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THIS WEEK - 22.05.05

‘Hamas-Stan Already In Gaza?’

Cabinet Minister Olmert & The 'Retarded Palestinian Child Syndrome'

Public Corruption & 'The dogs Bark, but the caravan moves on!'

Hamas-Stan (a take on Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban terror regime):


Has Hamas already converted the Gaza Strip to Hamas-Stan, a terrorist controlled launching pad for attacks against Israeli targets? The concern has been that Hamas would wait to take over after Israel's evacuation. However, the terror organization has flagrantly violated the cease-fire agreed upon by Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last February. Prior to the truce, Abbas conferred with the terror groups in Cairo; there it was decided to go for 'Tahdia' temporary cease-fire. In return, Abbas agreed that Hamas enter the political process and run in the July 17th Palestinian elections while still preserving its armed 'military' (i.e. terror) wing. Hamas has thrown the accord out the window because it is angry that a Palestinian court has called for a re-vote in the Rafah area which Hamas won recently in the municipal election. Attacking Israel is the Hamas tactic of putting pressure on Hamas. Israel of course will not agree to the terrorists shelling her civilians and holds Abbas responsible. The Palestinian leader is caught of his choosing, 'between the devil and the deep blue sea'. If Abbas wants to be accepted as President of a Palestinian state-in-the-making, he is going to have start acting like one. As Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu recently pointed out, one of the attributes of a state is the 'monopoly of power' by its leadership. The Abbas approach of letting terror organizations retain control of their private armies to activate when they deem fit is none other than utter folly.

'The Palestinian Retarded Child Syndrome':

Cabinet Minister Olmert

The typical query to Israel goes like this: 'You must understand that Abbas is very weak vis-vis the terrorists and Israel must bail him out'. Cabinet Minister Ehud Olmert has responded by saying there is no doubt Israel has an interest in bolstering Mahmoud Abbas. However, Israel cannot forever be the care-taker of 'this retarded child' (the Palestinians who refuse to take responsibility for their violence against Israel). The procrastination of Abbas and his lack of readiness to confront and disarm Hamas reveals his lack of resolve on the big issue - is Abbas truly ready for a compromise with Israel. As for the Palestinian security forces at his command, Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin says they are powerful enough to take on Hamas. In the interim, who is Israel's real Palestinian partner, Mahmoud Abbas who rejects terrorism or Hamas that vows to annihilate Israel? Either Israel is his partner or Hamas is. This week's escalation by Hamas in the Gaza Strip proves that Abbas cannot have it both ways. The Hamas flare-up had died down - until the next time.

FM Silvan Shalom

Power corrupts but so can the lack of no viable alternative:

The confrontation between Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Israel's U.S. Ambassador Ayalon has is ballooned into a crusade by the Maariv newspaper to clean-up Israeli political life. Shalom wants to fire the ambassador because he allegedly did not arrange a photo-op for the Foreign Minister's wife Judy with Madonna during a visit to Israel last year. Maariv's editor Dankner and political commentator Dan Margalit published a banner headline article entitled 'You, the corrupt have gone too far!' After presenting his report this week, State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg warned that 'public corruption poses a strategic threat to the State of Israel. 'Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz is being investigated for appointing Likud cronies to plum jobs in his ministry. Zachi Hanegbi, the former Minister of Internal Security (the Israel Police!) also stepped aside during a similar investigation. In the Labor Party, there have been serious charges of fraud in the registering of party member support for the five leadership candidates. The committee of Foreign Ministry employees has called for an enquiry into how top officials are appointed and the administration of the ministry.How Come?: The question is how politicians can behave inappropriately in furthering their interests? Professor Amnon Rubinstein, a former cabinet minister says basically it has to do with the war and peace issue naturally dominates all else; shameful behavior by politicians gets brushed aside by voters come election time. Rubinstein says a right-winger will not vote for the cleanest party which calls for a return to the '67 borders; nor will a left-winger vote for peerless politicians who declare 'not an inch!'

No Viable Alternative:


At present, opinion polls show the Likud, under Sharon would still win the next election retaining forty or so seats in the 120 member Knesset. (Let's not forget that Ariel Sharon and his two sons including MK Omri have been under investigation for financial fraud.) Labor the only possible contender trails far behind although it would gain a few seats. Although five candidates are now vying for the Labor party leadership, none of them has fired up the Israeli public. Therefore as Judy Nir Moses Shalom, the wife of the foreign minister puts it: 'The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on!'

David Essing

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