Israel: Things You Can Depend On

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April 22, 2007: Despite claims that kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston has been killed, Palestinian officials believe he is still alive. Johnston is one of the few Westerners left in Gaza. Thousands of other have fled over the last few years, fearful of the growing violence and anti-Western attitudes. The breakdown of law and order in Gaza has brought out more groups of radicals, as well as criminal gangs. The Gaza Palestinians complain of the growing anarchy, but they elected Hamas, and do little to shut down the radical operations. So Gaza becomes more lawless, poverty stricken and hospitable to terrorist acts. The radicals promise only more attempts to attack Israel. In turn, Israel makes no secret of its willingness to defend itself. The radicals have had some success, even though they have been unable to get into Israel. For example, the kidnapping of the BBC journalist caused the British journalists union to vote for a boycott of Israel. It is believed that this gesture will persuade the kidnappers to let Johnston go.

The situation in Lebanon is similar to Gaza. Hizbollah, an Iranian supported Islamic radical group, has created a state within a state, and the Lebanese government cannot, or will not, do anything to assert its authority in southern Lebanon. When confronted with these problems, Arabs tend to blame Israel, for giving the radicals someone to focus their hate on, and gain public support because of it. More pessimistic Arabs believe that if Israel did not exist, Arabs would still have to deal with fanatic groups and general lawlessness.

April 21, 2007: Islamic terrorists attempted to destroy the American School in Gaza. This is a college largely supported by U.S. money (private and public.) Islamic terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda have been attacking Gaza companies and institutions associated with Western organizations or products. This includes stores that sell videos or Western publications.

April 18, 2007: The Palestinians have convinced more of their terrorist groups to stop firing rockets into Israel, and bring Palestinians into compliance with the six month old ceasefire. Over the last few months, 40-50 rockets a month were fired from Gaza into southern Israel. In the last few weeks, the rate of rocket firings has declined by about two-thirds. There is still sporadic sniper and mortar fire at Israeli troops guarding the Gaza security fence (that keeps Palestinian terrorists out of Israel). Palestinian officials are less optimistic about stopping that, and are suggesting that the Israelis just ignore. This will work, as long as no Israeli soldiers are killed or seriously hurt.

April 16, 2007: The new Palestinian government is getting some international recognition, and, more importantly, money. Most Moslem nations, plus Norway, Switzerland and China, have recognized the Fatah/Hamas coalition government. This means these nations will give money directly to this government, which will make it easier to divert funds to terrorism efforts against Israel. Currently, most of the money is going directly to aid operations. This forces the terrorist groups to go and extort money and goods from the aid organizations.

 

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