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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 12, 2003

Clearification needed!

Here, typically, Martin Kimel sees through the misleading writing and corrects the media, as is needed

The Road Map (ctd.). Powell's call for "rapid, decisive action by the Palestinians to disarm and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure" is a positive sign. Let's hope the administration doesn't backtrack on this point, as it has on insisting that the Pals shunt Arafat aside.

Still pining for the fjords, or at least for Oslo, Tom Friedman praises Bush the elder for being much tougher with Israel than his son and for forcing the Madrid conference (which led to Oslo) on Israel. Ultimately, I think Israel will have to give up most of the territories, but Friedman gets it all wrong when he writes,

With the U.S. having eliminated the most powerful threat to Israel — the regime of Saddam Hussein — one would think Mr. Sharon would pounce on this opportunity [provided by the Road Map].

The most powerful threat to Israel has not been eliminated -- it is the Palestinians themselves. Iraq contributed to the problem, but is was not the only source of funding to make bombs (which are not all that expensive to build in the first place). The greatest danger to Israel is the creation of a Palestinian state within spitting distance that sponsors terrorism against Israel. Such a state won't need funding from Iraq. The European Union and even the U.S. will be happy to send money to Palestine once it is created. And we can rest assured that the Europeans will not care very much how the Palestinians spend their euros.

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WaPo Bias Update: Oxblog's David Adesnik e-mailed to remind me that the same Molly Moore story I criticized yesterday had this:

In 1948, after the creation of Israel, the town's estimated 10,000 Palestinian residents were forced to flee. Abbas, then 13, and his family left their home and their shop with all the belongings they could tote.

What's Moore's basis for this assertion? Were Abbas and his family forced by the Israelis to flee or did they flee because the Arab states had launched a war against the newly independent Israel and they were voluntarily evacuating? You wouldn't know the second possibility existed based on Moore's report.

Andrew Sullivan's AP Correction (scroll down) made me take a second look at this paragraph by Moore's partner in crime, John Ward Anderson:

Analysts say the [Palestinian right-of-return] issue is pivotal because if all 4 million Palestinian refugees living outside Israel and the territories returned, when combined with the 4.3 million Palestinians already here, they could overwhelm the 5.4 million Jews living in Israel and threaten its existence as a Jewish state.

As Andrew points out, about 700,000 to 750,000 Arabs fled or were expelled by Israel during the war. The 4.3 million number given includes the refugees, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. By that logic, my 2-year-old son is nearly a Polish refugee because my parents left Poland after the war. (I say "nearly" because my parents left Poland voluntarily many years after the war and therefore weren't refugees themselves .)