Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Give Up
More Land

Well, Ehud Olmert obviously has balls of steel to make this his first major policy statement as interim Prime Minister. I'm sure he feels he has to carry out Sharon's plans, which means keeping the momentum going towards forcing the Palestinians to accept responsibility for themselves. Check this out:

HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) - Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had to give up parts of the occupied West Bank and quickly set a border with the Palestinians in his first policy speech since taking Ariel Sharon's powers.

"In order to ensure the existence of a Jewish national home, we will not be able to continue ruling over the territories in which the majority of the Palestinian population lives," he said on Tuesday.

Olmert's comments were in line with what Sharon had said before he was incapacitated by a stroke on January 4 as he campaigned for re-election on the strength of last year's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Hinting that Israel would act alone to set a border if talks failed, Olmert said he hoped Wednesday's Palestinian election would deliver a government ready to follow a U.S.-backed peace road map.

"The most dramatic and important step we face is shaping the permanent borders of the state of Israel," Olmert said.

"We would prefer an agreement. If our expected partners in the negotiations in the framework of the road map do not uphold their commitments, we will preserve the Israeli interest at all costs," Olmert said.

Palestinians reacted warily to the suggestion of Israel acting alone while Jewish ultranationalists were furious at the prospect of giving up land they see as a biblical birthright.

As the acting leader of the centrist Kadima party that Sharon founded weeks before he collapsed, Olmert is expected to win a March 28 general election, defeating leftist Labor and Sharon's former party, the right-wing Likud.

He also urged the Palestinians to disarm militants under the plan, a process which they have not begun.

Hopes that Israel's Gaza withdrawal would spur progress on the road map have been knocked by violence. Both Israel and the Palestinians are also caught up in electioneering.

My opinion? Israel is doing the right thing. Actually, I see no need to go further than they already have, but, if, as Olmert says, they are doing it for security purposes, then they are right.

If they have to pull out of more territory, then they should. As it is, the Palestinians have their state. I think that Israel should consider any attack by Hamas or Al-Aqsa (which is part of Fatah) to be an attack by one state upon another. As such, they should retaliate with all they have, and destroy the Palestinian regime.

What other state in the world would not do the same, if they were attacked by another nations army?