FORECASTS: Azmi Bishara Will Be Declared a World Martyr -- The EU Will Demand Release of Barghouti as a Step Toward "Peace"
My prediction is that after sufficient press and media interest has been built up over his future, Bishara will call a press conference, probably in a wealthy Arab country, where he will announce his resignation, claiming that Israel was making life impossible for him in his own country. That Israel was evil, an apartheid state like South Africa, oppressive, colonialist, exploitative right-wing, and perhaps too, that the Jews had a peculiar odor, maybe the foetor iudaicus which feverish minds in medieval Europe had attributed to Jews. Maybe the Jews then bathed too much or ate too much garlic. Bishara will complain that nobody in Israel's government listens to him or does his bidding, and that his freedom of speech was being curtailed because he had dared to make a journey for peace and justice to Syria where he had hailed the Hizbullah and made his obeisance to the ruling Assad family. For the sake of peace and justice. Further, it was useless to try and work for peace and justice through the Israeli Knesset, because he and the other Arab members of Knesset were always outvoted.
On the charge of apartheid, I remember eating in the restaurant at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem while Bishara sat at another table with another Van Leer staff member, a Jew. Bishara was apparently a Van Leer employee at the time. For those who don't know it, the Van Leer is one of several academic ivory towers in Jerusalem.
Actually, Bishara should have been removed from the Knesset long ago because of his trips to Syria, an enemy state. In case anyone is unaware, Syria assiduously spreads Judeophobic propaganda of a medieval sort. For instance, former "Defense" Minister Mustafa Tlas wrote a few books justifying the charges against Damascene Jews in 1840 for allegedly killing a priest [a European, Roman Catholic missionary, by the way] in order to use his blood to be baked in matsot [unleavened bread for Passover]. Scores of Damascene Jews, including children and women, were arrested and tortured, supposedly to find the culprits, all this with the approval of the French consul in Damascus at the time. Four Jews died under torture.
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FORECAST: The EU --and maybe the US State Dept too-- will strongly urge Israel to liberate terrorist string-puller, Marwan Barghouti, a close Arafat associate, now in an Israeli jail on five counts of murder. Hamas has already put Barghouti's name on a list of about 450 terrorist criminals that it claims to be willing to trade for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, illegally held captive by the Hamas government of the "palestinian authority." Shalit was seized in the early summer of 2006 from an Israeli position on the Israeli side of the old armistice line dividing Israel from the Gaza Strip. According to international law, governments are supposed to allow the Red Cross to have access to prisoners of war. The Hamas, which is now the palestinian authority government, refuses to do this. The Red Cross [ICRC] does not complain. The Israeli foreign ministry does not complain either to the Red Cross [ICRC] or to the Swiss government which essentially controls the ICRC. Not even the poor boy's father, No`am Shalit, complains about lack of ICRC access to his son. Without such access, without any photos or recordings of the boy having been given out since he was taken prisoner, there is no reason to believe that he is still alive. Yet Hamas and Palestinian Authority officials frankly admit or claim that the Hamas holds him. PA president/chairman Mahmud Abbas [abu mazen] said this yesterday, 9 April 2007.
Now, I cannot understand why the boy's father has not complained about the lack of ICRC access. On the other hand, the foreign ministry of Israel is headed by Ms Tsipora [Birdbrain] Livni, probably the stupidest, most unfit foreign minister that Israel has ever had. Her incompetence as foreign minister might be considered criminal, but that would have to be investigated of course. Anyhow, her stupidity and her favoritism for peace-mongering slogans and policies explain her failure to cite Hamas violation of international law governing prisoners of war. Israel should have pointed very audibly to this violation as a reason why no state should have relations with the present palestinian authority government. That should have been one of the things that she told the Norwegian parliamentarians whom she met recently [see 3 earlier posts]. By recognizing the Hamas govt and by establishing relations with it, Norway scoffed at international law. This betrayal of Gilad Shalit's human rights --guaranteed by international law-- by itself would clearly have justified expelling the Norwegian ambassador from Israel --although I did not mention this reason on the earlier posts mentioned above.
In any event, Barghouti must not be freed. Indeed, we have had very bitter experience with prisoner releases and prisoner trades. A trade of three Israel soldiers for 1150 Arab terrorist prisoners in 1985 was one of the causes of the terrorism upsurge called the "intifada" in 1987. Israel has other means for obtaining release of Shalit.
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Coming: more on James Baker, propaganda, peace follies, a beautiful Byzantine era synagogue south of Hebron, Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, etc.