Still, still, I am in a holding pattern on personal matters. I cannot apologize for putting first things first — for what matters more than attending to family when a new life is imminent? — and yet I’m mindful that I do not have the time now that I routinely allot to these postings. That time will be reinstated in due course…
I was not going to post tonight , but felt compelled by certain news items to do so. What occurs to me, however, as I post, is that from day to day the situation vis-a-vis Annapolis changes radically, so that if I wait a day what I have to report becomes changed.
Two things move me now . The first is now that Sec. of State Rice has promised the Syrians that return of the Golan Heights will be put on the table at Annapolis if they attend. This news has come via Army Radio, which reports that head of Military Intelligence, Amos Yadlin, informed the Cabinet of this situation today. I don’t know what the response of ministers present was or if some already knew of this.
This news is good for raising blood pressure several points. My immediate response: Who does she imagine she thinks she is? The Golan, which has been annexed by Israel, is ours; it affects not only our national rights but our security. She has no right to promise anything.
And so, good people in the US , if you agree with me, please let President Bush hear about this:
President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Phone : 202-456-1111 Fax: 202-456-2461
Then, on our side of the Atlantic , there’s Minister Eli Yishai, of Shas. Shas should be pulling out of the coalition as I write. But instead Yishai says if he pulls out at all it will be after Annapolis, because he wants to see how things go, first. He doesn’t expect Olmert will make any significant commitments. And if Olmert signs on the dotted line in a way that does commit us? Then what good does pulling out do, after the deed is done? Both Shas and Yisrael Beitenu have to pull out to make the government fall. And of the two parties, Shas is holding back more.
And so, for Israeli citizens I offer contact information for Yishai. Best, of course, is getting religious Sephardim, who constitute the basis of the Shas party, to contact him.
phones: 02-640-8406 or 640-8407 Fax: 02-6662909
aides: David 050-624-0932; Shlomo 050-624-0933 firstname.lastname@example.org
Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) has demanded of Olmert that he hold a special meeting of the Cabinet to discuss Annapolis before it takes place .
Said Lieberman: "We are cheating ourselves. It’s clear that the Palestinians can’t provide the goods – that is the estimation of established sources. The minute we leave Judea and Samaria, it will only be left for Hamas to decide to take over."
Additionally, he said, ""There’s nothing written in the Road Map which says the Palestinians are to fight terrorism only in Judea and Samaria. Abbas can’t fight in Gaza and already said he won’t aid a civil war . "
And then there’s this:
According to Arutz Sheva , Olmert intends to demand that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state in the upcoming joint declaration. And according to YNet the Palestinians have said point blank that they will not do so. Of course they won’t. They intend to destroy us as a Jewish state.
But if it comes as no surprise to me that they won’t declare our right to exist as a Jewish state, it occurs to me that many — believing still in Abbas’s "moderation" — may be quite surprised. If so, important learning for them .
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat stated yesterday that there hasn’t been any agreement on the document beyond a preamble and that many disagreements remain. A main bone of contention remains the issue of who gets to decide when there has been compliance with a stipulation of the Road Map . The PA is saying Israel backed off from the idea of an oversight committee with the US deciding. Israel says there was never such an agreement.
Meanwhile Israel had indicated that in negotiations the PA had agreed to dismantle terror groups, but PA Information Minister, Riad Malki, in an interview on an American Arabic language radio show, denied that this is so.
Over 100 investigators from the National Fraud and Investigation Unit have conducted simultaneous raids in 20 different government office sites to seize evidence related to the corruption charges against Olmert. The intention was to collect all relevant data — from the Jerusalem Municipality, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, etc. — at one time. If only something would actually come of this.
Yesterday Abbas unveiled a 1.75 million dollar mausoleum for Arafat in Ramallah. Isn’t that sweet? Abbas — who is playing on Arafat’s memory — said that the PA would be continuing in the vision of Arafat, who worked towards a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. It is surrounded by water, and has a segment of railway beneath the tomb, in order to signify its temporary status: the stated goal is to re-bury Arafat in Jerusalem. G-d forbid.