Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gaza Strip withdrawal best news out of Israel in a long time

I used to think Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, was an absolute right-wing fanatic. I'm learning to like him more and more.

One of the worst foreign policy moves in Israel is the tolerance of settlers -- essentially religious fundamentalists who believe that Jews are entitled to live on certain parcels of land, and will move (or settle) into land where Palestinians live, no matter what the consequences.

That's one of the huge sticking points of the Israel-Palestine conflict. There are others, but this is a big one. George Bush (or George the First) conditioned some big foreign aid loan to Israel in 1990 on a promise not to finance any additional settlements, as I recall.

And this week, Israel, led by Ariel Sharon, supported by a majority of the Israeli people and bitterly condemned by the fundamentalists, is pulling out the 6000-some settlers on the Gaza strip.

Thank goodness.

You've got to believe that the Palestinians are grateful for the withdrawal and that support for the terror campaign against Israel has got to dry up with moves like this. Congratulations to Sharon.


Nathan Kaufman said...

What are your thoughts on Cuba?

Lazerlou said...

Yea, I'm no fan of organized religion, or religious states, but Israel is a great country and gets a bad rap. It is a advanced democracy, and while a religious state, offers fundamental civil rights to religious and other minorities, and as Dan would surely point out, at least some voice in a proportionally represented democracy.

I'm not sure "foreign policy" is the appropriate term for what the settlers were doing - 4000 year old religious conflicts sort of transcend government policies- but if you are going to go there, this was land won in a war instigated by multiple Arab states, and Palenstinians are people who were displaced by that conflict and who were allowed to remain in limbo by those Arab states. That was bad foreign policy - Egypt, Syria and Jordan all fucked their own people living in Israel, and did nothing about it but foment hatred for Israel. Israel being benevolent enough to let Arabs remain in occupied territory might have been the bad foreign policy, cause if it was the other way around, all those people who would have been killed. But the lesson to be learned is that all organized religion is for the weak minded.

Anonymous said...

How come you only post on this topic to criticize Israel? You have never once made a posting following a bus bombing by palestinian terrorists.

Lazerlou said...

Yea anon, you see that Israel pulling out of gaza is a positive political step, and that commenting on bombings or assasination isn't positive or uplifting news?Can you grasp that distinction and why Dan might not comment on the same old BS violence hat comes out of that twisted region? As a secular Jew to an obviously religios one (I suspect this is the same anon who implied Dan was an anti-semite a few months ago): transcend your alienation. Religion and paranoia just make it worse. Learn to love yourself, don't rely on fictitious anthropomorphic deities, or idenification with small groups defnied by religion as the way to overcome your seperateness and feel loved and part of something.

MDS said...

"support for the terror campaign against Israel has got to dry up with moves like this".

Support might decline, but I don't believe it will dry up. There are too many millions of Muslims who support terrorism and will stop at nothing short of the destruction of every infidel on earth.

Nate, what does Cuba have to do with this?

Bill Baar said...

Do you really believe this?

"You've got to believe that the Palestinians are grateful for the withdrawal and that support for the terror campaign against Israel has got to dry up with moves like this. Congratulations to Sharon."

It's not are the Palestinians grateful, it's can a responsbile, accountable, democratic government be installed to fight the criminals who terrorize Arab and Jew alike in the region.

Read Natan Schransky's THE CASE FOR DEMOCRACY
The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror
and his analysis of what went wrong with Oslo. It was lack of Democratic and responsible government in the territories and Israel and the US reliance on a strong man (Arafat) to keep order rather than risk a democratically elected but maybe fundamentalist government. We ended up with a ganster statelet and there are pleny of gangster left in Gaza.

Anonymous said...

Charles Krauthammer supports the Gaza disengagement for pragmatic reasons—but warns that this must be the end of Israel’s unilateral concessions: Israeli withdrawal is correct and necessary.

The second problem is world reaction to the Gaza withdrawal. Far from Israel getting any credit for this deeply wrenching action, the demand now is for yet more concessions — from Israel. The New York Times called the Gaza withdrawal “only the beginning” and declared sonorously that Ariel Sharon “must also be forewarned” that giving up the West Bank must be next.

This is a counsel of folly. The idea that if only Israel made more concessions and more withdrawals, the Palestinians will be enticed into making peace is flatly contradicted by history.

We are not talking ancient history here; we are talking the last 12 years. Under Oslo, Israel made massive, near-suicidal concessions: bringing the PLO back to life, installing Yasser Arafat in power in the West Bank and Gaza, permitting him to arm militia after militia, and ultimately offering him (at Camp David 2000) the first Palestinian state in history, with a shared Jerusalem and total Israeli withdrawal from 95 percent of the formerly occupied territories (with Israel giving up some of its own territory to make the Palestinians whole).

How were these concessions met? With a savage terror war that killed 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands more.

The Gaza withdrawal is not the beginning but the end. Apart from perhaps some evacuations of outlying settlements on the West Bank, it is the end of the concession road for Israel. And it is the beginning of the new era of self-sufficiency and separation in which Israel ensures its security not by concessions, but by fortification, barrier creation, realism and patient waiting.

Waiting for the first-ever genuine Palestinian concessions. Waiting for the Palestinians to honor the promises — to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism — they solemnly made at Oslo and brazenly betrayed. That’s the next step. Without it, nothing happens.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

ANON 1:47-

Could not agree more. I feel for the settlers this week, even though I think it’s great that the world has seen so dramatically and poignantly the lengths to which Israel has gone for peace or, at least survival. The contrast between Sharon imposing this upon not just his constituents but his (former) base of supporters, on the one hand, and Mahmoud Abbas refusing to do anything to upset any faction of the Palestinian community, on the other hand, is stark. It is impossible for that reality to be lost on even the most anti-Israel countries.