Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who Should Own the Golan?

The only legitimate argument for transferring large portions of the disputed territories in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Palestinian Arabs is the fact that they are largely populated by people who don't want to live in Israel but want to be part of an Arab state.

If one accepts that argument and favors the transfer of disputed territories to the Palestinian Arabs, then unless one applies a double standard one must accept the reality that much or all of the Golan Heights, depending on the preferences of the Druze and Muslims living there, should remain with Israel.

The Golan Heights has, for all practical purposes, been part of Israel for longer than it was ever part of Syria. It was, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, considered to be part of Palestine and then intended as part of the future Jewish state. It was only because of a territorial trade between colonial powers Britain and France that the Golan Heights was temporarily attached to the territory that became Syria.

In effect, Syria took the Golan Heights from Israel before Israel took it back in 1967.

Additionally, just as the fact that Judea, Samaria and Gaza were supposed to be part of Israel doesn't trump the reality that the Palestinian Arabs living there don't want to be part of Israel - nor the reality that the Jews living there certainly don't want to be part of a Palestinian Arab state, the fact that the Golan Heights were part of Syria for a short time doesn't trump the reality that the Jews living there don't want to be part of Syria.

The residents of the Golan Heights should decide what state should have sovereignty. If they are fairly evenly split, then the Golan should be divided between Israel and Syria; if they overwhelmingly prefer to be part of Israel, then they and the bulk of the Golan Heights should remain with Israel.

Anything else would amount to a double standard and a denial and justice.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Settling Sovereignty

Most people take it for granted that most of the disputed territories must ultimately end up under control of the Palestinian Arabs. For many Israelis, the determining factor is the need to maintain the character of their state as the homeland of the Jewish people while simultaneously maintaining Israel as a democracy.

This may explain why Israelis want to rid themselves of parts of the disputed territories, but it doesn't explain why anyone else would, with the exception of those enemies who really just want Israel to disappear completely.

Historically, Israel certainly has a greater connection to those territories than anyone else.

Legally, those territories were part of the British Mandate over Palestine, intended by the League of Nations to be the Jewish Homeland. Since the Arabs rejected the United Nations Partition Plan, making that proposal null and void, the Palestinian Arabs can't make a claim based on the Partition Plan.

The only legitimate basis for a claim for any of that territory by the Palestinian Arabs is the purely practical one that, for whatever reason, many of them now live there and should have the right to choose their own government and should not be forced to move.

By the same logic, the Israelis living in portions of those territories, for whatever reason, should have the right to choose their own government and should not be forced to move.

In other words, the logic behind any legitimate territorial claims by the Palestinian Arabs also further legitimizes territorial claims by Israelis, leading to a division of the disputed territories.

It's worth emphasizing that's a division, not a swap. There's no legal, historical or moral reason for "compensating" the Palestinian Arabs for not giving them all the disputed territories by also giving them parts of what has been part of Israel since 1948 -- unless Jordan was going to compensate Israel for the portions of the disputed territories given to the Palestinian Arabs by giving Israel parts of what has been part of Jordan during the same period.

Much of the same reasoning applies to the Golan Heights; more on that another day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Time for Confidence Building Measures

Now that Israel released 255 jailed terrorists, the response by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been to ask that another 100 be released.

The rationale given, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post, partially based on an Associate Press article, is that they would "bolster Fatah's presence" in the Gaza Strip and "cause Hamas to tone down its demands in negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit."

On the other hand, Fatah is powerless in the Gaza Strip, now totally controlled by Hamas, and "Abbas also said he had no influence in the Gilad Schalit affair, placing the issue squarely in the hands of Hamas."

So what's the point, especially since Abbas is a lame duck, having "made it clear that he will not run for reelection to the PA chairmanship when his tenure runs out in approximately a year and a half."

Hamas "demands in negotiations for the release" of Gilad Shalit are irrelevant; he must be released unconditionally.

The real need is for confidence building measures to be taken by the Palestinian Arabs, since there is clearly no reason for Israel to have any confidence the Palestinian Authority will ever do anything other than continue to disintegrate as the terrorist infrastructure it built up in both the West Bank and Gaza continues to flourish.

Furthermore, since the Palestinian Arabs have yet to adhere to any of the important agreements they signed in the past, it would appear pointless for Israel to waste time negotiating any future agreements.

