega attacks in Madrid on 11th March 2004. This is typical of an Al Qaeda attack. Their aim is to kill as many people as possible. It is a terrible tragedy. It would not be surprising if some Al Qaeda cells cooperate with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine as well as Islamic Jihad.

These attacks occur because the world is expedient towards the Islamist militants. Many Moslem Arab immigrants leave their countries of origin for pastures anew in the West. They brought their baggage of frustration with them. Many failed to "make it" in the West. They vented their frustrations on their adopted countries and some became Islamist militants.

Israel had been suffering from terrorist attacks for many years whether it is suicide bombings of innocent people, strategically placed homemade pipe bombs and so on.

The reaction of the West, while condemning these vile acts of terror against innocent people, had also been apologetic towards the "poor frustrated Palestinians" under Israeli occupation. They all tried to find a "psychological reason" for suicide attacks and perhaps show understanding for terrorism backhandedly. The same attitude prevailed towards militant Islamists. They never realized that this attitude would boomerang onto them as well. Many of countries, who had been easy on Arab immigration en masse, are now reaping the fruits of their tolerance, as many mosques had become havens for terrorist activity. These Islamist terrorists had used their adopted countries to hit at the West for their own failures. No country is immune from Islamist terror today. The West, in its hunger for oil and fear of the oil weapon against them, had adopted a tolerant immigration policy toward Arab immigration. Can one find a valid "psychological reason" for the cruel attacks that occurred in London?

Anybody who tries to differentiate between Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and all other splinter Islamist Groups waiting in the shadows to strike out against innocent people wherever they are, are bluffing himself or herself into a sense of security. There is no difference! All these terrorists have one thing in common – to kill and maim as many people as possible, irrespective of their faith, creed and color! This is their common ideology. They may have various superficial differences in their so-called "fight for liberation". This Islamist terrorist cancer is the result of a laissez faire attitude by the West towards Islamist immigration. Many Islamist Mosques established in Britain became the focus of Islamist Militarism in various sermons on Fridays. They used the freedom of democracy in their adopted countries to destroy Western values and spew hate against the West. They operated not only in Britain but also in many countries of Europe unhindered by the law. It is a matter of time before there is another Islamist terrorist act against one of these countries. These Islamist terrorists are going against the teachings of Islam. While the Arab Countries have condemned the bombings, there are elements that have been indifferent.

The various Al Qaeda cells that nurtured on the democracy of Europe are now attempting to destroy the system that nurtured them. It seems as if the situation has gone out of hand. Al Qaeda and its splinter groups have tentacles all over the world and there does not seem to be any leads to combat them.

While the world is not united in combating terrorism and confusing elements of terrorism with "freedom fighting" Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah-style, Islamist terror will threaten Western values and democracy for many years to come.

Thursday, July 7

Tohar and Shimon on Mt Tabor. The view from here is outstanding. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 6

The Hate Campaign of the Right

Dangerous times have descended on Israel. There has been a certain respite in terrorist activity against Israel. This is due to a number of reasons. The Security Forces have become more efficient in halting terror attacks and there is a partial cease-fire on the Palestinian side. The country is gearing itself for the pullout, which could turn out to be unilateral. Much depends on the Palestinians and the right wing anti-disengagement groups as to the success of the disengagement.

However, there is a matter of great concern. Those arrested for violent demonstrations against the pullout have proven to be ideological fanatics. These fanatics in their fight against disengagement have made cynical use of minors. Many of them have been brainwashed by their parents and rabbinical fanatics. The police have arrested them. Their parents teach them that murder is legitimate and this is very frightening. Their parents have been encouraging their children under arrest to misbehave and cause damage in the name of their cause. Their rabbis have been encouraging violence.

As one jail warden said, the next political murder could arise from these fanatics.

Over the years, and under the various governments in Israel, the settler movement beyond the green line was granted legitimacy and praise for their salt of the earth idealism. The government had encouraged these people to settle the occupied territories. They had tax exemptions, state benefits, lived in palatial like homes and had an abundance of cheap Palestinian labor on their doorstep. They are a spoilt group who received everything that they wanted. Many soldiers had done reserve duty in the occupied areas (including the writer) in order to ensure their safety. Soldiers had to leave their families in order to protect these people from terrorist action. This had cost the state much money. All for the sake of these "pioneers" who had a religious duty to colonize and populate the biblical Land of Israel beyond the 1967 borders.

The various political parties including the National Religious Party, Likud and other right wing splinter groups had given them support in their endeavors. Everything was fine until the intifada had broken out. The folly of these settlements has been realized – but very late! It should never have occurred in the first place after the 1967 June War. After so much violence and the loss of many lives – Israeli as well as Palestinian, Ariel Sharon – the father of the settlement movement realizes that Israel must leave Gaza and the settlers of Gush Katif must return home. All this, despite the ideals of the Likud and maybe a twist of Ariel Sharon's arm by the present Bush Administration, have resulted in the decision for disengagement from Gaza.

The anti-disengagement supporters have become virulent and they may be viewed as an offshoot of right wing religious Zionism. They have been educated to believe that land is more important for the survival of the Jewish People than anything else. They regard themselves as superior to the Arabs and they are racist. There is no doubt that they are a blot on Israeli Society and the damage that they have caused to Israel's standing internationally will take many years to repair.

A view of the Security Fence and Tulkarm from the southern part of Bat Chefer Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 2

The Pre-Disengagement Violence on the Right

The violence surrounding the disengagement and fomented by the right is becoming more of a problem as the time for pullout approaches. The attack on the 18-year-old Palestinian youth, Ziad Majaida, was a criminal act and those responsible are still free.One suspect has been caught. The scenario at Muasi proves how violent these kippa and tsitsit cladded hooligans can become, chanting, "Jew cannot deport Jew!" Those responsible for the terrible violence – blocking roads, throwing nails on the street and endangering lives of citizens for the sake of their cause must have received inspiration from somewhere!

The young age of these neo-Kahanist hooligans proves that they were emissaries sent out by their right wing parents goaded by fanatic rabbis. Sanity seems to have left these people and they have attacked Israel causing much damage to its democracy as well as to her standing in the world.

Now even those who support the settler movement in their fight against disengagement have come out against the violent activities of these pseudo-religious youths.

The damage to Israel's image has been done no matter what people like Rabbi Mordechai Elon, head of Yeshivat Hakotel and one of the country's more prominent religious Zionist leaders say by condemning the violence of the anti-disengagement protesters. (Haaretz 01/07/05). Where were all the religious leaders of the settler movement prior to these violent incidents? Why did they not condemn the violent anti-disengagement activities of these youthful hooligans? All we read in the Press was how the settlers should be encouraged to oppose the disengagement using whatever resources they have. Most of the encouragement came from their rabbis.

These rabbis had opened Pandora's Box letting the genie of violence out. Many rabbis even made halachic rulings encouraging soldiers to disobey commands to "deport" Jews. Now some of them have seen the monster that they had created and are changing their tactics.

There is no doubt that the vociferous right-wing anti-disengagement supporters have been brainwashed by their rabbis about the evil of giving up parts of Israel that in their view is part of the greater Israel. The fact that so much blood has been spilt because of the settlers living in Gaza does not make any impression on these fanatics at all. These settlers had to be protected by the Israeli Army and many soldiers had lost their lives as a result.

The right wing Zionist religious movements with their religious brainwashing and doctrinaire tactics must bear a large portion of the blame for the creation of a religious mutant strain of hooligan. This is Israel's "Jewish Hamas" and "Jewish Jihad!"