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Monday, February 11, 2008

Shas buries its head deeper in the sand

Shas keeps telling us all how it is staying in the government to 'protect' our interests and how as soon as the government starts negotiating the future of Jerusalem, Shas will leave. And Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has promised Shas that he will leave the issue of Jerusalem to the end so that Shas can remain in the government and prop up its den of thieves. But that's not what's happening. And Shas is staying in the government anyway.

On Sunday, the Jerusalem Post reported that there are 'secret' negotiations going on between foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni and chief 'Palestinian' negotiator Ahmad Qrei Abu Ala. The 'negotiations' include a discussion of how to divide Jerusalem. The goal of this perfidy is to enable the Olmert-Barak-Livni government junta to present the nation with a fait accompli in which Jerusalem will be divided, Judea and Samaria will be turned over to the 'Palestinians,' another 250,000 - 450,000 Israelis will be rendered homeless (joining the refugees from Gaza who are still living in trailers with their belongings in 'storage' after two and a half years) and Israel will return to its pre-1967 Auschwitz borders. And Olmert can retire to France, and Livni can become Prime Minister. This is from the JPost report linked above:
As reported in Sunday's Post, a senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah said that the Palestinian negotiating team headed by former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei had been holding "secret talks" with Livni and other government officials over the past few weeks.

"There are public meetings and there are secret ones," the PA official explained. "The main progress has been achieved during the secret talks, particularly on the issue of Jerusalem. Today we can say that Israel is prepared to withdraw from almost all the Arab neighborhoods and villages in Jerusalem. Israel is prepared to redivide Jerusalem, and this is a positive development."

Livni's associates declined to comment on the story, saying that the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams had decided not to respond to reports about what was taking place behind closed doors during the negotiations.

An Israeli official familiar with the talks said that until now they had focused on procedural matters and that the more serious issues on substance still lay ahead.

The PA confirmed Sunday that Jerusalem was being discussed with Israel. Nimer Hammad, political adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the PA had sensed readiness on Israel's part to talk about the future of Jerusalem.

"The negotiations [with Israel] are not easy," Qurei said Sunday. "The topics which we're negotiating about are also not simple. These are the most difficult issues, and they include Jerusalem, the refugees, the borders and the settlements."

A senior PA official added that "Jerusalem was of course on the table" and that "there is almost full understanding with Israel" regarding the creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
With all this going on, Shas, the Sephardi Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) party has collectively buried its head deeper in the sand, denying what even Livni's office did not deny: that negotiations are taking place.
Arutz Sheva's Haggai Huberman reported that FM Livni explicitly confirmed that in negotiations with Qurei they are dealing with “all core-issues, including Jerusalem.” She acknowledged that the negotiations contradict commitments given to Shas by the prime minister, Huberman's diplomatic sources said.

Shas Spokesman Roi Lachmanovitch dismissed the report. “Nobody is talking about Jerusalem,” he told Arutz Sheva. “The moment Jerusalem is being discussed Shas will leave the government – period.”

Asked if he is saying that Foreign Minister Livni is lying, he said: “I am not saying she is lying – but I am saying that absolutely nobody is negotiating over Jerusalem.”
But politicians on the right aren't buying it, and are pushing Shas to keep its promise and leave the government:
"The cat is out of the bag," National Religious Party chairman Zevulun Orlev said. "The fact that the Olmert government is not telling the truth about the negotiations with the Palestinians has been revealed. Shas will no longer be able to say they didn't know. Even if the prime minister isn't telling them the truth, they can thank The Jerusalem Post for revealing it to them. I hope Shas keeps its promise and leaves the government that is dividing Jerusalem."

Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar said the secret negotiations were intended to give the political establishment a fait accompli that would require Israel to withdraw to indefensible borders and divide Jerusalem.

"Shas should withdraw immediately from the coalition as it promised," Sa'ar said. "It's also time for the MKs in Kadima and the Pensioners Party who oppose such moves to wake up."

United Torah Judaism [the Ashkenazi Haredi party. CiJ] MK Avraham Ravitz criticized the negotiations, saying that if "the story was true, then Jerusalem's fate is being decided like a thief in the night. It cannot be that while Olmert is denying that there are any talks about Jerusalem at all, Livni is negotiating in back rooms with Abu Ala [Qurei] about the state of our capital."

Jerusalem municipal opposition leader Nir Barkat, who has led a public campaign against the proposed division of the capital, called on Livni to reveal any agreements reached during negotiations with the Palestinians.

"I demand that the foreign minister, who heads the negotiations with the Palestinians, publicly disclose all secretive and other agreements that the State of Israel has reached with the Palestinians," Barkat said.

"Any such agreement achieved on behalf of an Israeli official would constitute an absolute deviation from Kadima's basic principles and a violation of the Basic Law: Jerusalem. It would betray the trust of the voter and undermines the sovereign basis of the Knesset. The Palestinians must understand that neither the government of Israel, nor any other body on its behalf, has the right to promise to give up areas where Israeli law, governance and legislation have been implemented."
But Shas remains an integral part of the Olmert-Barak-Livni junta. If Shas were to leave the government, it would no longer have a majority, and it would need the votes of the extreme left-wing Meretz party to survive and of the Arab parties to pass any law in the Knesset. It is highly unlikely that certain members of Olmert's own Kadima party would vote in favor of a surrender agreement if it required Arab MK's votes in order to pass. So why does Shas stay in the government? Why do they - by their own admission - insist on bringing the people of Israel to the precipice of disaster, and apparently further? Greed? Hubris? I don't have an answer. But if Shas brings a disaster on the Jewish people, they will have to answer to a Higher Authority.


At 1:52 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is positive news... Sderotis are planning to shut down parts of the country's highway artery and intensify their protests against an unheeding government. They're doing what the political class won't do - they're bringing Sderot's suffering before the nation. And the government's reaction? Empty promises that's been heard of a Gaza operation from before no one in Israel is buying.

I think what happened to two Jewish boys broke something in Sderot's and the country's psyche and there is an anger and a resolve that people want an end to business as usual and they're going to keep up the heat. Ehud Olmert should reread Israel's national poet Haim Nahman Bialik: "even Satan has not yet invented revenge for the death of a child." And what will be invented to ultimately hold his government responsible? It will have to answer to a Higher Authority.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Ron said...

It's amazingly sad when the Israeli government is the Jews' worst enemy.


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