# 42 – Ceasefire by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 42 – Ceasefire

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409

February 10, 2005

Ceasefire…well, not exactly.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad asked to be ‘included out’ (as Groucho Marx would say).

‘We have not been consulted’, they said. So what was Abu Mazen doing 2 weeks ago in Gaza?

Last night, 17 Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza into the settlements.


Abu Mazen said that he will do all in his power to stop the militants/freedom fighters/terrorists/extremists, but not to use force.

Why not?


Israel is (stupidly, in my mind) planning to use force to move it’s extremists out of Gaza. The women have already shown that they are willing to clutch their babies in their arms during the protests and resistance. The men are armed; there will be bloodshed. If Israel is willing to use this hurtful action, why not the Palestinians?


Of course, we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot. Sharon continuously proves to us that he is not the greatest politician. He was, like Rabin, an army man – but was always known as a loose cannon. He certainly has his heart in it. And all those worries about no peace while Sharon and Arafat were around were predictably unfounded.

Just as Menachem Begin, another right-winger, had made peace when the opportunity was there. So too, Sharon, once Arafat was out of the picture.


But Sharon has been forced, as is always the case in Israel, to form a coalition. He stupidly did not take Silvan Shalom (great name for a foreign minister) with him to Sharm-El-Sheikh to meet the Palestinian delegation. So, perhaps coincidentally, but surely not, Silvan Shalom now opens his big mouth and calls for a referendum on the subject of pullout from Gaza. What a dummy! It’s a fait accompli; let’s get out!


But on the subject of how to get those extremists out, so many of us wonder why we face this predictable heart-wrenching problem of forcing our own people out.

Why is it necessary?



  • There’s going to be blood.

  • It will set a very ugly precedent for the somewhere-in-the-future move from the West Bank, and although we may not move the largest towns, we are still talking about many times the number of people involved – and perhaps many more ‘external’ supporters/militants being brought in the up the crisis.


  • The suggestion is that we give these people every chance to come out, all the warnings etc., and then, on a certain date, leave. We feel that this form of bluff will result in most of them deciding to get out at the last minute.


  • Some say that those who do stay on will be in danger of being massacred by the Palestinians.

  1. I don’t think the Palestinians will either WANT to do that or WILL do that. It would be political disaster for them.

  2. We are talking about tiny distances here. The Israeli army could be on the spot within minutes. It’s not exactly like the US forces in Iraq.



  • And of course, you have the famous principle that, if 1 million Arabs can live in relative peace as Israeli citizens in Israel, despite the incredible circumstances, why can’t 500 Jews live over there? What are they scared of?


Yesterday, I was in Jerusalem, an all too rare occurrence. Still an exciting place. So enjoyed walking through the pedestrian precinct of Ben Yehuda St., often a target of the bombers, and the crafts street, Nahlat Shiva.


Aviva and I then lunched (as a few weeks ago) in the Arab town of Abu Ghosh – but this time in the restaurant of that same name. What a great place – food, service, nice view over one of the Jerusalem valleys.

Where’s the problem?


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