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The Road to War in the Mideast
The Boston Globe ^ | 4/4/2002  | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 04/04/2002 11:16:31 AM PST by thatcher

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:07:39 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

YOU CANNOT make sense of the Israeli-Palestinian war without first making sense of 1993.

That year found Israel in reasonably good shape. Its economy was the most powerful in the Middle East. Its military power was respected and feared. Its enemies in the Arab and Muslim world, which for so long had dreamed of wiping Israel off the map, were at last coming to accept that the Jewish state was here to stay. To be sure, Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organization still plotted to ''liberate'' Israel from the Jews, but they were in exile in Tunisia and their political and moral capital were close to nil.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: israelipalestinwar

1 posted on 04/04/2002 11:16:31 AM PST by thatcher
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To: thatcher
History is about to repeat itself.
2 posted on 04/04/2002 11:23:29 AM PST by paul51
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To: thatcher
Guy really lays it out. Liberals screw everything up again
3 posted on 04/04/2002 11:38:07 AM PST by uncbob
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To: thatcher
To this day I wonder what came over the Israeli government/Barak that made them think Oslo would work.

Sharon had addressed the problem correctly, and driven the PLO out.
The only fault I can find with Sharon's actions is not killing Arafat.
Operatives should have been assigned the task of hunting Arafat down in Tunisia or wherever he could be found, and executing him.

Instead, Israel entered into a pact with the Devil himself, and have been paying the price ever since.
There is still time to correct the problem.
Get rid of Arafat. Get rid of the PA, get rid of the palestinians.

The West Bank and Gaza are NOT "occupied lands", they are Israeli lands.
The "palestinians" HAVE a homeland.
It is called Jordan.

I say to all Arabs calling themselves palestinian.
Go to Your homeland, Jordan. Never Return to Israel.

4 posted on 04/04/2002 11:43:55 AM PST by Drammach
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To: thatcher
TREACHEROUS - treach·er·ous ADJECTIVE: 1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious. See synonyms at faithless. 2. Not to be relied on; not dependable or trustworthy. 3. Marked by unforeseen hazards; dangerous or deceptive: treacherous waters. OTHER FORMS: treacher·ous·ly —ADVERB treacher·ous·ness —NOUN
5 posted on 04/04/2002 11:59:01 AM PST by watchin
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To: paul51
Wow. Jacoby is good. No wonder the leftists at the Globe tried to lynch him. However, the ill-fated idea of land for peace was first launched by Begin, when he gave the Sinai back to Egypt. Egypt, of course, pledged peace and diplomatic relations with Israel. Egypt is now in the process of breaking that agreement. Will they give the Sinai back to Israel>
6 posted on 04/04/2002 12:22:44 PM PST by white_wolf
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To: thatcher
Here are 20 conveniently overlooked facts that give some perspective to the current Middle East situation. They were posted on the internet some time back by some unknown person/persons. However, you need only go to your history books and/or library to see that they are absolutely true..... Takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!! 1. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam. 2. Arab refugees began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. 3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E, the Jews had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years. 4.The only Arab domination since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years. 5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit. 6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 hundred times in Bible. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. 7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem. 8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem. 9. Arab and Jewish refugees: Arabs were not driven out of their homes. Following the UN decision on Partition in 1948, the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders, promising to purge the land of Jews. They argued that an "Arab presence" would only get in the way of the planned devastation. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. 10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms. 11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees absorbed by Israel from Arab countries is estimated to be the same. 12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey. 13. The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won. 14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank and autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied their police and security forces with weapons. 15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Jewish grave markers were used to build public urinals in occupied Jerusalem. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths. 16. The U.N. record on Israel and the Arabs of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel -- notwithstanding the fact that the Arabs refused to participate in the 15 nation United Nations Commission of Palestine which recommended partition in 1948 and sought immediately to undo its work by force of arms. 17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel. 18. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967. 19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives between 1948 and 1967. 20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall between 1948 and 1967. These are incredible times. At least, we must educate ourselves and others to THE FACTS! Do your part......pass this along to others. Keep a copy in your wallet/purse for debating those who argue that Israel should just capitulate to the terrorists.
7 posted on 04/04/2002 12:38:41 PM PST by Winfield
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To: watchin

