June 30, 2010
For 100s if not 1000s of years in Italy, the status quo was good enough for everyone. Nobody tested the law, human rights, political correctness. And now they’ve banned the Crucifix in all Italian classrooms. 1 woman (and I don’t even know her religion – or lack of it – took the State to Court of Human Rights – and won, of course. That’s how ‘happily asleep’ we all are. And now of course, the country, the people are in uproar.
Think about it.
Hey – This is democracy….
A few days ago, Noam and Aviva Schalit, parents of Gilad, started a 12-day walk from their home in the North of Israel to the PM’s office in Jerusalem, where they plan to ‘sit’ until they have their son back in their arms. Gilad has been held in Gaza for 4 years now. It is 99% sure he is alive, as Hamas realise his value.
While ‘you/they out there’ criticise Israel for doing whatever (e.g. blockading Gaza), Hamas, the ‘elected’ leadership in Gaza has been holding Gilad (or allowing him to be held – is that now politically correct?). 4 years without UN/parents/Red Cross/etc visits.
The Hamas leader, Mashaal, happily ensconced in Damascus, has threatened Israel that if they dare waver from the deal on the table (the release of around 1000 Palestinians from Israeli prisons, including many hard-line killers), they will capture more Israeli soldiers and the price will be higher next time.
The following words will perhaps label me ‘right-wing’. So be it.
We should withdraw the deal from the table.
Every day without Gilad’s release, reduce privileges from Palestinians in prison (take away the many rights they do have)
We should have kept the 600-odd persons from the Gaza flotilla (including the Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner) in custody (initially at least, as comfortable as possible) until Gilad’s release. Of course, the World would have been in uproar, but what’s new? And we would eventually have had to release some if not all of them, as we are not as literally careless as Hamas – we would NOT go all the way. We shall never go as low as they. And they know that..
The Schalits are trying to pressure the Israeli govt into implementing the swap that will release their son. This is totally understandable from their point of view – and totally wrong from country’s point of view. We all know that at least half the releases will go back to whatever they were doing before, whether baking bread or killing. There will be many more Schalit families following this deal.
And more hostage-taking.
Hamas is revelling in Israel’s weakness, and the international community’s support for this line of thinking.
Obama is playing into Hamas’ hands – and those of their colleagues: Hizbullah, Syria, Iran – and now Turkey. (Oh yes, I forgot: Goodbye Turkey!). (I have just finished reading Obama’s ‘Dreams’ book. What a difficult background he has had. What an achievement, to become President. But his book is a search, and he has not finished seeking. Alex Haley found what he was looking for in ‘Roots’. He moved forward. Obama appears to be trying to change the past).
I can understand the Schalit’s feeling that the PM’s office is the place to protest, but they would get more attention – and results – if they set up their tents either at the Gaza border or, down the road from me at the US Embassy.
Another option is to up the Gaza blockade. It is pathetic – and totally wrong – to have caved in to US demands to have raised much of the blockade, thereby honouring Hamas for their efforts. Don’t they understand Hamas’ goal? It is NOT peace with Israel, as implied by their Fatah cousins in the West Bank. Now the US has promised $400 million to Hamas. Are they completely bonkers?
Israel is at war with Hamas. They have every right to protect themselves. The collateral damage caused by the blockade (and the infamous security fence) is the sad consequence of war. I know, I’ve been over this before and have not convinced some. I’m sorry – we agree to disagree. We only have 2 cheeks (well, actually 4, but that’s all).
Hamas is not invulnerable. Like Iran, the people do have a voice. Their governments’ wrong decisions are unpopular. We should be supporting this silent majority.
Before Obama is thrown out (and I am NOT saying that his replacement from either side can save the deteriorating situation), he must be helped/saved. Israeli PM Netanyahu is meeting him next week in Washington. No more pussy-footing. Friendship or not, he has to put his cards on the table. US does need Israel. Those of you who blame Israel for the East crisis had better wake up soon and realise that Israel is your front line, a tottering pillar of survival in a very unstable area.
Bibi needs to discuss global jihad, Islamic terrorism, the poor Kurds who are being treated like sh..t by Turkey and it’s new allies. He needs to put a word in for the freedom-loving people of Iran – yes, and Gaza, – who have no say in what they want. He needs to put a word in for Gilad Schalit.
I’d say that he should end his meeting with the sign of the Cross, but, as we now know, that’s not allowed…