Quck response about Israel in Lebanon

[Written in reply to a suggestion made by Gershon Baskin, co-director of IPCRI, in a policy paper which can be read here]

Gershon/Hanna et al –

Something’s strange here – Kassams raining down on Israeli cities AFTER Israel left Gaza, and Katyushas in the North with attacks on Israeli patrols on Israeli territory well AFTER Israel returned behind the internationally-sanctioned border with Lebanon, and all you have to suggest is that Israel’s PM Olmert make statements and carry out these actions?

I have a better idea:

Abbas announces (without any meetings with Olmert) the release of Shavit and the 2 soldiers captured in Hizbullah’s attack in the north, the Palestinians and Hizbullah/Lebanese cease all Kassam, Katyusha, Fajar and other rocket attacks and terror attacks/attempts on civilians throughout the region, and Hamas either resigns its government seats or fulfills the demands of the international community to recognize Israel and abide by the Oslo agreements and the RoadMap, including disarming and dismantling all terror groups including Islamic Jihad, Fatah’s Al-Aksa ‘Martyrs’ Brigades and ‘Tanzin’ as well as Hamas’ own groups of course.

Then, and only then, without any ‘connection’ to the foregoing as an “exchange” but rather as the obvious, logical consequence of the Palestinians’ stopping to use terror and violence as a political tool (and as part of Israel’s obligations under Oslo and the RoadMap), Israel not only can begin releasing Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners “without blood on their hands” as per your suggestion, but can begin to stop their incursions into Gaza and Lebanon, various sorts of security checks & roadblocks & checkpoints, targeted killing of terrorist leaders, limitations on Palestinian workers in Israel and even start to dismantle the security barrier – all of which only came about as a result of Fatah & Hamas’ continual terror attacks and attempts since the early 1990’s.

Your suggestion is nothing but a face-saving way for Israel to do EXACTLY what Hamas and Hizbullah want and expect them to do: release prisoners in exchange for the kidnapping of our soldiers/civilians, and suffer hundreds of rocket attacks without a price being paid by the perpetrators or their backers (including Syria and Iran) as we have over the past year.

You of all people, professing impartiality and balance, should have been the first to put the onus of a ceasefire on Hamas and Hizbullah. You of all people know – as opposed to the twisted way this is being presented in the world’s media – that the issues here are far deeper than the kidnapped soldiers or even the Palestinians/Lebanese in prisons, most particularly with regard to Hamas’ and Hizbullah’s (and Iran’s) stated intent to destroy the Jewish State and the incessant unprovoked rocket attacks on Israel’s population centers, a situation no country in the world would or could tolerate as Israel has done over the past few months.

With warmest personal regards and deep disagreement as to your analysis of the sources of this current stage in the conflict and therefore your perscription for resolution –

Aryeh


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