The clear need is for the Palestinian Arabs to take measure to change that situation. They need to undertake confidence building measures.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It Really Is All About Occupation

It's almost a farce the way, regardless of what question she's asked, Hanan Ashrawi always deflects the question by crying "occupation, occupation, occupation."

I must now admit she's right, at least from the perspective of Hezbollah as given in an Associated Press story I read today.

According to the AP, "Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Monday his group possesses an arsenal of rockets that can reach all of Israel, including Tel Aviv."

The AP then quoted Nasrallah as saying "We could absolutely reach any corner and any point in occupied Palestine."

Yes, occupation is the problem, but it's not the so-called occupation of the disputed territories Israel captured from Jordan or Egypt during the Six Day War, but the occupation of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and all the other cities within the Green Line.

Nasrallah considers all of Israel as occupied territory; for him, Israeli occupation is synonymous with Israeli existence.

(The story was about an interview aired by Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar in which Nasrallah was boasting about Hezbollah's rearming in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Prisoner Releases: Negative Omens

All past releases by Israel of Palestinian Arab prisoners have led to a significant proportion of those released resuming their terrorist activities. It leads to obvious questions, such as why does Israel keep repeating the same mistake and why does anyone with any interest in peace keep pressuring Israel to make such counterproductive gestures.

There was one bright spot in an Associate Press story on the release yesterday of 255 prisoners. According to the AP, "Some of the prisoners suggested the era of armed attacks on Israel is over. 'We want to send a message to the rest of the world that we want peace for our people,' Majdi Abdullah [one of the freed terrorists] said."

Only time will tell whether Abdullah is interested in the end of "the era of armed attacks on Israel" or just wants the gullible to believe it. Unfortunately, the signs are not positive, even ignoring the fact that one portion of the disputed territories, Gaza, is ruled by a terrorist group that is not even feigning an interest in peace.

According to the article, "Israel has balked at freeing inmates who are serving time for wounding or killing Israelis, in part for fear of a public outcry. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said it was time for Israel to ease the release criteria."

Amazing! According to this leader of the Palestinian Arabs, people are supposed to believe that putting killers on the streets is a good thing! Unfortunately, that's the mentality of the so-called moderates.

For example, the same article included the following quotes.

Palestinian Authority Chair Mahmoud Abbas: "Our work must continue until every prisoner returns to his home."

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: "Your [Israel's] policy is a policy of small change. You do a little here, a little there ... Israel is a large, strong country. Israel can allow itself to be more bold."

The article also included the following opinion of the writer, who in line with the current standards of journalism doesn't realize such opnions don't belong in what is purported to be a news article: "Prisoner releases are seen as the most effective way of swaying Palestinian opinion in favor of moderation after more than a decade of failed negotiations that drove many to support Hamas."

The real need is for the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs to lead their people into a brighter future, building a civilized society rather than struggling to make sure murderers continue to control the streets.

When their leaders start to lead, there may be some realistic hope for peace. Letting them believe otherwise only perpetuates the conflict.

The Parents of Malka Chana Roth on Hot House Publicity

The following letter, written by the parents of Malka Chana Roth, a young girl murdered by a terrorist glamorized in the HBO film, arrived in my emailbox and I felt compelled to help their words spread, especially since Israel is under so much pressure to release murderers from prison.

Dear Friends:

Today's New York Times carries a review of a film called "Hot House" that goes inside Israeli prisons and examines the lives of Palestinian prisoners. We're not recommending the film or the review . But we do want to share our feelings with you about the beaming female face that adorns the article. You can see it here.

The film is produced by HBO. So it's presumably HBO's publicity department that was responsible for creating and distributing a glamor-style photograph of a smiling, contented-looking young woman in her twenties to promote the movie.

That female is our child's murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail. Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates. The background is here.

Neither the New York Times nor HBO are likely to give even a moment's attention to the victims of the barbarians who destroyed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and the lives of so many victims. So we would be grateful if you would pass along this link to some pictures of our daughter whose name was Malki. She was unable to reach her twenties - Hamas saw to that.

Though she was only fifteen years old when her life was stolen from her and from us, we think Malki was a beautiful young woman, living a beautiful life. We ask your help so that other people - far fewer than the number who will see the New York Times, of course - can know about her. Please ask your friends to look at the pictures - some of the very few we have - of our murdered daughter.

