UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Sunday, September 29 2013:
*Do you want to see a tiny sliver of what goes on at the Temple Mount–and how the Al-Aksa Mosque is used for “something other” than religious purposes? Click on this link to see a short video of what happened yesterday. As you are watching, you might ask yourself, dear reader, why the Jerusalem Police tolerate these kinds of incidents. Why don’t they just storm the building and arrest the terrorists?
*Another two missiles were fired out of Gaza by Palestinian terrorists yesterday morning. They struck near the Erez Crossing. One week ago, your humble servant was at the Erez Crossing and took these pictures:
This next picture was taken about .5 km back up the road toward the Ashkelon–in the Chof Ashkelon region:
By the way, do you remember the two missiles your humble servant reported on yesterday that struck the Chof Ashkelon region around midnight? Remember how the IDF spokesman said the sirens were just a false alarm–and later that the missiles fell within Gaza? Late yesterday afternoon, as israelstreet predicted, the missiles were found right beside an Israeli kibbutz in Chof Ashkelon.
*PM Netanyahu will soon be giving his incredibly anti-climactic speech to the United Nations. No one will be listening, carried away as they are by the lustrous hopes of a rapprochement between Iran and the United States. By the way, we had the lovely and endearing news from the White House today that when Obama concluded his 15 minute telephone call with Rouhani, he (Obama) said “goodbye” in Farsi.
*File this under the category of “Don’t mess with the Al-Shiah family.” It seems that yesterday morning, the Al-Shiah family was driving through Lebanon’s Baalbek Valley when they came upon a Hezbollah checkpoint manned by some 10 Hezbollah “soldiers” including the Hezbollah commander of the portion of the valley they were in.
The soldiers stopped the car and ordered the family out so that they could search them and the car. The family refused. The soldiers repeated the order and attempted to open the doors of the car. The Al-Shiah family proceeded to open fire on the Hezbollah soldiers, killing 5–including the Hezbollah commander–and wounding the others. According to reports, they then casually drove away and remain at large this morning. Neither Hezbollah nor the Lebanese Army is showing much interest in pursuing them.
Readers of this blog have often read your humble servant lambasting the Oslo Accords and everyone in Israel who was or is associated with them, most specifically Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
My criticism has been based on the two points: (1) that Oslo took the PLO, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization, and whitewashed it overnight into an “organization seeking peace”; and (2) that Oslo directly led–beginning some 6 months after signing–to more than 12 years of Palestinian suicide bombers and more than 1200 Israeli men, women, and children blown to bits.
A fascinating opinion piece written by a Palestinian, Suhail Khalilieh, appeared on the Ma’an Palestinian news website yesterday. Entitled “20 years of Oslo: Maybe the best thing to happen to the Palestinians”, the article points out that despite the effort of many in the Palestinian community to denigrate the Oslo Accords, that agreement was a boon to the Palestinian cause; indeed, Khalilieh writes “we have won with Oslo.”
Khalilieh observes that because of Oslo:
*”Nowadays the Palestinians are well recognized as a people seeking their freedom from Israeli occupation. And we now have stages, platforms, podiums opened up to us all over the world, almost all of which were not available to us before.”
*”Palestinians today have diplomatic representation almost all over the world, and dozens of diplomatic representatives within Palestinian controlled Area A.”
*”International organizations have numerous branches operating in Area A, in cooperation with PA ministries, and Palestine has an operational monetary authority and 17 different banks with 230 branches and 11 micro-finance institutions operating just in Area A.”
*”Palestinians can build within Area A and Area B almost at will if they obtain the building permits from local municipal councils. Actually, many do it after completing the construction, something that never happened during the time of the occupation.”
*”Infrastructure services like electricity, water, telephone lines, wireless communications, roads, and much more were scarcely available to Palestinians. This is not so anymore, and even though water is the most notable shortage that we continue to suffer from, compared to neighboring Arab countries, it is not really so bad.”
*”The 1,500 or more NGOs that exist and operate within Palestinian controlled areas in various fields of services, employing thousands of Palestinians, could not have existed without Oslo.”
*”The media never really existed before or operated in such a variety of different forms, and there has been an increase in education facilities, commercial shops, and industrial plants.”
The list of benefits, Khalilieh writes, goes on and on.
*”The construction of settlements . . . might have been increased by much more if it was not for Oslo.”
* “. . . one of the things that we got from Oslo, and will remain ours no matter what happens, is world recognition of Area A, which will always be Palestinian . . .”
*”Our legitimate rights for a state based on the 1967 borders will always be recognized internationally. East Jerusalem will always be recognized as under Israeli occupation.”
Let’s recapitulate: it was Israel that recognized the Palestinians and gave them a world and diplomatic stage, Israel that created the canard of Israeli occupation, Israel that gave the Palestinians Area A, Israel that relinquished rights to the Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem, and Israel that opened Judea and Samaria to international agencies dedicated to Israeli destruction.
But, very astutely, Khalilieh saves his most salient point for last:
*”Israel will always be shunned within the international community as an occupier.”
No matter what Israel does, no matter how much land Israel gives the Palestinians, and no matter how untrue it is, as long as Israel exists it will forever be branded an “occupier”.
From a Palestinian perspective, this is the most wonderful result of Oslo.