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      Tuvia Brodie
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      Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com   He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts. 

      Shevat 20, 5774, 1/21/2014

      Apartheid, hypocrisy and the Canadian Prime Minister


      Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Israel for an official state visit. Yesterday, he spoke to Israel's parliament—the Knesset. There, he declared that “any comparison between the Jewish state and apartheid South Africa was sickening".

      It was not a passing reference. “Think about the twisted logic and outright malice,” he said. “It is nothing short of sickening…this is the face of the new anti-Semitism."

      He spoke strongly in favour of Israel. But when he slammed those who called Israel, ‘Apartheid’, two Arab MKs heckled him, then walked out of the Knesset Chamber (“Harper: Support for Israel is morally and strategically right” Times of Israel, January 20, 2014). Reuters news service reported they had ‘stormed out’ (“Canadian PM draws applause and anger at Israeli parliament”, Reuters, January 20, 2014).

      The message of these Arab MKs was clear: Israel is an Apartheid state. No self-respecting human would remain in the same room with any head-of-state who said otherwise.

      It’s a harsh message. Apartheid is evil. Anyone who practices it should be denounced.

      But these two elected Arab Members of the Israeli Knesset create a problem for anyone who calls Israel the ‘Apartheid State’. You see, if Israel is Apartheid, why are these two Arabs serving as elected Members of Knesset—the national parliament?

      In an Apartheid state, disenfranchisement is the keystone that supports the entire structure.  Apartheid is racial segregation legislated into law. Law creates the Apartheid reality.  Disenfranchisement then protects that law because its victims can’t vote to change the law.

      Therefore, the disenfranchised victims of Apartheid cannot vote. They cannot serve in a Parliament or Congress or Knesset. They have no voice. They have no power. They have no elected representation.

      So if Israel is Apartheid, how can Arabs get elected to the Knesset? Ever think of that?

      In Israel, Arabs who have become Israeli citizens have the right to vote. They have a voice. They have representation. They have the right to elect their own, Arab, Members of Knesset.

      For that reason alone, Israel is not Apartheid.

      It is pure hate that drives Arabs to call Israel, ‘Apartheid’.  Indeed, in the Middle East, Israel is the only State that does not practice Apartheid.

      Apartheid is the rule in the Arab Middle East, not the exception. Jews know this because they are the main—but not the only—victim of Apartheid policies.

      In the Arab Middle East, you will find one or more—or all—of the following Apartheid policies:  Jews cannot own land. Jews cannot vote. Jews cannot run for national office. Jews cannot serve in national parliament. Jews cannot be High Court Justices. Jews cannot get graduate degrees in local Universities. Jews cannot become Medical professionals.

      In Israel, Israeli Arabs can do all of these things—all of them.

      For these reasons, Israel is not Apartheid.

      Every Arab in Israel who has travelled to an Arab country knows this. This is why, in poll after poll, Israeli Arabs indicate they prefer to stay in Israel over moving to an Arab country.

      Writing for Stonegate Institute, Ramzi Abu Hadid ( “Apartheid State”, March 1, 2012) puts this preference a different way. He states that Arabs from Gaza and Bethlehem “have moved to live in Israel because they feel safer in the ‘Apartheid State’ than they do among their Muslim ‘brothers’”.

      Israeli Arabs are not stupid. They know what real Apartheid looks like. They see it in every Arab regime they travel to. They understand that if they want to avoid that Apartheid, they should stay in Israel: Arabs have more rights, freedom and safety in Israel-- and they know it.

      Apartheid means not only the use of law to deny rights to a homogeneous group, it means also institutionalized denial and dehumanization of that group. Look at how South African laws isolated and denied blacks and black rights. Look at how South African media dehumanized blacks. Look at how important churches in South Africa demonized blacks.

      Compare Arab institutionalized Jew-hate with an almost complete absence of dehumanization (of the Arab) in Israeli media and synagogue. The official Arab position in virtually every Arab regime is to incite against Jews and to dehumanize and demonize both Jews and Israel.

      Israel has no such institutionalized Apartheid policy.

      Every Western nation has the ability to google-search how Apartheid worked in South Africa—and to compare that with official Arab Jew-hate. Every nation has the ability to study how the regimes of Israel’s so-called ‘peace partners’, Hamas and Fatah, promote Apartheid policies towards both Jews and Arabs.

