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

May 09, 2003

"It never rains but it pours"

Sadly, today's [May 9, 2003] news reports confirm this proverb, at least as far as Israel is concerned.

1. Ha'Aretz reports as follows in an article entitled, "U.S. slams IDF strike on Hamas man in Gaza Strip":
The United States criticized Israel on Thursday for the assassination of a top Hamas activist in the Gaza Strip earlier in the day, saying that such measures were an obstacle to peace.
The same report had no parallel condemnation for Arab terrorism, which included:
An armed Palestinian in a booby-trapped car was killed in the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening while attempting to blow up an IDF tank, after at least one Palestinian opened fire at a group of soldiers.
A mortar shell was fired early Thursday evening at a settlement in the southern Gaza Strip, causing damage to one house, Army Radio reported. Another mortar shell was fired at a Gush Katif settlement in Gaza; there were no injuries.
So that's what good friends do - they criticize their friends but can't find a critical word to say about their friends' attackers!

2. Well, one might say, that's State, but Congress is different. Unfortunately, it seems that Congress, too, is not what one is led to believe it is. For one thing, Congress appears to fully endorse the Roadmap. Here is today's story, again from Ha'Aretz, under the heading, "Congress cmte. promises aid if Palestinians follow road map":
A House of Representatives committee approved legislation Thursday that would offer Palestinians substantial economic and humanitarian aid if they follow a U.S.-backed international blueprint for peace with Israel.
The bill approved by the House International Relations Committee also goes further than the traditionally pro-Israel House has before in supporting a Palestinian state.

3. It figures. Didn't Bush talk about a leadership untainted by terrorism? Wasn't Aratrash singled out as the one to be sidelined? If that is so, then how come the US is lauding this new/improved government, when in fact it is Aratrash's government, and abu Mazen himself says so. Following is a quotation from Ha'Aretz, May 9, 2003, in a news story entitled, "Bush says optimistic about road map for Mideast peace":
Abu Mazen, co-founder of the PLO's mainstream group Fatah and Arafat's longtime colleague, played down any tensions [between Aratrash and himself].

"This is Arafat's government and I don't believe he is placing obstacles in its path. Therefore its success is as important for him as it is important for everybody else."
This too cannot be good news for Israel or for the West as a whole.

4. ...And then there is Syria. If anyone believed that the new Middle East would mollify this dictatorship, and if anyone put credence in the Syrian alleged peace feelers towards Israel, then today's news report on the matter should settle all doubts. In a headline that leaves no doubts whatever, "Mideast peace requires 'total retreat' by Israel", Ha'Aretz reports as follows:
Lasting peace in the Middle East depends on a "total retreat" by Israel from the territories it seized in the 1967 war, Syria's ambassador to Spain said Wednesday.
The statement came hours after the leader of a radical Palestinian group Ahmed Jibril [leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command] confirmed that he is ready to shut offices in Damascus in order to ease U.S. pressure on Syria, but added that Syrian officials had made no such demand.
Nayef Hawatmeh, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, another Damascus-based radical Palestinian group, expressed hopes Wednesday that the Syrian government would not bow to U.S. pressure.
And so, while doing nothing to comply with Powell's demands, Syria has the audacity to set pre-conditions for peace negotiations. So what has changed in Syria since Saddam's ignoble defeat?

5. The fifth news story in the sequence comes from a piece entitled "Tel Aviv University: dramatic increase in global anti-semitic acts", which was posted on the website of Jpost:
The year 2002 witnessed the highest number of violent anti-Semitic acts in more than 12 years, according to Tel Aviv University.

Tel Aviv University's annual report: Anti-Semitism Worldwide 2002/3, is a country-by-country survey published in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and the World Jewish Congress.

A total of 311 violent anti-Semitic attacks were reported in 2002, among them 56 major attacks involving the use of weapons, and 255 major violent incidents.
Like I said, "it never rains, but it pours", and for Israel it's been pouring almost daily.