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Monday, May 07, 2007

Let's review, shall we...

I know it is hard to keep track, but let's take a moment out of our busy day and look at the latest peace overtures that have come our way since Friday (that's less than three days for those reading this in the archives) from the poor, beleaguered Palestinians who want nothing more than to be left in dignity to pursue their dreams of self-determination:

According to the IDF, no less than ten (10!) Kassam rockets have landed inside Israel since Friday.  One hit a house... another struck a gas station (wounding a teenager with shrapnel) and the latest one landed outside a kindergarten.

A security guard working at a facility where fuel is transferred from Israel to the PA was critically wounded when as many as three Palestinian gunmen opened fire, hitting him in the head and leg.  His condition is still extremely unstable and he has lost the leg and an eye.

Sadly there have been too many rock and Molotov cocktail attacks over the weekend to count (but see here, here, here, here and here to get some highlights).  Multiple vehicles have been damaged and at least two individuals were injured. 

Yet amid all this mayhem, the US is still pressuring Israel to move ahead with more confidence building gestures.  They want Israel and the PA to agree to a short timetable during which each must achieve a series of steps in hopes of getting the stalled peace process back on track.  IMHO this is a lot like getting a deer and a hunter to agree to work together towards their shared goals.

On Israel's side this series of steps includes such lunacy as removing security check points and easing restrictions on Palestinian movement.  It also involves the incredible requirement for Israel to supply the Palestinian security services with more weapons and ammunition!

On the Palestinian side, the PA government is being asked to commit to far less tangible steps such as 'deploying security forces' and 'endeavoring to reign in rocket fire'.  But even these seem plain silly in light of the fact that Hamas not only hasn't recognized Israel, but its top political leaders still say that open attacks on Israel - what they call 'resistance' - are among the basic rights of the Palestinian people.

My question is this?  Why bother with this charade?  The Palestinians will never be made to be deliver on any of the commitments they make, and each side's obligations are independent of one another, meaning that Israel must meet her obligations regardless of whether the Palestinians meet theirs.  Good deal, huh?

While I personally maintain that there is a need to provide a hugely disproportionate response to each and every attack on Israeli citizens / sovereignty, it is beyond me that we continue to risk Israeli lives to provide basic services to the Palestinian population. 

It is untenable that Israel should be simultaneously required to show restraint, arm its antagonists and provide fuel, water and electricity to a population that is unambiguous about its dedication to our destruction.  Show me any other time and place in history... just one... where this kind of arrangement has ever been tolerated. 

As far as I'm concerned, if they shoot an Israeli electrical worker (as happened last month), Israel needs to cut off their electricity.  If they shoot someone safeguarding a fuel transfer facility, stop delivering gas.  It's really that simple.  This isn't about collective punishment.   It is about it being just too damned dangerous to continue providing the services.  Sorry.  Stop trying to kill the people providing the services and maybe we'll send someone out to see about getting the lights back on.

Seriously... don't believe me?  Go ahead and take a couple of pot shots at the cable guy and see what it's like to do without CSI and Desperate Housewives for awhile.

In the mean time, I think I'm going to have to dust off the old bullet proof vest for my commute. [sigh]

Good Times!

216

Posted by David Bogner on May 7, 2007 | Permalink

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Thinking about getting your car's windows "upgraded", too, or would that not be worthwhile for your commute?

Will you don the helmet as well?

I couldn't agree with you more, Mr. B.

Posted by: tnspr569 | May 7, 2007 1:24:23 PM

I'm reminded of a quote I once heard on "The West Wing":

"A man could once walk the entire earth without fear, cloaked in nothing more than the phrase 'Romani Cives', so great was the retribution if harm was to come to but a single citizen of the Roman Empire."

Sounds like a plan worth implementing, IMHO.

Posted by: dfb1968 | May 7, 2007 1:25:08 PM

No real comments about the content of your post...I just find it amazing about how far right wing us "centrists" can become when we see reality....

But on another note, your posts now show up full in my rss reader (google reader) and I really appreciate that. (Don't worry I still visit your site to see the comments)

Posted by: Safranit | May 7, 2007 1:36:41 PM

Nicely put.

Posted by: Benji | May 7, 2007 2:21:39 PM

dfb1968: Another classic West Wing line was from an episode shortly after 9/11 when the White House experienced a security lock down while high school seniors were visiting on a their civics field trip.... They were trapped in the cafeteria with Sam and Toby discussing the implications of terrorism in the post-9/11 world. One of the students mused aloud how difficult it was to deal with these implications and asked something to the effect of, "What do you call a country whose citizens live in constant fear from these kinds of security lock-downs?"

Trep and I almost fell over when Sam whispered in response, "Israel."

Amazing how quickly people forget, huh?!

Posted by: zahava | May 7, 2007 4:02:54 PM

I agree with you David, and I think the real irony is the fact that many companies in Israel will not provide services for those living in Judea and Samaria "because it is too dangerous". I work in Elkana, literally a five minute drive from "the green line". We needed service for our Xerox fax/laser printer that was purchased from Office Depot. When we called for service we were told that they don't service over the green line. The secretary exploded over the phone. She asked the person on the other end if she even knew where Elkana is, and she had to admit that she didn't. My boss wants to sue Office Depot for selling a piece of equipment that can't be serviced.

