We are dealing with a vastly complex situation with regard to security here, which needs to be considered in all its aspects..
The "ceasefire" will not be extended to Judea-Samaria in spite of Olmert’s indications that he was working on making this happen. The IDF and Minister of Defense Peretz were adamantly opposed and the Security Cabinet voted against it.
Evidence for the need for continued IDF-Shin Bet operations in Judea-Samaria is overwhelming: In the last week alone, the Palestinians tried to smuggle 10 pipe bombs out of Nablus into Israel within the Green Line. Last week, as well, Israeli security forces discovered several stuffed animals filled with explosives during a raid in Nablus. Could it get more vile? If any evidence is required of the lack of simple humanity on the Palestinian side, this is it; it’s a grave error in judgment that the Israeli gov’t doesn’t routinely publicize such findings in a major way.
The extended "ceasefire" would not only have halted operations, it would also have involved the removal of some checkpoints. For the record, the 10 pipe bombs were discovered at the Hawara checkpoint.
If the "ceasefire" had been extended in spite of all of this, it would have been because of Olmert’s propensity to allow "diplomatic" considerations to trump security matters. According to the Post, a senior official in Olmert’s office said last night that in making the decision regarding the extension of the "ceasefire," international opinion would be considered. This is a real red light and signals a major — and very serious — part of what we’re dealing with.
International opinion is not particularly concerned with the safety of Israeli civilians. But it happens that this is Olmert’s job. Yet he is so very eager to please the Americans, and at the moment is keenly aware of the nonsense being spouted by Condoleezza Rice, who is in the area, regarding extension of the "ceasefire" being "extremely important," the "small opening" towards peace that has become possible now, etc.
According to The Sunday Times (London), cited today by The Media Line, an "Israeli insider" claims that "the conciliatory speech Olmert gave last week…in which he promised a Palestinian state, was actually dictated by the Bush administration." Have no confirmation of this, but it would not be enormously surprising if it were true.
One of the comments Rice made the other day was with regard to her appreciation of Israeli patience while the "ceasefire" is still fragile. In plain terms, this means: "We’re glad you don’t shoot back even though they’re still shooting at you, because if you do shoot back we cannot continue to pretend there is a ceasefire."
Since the "ceasefire" was called, 15 Kassams have been shot from Gaza into Israel proper, with the most recent landing in the Negev just today.
Today, at the meeting of the Security Cabinet, both Defense Minister Peretz — no hawk, certainly — and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter called for preventative action against Kassams. Peretz wanted to provide instructions for the IDF to shoot at sites from which Kassams are about to be launched. Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni, who called for "restraint," ruled the day, however.
Said Olmert: "we must act responsibly and wisely, while considering all aspects of the matter." I don’t think I need to belabor the question of what he means by "all aspects." That he is not acting responsibly for his own people is clear.
Meanwhile, Livni stated: "[the] situation is sensitive, and we must act wisely and with serious consideration." There must have been an echo in the room where they met.
This is exceedingly painful and actually quite frightening. If the heads of our own gov’t don’t put our security first, who will? As Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA put it: "…Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni…maintained that there were other considerations that transcended preventing Israelis from being murdered by Kassam rockets."
What may yet happen with regard to this situation is that we will be saved by our enemies again. Islamic Jihad has already announced that they will launch terror attacks against Israel within hours because of our breaching of the "ceasefire." As far as I can tell, they are furious that the "ceasefire" was not extended to Judea-Samaria, where they have multiple terrorist operations afoot. If we’re going to hit them there anyway, there’s no reason why they should hold their fire in Gaza. If they are serious, it may become hot enough so that Olmert and Livni, in their considered wisdom will be forced to call it quits.
It is with a very bitter irony that I note this situation, which is hardly unique. Jews have to suffer before a stand to protect us is taken.
Yesterday EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana blamed Hamas for failing to work with Abbas to establish a unity gov’t that would have brought about an end to sanctions.
This statement — this acknowledgement of the difficulties that prevail in the Palestinian Authority — leads me to wonder what Rice et al are thinking when they call for "peace" and a "two state solution."
Of course, now the talk (yes, again) is about some different actions that Abbas will be forced to take soon. You know, firing the gov’t, calling for new elections. Should Abbas ever do what he says he will do in this regard, there is likely to be civil war. If Hamas is "fired" they’re going to come out shooting.
Don’t believe that the situation in Gaza is as dire as the Palestinians would have the world believe. Money is being smuggled into the area in large sums, often with the complicity of PA officials. The PA foreign minister recently smuggled $20 million carried in suitcases through the Rafah crossing. Of course, all of this largesse doesn’t go to alleviate needs of the people: terrorist actions, building the army, developing weapons come first.
The extremely volatile situation in Lebanon, with Hezbollah on the verge of overthrowing the Siniora gov’t there, bodes ill for Israel. If Hezbollah, a proxy for Iran, takes over at our north, war is likely.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/12/3/posted-december-3-2006.html