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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kadima election strategy divisive, editor says

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick was in Toronto recently. This is the Canadian Jewish News' account of her lecture there. Hat Tip: New York Nana

Toward the end of her scathing critique of the state of Israeli politics, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick looked up at the audience at the Shaarei Tefillah Congregation, and made an admission.

It pained her to have to describe the Israeli government in such unflattering terms, she conceded.

Though clearly uncomfortable, Glick continued a withering attack on Israeli policy, describing it by turns as reckless, despicable, divisive and morally unjustifiable.

“Is this the beginning of the destruction of the State of Israel or the end of the self-destruction of the Jewish people?” she asked at one point.


Kadima, the centrist part established by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is in hospital in a coma after suffering a stroke, is courting voters for the March 28 election by demonizing settlers, Glick said.

Not only is the portrayal of the settlers inaccurate, but it alienates a key element of Israeli society for no good purpose, she argued. “Kadima is eroding the will of the people to fight,” she said. “How can a nation survive if it says its people are the problem, not the enemy that is trying to kill them?”

Glick, deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, was speaking on the topic “Dangerous times for Israel and the Jewish people,” as a guest of the Toronto Zionist Council and Shaarei Tefillah. Her address followed the presentation of a short film about the dismantling and forced evacuation of the tiny settlement of Amona, located nine kilometres north of Jerusalem. The film, presented by Toronto businessman Israel Kaplan, showed repeated instances of violent Israeli police attacks on settlers and their supporters.

Glick said “Amona did not come out of thin air.” She traced the ultimate genesis of the event to a decision by Sharon in December 2003 to reverse his campaign promise not to withdraw unilaterally from territories – a campaign promise that earned him a parliamentary majority in coalition with Zionist religious parties, she said.

Sharon reached his decision to withdraw from Gaza and several West Bank settlements after consulting only with his sons, his political advisors and his communications consultants, shutting out the Israeli defence and security establishment. He went ahead with the withdrawal even after he was advised that serious security consequences would result. The IDF’s chief of staff, Moshe Ya’alon, was fired in 2005 after he warned of the security threats, Glick said.

Sharon was warned that a unilateral withdrawal would be seen as a victory by the forces of global jihad, and that Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza border, as well as its power station and the Eilat/Ashkelon pipeline, would be put in jeopardy, and that Gaza would become a terror base like Afghanistan under the Taliban.

All these consequences have come to pass, Glick stated, with Gaza turned into a forward base for Hamas, Hezbollah (a client of Iran) and even Al Qaeda.

Heavy arms such as mortars, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons are being smuggled in, and these will eventually find their way to the West Bank, placing Jerusalem and even Ben-Gurion International Airport within range of Palestinian fire, she said.

Imagine the consequences to the Israeli economy if a rocket lands near the airport, Glick suggested.

Iran, she continued, has promised to give Hamas $250 million (US) because “it wants to control what happens in the Palestinian Authority.”

Hamas, she said, are “present-day Nazis” who threaten to destroy Israel and kill Jews. “They say it because they mean it and they are doing everything they can to do it.”

In the face of these threats, the Israeli government under Kadima has turned its focus not on Israel’s real enemies, but on the settlers, “demonizing and dehumanizing” them and religious Zionists. They have been called “messianics, fascists [who] incite violence and refuse to acknowledge the rule of law,” she said.

“This is the strategy of Kadima to win,” she added.

Read it all.


At 2:51 AM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Shavuah tov!

Thank you for the hat tip.

How I wish we could have driven up to Toronto to hear her.

I think that Caroline Glick is one of the better writers, if not the best, on the JPost, which seems to be tilting left since Black had to sell it.

Her emphasis on Kadima, and especially on Amona, and the kapo-like teatment of the 'settlers' needs far more attention here, in NY. She seems to have said what had to be said. The folowing gave me chills:

'“Is this the beginning of the destruction of the State of Israel or the end of the self-destruction of the Jewish people?”'

At 7:37 AM, Blogger westbankmama said...

I think people need to seriously think about making aliyah. The Americans/Canadians think that Israel is a strong country now and doesn't need them. The opposite is true - we don't necessarily need the $$$, but we need the people to come and VOTE and get politically active.


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