Monday, April 08, 2002

I see more people are coming in from Yahoo today... Welcome... Be sure to check out some interesting older posts by clicking on "Archive" on the left.

Ariel Sharon today in the Knesset presented a Rumsfeld-like status report of the military operations . You can read about it here.

On the radio this morning some pundits were discussing the expected contents - the part about desire to meet moderate Arab leaders was largely expected. This bit is new though:

"Negotiating with the Palestinians is a gradual process, said Sharon. An intermediate stage is necessary, in which IDF forces would withdraw to security zones. Then Palestinians could then work on building their society and economy, he said, offering substantial Israeli help.

The faster Palestinian-Israeli relations improve, the faster the two sides can discuss permanent borders and find solutions to open questions."

The Arab world and probably Europe will find this unacceptable. After all, the Palestinians rejected the Barak proposal because it didn't allow millions of Palestinians to settle in pre-1967 Israel. And now Sharon is offering substantially less than Barak.

There's no going back to the Barak proposal however. I live in the southern part of Jerusalem - I know people who live in the Jewish quarter of the walled city. Under the "Clinton bridging proposal", Arab neighborhoods that are within walking distance away would be under PA control.

The Israeli military is now fighting in Jenin and Nablus to eliminate the bomb factories and arm caches that Fatah and Hamas have developed with the tacit or not-so-tacit assistance of Arafat. No sane Israeli (other than the extreme left) would invite these folks into our own backyards. No sane Israeli thinks that offeriing the Palestinians part of what they want will get them to change their "spots" or their methods.

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