Before I proceed with news , I want to add two other people in the US who should be contacted.
I have learned that a "pro-peace" group is generating a grass roots campaign to "congratulate" the State of Israel for being flexible in negotiations. Their communication is going to the Israel ambassador in Washington and the Israel Consul General in NY.
It behooves us to let these representatives of Israel know that not everyone in the US thinks that what Israel is doing is wonderful. Especially is this the case since Natan Sharansky on his One Jerusalem website is saying that the ambassador and the consul general are getting NO protests about what Israel is doing.
So hang in there with me, guys, please! Take the time to send two more messages and, again, get this word out to absolutely everyone you can reach on this.
The message this time:
Jerusalem is an eternal Jewish heritage and should not be divided under any circumstances. You protest the idea that Jerusalem might be on the table at Annapolis.
Negotiations with the PA will NOT lead to peace but to the establishment of a terrorist state at the border of a weakened Israel. You therefore protest the Olmert government’s willingness to negotiate with the PA and to make concessions. This will serve neither the US nor Israel well.
Ambassador Sallai Meridor
phone 202-364-5590 fax 202-364-5560
Consul General Asaf Shariv
phone 212-499-5450 fax 212-499-5455
To all of you who are cooperating with me during this difficult time, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cannot emphasize enough how much numbers count and what power is in your hands collectively.
(I give permission to anyone who wishes to share this request for action to copy the above from the full posting that follows, and to put it out separately, with attribution to me.)
Here we have it: what I was writing about the other day. The former mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, now claims that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, and that the Kotel (Western Wall) was really part of a mosque. "There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews."
How does he know this? "Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand." Does this mean that if we prove to him that there was a Temple there he would advocate removing the Dome of the Rock and the mosque because that would be fair?
Most significantly, he was asked if the Muslims would permit Jews to pray at the Kotel if they had control of the area. His answer is not unexpected:
"It is not the Temple Mount, you must say Al-Aksa . And no Jews have the right to pray at the mosque. It was always only a mosque – all 144 dunams, the entire area. No Jewish prayer. If the Jews want real peace, they must not do anything to try to pray on Al-Aksa. Everyone knows that." If we Jews want "peace," in other words, we need to totally acquiesce.
And this is what the world needs to know. The ONLY way to ensure fairness for all religions — with their access to their sites guaranteed — is if Israel is in control.
Olmert is meeting with Abbas again today , but has been trying to reduce expectations about what will happen in Annapolis. In an address yesterday, he said:
"If all goes well, hopefully, we will meet in Annapolis . [But] Annapolis is not made to be the event for the declaration of peace."
For the first time there is the hint that maybe it won’t happen.
The situation with Gaza is growing ever more tense and this mitigates against chances of the conference at Annapolis taking place, never mind leading to anything of significance.
In response to the escalation of Kassam attacks , Defense Minister Barak this week approved the idea of imposing sanctions on Gaza via cutbacks in electrical service provided by Israel. Other officials refer to a process of slowing reducing the dependence of the people of Gaza on Israel sources of electricity and gas in order to "complete the disengagement." This follows the official designation of Gaza some weeks ago as "hostile territory." This is where that announcement was headed.
It has been a ludicrous situation that has not been dealt with adequately. The "disengagement" was no disengagement since we have remained responsible for services to Gaza, even as they have been lobbing rockets at us. Let them generate their own electricity or get it from Egypt. Let them acquire gas from other sources as well. If they are the enemy, we cannot carry them.
The plan is to shut down one of the electrical power lines connecting Israel to Gaza for 15 minutes after every rocket attack, and then gradually to lengthen this time to two hours, and in addition, to reduce the amount of gas allowed into Gaza from Israel. (I note here that a good part of Gaza’s electrical power comes from Israel, but not all of it — they do have generators and power stations.) Ultimately the goal is to cut off services entirely, but this is considered to be well down the road.
Already the international cry regarding the human crisis that we are creating has begun. Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer responded by saying: "Should we tell them to continue firing rockets at the same power station that provides them with electricity and continue to bomb the water system that provides them with water?"
This is considered a non-violent response to the Kassam attacks, in lieu of a military operation — which ultimately, of course, would also be criticized for killing civilians.
Saeb Erekat, who is on the PA negotiating team , said that this decision is "particularly provocative given that Palestinians and Israelis are meeting to negotiate an agreement on the core issues for ending the conflict between them." Well…OK.
Information related to Israel’s hit on a site in Syria continues to flow. Most recently comes something from independent sources: David Albright, a former UN nuclear inspector and now head of the Institute for Science and International Security, in Washington, and ISIS researcher Paul Brannan. They have put out a report revealing that commercial satellite images taken six months ago show construction in eastern Syria that resembles the early stages of a small, North Korean-model nuclear reactor. However, at that point construction had not progressed sufficiently to identify this with certainty.
For the first time since the ceasefire following the Lebanon war last year, the Lebanese have fired upon a Israel airforce jets doing low level surveillance in Lebanese air space — seeking evidence of smuggling of weapons and equipment from Syria to Hezbollah and documenting the Hezbollah buildup.
The chief liaison officer for UNIFIL has protested that:
"The flyovers harm the credibility of UNIFIL, the credibility of the LAF and the credibility of the state of Lebanon. Every flyover creates new Hezbollah militants and new sympathy for Hezbollah since it shows and demonstrates that UNIFIL and the LAF are not powerful and able to stop them."
Hey! If the Lebanese army a
nd UNIFIL were fulfilling their mandates and blocking the strengthening of Hezbollah, Israel action would not be necessary.
Just day ago, Der Spiegel in Germany , writing about the unnamed German negotiator involved with the issue, reported that Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, the prisoners taken by Hezbollah 16 months ago, are dead. I confess first, to not being surprised if this should be the case. There has been no confirmation of their condition or sign of life. And yet, I felt confused about what the presumed preliminary negotiation with Hezbollah that was supposed to lead to securing these prisoners was all about if Hezbollah knows they are dead.
They reportedly want back a very vile murderer , Samir Kuntar (who should rot in prison for ever and a day). Was Hezbollah hoping we’d release their prisoners first?
Israel ‘s continuing position, and properly, for lack of evidence, is that we don’t know if they are alive or not. And so a process to try to bring them home will continue in case.
Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, US Coordinator for the Palestinians, has become more pessimistic about the Palestinians ability to manage security. That’s what happens to these special envoys — they come filled with notions of "fixing" the situation and then run into a stone wall.
Now he says he does not believe the PA is capable of managing security for their cities.
I reported recently on the fact that Israel had given permission to the Palestinians to manage security in Nablus (Shechem) during the day but that they could not put together the contingent of 500 officers.
Now the PA is saying they expect to be ready soon . What is more, they are suggesting that Dayton has led them to believe that from Nablus their control will branch out to a state, which does not quite reconcile with what Dayton is saying elsewhere, does it?