UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Tuesday, April 29 2014:
**The fallout from John Kerry’s “Israel will soon become an apartheid state” comment continued today with Kerry himself apologizing for creating a “misimpression” and wishing he had used a “different word.”
Kerry proceeded to say that he has never thought that Israel practices apartheid: “Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that without a shred of doubt.”
But the point is that Kerry used the word “apartheid”. And by using the term “apartheid”, he immediately gave the green light to the world to use the same term.
And the first to jump on board the “apartheid” bandwagon today have been the Palestinians. Saeb Erekat, the so-called “Chief Palestinian negotiator” had this to say: “We believe the international community must make clear to Israel that its choice of settlements and apartheid exacts a political, legal and economic price.”
This was quickly followed up by Mahmoud Abbas who also accused Israel of apartheid and of ethnically cleansing the Arabs of Jerusalem. Apartheid and ethnic cleansing?
Thank you John Kerry.
**In an astonishingly incomprehensible move announced today by Hamas, the Netanyahu government has agreed to return the bodies of a number of Hamas terrorists to Ramallah so that they may receive a hero’s burial.
Most egregious will be the return of the body of Hamas murderer Izz al-Din al Masri, the suicide bomber who blew himself at the Sbarro pizza parlor in Jerusalem in 2001 slaughtering 19 Israelis including 5 members of one family.
Can you even begin to imagine how the families of all of those blown to pieces are going to feel when they see the celebrations in Ramallah which will erupt when the body of this barbaric murderer is returned?
Has Israel no dignity?
**In another astonishingly incomprehensible move announced by Turkish PM Erdogan today, it appears that the Netanyahu government is closer than ever to signing off on the “compensation” package to the families of the IHH terrorists that were killed by Israeli soldiers on board the Mavi Marmara terrorist ship that was attempting to illegally break the Gaza blockade several years ago.
Your humble servant wishes that someone could explain why Israel should pay one penny to the Turks. If anything, the Turks should be paying for the wounds suffered by the Israeli soldiers who were attacked and had to defend themselves.
By the way, in making the announcement, Erdogan thanked President Obama for his help in wringing Netanyahu’s apology and Israeli taxpayer money out of Israel.
Thank you President Obama.
**Can you imagine how the IDF soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara feel when they see their government paying money to those who tried to kill them?
The depths to which morale has fallen among some soldiers was illustrated this morning when a group of Givati soldiers posted the following (slightly blurry) picture on Facebook which protested the dismissal of a member of the Nahal Brigade from combat duties.
The sign reads: “We are also with ‘David’ Nahali” (source: 0404)
Incredibly, the Nahal soldier was removed from a combat role for the “offense” of raising his weapon at a Palestinian terrorist in Hebron who rushed toward him. As one of the soldiers in the picture below said: “This is a disgrace. The Nahal brigade soldier acted appropriately. No army in the world would let a person get close to a soldier and threaten him. We have become a laughing stock.”
Whether it be dismissing the Nahal soldier, or paying compensation to Turkish terrorists, or returning the bodies of Hamas suicide bombers, or canceling plans to build 3500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria (yesterday), the Israeli government seems to be continuing on its path of “playing defense” by being politically correct.
The Netanyahu government seems terrified that it will offend someone. It doesn’t seem to realize that no matter what Israel does, the world always will find Israel at fault.
In your humble servant’s opinion, it is past time for Israel to start playing offense.
But not too late.
Like a breath of fresh air, Israel Economic Minister Naftali Bennett outlined his and his party’s plan for Judea and Samaria over the remainder of this year while on a tour of the Gush Etzion community of Neveh Daniel this afternoon:
“We will be gradually attempting to apply Israeli law on Israeli controlled areas (Area C) of Judea and Samaria. The era of Oslo is over and we are entering a new era of realism. That means we invest massively in joint infrastructure for Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria.”
Referring to Areas A and B, Bennett said:
“We will provide the Palestinians with autonomy on steroids. [The Palestinians] in these areas will govern themselves, we have no desire to control them . . . That is the future, coexistence, economic peace and then gradually . . . real peace.”
Of course with the United Nations, European Union, Israeli leftists, international NGOs, the Obama Administration, and scores of others doing everything they can to stop real peace, the road ahead will not be easy. But in a reality in which the Palestinians refuse to make even one compromise for peace, your humble servant fervently believes that Bennett’s vision is the best way forward.