They are at www.kerenmalki.org/photo.htm.

And remind them of what the woman in the Israeli prison - the woman smiling so happily in the New York Times - said last year. "I'm not sorry for what I did. We'll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison."

With so many voices demanding that Israel release its terrorist prisoners, small wonder she's smiling.

With greetings from Jerusalem,
Frimet and Arnold Roth

On behalf of Keren Malki

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Abbas to Israel: Seal Off the Gaza Strip

According to a reliable report published in Haaretz, Palestinian Authority Chairman "Mahmoud Abbas asked Israel and Egypt to prevent the movement of people from Egypt to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing, after Hamas' mid-June takeover of the coastal strip."

Since Israel has no presence at the Rafah crossing, having pulled completely out of Gaza years ago, Israel itself can't control movement through it, but it's revealing that the PA is now asking Israel to do just what it used to lash out at Israel for allegedly doing.

Not surprisingly, "Abbas and a number of his aides asked that the request not be made public" and Saeb Erekat is now denying the request was made.

While Israel can and does try to control movement between Israel and the Gaza Strip (it is the right of every sovereign nation to control passage through its borders), the Rafah Crossing is between Egypt and Gaza and has been a virtual sieve, allowing a river of weapons and terrorists to flow into Gaza ever since Israel completely left Gaza.

That reality never stopped Abbas and other Palestinian Arabs and their knee jerk supporters from unfairly blasting Israel for allegedly sealing off Gaza. Had Egypt upheld its end of the bargain made when Israel agreed to allow additional Egyptian forces in the Sinai, the weapons and terrorists would not have flowed from Egypt to Sinai and Hamas would probably not have been able to win the recent battle in the civil war within the Palestinian Authority and taken over the Gaza Strip.

Besides terrorism, hypocrisy is something Israel's enemies have never shied away from.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Crossing the Line

It's often difficult to be certain whether a specific criticism of Israel is honest criticism or a manifestation of anti-semitism. Although there is an extremely high correlation between anti-semitism and criticism of Israel, supporters of Israel generally avoid charging individual critics with anti-semitism even when the circumstantial evidence points strongly in that direction.

Israel-bashers like to claim otherwise, making absurd claims about the alleged stifling of criticism of Israel. In my hometown newspaper, one letter writer charged the writer of an op-ed column with accusing former President Jimmy Carter of including anti-semitic statements in one of his error-filled, anti-Israel books despite the total absence of any such accusation in the column referred to.

Such patently false charges sometimes seem to outnumber the relatively few instances where the possibility of anti-semitism has been raised. Only when the evidence is overwhelming are the words "anti-semitism" even suggested by supporters of Israel.

One example reared its head today in The Day of New London.

Back on January 17, 2004, a letter from one John William Paggioli had a letter published in which he lambasted The Day for publishing columns written by William Safire. Paggioli criticized Safire's opinions regarding the war in Iraq, including the curious observation "I'm certain it wasn't Mr. Safire's sons or relatives or Henry Kissinger's or Paul Wolfowicz's who paid with their lives for a demagogue's policy."

The way Paggioli mentioned, in a derogatory manner, three individuals who are all Jewish is the sort of circumstantial evidence that alerts my antenna. However, since there is a small possibility that someone could do that unintentionally, it's not conclusive proof of anti-semitism.

Paggioli added the criticism "Mr. Safire is a right-wing zealot and
Zionist." The former criticism has nothing to do with anti-semitism, but the latter does unless it's in the context of a post-nationalistic ideology that opposes all national liberation movements.

The evidence was clear, but still there were no accusations made of anti-semitism.

Paggioli had another letter published in The Day September 4, 2006. The letter was an anti-Israel rant loaded with factual errors, e.g. "the destruction of Lebanon" by Israel, and even contained the sort of loaded language anti-semites use to try to equate Zionism with Nazism, in this case lamenting "the Holocaust that Israel visits on its Arab neighbors." Even without being aware of his previous letter, knowledgeable readers could not avoid thinking about anti-semitism, but the issue was still not raised.

The Day published another letter by Paggioli today, July 16, 2007. In this letter, among other charges, he accused Senator Joseph Lieberman of wanting a war with Iran "because of his Jewish heritage."

