a different side of Israel

Tag: Gilad Shalit (page 1 of 4)

Saudi Cleric to Pay Palestinian Terrorists

Awad al-Qarni, a prominent Saudi cleric is paying no less than $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli soldier.

He said that he had made the offer in response to a similar reward promised by an Israeli family for anyone who catches the person who killed one of its loved ones in 1998, apropos to the exchange this month of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

On his Facebook page, Qarni wrote:

“The media reported the news of the Zionist occupiers paying a huge sum to anyone who killed the freed Palestinian prisoners… In response to those criminals, I announce to the world that I am committed to pay a $100,000 prize to any Palestinian inside Palestine who takes an Israeli soldier captive to exchange with (remaining) prisoners.”

Qarni told Al Arabiya television:

“We have also received letters from … groups from Arab countries. So the issue is not limited to Qarni, who was just the person who launched this initiative…”

Saudi Arabia, where the prophet Mohammed hails from, considers itself a defender of Palestinian rights, however, Saudi leaders have been at pains to curb increasingly radical statements by other Muslim clerics regarding the Middle East conflict.

Back in 2002, the Western-allied kingdom began a peace initiative demanding Arab recognition of Israel if Israel will give up all of the land which it occupied during the war in 1967 and Israel decides to accept a solution for Palestinian refugees.

Meanwhile, Saudi Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz‘s long-expected passing at age 87 in New York on Saturday could not have happened at a worse time for his presumed successor, Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, to take the throne after King Abdullah.

The Saudi kingdom uses a 60-year old succession system that has thus far proven a smooth transition of power.

Grappling With a New Diplomatic Approach

Bibi’s new modus operandi is apparently negotiating with terrorists. And Egypt’s quasi military government working in a caretaker capacity isapparently, for all intents and purposes, terrorists.

On Tuesday, Bibi approved a prisoner exchange deal with Pharoah’s land, where Ilan Grapel will be released for 25 Egyptian prisoners. He should be out this Thursday. He has been held in an Egyptian prison since June 12. Negotiations between Egypt and Israel will continue in order to secure the release of Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Bedouin who has been held by Egypt for 11 years on charge of spying.

Initially, Grapel was charged with espionage, however the charges werechanged to insurrection, incitement and damaging a public building during the uprising which took place in Egypt earlier this year and ousted old Hosni Mubarak.

The Grapel deal will free two Egyptian security offenders, charged with planning to target sites within Israel in cooperation with Palestinian militants.

Bibi’s office siadthat the deal was reached as a result of U.S. mediation.

National Union MK Aryeh Eldad criticized the decision to release Grapel for 25 prisoners saying that the deal is evidence that “Israel has declared moral bankruptcy…After freeing murderous terrorists for a drug dealer it is freeing drug dealers for a professional anarchist who worked against Israel in Bil’in,” Eldad said, alluding to the 2004 exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah in which 430 prisoners were released for retired IDF officer Elhanan Tannenbaum.

“The State is emptying all concepts of law and justice from meaning. Tomorrow, they could offer the wholesale release of foreign workers indicted in Israel for robbery or rape in exchange of Israelis who sold drugs in Japan or Thailand…”

Ynet reports al-Ahram reported:

“Similarly to the Shalit swap, 48 hours will be given to file petitions to the High Court following the publication of the list of prisoners.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian security source said Tuesday that unprecedented security measures are being arranged at the Taba border crossing ahead of the imminent release of dual US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel, al-Ahram reported.”

In and Around Hamas

The Hamas Treatment:

While Gilad Shalit is not being hounded by Israeli press, and even had a hugging session this week with President Shimon Peres for a tear-jerking chat, here’s how Hamas is treating their people, recently freed from an Israeli prison.

Ma’an News Agency reports that those sent to Gaza “will stay in hotels for three weeks or until they each get a private apartment, car, and a job.”

Ismail Haniyeh already announced he will give each of the released prisoners $2,000. Ma’an also reports:

“… future income will be gained through jobs provided for each prisoner, said Saber Abu Karsh, a prisoners advocate in Gaza. Haniyeh has ordered that the released prisoners be given all assistance to help them re-enter society, he said. If that’s not enough, the Palestinian cellphone company Jawwal has offered each freed prisoner a mobile phone with a credit of 500 shekels ($140)… “

The Bloomberg Approval:

New York City Mayor Bloomberg defended the prisoner swap on Sunday, saying:

“I just know that the government of Israel had to make a decision and they didn’t walk away from the decision, they made one, and that’s what governing is all about…There’s no simple solutions to complex problems…Israel has a strong tradition of always bringing people back…And I’m sure that is something that all Israelis feel. And I’m not in a position to make a decision for the Israeli government of what they should do in any one situation.”

