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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Did they discuss Jerusalem? Whom do you believe?

As you may recall, Shas' remaining in the government is contingent upon there being no discussions with the 'Palestinians' over concessions in Jerusalem. The Olmert-Barak-Livni junta has adopted the tactic of 'leaving Jerusalem to the end' - or claiming to do so - so that Shas will remain in the government so that the coalition will have a majority in the Knesset. The 'Palestinians' have been claiming consistently that Jerusalem is a topic of discussion like all of the other core issues, and it is being discussed regularly by Foreign Minister Tzipi Feigele Livni and chief 'Palestinian' negotiator Ahmad Qurei Abu Ala.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert met privately with 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. Did they discuss Jerusalem or didn't they discuss Jerusalem? You'd have to have an eavesdropping device to know for sure, but Olmert claims they did not, and 'Palestinian' negotiator Saeb Erekat claims they did.

Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu agrees with Erekat. Speaking yesterday at the Jerusalem Conference, he attacked Olmert's 'duplicity.' I hope that someone explained to Livni what that word means.
During his speech, Netanyahu attacked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert directly, accusing him of duplicity, and saying that despite claims to the contrary, Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are discussing core issues, including Jerusalem.

"The prime minister said that we are not talking about Jerusalem, and that we are leaving it until last. But I say, if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, then they plan to divide Jerusalem," Netanyahu said.

"The only possible process to have with the Palestinians is the economic process. My government would develop the Palestinian economy, assist in investments and the creation of employment, and simultaneously test the ability of the Palestinians to prevent terror. The economic process does not need to be tied to the political process," the opposition leader concluded.
I'm inclined to agree with Netanyahu that they are discussing Jerusalem and are playing Shas for fools. Of course, Shas apparently wants to be played. As to Netanyahu, he would be a lot more credible if he'd stop adopting Olmert's contention that there's a difference between Hamas and Fatah. If you read what he said carefully, it appears that Netanyahu's only objection to dividing Jerusalem is that Hamas will take over wherever we leave.
"Two of our withdrawals brought Hizbullah and Hamas to positions of power - the withdrawal from Lebanon strengthened Hizbullah, and the withdrawal from Gaza strengthened Hamas," Netanyahu said.

"When there is an agreement with a Palestinian government which is this weak, it signals to Hamas and to Iran that Israel is leaving and Iran is able to fill the vacuum," he continued. "If we withdraw from Jerusalem, Hamas will go in. It will turn into a haven for global terror. If you want peace in Jerusalem, leave it united."
For anyone who wonders why I am reluctant to support Bibi, maybe now you understand a little bit better why.


At 11:05 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Bibi is the Man Of Wye. I don't really see him repudiating the Oslo concept. He will sound more hawkish than Ehud Olmert but that's about it.
Everything else will remain exactly the same.

There's no candidate waiting in the wings who offers a different approach to handling Israel's problems.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

...and of Hebron.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


There are candidates in the wings who offer a different approach to handling Israel's problems: Aryeh Eldad and Effie Eitam come to mind. But they don't have a level of support at present that would make them electable.


Wye is Hebron (under the Wye Agreement, Israel turned parts of Hebron over to the 'Palestinians'). That's why I often refer to it as the "Why Why Wye Agreement."

At 6:30 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

While I will not dispute that there are poblems with Bibi, I think that his statement is directed at Washington and the "international community" who still (for the most part) does not publicly favor Hamas.

If Bibi says that Bush's darlings moving into Jerusalem is a problem, he can get no legitimacy for his view outside of the nationalist camp in Israel.

While you may be correct, politics sometimes dictates that public justifications be given which even those who do not support israel must accept.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

That's true. Israel's demographics haven't changed enough to lead to the election of a religious Jew as Prime Minister nationwide unlike in Jerusalem - where the demographics shifted to bring in the city's first Orthodox mayor, Uri Lupolianski. Tel Aviv pretty much still sets the tone for the country's politics as well as culture and it decidedly has a left of center bent.


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