The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I'm planning to go to southern California tomorrow for a nine-day vacation, so probably will not be posting for the next couple of weeks.
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Olmert Government's Final Act Of Madness
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday said freeing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier would be a "major mistake" and said there can be no negotiations with the "bloody organization."
-Associated Press, July 10, 2006
Israel's apparent willingness to release from prison all of the leading Hamas murderers (along with leading Fatah murderers like Marwan Barghouti) in exchange for Gilad Shalit is stunning in its stupidity. Those slated for release are responsible for all of the devastating suicide bombings, like those of Sbarro, the Park Hotel and the Moment cafe.
These terrorists were captured in risky and at times costly IDF operations. Following their release, there is no doubt that they will resume terrorism.
Israel will again be sending a message that murdering dozens of its citizens will result in just a few years in prison.
Olmert's initial refusal to negotiate was also foolish. There is an appropriate price to be paid for Israelis captured by the enemy. And while it is impossible to quantify the exact number of terrorists that would be appropriate to exchange for Gilad Shalit, it should not be difficult to understand that freeing all of the leading Hamas terrorists is, to say the least, not in the interest of the State of Israel.
Alas, very few are saying this, apparently because most do not want to appear as being insensitive to Shalit's fate.
Israelis and Israel's friends will be joyed to see Shalit reunited with his family and back home in Israel. But Israel's government has a country to run. It must not overlook the days, months and years afterward.
How many more soldiers will be captured because of Israel's willingness to pay any price for their release? How many Israeli civilians will be blown up by the terrorist masterminds? How many IDF soldiers will die in military operations to again capture these terrorists?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Bringing Them Back: Israelis, Jets and Rangers Accept My Advice
After the 2002 season, the Jets idiotically allowed Laveranues Coles to leave, refusing to match the contract offer by the Redskins.
When the Redskins and Coles had a falling out after the 2004 season, I called on the Jets to Bring Back Laveranues. About a week later, the deal was done.
In 1999, after three years in which terror was drastically reduced, Israelis foolishly replaced Binyamin Netanyahu with Ehud Barak. Since then, I have been clamoring for Netanyahu's return. Most likely, the result of Tuesday's election will be Israelis bringing back Netanyahu as their prime minister.
As soon as Sean Avery got into trouble for his "sloppy seconds" comments, I called on the Rangers to Bring Back Avery. With the mediocre Rangers then in first place as a result of shootout wins, ex-blogger Elster ridiculed me, but Avery is now playing for the Rangers' minor league affiliate, and if all goes well, could be back at MSG in a couple of weeks.
Alas, the Mets remain stubborn, refusing my years of calls to Bring Back Bobby Valentine. Even if Jerry Manuel fails this season, I fear that the Wilpon's fiscal woes will likely prevent Bobby V's return to Queens. Worse, Valentine could, G-d forbid, end up in the Bronx if Joe Girardi (Joe Girardi?) flops again this season, as we all hope and expect.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Welcome Back, Bibi
Pending the counting of the soldiers' vote, which should add to the right-wing's margin of victory, the vote tallies clearly show that the new Israeli government will be headed by Prime Minister-Elect Binyamin Netanyahu.
For a party that loves big numbers (97 percent land giveaway; hundreds of terrorists per kidnapped soldier - whether dead or alive), Kadima apparently has forgotten simple arithmetic. With a Likud-led bloc of around 65 Knesset seats, only Netanyahu will be able to lead a coalition. If Kadima wants to be in the government, it will be as Likud's senior partner - but with Netanyahu leading the country.
Kadima finished strong and did better than expected, but only because former Labor and Meretz supporters instead voted for Kadima. Ariel Sharon's purported center-right party is the new Labor. Kadima's declarations of victory - aided initially by a giddy Israeli media - ring hollow. Perhaps Tzipi Livni and her friends have been listening too closely to Hamas and its false bravado in the aftermath of defeat.
The future will bring many challenges, but today was a positive step forward for Israel in its quest for secure borders.
Memories From The 1996 Election
(Originally posted on March 27, 2006, just prior to Israel's 2006 Knesset election.)
The night is long. Wait and be patient. Now it is time to go home, and hope - and also to pray - that in the morning, there will be a better hope, a better plan, a better way, to a secure peace.
-Binyamin Netanyahu at Likud campaign headquarters at midnight on May 29, 1996. At that time, exit polls predicted a narrow victory for Shimon Peres. A little more than two hours later, revised exit polls suggested that Netanyahu had pulled off an upset.