The Libyan Enticement:

Reuters reports,

“5,000 unemployed Palestinians have registered over the past week at a Gaza trade union office for jobs they hope will materialize in post-Gaddafi Libya… Hundreds of Palestinians who worked in Libya returned to the Palestinian territories after the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years of one-man rule erupted in February.”

In other news, Ma’an reports:
“Egyptian authorities prevented Gazan journalist and author Mustafa al-Sawwaf from leaving the Strip on Monday to participate in a media meeting in Iran.”
The Hamas affiliated journalist was on route to Tehran to participate in a meeting about the formation of a union for Islamic media, a Ma’an correspondent said, but was prevented from leaving Gaza at the Rafah crossing. No reason was given by Egyptian authorities for not granting al-Sawwaf permission to enter via Rafah.

Al-Sawwaf said that he resents the way Egyptian authorities treat Palestinians and called for changes to be made by the Egyptian government at the Rafah crossing to prevent unnecessary humiliation and security procedures, a Ma’an correspondent reported. Al-Sawwaf is a columnist at the Hamas-run Gaza newspaper website Filastin Online. He said that he also holds a great respect for Egypt, pointing out that he has never committed any crime against the country.”

And then reality sets in…

On Tuesday, thousands of flag-waving Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the homecoming of hundreds of prisoners exchanged for Shalit, chanting for Hamas to seize yet more Israeli soldiers! “The people want a new Gilad!” they chanted.

They must have been fond of the young Jewish man.

Bradley burst-out-laughing Burston blogged the following blurb in blatant Palestinian approval over at Haaretz:

“The deal is a remnant of an Israel which is fast disappearing. It is a remnant of a particular brand of quiet, exceptional courage. It is an expression of a national character that goes generally ignored in a media environment which prizes the extreme over the honorable. It is evidence of a people true to values which time and sectarian agendas may appear to have diluted and erased.”

He goes on:

“The list of the terrorists being released is unendurable. The numbers are beyond understanding. Until you consider that this is how it’s always been.”

And on:

“In Israel’s nine prisoner exchanges with Arab enemies, dating back to the first, 54 years ago, Israel has freed 13,509 prisoners in order to win the release of a total of 16 soldiers. An average of well over 800 for each one. This is the price.”

Meanwhile, early Sunday morning, rightist activists broke into the home of Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman to protest the deal they deemed perilously disproportionate.
The rightist activist Baruch Marzel commented on the protests, saying Neeman “has done absolutely nothing” during his term and that his first act is “giving amnesty to 600 murderers.”

Protests were also held at the home of President Shimon Peres.

In another corner of the Shalit story the despotic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly telephoned Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas to extend congratulations on the terror organization’s victory which he said in a statement to Arab press is the “fruit of strong and continued resistance against the Zionist regime… No doubt this is a great victory for the Palestinian nation and all Muslims and for freedom- and justice-seeking people of the world, and independent nations are as happy as the oppressed Palestinian people over this issue…”

In the statement Ahmajinejad’s reference to Haniyeh as the “Palestinian Prime Minister” without making any reference to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Coming HOME

Gilad Shalit Free October 18, 2011We just watched the first pictures of Gilad Shalit being handed off to the Egyptians in the Rafah border crossing by Hamas. He was handed off literally, by the man who engineered the kidnapping, Ahmed Jabari. Gilad wears a baseball cap and looks thin, pale and a little dazed. We are all a little dazed today.

It seems like we are all watching this today. Feeling this joy and happiness that he is actually coming home. For 1,941 days he has been held with very little contact except for sparse communications, a letter, a video recorded message and the occasional verifications by mediators that he is alive.

After Ron Arad there was the feeling that Gilad will become another ghost that will fade and disappear. Gilad’s family, a quiet introverted family that lives in a quiet rural village, Mitzpe Hila.

