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Leader
23 Jun 04,, 22:39
Israel's Intifada Victory
By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post | June 23, 2004

While no one was looking, something historic happened in the Middle East. The Palestinian intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost.

For Israel, the victory is bitter. The past four years of terrorism have killed almost 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands of others. But Israel has won strategically. The intent of the intifada was to demoralize Israel, destroy its economy, bring it to its knees, and thus force it to withdraw and surrender to Palestinian demands, just as Israel withdrew in defeat from southern Lebanon in May 2000.

That did not happen. Israel's economy was certainly wounded, but it is growing again. Tourism had dwindled to almost nothing at the height of the intifada, but tourists are returning. And the Israelis were never demoralized. They kept living their lives, the young people in particular returning to cafes and discos and buses just hours after a horrific bombing. Israelis turned out to be a lot tougher and braver than the Palestinians had imagined.

The end of the intifada does not mean the end of terrorism. There was terrorism before the intifada and there will be terrorism to come. What has happened, however, is an end to systematic, regular, debilitating, unstoppable terror -- terror as a reliable weapon. At the height of the intifada, there were nine suicide attacks in Israel killing 85 Israelis in just one month (March 2002). In the past three months there have been none.

The overall level of violence has been reduced by more than 70 percent. How did Israel do it? By ignoring its critics and launching a two-pronged campaign of self-defense.

First, Israel targeted terrorist leaders -- attacks so hypocritically denounced by Westerners who, at the same time, cheer the hunt for, and demand the head of, Osama bin Laden. The top echelon of Hamas and other terrorist groups has been either arrested, killed or driven underground. The others are now so afraid of Israeli precision and intelligence -- the last Hamas operative to be killed by missile was riding a motorcycle -- that they are forced to devote much of their time and energy to self-protection and concealment.

Second, the fence. Only about a quarter of the separation fence has been built, but its effect is unmistakable. The northern part is already complete, and attacks in northern Israel have dwindled to almost nothing. Whether you agree with the wall or not. It is working.

This success does not just save innocent lives; it changes the strategic equation of the whole conflict.

Yasser Arafat started the intifada in September 2000, just weeks after he had rejected, at Camp David, Israel's offer of withdrawal, settlement evacuation, sharing of Jerusalem and establishment of a Palestinian state. Arafat wanted all that, of course, but without having to make peace and recognize a Jewish state. Hence the terror campaign -- to force Israel to give it all up unilaterally.

Arafat failed, spectacularly. The violence did not bring Israel to its knees. Instead, it created chaos, lawlessness and economic disaster in the Palestinian areas. The Palestinians know the ruin that Arafat has brought, and they are beginning to protest it. He promised them blood and victory; he delivered on the blood.

Even more important, they have lost their place at the table. Israel is now defining a new equilibrium that will reign for years to come -- the separation fence is unilaterally drawing the line that separates Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians were offered the chance to negotiate that frontier at Camp David and chose war instead. Now they are paying the price.

It stands to reason. It is the height of absurdity to launch a terrorist war against Israel, then demand the right to determine the nature and route of the barrier built to prevent that very terrorism.

These new strategic realities are not just creating a new equilibrium, they are creating the first hope for peace since Arafat officially tore up the Oslo accords four years ago. Once Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and has completed the fence, terrorism as a strategic option will be effectively dead. The only way for the Palestinians to achieve statehood and dignity, and to determine the contours of their own state, will be to negotiate a final peace based on genuine coexistence with a Jewish state.

It could be a year, five years or a generation until the Palestinians come to that realization. The pity is that so many, Arab and Israeli, will have had to die before then.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13878

Confed999
24 Jun 04,, 01:04
If they didn't attack civilians, everyone, even most Israelis, would have been on their side. I personally don't think the Palestinian leaders really wanted to win anyway, because then they would lose the money comming in and the power they are addicted too.

Leader
24 Jun 04,, 01:07
If they didn't attack civilians, everyone, even most Israelis, would have been on their side. I personally don't think the Palestinian leaders really wanted to win anyway, because then they would lose the money comming in and the power they are addicted too.

When the history is closed on this subject, one thing will stand out. The Palestinians passed on the best deal they were ever going to get in 2000.

bigross86
24 Jun 04,, 09:07
the young people in particular returning to cafes and discos and buses just hours after a horrific bombing.

