Israel Resource Review 24th May, 2001


Is Ariel Sharon the Scion of King David or King Saul?
David Wilder
Spokesman, Jewish Community of Hebron

Hebron, (May 23, 2001)

Last night Prime Minister Ariel Sharon answered questions following his dramatic press conference, announcing Israeli acceptance and compliance with the Mitchell Report. One of the final questions dealt with'settler security.' Sharon remarked that he guaranteed the security of all Israeli settlements.

With that, David Bedein, Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, interrupted, "what about Abu Sneneh?" Sharon, who until that moment appeared relaxed and poised, look down at his notes and stiffened.

Again, Bedein asked, "what about Abu Sneneh?" Sharon, looking more than mildly upset, walked off the stage, not answering the question, not saying a word.

{From the hills of Abu Sneneh. PLO snipers have targeted the Jews of Hebron for months. While the IDF has responded elsewhere to such shooting, the IDF has yet to respond in Hebron}

Only moments before, Sharon outlined the measures to be taken:

  1. A total and unconditional cessation of violence and terrorism.
  2. A meaningful cooling off period.
  3. Implementing confidence building measures.
  4. Resuming political negotiations.

That having been said, Defense Minister Ben Eliezer issued a new military command: "Due to the ceasefire, all pre-emptive shooting must be halted, excluding life-threatening situations, or a reaction to firing on Israeli soldiers or rescuing of wounded soldiers. Any entrance into Area A territory requires political authorization."

What has happened since?

  • Last night, at 12:00 midnight, Arabs started shooting in Hebron. The IDF was not able to identify the 'source of shooting' and did not respond.
  • Early this afternoon two men were shot at the community of Ariel in the Shomron. One of the men died on the operating table a short time ago. The other was wounded.
  • Gilo was again attacked by Arafat's armed forces. An 84 year old man was hit and seriously wounded. A woman was also injured. Other homes were struck by Arab gunfire.
  • The Jewish community Tekoa was again shot at and 3 houses were hit, no one was injured.
  • Kol Yisrael radio announced that Israeli security forces arrested a Gazza resident, owner of a metal-casting factory. This man admitted that he cast thousands of parts for mortars for Gaza Civil Police head Brig. Gen. Ghazi Jabali. He said that he recently had an order for 10,000 improved 120mm mortars from Jabali. The GSS says that Yasser Arafat was aware of the operation.

The Arab also reported that Gaza Preventive Security head, Col. Muhammad Dahlan, also ordered 120mm mortars from him.

And finally, to climax this wonderful day, (at least, up to this writing), the Sharon administration announced that, despite today's shootings, despite the murder of another Israeli civilian, the ceasefire would continue!

Thomas Friedman, in a column in the New York Times titled, "The Big Mideast Problem is Arafat," after blasting Israel's settlement policy, writes, "But the settlements are not the core problem. The core problem now is that Yasser Arafat cannot say "yes"…he launched this idiotic uprising…because he is essentially a political coward and maneuverer, who apparently has not given up his long-term aim of eliminating Israel…" Friedman concludes, "The real problem is that the Palestinians are leaderless today…"

Friedman's initial analysis is 100% correct. However, his conclusion is wrong.

The Arab leadership, namely Arafat, Rajoub, Dachlan Tiraway, Barghuti, Jabali, and all the others, are an accurate reflection of so-called'palestinian' public opinion. They reject the existence of a Jewish state. The reject the concept of anyone other than Moslems living in the Middle East. They fully accept use of brutal, primitive violence to achieve their aims. They will stop at nothing if they really believe their goal is achievable.

What Friedman forgets is that Arafat was elected, as were many of his cronies. His'people' knew exactly who and what they were electing, and they received what they voted for. Arafat represents them, they are Arafat's warriors, they are inciting, they are perpetrating the terror attacks, killing Israelis, shooting at our cars and houses.

The problem is not only Arafat. The problem is the entire'Palestinian Authority', predecessor of the planned'Palestinian State.'

The question that begs to be answered deals not with the Arabs. It concerns Ariel Sharon. What is his problem? What is preventing him from lashing back at those who are attacking Gilo in our capital, at those shooting and killing innocent civilians, at those sniping from the Shalhevet (Abu Sneneh) and Harat a'Shech hills, into Hebron neighborhoods and apartments? Is it possible that the quintessential war hero, Ariel Sharon, is…… . . afraid?

What else could be stopping Sharon? Perhaps George W. and Collin, Husni and Bashar, teamed up with Yasser, and let's not forget Shimon, the 2 Yossis, with Avraham and Bibi watching and waiting from the sidelines, and maybe Fuad too, ---- together they… . . . scare Ariel Sharon?

Perhaps when Sharon sees Arafat, he thinks he is seeing a 21st century Goliath?

