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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Kislev 8, 5765, 11/21/2004

      Stop the Occupation!!

      Officials in Jordan are displeased, to say the least.

      Their voracious and land-hungry neighbor, known for its uninhibited use of military force, is busy occupying Arab territory. For decades, they have been unable to do little more than watch from the sidelines as dozens of square miles of their territory have been encroached upon. The occupier has been sending in a stream of settlers and building a growing number of facilities on the territory in question, all with the aim of strengthening their grip over this disputed piece of land.

      Sound familiar?

      Well, it turns out the “occupier” in this case is none other than… Syria. That’s right, according to a report in the Jordan Times, a Jordanian security delegation begins a one-week visit to Damascus today to discuss what is delicately described as “matters related to border issues between the two countries.”

      It seems that even as the Assad regime has been busy clamoring for Israel to “return occupied Arab land”, they have quietly taken over 125 square kilometers of Jordanian territory along the two countries’ border, where they have built a series of farms and other structures.

      And now, it seems, with Syria coming under mounting international pressure over its ongoing occupation of Lebanon(even the French are threatening to get peeved…), Jordan feels the timing is right to raise the issue of its own “occupied territories”.

      But lest you feel too sympathetic for Jordan’s plight – the Jordan Times article also notes in passing that the Jordanians seem to be occupying a swathe (albeit far smaller) of Syrian territory as well.

      So, in light of the above, I hope you’ll join me in declaring, for all the world to hear: Stop the occupation of Arab land, once and for all! Get Syria off of Jordanian territory, and Jordan off of Syria’s real estate, and help bring peace to the Middle East!