      It is pure hypocrisy for nations to speak out against Apartheid—and then ignore Apartheid Arab policies. It is pure hypocrisy for nations to dismiss real, truly vicious Arab Apartheid policies in order to support ‘Apartheid’ accusations against Israel.  

      Canada’s Prime Minister Harper is correct: such behaviour is not only sickening. It’s the new anti-Semitism.

      What must the G-d of Israel think of those who enable and ennoble Apartheid Arab regimes?



      Shevat 19, 5774, 1/20/2014

      Israel defends itself. Is it for real?


      Here are some headlines you may have missed. They--and the commentary below—are for January 15-17, 2014.

      -IDF Legend: Ya'alon Is Right, This is Absurd (01/15/14, Arutz Sheva)…

      -Abandoning Jordan Valley Means Abandoning Security" (01/15/14, Arutz Sheva)

      - Israel Advocacy Group 'Spells it Out' for Kerry (01/16/14, Arutz Sheva)

      - ZOA: US Anger At Ya'alon A Double Standard (01/17/14, Arutz Sheva)

      -Amidror: US Cannot Force Dangerous Deal On Us (01/15/14, Arutz Sheva)

      - Report: Yaalon Outburst Provoked by Kerry-led Pressure Campaign (01/16/14, Arutz Sheva)

      -Netanyahu slams EU 'Hypocrisy' on New Building (01/16/14, Arutz Sheva)

      - Netanyahu: Israel is standing firm on its security interests (01/15/14, Jerusalem Post)

      --

      The news during this three-day cycle in Israel turned out to be upbeat. For the first time in recent memory, the Prime Minister has ‘dropped the gloves’. That’s a good sign.

      Right now, Israel needs a fighting Prime Minister.

      Last week did not start with an ‘up’. It began instead with a blunder: someone in the Israeli government (guess who) made Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon apologize for negative remarks he had made about US Secretary of State John Kerry. The apology made Israel look weak.

      The problem here is, who defends Israel? To paraphrase the Jewish Ethics of the Fathers, if we don’t defend ourselves, who will?

      The short answer is, nobody. The Yaalon apology looked bad because it seemed to tell the world that, given the choice, Israel will bow to the powerful instead of standing firm.

      Yaalon had ‘called out’ Kerry. Then he backed down.

      We should be careful about Kerry. In a sense, he is not at this moment Israel’s real problem. Israel’s real problem is the new one-two punch combo called, the EU and the PA (Palestinian Authority).

      Kerry is not our enemy—at least, not yet. Abbas of the PA is our enemy; and Catherine Ashton of the EU is doing a really good imitation of ‘enemy of Israel’.

      If Israel is to survive the PA and the EU, it cannot be weak.

      Here’s a lesson to remember: if we don’t defend ourselves when attacked, our silence validates the attack. If we validate an attack, we strengthen the enemy.

      At the moment, the peace talks strengthen Abbas. Each week, it becomes clearer and clearer: these talks are not about peace. They are about how badly Israel gets demonized, delegitimized and sanctioned after the talks fail.

      The talks are designed to fail. Our enemy Abbas predetermined that. He has adamantly repeated that he will negotiate nothing. He keeps saying there will be no peace unless he gets all of his demands.

      These talks put Israel into a spotlight—and Abbas grows stronger each time Israel looks weak, cowed or without a defense. He lays an ambush for Israel—and the EU can’t wait to spring it.

      Abbas works to guarantee that the talks fail. The EU waits to spring a massive boycott against Israel if the talks fail.   

      It’s a one-two punch. Israel will be cornered, boycotted and then ‘isolated on steroids’. Kerry has already said as much.

      The talks, in other words, look increasingly like a set-up.

      Israel’s battle is not to get a workable peace treaty. The battle is to avoid the post-talks ‘hit’. That battle plays out now-here-today.

      Israel must fight for itself--now. If Israel waits until after the talks fail, it will be too late.

      With this background, we can see that as ugly as Yaalon’s apology seemed, the fight to defend Israel may have finally begun. The apology set off a storm. Israeli editorials and op-ed essays came to Yaalon’s defense. Each editorial and every op-ed essay hammered out the reasons Yaalon was diplomatically correct, if politically incorrect.

      There were at least six defences within three days. Every defense repeated the Israeli position: it would not be cornered into a militarily indefensible ‘peace’.

      It was the best PR Israel could have given its citizens. You couldn’t avoid seeing Israel standing up for itself.  If you missed one essay, there were three others to catch your attention.

