Monday, October 30, 2006

The Conundrum, Part 27

Israel stopped a major terrorist attack when it arrested five terrorists on their way to carry out a car bombing. The car they were driving in was laden with explosives that were safely disarmed.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Israel is contemplating a major Gaza operation. I hope that they've learned the mistakes of the operation in Lebanon. If they haven't they'll run into the same problems they did in Lebanon - including the failure to disarm the Islamic terror groups that continue firing rockets into Israel and planning mass casualty attacks. Once they commit, they must use the forces to not only secure the Philadelphi corridor, but to eliminate the existing weapons caches throughout Gaza.

Olmert still doesn't get it. He thinks that he can play Abbas off against Hamas, by permitting Abbas to bring in reinforcements from Jordan to bolster his own militias.
Palestinian officials said last week that Abbas wanted to bring in the forces ahead of a possible showdown with Hamas. Israel has objected in the past to letting members of the Jordan-based Badr Brigade enter Palestinian areas. But on Monday, Olmert told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he would consider allowing such a move, said committee member Ran Cohen.
Israel should do all it can to stop all forces from resupplying from outside Gaza. If Hamas and Fatah want to fight it out to the last man, let them do it with rocks - because those guns and ammo will surely end up being used against Israelis. Israel has no reason to take sides in this conflict. Hamas and Fatah both seek Israel's destruction, but Fatah is more circumspect in its desires. Hamas sheds all pretense of diplomacy.

This isn't about recognizing Israel - both groups recognize Israel. They recognize it inasmuch as it is necessary to identify targets for destruction. This is about recognizing Israel's right to exist, and if the diplomats who are busy scurrying about do not recognize the difference between the two totally independent ideas, then they're going to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Meanwhile, Gilad Shalit is still being held by Hamas - more than 4 months now. Hamas wants thousands of prisoners released, but Israel thus far hasn't caved. Haniyeh again crows that a deal is almost done, but if it is like any of the prior claims, this too will not amount to anything.

Egypt denies that they've boosted security along the border with Gaza. That figures. A Spanish aid worker was kidnapped in Gaza. If this is like any of the prior abductions, the worker will be released within a few hours or days after a ransom is paid to the appropriate thugs in charge.

Carl in Jerusalem picks up on a story that ran yesterday about how Israelis are installing nuclear fallout shelters. The title of the article reads Israelis building nuclear bunkers in gardens, but the real issue is that the Israelis are taking Iran's threats quite seriously. Israel is among those specifically named and targeted by Ahmadinejad and Iran's mullahs to be destroyed. Iran's nuclear program continues its march to operating thousands of gas centrifuges needed to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and no one seems willing to do anything to stop them.

Soccer Dad correctly notes that the Palestinian vision of a better world includes one where Israel simply does not exist. This is not a group of people that can be reasoned with.
The problem is that the Palestinian vision of a better world does not include Israel. And the failure of the West to insist on change is what encourages them to persist in that belief.
I'd go a step further and note that the Europeans are particularly susceptible to backlash, because of large immigrant Muslim communities and a failure to assimilate those populations has led to serious social problems (seen at its worst in France, but to a lesser extent in Holland and Germany). They're pushing for a deal, thinking that it might buy Europe more time, but that's operating on a fallacy that the two are somehow connected.

This shouldn't be surprising to anyone paying attention. Arms smuggling continues across the Syria-Lebanon border. The surprise is that the UN actually noted this. Too bad the UN and UNIFIL have not put a stop to it. They're worried that Syria might react badly and inflict retribution on Lebanon.
Lebanon regularly reports arms being smuggling into the country from Syria but the authorities are treading softly due to their fragile political situation, a senior U.N. envoy said on Monday.

Government officials have informed the United Nations of smuggling as recently as ``the last few weeks,'' although they are providing no information on the quantities or types of arms being secreted across the border, said Terje Roed-Larsen, the top U.N. diplomat on Lebanese ties with Syria.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, quoting Roed-Larsen, said the officials were not being precise about the smuggling for fear of retaliation from Syria.

``The absence of complete cooperation by the government of Syria remains very troubling in that respect and I think it's very courageous for any of the democratic politicians in Lebanon to go about their business under that kind of threat,'' Bolton told reporters.
Bolton is understating the problem because Syria has yet to be held accountable for its meddling in Lebanese affairs, from the assassination of Rafik Harari, the murder of various anti-Syria journalists, to providing aid and comfort to Hizbullah. And Syria continues to be beholden to Iran, which doesn't make the situation any easier.

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