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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Breaking news: Olmert vows to resign if indicted [Jerusalem Post]

Barbecues, fireworks and blow-up hammers mark Israel's 60th. [Jerusalem Post] (Blow up hammers -- it's a local thing.)

From Elder of Zion:
Today, Yom Ha'atzmanut is being celebrated, but it is not the anniversary. The anniversary is on the fifth of the Hebrew month of Iyar, which is on Saturday. Since that is the Jewish Sabbath, the date was moved up to today to enable everyone to celebrate properly.

[Palestinian] Nakba ["The catastrophe'] events were originally slated to occur on May 15th, "Nakba Day," but the very idea that Israel was celebrating today irritates Palestinian Arabs so much that they needed to declare today a day of mourning...
[With reference to a Nakba poster, showing Israel within the Green Line along with Gaza and the West Bank as Palestine:]

The shape of "Palestine" (portrayed as a keyhole) betrays the fact that Palestinian Arab nationalism is wholly dependent on external factors. Historic Palestine looks nothing like this picture; and while it would be hard to draw as the borders were never set in stone, everyone would agree that the Negev is not a part of it and that significant parts of what are now Jordan would be included in it. The fact that Palestinian Arabs have abandoned any pretense of trying to reconstitute "historic" Palestine and are only interested in the areas that Israel happens to control, with national borders created by the British and French, shows that Palestinian Arab nationalism is not at all about building a state, but about destroying one.

From blog.z word Implications of a 1-state solutionToday’s LA Times marks the sixtieth anniversary of Israel’s independence with a report extolling the virtues of the so-called “one-state solution.” ...

If the European Union is the model for the one-staters, they would do well to remember that the member states of the EU are precisely that - member states. These states have not been asked to abandon their independence and their identity, nor have they been compelled to do so. Conversely, Israel is not being asked to join a regional community of states; it is being told to dissolve itself, and to do so in a neighborhood which exhorts the slogan “Kill the Jews!” with alarming frequency.

Moreover, those who would demand that Israel dissolve itself are hardly duplicating the notion of equal legitimacy which underlies the EU. To the contrary, they regard Israel as a colonial usurper, born in “original sin” - a citadel of “neo-Jews’, in the words of a recent inchoate rant published on the one-statist website, Counterpunch.

For such people, a single state is an opportunity for Israeli Jews to atone for the historic crime of forming their own state, rather than an instrument for them to live with their neighbours as equals.

What the LA Times piece inadvertantly demonstrates is that it is ideology, rather than concerns about viability, contiguity, resources, open border policies and so forth, which primarily drives the one-staters. Prominently featured in the article is Hazem Kawasmi, a former Palestinian Authority official who is now busily researching the implementation of the one-state formula, having abandoned two states.

Why did Kawasmi give up on the two-state solution? Because the Israeli peace activists he met with “…dismissed two cherished Palestinian aspirations. Like Olmert’s government, they wanted to avoid talk of giving Palestinian refugees and their families the right of return to homes in Israel that they fled in 1948 or of sharing Jerusalem as capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state…At that moment, Kawasmi said, he realized ‘there is zero chance’ for a two-state solution. He didn’t sleep well for months. Then he embraced the single-state option, which had been debated for several years among Palestinians living abroad, and set out to create a buzz for it in the territories.”

Given that the “right of return” is code for the elimination of Israel, it’s debatable whether Kawasmi actually supported the two-state solution in the first place. And what is fanciful is Kawasmi’s claim, made elsewhere in the piece, that by throwing their lot in with one-staters like him, the Jews of Israel will be spared the inevitable wrath of the Islamists. Sad to say, but imperative to repeat: Islamism, and its integral antisemitism, is not going to disappear overnight.

In addition, when Kawasmi talks about Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities living with equal rights, what does that mean, exactly? That Jews in Israel will cease to be a nation and become just a religion? That schools in the single state will teach the crimes of Zionism in the history curriculum? That the descendant of an Arab resident of Jaffa in 1948 takes priority over a Jew who is resident there now? None of this has been thought through - and yet Israelis, who listen to blood curdling rhetoric echoing around their region every day, are supposed to be comforted by a glib formula which views their national project as inherently illegitimate.

The Military Situation in BeirutBy Tony Badran
Fighting in Beirut has broken out between Hezbollah/Amal and Future Movement supporters. Here's a brief look at the military situation. ...
The armed clashes have included standards of the civil war: light and medium machine guns, grenades and RPGs (and, apparently, we're now seeing light mortars by Hezbollah in Ras el-Nabe' — also a staple of the 70s-80s), and sniping, which was/is a highly effective tool to control opposing movements and neighborhoods in built-up areas.

The nature of the fighting, again, typical of the 70s-80s, involves control/blocking of access routes (using bulldozers, landfills, etc.), main roads and highways, control of neighborhoods (esp. those that are mixed), and control of strategic tall buildings (for sniping).