Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Linked and Quoted By Iranians

One thing I certainly never expected was to see my Zionist blog quoted and linked from an Iranian news site or Iranian news blog. Today that happened...

The title of the article is "Jews Must Go Back To Europe". The link is in the third paragraph, as is the quotation. What's next, my very own fatwa?

It really is great that my political writing is being recognized and quoted all over the place. Some recognition, though, I might be better off without.

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It Seems I'm Not The Only One...

It seems I am not the only one blogging about the new coalition agreement. In a tongue-in-cheek piece in his blog The Sunken Synagogue titled You Could Be A Minister Too Sabzi Aash writes:Many people seem bothered by this, but I say, the more the merrier. There's plenty of important work to be done in this country, and why should any elected official be left feeling inconsequential? I would suggest increasing the number of ministers as much as possible. There's no reason why every member of the Knesset can't have his very own post and volvo to go with it.Some of his suggested new portfolios include:
  • Minister of Deception and Policy Reversal
  • Minister of Miseducation
  • Minister of Unaesthetics, Unfunctionality, and Homogenization
  • Minister of Societal Breakdown
  • Minister of Party Proliferation
  • Minister of Media Bias
  • Minister of the Euthanization of the Dead Sea
  • Minister of Corruption
He explains how each of these new ministries will benefit Israeli society. It's very funny and a very good read.

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Like A Bunch of Spoiled Children

According to the Jerusalem Post there have been further meetings between Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Designate Peretz to revise the coalition agreement the two men signed. It seems there was public outcry over the record size of the proposed new Israeli government. This is as it should be. 27 ministers and two new ministries plus a bunch of new deputy ministers was incredibly wasteful. Anyone who has spent any time in Israel and has dealt with government red tape knows the last thing Israel needs is a bigger bureaucracy.

Now, with both Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Designate Peretz seeing a little light they realized that they had to cut down the bloated government. Good! They woke up and smelled the coffee. A bunch of Labour MKs (plus Uriel Reichmann, formerly of Shinui and recently of Kadima) get upset because they can't get some extra little bit of power for themselves or their chosen ministry they wanted to run. Boo hoo! It's sad to see politicians who want to lead the country acting like a bunch of spoiled children. By The Jerusalem Post's count Prime Minister Olmert would still have a 64 seat center-religious-right coalition without Labour. Perhaps Peretz, as his party's leader, needs to remind his rebellious MKs of that. No one party is essential; not even Labour.

Israel's leaders need to put political squabbles behind them and deal with the real challenges posed by Iran and ongoing Palestinian terrorism.

{NOTE: This is another piece I wrote for Blogs of Zion.]

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On Holocaust Remembrance Day: Calls For A New Holocaust

The enemies of Israel and the Jewish people picked Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) to call for a new Holocaust, one that would destroy Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahemdinejad, renewing his calls for Israel to be destroyed, said:We say that this fake regime cannot not logically continue to liveand addedOpen the doors [of Europe] and let the Jews go back to their own countriesconveniently ignoring the fact that a majority of Israel's Jewish population didn't come from Europe and has no ties to that continent. He also threatened to pull out of the IAEA and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty:What has more than 30 years of membership in the agency given us? Working in the framework of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the agency is our concrete policy, (but) if we see that they are violating our rights, or they don't want to accept (our rights), well, we will reconsider.Meanwhile, in New York City, protesting Islamists promised a new nuclear Holocaust for Israel, chanting in Arabic:Zionists, Zionists You will pay!
The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
Israeli Zionists You shall pay!
The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
The mushroom cloud is on its way!
The real Holocaust is on its way!
Israel won't last long
Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel
Another mushroom cloud, right in the midst of Israel!
Any guess who they think might deliver this Holocaust?

Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned:
Of all the threats we face, Iran is the biggest. The world must not wait. It must do everything necessary on a diplomatic level in order to stop its nuclear activity. Since Hitler we have not faced such a threat.He is, of course, quite correct, but I fear too many in the world still don't care about Jews or Israel and are, in any case, ready to repeat the mistakes of Neville Chamberlain. Prime Minister Olmert summed up my feelings very well in his Yom HaShoah speech:
appeasement, concessions and weakness amount to a recipe for holocaust. Anti-Semitism, tyranny, lust for murder and terrorism have not passed forever. Even today, they hang over the head of the free world like a sword of Damocles... Only a determined and firm moral stand, only willingness to fight for and protect liberty will guarantee the future of humanity.Brave words, Mr. Prime Minister. Do you have the courage to act on them? I fear the rest of the world, including the United States, is poised to disappoint you and I and all others who care about Israel's future.

[NOTE: This post also appears on Blogs of Zion, where I publish under my Hebrew name.]

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Response To An Anti-Israel, Anti-American Rant

On a closed mailing list I participate in a young American woman posted a long diatribe claiming the United States and its allies are about to invade and or nuke Iran. It went on to describe the United States and Israel as the two most dangerous nations on Earth and as terrorists and to defend the right of other nations (i.e.: Iran) to develop nuclear weapons to stand against American and Israeli imperialism. This young woman went on to assert that the United States, in invading or nuking Iran would start World War IV and that financing terrorism is no justification for nuking anyone. She also claimed the U.S. and Israel and their nuclear weapons are a threat to life on earth itself!

My first instinct was to ignore such a posting but I realize that she actually believes what she wrote. Thanks to bias on university campuses across the United States and Europe added to media bias she is hardly alone in her wildly distorted views. While I certainly did not respond to all her rhetoric I did respond to her main points as follows:

Is that a sure thing? I don't think so. Sadly I do believe military action against Iran is not only justified, but necessary. First, if any preemptive military action happens at all (and it is hardly clear that it will) it won't be an invasion. No U.S. boots, or those of any other foreign nation, are likely to set foot on Iranian soil. What is likely is a series of surgical strikes carried out from the air to remove Iran's nuclear and ICBM programs.

Why do I feel it is justified to attack Iran? The Iranian situation is unique. Not only are the Iranian nuclear and ICBM programs internationally verified (in stark contrast to Iraq before the invasion of that country) but the President of Iran and a number of its other leaders have called openly for a nuclear attack on a neighboring state, Israel, which has never been in conflict with or at war with Iran or Persia in three millennia of history. Indeed, prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979 the Jewish and Persian people had 25 centuries of friendship and frequent alliances behind them.

President Ahmadenijad has admitted that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at Israel. Iran's Arab neighbors are also concerned about the nuclear program. Iran stands in defiance of a new U.N. Security Council resolution which passed unanimously. Nations that have called for Iran to end it's envrichment program include Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, Russia, Great Britain, indeed most of the western democracies. To claim concern about Iran is purely an American or American/Israeli issue is simply not true.

Albert Einstein was a pacifist prior to World War II. However, after learning what the Nazis were doing he came to the conclusion that some evils need to be fought. He was right.

Nobody in power in any government I am aware of is suggesting that nuclear weapons be used on Iran or anyone else. Indeed, financing terrorists is not the justification in Iran although Iran certainly does finance terrorists. The justification for an attack on Iran is are active nuclear and ICBM programs and oft repeated threats against Israel, Britain, the United States, and the West in general. Iran already has Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Israel and Shahab-4 missiles capable of striking European targets. It is actively developing, in cooperation with North Korea, longer range missiles that could eventually be used to attack the United Kingdom or United States. There is also no question about Iran's nuclear program. Even IAEA chief Mohammed el-Baradei, an Egyptian and a Muslim, has described the Security Council action so far as "ineffective".

Israel has had nuclear capabilities since the early 1960s. Twice since then Israel's very existence has been threatened in war: during the first two days of the 1967 Six Day War, and more seriously during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Indeed, without U.S. aid Israel would have been destroyed by an unprovoked Arab attack in 1973. Despite this it did NOT resort to nuclear weapons it clearly had.

Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for his role at Oslo, former Prime Minister of Israel, and number two in the current ruling Kadima (Forward) party, is also the father of Dimona, the prime mover in Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. He has repeatedly stated that Israel's nuclear deterrent is his greatest accomplishment, an accomplishment that "was not so that there could be another Hiroshima, but so that there could be Oslo". His point, which is well taken, is that without Israel's nuclear capability the Arabs would have had little incentive to consider peace. Indeed, without that deterrent Israel's hostile neighbors could destroy Israel today and likely would.

