June 22, 2014

Kidnappings: The accidental cure

The more you follow events in Israel, the more you realize things just do not happen the way they do anywhere else in the world.
Whether it’s our miraculous victories in war, or the normality of life surrounded by millions of sworn enemies outside our borders and living with a million of their kith and kin inside. It’s hard to be an atheist in Israel.
And so with the recent kidnapping – something out of the ordinary happens.
The reaction, sadly delayed by a police foul-up, was a massive manhunt in the immediate area of the kidnapping in Etzion and Chevron.
Within 48 hours the dragnet had spread further afield. In this process, the IDF picked up some of the high-ups in Hamas and its jihadist offshoots for questioning. Essentially this was an intelligence-gathering operation by whatever means to interrogate locals and urgently pick up the trail of the kidnappers.
And then something else happened.
We heard that more than 50 of the prisoners released in exchange for Gilad Shalit were rearrested. And that other villains freed in the more recent round of misguided prisoner releases are also being rounded-up to be returned to their jails in Israel.
This is a remarkable turnaround and one which I refuse to believe was a strategy worked-out well in advance by the powers-that-be, as is so often claimed in Israel. 
All the anguish over the prisoner releases was about killers getting away with murder. About them laughing all the way to their next recidivist attack.  Not one MK or media pundit ever said they were on a short leash, or that they could/would be so easily recaptured to serve their full terms.
And yet, this is what’s happening.
And of all the ideas bandied about in the process of the prisoner releases in the Knesset and newspapers and pontificated by the talking heads on Israel TV, no-one to my knowledge ever raised this prospect of turning the tables so decisively on Hamas and the PLO.  Not even the taxi drivers came up with the idea of saying: “Now the kidnapping stops, or we round-up the lot of you and you’ll serve your full tariff back in our jails”.
It’s pure genius.

Another example of Israeli improvisation.

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June 16, 2014

The Kidnapping: Livni's Big Opportunity

Dear Mrs Livni –

As the Voice of Oslo in Netanyahu’s cabinet you have been determined to prove that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a true peace partner to whom you would be willing to hand over Judea, Samaria and control of half of Jerusalem.
Even after he embraced Hamas, you continued to meet with Abbas behind Netanyahu’s back, conducting your own foreign policy. This is neither your role as Minister of Justice nor your right as a member of the government coalition.
But if you are really so convinced of Abbas’s good intentions, and that Hamas will now work with him instead of ousting him overnight from a new West Bank state like they did in Gaza … here’s your BIG opportunity to get him his West Bank state and half of Jerusalem … and to unseat the fiendish Netanyahu all in one go!

Ask outgoing President Shimon Peres to lean on his new prayer partner, Pope Francis, to lean on his other new prayer partner Mahmoud Abbas to lean on his new friends in Hamas to make the supreme peace gesture. Let them deliver-up the three teenagers as a sign of genuine intent for peace and reconciliation. No exchanges. No quid-pro-quo. No strings attached.
Just imagine! Abbas reuniting the kids with their families on live TV, beamed all over the world. 
The Pope could take part in the ceremony via video-conference.
Even President Obama could participate - maybe this time without even chewing gum.
And of course you!  Taking all the bows, center-stage, while Bibi, Bennett and all the government hawks cower in embarrassment.  
You will have been vindicated and Netanyahu would have no choice but to respond with goodwill through gritted teeth.
Go for it girl!  It may be your last and only chance. 
But hurry, because the IDF seem to be rapidly closing in on the kidnappers. And if, G-d forbid, the boys have been harmed, it will be you and your peace-dreamers who will be further discredited.

Sadly I think you will eventually wake up to the reality that Mr Abbas and his Hamas cronies are no different than the bloodthirsty Fedayeen whom your parents fought as heroes of the Irgun resistance 70 years ago. 

May their memories be a blessing and may their legacy never be forgotten or betrayed.

June 15, 2014

The America/Israel Bond … no longer unshakable.

Because we are indeed very shaken.
Shaken by the events in Iraq this week having clearly taken the White House completely by surprise.
Shaken by Obama’s same meaningless response of ‘all options on the table’ which has been so utterly devalued in his Faustian dealings with Iran.
Shaken by the pathetic response to Putin’s theft of Crimea in broad daylight and his continuing undermining of the Ukrainian democracy in the face of the most feeble sanctions imaginable.
After Iraq and Afghanistan it’s quite understandable for any US president to make the decision not to commit more blood and treasure to new theatres of war. 
As for Europe it’s not even a decision they need to make. They simply haven’t got the wherewithal to respond. The money wasted by the EU on bailouts and immigrant benefit cheats has left nothing for their military which Putin now laughs at.
But if America and Europe have no stomach to oppose such forces of evil, let them not interfere with those who are willing to fight these evils and who are prepared to do what’s necessary to secure their vital national interests.
Don’t sanction us for taking Iran’s nuclear threats more seriously than you do.
Don’t criticise us for erecting a fence to keep out a clear evil you refuse to acknowledge.
Don’t punish us for holding on to strategic territory when every acre we've vacated has been planted with rocket launchers.
The unshakeable bond used to be understood as total dependability in good times and bad.
Now that bond has become something which ties our hands.
By impeding our efforts to assert sovereignty over our homeland and deter our mortal enemies.
Hillel asked:  If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
Not America and not Europe.

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