Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Death of Disengagement

Something I have been predicting since Hamas kidnapped an Israeli citizen from Israel-proper at the beginning of the summer, the Disengagement Plan, that is the second phase of expelling Israelis from their homes in the West Bank, has been cancelled. Hamas and Hizbullah screwed it up for the Palestinians. If you have read my blog before or have even seen the orange ribbon on my backpack, you know my position on this so at this point I am ecstatic. Hamas killed the disengagement. Something tells me the world will blame Israel for stopping her unilateral withdrawal. Once again I think Israel needs to stop appeasing the anti-semites because they will never be satisfied until Israel withdraws to her Pre-1948 borders, ie: no Israel.

The following is an article from Arutz Sheva, a right wing Israeli newspaper:

Olmert Announces Policy Shift: Withdrawal Plan is Off
By Yechiel Spira and Hillel Fendel

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says his Convergence Withdrawal Plan is “no longer relevant.” MK Aryeh Eldad: "He's trying to buy the right-wing."
In his first briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee since the war in Lebanon, the prime minister spoke to committee members on Monday for three hours.

Olmert told the Committee that the withdrawal plan calling for the removal of most of the communities throughout Judea and Samaria is no longer relevant.

Two senior aides from the Prime Minister's office, Shalom Turjeman and Yoram Turbowitz, left for the US on Monday night, reportedly to inform Bush administration officials that the Realignment Plan is dead. However, officials in the Prime Minister’s Office deny the report saying that the two top aides are delivering a post-Lebanon War briefing to Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and not to bury the Realignment Plan.

MK Eldad (National Union) says, "Olmert is waving his burial of the plan as a way of buying off the right-wing, but even those in the nationalist camp who are dying to be ministers [and sit in the government] wouldn't buy a used chair from him."

The plan was at the heart of Olmert’s election campaign, but "what I saw a few months ago," he said, is no longer applicable.

Interior Minister Roni Bar-On, of Olmert's Kadima Party, made sure to put things into perspective. Speaking with Israel Radio on Tuesday afternoon, Bar-On said, "The withdrawal plan is not dead, though its implementation has been postponed. The plan is now on the shelf or in the freezer, but when the time comes it will be accessed."

In general, polls show dwindling support for the Prime Minister, together with a snowballing grassroots call for the establishment of an independent state commission of inquiry into the war in Lebanon. Olmert has turned down the idea, insisting the commissions he appointed to investigate the mishandling of the war will be sufficient. He says that an independent inquiry is unwarranted and will paralyze government functioning for months to come. Mounting calls for Olmert, and other members of his government, to resign from office have also been heard.

Other members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Likud MKs Silvan Shalom and Danny Naveh, stated that the prime minister expressed his adamant opposition to an independent inquiry into the war, but that he did not adequately explain why he has taken this position.

Shalom told reporters earlier in the week that while the Likud Party does not rule out joining an emergency government, this would not be possible until the Kadima-led administration changes major policy positions concerning social-economic issues. Specifically, Shalom said, the government must officially announce the Realignment Plan is not on the agenda, and launch an independent state inquiry commission into the war in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Olmert announced on Monday night his intentions to continue to lead the country "for the next four years, and even more." He addressed a forum of municipality leaders and mayors, making it clear that he has no intention of stepping down, "not today and not in the future."

Olmert stated the nation must move ahead and prepare for the next war, adding,"We cannot know when it will break out." In recent days, the prime minister has warned of the threat from Iran, stating Israel must prepare for future conflicts and cannot be bogged down with state inquiries.

The prime minister told the forum that it is now clear to terror organizations “that Israel is willing to go to war for two soldiers,” indicating the military objective was a big boost to Israel’s deterrence power.

Seeking to stabilize his cabinet, Olmert has signaled his main coalition partner Labor Party leader Defense Minister Amir Peretz that if he and his colleagues do not support the 2007 budget, he will launch talks towards the formation of a new coalition.

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