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More one-sided concessions

Amram Mitzna and the Labour party continue to weaken Israel’s position in the Palestinian conflict by promising more unilateral concessions.

As prime minister, Mr. Mitzna would withdraw immediately from the Gaza Strip without conditions and resume peace talks with the Palestinians, the program says. If there is no agreement after a year, Israel will withdraw from considerable parts of the West Bank and draw its own “security border.”

Peace without a peace partner just means more war, but from a smaller strip of land. We can debate Israeli politics or the wisdom of Likud’s policies all day if we want, but that doesn’t change the fact that those 63% of Palestinians who support suicide bombings aren’t likely to be swayed by Mitzna’s sweet-talking. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have already vowed to “continue the struggle”, indicating that it makes no difference to them who leads Israel; their goal is to wipe Israel off the map. A unilateral withdrawal from the territories will only serve to trigger even more terrorist attacks, since they’ll have achieved something. And as long as a strategy works, it will continue.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • jaws 12.20.02, 6:38 PM

    Mitznah won’t win though. Especially running on a platform like that, he’s all but doomed to fail. Sharon still projects an image of a leader who is strong, brave and powerful–like the soldier who led Unit 101.
    (although he has seemed to soften up since getting into politics).
    As with previous Israeli elections, the state of security in the nation will be the major factor….and Sharon has the upper hand. Also with Mitznah’s recent comments about religious jews, he’s lost grounds.
    Furthermore, now that Israel has returned to the one ballot system, I’d expect to see Likud and likely the right-wing parties to hold a sizeable block in the kinesset.

  • segacs 12.20.02, 7:06 PM

    I know Labour won’t win. But Likud has lost a bit of support to Labour according to the latest polls. And once those suggested concessions are out there, even in principle, they weaken the perception of Israel in general.

  • Jonathan Edelstein 12.21.02, 3:44 PM

    Keep in mind that Mitzna has also said that he will blast the Palestinians to smithereens if they continue to commit suicide bombings. He may advocate compromise (and withdrawal from isolated settlements that make Israel _harder_ to defend) but he’s no pacifist. And with more about the Likud-organized crime connection coming to light every day, I think he’ll be in the driver’s seat after January 28, either as prime minister or indispensable coalition partner.

  • Jonny 12.21.02, 6:30 PM


  • jaws 12.22.02, 7:44 AM


    The main reason that Likud has lost some votes in recent polls, is that supposivly there may have been some internal Likud party scandal about voting (in the primaries)

  • segacs 12.24.02, 12:05 AM

    Yes, I know. But the reason isn’t the issue. The composition of the government come election time is the issue.

  • Me 12.24.02, 12:24 AM


    “Sharon still projects an image of a leader who is strong, brave and powerful–like the soldier who led Unit 101.”

    You must mean the brave commander of Unit 101 who:

    -in Aug. 1953 oversaw the killing of 50 refugees in the El-Bureig camp by throwing bombs into huts in which the unarmed refugees were sleeping and then shooting them as they ran out

    -in Oct. 1953 oversaw the killing of 69 civilians (mostly women and children) in the Jordanian village of Qibya by blowing up their houses and reducing the village to rubble

    -in Sept. 1982 oversaw the killing of 800 refugees by the Lebanese Phalangists in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut

    How unfortunate that he has “seemed to soften up since getting into politics.” Though not soft enough, note, to evade the coveted ‘war crimes’ prize, courtesy of both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, for his more recent actions in the occupied territories.

  • jaws 12.24.02, 8:08 AM


    I’m referring to the general image that Sharon projected to the majority of the Israeli public. He embodied the image of the Sabra; and a military leader and warrior.

    As for his actions in ’53, most of the Israeli public doesn’t pay attention to that. And as for ’82, the Israeli gov’t (Kahan Commission) found him “indirectly responsible” for what happened. Israel allowed the Phalange(s) to enter the camp INDEPENDENTLY to root out terror cells–however, the Phalange decided to take the oppertunity to seek revenge for a prior attack.

    In the end Sharon was found indirectly responsible for basically ignoring the potential bloodshed and not reacting after receiving intial reports of what happened.

    Afterwards, he stepped down as Defense Minister, and it was assumed he’d be out of politics for good; but (obviously) that wasn’t the case.

    (note: the findings of the Kahan commission have been published online in English if you care to read the documents)

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