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Old 10-23-2003, 03:09 PM   #31
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Good point ouizy, these councils have never been friendly to Israel, and aren't going to change their tune now. Sharon gives me the creeps, but Israel does have enemies.
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Old 10-23-2003, 03:17 PM   #32
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Huh. Another wall. What a great fuck of an idea, after Berlin.

Amna: right. Sharon is a killer. Uh, far from being a terrorist. Just a plain killer.

No doubt that Palestinian terrorists are killers as well.

I heavily doubt that you can chase terrorists with the methods of Sharon which are intended to spread hate on both sides.
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Old 10-30-2003, 04:20 PM   #33
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From todays NYTimes

Quote:
Israel's Chief of Staff Denounces Policies Against Palestinians
By GREG MYRE
Published: October 30, 2003
JERUSALEM, Oct. 29 Israel's top-ranking soldier said that current hard-line policies against the Palestinians were working against Israel's "strategic interest" and had contributed to the downfall of the previous Palestinian prime minister, Israeli news organizations reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was described as "furious" about the comments, attributed to Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, the military's chief of staff, Israeli television stations reported later in the day.

Several leading Israeli newspapers reported the controversial comments, attributing them to a senior military official. But during the day, Israeli reporters identified the source as General Yaalon, who made the remarks to Israeli journalists at a background briefing on Tuesday.

Nahum Barnea, a leading Israeli columnist with the daily Yediot Ahronot, quoted "a military official" as saying comprehensive travel restrictions and curfews imposed on Palestinians were actually harming Israel's overall security.

"It increases hatred for Israel and strengthens the terror organizations," Mr. Barnea wrote, quoting the official.

General Yaalon also said that Israel should have eased punitive measures to bolster the fortunes of the former Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, who resigned on Sept. 6 after only four months on the job.

Mr. Abbas expressed frustration that Mr. Sharon never took concrete steps to convince Palestinians that the Middle East peace plan, initiated in June, would bring about any real improvements in their lives.

"There is no hope, no expectations for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, nor in Bethlehem and Jericho," Mr. Barnea quoted the "military official" as saying. "In our tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interest."

Mr. Sharon, a former general, has said that Palestinian violence must stop before political negotiations can begin, and he has supported tough military action since he came to power in March 2001.

In previous public statements, General Yaalon has supported strong military action.

After a Palestinian suicide bombing killed 21 people on Oct. 4 in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, the military barred all Palestinians from entering Israel and kept most Palestinians confined to their hometowns in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel eased the restrictions a bit on Wednesday, permitting 4,000 Palestinian businessmen and workers to enter Israel. Before the violence began three years ago, more than 100,000 from the West Bank and Gaza commuted daily to Israel to work.

In violence on Wednesday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded another in Gaza near a fence that marks the boundary with Israel. The military said the men had planted a large bomb. Palestinians identified the dead man as a member of Islamic Jihad, a group that has carried out many attacks against Israeli targets.

In the northern West Bank, Israeli troops shot and killed a 12-year-old Palestinian boy on Wednesday night during a confrontation in Nablus, Palestinian residents said. The military said troops fired when Palestinians began throwing rocks and firebombs at soldiers on patrol.

Also, Palestinian gunmen fired on an Israeli car, seriously wounding a man and slightly injuring his wife as they traveled near a West Bank settlement outside the Palestinian town of Jenin, the military said.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:45 PM   #34
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So much for any notion that everyone in Israel supports Sharon. Enough Israelis support him to keep him in power but he's got plenty of opposition as well.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:48 PM   #35
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The Israeli PM has always obtained power through coalition building. I'm not sure who would argue the notion that everyone supports Sharon.
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Old 10-31-2003, 09:42 AM   #36
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No one on this forum, nbc. There are some people *out there* who don't think you can criticize the state of Israel at all and still support it. That's nonsense. I support the state of Israel; I do not like Sharon at all. I think he's bad for Israel.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:33 AM   #37
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4 others who are not anti-israelic or known to be "leftists:

Quote:
4 Israeli Ex-Security Chiefs Denounce Sharon's Hard Line
By GREG MYRE - NYTimes
Published: November 15, 2003



[b]JERUSALEM, Nov. 14 In a joint interview published Friday, four former heads of the Shin Bet security service delivered a blistering collective criticism of Israel's tough military policies toward the Palestinians, saying Israel urgently needed a political solution to the Middle East conflict.

"We are taking sure, steady steps to a place where the state of Israel will no longer be a democracy and a home for the Jewish people," said Ami Ayalon, the Shin Bet chief from 1996 to 2000.