April 4, 2002 


Bombers Gloating in Gaza as They See Goal Within Reach: No More Israel 


GAZA, April 3 — The leaders of Hamas, the militant Islamic movement responsible for the most deadly suicide attacks in Israel in the last week, are pleased and satisfied just now. 

"Our spirit is high, our mood is good," said Ismail Abu Shanab, one of the organization's leaders. 

If Israel attacks Gaza, as it has areas of the West Bank, he and the other leaders would likely be principal targets. For now, they live and operate here openly. 

By their estimation, the organization's two recent attacks — the one at a Seder on Passover night in a Netanya hotel that killed 25 people, and the other in a Haifa cafe that killed 15 — were the most successful they have ever made. That is true partly, Mr. Shanab said, because Hamas is now using weapons-grade explosives instead of home made bombs manufactured using fertilizer, a fact the Israelis have confirmed. 

"Forty were killed and 200 injured — in just two operations," another of the leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said with a smile. 

What's more, Hamas believes that the Palestinian Authority has given up on negotiating with Israel, negotiations that Hamas virulently opposed. That has led to a budding alliance between Hamas and Fatah, the organization headed by Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, despite years of bitter and sometimes violent feuding. 

Mr. Arafat "is Palestinian and I am Palestinian," said Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas. "We have the same problem now. Israel is our enemy." 

Sammy Abu Samhadanah, a Fatah commander here, said Hamas was carrying out attacks "because they did not want a peace agreement. 

"But now," he added, "we have a common enemy." 

Hamas, the second most popular Palestinian movement, behind Fatah, is directed by a "steering committee," as Dr. Zahar put it, with five principal members. Interviews with four of them — a cleric, an engineer and two medical doctors — showed a leadership unyielding, determined and increasingly confident of achieving their goal, the eradication of Israel as a Jewish state. 

They are almost welcoming of the Israeli attacks in the West Bank because they believe that the military campaign will generate more recruits for Hamas. Already, the leaders say, they have more than enough recruits for suicide attacks. 

The political leaders, as they call themselves, are obviously prosperous and live in large, comfortable homes here in Gaza City with big families. The exception is Sheik Yassin, who uses a wheelchair and lives in a compound in the slums of the city with guards, assistants and office workers. Dr. Zahar, a surgeon, has a table tennis set in his vast living room, for his seven children. All of them offer their opinions in calm, cheerful tones suggesting that they view their positions as unremarkable. 

The leaders insist that they are not involved in directing specific attacks. But they say they do decide when their followers should attack and when they should back off. Last fall, just after Sept. 11, the steering committee decided that "our resistance in Israel might be confused with what was happened in the U.S.," said Mr. Abu Shanab, the engineer. So the suicide bombing and other attacks were stopped. 

"It lasted three weeks," said Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the fourth leader. But then after a particularly bloody day in Gaza during which Israelis killed several Palestinians, Dr. Rantisi added, the attacks resumed. On Oct. 3, gunmen burst into an Israeli settlement in Gaza, Alei Sinai, where they shot and killed a young couple and wounded 15 others. Hamas took responsibility. 

Dr. Rantisi, who appears in public more often than any of the others, said that, to generate attacks, he makes public statements that are heard by his followers, as he did recently when he said in a television interview: "The gates of resistance are open totally." Those statements are heard by Hamas's military wing, he says, "and they listen because we are the political leaders." 

Some analysts here suggest that the leaders' roles are actually more direct. During the 45-minute interview in Sheik Yassin's compound, for example, aides twice brought him urgent news about developments in Ramallah, and he issued clear, direct orders. 

