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Sharon marches on, Barak stumbles on

January 25, 2001



"The 554,000 Arabs eligible to vote represent 12.3 percent of the electorate. The Arab turnout in 1999 was 76%, and 95% voted for Barak."

With or without the "Arab vote", Barak and Labor Zionism are in all likelihood going to be trounced by Sharon and Revisionist Zionism in just a few days now. This even though nearly everyone in the world -- especially the Europeans, "liberal" American Jews, the Arab client regimes, and Arafat's "Authority" -- have collectively done all they could to prevent just what is about to happen in the Jewish State. And though there are many similarlities between the two major historical Zionist movements, as well as between Barak and Sharon, there are also very important differences not just in style but most importantly in ideological outlook and convictions.

This is not the place to even attempt to spell out these complicated differences. There's plenty of literature available however. Those interested should start with the biography of Jabotinsky, the father of the Revisionist Movement, just as Ben-Gurion was the father of Labor Zionism. It's not really possible to seriously understanding what is happening today either within the Israeli polity or between the Jews and the Arabs, without a firm historical grasp of what has come before and how we have gotten to such a historical moment pregnant with such dangers. Meanwhile, this selection of articles from the Israeli Press about Sharon, Barak, and the election campaign, helps put the current moment in better perspective:

Ori Nir, Ha'aretz Correspondent

[Ha'aretz - 1/24/01:} Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat called on Israeli voters Wednesday not to vote for Likud Chair Ariel Sharon in the upcoming election. In an interview in an Arab magazine published in Israel, they both warned of the consequences of having Sharon as prime minister.

"We do not want Sharon to be elected as prime minister. Our stance on this subject is not neutral," said Abed Rabbo. "The election of Sharon will lead to disaster and war. Choosing him is a stupid move because he is a bloodthirsty racist who has no responsibility to his countrymen," Abed Rabbo added. Erekat, who heads the negotiations with Israel, said, "If Sharon is elected, we should expect the total collapse of negotiations."

Many Arabs who are prominent in the public sector said that senior officials in the Palestinian Authority requested that Arab leaders work towards voting for Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in order to prevent the rise of Sharon to the position of prime minister.

By Gil Hoffman and Janine Zacharia

JERUSALEM POST (January 25) - Likud prime ministerial candidate Ariel Sharon yesterday accused Prime Minister Ehud Barak of indirectly causing the recent wave of violence by showing weakness in the manner in which he withdrew the IDF from Lebanon last May.

"I have tough things to say about the way we left, which influenced, in my opinion, what happened later on, and the feelings of the Palestinians, our neighbors," Sharon told a Federation of Chambers of Commerce forum. "We did not act the way an independent country is supposed to act."

Sharon maintained that Israel showed weakness to the Palestinians in the pullback, which invited them to fight back and feel confident against a weakened IDF.

He made the comments at a time in which his campaign has begun to break with its hesitant strategy and strike back at Barak's negative commercials.

Sharon campaign sources said that new commercials tonight will slam Barak for continuing the Taba negotiations and accuse him of "not learning the lesson that a nation with dignity does not negotiate under fire."

The commercials will run under the new slogan: "Barak promised peace; Barak brought war."

The increasing negativity of the Sharon campaign is a response to a particularly sharp Barak ad that premiered Tuesday, describing step by step what would happen between the election of Sharon and an all-out regional war. The ad angered Sharon aides.

"Barak has killed all the sacred cows," Lior Horev, Sharon's information and strategy team manager, said. "We could have used the Kfar Darom children in our advertising, but we did not because there is a line that people do not cross, even during a campaign."

Responding to the Barak campaign's repeated use of the Lebanon War in its ads, Sharon addressed the Sabra and Shatilla killings for the first time since the race began.

"What happened in Lebanon, which we didn't have any connection to or anything, was that Christian Arabs killed Moslem Arabs," Sharon said.