Posted by: westbankmama | May 7, 2007 5:14:45 PM

Hopefully my parents don't read your blog/the news, or it will be harder to convince them that I will be fine if I go to Israel this summer for a wedding.

Posted by: Annie | May 7, 2007 5:23:26 PM

"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."
General William Tecumseh Sherman

Posted by: Jack | May 7, 2007 5:45:01 PM

You referred to Israeli sovereignty. In light of the failure to retaliate against rocket attacks, what does this consist of? The right to take dictation from foreign nations?

Posted by: Bob Miller | May 7, 2007 5:48:05 PM

Touché Jack!

Our own sages wrote that to be merciful to the cruel would result in being cruel to the merciful....

Posted by: zahava | May 7, 2007 6:05:56 PM

And this will continue until Israel stops being perceived by the United States as being dependent on the United States in any significant financial way. (Whether that's really true is a different point altogether, but the perception is there all right.)

Posted by: Irina | May 7, 2007 6:45:27 PM

Islam and the Arabs living in Israel have declared Sharia law on the Zionist entity.

It is only right that Israel reciprocate and declare Sharia law on the Arabs who daily try to kill the people and children of Israel.

Israel has the Sharia right to destroy entire towns in Gaza and the West Bank consuming all the inhabitants thereof.

Israel has given the Arabs every chance to live in peace but the Arabs are not interested in a land called Palestine. Their only desire is to destroy the Jewish people and Israel has the same right to totally annihilate the Arabs living within occupied Israel.

Allah Uakbar

Posted by: Mustafa | May 7, 2007 7:25:03 PM

Go ahead and take a couple of pot shots at the cable guy and see what it's like to do without CSI and Desperate Housewives for awhile.

Never watched CSI or (gag!) DH. Now if they tried to get rid of cable before the final episodes of The Sopranos... AUUGGHH!

All kidding aside, would that the Israeli "leadership" were listening to you. For some reason they are not capable of acting like the country is in a state of war, even though it's obvious to any observer that they are.

Posted by: Elie | May 7, 2007 10:54:14 PM

Trep -
Regarding the U.S. pressuring Israel into "confidence-building measures" and similar nonsense - this sort of stuff has been going on since before either of us were born, and will continue into our kids' old age, unless one of two things happen: 1) Messiah arrives, or 2) The morons at the U.S. State Department get their collective heads out of their collective anal cavities and stop playing Lawrence of Arabia. These are the same clowns who leaned on Harry Truman not to recognize Israel in the first place, and they've never gotten over the resentment of losing that battle. It doesn't matter if the president is Democrat or Republican - Foggy Bottom remains just as foggy. (BTW, I'm betting on the Messiah.)

Posted by: psachya | May 8, 2007 6:02:25 PM

Speaking of Lawrence of Arabia - I just had a vision of an upscale suburban oasis, with burqa stores, Koran shops, and bomb-making clinics lining Central Avenue. Or was that Cedarhurst of Arabia? (Sorry - I'll shut up now...)

Posted by: psachya | May 8, 2007 6:21:45 PM

Trep,

Just an hour or two ago, a woman was injured by rocks being thrown at her just at the entrance to your Yishuv.


It's reached you even sooner than you thought.

Posted by: JoeSettler | May 9, 2007 10:18:53 AM

tnspr569... Unfortunately there isn't much point in changing the car windows unless you can afford bullet proof glass (assuming your car is legally allowed to carry this heavy feature).

dfb1968... One of my all-time favorite WW quotes as well. Unfortunately if you remember, the diplomats in the room explained to Pres. Bartlett why that approach couldn't be used in the modern age.

Safranit... Sadly, I've given up ll pretense of being a centrist as there really is no such thing here in Israel.

Benji... Thank you.

Zahava... Read today's post to see that I don't think it is a matter of forgetting. It is more a matter of who you are cheering for.

Irina... Unfortunately, it is more than just a perception. Israel's vaunted military machine would grind to a halt in moths without the stead supply of spare parts and funding from the US. Israel currently gets 100% of it's Jet fuel from the US. How long do you think our F-16s could fly (on a war footing) on what we have in our tanks at present? Try less than a week.

Mustafa... Um, thanks. I think.

Elie... They are at war... to save their jobs. That is the only war that matters to our government.

psachya... All true. But what do you do when that's the girl that brung ya to the dance?

JoeSettler... I never suggested that these events were on any distant horizon, did I?

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 9, 2007 12:15:43 PM

Oh, that's right, the terrorists don't bother with stones in your area. Yeah, still not worth it, I guess.

What about a helmet to accompany the vest? Don't you want to fully accessorize your new commuter outfit? That would be the only reason to upgrade your car's windows. Think of the rock-proof windows as a way to complete the "fortified" look while staying within your budget.

Besides, it's free; all you sacrifice is visibility over time :)

A sad state, indeed.

Posted by: tnspr569 | May 9, 2007 1:07:06 PM

Good point, David. All I'm saying is that even when we had U.S. presidents that were "on our side", we always had to make an end run around the State Department. The professional diplomats are always a problem for Israel, and always have been.

Posted by: psachya | May 9, 2007 7:21:54 PM

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