Saturday, June 23, 2007
ARABS LOSING FAITH IN PALESTINIAN "CAUSE"
American and European Liberals will never lose faith in their religiously dogmatic ideal of the Palestinians, so Youssef Ibrahim’s eye-opening piece could only be published in one of America’s three-and-a-half conservative newspapers: Why is America trying to pour new money and more weapons into Palestinian Arab hands barely days afterthe Gaza debacle? It is an ill-considered policy, both premature and useless. The only sure result will be that warring gangs in the West Bank will use every new weapon to continue the mayhem and that the money will end up in the pockets and bank accounts of the samecrooks who lost Gaza. America and Israel may want to wait for what may turnout to be a changing of the guard: Arab voices, both expert and popular, are rising in vociferous denunciations of the once sacrosanct Palestinian Arabs. A widely read opinion commentator for the Saudi dailyAsharq Al-Awsat, Mamoun Fandy, thundered on Monday. “We need to tell the [Palestinians] the only thing they have proven over 50 years is that they are adolescents who cannot and should not be trusted to run institutions of state or any other important matters.” While it could be argued that the outrage in Saudi Arabia reflects resentment over the collapse of the much-vaunted reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah - which was personally brokered by King Abdullah earlier this year in Mecca - the anger expressed across the Muslim Arab world reflects deep embarrassment at the discredit Hamas has brought, in the name of Islam, through its savagery against Fatah. For its part, the Egyptian press has become unhinged,spewing vile denunciations of what is universally knownas “the cause” - support for the Palestinian Arabs -and describing it as dead. Palestinian journalist Abdelbari Atwan, writing in theLondon-based Al Quds International, argued that “the cause” may have lost its legitimacy: “I never thought the day would come when we would see Palestinians throwing other Palestinians from the tops of buildings to their death, Palestinians attacking other Palestinians to tear their bodies with knives, Palestinians stripping others naked to drag them through the streets.” * Savage Hamas Terror Leads toUnprecedented Quiet in Gaza * Vignettes from the Hamas takeover of Gaza: The near-perfect public order that reigned in Gaza thisweek can be attributed, at least in part, to the fearHamas struck into residents’ hearts last week, duringthe Strip’s civil war. Testimony collected from the days of fighting indicates that Hamas imposed a methodical system of terror and scare tactics intended to deter, shock and frighten Fatah operatives and Gazaresidents in general. It began on a Monday 11 days ago, when a Fatah man wastossed off a multi-story building in the Strip; it subsequently came to light that Hamas operatives managed to shoot him in the legs before throwing him to his death. Although this method was used on only one other Fatah operative, it had the desired effect and became the talk of the town. A number of Fatah leaders, who knew that their names appeared on Hamas hit lists, decided to make their exit, with some heading toRamallah and others crossing into Egypt. Hamas was not using a random hit list. Every Hamas patrol carried with it a laptop containing a list of Fatah operatives in Gaza, and an identity number and a star appeared next to each name. A red star meant the operative was to be executed and a blue one meant he was to be shot in the legs - a special, cruel tactic developed by Hamas, in which the shot is fired from the back of the knee so that the kneecap is shattered when the bullet exits the other side. A black star signaled arrest, and no star meant that the Fatah member was to be beaten and released. Hamas patrols took the list with them to hospitals, where they searched for wounded Fatah officials, some of whom they beat up and some of whom they abducted. Aside from assassinating Fatah officials, Hamas also killed innocent Palestinians, with the intention of deterring the large clans from confronting the organization. Thus it was that 10 days ago, after an hours-long gun battle that ended with Hamas overpowering the Bakr clan from the Shati refugee camp- known as a large, well-armed and dangerous family that supports Fatah - the Hamas military wing removed all the family members from their compound and lined them up against a wall. Militants selected a 14-year-old girl, two women aged 19 and 75, and two elderly men, and shot them to death in cold blood to send a message to all the armed clans of Gaza. * The Golan Is Israeli * An important article in preparation for the next battleground in Olmert’s corrupt give away of his nation’s assets: It is almost politically incorrect, practically heresy, to claim today that the Golan is not Syrian in the least nor a deposit or bargaining chip for negotiations. The Golan is a lot more “Israeli” than “Syrian.” It has been Israeli for 40 years, double the time it was in Syria’s hands. It has been under Israeli sovereignty for 26 years. It has neither a foreign people nor a demographic problem. The Golan has become a part of Israeli life. It is the most frequently visited part of the country, dotted with dozens of Jewish communities, agricultural fields, industrialareas and tourist resorts, nature reserves and wildlandscape. Whoever talks about “returning” the Golan to Syria is being misleading. The Golan was placed under a French mandate in the colonialist agreement that divided the region; Syria won independence only in 1946. In the brief period it was in the Golan - 0.5 percent of its territory - Syria turned the region into a launching pad for its attempt to conquer and decimate Israel. The Syrian army shelled the Israeli communities along the border, attacked the Lake Kinneret fishermen, tried to divert the course of its waters and made life “down below” a Sderot-style hell. The Golan was conquered in a justified defensive war. We paid for it with blood.The Syrians lost it fair and square. In previous eras as well, the Golan was not considereda part of Syria, and it is replete with findings of Jewish heroism and sovereignty, starting with the reign of Solomon, through the Second Temple period, the heroic battle of the city of Gamla and the Talmudic period. It was no foreign land that we conquered. The results of the Second Lebanon War greatly increased the Syrian appetite and led it to threaten a war against Israel unless the Golan is handed over. This is exactlythe time to tell the Israeli story of the GolanHeights. Remember, the complete stories and much more can befound by visiting the IRIS blog at: http://www.iris.org.il/blog.html