Israel: It Ain't Me, Babe

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June 5, 2009:  The U.S. is applying more pressure on Israel to remove Jewish settlements from the West Bank. But those settlements are popular with a large minority of Israelis, and no Israeli government can survive without the support of the pro-settler parties. Israel is making more of an effort to remove illegal settlements, at the risk of internal disunity in the Jewish community. But that does not satisfy the new U.S. policy. American critics also play down the fact that the extremists among settler supporters want to expel all Arabs from the West Bank, and that these extremists are gaining more supporters as the Palestinians continue to be unable to unite or negotiate.

Meanwhile, Israeli and Fatah police continue to hunt down and arrests Hamas activists in the West Bank. Terrorism and relentless attacks on Israel are still popular with many Palestinians. Fatah is still a big time hater of Israel and Jews, but here they are accepting Israeli aid simply to defeat a rival.

The UN has a team of investigators in Gaza, gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes during the 22 day war earlier in the year. The UN condemns Palestinian terrorism, but does little to halt it, and condemns many Israeli counter-terror efforts as war crimes. The UN is under pressure from Moslem states to condemn Israel at every opportunity, and accept the idea that terrorism against Israel is justified because Israel is a racist nation that oppresses Arabs. Anyone who disagrees with that in the UN (and outside it) is labeled a racist and not worthy of debating anything with. The reality is that the Middle East is full of racial, ethnic and political disputes between, and within nations. This abundance of ill-will plays a large role in the higher poverty rates in the region (second only to sub-Saharan Africa) and general lack of education and economic progress. Arabs refuse to recognize these problems, and that, in turn, is yet another part of why the region is a mess.

So far, Lebanon has arrested 35 people and charged them with spying for Israel. Another 23 are being sought. Israel has said nothing, not even a call for an investigation of "what went wrong" with espionage efforts in Lebanon. That effort was more extensive than even the Lebanese, and Hezbollah, expected. Moreover, the Lebanese have discovered that Israeli espionage is even more extensive than the current arrests indicate.

 

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