What a way to begin 2008. But there is no response except rage appropriate to what is going on. I refer most pointedly to the statement Ehud Olmert has given to The Jerusalem Post. The big banner headline this morning read:
"Olmert: Even Israel’s good friends see our future based on the ’67 borders, with Jerusalem divided."
Said Olmert, "What will be if we don’t separate? Will we live eternally in a confused reality where 50 percent of the population or more are residents but not equal citizens who have the right to vote like us? My job as prime minister, more than anything, is to ensure that doesn’t happen."
His job as prime minister, more than anything? Heaven help us! I thought his first job as prime minister was to keep Israel strong and protect the citizens.
Let me respond to Olmert’s main point:
First, it won’t be 50% of the population or more, it will be — even across years — a much smaller percentage according to recent research.
Then — as I’ve said sooo many times already — even if ultimately we should give them a state, that doesn’t mean they are ready for it now and we have to do it immediately.
Third, there are ways to provide the Palestinian Arabs with full civil rights, including enfranchisement, without giving them everything outside the Green Line and half of Jerusalem to boot.
The joke is that a good many of the Arabs with Jerusalem residency cards (not citizenship) say they will move to elsewhere in Israel if their neighborhoods are turned over to the PA. They’d rather live inside of Israel without voting rights, than have the right to vote and live with the lack of opportunity and the violence on the streets that the PA represents.
Please notice that Olmert gives only the "give them the vote" rationale. He doesn’t say our pulling back will bring peace or security for Israel. And the bottom line reality is that he’s suggesting pulling back when we know with a certainty that terrorist elements would move in once we were gone. There is no excuse under the heaven for doing this — and the need to provide Palestinian Arabs with a chance to vote doesn’t even come close to being a valid reason.
In my opinion this is sick, and twisted . And terrifying.
Olmert’s entire interview with the Post will run on Friday, at which time I may — or may not — return to it. But allow me here to cite a few additional points:
As to "even our friends" believing we should return to pre-’67 lines, he says:
"It’s a coincidence that is almost ‘the hand of God’ that" Bush and Sarkozy and Merkel and Brown and Blair are in their respective positions at one time. They’re all our wonderful friends, you see, and they all see the need for us to pull back.
In a million years I couldn’t make this up. Has he not noticed that it is ‘the hand of God’ that brought us back to this land, and allowed us to claim it? Incredible. Stunning. And unbearable.
Just as incredible is this: "If you ask [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] to say that he sees Israel as a Jewish state, he will not say that. But if you ask me whether in his soul he accepts Israel as Israel defines itself, I think he does."
Isn’t that wonderful? We have a prime minister who not only sees the hand of God, he also sees into the soul of our enemy. Well, I can’t see into Abbas’s soul, but based on his statements to his people and his actions, I would deny this is so: He is adamantly for "return" of refugees, which is a cover for Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state. I would remind Olmert that even if (if!) Abbas did accept us in his soul as we see ourselves, if the political climate doesn’t allow him to acknowledge this out loud, there is no deal.
There is a great deal more to write about , and tomorrow is another day. This is enough for one day. A good deal of my energy today went to activist doings (which keep me sane).