Ignoring his faulty logic and his ignorance of the fact that Israelis are probably more leery of a war with Iran than anyone else since it would almost certainly result in an attack on Israeli civilians, Paggioli crossed a line even clearer than those he crossed earlier. The accusation of dual loyalty is a classic anti-semitic canard; in this instance, Paggioli accused a United States Senator, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, with dual loyalty.

Nobody really knows how much anti-Israel activism is a manifestation of anti-semitism and it is still difficult to be certain in individual instances, but the reality is not that supporters of Israel rush in with the charge of anti-semitism; the reality is the reverse.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


According to Haaretz and the Associated Press, "French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Sunday that he understood that the two Israel Defense Forces soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah last year were alive and that negotiations for their release were being conducted via the United Nations. "

It's a year since Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit were kidnapped by Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists. There is a rally scheduled for tomorrow (July 16) calling for their release. There should be rallies in every capital in the civilized world, calling for their immediate and unconditional release.

No negotiations. Just their unconditional release. Negotiations only whet the appetite of terrorists and ultimately encourage them to murder and kidnap more people.

Meanwhile, the French have hosted "Hezbollah representatives," in the context of dealing with the government crisis in Lebanon, and supposedly are raising the issue of the abducted Israelis.

Rather than hosting Hezbollah representatives, the French, along with the rest of the civilized world, should be shunning Hezbollah and arresting anyone from Hezbollah that tries to enter.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Amnesty International Calls for the Destruction of Israel

There is no explicit call for the elimination of Israel in the July 12, 2007 Amnesty International press release, Israel/Lebanon: War crimes without accountability, but that would be the effect if the following recommendation were followed.
The Security Council should declare and enforce an arms embargo on both Israel and Hizbullah until effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that weapons will not be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Ignoring the fact that an arms embargo against Hizbullah would never be enforced (witness the arms flowing freely to Hizbullah now in violation of the United Nations resolution in conjunction with the cease fire in the first round of last summer's war) and the only effective way to ensure Hizbullah will not use weapons to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law is to eliminate that terrorist group, this recommendation would leave arms flowing freely to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Al-Aksa and the countless other terrorist groups attacking Israel citizens, not to mention Syria, Iran and dozens of other countries that would not hesitate to launch a war of elimination against Israel if they believed they would succeed.

That recommendation, which can only be the product of insanity or evil intent, comes near the end of a self-contradictory press release rife with subtle and not-so-subtle bias.

It criticizes "the patent unwillingness by all concerned parties to investigate the violations" despite the fact that, as acknowledged elsewhere in the same press release, Israel has conducted investigations. Amnesty International's real problem is that those investigations did not result in the conclusions AI wanted.

The press release did note "an inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council was given a one-sided mandate, focusing only on evidence of violations by Israeli forces." Indeed, there has been no shortage of investigations relating to (generally unjustified) allegations against Israel.

It's unfortunate that many organizations such as Amnesty International which have, at face value, idealist and laudable goals have been hijacked into agendas which are not only anti-Israel but effectively undermine their own stated aims.

The press release concludes:
Amnesty International continues to urge Hizbullah to provide information about the two Israeli soldiers its fighters captured on 12 July 2006 and allow them immediate access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This really demonstrates the crux of the problem: Israel is facing enemies which have no concern for either human life or the standards of behavior groups such as Amnesty International was originally created to further. Hizbullah illegally crossed into Israel and abducted Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The first priority of the international community, especially those interested in making the illusion of international law a worthwhile reality, should be the immediate, long-overdue, unconditional release of those two young men along with Gilad Shalit, similarly abducted by Hamas terrorists at about the same time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trust the United Nations ... to Appease Terrorists

Back in 2000, when Israel unilaterally pulled completely out of Lebanon, a country it had no territorial dispute with and had entered only because the PLO had established a terrorist mini-state there and been using it as a base from which to attack Israeli civilians, it took no chances of there being any border disputes.

Rather than deciding where to pull back to unilaterally, it called upon the United Nations to demarcate the border. The United Nations called upon its experts and Israel pulled completely out of Lebanon.

Hezbollah, deprived of the pretext of occupation as an excuse for its attacks on Israelis, created a new pretext: the baseless claim that the area known as Shaba Farms, captured from Syria in 1967, was Lebanese territory.

