Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The farce called democracy

David Wilder [Hebron, Israel]
January 09, 2008

A couple of days ago a few young people were arrested for pasting posters of Bush, Peres and Olmert wearing Kafiyas, in Jerusalem. Today, three others were arrested for distributing information about our 'moderate piece partner,' Fatah, to foreign journalists. (It should be remembered that moderate Fatah security forces were responsible for the murder to Achikam Amichai and David Rubin two weeks ago.)

Israeli democracy at its best.

This is, of course, nothing compared to the police brutality used against demonstrators against Oslo during the dark days of the Rabin-Peres regime. But fear not, the present opposition has just begun, and too, the rallying forces of those bent on quashing any and all opposition Olmert's follies.

This is not the only example of Israeli despotism. In a week and a half the Supreme court is scheduled to again meet concerning Beit HaShalom in Hebron. The justice heading the supreme court panel of three judges is the court's president, Dorit Beinish. Beinish was reported to have met with the American ambassador to Israel a few weeks ago. The subject of their discussion: Judea and Samaria. This is a judge? This is a justice on the supreme court? This is the equivalent of the Chief justice of the supreme court? No, no, and no. Beinish is a politician, of the worst kind, who is utilizing her position on the high court of justice to espouse and implement her own political ideologies, without any hint of law or justice.

However, the problem is not only on the Israeli side. Our prestigious visitor's country has it's problems too.

U.S. presidents are experts in involving themselves in Israeli political activity. George W's daddy can be held responsible for knocking Yitzhak Shamir out of office. George Sr. refused to allow Israel to hit back when we were being bombed by Saddam, during the first Gulf war. He realized that Shamir's 'inaction' wouldn't play well in Israel. He rewarded Shamir's patience by intentionally refusing to grant Israel (Shamir) necessary load guarantees, which played up by the media, led to Shamir's defeat and Rabin's victory in 1992. We are still eating the fruits of Shamir's defeat today.

During the 1996 election between Peres and Netanyahu, then President Clinton came to Israel for a special 'conference' during which he addressed the Israeli public, saying, 'you have to choose between peace and the alternative.' The American president was, for all intents and purposes, campaigning for Peres. So much for foreigners not getting involved in internal Israeli politics.

And so it is today. It is quite customary that a foreign leader, when visiting Israel (or other countries for that matter), meet the premier, the president, the defense and foreign minister, and usually also the leader of the opposition. George W, however, refuses to meet opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu and hear his objections to the Annapolis process, which includes dividing Jerusalem, expulsion of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, and creation of another terror state in the Middle East.

Bush's short conversation with Shas leader Eli Yishai has already made headlines. Would Shas really pull out of the government as a result of negotiations? "Meet the chairman of Shas," said Olmert to the American president, who shook Yishai's hand warmly. Bush had done his homework. Bush said he understood he needed to talk to Yishai the next day to convince him to stay in the government, and Olmert translated. Yishai smiled.
"We will definitely talk about it," Yishai said. []

I have no doubt that Bush will attempt to 'lean on' Yishai, and who knows, maybe even pay a surprise visit to Rav Ovadiah Yosef, who determines Shas policy. Yishai isn't the only politician in Bush's sights. Avigdor Lieberman can't be far behind. He is also threatening to walk out of the Olmert circus should 'core issues' Jerusalem, borders and refugees be discussed. And these are the exact topics Bush is pressuring Israel to negotiate away.

Bush is pushing. He is determined to be the father of the state of Palestine prior to the conclusion of his presidency. Olmert is feeling the heat – lots of heat. He knows that in three weeks, with the release of Winograd, his position in Kadima and as prime minister is in jeopardy. The only way he can save himself is to prove that he, and only he, can be the savior of Israel, palestine and the piece process. This being the case, both will know no limits; whatever it takes to achieve the goal is legitimate. The ends justify the means.

This is the farce called democracy.

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