Newsletter #270     Friday, February 17, 2006
  • Playing pretend
    By Saul Singer - Jerusalem Post - February 16, 2006  The whole world - even Russia and Egypt - is ostensibly demanding that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist. Yet what is really being demanded is that Hamas pretend to accept Israel, like the PLO did in 1988. Unfortunately, as we have seen, pretend recognition can only produce pretend peace.

  • Appeasement redux
    By Barry Rubin - Jerusalem Post - February 14, 2006  After the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on America many called them a Pearl Harbor-like wake-up call to Western unity and the democratic struggle against totalitarian, anti-freedom forces. Yet there are probably more people, at least among respected Western elites, who think the problem is Islamophobia, America and Israel rather than radical Islamism, terrorism and corrupt dictatorships blaming their bad systems on others.

  • From Moscow, without love
    By Uri Dan - Jerusalem Post - February 14, 2006  Beyond the considerable and justified concern in Israel at Putin's shattering of the international front against Hamas, a worrying global picture is taking shape: In every place that President George Bush has demonstrated a firm position - toward the terror-supporting regimes and terror organizations themselves, and toward Teheran, Damascus and Hamas - Putin has come and presented a completely opposite position. There is a worrying method in this madness.

  • The IDF's confusion
    By Carolyn Glick - Jerusalem Post - February 17, 2006  There can be little doubt that the withdrawal from Gaza had a terrible impact on the IDF. It can only be hoped that the General Staff will pull itself together and face reality before the next round of war begins so that it can adequately prepare our soldiers and our society for the challenges that await us.

  • Let Sharon die with dignity (but they won't)
    By Emanuel A. Winston - - February 14, 2006   From the days after Israel?s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke January 4th, the unguarded word came out through police channels that he had died. Then, that statement was quickly withdrawn and a medical fog settled over his true condition.

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  • Israel braces for Hamas swearing-in
    Jerusalem to cut ties with PA over terrorist takeover

    By Ryan Jones - Jerusalem Newswire - February 17, 2006

    At Saturday's swearing in of the new Palestinian Legislative Council the Palestinian Authority will fall largely under the sway of terrorists who make no attempt to disguise their murderous intentions toward the Jewish state.

    Israel Friday braced for Hamas' rise to power by announcing plans to cut most ties with the PA as of Sunday, a move which, despite more than a decade of PA-sanctioned terror, was made next to impossible by the diplomatic maneuvering of Yasser Arafat's and Mahmoud Abbas' PLO.

    But Hamas' openly stated (both in Arabic and English) goal of annihilating Israel has “changed the rules of the game,” to quote Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

    Earlier in the week, Israel's defense establishment proposed a series of measures aimed at reducing Jerusalem's ties with the PA and imposing restrictions on that hostile regime. Those measures include:

    • Freezing further transfers of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the PA;

    • banning the entry of workers from the Gaza Strip into sovereign Israel;

    • severely curtailing movement between the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria;

    • preventing the transfer of military equipment to the PA from foreign nations; and

    • halting plans to help construct sea and air ports in the Gaza Strip.

    Olmert met with top defense officials Friday to discuss the recommendations, and a ministerial gathering Sunday is expected to approve the plan.

    Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Army Radio there will be no compromise with Hamas over these sanctions until the terror group renounces its deeply-seeded, Islam-based core beliefs and reason for existence.

    She was followed by veteran politician Shimon Peres, who backed the hard-line policy against the Hamas Authority, and laid the blame for the ensuing hardships on the Palestinian Arabs on the intractable ideology of the killers they had overwhelmingly voted in:

    Hamas is a disaster for the Palestinian people [sic].”

    However, Israel's efforts to isolate and squeeze the Hamas-led PA may be thwarted before ever getting off the ground, as they seem to enjoy the support of no nation other than the United States.

    Regardless of the amount of blood on the hands of its leaders, the PA can still rely on Brussels, not to mention Russia and the entire Muslim world.

    Following a meeting with Abbas in Ramallah Thursday, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana vowed the EU would never abandon the PA, even if Hamas responds negatively to its requests to disarm and recognize Israel.

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