Damn straight. My fav DJ was on that night!

Jay
24 Jun 04,, 16:05
The overall level of violence has been reduced by more than 70 percent. How did Israel do it? By ignoring its critics and launching a two-pronged campaign of self-defense.
Arghhh...the knee jerk politicians of India :redface: But atleast they gave us permission to build a fence along the LoC... :cool:

Praxus
24 Jun 04,, 16:38
If they didn't attack civilians, everyone, even most Israelis, would have been on their side.

I sure as hell wouldn't. They don't have a right to establish a dictatorship on land Israel won in a war of self-defense. It doesn't matter what type of Israelis they target.

ChrisF202
24 Jun 04,, 17:49
I sure as hell wouldn't. They don't have a right to establish a dictatorship on land Israel won in a war of self-defense. It doesn't matter what type of Israelis they target.
I have to agree with Praxus, its not worth supporting a dictatorship. IMO, they lost their deal for peace, which I feel they never really wanted.

Confed999
25 Jun 04,, 00:25
Dictatorships attack civilians by their very nature.

ZFBoxcar
30 Jun 04,, 14:56
This article is further proof that Israel has won, because the Israelis are starting to get generous/naive/careless again.

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Israel to Re-Route W.Bank Barrier on Court Orders



By Gwen Ackerman

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said Wednesday it would re-route part of its disputed West Bank barrier after its highest court ordered changes to prevent Palestinians being cut off from their farms, schools and cities.

A three-judge panel said its unanimous thumbs-down to a planned 30-km (18-mile) segment of the barrier would set guidelines for hearings on more than 20 Palestinian petitions against sections of the network of fences and walls.


In response, the Defense Ministry said it would shift sections of the barrier based on the High Court finding that Israel's need for security did not allow it to give short shrift to the rights of the nearby Palestinian population.


"The replanning of these sections will be based on the principles set by the High Court, namely the proper balance between security and humanitarian considerations," the ministry said in a statement.


It noted that the court said Israel had a right to build a barrier on requisitioned land for security reasons.


Palestinians call the barrier a disguised bid to annex occupied territory they want for a future state since it often snakes well into the West Bank to take in Jewish settlements Israel's government vows never to yield under any peace deal.


Israel says the barrier, 200 km (125 miles) of which have been built, aims to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers who have infiltrated Israeli cities and killed hundreds of people.


In 10 days the International Court of Justice in The Hague (news - web sites) is expected to issue an advisory ruling on the barrier's legality as requested by the United Nations (news - web sites).


"This is a courageous and very important (High Court) ruling," said Mohammed Dahleh, lawyer for petitioning villages.


"This decision is more important than the one at The Hague because this one will be followed... It says that the wall as it is being built is illegal and there is another way to build it that will give security to Israel but won't violate Palestinian rights," he told reporters at the court.


BARRIER TRAPS PALESTINIANS IN ENCLAVES


He said the decision would redeem around 5,200 hectares (12,000 acres) of Palestinian land, half of it cultivated, cited in various petitions against zigzagging portions of the barrier that have trapped West Bank villagers in enclaves.


Their access to farms, markets, hospitals and other public services has been blocked or severely restricted as a result.


The court said the 30-km stretch near Jerusalem would separate thousands of farmers from olive and citrus groves and it canceled land-confiscation orders issued for the region.


"The current path would burden the entire way of life in traditional villages," it said.


"The military commander must consider alternatives that do exist... Even if they result in a lower level of security, they should bring a substantial -- even if not complete -- reduction in the damage to the lives of the local inhabitants."


Israel's government argued to the court that the barrier, expected to extend more than 600 km (370 miles), must be built well into the West Bank in some places rather than along the boundary to provide a security buffer.





Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie said the barrier should be removed altogether, calling it "an act of aggression."

The Defense Ministry said it would keep building the barrier as it had "already proven its worthiness in saving lives."

The Palestinian villagers' test case was joined by 30 Israelis from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion.

They agreed the barrier should be shifted to unused scrub hillside closer to the boundary, fearing the villagers with whom they have long enjoyed good neighborly relations would otherwise be driven by desperation into violence.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) intends to evacuate by the end of 2005 a string of smaller settlements in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites), another territory Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. (Additional reporting by Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20040630/ts_nm/mideast_dc