When King Saul stared out at Goliath in the Elah Valley, less than an hour from Hebron, he saw what looked like a giant, ranting and raving, taunting, cursing the G-d of Israel.

When David looked at Goliath, he saw Israel's honor defiled. When Saul gaped at Goliath he was filled with dread. When David gazed at Goliath he said, "Let no man's heart fail within him."

And the Philistine (Arafat) said to David (Israel): 'Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.'

Was this not perpetrated in Ramallah and again, two weeks ago, at Tekoa?

Then said David to the Philistine:

'Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin; but I come to thee in the name of the L-RD of hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast taunted."

Arafat, like Goliath, is toying with Israel's honor, he is taunting and cursing our People, our Land, our G-d. The peoples of the world are observing. All Israel is watching, waiting, expecting. Our eyes are on our leader, anointed by the people to annihilate the enemy.

Who is Arik? Is he David? Or is he Saul?

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U.S. Cancels Military Excecise with Israel
Pameal Hess
Staff writer, UPI, Washington

WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- As the tension continues in the Middle East, the United States has canceled a regularly scheduled military exercise with Israel, the Israeli government and a Marine Corps general confirmed Wednesday.

The decision to cancel Exercise Noble Shirley, a live-fire training exercise for U.S. and Israeli troops usually held in the southern Negev Desert region of Israel in July and December, was made by U.S. European Command, the Pentagon and the State Department, said Maj. Gen. Robert Magnus, assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations.

"There are political reasons and military-force protection reasons," Magnus told United Press International on Wednesday after a breakfast meeting with reporters.

The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit on the USS Kearsarge now in the Mediterranean Sea was supposed to take part in the training exercise, which often practices long-range helicopter raids and mobile assault.

Magnus said the decision to cancel the exercise was made Tuesday.

As Israel and the Palestinians continue to trade bombings and mortar attacks, Israel is considered to pose a higher-than-normal risk of terrorist attack, a Pentagon source said. Eight months after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, the military is loath to tempt new attackers.

The political reasons for canceling the exercise are unclear, but one government official suggested the United States may not want to be seen practicing with the Israeli military while it is using "disproportionate military force" -- including helicopter attacks -- to respond to Palestinian provocations.

Magnus indicated Wednesday that the U.S. military does not endorse Israel's tactics against Palestinian populated areas.

"We don't consider that to be the way we would prefer to do things," Magnus said.

Israel has used U.S.-made weaponry, including F-16s, against Palestinian targets. The Pentagon refused comment on the matter Tuesday, deferring to the State Department.

Secretary of State Colin Powell would not specify whether the United States had asked Israel not to use U.S.-made weapons in its operations against the Palestinians.

"We're asking both sides to not take this up to any higher levels of escalation and let's start moving things down," said Powell at a news conference Monday.

Powell called for an "unconditional cessation" of violence by both sides, and endorsed a recently released international report that urges Israel to use non-lethal means for counteracting Palestinian demonstrations and calls for a freeze on building Israeli settlements. He also appointed a new envoy to the Middle East to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, and Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Officially, the Pentagon refuses to comment on the cancellation as it had not yet announced that the exercise was going to take place.

"We've made no announcement of an exercise," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley on Tuesday. "I'm not going to get into what we may have done if we didn't announce it in the first place. I'm not going to go there."

An Israeli government source confirmed Wednesday that Noble Shirley had been canceled and said it was solely an American decision.

"It's true the cancellation is an American initiative -- it was their decision to defer," said an Israeli Embassy spokesman in Washington.

This article ran on the UPI wire on May 23, 2001
Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.

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The Left Should Stop Using the "Settlements" as an Excuse
Nadav Shragai
Senior Correspondent, HaAretz

"I collected my children and I explained to them that if they hear a strong boom, it's mortar shells. They usually land in foursomes and then you have to run into the nearest building, even if you're in a different neighborhood and you don't know the people who live there. You go in and lie on the floor and put your hands on your head." - Yifat Tal from Gush Katif, last weekend.

This is war. In Gilo and in Bat Hefer, in Rimonin and Tekoa, in Kfar Azza and Nahal Oz.

A new Middle East, we can now say with certainty, will not be established here in the near future, and a new Arafat is also nowhere in sight. The Palestinians in Hebron and in Lebanon, in Umm el-Fahm and in Nazareth have all linked hands and are demanding the implementation of the right of return: to Acre and Ashkelon, to Jaffa and Haifa, to Lod and Ramle. And today too, as in the past, they do not make any distinction between "the settlements of Kibbutz Ma'aleh Ha'hamisha and Acre" (inside the Green Line) and "the settlements of Ofra and Kedumim" (in Judea and Samaria).