Sharon said that by October 1982, Israeli forces had already withdrawn from major Christian locations in southern Lebanon. At that point he recommended leaving Lebanon and continued to advocate a negotiated withdrawal for years, but that various prime ministers and IDF chiefs of General Staff disagreed.

Sharon was held indirectly responsible for the 1982 massacre in the Beirut Palestinian refugee camps by the government-appointed Kahan Commission. He was subsequently forced to step down as defense minister.

The Barak campaign responded by saying, "The overwhelming consensus says that getting our children out of Lebanon after 18 years of being there for no reason and more than 1,000 casualties is one of the greatest achievements in the history of Israel and one of the most courageous acts that Barak did in his long career."

In an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Washington via satellite video conference yesterday, Sharon offered a slightly contradictory view of the current wave of violence.

In the beginning of his remarks Sharon said: "A war is going on here, Barak promised peace." During the question-and-answer period, Sharon said: "It's not going to be war. We don't see a war."

Sharon revealed that he has initiated quiet contacts with Arab countries and has started communicating with the Palestinian leadership. He did not specify which countries he had contacted.

One source privy to these contacts said Sharon had been in touch with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's deputy Mahmoud Abbas.

Sharon gave special praise to Jordan as an important stabilizing factor and pledged to try to strengthen ties with it, but it was not clear if Jordan was among the countries Sharon had approached.

Sharon outlined his now well-known "multi-stage" plan for peace, or at least for a "non-belligerency" arrangement. He ruled out for the first time the possibility of unilateral separation from the Palestinians should peace talks fail. Barak has solicited ideas for such a break.

"It looks like a slogan. How can you divide? We live together. I don't see any possibility of separation that can last," Sharon said.

To lend legitimacy to his gradual approach to peacemaking, Sharon cited the ideas of former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who Sharon says "has been preaching this approach to prime ministers of Israel" for years.

"[Kissinger] emphasized that the only way to reach peace is by going slowly, gradually, step-by-step, and implementing something which is more similar to non-belligerency, and only when we see the benefits and a relationship will develop will we be able to reach a permanent peace," Sharon said.

As foreign minister under prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Sharon promoted stronger ties with Russia, the cosponsor of the original multilateral peace talks in Madrid. Yesterday, Sharon called for a reduced US role in peace negotiations and said he would establish immediate contact with Secretary of State Colin Powell if elected.

The US is "a traditional friend of Israel" which can help bring the sides together if needed, Sharon said. "But I think that basically, it should be for both sides to decide - to negotiate and decide - and I think it should be very, very clear that Israel should not be under any pressure."

Sharon then said he sees the US as a "mediator, honest broker" and as Israel's continued strategic ally with which it would work to combat the spread of ballistic missiles in the region.

Sharon vowed to invite the Labor Party into a national unity government the night of his election and promised to initiate negotiations immediately with the Palestinians, but not if Israel is under fire.

Asked repeatedly how he could make peace with the Palestinians and other Arab countries, Sharon said he has been "demonized for many years" by the Left and called on all parties to look to the future and leave the past behind.

Sharon ducked questions on whether he would dismantle settlements, saying Barak's gravest error was to publicize which concessions he would be willing to make in advance.

After outlining his terms of a non-belligerency accord - no acceptance of a Palestinian right of return, no division of Jerusalem, no handover of the Jordan Valley to Palestinian control - Sharon said the ideas had been part of a plan that was put on the table during short-lived, permanent-status negotiations when he was foreign minister.

By Yossi Verter

[Ha'aretz - 1/25/01}:
Meretz MK Zahava Gal On yesterday petitioned the High Court of Justice to release the confidential reports on which the Kahan Commission recommended that Sharon be dismissed as defense minister after the 1982 Sabra and Chatilla massacre in Lebanon.

The petition was in response to Sharon declaring he had nothing to do with the massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps. "I had nothing to do with what happened there. Christian Arabs killed Muslim Arabs, and as a result of the atmosphere of hysteria in Israel, I was forced to leave my post," Sharon told the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce at the Hilton hotel in Tel Aviv.

