Whatever critique I may level at PM Olmert, when he’s right he’s right. At a conference in Tel Aviv yesterday, he made a statement about Iran:
"We must not repeat the same mistakes that were made 60 years ago, of distraction, haphazardness, and ignorance of what was said when there was still a chance to save something. We will say these words to anyone at anytime: we cannot ignore these things. The responsible, moral, and conscious world cannot continue living with such a reality where a leader of a country is saying that there is a need to erase off the map another nation who is part of the United Nations like Israel…
"We will keep ourselves busy day and night preventing Iran from turning into a nuclear power…"
Elsewhere Olmert has made comments suggesting that preparations for dealing with Iran have begun.
It should be noted, as well, that Israel has formally protested to the UN about a member state that threatens to eradicate another member. The world is dragging its collective feet here shamefully.
The Jerusalem Post, in its editorial today, "Chose Honor," addressed the same issue:
"Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war." So said Winston Churchill to Neville Chamberlain at the House of Commons, after the 1938 Munich agreement [which sold out Czechoslovakia].
"…we, as Ariel Sharon put it, will not be Czechoslovakia. The question is not whether Iran must be confronted, but who will do it, when, and what cost.
"Though it may be difficult to recall so quaint a concept as honor, the word captures what is at stake as the leader of a terrorist nation openly threatens to destroy another state and the free world does nothing…
"…[Iran’s] leaders view Israel as an alien Western implant. Iran’s threats against Israel, therefore, are nothing more or less than threats against the West as a whole.
"It is painfully obvious that if Western nations took Ahmadinejad’s advice and abandoned Israel, Iran would only become more belligerent, just like Hitler did when Europeans abandoned Czechoslovakia. Neither Hitler nor Ahmadinejad cared or care about their initial target, but rather about what the limp Western reaction says about their prospects for further expanding their power through even bolder acts of aggression.
"Now, in conjunction with but regardless of the need to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, the nations of the world must break relations with a regime that is openly justifying Israel’s destruction – a call for genocide against the Jewish people. This must be done not just for Israel’s sake, but to choose honor and prevent war."
WORLD, ARE YOU LISTENING YET?
We are the canary in the mine, and the behavior of the world is shameful. Has anyone observed how much more quickly the world acted against N. Korea than it is willing to do against Iran?
Khaled Abu Toameh of the Post reports that Fatah is preparing for a major showdown with Hamas after the holiday of Id al-Fitr ends. According to Fatah sources, "Thousands of Palestinian policemen and Fatah gunmen will be deployed in the streets of the Gaza Strip after the feast." Abbas has been under huge pressure from his party to take strong action.
Meanwhile, Middle East Newsline reports that Hamas is planning on expanding its force of 6,000 in Gaza so that it can maintain a presence in Judea-Samaria as well, where it could do things like protect the Hamas-dominated legislature in Ramallah from Fatah violence.
Hamas’s Mashaal, by the way, reportedly rejected a deal proposed by Qatar involving release of Shalit for hundreds of prisoners. He wants, maybe, thousands?
In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz reported that "There is an underground city being dug in the Gaza Strip." In the past three days "IDF troops have uncovered at least one hundred tunnel openings in the Rafah area," each roughly 1-1/2 kilometers long.
While no formal decision has yet been made, Halutz has indicated that he believes an on-going presence in the area of the Philadelphi Corridor is essential. There will be something very very wrong with the decision making process if this is not what is decided, finally.
There is great turmoil in the Labor party over Leiberman’s joining the coalition, particularly as Labor wasn’t consulted before Olmert signed with Lieberman. The final decision by Labor as to whether or not to remain in the coalition will not be made for a few days yet. Meanwhile, Olmert has met with Labor party head Peretz and offered him some bribes, I mean incentives, to remain in the party — chairmanship of some committees and such. This may have an ameliorative effect, but the Arab members of the party are threatening to bolt over this issue.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/10/24/posted-october-24-2006.html