I am watching the interview with Gilad on Egyptian TV, a disturbing aggressive and abusive interview, being aired right now. He looks like he can barely breath, he is out of breath, his eyes are deep set and he seems overwhelmed by the aggressive questions of the (the bitch Shahira Amin) reporter that is oblivious to the fact he is about to pass out in front of her. The Egyptians forced this interview for the sake of political credit and this was not part of the deal. Pathetic on every level!

He is worth 1,027 terrorists. Worth every one of them. 1000 times more then all of them.

Six Years without Gilad Shalit

It’s been 6 years since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. This is the Shana Tova (New Year) greeting that was mailed out to politicians and government officials by the family as a reminder.

A few days ago the Palestinian Prime Minister made his bid for Statehood and now waiting for an answer from the UN Council. You would expect that kidnapping and holding a soldier prisoner without basic humanitarian conditions or official communication, would be considered sufficient grounds for immediate disqualification of the bid. But not at the UN.

Gilad’s family will be spending yet another holiday at their tent outside the government offices in Jerusalem. They count the days (now 1920) since they saw their son. May this be the year Gilad comes home.

Rumors of pending release deal for Gilad Shalit

NRG reported a little while ago that a statement released shortly will outline a deal for the release of Gilad Shalit. Former Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Bassiouni, in a newspaper interview, said that the time for the deal was now. Earlier Amos Gilad, head of the political security cabinet, returned from Cairo where he delivered an answer from the government to the latest list of prisoners Hamas is demanding. The news sparked a flurry of stories on an imminent deal and now the Prime Minister’s Office twitted: “Negotiations on Gilad Schalit are continuous and intensive, but there is no breakthrough in the matter”…

So maybe it’s nothing… Maybe just a way to put some pressure on the negotiation. Either way he has been there for 1803 days

Do the Eyes Deceive?

Over 100 Israeli Arabs arrived Thursday morning at the Erez crossing point of Gaza and called for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as Palestinian prisoners.
Malik Faraj of the Arab village Kafr Qasim founded the “Ner LeShalom ve Ahva” (a candle for peace and love) foundation that initiated the event. Faraj said that the foundation was established following the October 2000 riots and works to promote harmony between Arabs and Jews, and helps weak sectors of society by giving student scholarships.

According to Faraj, the foundation decided to initiate the event after realizing that the negotiations to release Gilad Shalit have come to a standstill:

“Politicians are simply doing nothing to promote the matter and have completely neglected the issue of releasing Gilad Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners. That’s why we decided to go out and protest.”

The group’s visit to Erez crossing was co-initiated with another group from the Gaza Strip, whose members were waiting on the other side of the road. Throughout the demonstrations, the two groups held phone conversations and encouraged one another.

“Our goal is to pressure decision makers and members of Knesset who regretfully are more preoccupied with whether or not to travel first class, and Lieberman who is trying to inflame our relationship with Turkey or Syria but does nothing for Gilad Shalit,”

said Faraj.
He added that:

“We received many positive feedbacks on our initiative and hope it will help promote the matter.”

Embarrassing Family Feud or the Loud Voice of a Lion Heart

GiladAs Noam, Aviva and Yoel Schalit are coming to Jerusalem to address the Knesset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s brother-in-law Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi has publicly recommended that the Prime Minister quit his job rather than agree to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Schalit.

yasinThe religiously observant Ben-Artzi has long been outspoken about his right-wing convictions. He once threatened to move to Gush Katif and only leave in a coffin and has recently moved to the Holy West Bank town of Hebron. He told Army Radio on Monday that releasing Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in a prisoner swap deal in 1997 led to the second intifada:

“Such a deal will lead to a vicious wave of terror…The results are very clear…And out of a great love for Bibi, I call on him not to take responsibility for the possible deaths of hundreds or thousands of Israelis on his shoulders…It will be huge encouragement for terror, and will bring big waves of attacks, as he himself has written in his books…If he signs the deal, it will prove he has no spine.”

The Prime Minister’s brother-in-law continued:

“He, more than anyone else, preached for 30 years a policy of fighting terror and opposing surrendering to terror… If you’re prime minister, you cannot compromise your ideals and go against you’re your declarations… Every solider that goes into battle knows that not only can he be captured, but wounded or killed. That’s the price we pay for fighting for our existence…The terrorists will get the message that kidnapping pays off.”

Then, in remarks directed at Bibi, Ben-Artzi said, “You were elected in accordance to the principles you believed in for 30 years, so if you cannot be true to them, go home, quit.”