While in Israel, the last of the Oslo accord loyalists are seizing almost obsessively on the settlements as though they are a lifeboat that will somehow save the fragments of the sinking dream, which from the very outset, it now turns out, was no more than a dangerous delusion. These people are even trying to rectify the Palestinians' mistake for them by reminding them that there are settlements and there are settlements, but the Palestinians, sad to report, are declining to pay heed to this argument.

This bad habit of singling out "the settlements," which has turned into almost a conditioned reflex in the past 34 years, has now become more repugnant than ever. The comparison that is being made between the settlement enterprise, which is characterized primarily by building and creation, and terrorism, which is characterized primarily by hatred and the murder of women and children, is absolutely and completely groundless. Anyone who talks about terrorism and the settlements in the same breath these days is in effect providing justification for the classic argument advanced by the Arabs against the establishment of the State of Israel.

If the same reasoning is taken to its logical conclusion, it becomes necessary to define as a "catastrophe" (to use the same terminology as the Arabs in the Land of Israel) the establishment of the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Aviv on the soil of the Arab village of Sheikh Munis, or the building of Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv on the soil of another village, Sumeil.

Those who were behind the establishment of the settlements, it has to be said, operated within the bounds of the legitimacy that was supplied by the moral umbrella for the whole enterprise of Zionist settlement, including Galilee and the Negev. It is true that the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel and the creation there of a state came at the expense of another public, but the definition of the legitimacy of the Zionist act was clear: even if we were a conqueror, we were not an alien conqueror. We came back to the homeland. The lands and districts in which we settled were not foreign to us, they were the land of our forefathers.

Were it not for these very clear definitions, it would have been sufficient to make do with a haven, and not necessarily in the Land of Israel. It was only our historic, religious and cultural attachment to this land that conferred morality on the Zionist enterprise. This ostensibly self-evident perception of Zionism of itself has to be reinvoked today because this is also the conception that from the outset guided, and to this day continues to guide, the settlement project in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (known collectively by the Hebrew acronym of Yesha). If the settlements there, which draw their legitimacy from the same sources and the same definitions from which Zionism drew its legitimacy are pronounced illegitimate, what must our attitude be toward the entire Zionist enterprise?

The comparison that some people are making today between terrorism and the settlements has the practical effect of validating terrorism - because in this version of the situation the case is one of terrorism against terrorism, not against "settlements." The same comparison also provides post factum legitimization for the terrorism that was perpetrated against us in Ma'alot, on the coastal road and in Avivim, all of which preceded the Oslo accord by many years.

In addition, this point of view necessarily leads to the creation of a scale of terrorism and thereby to a distinction between terrorism that is more legitimate and terrorism that is less legitimate - and from here the way is short also to discrimination between blood and blood. The blood of a "settler" from Ofra will be less red than that of a "settler" from Acre, and the blood of a "settler" from the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem will be less red than that of a "settler" from Bat Hefer in the center of the country or from Kibbutz Nahal Oz opposite the Gaza Strip.

This scale of blood also requires us to completely ignore the fact that Arafat has committed himself time after time in writing to resolve differences with Israel peacefully and through dialogue.

It must be admitted that Elon Moreh, which is in Samaria, may not be a security asset, but then neither is Kibbutz Misgav Am, on the border with Lebanon. The tanks and the missiles will not stop at the one or at the other.

Indeed, there may even be some who will argue that from a purely military point of view both places are a burden. But Elon Moreh and Misgav Am have the same Zionist value and meaning. Both places were established as part of the attempt to create a political fact that would bring into being the borders of the state.

The fact that there is no consensus in Israel concerning the political wisdom of establishing settlements in any part of Yesha certainly cannot provide validity for the perpetration of attacks on their residents or for asserting, as MK Yossi Sarid (Meretz) did, that the settlements are also a form of violence.

At least for the time being, Shimon Peres and Ariel Sharon have cast aside their disagreement over the settlements, and the time has come for the entire left-wing camp to break this bad habit too.

This article appeared in Ha'aretz on 20th May, 2001

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Official Palestine News Agency: Israel poisons Palestinian candies

Wafa PNA News Agency, Gaza, May 21, 2001

The Head of the Emergency Ward in Alshifa Hospital in Gaza, stated that it seems to be that Israel has started a new genocide against the Palestinian people by poisoning them, using poisoned candy bags dropped down from airplanes.

He based his suspicion upon four peculiar cases of poisoning as a result of touching and smelling candy bags that were dropped from an Israeli airplane at Beit Lahia north to Gaza City.

He said that when the four examined the bags, they felt bad and vomited, and were rushed to the hospital.

He added that the initial testing for these bags showed that the candies smell like coconuts, were poisoned and there is a strong doubt that the candy contains radioactive materials!.

Finally he warned Palestinian citizens to be alert and aware of any suspicious goods.

This announcement appeared on the May 21 WAFA website at

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