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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, January 05, 2009

Israel Must Demand Control of Philadelphi Corridor & Return of Shalit as part of any cease fire

UPDATING link added at bottom 1-6-2009
plus more on # of calories allowed to Jews
in besieged Jerusalem [1948]

Many politically knowledgeable Israelis are not surprised that the current government's conditions for a cease fire in Gaza are so inadequate. This govt not only failed to bring the 2006 war against Hizbullah to a successful conclusion --due to the lack of the right strategy, ignorance of the enemy, ignorance of how that enemy was supplied [they knew that the weapons came from Iran to Syria to the Hizbullah across the Syrian border but acted as if they did not know]-- but failed on the very important diplomatic front. Security Council Resolution 1701 did not provide for forceful supervision by international forces of the Syria-Lebanon border nor for Israeli action if international [UN] forces could not or would not stop the Hizb's import of weapons from Syria.

So we are now faced with a rearmed Hizbullah on the northern front --a Hizb more heavily armed than 2 1/2 years ago. And this present govt is to blame in large part, along with the major powers sitting on the UN Security Council. That fool Siniora, PM of Lebanon, worked at the UN to soften Res. 1701, thus working against his own interests, since the rearmed Hizb turned against him and his govt and his Lebanese Sunni community more forcefully than before.

It is not clear what Israel's govt is now calling for as proposals for a cease fire accord. I heard four points talked about on TV but cannot find that proposal on the web. They were very unsatisfactory in any event. Here is some of what olmert is calling for:
"Olmert is interested in the establishment of an international supervision and enforcement mechanism for any cease fire between Israel and Hamas." [HaArets, 1-2-2009]
Now, Israel has been betrayed time and again by "international supervision" bodies. These bodies go back to the ConsularTruce Commission set up to supervise the truce between Israel and Arab forces in the city of Jerusalem in the early summer of 1948. At the time, the three powers making up the commission, the USA, France, and Belgium, through their consuls stationed in Jerusalem --in consultation with Count Bernadotte, the UN peacemonger-- spent much of their time deciding how many calories worth of food per Jew should the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem be allowed to bring in to the city during the truce [called the First Truce in the war]. It may surprise some to learn that the US consul was the most adamant about limiting the number of calories per Jewish resident to be allowed into the Holy City to 2,800 per day. The French and Belgian consuls were inclined to be more generous to the Jews [3,400/day]. Finally, the US consul got the Frenchman and Belgian to come over to his side, while the Jewish Agency delegate to the commisison and military governor of the city --Dov Joseph (actually a civilian)-- rejected the commission's decision. The American consul justified his position by asserting that millions of Chinese were living on the verge of starvation at that time. Be that as it may, when the American public learned of this low number, a protest was aroused and the decision was changed [see reference note below*].

Truce supervisory bodies, like UNIFIL and UNTSO have often performed in a way fundamentally hostile to Israel. Likewise officials of such bodies, such as one Odd Bull, a Scandinavian. Bull and other officials of international bodies, whether the UN or UNESCO or ICRC and so on come from specific countries and are, unsurprisingly, beholden to the policies of their own governments. This is one reason why a body like the UN is inherently unjust. The votes taken in the General Assembly and Security Council represent the interests and policies of the constituent govts. So if an issue comes up involving Israel and Arabs, the Arabs can count on the votes of Arab League states and Muslim states, and many other states that want Arab or Islamic support in UN voting for their own interests and pet projects and for their side in their own conflicts. In order to get Arab voting support, they must vote for the Arab side against Israel. Meanwhile, Israel has no bloc of automatic supporters. Of course, in UN debate, Israel's enemies and their allies and collaborators speak in terms of lofty morality. The UN Human Rights Council is notorious for being run by states that are major violators of human rights. Consider Libya and Sudan, etc.

Now the last paragraph presents only part of what's wrong with international bodies but it should be enough to prove the point. Rather than depend on international truce supervisors, Israel
1) needs to keep its own forces along the Philadelphi Corridor [the Egyptian border with Gaza] and in the northern Gaza Strip, whence most of the rockets have been shot at Israel, perhaps with unarmed observers from other powers too. But the armed personnel have to be Israeli.
This does NOT mean ruling over a large Arab population since northern Gaza is not heavily populated.

