PA policemen behind last week’s shooting attack

These are the people we’re supposed to make peace with. I hope that Bush and Rice gain some sense real soon.

Palestinian policemen were behind the shooting attack last week which killed Ido Zoldan, a 29 year-old father of two from the settlement of Shavei Shomron, the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed Sunday night. Zoldan was killed last Monday night – the day before the Annapolis summit began – when shots were fired at his car as he drove past the Palestinian village of al-Punduk.

The three members of the cell were Palestinian policemen and members of the Palestinian National Security Force, which Israel and the United States have been investing in as part of the international effort to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah government.

Defense officials said that the weapon used in the attack was not supplied to the Palestinians by Israel since it did not belong to the official Palestinian security forces. The officials said however that the IDF expected the political echelon to rethink its policy of strengthening Abbas while his policemen were involved in terrorism.

The day after the attack, acting on intelligence, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet operatives raided the village of Kfar Kadum, near al-Pundak and arrested Daper Barham and Abdullah Barahm, both 22-year-old Palestinian policemen and members of Fatah. The third suspect, Fadi Jama, also a policeman, was in Palestinian Police custody.

During their interrogation, the two confessed their involvement in the attack and handed over the weapon used in the shooting to the Shin Bet. They said that they had parked their car on the side of the road and waited for an Israeli car to pass by. Once Zoldan’s car appeared, they merged onto the road, passed him up and opened fire. They told their inteoogratos that they decided to carry out the attack to “scare settlers.”

Annapolis Part II

Earlier this week I voiced my concerns about Annapolis and Condi and company’s desire for a legacy. That is a scary way to try and conduct diplomacy. Anyone who knows anything about negotiations understands that one should negotiate from a position of strength and not weakness.

There is nothing remotely profound in that statement, but it bears repeating over and over. To begin with I am done with asking the Palestinians or any other Arab to recognize Israel. It is narishkeit. It is foolishness. It reminds me of my three year-old. She puts her hands over her eyes and says “daddy you can’t see me.”

Ok, you are right. I can’t see you. Screw Haniyeh, Abbas, Assad and anyone else who wants to play this game. Keep walking in the dark. I hope you trip over a table and break your necks. Because it has become glaringly apparent to me that they see this request for recognition as being a sign of weakness. Take it off off the table. We have what you want, not the other way around.

This is not going to be seen as being popular, especially not within the U.S. As Ralph Peters writes in the New York Post Bush and Co. are starting to look a lot like the Clinton administration.

“In the Middle East, you can’t buy peace. You can only buy time. If we want to help at all, the fundamental requirement is to have realistic expectations.

At present, the situation is aggravated by the Bush administration’s desperate quest for a headline-worthy foreign-policy success – mirroring the Clinton administration in its closing years. But desperation’s a poor basis for dealing with a geopolitical problem of near-infinite complexity, with ill will on every side except our own.

What happens in the course of Middle East “peace” talks under such circumstances? Whether the American administration is Republican or Democrat, it pressures Israel for concessions – since the Arabs won’t make any. Prisoner releases precede each summit; territorial handovers come under discussion.

For their parts, Arab leaders and their representatives assume we’re sufficiently honored if they just show up. We hear no end of nonsense about the great political risks they’re taking, etc. We’re suckers for any fat guy in a white robe with an oil can.”

So in my non professional opinion we need to rethink and restructure. Besides let’s take a moment to look at what is going on here. CNN has some of the interesting news.

The official said some of the 40 nations represented at the summit have offered Israel a chilly welcome, but their participation alone is encouraging.

“The Saudis won’t shake our hands; the Syrians won’t say nice things about us,” the Israeli official said. “But they’re here.”

It warms the cockles of my hearts to read this. The good old Saudis who punish victims of rape and fund terrorists all the while shaking their fingers at Israel as if they really were arbiters of morality.

The fine Syrians bolstered by their pipsqueak leader who are only in attendance because baby Assad is desperately trying to make a name for himself. I never thought that I’d say this, but I would have felt differently had his father been in Annapolis. The man didn’t need to prove that he didn’t wear diapers. But I digress.

Did you see that Iran is holding its own peace conference.

Elham indicated the Tehran meeting would be a riposte to the conference bringing together Israeli and Palestinian leaders which started in Annapolis outside Washington on Tuesday.

