15 thoughts on “Hamas and Israel ARE Talking – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Just one minor correction. Asheri is, among other things, TV critic for Haaretz not Ma’ariv. However, the column is not included in the English edition for the simple reason that the majority of the English readers do not watch Israeli TV.

    Sol Salbe
    Melbourne Australia

  2. Hi Richard,

    Thanks to you and Sol Salbe for passing on this story. I could not agree with you more when you state that Israel and the US should talk to Hamas.

    I am less convinced of Asheri’s interpretation of Shalit’s question. In what is known as the “Stockholm Syndrome,” hostages often show loyalty toward their abductors, even though it may seem contrary to all logic. I am afraid that Shalit may be attempting to please his captors and that his question does not necessarily reflect anything more hopeful.

    I found the “The Sane Face Of Hamas” on the Net, but at Ha’aretz, not Ma’ariv.


    I very much appreciate your discussing Hebrew sources. If possible, could you provide links to the original for your readers that know Hebrew?

    Also, thanks for informing us about Avraham Burg’s new book. I ordered it from Israel and expect it to arrive any day now.

    Keep up the good work,


  3. Ira-I am not sure what sort of enlightenment you are expecting to get from Burg’s book but you should know that he has pretty much become persona non grata in Israel, even for the Left. You should keep in mind that Burg claims he is a follower of Yeshayahu Leibovitz, but Leibovitz was not an anti-Zionist and during his lifetime Leibovitz explicity stated that Burg was misrepresenting his views. It also important to remember when he criticizes corruption in Israel, that massive ballox-box stuffing was conducted for him when he “won” the race for leadership of the Labor party, and his victory was subsequently nullified when this electoral fraud was uncovered. Then there was the criminal investigation into his participation in influence peddling in trying to get a state-owned defense plant transferred for far below its value to two business partners of his who were part of an organized crime group. The investigation concluded that he did not know about his partners affiliations, but it does make one wonder about his judgment.
    Ultimately, he clearly states that while he was head of the Jewish Agency and Speaker of the Knesset (which serves as Vice President of Israel) that he had already turned against Zionism and thus was “living a lie” as he put it. This makes me wonder about his credibility in anything he says.

  4. Thanks to Sol & Ira for those corrections which I updated. Sol sent me the Hebrew text but not the link, so thanks for adding that Ira. I thought of asking him for the link but never got to it.

  5. he has pretty much become persona non grata in Israel, even for the Left.

    There you go speaking on behalf of the Israelis left. As a supporter of the settler movement can you explain how you get the credibility to speak for the left?

    The investigation concluded that he did not know about his partners affiliations, but it does make one wonder about his judgment.

    The investigation completely cleared him of any wrongdoing. Apparently, that isn’t sufficient for you who continues to impute guilt to him where none exists.

    Avrum Burg is a powerful representative of an entirely legitimate set of political & philosophical viewpts. within modern Israeli thought. Yr attempts to besmirch him are in vain.

    I can’t wait for his book to be translated into English.

  6. I look forward to getting Avrum Burgs book too. Zionist can best be discredited by Jews, much better that Arabs, because we are accused of being biased. I also like where he calls for Jews to get foreign passports. I hope they exercise their right of return so we can exercise ours.

  7. Why don’t you read the book before you start calling Burg yr bosom buddy. I’d guess that Burg would have as much use for you as a plague. He’s nowhere near becoming yr ally. He may be estranged fr. the jokers who run his homeland but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to jump into the arms of haters like you.

  8. When I said Burg has been discredited by the Left, I was referring to comments I read in Ha’aretz, amost all of which were negative. I do know Yossi Belin blasted him, and he certainly could be considered a spokesman from the Left. Why is it impossible for me to be aware of what the Left is thinking simply because I don’t agree with them?

  9. I was referring to comments I read in Ha’aretz, amost all of which were negative.

    The comment threads of Haaretz, Ynet & JPost are all uniformly dominated by right wingers (not leftists). I doubt you read any comments by progressives blasting Burg in Haaretz.

    And as for Beilin, he is not THE Left. He is but one of many leaders of the Israeli Left. I found his position on the Lebanon war discredited him as a legitimate progressive voice. But I no more read him out of the Israeli left for his atrocious lapse in judgment than Yossi Beilin or you can read Burg out of the Israeli Left (if that’s indeed what Beilin has done).

  10. When I wrote “comments”, I meant the opinion columns in Ha’aretz, not the
    comments by readers under the articles. Yes, I did read opinion pieces by
    Leftists “blasting” Burg. Why would that surprise you?

  11. http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/gaza_a_prison_riot/
    The Middle East now faces a disaster that goes far wider than Gaza. Above it all stands the disaster of Iraq. The real significance of the Gaza debacle is that America and Britain have lost all influence in the Middle East and both the American and British leaders are totally discredited. Now the West’s worst fears are about to be realized. A militant Islamic mini-state will emerge from the chaos in the Gaza Strip. Let’s take it from the top.

    Fatah, a secular party, was founded in the 1950’s. Now led by president Abbas, it accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1990

  12. I think Burg is closer to my viewpoint than you think. He might become a busum body of mine if I help translate his book into Arabic. Just face it Richard, being a progressive zionist is like being a pregnant man. Its just impossible. You have to choose between your old tribal myths or international justice

  13. I have just discovered that comments written by both Herbert Kaine and AMin Nusseibeh at this blog were sent from the same IP address indicating they are one and same person. Why a right wing Jew would feel the need to assume the identity of an anti-Zionist Palestinian in this blog’s comment threads is beyond me. As far as I’m concerned anything written by either of them here or in the past is utterly treif and unless a satisfactory explanation is forthcoming from whoever this person is they won’t be commenting here in future.

  14. I did read opinion pieces by Leftists “blasting” Burg. Why would that surprise you?

    So far, you’ve only noted a column by Yossi Beilin & not even quoted anything fr. it so that we might judge whether or not he “blasted” Burg. It wouldn’t surprise me that many Israelis disagree with Burg even some of those on the left. His ideas are quite provocative and deliberately so. But for you to claim as you have that he has become “persona non grata” in Israel and on the left is wild overstatement.

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