Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jericho and Justice / Kidnapping and Chaos

Let's put this widely reported story in context:

On 17 October 2001 members of the Popular Front For The Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) gunned down Israeli Tourism Minister Rehevam Ze'evi in a Jerusalem hotel. Five Palestinian terrorists were eventually charged in the murder. In April, 2002 Israel was besieging the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his Muqata compound in Ramallah after still more terrorist attacks the previous month. The United States brokered an agreement between Arafat and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to end the siege. The IDF would withdraw but Arafat agreed to jail those responsible for the murder of Minister Ze'evi and one more wanted Palestinian, Fuad Shubaki, involved in the Karine A affair under the watchful eye of British and American jailers in Jericho. Hamas denounced the agreement stating:The PA accepted the proposal (of US President George W.) Bush to place Palestinian militants accused for the murder of a Zionist official in a prison under US and British guard. We, Hamas, refuse and denounce this measure that constitutes a new submission to American and Zionist demands and conditions.Now, nearly four years later Hamas is in the process of taking over the Palestinian Authority. Hamas earlier this month voiced their intentions to free Ze'evi's killers including PFLP leader Ahmed Sa'adat. According to a BBC report: UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he had repeatedly raised concerns about the security of the Western monitors in the jail and given a final warning about their withdrawal on 8 March. Yesterday, on 14 March the British and American monitors, fearing for their lives, pulled out. Palestinian lame duck President Mahmoud Abbas condemned Britain and the U.S. for the pullout even though he had done nothing to insure these people would not be killed. Israel moved forces into position surrounding the prison, eventually destroying the facility and capturing the prisoners. One Palestinian was killed and one more was injured in the raid.

The Palestinian response was to torch British consular and cultural facilities, to accuse the U.S. and Britain of conspiring with Israel to raid the prison, and to kidnap foreigners across the West Bank and Gaza. Abu Qusai, a spokesman for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, stated:We call upon all American and British citizens to leave Palestinian territories immediately, otherwise they will be subject to kidnapping and other consequences. Palestinian gunmen didn't just kidnap Americans and Brits, mind you, but also thought South Koreans, French doctors, Australians, and Swiss Red Cross workers were appropriate targets. PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the U.S. and Britain. Generally the 17 people who were kidnapped were people who supported the Palestinians and were trying to help them. Foreigners fled the Palestinian controlled territories in fear of their lives as Palestinian gunmen threatened to kill their hostages. European observers at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt left, never to return. By late that night the P.A. reported that no foreigners remained in Gaza. Israeli, American, and British flags were burned, partly because of the raid and partly because the supply of Danish flags had probably already been burned.

What happened in Jericho was justice, plain and simple. The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority promised to break it's agreement with the U.S. and Israel and threatened the lives of U.S. and British observers. The men in question had been convicted in Palestinian courts. Israel simply couldn't allow assassins, murderers, and arms smugglers to go free to kill again.

What happened afterwards in Gaza and Palestinian-controlled Judea and Samaria was barbaric, chaotic, indiscriminate violence directed at anyone and everyone who wasn't Muslim.

The two sets of events cannot be equivocated, nor is this some sort of logical cause and effect. What did French doctors or Swiss Red Cross employees ever do to harm the Palestinians? Nothing, of course. All they tried to do was help and they were repaid with violence and threats upon their lives.

Would someone explain to me why the Palestinians deserve a state of their own again? Please, I really want to know. They've never had one before. Please also explain to me how these people are ready for self-rule. Frankly, I just don't see it.

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Don Radlauer said...

The issue isn't whether the Palestinians "deserve" a state of their own or are ready for self-rule. It's whether we Israelis have to spend the rest of our lives being responsible for these nutcases.

Don't think of a Palestinian state as a reward for the Palestinians - it won't be anything of the sort, as it's guaranteed to be a major failure quality-of-life-wise. Think of it as a reward for Israel, which will be free of the ball-and-chain we've been lugging around for almost 40 years!

Caitlyn said...

Hi, Don,

I agree with you, actually, and if you read through my archives I supported disengagement from Gaza. I'e been rather quiet about Prime Minister Olmert's plans regarding withdrawal simply because I feel that so long as I live outside of Israel it is not my place to try and have an influence in the outcome of the election. However, again, if you read my archives I think you'd pretty much figure out who I'd vote for if I was there.

However, withdrawal or disengagement or unilateral separation doesn't mean Israel has to support an armed terrorist camp used as a base for attacks on Israelis in the territories. I believe, ultimately, a serious attack will reinvolve Israel in the territories militarily. The only choices open then will be reoccupation or a third party, international presence.

Personally I wish Jordan would take it over. King Abdullah is a sane Arab leader. I wish Prime Minister Shamir hadn't vetoed the agreement King Hussein and Shimon Peres had reached back in the '80s.

I note from your blog you're in Alfe Menashe. Beautiful place. My cousin and his family live there.

All the best,

Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong said...

Palestinians Humiliate Themselves

In a March 16 editorial in the New York Times titled, As If That Fire Needed Fuel, the Times writes:

"Israeli Army officials ordered inmates to strip to their underwear [see photo below], which many did, marching out with clothing on their heads, an embarrassing and completely unnecessary provocation that trampled the dignity of any Palestinian watching that spectacle.

Given the humiliations that ordinary Palestinians suffer merely by trying to get through Israeli checkpoints every day, the prison raid just reinforced the already degrading reality of living under foreign occupation."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated, “What happened without a doubt is an ugly crime which can not be forgiven and a humiliation for the Palestinian people.”

Palesinians should feel humiliated. A majority of Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem support suicide terrorism. A 2001 poll by Dr. Nabil Kukali and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), found, "a substantial majority [of Palestinians] (76.1%) support suicidal attacks like that of Netanya [in May, 2001], whereas 12.5% oppose, and 11.4% express no opinion." A 2006 poll taken by the Jerusalem Media & Communication Center after the recent Hamas political victories found, “56.2% [of Palestinians] strongly or somewhat support suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians whereas 40.7% oppose such operations.”

Considering that the majority of Palestinians support suicide terror, and considering that Israel prevents suicide killings on a daily basis, it should come as no surprise that captured Palestinians are asked to remove their clothes during the process of incarceration. Why should any Israeli take a chance of being blown up? Why should Israel present Palestinians with opportunities to commit suicide killings?

Palestinians should feel humiliated about their culture of death and they should be asked to strip naked during the process of incarceration as long as their population continues to support, condone, and commit suicide killings.