According to YNet today, Hamas’s Mashaal is waiting on a response from Israel regarding "the principle of a prisoner swap and lenience on the proximity of dates." What this means is that Israel would release prisoners promptly after Shalit was returned, indicating a trade. Israel had been looking to dissociate the two acts (a charade anyway) by letting some time elapse and then saying they were releasing prisoners as a "good faith" gesture and not specifically as part of a deal to get Shalit back.
According to some sources, Mashaal has softened his demand that the release of Shalit and of prisoners be concurrent. Al-Hayat in London says Israel’s answer will come via the Egyptians next week.
The other day EU envoy Solana, visiting here, met with Avigdor Lieberman and then made a statement that Lieberman and Olmert did not agree on the issue of handling Iran. That rang bells for me. Lieberman then made a statement about being "more compassionate." Loud bells. Compassion is not what is required now.
Today the Post has run a statement by Lieberman on the issue:
"We have to wait and see what the European Union, United States, Russia and China do about Iran," Lieberman said. "We don’t need to be on the front line on this issue. We just have to sit and wait."
Just sit and wait? Until it’s too late? The EU, Russia and China will do zilch, for certain, and it is less than clear what the US will do. Olmert’s statements of late have indicated that we would not, could not, sit still and allow destruction to head our way. I saluted that. Did he mean it or not? The Post says Leiberman’s statement dovetails with Olmert’s opinion. Don’t know. It is suicidal, if our government is not preparing all options, including a military option. And if Lieberman is more dovish on Iran than Olmert, how dare he allow Lieberman to assume a position in the gov’t managing our response to Iran just to strengthen the coalition? Is it politics over everything, all of the time?
Returning for a moment to EU envoy Solana, now he has made this statement:
"I cannot imagine that the religious imperative, the real religious imperative, can make anybody destroy another country…
"I don’t think the essence of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. The essence of Hamas is the liberation of the Palestinians," he added. "The liberation of their people, not the destruction of Israel."
My friends, this is trouble. It represents that same old liberal/left thinking that confuses what should be with the reality of what truly is. He "cannot imagine." Start imagining. He doesn’t think. He should look again. Hamas is dedicated to our destruction. Period.
This, of course, leads to concessions to Hamas and pressure on us to ease "occupation" and give them a state. Big trouble.
Columnist Evelyn Gordon addressed similar fallacies in left-wing thinking this week. She was discussing a statement by Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit, in which he said things like "I believe the other side is also tired of wars," and suggested that it is the prime minister’s responsibility to set a timetable for achieving peace.
What unmitigated nonsense this is. WHY does he believe the other side is also tired of wars, when all they’ve been doing of late is gearing up for a big war? There it is again: the substitution of what you would hope for what is. And how can the prime minister set a timetable for peace by himself if the other side isn’t on board?
In response to Sheetrit’s statement that "there is no such thing as a government without a diplomatic agenda," Gordon observed that such diplomatic agendas "are often more dangerous than simply trying to manage the conflict until conditions do become ripe for real peace. Not only do such initiatives encourage the other side to believe that violence works, they also encourage it to believe that the peace-seeker is so desperate to end the war that maintaining the pressure could produce complete capitulation."
In referring to the excellent JP editorial the other day on how we should respond to Iran, I neglected to provide the URL. I here rectify that omission:
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/10/27/posted-october-27-2006.html