      Then a report surfaced to suggest exactly why Yaalon had spoken out in the first place (”Report: Yaalon Outburst Provoked by Kerry-led Pressure Campaign”).  Kerry, it seems, had crossed a diplomatic line.

      Do you remember the 2012 US Presidential elections? Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attacked in the US for ‘interfering’ with that campaign by appearing to favour  Republican Mitt Romney (“Senator slams Netanyahu for interfering in US elections,” Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2014). Anti-Israel forces in the US had a field day bashing both Netanyahu and Israel: how dare you Jews try to manipulate us?

      Well, Kerry has done the same thing, except he didn’t do it in public. He did it privately. He did it when no one could see him.

      He is reported to have searched out Israel Defense Force (IDF) ‘friends of America’ and lobbied—or pressured--them to support the American plan. The result was a number of articles in Israel’s press showcasing IDF support for Kerry’s peace.

      If Netanyahu’s behaviour during the 2012 US elections was considered ‘interference’, Kerry’s secret lobbying was ‘interference on steroids’. It was far worse. It was an attempt to manipulate significant Israeli national decision-making by manipulating Israel’s military to manipulate Israel’s press.

      Now, the US is getting hammered in Israel’s press for its over-reaching. Now, Israelis are listening a lot more to what’s at stake than they had before.

      This is good for Israel—if it continues.

      The reason Israel needs to defend itself now is that Israel has to influence decision-makers who can help off-set Abbas’ machinations and that EU boycott (above). The decision-makers Israel needs to influence are not the leaders we see in the news. They are instead individuals who will—or will not—carry out what their leaders demand.

      The advertised leaders for this drama are Catherine Ashton of the EU and Obama/Kerry of the US. They appear to have already decided what will happen to Israel if the talks fail.

      The people Israel needs to influence are lower-ranked officials in the US and the EU—the unadvertised specials, if you will. For example, in the EU, there are member countries which, even now, are sceptical about Israel’s responsibility for ‘no-peace’. Some may well be very sceptical indeed about the morality of punishing only Israel for peace talk failure. 

      These influential officials need to see a vigorous defense by Israel. They need to see Israel fight. They will not help Israel if Israel won’t stand up for itself.

      In the US, meanwhile, members of Congress are overwhelmingly pro-Israel. Many do not see Israel as the bad guy in the Arab-Israel conflict. Many are ready to support Israel—if Israel shows that it deserves that support.

      That’s the goal Israel needs to pursue with the US Congress and EU member-states: it needs to make sure VIPs understand that Israel deserves their support.

      Is Israel finally ready to do that?

      Stay tuned.



      Shevat 15, 5774, 1/16/2014

      Forget Feinstein. Forget Yaalon. Follow Hamas-Fatah


      Israel’s news vendors have a problem. They exist only to react—and to get a reaction from you.

      They are passive. They train you to be passive—to wait for the next news report.  

      Passivity and reaction: that’s what the news business is all about. Wait for me to tell you what has happened. Isn’t this exciting? Isn’t it worth your time?

      Look at headlines. They don’t just inform. They exist to attract your attention. They try to excite. They want a reaction from you.

      That’s a problem for Israel because Israel cannot afford to be passive. Israel cannot afford to react to other’s actions. We did that in October 1973—and got a devastating Yom Kippur War.

      We can’t afford to do that again.

      But the news trains us. It hammers a message at us: Wait. Listen. Read.

      It’s all passive. If we were surrounded by friends, such behaviour would be acceptable. But as that 1973 War proved, passivity in war is not good—and that’s a real problem here in Israel: we are at war.

      Passivity in war is bad. It leads to being attacked. Is that what we want?

      This news-induced habit of ‘react, wait, react’ came to mind today with the morning headlines: pro-Israel supporters react to an anti-Israel remark by US Senator Diane Feinstein; news analysts and politicians continue to react to an anti-Kerry remark made by Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon; the Israel Air Force (IAF) has reacted to mortars fired from Gaza.

      We seem obsessed with watching others demonize, delegitimize—and attack--us. We wait for the next attack. How will we react to tomorrow’s news?

      Here’s a suggestion: forget Feinstein. Forget Yaalon. Forget Kerry. We are at war. Stop waiting. If you want win, keep a very pro-active eye on your enemy.

      To paraphrase an old political saying, keep your news close, but keep your enemy’s news closer.