Israel's largest circulation daily, Yediot Ahronot, splashed a huge front-page headline over the interview with the ex-chiefs of Shin Bet, or the General Security Service. "Four directors of G.S.S. warn: Israel in grave danger," read the headline above photos of the four, who ran the agency for nearly two decades. Interviewed, besides Mr. Ayalon, were Carmi Gilon, Yaakov Perry and Avraham Shalom.

The blunt critique of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies was the latest in a series by security officials and soldiers, current and former, questioning Israel's strategy in its battle against the three-year-old Palestinian uprising. Last month, the army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, said the network of restrictions placed on the Palestinian population had proved counterproductive, breeding greater militancy.

Mr. Sharon, a former general, has relied heavily on the military, and has insisted that Palestinian violence cease before the two sides can restart negotiations toward a settlement. Granting concessions during the fighting would be "rewarding terrorism," he has often said.

A solid majority of Israelis has backed his aggressive military approach, according to polls. Mr. Sharon, Israel's most prominent hawk, has won two landslide elections, in March 2001 and in January of this year. But the army has not been able to halt attacks, prompting some calls for a greater emphasis on diplomacy. Mr. Sharon is currently considering whether to hold talks with the recently installed Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qurei.

The former security chiefs said the government was focused almost entirely on military solutions, at the expense of finding ways to reach a permanent peace deal.

"It is dealing solely with the question of how to prevent the next terrorist attack," said Mr. Gilon, the Shin Bet chief during the mid-1990's, in the interview. Israeli leaders are not addressing "the question of how we get out of the mess we find ourselves in today."

The former security chiefs hold no important posts at present. But their views are generally respected, based on their years of firsthand experience in dealing with Palestinians, in particular the militant groups.

Mr. Sharon's government did not respond to the criticism. But a former Israeli president, Ezer Weizman, told Israeli television: "This really makes me furious. We have a country that is in a very delicate situation."

Mr. Ayalon is the only one of the four men who has sought to maintain a high public profile recently. He joined forces with a leading Palestinian moderate, Sari Nusseibeh, to campaign for a swift resumption of negotiations with the aim of reaching a permanent peace deal and creating a Palestinian state.

"Many Israelis thought we could defeat the Palestinians by military means, and this would solve our problems," Mr. Ayalon said Friday in a separate interview. "But this hasn't worked. Our economy is deteriorating and we have to change directions."

The former security chiefs also said that peace plans calling for gradual steps were likely to fail. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are prepared to take a major risk that could break the current stalemate unless they can expect a major reward, they said.

The Palestinian leadership is unlikely to crack down on violent factions, risking a civil war, without a guarantee that a viable Palestinian state will emerge, Mr. Ayalon said. In turn, he said, Israel was unlikely to uproot settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip unless it believed that the Palestinians were sincere about ending the conflict.

The former Shin Bet chiefs also said that any peace deal would require Israel to abandon most of its nearly 150 settlements, where about 230,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and Gaza.

Mr. Sharon "has spoken often about the need for painful compromises, and there are no painful compromises except the evacuation of settlements," said Mr. Perry, the Shin Bet chief from 1988 to 1995.

On the Palestinian side, many acknowledge that the uprising has brought mostly misery. But public criticism is rarely directed at the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, who has jailed his more vocal critics in the past.

Among Israelis, criticism of government policies has arisen in some surprising quarters recently.

In addition to the critique offered by General Yaalon, 27 reserve pilots in the Israeli Air Force earlier signed a letter saying they opposed airstrikes that targeted militants in heavily populated civilian areas, and that often caused civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, several hundred Israeli reserve soldiers have signed a petition saying they will refuse to serve in the West Bank and Gaza, with some going to jail.

Israeli and Palestinian politicians announced last month that they had worked out an unofficial peace deal, known as the Geneva Accord, which they offered as a blueprint for formal negotiations. The Israeli delegation was made up of liberals very much at odds with Mr. Sharon, while the Palestinian side included a number of negotiators who had worked closely with Mr. Arafat.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:20 AM   #38
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I'm not surprised. I'm reading about Israelis who are angry about Sharon's policies and think they are not good for Israel. I'm nervous for my friend in Tel Aviv. I'm afraid all of this hard-line stuff is putting Israelis at unnecessary risk for attacks. I even think the synagogue bombings in Istanbul may be related. That was a clear cut attack on the Jews and by association Israel and Turkey's alliance with Israel. This is scary.
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