Friday, August 30, 2002

At this moment, the country feels the calmest that it's been for at least 6 months. That's not saying much, and it could change any second - especially with the trouble on the Lebanese border and the Iraq situation. But the IDF has been successful in rooting out much of the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas. A few weeks ago Defence Minister Ben-Eliezer said there were something like 50 suicide bombers ready to go; we're not hearing much of that sort of thing now. Nor are we hearing about foiled attacks on a daily basis the way we used to. The PFLP has been practically speaking neutralized (report).

In the Oslo era, there were periods in which there were surges of Islamikaze bombings (often these were immediately after one of the "phased withdrawals" that turned over territory to the PA). After a period of calm, Israelis would then go back to their daily routine - as well as their routine political dogmas. Cynics thought that we had very short memories. The past two years of chaos will not be so easily forgotten, but if the current relative absence of attacks were to continue various things could happen: downtown would come back to life; tourists, businessmen, and investors would return.

Then it's striking to hear stuff on the radio like: "The curfew in Nablus will be lifted from noon until dusk. Jenin remains under curfew while in Kalkilya the curfew has been lifted", or about the 4 members of a family killed by tank fire in Gaza. The quiet and stability that we are experiencing comes at the expense of the Palestinians (as well as at the expense of the pressures on the IDF and reservists).

But it's foolish (and I would say immoral) to argue that Israel should sacrifice its own citizens (and civil stability) in order to spare Palestinians from hardships necessitated by the failure of their own government (and to a large extent the failure of their culture).

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