Newsletter #246     Friday, August 19, 2005

Don't expect any thanks

By Stan Goodenough - Jerusalem Newswire - August 19th, 2005

For some inexplicable reason, many in Israel who purportedly support the surrender to terrorists of Gaza and northern Samaria are apparently hoping that the world will treat the Jewish state better now that it has shown a willingness to rip its own people from their homes.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon along with the spokesmen his government has fielding the foreign media have repeatedly stressed the deeply painful price their country is paying this week.

But, Sharon says, he is redrawing the borders of the conflict, changing realities on the ground that will alter the debate and provide a new chance for peace.

Pointing to the hours of live international television coverage given to the forced evacuations, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon shared his belief on CNN Thursday night that “our withdrawal will create a new paradigm in the region.”

Clearly there is some naïve hope that with Israel having taken this step, the “Palestinians” will take a step of their own toward making peace.

By leaving these areas, Israelis are saying, we have shown that we really are willing to pay a very painful price for peace. Now they expect the world will adopt a more even-handed approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Arab side will reciprocate too.

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

If anything, a cynical tone has marked international (and even some Israeli) press coverage of the forced removals of Jewish families, despite the agonizing images coming out of Gaza. Sympathetic words and expressions have been largely non-existent.

“It all makes for a moving spectacle,” said the BBC’s Paul Adams, sarcastically. “But what does Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip really mean?”

“There was some kicking and yelling,” reported the Daily Telegraph, “but many of the 750 or so protesters were content with media martyrdom, freely venting their grief and anger for the TV crews.”

In an opinion piece headlined “Israel hopes the pain is West Bank gain,” London Times’ reporter in Gaza, Stephen Farrell, “explained” that the tears and prayers of Gaza’s Jews were a public relations exercise whose purpose was to ensure that Israel would not have to also withdraw from Judea and Samaria.

If this was the hope of the Israeli government, then the Arabs, who always win the media war, are way ahead of them.

Hot-shot Arab spokeswomen have been pouring out their lies over the airwaves, and (brilliantly) shooting down any suggestion that they should be even a little bit thankful to the Israelis. “This is our land,” they insist, against all the facts of history. “We have nothing to be thankful for. For 38 years we have been putting Israel on notice that they are illegally occupying our land and will have to leave. Finally they are leaving, and you want us to be grateful?”

In any case, they continue, doubtless knowing that they have a cynical, unfeeling international community to back them up, the tears and cries are all a ploy, yet another Zionist plot to suck up sympathy abroad.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the Arab corner too, adding weight to their demands Thursday when she said that as sorry as she feels for the now expelled Jews of Gaza, Israelis must not think this will be the only price they have to pay.

Gaza is only the first step, she said, sounding uncommonly like PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas senior leader Khaled Mashal and the Hizb’allah’s Hassan Nasrallah, who all concur that after Gaza comes Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

It has been said that Jews are eternal optimists. No matter how hard things get, how painful the experiences, how fleeting the hope, as long as there is some hope, Jews everywhere will say “All will be well.”

That this is a strength, and that this ever-living hope is justified, has been evidenced throughout the history of the Jews – especially through the last 2,000 years, when every effort to erase this nation – either through extermination or assimilation – failed.

Their optimism has helped preserve them. So surely it is good for the Jews.

But there have been occasions when it has also been bad for them; when this same trait that has worked towards saving this nation has aided those determined to destroy them.

The pullout from Gaza and part of northern Samaria is set to be a case in point.

Far from ameliorating the world’s demands for Israeli concessions, it will only fuel its appetite for more.

Mark these words.

  • Awash in prayers and tears
    Stan Goodenough - Jerusalem Newswire - August 17, 2005   I can’t help myself. I know there is no comparison, but the scene triggers an image in my mind; an image I have often seen as I have paged through books of recent Jewish history. The image of faces pressing against the narrow windows of the cattle cars carrying them, just because they were Jews, from their homes.

  • More than ever, Mr. President, speak up for Israel
    by Gary Bauer - Jerusalem Post - August 18, 2005   In the past, the Bush administration publicly acknowledged that Israel should not be expected to negotiate with the late PA leader Yasser Arafat because he was duplicitous and remained committed to employing armed violence as a principal vehicle by which to achieve his goals. Yet today it maintains that Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is a worthy partner with whom Israel can achieve a settlement. Would this were the case. The facts on the ground, however, tell a different story.

  • From Beirut to Gush Katif
    By Evelyn Gordon - Jerusalem Post - August 18, 2005   In short, far from showing greater understanding for Israel's security needs following disengagement, the international community's response has been to demand that Israel concede all the safeguards most essential to its post-pullout security. But given the Lebanon precedent, that is hardly surprising. The only surprising part is that Sharon, or anyone else, should ever have expected otherwise.

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  • 'Jews will all be out by Monday'
    Jerusalem Newswire - August 19, 2005   Last week, Gaza was home to thousands of families living in 21 towns whose streets, swimming pools, synagogues, beaches and grass parks pulsated with Jewish life. As Shabbat, the biblical day of rest honored by the Jewish nation, begins today, most of those towns stand empty and silent, awaiting their final destruction. According to reports Friday, the Israeli government expects that by next Monday Jewish Gaza will be no more.

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