Those of us with right-wing political views had waited a long time for the 1996 elections. Four years earlier, Labor, led by Yitzhak Rabin, deposed Likud and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In the next four years, settlement construction would be significantly curtailed, Israel recognized the PLO and signed the Oslo Accords, terrorism became rampant, Israel allowed the PLO to operate in Jerusalem, polarization in Israel sharply increased and Rabin was murdered, Meretz took control of the Education Ministry, Israel offered to cede the Golan Heights to Syria.
I was a few weeks into a summer associate position at a large law firm. I remember speaking with a classmate of mine throughout the day who was working at another large firm. I told him that I was "cautiously pessimistic" about the elections. He confided that a bigshot he knew had inside info that Peres won the election.
In the early afternoon, I was given an assignment. There were lots of tedious agreements to review on an urgent basis.
At 3 P.M. the election ended. I went downstairs and listened to my portable radio. I learned that exit polls predicted a narrow victory for Peres.
I checked the Internet, but ten years ago there was scant information available in real time.
I started working on the assignment. I checked the news every hour. Nothing had changed. Exit polls still indicated a Peres victory.
It became apparent that I would be in the office very late. At 7:30 I again went outside. I believe Robert Berger was reporting live from Jerusalem. He said that pandemonium had broken out at Likud headquarters after new exit polls showed that Netanyahu had won.
I was ecstatic. I went back upstairs, and started talking about Israel with the second year associate who had given me the assignment, and who then seemed like a senior attorney to me. She wasn't Jewish but was rather knowledgeable about Israel and Netanyahu.
When I left the office around 10:30 I was told to be ready to "go to the printer tomorrow." I did not know that going "to the printer" entailed anything of significance. I went home and watched Nightline. Ehud Olmert, then of Likud, was extolling the virtues of Netanyahu. Yossi Beilin, then of Labor, was lamenting the apparent Labor defeat.
The election was still too close to call, and I stayed up most of the night, watching and videotaping the live election coverage on CNN. I went to sleep at 4 A.M.
The next day, I discovered that "going to the printer" was quite grueling. We were to review tens of thousands of pages of documents and stay until the closing of a securities offering two days later. They were kind enough to order kosher food for me, albeit from the Second Avenue Deli which I could not eat. When at around 2 A.M. I discovered that neither I nor anyone else was going home anytime soon, I told the second year associate that in a few hours I would need to go home to get my phylacteries (tefillin) so as to fulfill my obligations to properly conduct the morning prayer service. When she realized that I was serious about getting my tefillin, she let me go home at 3 A.M., so long as I was back by 7.
When I woke up after 2 1/2 hours of sleep, CNN had confirmed that all of the votes were counted and Netanyahu had won. I went back to the printer, but was sent to the office after a few hours since I would have to leave early that evening for shabbos. Another summer associate replaced me.
I got home just in time for the 6 P.M. news. Christiane Amanpour was reporting live from Jerusalem. Walter Rogers reported from the Kotel, where Netanyahu was greeted shortly before shabbos.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Confessions On Gaza
Nobody knows exactly how many civilians were killed in Israel's military operation in Gaza, but the number is almost certainly somewhere in the hundreds.
Those of us who refuse to blindly support make-believe peace processes are often labeled as "hawkish" or "militant."
But one can be a supporter of Likud or even National Union and still have strong misgivings about collateral damage in the form of large numbers of dead enemy civilians.
For all of the problems with the 1982 Lebanon War, Israel achieved a significant victory when it drove the PLO out of southern Lebanon. If not for the stupidity of the horrid Rabin-Peres government in signing the Oslo Accords, the PLO horror show would have largely ended then and there.
Israel had to act in a military manner against Hamas, and the IDF had every right during combat to act in a manner that prevented its soldiers from being casualties or kidnap victims.
But in contrast to Lebanon, the recent Gaza operation did not radically change Middle East realities. Perhaps Israel's deterrent capability has increased, but that's quite an amorphous matter, and probably could have been accomplished in a far more limited operation.
The bottom line is that unlike the PLO in Lebanon, Hamas still remains firmly in control of Gaza. The government never seemed to have any clear goals with respect to Gaza.
Around five years ago, most of the Hamas leadership was meeting in a Gaza building. The IAF was only authorized by Ariel Sharon to drop a one-ton bomb (rather than a two-ton bomb) on the building, so as not to destroy the entire building and kill the civilians on other floors. The result was that all of the Hamas leaders survived.
That was a mistake. Killing the Hamas leadership would have changed realities (and before long, some of that Hamas was indeed killed).
In contrast, the Gaza operation accomplished much less, and the collateral damage was far higher.
The harsh reality that purported lovers of peace like the Olmert-Livni-Barak trio refuse to admit is that IDF control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza is necessary until such time as a real and viable peace partner appears. With the IDF in Judea and Samaria, there aren't hundreds of dead Arab civilians there. Only in Gaza, from where Israel purportedly "disengaged," do things like that happen.