When has Israel threatened even one of their neighbors? Israel has fought strictly defensive wars. Israel is surrounded by mostly hostile neighbors, some of which openly call for genocide of the Jewish people in terms not heard since World War II. I, for one, am not willing to have my family slaughtered. Israel has a right to self-defense.

She went on to call Israeli and American leadership "psychopaths".

Israel's leaders are psychopaths? The current leader [Prime Minister Ehud Olmert] was elected on a platform of unilateral withdrawal from territory with nothing in return and the handing over of that territory to Hamas, an organization with a charter that reads like Mein Kampf. Perhaps that is psychopathic, but not in the sense you describe.

Prime Minister Sharon also handed over Gaza without condition and now missiles rain down on nearby Israeli towns -- missiles launched from Gaza. These aren't just home made Qassam rockets anymore. Last week the first Katyusha fired from Gaza landed in Israel proper. Every Israeli Prime Minister since Rabin has been committed to peace and the creation of a Palestinian state.

My response to her claim that both the United States and Israel were founded as a result of genocide commited against the indigenous peoples of those lands:

I assume you mean the United States here. Holding present day Americans responsible for acts committed in the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries is a bit insane, don't you think? Nobody living today committed genocide against Native Americans.

In the case of Israel I assume you are unaware that 80% of the Palestinian Arabs were first generation in 1948, the same percentage as the Palestinian Jewish population. Most had come to work in British Palestine due to the opportunities created by Jewish immigrants.

Prior to 1948 the term Palestinian most often meant a Jewish resident. The Arabs considered themselves Syrian and their leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini (Yasser Arafat's uncle, BTW) opposed the creation of a new Arab state and instead wanted Palestine returned to Syria.

The term "Jew" is a shortened form of Judean. Jews are from Judea, which is Israel. We predate any Arab immigration into what is now Israel. The Jewish presence in what is now Israel does date back to biblical times. The Arab presence dates back only to the seventh century and most Palestinians, like their modern Israeli counterparts, are 20th century arrivals.

So.. if you mean Israel which "indigenous" peoples are you talking about? Jews come closest. The Palestinians are not descended from the original Canaanite inhabitants. The closest thing to surviving Canaanites would be the Chaldean and Assyrian minorities in Syria and Iraq.

She went on to assert that Israel and the United States violate all norms of international law and all international treaties. She further stated that no nation has the right to demand international cooperation.

No nation is bound by a treaty they do not sign. Not Iran, not Israel, and not the United States. A treaty, by definition, is an agreement.

International law, if such a thing really exists, again can only be defined by international treaty and adjudicated by a universally accepted international court. No such court exists. The ICJ, for example, is not recognized by the United States.

I could go into a long dissertation about the incredible bias and anti-Semitism at the United Nations, but what would be the point?

No, of course not. In the case of the United States, that cooperation is freely given by many nations. In the case of Iran, it is presenting a clear existential threat to one of its neighbors. That neighbor (Israel) has a right to protect it's citizens. The United States, as an ally of Israel *by choice*, with the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans, has a right to assist.

If the U.S. or Israel were destroyed by Islamists I doubt you would like the world that would follow. Are you prepared, as a woman, to give up all your rights and be treated as property under Sharia law? That is the likely result of what you advocate.

She goes on to define terrorism as support for the United States, Israel, and their "imperial agenda".

Israel has never been imperialistic in any sense of the word. It defines terrorism as an unprovoked attack on its citizens. Perhaps you approve of blowing up a teen disco, a pizza parlor filled with families, an Israeli Arab owned family restaurant in Haifa, a bus full of commuters, a holiday celebration dinner, a gas station called the "Peace Stop" owned by supporters of the peace process when schoolchildren were waiting for their bus there, a nightclub, etc.... These have all been the targets of terrorism as most sane people would define it. Is this what you are supporting?