Sharon resigned from Menachem Begin's government after the Kahan Commission report into the slaughter of hundreds of Palestinian civilians by the Phalangist militia during the Israel Defense Forces siege of Beirut. The commission wrote in its report that "the defense minister reach personal conclusions of the shortcomings he exhibited in carrying out his duties," and recommended that Prime Minister Begin dismiss Sharon - in fact he resigned on his own accord.

Meretz MK Ilan Gillon yesterday wrote to Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak, who was a member of the Kahan Commission, and asked him to clarify for the public the committee's stance on Sharon.

"It is unacceptable that Sharon is blaming a commission of inquiry, which found him responsible, of succumbing to hysteria and distorting justice, while he takes advantage of the fact that none of the committee members can respond," he said.

Gal On said "it is the public's right to receive the information that directly relates to the actions and shortcomings of Ariel Sharon."

Sharon continued efforts to dispel his anti-Arab image and yesterday said if elected prime minister, he will begin a new chapter in relations between Arab Israeli citizens and the state.

Speaking to members of One Nation Sharon said "I intend to open a new chapter with them [Israeli Arabs] in the name of Israel's government. I will personally work to bring equality to their conditions in infrastructure, education, civil service jobs ... a Jewish child and an Arab child must receive the same ... ."

Minister Shimon Peres yesterday responded to Sharon's claim, made on Monday at a high-school in the Negev, that it was Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Peres as his defense minister that brought Israel into Lebanon in 1976.

Peres said Israel did not occupy or remain in Lebanon, and did not even have liaison officers working with local militias. Peres said early 1976 was at the peak of the civil war in Lebanon and the Christians sought support from Israel against Palestinian and other organizations. Israel helped the Christians with humanitarian aid at first, and later also with weapons and munitions.

By David Rudge

JERUSALEM POST - NAZARETH (January 25) - Arabs would consider voting for Prime Minister Ehud Barak only if he publicly apologizes for the government's handling of the disturbances last October in which 13 Arabs were killed, and reaches a draft accord with the Palestinians, Ibrahim Sarsur, the head of the Islamic Movement, said yesterday.

The movement would then reconsider its call to supporters to boycott the vote, Sarsur told The Jerusalem Post.

In previous prime ministerial elections, the Arab vote was viewed as having a pivotal role, especially in close-fought races.

"We Arabs have decided to liberate ourselves from the handcuffs of this concept. In our opinion, [Ariel] Sharon and Barak are equally bad and neither will bring about peace or equality. If Barak won 350,000 Arab votes in the 1999 elections, he will be lucky to get 40,000-50,000 this time," Sarsur said.

"If, however, the Palestinians and the Israelis reach a framework agreement and Barak makes a public apology for the October massacre, and not just expresses his regrets as he has until now, then the Islamic Movement and all the factions in the Arab sector would have to reconsider their positions in light of these developments and give him another chance," he said.

The 554,000 Arabs eligible to vote represent 12.3 percent of the electorate. The Arab turnout in 1999 was 76%, and 95% voted for Barak.

Barak's problem of raising support in the Arab sector was underlined yesterday during a visit to Nazareth, where scores demonstrated outside the hall where he met with supporters.

Many of the demonstrators were relatives of the three Nazareth residents among the 13 killed in the October riots. They accused Barak of having overall responsibility for what they described as police brutality and excessive use of force.

There were reports that some of the demonstrators spat at those who arrived to attend the meeting with Barak and called them traitors.

Barak, who was accompanied by Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, did not have to run the gauntlet of protesters and entered the hall by another route. Regional Cooperation Minister Shimon Peres did not attend the meeting despite reports that he had been scheduled to participate.

Inside the hall, the atmosphere was totally different, with Barak reiterating his regrets and expressing sorrow over the 13 deaths, and urging supporters to do their utmost to garner votes in the Arab sector.

He said that confrontation between police and demonstrators should not end in fatalities and that he is certain that the government would accept the findings of the state commission which is investigating the riots.

