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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2006 / 4 Tamuz, 5766

Olmert still refuses to get it

By Caroline B. Glick


"There are no so blind as those who will not see": Olmert (L) and Peres
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Since replacing Ariel Sharon in office last December, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refused to permit a large-scale IDF incursion into the Gaza Strip. The hundreds of rockets, mortars and missiles that have rendered the Western Negev's population and economy hostages of Palestinian rocket crews could not budge him from his refusal to take the war to the enemy. Indeed, for months he ignored the pleas of residents of Sderot and told the IDF to suffice with artillery fire into empty fields and aerial bombings of terrorists en route to launching rockets at Israel.


The fact that Israel's intelligence collection capabilities in Gaza were grievously undermined in the aftermath of last summer's withdrawal; the fact that IDF commanders acknowledge that more weaponry has been brought into Gaza in the past ten months than entered in the previous 38 years, made no impression. Repeated reports of Al Qaida opening shop in Gaza and of Iranian Revolutionary Guards units training Fatah and Hamas members in the destroyed Israeli communities were dismissed as unimportant, irrelevant and insignificant.


Olmert refused to send forces into Gaza to contend with the transformation of Gaza into a strategic threat to Israel because doing so would involve acknowledging that his plan to retreat from Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem will turn Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hadera, Afula and Be'ersheva into frontline communities. He refused to send forces into Gaza because doing so would demonstrate that Israel cannot defend its cities from their outskirts.


He refused to send forces into Gaza because it would involve an acknowledgment that Israel is at war and that the war cannot be ignored by building walls or inciting the public against Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.


He refused to send forces into Gaza because doing so would be tantamount to admitting that all territory abandoned by the IDF is taken over by Israel's enemies.


He refused to send forces into Gaza or take concerted action against Palestinian terror leaders because, as the nasty upbraiding that Israel suffered Thursday at the hands of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues at the G-8 showed, the international community sees Israeli counter-terror operations in the aftermath of the withdrawal from Gaza as no more legitimate than its counter-terror operations before the withdrawal.


So does the fact that this week Olmert finally permitted forces to reenter Gaza mean that he now gets it? Does Olmert's decision to arrest Hamas parliamentarians and government ministers in Judea and Samaria in spite of Condi's objections signal that he has accepted that Israel must destroy its enemies' capacity to attack its territory, its forces and its citizens?


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Does the fact that Olmert ordered IAF jets to overfly Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's palace mean that he understands that the war being fought against Israel is part of the global jihad?


Unfortunately, a close look at Olmert's counter terror measures makes clear that, no, in spite of the wailing of the international press corps, and the whining of the State Department and its European and Russian counterparts, in fact, Olmert still refuses to get it.

Olmert and his associates in the government have pointed their fingers at Hamas blaming it for the Palestinian guerilla attack on Israeli territory Sunday morning while ignoring Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah terror group's equal share of culpability. It was Fatah, not Hamas that kidnapped and murdered 18 year old Eliyahu Asheri. It is Fatah that is threatening to blow up Israeli embassies abroad. It is Fatah that is threatening to renew shooting attacks on Jerusalem and attack Israel with chemical and biological weapons. It is Fatah that is threatening to kill the IDF hostage Cpl. Gilad Shalit.


While Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin was preparing the list of Hamas leaders IDF forces arrested in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Abbas was finalizing his deal with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for the formation of a Hamas-Fatah unity government. Abbas and Haniyeh not only agreed to form a unity government, they also agreed that Hamas would become a member of the PLO. Aside from that, they agreed that to establish a unified force for fighting their joint war against Israel. That is, this week, as Israel trained its rifles on Hamas alone, Abbas effectively unified Hamas with Fatah.


Rather than contending with this development, Olmert and his colleagues chose to ignore it. And this makes sense of course. Acknowledging that Fatah and Hamas are equally at war with Israel would mean that Israel has no option of giving away Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to any of these groups.


Olmert's decision to blame Syria for Sunday's attack on Kerem Shalom is similarly problematic. Yes, it is true that the orders for Hamas's major operations, (like those of Fatah and Islamic Jihad) come from Syria and Teheran. The fact that the government is acknowledging that the war being fought against Israel is not simply a dispute between Palestinians and Israelis about the partition of the western part of the Land of Israel is on the face of it a welcome development. Unfortunately, the government's acknowledgement of the foreign command of the Palestinian war against Israel is being used not as a justification for fighting, but as a justification for not fighting.

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Olmert has used Syria's role in ordering attacks against Israel as a way of letting the local terror commanders Abbas and Haniyeh off the hook. Rather than recognize that they are both subordinate to and supportive of Damascus and Teheran's terror war strategy against Israel, Olmert and his associates are using the foreign elements of the war as a way to say that the Palestinians are not responsible even though they are the ones carrying out the operations on the ground.


