That’s the gall of the new administration, and the new Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Everything has a solution, he says. And he will find “our” solution. He’s coming here as quickly as he can to take care of things. Just as he took care of things in Ireland.
Never mind that we’re headed into an election. Or that Abbas — who heads a party that still calls for Israel’s destruction in its charter — is not really president of the PA any longer but is pretending to be. Or that Hamas is still in control in Gaza. Or that the majority of the PA legislature IS Hamas. Or that Hamas will never, ever negotiate with Israel.
Hey! He’s coming to fix things.
In due course I’ll have more to say about Mr. Mitchell.
Obama says he intends to work “aggressively” towards finding peace. Bad choice of word or a sign of what’s to come?
Earlier this week, an Israeli man, Moshe Avitan, suffered a critical gunshot wound in the head when his car was shot at from a passing car, as he was driving near Kochav Hashachar, not far from Ramallah. He was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery.
Yisrael Medad points out in his blog [My Right Word] that Condoleezza Rice is indirectly responsible for this. Last April, she was here and pushing hard for concessions to “strengthen” Abbas. One of these concessions was the removal of the Rimonim checkpoint near Kochav Hashachar. Security officials at the time warned that this presented a danger, as it would permit Palestinians access to roads from which they had been blocked and increase the risk of drive-by shootings.
This was the result of the unmitigated gall of Rice, in demanding this when it put our innocents at risk. And now we’re going to have to cope with someone else pushing for more of the same.
What we need is leadership strong enough to say NO to the Americans with unmitigated gall.
There has been some controversy regarding the selection by Obama of Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America, to speak at a prayer service for post-inauguration festivities yesterday at the National Cathedral. Allow me then to share her own words:
“The American government has not criticized sufficiently the brutality of the Israeli government, believing that it needs to be ‘supportive’ of the Jewish state. The result is that oppression, left unchecked, can increase to immense proportions, until the oppressed are smothered with hopelessness and rage.”
This was from the Center for Security Policy and was called to my attention by Judith Nusbaum.
The article I cited from the Besa Center about smuggling that had no URL yet has now shown up on the Post site and you can access it here:
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former national security advisor, in an interview in the Post has said the following with regard to Egypt stopping smuggling:
“To be polite, the Egyptians are telling us stories and we are deluding ourselves.”
As to the agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) Livni signed with Rice:
“…well, without being rude, it’s not serious and it’s not significant.”
We desperately need a change of government, as soon as yesterday, actually.
According to Yaakov Katz in the Post, Hamas has now taken over all tunnels operating under the border (yes, there are tunnels operating), tunnels normally run by local Palestinians. Apparently this is to solidify their control over Gaza.
This week they took over a humanitarian supply truck so they could be seen as the ones distributing aid.
They’ve also placed strict curfews on areas that are heavily Fatah; they shoot anyone out after hours. Fatah is lamenting that we didn’t take out Hamas completely.
This, at least, brings a smile: Hamas says with regard to the situation here, Obama does not represent change and is going to make the same mistakes Bush did. The Obama demand that Hamas stop firing rockets and recognize Israel is, they say, going to make Mitchell’s mission very difficult. They were anticipating an Obama embrace, apparently.
I don’t know what they’re complaining about, actually, because Obama is also in favor of opening all the crossings.
This too presents a bit of a challenge to Obama and Mitchell: The Saudis, who apparently didn’t notice that Obama was offering them his hand, say that their relationship with the US and the “peace process” are at risk if the Americans don’t stop Palestinian suffering.
This is obviously a bid to get Obama to tilt away from Israel. How much backbone will Obama have, challenged thus?
Ultimately Rice fell on her face trying to “make peace” here. May Mitchell do the same.
I apologize for this heavy tone before Shabbat, but what must be said must be said. There will be more after Shabbat….