Now, seven years after marking the border between Israel and Lebanon, a year after Hezbollah attacked Israel and launched thousands of Katyusha rockets at civilian areas in Israel, while Hezbollah is still holding Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser hostage, there are reports that the United Nations has suddenly discovered Shaba Farms is Lebanese territory.

On the other hand, the reports also said the United Nations proposed Israel withdraw from Shaba Farms and it would then be considered international territory and be administered by UNIFIL.

There may be few fish on the Golan Heights, but it all sounds a little fishy to me. If the UN really thought Shaba Farms was part of Lebanon, why didn't it so designate it back in 2000? If the UN really thought Shaba Farms was part of Lebanon, why would it propose it be considered international territory?

The only thing that's clear is that even when it's given what should be a totally technical task involving the Arab-Israeli conflict, the United Nations always manages to make things worse.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Reality Check

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) on Saturday, July 7 held its first meeting in the Gaza Strip since Hamas' coup.

According to the Maan News Agency, the conveners "condemned Israeli policies such as creating facts on the ground and separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and Jerusalem."

They appear to be unaware that Hamas separated the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, affirming the reality that rather than being one country, the people living in those two areas are really very different.

They also "stressed that any conflict should solely be with the occupation, which concentrates its intensive military action in the northern provinces of the strip."

They appear to be unaware that Israel completely pulled out of the Gaza Strip about two years ago. It had been under the complete control of the Palestinian Authority until the Hamas coup. There is no occupation in the Gaza Strip.

The conveners also "urged Palestinians to remain united."

Finally, according to the Maan News Agency, "The PLO declared that it is the sole representative of the Palestinian people and that it represents Palestinians everywhere."

The Palestinian Arabs in the disputed territories rejected the PLO's main faction, Fatah, in free and democratic elections, overwhelmingly choosing Hamas, which is not part of the PLO.

It's somewhat ironic that for many years the PLO, with the backing of the Arab world and most of the world community, insisted the PLO was the sole representative of the Palestinian Arabs and pressured Israel to treat it as such, but once Israel finally did so the Palestinian Arabs themselves rejected the PLO.

The PLO clearly needs a reality check.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Give Hamas the Choice: Free Shalit or Lose Electricity

Hamas have "freed" British journalist Alan Johnston as part of a propaganda blitz to try to get accepted by the world as something other than the terrorist gang it is.

Meanwhile, its brother terrorists from the Army of Islam confirmed that Hamas itself continues to hold Gilad Shalit, kidnapped last year by the Army of Islam in a joint operation with the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (part of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah) and Salah a-Din.

The Israel government should give Hamas, now in total control of its own mini-state of Hamastan (formerly Gaza) a simple choice: Release Gilad Shalit unharmed within one week or prepare to govern a mini-state without electricity.

Israel has no obligation to supply utilities to a hostile state which continually launches Kassam missiles at its cities and holds one of its citizens hostage.

Hamas Oppressing Palestinian Arabs

Palestinian Arabs forced the closing of the Rafah crossing, between Hamastan and Egypt, by shelling it. This stranded six thousand of their own brethren in Egypt.

Trying to ease their plight, Israel offered to let the stranded civilians use the Kerem Shalom crossing, which connects Israel, Hamastan and Egypt, but Hamas responded to that offer by saying if the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened they would attack it with mortars and gunfire, even if it meant killing thousands of Palestinian Arabs.

At last word, Israel is waiting to see whether Hamas can be convinced to let the stranded Palestinian Arabs into Hamastan without murdering them.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On the Anniversary of the Entebbe Rescue

Our American Independence Day also marks the anniversary of the miraculous rescue at Entebbe. It serves as a reminder that Arab terrorism directed at Israel is not a minor aspect of their struggle to destroy that bastion of Western democracy in the generally anti-democratic Middle East, but has always been a major part of their strategy.

Terrorism is not a reaction to anything Israel has done other than exist.

On this Independence Day, Gilad Shalid, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still held by Arab terrorists, from Hamas and Hezbollah, with the support of the rogue regimes in Iran and Syria.