As to the current IDF operation in Gaza, it is fairly clear that whatever accomplishments the IDF may achieve over the next few days, Olmert will call for a retreat rather than enable those tactical accomplishments to become translated into an enhanced strategic environment for Israel. Olmert, whose primary goal as prime minister is to reenact the failed withdrawal from Gaza twenty-fold in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem cannot enable the Israeli public to see proof on its television screens night after night that the withdrawal was an abysmal failure. The footage that the Israeli public has seen every night since Sunday shows them with absolute clarity that the country was safer when the Israeli communities separating Gaza from Ashkelon and Egypt were still standing and when the IDF was deployed in Gaza protecting southern Israel and keeping the border with Egypt quiet.


Making this point absolutely clear, this week Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz paved the way for new pictures to be seen on the television screens next week. Amidst the military earthquake in the south, the two men repeated their intention to destroy four communities in Judea and Samaria next week. What they refuse to recognize is that while doing so may confuse the public for awhile about whom its real enemy is, the footage from their planned operation will destroy in one fell swoop any accomplishments the IDF may garner this week in Gaza. Pictures of Israeli police and military forces forcibly removing Israelis from their homes will prove to the Palestinians — once again — that their hope to destroy Israel through jihad is well founded.


When one compares Olmert's management of the current crisis with former prime minister Ariel Sharon's management of Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, the fact that this operation is not serious becomes manifestly clear. On March 29, 2002 Sharon announced the cabinet's decision that precipitated Operation Defensive Shield. In his words, "Israel will act to defeat the terror infrastructure - all its component parts and facets." He further announced that Yassir Arafat "is the enemy."


The reason Defensive Shield was a success is not because in its aftermath the Palestinian terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was destroyed. Indeed, shortly after it was officially concluded there was a suicide bombing in Rishon Letzion. In fact, the terror never really stopped at all. Defensive Shield was a success because it set the conditions for making it impossible for the Palestinians to carry out an effective terror offensive from Judea and Samaria. During Defensive Shield, the IDF reasserted its security control over the Palestinian towns and villages in the areas, a control it has not relinquished.


Because it remains in control of the area, rather than being forced to kill terrorists from the air, as is done in Gaza where the IDF never reasserted its control, in Judea and Samaria every night, forces go into the homes of terrorists and arrest them in their beds with no collateral damage. And every day, because the IDF is in charge, it is able to enhance its intelligence capabilities. Those enhanced capabilities in turn make it possible for the silent nightly raids that keep Israelis safe in their beds to continue.


But while Defensive Shield's goal was to "defeat the terror infrastructure," the current Operation Summer Rains in Gaza has set as its goal returning Cpl. Shalit to Israel. Olmert and Peretz hope to somehow convince Hamas and Fatah and their bosses in Damascus and Teheran that they are better off coughing up Shalit. They are supposed to think this even though Israel has made it clear that it won't stay in Gaza and is dead set — regardless of the outcome of Summer Rains — on giving them Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem.


On Monday, Meretz leader MK Yossi Beilin told Olmert that his party, like the Arab parties will not support Olmert's plan to retreat from Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem because Olmert plans to retain control of some 5-10 percent of Judea and Samaria for the long haul. Two weeks ago Beilin met with the EU's External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and elicited from her a clear EU rejection of Olmert's plan to determine Israel's borders. Beilin told The Jerusalem Post that Israel must surrender all the Israeli communities to the Palestinians and sign a deal with Abbas to this effect even if Abbas is incapable or unwilling to uphold any pledge to fight terrorism.


In staking out this position, Beilin is repeating he actions towards then prime minister Ehud Barak after the outbreak of the Palestinian terror war in September 2000. Beilin, who served as justice minister in Barak's government saw that Barak had lost all security credibility with the failure of his peace talks and his inability to take effective actions against the Palestinian terror offensive. Beilin understood that what Barak feared most was the fall of his government and new elections. Because of this, Beilin was able to force Barak to adopt still more accomodationist positions after the outbreak of the Palestinian terror war than he had proposed at Camp David in July 2000. Beilin convinced Barak to agree to the transfer of the Temple Mount and the Jordan Valley to the PLO.


Olmert, like Barak was brought to power as the head of leftist coalition. If Olmert loses that support base, his government could easily fall. In light of this, and given the fact that through his actions and inactions Olmert has made clear that he remains unwilling to reconsider his policy of surrendering Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to terrorists, it is hard to imagine that his decision to approve the IDF's operations in Gaza and the arrest of Hamas leaders will have any ameliorative effect on Israel's security situation. In short, the limited nature of this week's IDF operations makes clear that Olmert still refuses to get it.


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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Caroline B. Glick