“We meet and talk on a regular basis… and not only have I myself voiced such an opinion, but he has many times expressed his strong opposition [to releasing terrorists]. I was sure after he was elected…. that it would be the last thing he would do… If he cannot withstand the pressure, and feels public pressure – which I don’t know why exists – I say quit. Why take the responsibility for being the man about whom they will say ‘because of him, the third intifada broke out.'”

In one of Netanyahu’s books, “Fighting Terror,” he dedicated an entire chapter to the issue of negotiating with terrorists, and insisted that as a future leader, he would not give in to any form of blackmail and intimidation.

Crumbling under blinding global pressure is something we do not want to happen to the convictions of our Prime Minister. Giving into terrorist demands legitimizes their organizations and sends the wrong message. It undermines the authority of the State of Israel and proves that kidnapping IDF soldiers is effective.

Bring Shalit Home Finally, Urges Bereaved IDF Moms

A group of bereaved mothers, including Miki Goldwasser, Rona Ramon and Esther Wachsman, sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week, requesting to meet with him urgently to advance the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

They wrote that they are a group that “knows a thing or two about losing loved ones,” the women urged the prime minister to bring Gilad home:

“We ask to meet with you in order to hear from you personally when the tragic saga of Gilad Shalit will be over, so that we will not have to continue our protest…Some of us have lost many family members in murderous terror attacks and have still found the courage to ask that the planners of those attacks would be released so Gilad is rescued. You must also find the determination and courage to stop gambling on the life and sanity of Gilad and return him to his family immediately…We hope the prime minister will agree to meet with us as soon as possible in order to finally bring an end to this unfortunate affair.”

Shalit has a dual citizenship with France and Israel. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to make every effort to bring about Shalit’s release from Hamas captivity.

Earlier this year a videotape surfaced, ensuring that Shalit, who has been held captive in the Gaza Strip by Hamas, since June 25th 2006, is in fact still alive.

Gilad Shalit II? Close Call…

BadriHere’s the quick scoop. Cab driver Dudu Badri picked up a guy in Beit Shemesh, who then forced him at knife point to drive to a Palestinian village. He was then beaten by three men who stole his cab. Fortunately, they did not steal him.

“I was sure I was going to be Gilad Shalit two,” he told the press yesterday. Of the passenger, he said “He didn’t look Arab at all. “He looked like a regular teen from Beit Shemesh. He asked, without an accent, how much it would cost to get to Jerusalem’s center.”

Somewhere in the middle of the drive, he took out a knife and told Badri that if he didn’t do what he wanted, he’d murder him and run.

Badri was then directed to Beit Hanina, an Arab village in East Jerusalem, told to drive into a dark alley and leave the taxi. He refused, and then was beaten by three men.

“I was sure they wanted to take me into one of the homes and kill me. I didn’t realize they wanted the cab,” he said. He then ran to the main road and managed to flag down a civilian. He was driven to the nearest police station.

You never know how close you come to another international incident. I don’t even want to think about it.

The question is, what can we do about phenomena like this? There may not be anything we can do, aside from maybe silent alarms on all cabs. Don’t they already have that? I think it’s called LoJack.

You know…I think I just got that. It’s the opposite of Hijack. LoJack Hijack. HA! Great stuff. Now get them on the cabs. And maybe all the cars that pick up hitchhikers.

An Idea for Getting Gilad Shalit Out of Hamas Hell

If you read this blog religiously, or even secularly but often, then you may have noticed that I don’t cover the Gilad Shalit issue all that often. I don’t give updates, and I generally avoid commenting on the topic. There is a reason for this. I assume, and rightly I believe, that the government of Israel does not need any pressure in order to push a deal through for Shalit. In fact, any pressure exerted by any “Free Gilad” campaign is counterproductive and irresponsible.

giladWhen someone has something you very much want, and you have to pay for it dearly, then to have your friends badger you about making a deal to get it just ups the price. The other side sees you are under pressure, and feels it can increase its demands.

Who are the Free Gilad troupe protesting? More precisely, WHAT are they protesting when they march for Gilad’s release? Are they assuming that the sitting government would rather he sit in his hellhole in Gaza?

The force of their protests is quite Orwellian actually. They say they want Gilad’s release, as if anyone in Israel doesn’t. I say, though they want Gilad’s release, that’s not really what they’re protesting. They’re not rallying against Hamas to free him, as if Haniyeh and Zahar cared at all what the Jews want.