Did she respond to my response? Yes, and her subsequent posts devolved into anti-Semitism: denying Israel's right to exist and minimizing the Holocaust. That, and the reaction of the organization who sponsored the list, will be the subject of some additional articles in the coming week.

[NOTE: This piece appeared in five parts in somewhat different form on Blogs of Zion starting on 4 April.]

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Insanity of the United Nations

The United Nations has finally responded to the Iranian nuclear threat. Believe it or not elected Iran has been elected to be Vice Chair of the U.N. Disarmament Commission. Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi used his ascension to claim that Israel's nuclear stockpile is among "the major sources of concern with regard to global peace and security." Arutz Sheva quotes Danesh-Yazdi's statement: "The continued existence of thousands of nuclear warheads in the stockpiles of the nuclear-weapon States, which could destroy the entire globe many times over, and the increasing resort to the threat of their possible use, are the major sources of concern with regard to global peace and security," Danesh-Yazdi said, adding that Israel was required to place all of its "clandestine nuclear facilities" under UN nuclear watchdog supervision.Arutz Sheva's piece points out that the election of Iran to the Vice Chair of the U.N. Disarmament Commission was immediately followed by yet more threats to destroy Israel by Iran's President Ahmadenijad.

Needless to say U.S. and Israeli reaction was less than warm. The Jerusalem Post goes on to report:Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who heads the House subcommittee on the Middle East issued a statement in which she compared the decision to "appointing a serial killer to serve as a juror in a murder trial."This follows a United Nations Security Council debate on Monday, the very day a suicide bomber killed nine innocent people in Tel Aviv and wounded close to 70 others at a falafel stand, to consider condemning Israel for its anti-terrorism activities in Gaza and the West Bank. Voice of America reports:The U.N. Security Council opened a debate on Israeli military operations in the occupied territories, hours after Monday's suicide attack in Tel Aviv.

Arab countries asked for the open Council debate after the United States blocked adoption of a statement last week that would have called on Israel to refrain from excessive use of force that endangers Palestinian civilians.

More than a dozen countries had lined up to criticize Israeli military actions, including Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Algeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela.
Those nations lining up to criticize Israel are among the worst offenders of human rights in the world. (Thanks to Ariel for the links.)

The United Nations continues to be the mouthpiece for despots and dictators to relentlessly spew against the United States and Israel yet both nations continue to participate in and promote the failed world body. I fail to understand why both nations remain members or why the United States continues to act as host for the U.N. The U.N. needs to join the League of Nations in being relegated to the dustbin of history. It needs to be replaced with a League of Free Nations, open only to those who support human rights and democracy.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Yael K wrote a wonderful historical piece on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising:63 years ago today was the eve of Passover and the 50,000 - 60,000 (out of more than half a million who had been forced into the narrow streets of this confined space) suriving Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto were slated to be finally and completely annihilated. When the SS troops entered the ghetto to renew the deportations to the death camps, however, they met with unexpected resistance.

Fewer than 500 young fighters, girls and boys --the youngest aged 12 but most in their late teens and early twenties, who were poorly armed and even more poorly trained refused to go to their deaths quietly. Instead they embarked on a desperate and hopeless struggle, none expecting to survive it or even to survive beyond the first day. And yet, on that first day this small group achieved an astonishing victory --the attacked elite SS troops withdrew from the Ghetto in chaos. Not a single Jew was deported from the ghetto on that day....
Make time to read the full piece if you can. As the daughter of two Holocaust survivors all I can say is we need more pieces like this to make certain the world never forgets.

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Further Poisoning The Well

Media Bias In the Wake of the Tel Aviv Bombing

Late Monday night, in the wake of the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, I tuned to first CNN then CNN International. While both CNN networks had covered the terror attack earlier in the day their news crawl at the bottom of the screen no longer mentioned it. Instead the Israeli missile attack on Gaza City was mentioned. The fact that nobody was killed or injured in Gaza was conveniently ignored. The bombing in Tel Aviv, which killed nine innocent people at a falafel stand and injured 70, wasn't there to provide context. Qassam rockets fired from Gaza that day were also deemed not newsworthy. If someone was catching the news for the first time that day and chose CNN as their primary news source they might believe that Israel, without provocation, attacked Palestinians in Gaza. By comparison Fox News, which tends to be pro-Israel, still had the suicide bombing on their news crawl 24 hours later.

