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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The definition of insanity

"The definition of insanity," quipped Albert Einstein, "is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Listen to what's going on in the negotiations over a six-month 'quiet period' between Israel and Hamas, and tell me this doesn't all sound familiar.
"We don't rule out the possibility that Schalit would be part of a cease-fire agreement," the Hamas official told The Jerusalem Post. "It all depends on the price Israel is prepared to pay in return for the soldier."

The official said that his movement was keen on resolving the case of Schalit as soon as possible. "We don't want to hold onto him forever," he continued. "Israel knows what it has to do if it wants to release Schalit."

According to the Hamas official, the Egyptians have notified his movement that Israel has "softened" its position and is now willing to accept many of the captors' demands. Although he did not elaborate, the official hinted that Israel was willing to release several Palestinian prisoners who were directly involved in terrorist attacks.

Israel government sources, however, denied that Jerusalem had "softened" its stance, saying instead that it was Hamas that had realized it would have to give up on some of the security prisoners that it was demanding in exchange for Schalit.

The sources added that a failure by Hamas to include Schalit in the cease-fire proposal would be a "deal breaker."

"If Schalit is not part of the deal, there will not be one," one source said. "If he is, and there is an agreement for a six-month cease-fire, it will be difficult for the government to say 'No.'"

Israel has laid out the following conditions for a truce: Schalit's release, the end of rocket fire and all terrorist action from Gaza, and an end to arms smuggling into the Strip.

Israel, according to government officials, does not believe that Hamas would honor any commitment to stop arms smuggling, and is trying to prod the Egyptians into taking a much more active role. This, along with the release of Schalit, is expected to be one of the focuses of Barak's talks with the Egyptian president.

Suleiman was in Israel last Sunday, and the fact that Livni and Barak are holding discussions with Mubarak indicates that the cease-fire idea is still alive.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office announced last week that he was also expected to go to Egypt in the near future, but that visit is not expected to take place until Israel has an affirmative answer for the Egyptians on the smuggling.

Ayman Taha, a spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip, said that Israel had already accepted "in principle" the latest Egyptian truce initiative. He added that the Hamas delegation scheduled to arrive in Cairo Monday would be briefed by Suleiman on his talks in Israel.

"We will discuss with the Egyptian brothers the conditions that Israel set for accepting the truce," Taha said.

An Egyptian diplomat told the Post he was "optimistic" about reaching an agreement on a truce and a prisoner exchange. "A cease-fire will pave the way for a prisoner exchange," he said. "Of course these two issues are connected. But our position is that we should first go to a truce and immediately begin talks about a prisoner exchange."

The diplomat said that representatives of other Palestinian factions would be invited to Cairo later this week to discuss the truce initiative. "So far, all the Palestinian groups have accepted the initiative," he said. "Israel has also accepted it, though it still has some reservations about it."
Whom do you all believe, Hamas or the Olmert-Barak-Livni government? Sadly, based on past precedent, Hamas' statements tend to be much more credible.

Will Israel release terrorist murderers by changing the definition of 'blood on their hands'? Count on it. Will the government be able to say 'no' to any deal that includes Shalit unless the price is in the thousands of murderers? Not this government. It's beholden to the leftist appeasers. It's willing to risk hundreds of Israeli lives because it's afraid to send the IDF in and kill some 'Palestinian' civilians human shields to do what it should have done two years ago and spring a captured soldier. But that captured soldier has become a continuing stain on this government, and it is desperate to do anything to clean that stain - including placing hundreds more Israeli lives at risk. Unfortunately, the days when 'we don't negotiate with terrorists' are long gone and forgotten.

But the thing about this deal that perhaps most meets Einstein's definition of insanity is once again placing trust in the Egyptians to police arms smuggling. Forget for a minute that they're supposed to be doing it now and they are not. Forget for a minute that the Egyptians actually work with the arms smugglers importers to bring more arms into Gaza. Forget for a minute that Hamas already has enough arms in Gaza to equip a fairly decent size army from the last three years of unfettered 'smuggling.' Does anyone really believe that the 'Egyptian brothers' are going to stand up to Hamas to fulfill an agreement with the infidel Jews? You've got to be kidding.


At 1:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ehud Olmert wants a deal... he needs one to get the Attorney General off his back. That takes precedence over everything else, including Israel's security. Olmert comes first.


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