      Our enemy’s news is not about Feinstein, Yaalon or Kerry. Our enemy doesn’t care about these individuals. Our enemy is concerned about himself. If we were smart, we’d watch that concern. Then, we’d learn from that concern. Then, we would know how to act first instead of waiting for them to act.

      Our enemy is Hamas-Fatah. As described recently by an Arab essayist writing on the Palestinian Authority (PA) news site, these two organizations represent the two halves of the Arab War against Israel. Hamas is the religious half. Fatah (PLO) is the secular half.

       Right now, Hamas and Fatah are not friends. But they recognize that they want the same goal—to destroy Israel. So they talk (yet again) about reconciliation.

      While Feinstein-Yaalon-Kerry fascinate us, Hamas news focuses on Egypt and Fatah. Fatah, meanwhile, focuses on Hamas and corruption.  

      We would be wise to watch these stories.

      Hamas is concerned about Egypt because Egypt has just announced that the next target for the Arab Spring will be Hamas—and Egypt will help to replace it. Understandably, Hamas officials aren’t happy about this. Hamas is also concerned that Fatah has no right to talk peace with Israel until a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah has been completed—because, Hamas declares, most Palestinians reject those peace talks.

      We should watch these comments closely. They impact on Israel’s negotiation position. How can Israel sign a ‘peace’ with only half of its ‘partners’? How can there be peace if a majority of ‘Palestinians’ truly reject peace with Israel?

      Of course, the West will say that our only peace partner is Fatah. Our reaction to that should be, really? Has anyone asked Hamas about that?

      Fatah is concerned about Hamas. Hamas says it wants reconciliation—and talks about it on its news site. But at the same moment that Hamas writes about ‘reconciliation’ Fatah worries that Hamas hasn’t responded to Fatah. “We hear contradictory statements by a swarm of Hamas spokespeople,” Fatah officials say, “but we cannot consider that a real response…If Hamas leaders want reconciliation, they should live up to their promises” and tell us. ”Otherwise, that would be considered closing the door for reconciliation.”

      How does ‘reconciliation’ affect peace negotiations? Think about it: Israel signs peace with Fatah. Fatah reconciles with Hamas. Hamas rejects peace with Israel. Will this be good for Israel?

      Fatah is also concerned about corruption. Corruption is rampant in the Palestinian Authority. They admit having trouble controlling it.  

      Can Israel sign a peace with corrupt people? Would you buy a used car from a corrupt dealer?

      Israel is at war. Talking about what politicians said in speeches or private conversations might be entertaining, but those comments are irrelevant. What our enemies are doing, however—and saying about each other—is very relevant.

      Enjoy Israel’s news. But keep your enemy’s news closer.



      Shevat 14, 5774, 1/15/2014

      Israel news: Yaalon and Israel bow before Edom


      Here are some headlines you might have missed:

      -A Frustrated Gates Slams Israel, 09/06/2011, Middle East Clarity)

      -Gates's gripes (Newsletter, 09/06/2011, Israel Hayom)

      -Robert Gates Says Israel Is an Ungrateful Ally (Jeffrey Goldberg, 09/05/2011, Bloomberg Opinion)

      -Defense Minister: Kerry is 'Obsessive and Messianic' (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      -Yaalon: I Didn't Intend to Offend Kerry (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      -US Takes Offense at Ya'alon's Remarks (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      -US Demands Israeli Retraction of Ya'alon's Statements (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      -White House Expects PM to Condemn Ya'alon Comments (01/14/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      -Ya'alon Apologizes for Kerry Comments (01/15/2014, Arutz Sheva)

      --

      If you remember your lessons from Tanach (Jewish Bible) and Jewish history, you will recall that the West is generally considered to be the descendant of Edom. Edom, the Tanach tells us, is Esav, the wicked brother of Jacob. Esav and his descendants hate Jacob.

      Jacob went on to become the father of the Jewish nation. Esav went on to conquer the world. At one point, Rome was Esav. That is, Rome was chief among Esav’s descendants (see Tractate Avodah Zara, 2b, The ArtScroll Series, Note 7, and ibid, 8b, Notes 14, 20). Today, some say America plays that role. America, they say, is the most powerful nation the world has ever seen--and the most powerful ‘Esav’ ever to live.

      Esav and his descendants hate Jacob.

