Undoubtedly the news has made its way to most of you that The Sunday Times (London) reported yesterday that Israel is developing military plans for taking out at least part of the nuclear development program of Iran. Allegedly the plan is to use low yield nuclear tipped "bunker busters" to get into the highly reinforced bunkers; the Times said that various scenarios are being rehearsed. The Israel Air Force has planes capable of non-stop flights to Iran.
Olmert’s office has had no official comment; Mark Regev, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, denies the report.
I have no inside information on any of this. The various thoughts that go through my head: Israel has always said she wouldn’t be the first to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Does the imminence of a nuclear Iran supersede this pledge? Or perhaps does this does not quite count? It should be well noted that these low-yield nuclear tips that would go off underground would have minimal collateral damage; we are most clearly not talking about dropping an above-ground bomb in a populated area, and the distinction should be made absolutely clear. Could the rumor that we’re going to do this have been floated as a deterrent to Iran? I have no answers, only questions. That the military is apparently treating the risk of Iran going nuclear with utmost seriousness is comforting, I will say. The pledge of Never Again must stand.
Well, the gunmen of Fatah and Hamas are after each other big-time. It’s anyone’s guess whether this time we’ll see a full civil war. They’ve come close repeatedly but manage to stop before that point. That we’re witnessing a power struggle is clear.
The violence escalated on Saturday when Abbas, flexing his muscles, outlawed a (Hamas) special force, referred to as the "Executive Force." Hamas responded by saying this force will be doubled from 6,000 to 12,000 troops. In addition, six armed groups threatened to assassinate "collaborators and traitors" (read Abbas and company), charging that the outlawing of the militia was done at the request of Israel and the US.
Meanwhile, in the course of a rally celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the founding of Fatah (whose stated goal to this day is the destruction of Israel, it should be noted), hundreds of thousands turned out. And Muhammad Dahlan, who reportedly is about to assume the position of head of the PA Security Services, made a retaliatory threat to assassinate heads of Hamas.
Dahlan, after calling Hamas a "bunch of murderers and gangsters," said that Fatah was still interested in forming a unity government with them. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, know you’re not the only one. But this is how these guys operate. They’re all a bunch of bums, and if ever there was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it. There is evidence (from the CIA) that Dahlan gave the order for bombing a school bus in Kfar Darom in 2000 and (from Israeli Intelligence) that he was directly complicit in the Karine-A gunboat operation.
Returning once again to the alternate universe in which many seem to be living these days, I note a recent comment of Sec. of State Rice. She is due here shortly and says she hopes her visit will improve prospects for restarting the "peace process." No, I am not making this up. If, after reading the item above, you are completely flummoxed as to how she could perceive this, I don’t blame you. But, she claims she does perceive it; she thinks there’s an opportunity to break the deadlock on the stalled peace process. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "there is a potential opening here to make progress on the issue of a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security." Ah yes, Israel living in peace and security next to a Palestine that is run by terrorists.
I rather like the statement of Post reporter Tovah Lazaroff, who noted, "McCormack did not offer specific examples as to why Rice saw an opportunity at this point."
Aside from the violent chaos in the PA, we’re looking at an Israeli gov’t coalition that is at an all-time low in popular approval and lacking the strength for any major moves. All in all, this is a singularly inopportune time to expect the "peace process" to flower. I see my theory of an alternate universe as being as good an explanation as any. Could Rice possibly be looking at the same universe we are and come up with her conclusions?
When PA Prime Minister Haniyeh returned from his haj pilgrimage last week, he entered Gaza via Egypt and carried with him $20 million dollars. Just last month Israel stopped him from smuggling in a large sum. Now Egypt says that Haniyeh acted lawfully by declaring the money, while the EU monitors at the Rafah crossing say that Egyptian officials told them there was no money being carried. Egypt claims it has no law against what Haniyeh has done, but the simple fact of the matter is that there was supposed to be an international embargo against Hamas and Egypt is failing to cooperate with this.
This is just one more exposure of the true intentions of an allegedly pro-Western, "moderate" Egypt that allegedly is concerned about terrorism in Gaza. Right…
Yesterday Israeli security forces arrested two Palestinians associated with the terrorist group Tanzim –which is an arm of Fatah, Abbas’s group — who were planning a major suicide attack in Israel in just days. Two suicide belts were located. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, Tanzim is one of the most active terrorist groups in Judea-Samaria — a group that operates out of Balata unceasingly in its efforts to launch attacks. The plan was uncovered as a result of arrests made recently.
Please understand what would happen were there to be a "ceasefire" in Judea-Samaria, or, G-d forbid, if parts of Judea-Samaria were fully turned over to the Palestinians.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2007/1/8/posted-january-8-2007.html