Monday, November 12, 2012

Does Israel need a cease-fire agreement with Hamas?

Cease-fire yes, agreement no

The Hebrew will follow the English        העברית לאחר האנגלית

Attack on Tel Aviv bus
Hamas is a terror organization, openly aiming at the destruction of Israel, firing missiles with the intention of injuring and killing civilians, victoriously triumphant the more damage is inflicted on the detested enemy, whether child, man or woman, or the elderly.

Their goals remain unchanged, so any commitment from their side, as they have themselves stated, has very little value, and is valid only as long as it serves their purposes, for instance rebuilding their arsenal of weapons.

Yet, the ruling Palestinian Hamas government in Gaza carries responsibility of its own acts.

Israel should of course not act in an inhumane way and prevent the supply of electricity to Gaza, the greater part of which is supplied by Israel.

Execution of suspected collaborator in Gaza

The decision regarding supply of electricity should be in the hands of the Palestinian government in Gaza.

At the sounding of the “Red Color” alert, Israeli citizens have 15 to 30 seconds to find shelter from the missiles fired from Gaza.

I suggest declaring an exact date when the Red Color Alert will be connected to the switch which activates electricity supplies. From that moment, electricity will automatically be cut for 15 seconds at the firing of the first missile.

School in Ashkelon hit by rocket

Each additional missile will double the time of the electricity cut. The third missile will cut electricity for one minute, and after the tenth missile, electricity is cut for two hours and eight minutes.

Consequently, the length of the electricity cut will be determined entirely by those who fire rockets, or, more correctly, for the government that controls Gaza. They will know that the next rocket will automatically cause an electricity cut double the time of the previous one, and be fully in control of supplies – by the twelfth missile it will be eight hours and thirty-two minutes.

האם ישראל באמת זקוקה להסכם הפסקת אש עם החמאס?

החמאס לא מתכוון לוותר על מטרתו להשמיד את מדינת ישראל, לכן להסכם אין הרבה ערך.

אך כממשלה השולטת במדינת עזה, היא אחראית להשלכות פועלה.

מאחר ואין להגיב באופן לא הומני ע"י ניתוק החשמל, כאשר ישראל מספקת חלק נכבד מהחשמל, יש להעביר החלטת ניתוק החשמל לממשלת עזה.

בהשמע אזעקת צבע אדום, לזקן ולילד בין 15 ל-30 שניות למצוא מחסה.

אני מציע להכריז על מועד חיבור התרעת צבע אדום למתג שמספק חשמל לעזה. מאותו רגע, החשמל ייפסק אוטומטית עבור הטיל הראשון ל-15 שניות.

כל טיל נוסף יכפיל את זמן ניתוק החשמל. לאחר שלושה טילים, לדקה, לאחר הטיל העשירי, שעתיים ושמונה דקות.

לפי כך, אורך הפסקת החשמל לחלוטין בידיהם של יורי הטילים, או יותר נכון, לריבון בעזה, שיכול להחליט אם ירצה במו-ידיו, לגרום להפסקת החשמל לעזה בהכפלת זמן הניתוק לעומת הטיל הקודם. כך יידעו באופן מדויק מה השלכות שיגור כל טיל.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Whose words are empty, whose eyes do not see?

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared recently on Israeli TV. His objective, as he said, was to influence Israeli opinion.

He declared that for him, the 1967 borders (well, they aren’t really borders, but the reference is to the cease fire lines 1948-1967) with East Jerusalem as its capital is Palestine, while the rest is Israel.

He also said that although he is a refugee from Safed in the Galilee, he had no intention to return to live there. This caused protests among Palestinian, assuming Abbas was relinquishing their so-called ‘right of return.’

However, Abbas soon clarified, in Arabic, that he has not at all relinquished this Palestinian claim.

President Shimon Peres responded by saying that Israel does have a partner for peace, while PM Netanyahu quickly dismissed Abbas’s words as empty.

True, when Netanyahu agreed to President Obama’s request for a settlement freeze to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiation table, Abbas refrained from returning to negotiations.

Following in the footsteps of Arafat’s infamous rejection of a peace agreement in 2000, and then opening a five year war of terror against Israel, Abbas later rejected then PM Olmert’s most far-reaching peace offer.

Leading up to and following its independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by several Arab states, and hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled. Many were called to do so by their own leaders, expecting a quick return, and many fled in fear.

Some had lived in the land for many generations, while others had arrived only a few years earlier (which is the reason that the UNWRA definition of a Palestinian refugee is a person who had lived in the area for two years).

Where the Arabs had the upper hand, the fate of the Jews were, to say the least, not fortunate.

In Palestinian counting, the off-spring of these refugees, and the spouses of their off-spring, and many needy in areas outside of what became Israel, are today counted as refugees, numbered in the millions, claiming a right to settle in Israel (which would then become part of a Palestinian State; according to the Palestinian Charter, the Jews are to leave).

Rather than resettling the refugees among their Palestinian landsmen, and creating a constructive identity for their off-spring, as has been the case in other parts of the world (including Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, and Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries, whose off-spring have shed any identity as refugees), the Palestinian national identity is permeated with a sense of being victims and refugees. The destruction of Israel has for many Arab leaders taken precedence over the building of Palestine.

So Netanyahu may be right.

But he is not very wise.

Netanyahu himself has not done anything to move toward reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians. He has not taken his own words - reluctantly adhering to the idea of two states for two peoples, Jewish Israel and Arab Palestine - seriously. He has not done anything constructive, nothing to enable the renewal of negotiations. Every opportunity is taken to build more settlements, rather than caring for housing within Israel proper.

Mahmoud Abbas is an experienced politician, well aware of his intentions as well as his difficulties. He obviously sent out a trial balloon when he said he did not intend to return to his native Safed, touching on the Palestinian core issue, inevitably evoking protest and ensuing denial.

A more open-minded and creative leader than Netanyahu would respond affirmatively to Abbas’s courage to touch the most sensitive of issues for the Palestinians. In spite of Abbas representing only one of the two Palestinian governments (the other one headed by Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza), he should invite him to immediate negotiations, declaring a willingness to freeze settlement activities beyond the security fence the moment negotiations begin (i.e., not as a precondition, but as an immediate goodwill gesture).

Netanyahu might remain in power after elections, January 22, 2013. Whether he or someone else will form the government, President Obama will have an opportunity to play an authoritative and instrumental role, e.g. by appointing a combined team of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair – both respected by all sides of the involved partners – to parent negotiations between the hostile brothers, together with Dennis Ross, who recently has presented constructive ideas for a peace process.

This might be the ultimate timing - both to ensure that Iran will not attain nuclear weapons, starting a nuclear race in the Middle East, and for the Israelis and Palestinians to get back onto the track towards future neighborly relations.

Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return is on sale now for $14.95, and Enemy, Cripple, Beggar is on sale now for $19.95 or $30.00 for the pair when ordered directly from the Fisher King Press. You can also order The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitcal Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel directly from Fisher King Press. Phone orders welcomed, Credit Cards accepted. 1-800-228-9316 toll free in the US & Canada, International +1-831-238-7799

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