What they’re really doing is protesting the government’s reluctance to release murderers. What they really want is the release of terrorists, nothing else. I’m not blaming them for this. But I am saying that if they want this, then they should be brave and say it, out loud, if that’s what they really believe is best. Stop chanting “Free Gilad” as if you’re talking to Hamas, and start chanting “Free the Murderers!” Use the correct language and picket the Prime Minister’s residence with signs that say “Bibi – release murderers NOW!” Granted, it would look odd and arguably embarrassing. But that’s precisely the point. They don’t want to say what they actually want, because what they really want scares them. They’d rather mask it in language that everyone can agree with but few truly understand. That is, “Free Gilad“.

I’m willing to bet that if this government attempted a rescue operation and Gilad was heaven forbid killed, these groups would protest the incompetency of the government, claiming that “wasn’t what they meant” when they chanted “Free Gilad!” I say, if it’s not what you mean, make it clear starting now. Chant in favor of releasing 1,000 murderers, and then at least you are being honest with yourselves and with us.

But here’s my idea. It was reported today in several papers that Israel does indeed know exactly where Shalit is being held. The problem is, the building is surrounded with explosives that will be detonated by remote if soldiers get too close. Now, of course I haven’t worked out a whole plan by any means. But part of what needs to be done in a possible rescue attempt would be to shoot an electromagnetic pulse that would shut down any electronic transmissions in the area, making remote detonation impossible.

They’d have to clear the area of as many terrorists as possible beforehand, and it wouldn’t be easy. I’m willing to admit that it would probably fail. But I think it would be smarter than releasing 1,000 terrorists around Palestinian election time to ensure a Hamas victory and trigger a third intifada, with many more kidnappings in the cards.

Are Iran and Gilad Shalit Connected?

With Iran recently coming out with the completely ludicrous statement that they would agree to “a world without any nuclear weapons” which would ideally, in their view, leave them with the world’s only stockpile, we are most likely now approaching the limit of American patience and the end of the Iranian nuclear negotiations farce. The question is, what happens from here?
meridorOn this subject, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor (there are 3 deputy Prime Ministers by my count, all necessary for the country’s security because if one of them gets unhappy, the government might fall) came out yesterday to say that the clock is ticking and it’s about time that the West actually did something to prevent messianic Islamist fundamentalists from obtaining nuclear capability.
Along the same lines, former intelligence chief Danny Yatom said that the only way to stop Iran from becoming nuclear would be military action. How many of us, at the beginning of this nightmare back in 2005 when Ahmadinejad made his first public statement about wiping Israel off the map, thought that dialogue would actually succeed?
Signs that a military strike is imminent are Netanyahu’s secret trip to who knows where last week (some are saying it was Russia, but the story is pretty fuzzy) and the sudden flurry of negotiations surrounding Gilad Shalit. It could very well be that Bibi is trying his darnedest to get that affair wrapped up because if he doesn’t soon, then he’ll have to deal with Iran first, in which case getting Shalit out of his Gaza dungeon will be next to impossible.
It has been Israel’s strategy to insist that Iran is not only Israel’s problem, and indeed, that a nuclear Islamic dictatorship could, just possibly, be a danger to the rest of the world. And yet, that rest of the world seems content to let the Jews handle the world’s problems. Again, who is surprised? Anybody out there? If history has shown anything consistent, it is that the Jews’ problems are the world’s problems.
Suggested time tables are somewhere between the end of this year and the beginning of 2010 for the simultaneous opening of Iran Round I, Hezbollah Round III, and Hamas Round a Million. In the event that it happens, we’ll be here, in a shelter somewhere, posting updates.

Bibi gets a C on first 100 days in office

Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has just completed his first 100 days in office, and judging on who’s score card you’re looking at, Netanyahu’s second go-around as Israel’s head of government hasn’t been very exciting – so far at least. The right-of-center Likud Party chairman and “spin-master” for creating his version of shaping future events in Israel and the Middle East, has overall not been given high marks by those who have rated his performance to date – including fellow right-wingers who expected something more concrete from the man who’s election campaign rhetoric spoke of much higher ideals and agendas than what has been demonstrated so far by him. Netanyahu’s recent trip to Washington, and his meeting with US President Barack Obama, did not turn out to be what he had hoped; and Bibi’s wife Sarah Netanyahu was completely snubbed by Obama’s wife, Michelle.

