One in three Israelis think their country is "close" to civil war
I ♥ Huckabee's opens tonight at the Grandview. Nice. My Michael Ledeen story will be in The Mac Weekly today... "Lunch Beyond Good And Evil." Coming soon.
Some random tidbits for Friday morning:
Hans Blix on the preposterous games that Bush played with the inspections. Not as funny as Blix's role in TEAM AMERICA, which I saw last Saturday and really liked.
What is going on regarding Major Assaults Planned Right After the Elections? More of the democracy-terror nexus whipping about and killing innocent people.
As everyone knows by now, Ron Suskind's article in the NY Times Sunday magazine was staggering. I left one quote as my AIM away message for awhile:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
All sorts of faulty technology messed up the war for troops, besides the catastrophic planning.
"Post-war planning non-existent" by those stalwart Knight Ridder guys.
War on Terror spreads terror, says Rami G. Khouri in "Filling the Swamp."
On a lighter note, how about that Apple stock?
"Because something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?"
Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited)
Small, somewhat terrifying factoid: a poll in Israel last week revealed that about 36% of Israelis fear their country is "close" to a civil war. On the other hand, the poll also showed that strong majorities, even of Likud voters, favored withdrawing from Gaza, and most of them also favored holding national referendums to decide the matter, and others. All in all, very very interesting. But also scary.
Are you for or against carrying out a national referendum on the plan to
disengage from the Katif Bloc and Gaza Strip?
Total: For 57% Against 32% Other 11%
Likud voters: For 71% Labor voters: For 54%
And if a referendum takes place on the matter of disengagement from the
Katif Bloc and Gaza Strip how would you vote?
Total: For 62% Against 26% Other 12%
Likud voters: For 54% Against 36%
Labor voters: For 73% Against 19%
Do you think that the Israeli public is close or far from civil war?
Total: Close 36% Far 52% Other 12%
Likud voters: Close 43% Far 50%
Labor Voters: Close 42% Far 54%
Danny Rubenstein in Haaretz says that the Israeli setters, who have already conquered the West Bank, are actually turning their sights around and trying to rule Israel. An interesting argument!
From the Palestinians' perspective, and apparently not only theirs, the real battle has recently moved entirely onto the Israeli side of the court. There, one of the sides in Israel is well-defined. These are the Jewish settlers in the territories and their allies, who are doing with the territories what they think is good for Israel - that is, doing whatever they please. They grab land and properties, for the most part in accordance with plans that are defined in advance and with government budgets. They set up settlements and outposts, mark what they think should be Israel's border, and shape the way the Arabs who live there are controlled.
The other side - the Israeli government and its mechanisms - is harder to define because at least in the West Bank, the government of Israel does not exist. If it does, it appears in the form of Jewish settlers. On the weekend, for example, Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim declared that the Israel Defense Forces will not be able at this time to demand that Jewish settlers who have illegally seized shops owned by Arabs in Hebron's wholesale market, clear out.
The IDF will also not be able to protect Arab olive-harvesters who are attacked by Jewish settlers, and the evacuation of the outposts has already become a joke. Palestinian spokesmen cite many examples of how the settlers and the Israeli government in the territories are one and the same. A significant proportion of the people in Israel's administration and security forces in the West Bank are inhabitants of the Jewish settlements there, and many of them see the rulings by the rabbis of Yesha (the settlers' acronym for Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, which also means "salvation" in Hebrew) and the decisions of the Yesha Council as authoritative and legitimate.
In this context it can be said that the political battle that has moved onto the Israeli side of the field is abandoning the territories of the West Bank and is moving inside Israel proper. The state of the Jewish settlers, which has won in Yesha, is now trying to rule all of Israel.
Hard to know how to respond to that one. At least we know that the second Bush administration will continue its pattern of excellent decisionmaking.
I will have to merge my Campaign 2004 and Israel-Palestine topics: for a rather graphic example of the Republican-Likud merger, check out Republicans Abroad-Israel. Norm Coleman is smiling there, sharing a sign saying "Minnesotans in Israel for Bush."