Sunday, August 04, 2002

It's thought that Saddam Hussein might, when pushed against the wall, launch at Israel whatever he has in his arsenal in a final act of defiance.

I think that killing Hamas leader Shehade is comparable to attacking Saddam - in the sense that it puts Hamas with their backs against the wall. Though Hamas replaced Shehade with Mohamed Deif and is far from finished, they're concerned for their continued viability - as Ehud Yaari noted:

Rantisi is introducing for the first time the argument that unless suicide operations continue, Hamas and its allies will be submitted to “encirclement” by what he describes as “The Axis of Evil and Corruption” e.g., America and Israel. It is interesting to note that for the first time since the movement has adopted suicide tactics as its main modus operandi, a top leader of Hamas depicts these attacks as aimed at preventing destruction of the Islamic forces. Apparently, this new argument has been introduced in view of growing resentment amongst the Palestinian public which tends to see suicide operations as counter-productive or at least futile as indicated in various public opinion polls. Rantisi cannot claim anymore, as he used to do, that suicide operations will cause Israel to withdraw or collapse, so his new memo to Hamas members has a new tune: suicide operations are a guarantee for the existence of the movement.

Friday's Haaretz had a photo of a memorial from the scene of the Hebrew U. bombing. Visible in the photo was a wreath that said "European Union".

"Condemning" is a much stronger word that "understanding". This fact misleads ... It's so easy to condemn bombing innocent people and mostly meaningless. People who say they "understand" the bombing are the ones who are making the strong statement that puts to lie any condemnation that they happen to issue.

An editorial cartoon in the Friday Jpost had Sheik Yassin of Hamas posed in front of the exploded Frank Sinatra center. Yassin is grinning and singing "I did it my way".

Yediot Ahronot reports that the Israeli mission in Paris has asked L'express to print a retraction of their report that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said (in private conversation): "Arafat needs to be shot. Just not by our hands". Peres says that he never made any such statement to anyone.

Yediot also reports that new PA Finance Minister Salam Fayed has conveyed messages to both the US and Israel asking them to stop praising him. Praise such as that conferred by Colin Powell causes Palestinians to treat him as a collaborator.

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