“It means that the Annapolis conference is not representing the Palestinians and not talking on their behalf, but on the contrary is moving against their rights,” he said.

The good old Iranians, benefactors of that other Palestinian group. You know the ones I am talking about, Hamas. Remember the guys who currently control Gaza.

“Hamas parliamentarians in Gaza signed a petition declaring their opposition to Palestinian “concessions” in Jerusalem and on the refugee issue, Israel Radio reported Monday.

“Any settlement that does not include the return of the refugees, [Israel’s] ceding of the land and the holy sites, and the release of the prisoners is ridiculous,” Ahmad Baher, deputy chairman of the Palestinian parliament said at the signing of the document. “The attempt to force such a solution led to the second Intifada.”

Among the signatories was Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

“The people believe that this conference is fruitless and that any recommendations or commitments made in the conference that harm our rights will not be binding for our people,” Haniyeh said as he entered the Palestinian parliament building in Gaza. “It will be binding only for those who sign it.”

In simple terms Israel isn’t negotiating with representatives of all of the Palestinians, just some of them. And that my friends is just one of the 1,876,098 reasons why Annapolis as currently constructed is doomed to fail.

There is going to be more bloodshed, more pain, more death and more harm and for what? A chance for a lame duck president and company to claim space in a history book. It is just shameful.

Rice’s legacy on the line at Annapolis

Five minutes worth of surfing the headlines brought up a half dozen stories about the upcoming Annapolis “peace” conference and its relationship to Condoleeza Rice’s legacy as Sec. of State. Here is a brief sample:

Rice’s legacy on the line at Annapolis conference
Can Rice save her legacy with ‘Hail Mary’ pass?
Rice at center of peace talks

I don’t know about you but the term legacy in regard to a peace process makes me very uncomfortable. In theory diplomacy should be conducted dispassionately and without concern that any of those involved are doing so for anything but altruistic reasons.

The term legacy makes me question that. I don’t want the players to be worried about how history is going to view them. I don’t want to be worried that they’re trying to win awards or a place in the history books.

Legacy just rubs me the wrong way. It is a bit like the doctor saying “this might sting a little” right before they shove a six inch needle into your spine.

I just hope and pray that the legacy of Annapolis isn’t written in our blood.

Don’t Israelify Us

Ynet has a story that covers an important issue regarding Israeli Arabs.

Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka (Balad) took part in a protest conference against a government initiative to draft Arab youths for national service, and expressed his opposition to the idea on Saturday.

“Anyone who does national service will become a leper and Arab society will throw him up from its midst,” the minister told Ynet.

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs, one of the conference’s organizers, is taking a more moderate stance, and says it is carrying out an unending argument with those who chose to volunteer, and has launched a campaign to minimize the number of volunteers.

During the last year, the number of Arab-Israeli volunteers for national service doubled from 280 to 560. “If we did not launch our campaign, we would be seeing a number several times higher, and maybe even thousands would choose to volunteer for national service,” the Committee’s CEO, Abd Anbatawi said.

This is a problem. Your country asks that you be a part of it. Your country tries to protect and serve you and asks that you give something back. You take from your country but choose not to give. It begs the question of whether you really wish to be a part of the country.

Arabs Surf Israeli Porn Sites

Ynet is reporting a story that you probably will not find on Al-Jazeera.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict apparently does not disturb and even encourages Arab internet users from consuming kosher Hebrew porn. Operators of a number of porn sites report that between two and 10% of their users arrive from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority. Some websites even go as far as offering services in Arabic.Nir Shahar, who manages the Israeli porn website, ‘Ratuv’ (wet), said that his company produced porn movies that have typical Israeli themes featuring female soldiers, female Mossad agents and policewomen.

It turns out there is a high demand for such content even in countries that are defined as “enemy states.” The most popular video clip among Arabs, “Code name: Deep investigation,” is described as “a parody dealing with the Vanunu affair with agents investigating the affair using erotic means.”

In the past several months we see an increase in traffic from countries that have no diplomatic ties with Iran , Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt,” Shahar said.

Due to the demand, Shahar added an Arabic version of the site. “We received many thank you messages from Arab surfers. Many of whom asked if the female soldiers really serve in the IDF,” he said.

For the full story please click here.