2) must demand the release of Gilad Shalit as a prelude to negotiations. Shalit is an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for 2 1/2 years [two and one-half]. He has been held illegally since the Hamas did not allow the Red Cross [ICRC] access to Shalit. We don't know if he's dead or alive.
Israel's govt should have made an international issue of this violation long ago.

3) Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza must be disarmed of all heavy weapons, katyusha rockets, armored cars, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, etc. Teams made up of armed Israeli and international inspectors must be able to travel around the Gaza Strip and inspect wherever they want in the search for such weapons. In recent days, mosques, schools, an Islamic university and other public buildings have been sites of rocket storage and warehouses for other heavy weapons. Israeli officials have charged that Shifa hospital in Gaza has served as a headquarters for Hamas war activities. This is a violation of international law but [using such locations for military purposes] but the Western media, which mostly works for the interests of their respective Western countries, usually does not report such Israeli charges or when they do, they minimize or cast doubt on such reports.

4) It is often claimed that the Gaza Strip is the most crowded place on earth. Well, it's not. But saying so has become a conventional, politically correct lie. Metropolitan Tel Aviv is more crowded. However, if major powers think that Gaza is too crowded then they could help Gaza people find other places to live, to migrate to so that they can leave the Strip.

I doubt that the olmert-livni-barak gang of clowns will adopt my proposals, but they most be offered.
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Here's is an interesting analysis of the issues around the current Gaza war by David Hornik, formerly of the Davis Institute at the Hebrew University [here].

LINK ADDED 1-6-2009
The folly of the Shimon Peresoid leadership of Israel that cannot comprehend the reality of Hamas jihadist hatred, as commented by Andrew Bostom, introducing David Littman's insight into Hamas genocidal Judeophobia and jihadism [פה ].
* Note on the Jerusalem Consular Truce Commission: Dov Joseph, Faithful City: The Siege of Jerusalem, 1948 (London: Hogarth 1962), pp 228-230; Menahem Kaufman, America's Jerusalem Policy, 1947-1948 (Jerusalem: Institute of Contemporary Jewry 1982), pp 58-60.
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Coming: More on Zbig's schemes, Obama's dishonesty, the "Left's" lies, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, archeology, propaganda analysis, peace follies, etc.

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  • Eliyahu,

    I stumbled across your blog by accident today and was most impressed by your writing.

    I am a blogger and and radio announcer from Australia. I'm doing talk radio in the Canberra our national capital.

    I would love to talk with you on air about the current crisis....the international perceptions of it versus the reality.

    My email address is parton@capitalradio.net.au

    By Blogger Parton Words, at 3:22 AM  

  • interesting.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4:28 AM  

  • However, I don’t think points 2 and 3 & part of point 1 are feasible. I think the Israeli army will need to monitor the Philadelphi corridor so it can destroy those tunnels that are active. This will require Israeli troops to patrol this 15 km corridor. In the long term a solution must be found for this problematic strip of land such as a moat project.

    Quoted from the World Tribune:

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Israel drafting plans for moat to thwart arms smuggling from Egypt

    TEL AVIV — Israel's military has been developing plans for halting the flow of weapons and insurgents from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
    One proposal is to construct a huge moat along the 14-kilometer Egypt-Gaza border. Officials said the moat would be built in stages, with the first portion to be located in the area of the arms smuggling tunnels along the divided city of Rafah.
    Officials said the military believes that at least 30 arms smuggling tunnels connect Sinai to the Gaza Strip. They said Egypt, despite the deployment of 750 police commandos, has not made a dent in the smuggling.
    Officials said the General Staff has been working with the Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry to draft technical measures designed to halt or reduce arms smuggling from the Sinai Peninsula, Middle East Newsline reported. They said some of the measures would revive proposals examined in 2004, a year prior to the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.
    In 2004, the Defense Ministry sought to promote the construction of a moat. The ministry issued a tender for digging a four-kilometer-long canal, with a width of 100 meters and depth of 25 meters.
    At the time, Egypt opposed such a project. But the Foreign Ministry has renewed discussions with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
    "Any arrangement will have to provide an answer to the problem of the arms buildup," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said.
    I think Israel’s leaders should insist on including this project as part of a cease-fire agreement and to get backing and assistance from the US in proceeding with this project.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4:44 AM  

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