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Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Peace' process or security?

Shavua tov - a good week - to everyone.

In the weekend JPost Caroline Glick points out the stark contrast between the rationalists - those who would protect our security by invading retaking Gaza, like army chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi - and the rationalizers - those who worry that an invasion would spoil the 'peace' piece by piece process like foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni.
Wednesday, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi made clear that if Israel wishes to secure its citizens there is only one thing it can do. It can conquer Gaza.

In a speech at Tel Aviv University, Ashkenazi explained, "It is impossible to defeat a terrorist organization without eventually controlling the territory. The good situation in Judea and Samaria is the result of our control over the area and we will not be able to achieve victory in the conflict [in Gaza] simply with indirect fires and attacks from the air." Presumably Ashkenazi made this point Wednesday morning at the security cabinet meeting. But apparently, he was no match for his competition.

Squared off against Ashkenazi was Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Livni warned her colleagues that securing southern Israel will destroy the peace process. If Israel secures the south, the Arabs and the Bush administration will get really mad. And "moderate" Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will turn his back on the peace process and reunite his US-trained Fatah forces with the Iranian-trained Hamas forces. Livni's message was clear: The government must choose between security and the peace process.

Livni won the argument. The peace process won out against the security of southern Israel.

The Olmert government's preference for process over substance is not unique. Indeed, it is malady shared by governments throughout the free world. The philosophical foundations of this malady are similarly common ones.
Glick goes on to talk about how the malady afflicts other governments like the United States. One of the things she mentions is that the guards at Guantanamo are not allowed to touch the Koran without wearing gloves. I thought she was exaggerating. She wasn't. This is Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) on the floor of the US House of Representatives in June 2005:
Of course I am talking about Gitmo, the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center. These people are prisoners of war and the guards that are there are doing an outstanding job.

Speaking of the Koran, the guards are not permitted to touch the Koran except under rare circumstances. And if they do, they have to wear linen gloves before they can move this Koran to a different cell.
Read the whole thing.


At 7:03 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Yes, the lack of any will to look bad in particular areas affects the U.S. as well, and it's really just our good luck that this doesn't threaten our existence, as it does Israel's. Consider, for example, that President Bush is willing to fight a foreign war in Iraq, no matter how much hatred he gets from the Left, but isn't willing to enforce immigration law on our own border with Mexico. He doesn't like the idea of looking like the "heavy" on our own soil or even on our own continent. As it happens, the Mexicans aren't sending rockets into our border towns as the Gazans are into Sderot. But one wonders what he would do if they were. America profits a lot from its sheer size and from the side of the world that it happens to be on. Absent that, I don't know if we would last nearly as long.

Speaking of which, Carl, my husband said to me the other day (after I mentioned some of the craziness Olmert is up to and the very real possibility that they are preparing to give all of East Jerusalem to the "Palestinians") that perhaps you should come back with your family to the U.S. To somewhere smack in the middle of the country like Missouri or Michigan or something where things are quiet. :-)

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Sorry, but I don't plan to move back.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

I understand. And it wasn't intended offensively but rather as an indication of goodwill.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I appreciate that.

There were a lot of reasons we moved to Israel. We weren't escaping America, which we still love, and is still - in my mind anyway - the best group of (mostly) non-Jewish friends Israel and the Jewish people have. We understood when we moved here that there were some physical risks to doing so. These days, in Jerusalem at least, they don't strike me as being so much worse than the risks in the US (which I have visited four times this year). It's just that you're more aware of them here.

Having said that, if I lived in Sderot right now, I would think of moving elsewhere in Israel. For my children's sake if nothing else.


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