The goals of Hamas are straightforward. As Sheik Yassin put it, "our equation does not focus on a cease-fire; our equation focuses on an end to the occupation." By that he means an end to the Jewish occupation of historical Palestine. 

Hamas wants Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank and Gaza, the dismantling of all Israeli settlements and full right of return for the four million Palestinians who live in other states. After that, the Jews could remain, living "in an Islamic state with Islamic law," Dr. Zahar said. "From our ideological point of view, it is not allowed to recognize that Israel controls one square meter of historic Palestine." 

Mr. Shenab insisted that he was not joking when he said, "There are a lot of open areas in the United States that could absorb the Jews." 

The Hamas leaders are clearly enamored of the suicide attacks carried out by their followers. "It is the most effective strategy for us," said Dr. Rantisi. "For us it is the same as their F-16," the attack fighters used by the Israeli military. 

For them, the crowning achievement so far was the attack on Passover eve. 

"That was a great success," said Mr. Shenab. "We don't have an army, but we showed that one person can do more than an army — and in the middle of a big alert by the Israelis." That night, the Israeli police and the military were on full alert to stop suicide bombers. "That showed that if we suffer, our enemy suffers more," he added. 

Sheik Yassin said: "The Palestinian people are not the same as they were in 1967," when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza, "or during the first intifada," from 1987 to 1991. "At that time nobody knew how to make explosives. 

"But now," he added, "everybody knows, and Israel will never be stable again." 

On the night of the Passover attack, Dr. Zahar released a statement saying it was intended in part to shut down the cease-fire negotiations then under way, directed by Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, the American special envoy. 

In the interview today, Dr. Zahar explained, "the Zinni mission was bad for us" because, under the proposed terms of the cease-fire, groups like Hamas would be disarmed and their leaders arrested. 

"Besides," Dr. Rantisi said, "we in Hamas believe peace talks will do no good. We do not believe we can live with the enemy." 

The budding alliance with Mr. Arafat's Fatah faction does not mean that Hamas and Fatah will carry out attacks together, just that they will not interfere with each other. In the past, Fatah security officials have occasionally arrested Hamas members at the behest of the Israeli government; Dr. Zahar points to bullet holes in his living room ceiling that were left following one assault by Fatah forces. 

"But now," said Mr. Abu Samhadanah, the Fatah commander, "we are not going to arrest them." 

Mr. Shanab said: "We disagree with Fatah on the legitimate right of return of our refugees and many other things. 

"But for now, we are going to postpone those problems."

8 posted on 04/04/2002 12:52:03 PM PST by thatcher
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To: thatcher
"Forty were killed and 200 injured — in just two operations," another of the leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said with a smile.


Let's face facts: Hamas has more influence on Palestinian actions and policies than Arafat. Arafat is at best an ineffective dolt who can't control the violence, or he's a stooge of groups like Hamas, and he's fully culpable for the violence. Either way, Arafat is a waste of skin. Considering the mindset of these animals, I think Israel has been too patient in dealing with them.

9 posted on 04/04/2002 3:10:30 PM PST by My2Cents
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To: thatcher
The only thing I see missing in this article is the key role of Bill Clinton.
10 posted on 04/04/2002 3:18:27 PM PST by Gritty
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To: Winfield
Hey Dude, formatting is our friend.
11 posted on 04/04/2002 3:26:34 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: thatcher
Bump for brilliant Jacoby
12 posted on 04/05/2002 5:07:47 AM PST by Tolik
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To: thatcher
"Hamas, the second most popular Palestinian movement, behind Fatah, is directed by a "steering committee," as Dr. Zahar put it, with five principal members. Interviews with four of them — a cleric, an engineer and two medical doctors — showed a leadership unyielding, determined and increasingly confident of achieving their goal, the eradication of Israel as a Jewish state. "
13 posted on 05/14/2002 3:03:25 PM PDT by Kay Soze
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