4 thoughts on “Israel, in Major Shift, to Transfer Tax Funds to Palestinian Authority – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Let me tell you a little tale, cous’…

    After I finished my service in the special forces – we have finally left Lebanon, and good riddance! – I was transferred to the Jericho Joint Patrol. Not sure whether you have heard of it, but it was a fairly common practice back in the days of the hudna; IDF and PA police patrolling PA-controlled turf together. In Jericho, it mostly included driving around in Jeeps a bit and then having coffee and houmus under an old tree for a few hours.

    Well, Jericho of these days was a splendid place. The casino was bringing in the big bucks, the city had more restaurants and gift shops than population, agriculture was booming, the streets were clean… Really a good place to live in, save for the godsdamn heat. Oh, sure, we had our share of unpleasantness – petty crime, the Jericho psycho that got the kicks out of raping young boys (we got him in the end), the daily heart attacks among the tourists in the casino…

    but it was nothing major. The biggest thing we had there during that period was the time when the Islamic Jihad, IIRC, threw a Molotov cocktail into a passing car and burned alive an Israeli woman and her 2-year-old girl. But, as I said, it was the exception rather than the rule.

    But there was this feeling in the air… a feeling of foreboding, you know? Eveybody knew it was a hudna and not a real peace. Khaled, the big chief of our Palestinian counterparts, smiled secretively when he remembered his good old days in the first Intifada (he was crazier than a loon, but that is normal for a paramilitary commander). The Force 17 fucks gave us all dirty, knowing looks… but most of all, there was the feeling in the air. Like a gathering storm you
    cannot see.

    And boy, did it break. Old Yasser – the Rayiss – pushed the button that started the new intifada. And within the span of a single day, everything changed. The guys we had coffee with on a daily basis suddenly started shooting at us. Khaled stopped being nice and let his inner beast surface. The casino was occupied by gunmen that constantly fired on us. The old tree under which we drank coffee was blown up. Shops were looted by militias. Restaurants closed. Hothouses were shattered. The streets filled with gunfire and rubble.

    Our base was burned down and riddled with bullets – where once we had only plaster walls, now stands reinforced concrete. The casino was shelled to get rid of the snipers. The local population descended back into violence and poverty.

    And this, my friends, is the sad tale of what briefly was the most successful town in PA. It might have many morals, or it might have none at all. Me – well, I take it simply: there is no point in buiding that which be destroyed by stupidity and bloodlust. There is no point in paying the Hamas when they could have easily resurrected the prosperity of Jericho… had they only wanted.

    I mourn for Jericho. Sorry for rambling.

  2. Raccoon: Not at all. Don’t apologize for rambling (which you didn’t). I welcome yr contribution here. Though you’ve spent a lot more time in Jericho than I–I’d heard the same things about what the town used to be like & I too mourn for its former calm and gentleness.

    But I wonder that you do not see that Jericho’s former calm is prob. the way that city has conducted itself for centuries if not millenia (well, at least since Joshua knocked its walls down). The current violence & brutality is the fault not only of the horrid militants who’ve commandeered the town for their political ends, but of the Occupation which rages all around this nice little town. Given the poison that the Occupation represents for both Israel and the Palestinians, how could Jericho NOT have become caught up in it?

    My hope is that someday there will be peace bet. Israel & Palestine & then Jericho can return to the sleepy little oasis town it once was.

  3. Mr. Silverstein wrote: “My hope is that someday there will be peace bet. Israel & Palestine & then Jericho can return to the sleepy little oasis town it once was.”

    … and that peace can be best acquired by passively acquiescing to the rejectionist Hamas government who daily justify suicide attacks against civilians. Nice. That would make for a nice “gift from Allah.”

  4. As usual, CK baits me with distortions, inaccuracies and ancient history galore.

    Peace can be attained by Israel actively pursuing BOTH its security and political interests. No one suggests that Israel “passively acquiesce” to anything. But if Israel were to test Hamas, or even Abbas, by actively engaging in serious negotiations and show a willingness to compromise by making gestures like freeing Palestinian prisoners–then Israel loses nothing in terms of its security & perhaps gains much in terms of possibly attaining peace. Of course, in making such gestures Israel could insist that Hamas reciprocate. If it didn’t, then Israel would have tested the group’s bona fides and found them wanting. No harm will’ve been done–but at least Israel will have tried; which is something it’s refused to do thus far.

    You’ll notice that CK conveniently leaves Abbas out of his argument since he’s rather inconvenient for him. You see, Abbas IS willing to negotiate with Israel. Abbas DOES recognize Israel. Abbas DOES denounce terror attacks. The only way CK can obliterate the Abbas option is by saying he’s a toothless wonder of no significance. Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, spouts this line to all who’ll listen. But the truth of the matter is–is that by saying Abbas is a meaningless figure Israel only makes him so. It is entirely possible, even likely, that if Olmert actually negotiated w. Abbas and came up w. a viable plan, that Abbas could sell it to Hamas and make it work. The only way we’d know is by trying. But CK, Livni & Olmert want desperately to avoid this possibility because it would put Israel’s sincerity & willingness to compromise for peace to the test and they might be the ones found wanting.

    Do I like the fact that Hamas isn’t willing to denounce suicide attacks? No. But should this be the sole factor determining whether or not they are suitable partners for peace negotiations? Hell no. And btw, the decline in Qassam rocket attacks lately may be due to Hamas jawboning Islamic Jihad & the Popular Resistance Committees to stop such attacks (which it has done). If the attacks decline or cease will CK grant Hamas any credit for it? No, of course not. He’ll say it’s those thousands of IDF shells errantly raining down on empty lots in Gaza which deter the attacks (a patently ridiculous concept since most rocketeers are long gone by the time the IDF shells wherever they’re shooting from). You see, Hamas just can’t get a break as far as CK is concerned. This is no reflection on Hamas, but rather on CK’s pig-headed, blinkered & blindered view of the Palestinians. His head’s been buried in the sand so long he’s starting to walk and look like the ‘ostrich’ he is.

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