      In 2011, US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, spoke before a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee. Jeffrey Goldberg, above, wrote that Gates made the following remarks two months before he retired; Wikipedia reports that he said these remarks two months after he had retired. At that Principals meeting, Gates declared that the US had given Israel much, but had received nothing in return.

      His words were a slap in Israel’s face, for Israel in fact had given much to the US—and, according to Todd Warwick in Middle East Clarity, Gates, as Defense Secretary, should have known exactly what Israel had given to the US—valuable military advantage (see above, “A Frustrated Gates Slams Israel”, September 6, 2011). Quoting David Weinberg from Israel HaYom, Warwick writes that "Gates knows full well that recent upgrades in U.S.-Israel intelligence sharing and weapons development are to America's benefit as much as Israel's". Moreover, Weinberg wrote that Israel gives extensive training to US military units. Israel has provided the US technological advances. Israel has helped the US make major leaps forward in its anti-missile system—at a serious discount to the US.

      Jeffrey Goldberg wrote (“Robert Gates Says Israel Is an Ungrateful Ally”) that Gates spoke about Israel directly to his President (Obama). Gates is reported to have said that Israel had become an ungrateful—and dangerous—ally.

      Nevertheless, no one scolded Gates for such a bold, galling insult. No one told him to apologize to Israel.

      No one in Israel took offense. No one in Israel demanded an apology. No one in Israel announced that they expected Gates to retract his insult.

      Robert Gates is Edom. He doesn’t have to apologize to Jacob.

      Jacob, however, must bow to Edom.

      When headlines in Israel on January 14, 2014 declared that Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had said that Kerry was obsessive and Messianic, Israel’s news wires practically melted from a series of angry responses from the US. Over several hours, the State Department, unnamed Washington officials and then the White House itself expected an apology--and then demanded retraction--for Yaalon’s ‘offensive’ remarks.

      Yaalon then had to humiliate himself before Edom: first, he explained that he didn’t mean to offend Kerry. Then, when that didn’t sit so well with the US, he apologized.

      Edom is arrogant. Edom demands Jewish genuflection. Jacob is afraid. Jacob must—and will--bow before Esav.

      Why must Israel be afraid? Why must Israel bow? Israel cannot achieve its Destiny when it behaves with such raw fear before Edom.

      Israel must stand proud before the world or the world will trample on Israel. Israel is the spiritual center of the universe. Israel is the world’s Holy Land. Millions of tourists—most of them not Jewish—tell Israel that every year.

      Israel is to be a Light unto the nations. It is to lead, not bow.

      Israel must never bow to the wicked. Israel must never serve the cruel.

      Prime Minister Netanyahu is reported to know his Tanach. He should know better than to demand an apology to appease an angry Edom.

      Yaalon should never have apologized. At the very worst, the Prime Minister’s office should have issued a statement about the independence of its Ministers and its ties to the US—and then left it at that.

      An apology was excessive fawning. It was unseemly. It was servile. Indeed, it was un-Jewish. Forcing that genuflection was an insult to the Jewish people.

      What must the G-d of Israel think of such appeasement?



      Shevat 12, 5774, 1/13/2014

      Is there a lesson in Ariel Sharon’s death?


      This week, Israel buries Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister, war hero—and creator of the 2005 ‘Disengagement Plan’. As a result of that Disengagement, 8,000 Jews were expelled from Gaza—and Jihadi Jew-hate now bangs on Israel’s door.  

      Disengagement was a grand gesture. By making Gaza Jew-free, Prime Minister Sharon hoped to enhance Israel’s security. He hoped to polish Israel’s international reputation. He wanted to show how willing Israel was to make ‘tough decisions’ for peace.

      But Israel didn’t get peace. It didn’t get security or a burnished reputation. It got 8,000 -12,000 rockets fired from Gaza, sometimes on a daily basis. It’s been demonized at the UN. It’s being threatened by the European Union. Gaza meanwhile, was supposed to become a haven for peace and prosperity. It’s turned out to be a ‘haven’ for corruption, unemployment and brutal rulers.  

      Disengagement failed. It’s become the poster-boy for failure.

      But it’s not a failure for US Secretary of State John Kerry. Before Sharon was buried, Kerry said Sharon made ‘tough decisions’ for peace (“In tributes to Sharon, a not-so-subtle message for Netanyahu”, (01/12/14, Times of Israel). Kerry is said to have uttered these words hoping that current PM Netanyahu will learn a lesson: he should make his own Sharon-like ‘tough decisions for peace’.