The international community must demand their unconditional release, without any rewards for the terrorists who have brazenly violated not only the nebulous entity called international law but all standards of basic human decency.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Palestinian Arab Hypocrisy

According to the New York Times, with the release of funds to the Palestinian Authority now that it has been separated from Hamas, "more than 150,000 Palestinian Authority civil servants and security force members loyal to the new emergency government appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah will receive a full monthly salary on Wednesday from Palestinian money for the first time in 17 months."

On the other hand, "about 20,000 public sector employees allied with the Hamas-led government of Ismail Haniya, whom Mr. Abbas fired as prime minister, will not be paid from the authority coffers."

When Israel refused to give the Palestinian Authority money with which it would have paid Hamas terrorists, Abbas was harshly critical, as he was of others in the international community who refused to directly fund a Hamas-led government. Now Abbas is essentially doing the same thing.

This hypocrisy is not really surprising; Israel's enemies have never been shy about accusing Israel of actions they themselves are guilty of.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Equal Access to the Temple Mount

Because of possible damage to an archeological garden, Israel has scrapped its plan for a new bridge to the Mugrabi Gate, which provides access to the Temple Mount from the Kotel. New plans for a bridge will have to be made.

Unmentioned in the entire discussion has been the fact that Jews have been denied routine access to their most holy spot, the Temple Mount, for most of the last two decades.

Imagine the worldwide outcry if Muslims had similarly been denied access to Mecca or Medina, or even a shrine whose importance to them pales in comparison to Meccca and Medina - the Temple Mount.

To even consider the outcry that would ensue is to recognize how unacceptable the current situation is.

It's long past time - two decades past time - for Israel to stop caving in to Arab and Muslim extremism when it comes to the Temple Mount. The principle of equal access should prevail and if Jews cannot routinely and safely visit the Temple Mount, neither should anyone else.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged intelligence information received from Israel, obtained via surveillance flights, of massive violations by Hezbollah of the terms of United Nations Resolution 1701.

Ban stated in particular that the weapons smuggling has enabled "Hezbollah to rearm to the same levels as before last year's war or beyond."

He also expressed concern for the lives of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose unconditional release was one of the provisions in the resolution. Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah terrorists. Not only was that kidnapping, within Israeli territory, illegal and an act of war, but they have been held incommunicado, even denied visits from the Red Cross.

According to a senior diplomatic official commenting on the report, "If Iran and Syria continue their subversive activities, they will be the downfall of Resolution 1701."

Lest one be lulled into believing the United Nations was having an outbreak of rationality, Ban said UNIFIL reported "a significant increase in Israeli air violations, through jet and unmanned aerial vehicle overflights of Lebanese territory."

Apparently, he'd be happier if Israel wasn't able to report on terrorist violations, so he wouldn't feel any need to notice them.

He should concentrate on the implementation of the important parts of the United Nations resolution: the freeing of Ehud Goldwassr and Eldad Regev (along with Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas terrorists about the same time) and eliminating Hezbollah's terrorist mini-state within Lebanon. If he did that, there would be no need for Israeli reconnaissance flights.

An article about Ban Ki-moon's report may be found in the online edition of Haaretz, among other locations.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

How About a Terrorism Freeze?

According to the July 1 New York Times editorial Let Blair Be Blair, the Palestinian Arabs "desperately need economic development and better institutions. But these goals cannot be realistically separated from the larger challenge of restoring their belief in a livable future in a viable Palestinian state."

It has always been up to the Palestinian Arabs to decide whether they are interested in their own state (in addition to the existing Palestinian states of Israel and Jordan); thus far they have been far more interested in destroying and killing than creating or living.

Outsiders may have a positive role in impressing upon the Palestinian Arabs the self-destructive nature of their past and present courses, but The Times doesn't have that in mind. Rather, it has in mind pressuring Israel to make even more counterproductive concessions.

The only specific step The Times calls on anyone to take is for Israel to institute "a full settlement freeze," as if having a handful of Jews living in the disputed territories would be a problem if the Palestinian Arabs had a sincere interest in peace.

If there are to be any settlement freezes, they should be implemented in an even-handed fashion, with any settlement freezes by Israel matched by settlement freezes by the Palestinian Arabs.

To even suggest that demonstrates how absurd and bigoted the entire idea of a settlement freeze is.

If there are to be any freezes, they should consist of freezing the arming of terrorists and freezing terrorist activity.