Last night, many here in Israel — before going out on the street to see fireworks or to dance or to just stroll — began the celebrations by gathering in synagogues to pray, and to chant Hallel, a series of psalms of thanksgiving to the Almighty: This is the day that G-d has made, we will rejoice and be glad for it."
Today had a largely secular feel, as the national pastime is barbecue. There were also jet formation fly-bys, at least over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Heartening to see.
In many ways the world stopped for us during the course of celebrations, but still there is news to be shared…
But first, an expression of gratitude that we’ve passed the day without a major terrorist attack as was intended by our enemies — there were some 17 serious and specific warnings. This, of course, is the result of the sterling work of our security and defense personal.
I want to call your attention to a JINSA Report (#769).
Says JINSA: Rice has been pushing Israel to surrender 95% of Judea and Samaria. In return for this we would allegedly receive US "security commitments" and a pledge from Abbas that this would represent "end of hostilities" and withdrawal of claims for "right of return."
Abbas, however, according to information from MiddleEast Newsline, (MNL) refused, saying he would resign before agreeing to this. This provides a new perspective on reports that he would quit, which had come from Abu Toameh. While I tend not to take Abbas’s all-too-frequent threats to quit seriously, in light of this information it would seem that this time he means it.
The reason is simple. As MNL also reported, Jordan’s King Abdullah, when meeting with Rice, rebuffed this plan, explaining that Abbas would be killed within days of agreeing to such a plan, and Judea and Samaria would be taken over by Hamas (not incidentally, creating danger for Jordan).
As JINSA elaborated: "[Abba’s] hold on power and his life are not tied to the further removal of Israeli checkpoints or quality-of-life issues for the Palestinian people. His future is directly tied to maintaining the Palestinian hard line. He is not empowered to give up the ‘right or return’ on behalf of other Palestinians or decide to ‘end the conflict.’" (Emphasis added)
What we see here, then, is yet another attempt by Rice to meddle in Middle East politics without having a clue as to what she is doing, or what potential exists for her to cause serious damage.
Aside from the possible demise of Abbas , a Hamas takeover, and risks to Jordan, there is serious risk to Israel (this is addition to our legal and moral right to hold on to Judea and Samaria): Rice plays fast and loose with our security, and has on several occasions before this asked us to relinquish situations that were important for that security. Most immediately, this is the case with her demands that we remove roadblocks.
But what her plan here does is ask us to trust that the US will protect us if the Palestinians should attack after we pulled out. This is, at bottom, a recognition that it’s not safe to turn over to the PA major parts of Judea and Samaria — which means she shouldn’t be asking us to do it. For us to trust that the US would protect us would be the height of folly.
Bottom line is that Rice is so invested in forging an agreement between Israel and the PA that she is oblivious to the fallout that such an agreement would generate.
She ultimately works not just against us , but also against her own country’s genuine best interests.
And who do we see adding his voice to Rice’s right now: EU envoy Tony Blair, who declares in an interview with Sky News that Israel must remove more roadblocks. "…what is necessary is for Palestinians to be able to move relatively freely around their own territory. That is what they cannot do now."
Does he have a word, even one word , about why we are not eager to let them move freely? Not as far as I can tell. It has become truly wearisome.
Hopefully this will hold: The White House has announced that this is not the time for MidEast talks. When Bush comes next week he will not participate in a three-way meeting with Olmert and Abbas. He will participate in ceremonial events only.