      But Sharon’s death does not remind everyone of ‘tough decisions for peace’—primarily because Sharon’s Disengagement didn’t beget ‘peace’. For some, Disengagement has empowered Jihadi extremism (listen to Hamas speeches). For others, Sharon’s death at precisely the moment Kerry promotes ‘peace’ (“ Kerry: 'Peace Now,' in 2014”, 01/13/14, Arutz Sheva), is a reminder of a different kind: those who surrender Jewish land pay for their treachery.   

      Is that possible? Well, here is a list of what has happened to the major players in the 2005 Gaza Disengagement Plan (see “Katzav Said: 'This is Happening to Me Because of Gush Katif', 01/02/11, Arutz Sheva; and “Sharon’s Fate Part of Stunning Downfall of Gush Katif Perpetrators”, Jewish Press, January 2, 2014):

      - Ariel Sharon, the prime minister who carried out the Disengagement, suffered a stroke shortly afterward. He remained in a coma for almost nine years before passing away early January, 2014.

      - Omri Sharon, Ariel’s son and close political aide, went to jail for corruption.

      - Chaim Ramon was a senior minister in Sharon's government who championed the Disengagement. He was found guilty of sexual offenses.

      - Dan Halutz, IDF Chief of Staff, was forced to resign after an investigative committee blamed him for botching the Second Lebanon War.

      - Moshe Karadi, Commissioner of Police, Southern Command in 2005, was forced to resign after a committee of inquiry found fault with his actions regarding organized crime.

      - Ehud Olmert was Sharon's deputy during the Disengagement. He replaced Sharon as Prime Minister--and continued to support the Disengagement decision. Olmert  resigned after being charged with corruption.

      - Uri Bar-Lev was Commander of the Police's Southern District.  He resigned because of sexual misconduct allegations.

      - Tzachi HaNegbi was a member of Sharon's government. He resigned from the Knesset after being found guilty of corruption.

      - Avraham Hirschson was a minister in Sharon’s government. He was convicted of embezzlement.

      -Niso Shacham was a police commander in 2005 caught on video vulgarly giving orders to his policeman to use excessive force on non-violent, unarmed civilians who had gathered to protest the Gaza expulsion. In 2013, he resigned from his post as Commander of the Jerusalem District after being indicted for sexual harassment, indecent assault, fraud and breach of trust.

      -Dan Halutz was IDF Chief of Staff who had replaced Moshe Yaalon. Sharon didn’t trust Yaalon to carry out the expulsion order. Halutz did. He resigned from office in disgrace when it was discovered that he had sold off his investment portfolio just hours before the second Lebanon war began.

      - Yonatan Bassi headed the Disengagement Authority. He was forced to leave his own community because of public anger against his support for expelling the 8,000 Gaza Jews.

      - Moshe Katzav was President of Israel during Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. He has been found guilty of rape and serves time in prison.

      -Shaul Mofaz was Minister of Defense for Ariel Sharon. In March, 2012, he reached the zenith of his political career. He defeated Tzipi Livni by a 61.7 vs 37.2 per cent vote to become leader of Israel’s Kadima Party.  But then, under his leadership, Kadima collapsed from having won 22.5 per cent of Israel’s vote in the 2009 national election to 2.09 per cent in the 2013 national elections. In a matter of months, he plummeted from Leader of the opposition to ‘failure’.

      There may have been others in public office who supported the Disengagement—and remain untouched by it. But these Disengagement advocates (above) have certainly suffered public humiliation.

      Is this coincidence? Can the public humiliation of fourteen powerful people within eight years—all of whom embraced Disengagement--really be coincidence?

      Former Israel President Katsav believes it is not coincidence. He is reported to have said that the charges which ruined his career were divine punishment for his role in the 2005 expulsion.

      Not everyone buys such an argument. Most probably reject it. Still, Sharon’s death does come at an interesting time. There is ‘pressure-for-peace’ against Israel. Kerry uses Sharon’s death to promote peace just as others remember that Sharon’s surrender of Gaza did not bring peace. His death reminds them that, if anything, Disengagement brought Arab Jihad closer to Israel.

      According to some, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu has a choice. He must choose between John Kerry and the G-d of Israel.  The question is, which message will he take away from Sharon’s death? He can choose the Kerry message of more surrender; or, he can choose the lesson that Israel’s land belongs to G-d, who may not be kind to those who give away what is His.

      What choice will Netanyahu make?



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