CNN is hardly alone in providing subtle bias to their news coverage. Reuters, the European news agency, began their story on the Tel Aviv bombing this way:TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A Palestinian suicide bomber killed nine people and wounded 60 outside a Tel Aviv restaurant during the Jewish holiday of Passover on Monday, an attack the governing Islamic group Hamas called an act of self-defense.Why put the Hamas justification in the very first sentence? It gives the Hamas statement equal weight with the bombing itself.

Beyond the subtle anti-Israel media bias I have illustrated there are, of course, media outlets that do nothing to mask their blatant bias and go as far as presenting propaganda as news stories and revising history to portray Israel as the root of all evil in the Middle East and beyond. As I previously reported the BBC has been caught fabricating stories and has twice been censured by it's own Board of Governors for anti-Israel bias. UK newspapers The Guardian and The Scotsman are equally bad. On business trips to Houston last year I found Pacifica Radio station KPFT broadcasting hours of anti-Israel diatribe so virulent that I might have thought I was listening to a station from Ramallah rather than Texas.

While it is true that there are some mainly conservative media outlets that tend to be biased in favor of Israel (the aforementioned Fox News and the UK newspaper The Telegraph are good examples) they are by far outnumbered and would, in any case, be dismissed or ignored by those on the political left where most of today's anti-Israel animus resides. This media bias reinforces the relentless effort to indoctrinate young people to be anti-Israel in major prestigious academic institutions I described and documented in my piece Poisoning The Well.

Is it any wonder that pro-Israel voices get shouted down in left-wing political fora? Is it any wonder that anti-Zionism and even in-your-face anti-Semitism are blossoming in the political left? How can those of us who have traditionally been on the political left and yet strongly support Israel fit in? How can it be that those who claim to stand up most strongly for tolerance and diversity are completely unwilling to accept or even listen to a Jewish or Israeli viewpoint, or worse, are willing to support or even parrot views which sound like those emanating from Germany 65 years ago? How do those of us who are now deeply concerned change opinions which have become so hardened? How do we fight back?

[NOTE: This piece also appears in Blogs of Zion in a somewhat abbreviated form, published under my Hebrew name.]

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happy Pesach!

Happy Pesach! Hag Sameach!

Pesach (Passover) is about liberation from slavery, about freedom, about miracles G-d performed for the Jewish people... Pesach is also about the food! Really good homemade matzo ball soup is to die for. This year I also discovered one amazing store bought treat: Manischewitz Triple Chocolate Ultimate Macaroons. We're talking chocolate macaroons with chocolate chunks in them dipped in chocolate.

No, I don't know how many pounds I've gained and I don't want to know.

Next year Pesach b'eretz if all goes well.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poisoning The Well

By now much has been made of the paper "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," recently produced for Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government by Stephen Walt, its academic dean, and Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, which charges that such a lobby influences American foreign policy against American interests. If you read the paper, all 35,000 words of it, it isn't much different that what one might read on a neo-Nazi or anti-Semitic hate site. A few Jews in government have undue influence, Jews bias the media, and so on. Think of it as an updated Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion with all the trappings of academia and prestigious institutions of higher learning.

This paper didn't happen in a vacuum. It is part of an extremely disturbing trend of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes being taught on university campuses by supposedly scholarly professors. Earlier this month the US Commission on Civil Rights found that anti-Semitism on American college campuses is a serious problem, adding that there is "substantial evidence" that some universities "may repress legitimate debate concerning Israel." What actually is happening is that anyone who defends Israel is intimidated into silence or worse. I had reported on problems at Columbia University in New York and in the University of California system in my 25 October 2005 post on intimidation of Jewish students on campus. Similar problems exist at prestigious universities across the United States, in Canada, and in Europe.

Harvard University Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz, in his 2005 book The Case For Peace, charges:I will demonstrate that there is an explicit campaign of vilification against Israel ...the goal of this well-coordinated campaign is entirely negative: namely, to produce a generation of future leaders--political, economic, religious, academic--who are virtually programmed to be stridently anti-Israel.He names professors such as Noam Chomsky of MIT, Norman Finkelstein of DePaul, and four Columbia professors. In Britain he cites Oxford professor Andrew Wilkie and Mona Baker at UMIST, among others.