Bibi meeting Obama - check out the body language..Although Bibi finally did agree to the “two states for two peoples” idea, and to follow the road map that had originally been put forward by the Americans during the Bush Administration, the idea of a Palestinian State alongside Israel did not turn out to be positive enough for the Palestinians to accept outright (the West Bank Palestinians, that is – forget about the Hamas ones in Gaza) and was too “concession minded” to be accepted by most Likud party members, as well as other right-winged Israelis.

Trying of set right the economy, with the help of Bibi’s good friend Yuval Steinitz, who the Prime Minster chose to be his finance minister, has not worked well at all; and several proposed economic reforms had to be either canceled or altered following strong protests by the general public. What finally did get drafted appears to have been less than beneficial to those sections of Israeli society who are now the worst off in the current world economic slow down. Although he did succeed in getting a 2 year budget draft passed, his ‘flip-flopping’ on a number of financial issues was in sharp contrast to promises he made during the recent campaign. A good example of economic mind changing was in regard to first imposing then canceling the VAT on fruits and vegetables. His greatest critics have been Tzipi Livni and her Kadima Party, now in opposition.

And finally, there are the two prominent issues of the Iran nuclear problem (to attack or not to attack – that is the question) and the one dealing with captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, for whose release Netanyahu had said would be the government’s top priority. This too has so far turned out to be “all show and no go” as the “separation” between Israel and Hamas is still too wide. “The Israelis dwelled too much on who would be released in the exchange and who would not; and this in the end killed the deal” said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had tried to lend a hand in broking the latest negotiations to free Schalit. This means that Schalit’s father, Noam, will most likely give bitter remarks about Netanyahu as a leader, as he did concerning the previous prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

So taking all of the above into account, the Prime Minister only gets a C on his First Quarter report card.

Jimmy Carter and the Two State Solution

Former US. President Jimmy Carter went on a three hour tour of Gaza on Tuesday, in which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told him that “Hamas will accept the two state solution if Israel is ready to return to the former, pre-1967 boundaries”. Haniyeh also spoke to Carter about the case of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and said he welcomed Carter’s offer to mediate in this affair, which Haniyeh referred to as a “human and political episode we would all like to come to an end”.

Carter in GazaCarter was given a tour of areas where major damage had been inflicted during the January Operation Cast Lead military action, in which the former President said ” the severity of damage inflicted here has brought tears to my eyes”. Carter also said that the war had brought “death, destruction, pain and suffering to the people here”. He wasn’t taken on a tour of either Sderot or other places in Israel where the same terms could also be applied, however.

In regards to Gaza’s present situation, where most of the damage has been left in tact as a “showplace” for VIP visitors such as the former President, Carter said: “tragically, the international community ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than like human beings”.

But it was the remarks made by Haniyeh that his organization would be willing to accept a Palestinian state providing Israel open up the borders with Gaza and “accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders” that suddenly brought something very rational to light. When Dr. Haniyeh spoke about the “pre-1967 borders” he forgot that When Israel pulled out of the Strip in 2005, that part of Palestine was reverted back to the 1967 borders. So here is where a possible “two state solution” would work out beautifully! Why not create two Palestinian states, one in the West Bank, called East Palestine and controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, and the other, West Palestine, controlled by Hamas. Haniyeh and his friends will get their wish in that their “little state” (as Israeli P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu referred to Palestine in his address on Sunday) will be 100% “within the pre-1967 borders”.

As for “East Palestine”, a territorial agreement will be worked out with Abbas and Co. taking the large Israeli settlement blocks into account. Israel will not have to pull out of the entire section of the West Bank and Jerusalem would remain united, with special consideration being given to the people of East Palestine for visiting, living in, and even having some governmental offices in the city’s eastern sectors. The Status of the Old City would remain as it is today, with Jews remaining in the Jewish Quarter and having full access to the Western Wall Plaza. The Wakf Islamic Trust would maintain control of Karim al Sharif , otherwise known as the Temple Mount.

This new “two state solution” should be acceptable to everyone, especially West Bank Palestinians (who really don’t like the Hamas people anyway – and vice versa). And as for Gaza, maybe they can get to rebuilding all the damage incurred to “their little state” which will not only provide jobs for a lot of Palestinian workers but result in their not having to keep all those piles of rubble lying around to “impress” gullible people like Jimmy Carter.

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