"The Temple Mount is in our hands." The words spoken joyously by General Motta Gur, on retaking the Temple Mount, after 19 years of being forbidden access to the holiest of our sites.
A year ago, we celebrated 40 years that a united Jerusalem has been in our hands. By the thousands, we danced in the streets. Who would have dreamed that within the course of the year that followed we would have a government blind enough, foolish enough, sufficiently devoid of Jewish passion, to consider negotiating it away to a Palestinian Authority whose head has refused to recognize us a Jewish State?
Tonight begins Yom Yerushalayim. May we move past these evil days with all possible speed, and hold fast to our sacred heritage for all time to come.
Enjoy a magnificent rendering of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav by the late Ofra Haza:
This willingness to even consider negotiating away the Temple Mount is but one facet of the colossally stupid (and dangerous) policies of Olmert and company.
Consider the current policy with regard to Syria:
It’s not long since Olmert announced "serious" indirect negotiations with Syria. This was not something which the US government welcomed. The US was attempting to isolate Syria, and along came Israel providing some legitimacy to this terrorist regime, even if indirectly.
Now I read in Haaretz that Israel is warning the EU to show "caution" in contacts with Damascus. Seems there’s a spate of renewed contact with Syria that is making Israel uneasy, and so a "secret" telegram has gone out from the deputy head of the Western Europe division at the Foreign Ministry to the ambassadors of key European countries, telling them to remind the Europeans to "be careful and measured" in contacts with Syria.
After all, the negotiations haven’t begun yet, and "the Europeans need to be reminded that Syria continues to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah, supports Hamas and Islamic Jihad and is not disengaging from Iran. All these are issues of great concern for Israel, and they are still on the table, unresolved."
Sounds to me like a lot of good reasons for not negotiating with Syria now. But to open this Pandora’s box and then be upset with what is set free!
What is more, that list of unacceptable Syrian behaviors ignores yet another of enormous magnitude. The Bush administration believes there is more to Syria’s nuclear program than the reactor that Israel destroyed last September. US intelligence suspects that Syria is hiding a network of at least three more facilities that would have provided the fuel for the reactor, and has requested that the UN send in inspectors.
Please see Elyakim Haetzni’s piece, "The Golan is not for sale," which speaks of the dangers of trying to play with Syria and the errors of even contemplating surrender of a part of Israel that is steeped in our heritage.
Then there is the matter of Olmert’s and Barak’s policy on Hamas in Gaza and the possibility of that ceasefire:
Decisions have been tabled for now, ostensibly because Olmert is going to the US late tomorrow and there are issues said to require clarification. Reports are, however, that there are tensions between Barak and Olmert on how to resolve the matter — and this time it is Barak who seems to not have his head screwed on very tightly. Our defense minister — a former military man (and at one time he was a good one) — is said to be in favor of the ceasefire, even though Shalit is not part of the deal and there is no firm commitment from Egypt with regard to stopping smuggling.
Keep in mind that there are most certainly political dimensions to this inclination of Barak’s. For him it would not be a matter purely of defense. Undoubtedly he is also considering the way in which a period of quiet that he engineered might play to his favor during this time of political upset.
Most members of the Security Cabinet are reported to be against the ceasefire, and they are restive because they feel they are not being included sufficiently in the decision-making process. A Security Cabinet meeting scheduled for today was cancelled.
Recent news from Egypt makes the mere consideration of a lull seem rather suicidal. Egyptian police have discovered a massive arms cache hidden inside of a mountain in the northern Sinai. The material — which included 2,200 bullets, 30 anti-aircraft missiles, several sacks packed with hand grenades and automatic rifles, and RPG (rocket propelled grenade) launchers — was to be smuggled into Gaza.
The scenario is rather obvious. They keep upgrading their equipment. What was found in that mountain 80 kilometers from Rafah is surely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. News about anti-aircraft missiles (some of which may already have been brought into Gaza) is making the Israeli military uneasy.
So? Do we wait until they upgrade even further, or do we regain our senses and start taking them out now?
Of note here is a claim by Hamas that Fatah’s Al Aksa Brigades in Gaza is increasingly cooperating with Islamic Jihad in a joint effort to sabotage the ceasefire. If this is so, all the talk will remain just that, for if all factions and groups are not on board, there is no deal.
Considerable confusion exists regarding some apparent negotiations going on between Israel and Hezbollah. There have been rumors for days of a prisoner trade with them that would bring us back our two soldiers.
Part of the trouble I’m having with this — with considerable sadness — is my dubiousness about whether Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still alive. There has been no evidence that they are and strong suspicion in many quarters that they are not; Gerhard Konrad, the German mediator involved in this believes that Hezbollah just wants to trade bodies. Which makes it all very strange. For there were rumors, at least, of a major concession in trade on our part: in Lebanon they have been crowing that arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar will be with them soon.
Kuntar has written a letter to Nasrallah, which was published in the PA’s al-Hayat and revealed by PMW, pledging that he would continue a life of Jihad: "I give you my promise and oath that my only place will be in the fighting front soaked with the sweat of your giving and with the blood of the shahids…" This, in and of itself, is more than enough reason to refuse to release him.
At any rate, a trade of sorts has now taken place, although it’s anyone’s guess whether this is a precursor to something much bigger. We have just released Nissim Nasser, a Lebanese Jew who converted to Islam and moved to Israel, where he was arrested and convicted as a spy. His sentence was complete but he was being held under administrative arrest.
And Hezbollah has released a box of bones to the Red Cross that are said to be the remains of Israeli soldiers who died in the Lebanese War in 2006. Forensic experts still must do identificatio
I will not belabor the Olmert scandal in detail, especially as the reports shift by the hour. There is considerable speculation as to precisely what he might be indicted for, but there is even talk of money laundering.
Most damning, from my perspective, is what Caroline Glick shared in her piece on Friday. In a nutshell: Talansky owns a minority share in the Israeli firm ImageSat, which sells satellite images from Israeli spy satellites to foreign governments; Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the chief share holder. Talansky wanted to have ImageSat sell images to Hugo Chavez’s government in Venezuela; he was so upset when IAI vetoed it, that this great Zionist took IAI to court.
The clincher is this: "Last week Ma’ariv reported that Olmert had contacted an Israeli diplomat in Venezuela and asked him to expedite a proposed $18 million deal between Chavez’s government and ImageSat but the Defense Ministry nixed the deal for some inscrutable reason."
There is considerable jockeying for power as the current government weakens. Most, if not all, of the parties will hold primaries and begin to prepare for the day after. Within Kadima Livni is being challenged, in particular by Mofaz.
More and more, including within Kadima, there is recognition that early elections are the likely outcome. Right now the guessing is in November.