If a young, impressionable student is paying tens of thousands of dollars to attend what he or she believes to be one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world they are, by and large, going to believe their professors are telling the truth. They will not recognize historical revisionism, propaganda, and outright lies when they are taught as history unless they have already studied the subject in question. In future posts I will show how the campaign Dr. Dershowitz alleges is already bearing dubious fruit.

[NOTE: This post, albeit in slightly different form, also appears on Blogs of Zion, where I am a regular contributor writing under my Hebrew name.]

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

BBC Online Censured For Anti-Israel Bias

For the second time in two years the BBC Board of Governors has censured it's own people for biased, anti-Israel reporting. The first time was for Barbara Plett's reporting on Yasser Arafat's illness just prior to his death. Now they have censured BBC Online for a biased description of UN Resolution 242. To quote the article:The article, published late last year, suggested the UN called for Israel's unilateral withdrawal from territories seized during the six-day war when in fact it called for a negotiated "land for peace" settlement between Israel and "every state in the area".

The governors report, which specifically singled out the reporting of the UN resolution after the 1967 Israeli-Arab Six-day war stated that the piece on the BBC news website did not give a balanced view of events.


At the time the British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon said: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

The BBC governors' report concluded: "The committee considered that by selecting only references to Israel, the online article did not accurately reflect this balance and gave a biased impression. It therefore breached editorial standards on both accuracy and impartiality".
These two cases are only the tip of the iceberg. The BBC issues a steady stream of biased anti-Israel reporting. This is common of many European media outlets but the BBC, which I have previously referred to as the British Bias Corporation seems to be the worst of the bunch. Is it any wonder there is so much anti-Israel sentiment in Britain and Europe in general?

[NOTE: This post also appears on Blogs of Zion, where I write under my Hebrew name.]

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rockets Land: Israel Needs to Act

If you read any of the Israeli press you know that every single day the Palestinians fire Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel. These rockets are homemade and wildly inaccurate, but they do cause property damage and occasionally kill people. Last week for the first time the Palestinians fired a Katyusha rocket into Israel towards the city of Ashkelon. This shows the Palestinians are successfully smuggling weapons into Gaza, weapons that could seriously threaten Israeli towns and villages. The Israeli government reaction has been timid at best.

Aharon, writing in Blogs of Zion, makes a strong case that the likely new Kadima-Labour coalition government must act to successfully stop rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza before it unilaterally withdraws from land in Judea and Samaria. Failing that Israel's major cities would be subject to rocket fire.

The question of how to deal with this was put to Labour leader Amir Peretz in the run up to last week's Israeli elections. Here is Aharon's first person account of what happened. Aharon's reaction to Mr. Peretz' answer is also insightful:
During the run up to the vote I managed to squeeze into a restaraunt where Peretz was pressing flesh. A woman, a British Olah, called out to him in Hebrew (he doesn't speak American, kal vachomer British) "What are you going to do about the Kassams?" He responded that he is from Sderot and that he knows the people of Sderot are proud to be on the front lines.

First, I admire the Zionist bravado. I'm proud of our border yishuvim that stand firm. But, for their sake and the country's, that's not a good enough answer, especially because we aren't talking Sderot but also Ashkelon. The Zionist ethos seems to run less strong in cities than in small towns and the Olmert Peretz team need to do more than just rely on the willingness of Israeli citizens to stand firm and keep the bomb shelters clean.

This is only to say that a government of Israel that is planning to enact more pullouts needs to show that it can keep the rockets off our heads, especially when those pullouts will open up launching sites near our major cities. And the proving ground for this ability has to be Gaza.
I agree with Aharon. Something needs to be done and the Israeli government needs to act. If it takes overwhelming force to stop rocket attacks then force is what is needed. The first responsibility of any government is to protect it's citizens. Prime Minister Olmert needs to worry less about what the international community thinks and more about insuring the safety of Israelis.

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