Barak warned that a boycott of the elections or casting blank ballots would be a vote for Sharon.

Ministers Beilin and Matan Vilna'i have been working hard among Arabs to try to calm the atmosphere and forge a core of activists willing to canvass for Barak.

Beilin, who spoke at the meeting, criticized comments made by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that likened Palestinians to venomous snakes and described Barak as someone who hated Israel and Judaism.

According to many political pundits, an Arab boycott or a decision to cast blank ballots would have a seriously detrimental effect on Barak's chances of being reelected.

Sarsur said the decision to call for a boycott was based on what he described as Barak's ongoing policies of aggression, killing, and destruction against the Palestinians, the regression in the peace process despite initially high expectations, the non-implementation of his promises to improve the lot of Israeli Arabs, and the "massacre by police under the command of the prime minister" of the 13 Arabs.

Sarsur, who represents the more pragmatic southern faction of the Islamic Movement, categorically denied reports that his decision to call for a boycott was a move toward the more radical northern branch, headed by Umm el-Fahm Mayor Sheikh Raed Salah, as part of efforts to reunite the movement.

The northern faction and its leadership have consistently opposed participation in national politics, while the southern branch has its representatives in the Knesset in the United Arab List and has established the Arab Unity Party.

"Unfortunately, negotiations over reunification stopped over a month ago and have been frozen, and therefore there is no linkage between this and our decision to call for a boycott of the election," Sarsur added.

Abed Inbitawi, executive director of the supreme monitoring committee of the Israeli Arab leadership, said that "obviously to say one is sorry is insufficient, although even an apology does not go far enough. Barak also has to take responsibility for what happened.

"If he does and if there is a draft peace accord with the leadership of the Palestinian people prior to the election, then it would make a difference to the present trend under which more than 80% of eligible voters will either boycott the election or cast blank ballots.

"There is also a third factor - the need for a detailed program, with a mechanism for implementation, to bring about full equality for Arab citizens in all fields. These are the three conditions which have to be met to bring out the Arab voters."

Inbitawi said it had been decided to convene a meeting of the monitoring committee a few days before the election to recommend - on the basis of prevailing circumstances - how the Arab public should vote. The committee is composed of Arab MKs, council heads, and other prominent public figures.

By David Ratner and Jalal Bana

"An Arab girl cursed me. I have never been cursed by a girl before. The Arabs have become like the Likud."

[Ha'aretz - 1/25/01] - When Ehud Barak ended his election visit in Ganei Nazareth Hotel last night, some of those invited stayed behind to argue among themselves whether the prime minister had really apologized for the deaths of 13 Israeli Arab demonstrators last October.

The text of his speech shows Barak indeed expressed "sorrow and a need to express condolences" - but in no way did he apologize or take responsibility for the death of the 13.

Stormy weather and a few dozen angry demonstrators greeted those invited to the election meeting. The guests were identified as "Arab dignitaries and their families." Barak was brought in through a back entrance to avoid him meeting the demonstrators, and most of the 250 guests looked like they would rather be somewhere else.

"Dignitaries" was a bit of a misnomer. Apart from the mayors of Rami and Ilut - both Labor Party activists - other mayors boycotted the event on orders from the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee.

Representatives of families of the 13 Arabs killed in the October riots held up color photographs of the dead loved ones and angry placards. There were a few megaphones and a great deal of fury.

They waited on the hotel driveway, spitting insults at all the arriving guests. "They have no honor," said Barda Afifi of Nazareth. "Pig, traitor," he shouted. "See them run to kiss the feet of those who kill them," he said.

There were pale faces of teenage girls and boys behind the curtains of a bus bringing them from the village of Kara. Mazen Zahalka, a dignitary from the village of Kara, said "on one hand, it is hard to look the mothers of those killed in the eye, but on the other, I know the alternative to Barak is Sharon -and that kills me."

The demonstrators began to shout "Collaborators!" and Zahalka scurried into the hotel. A young woman with curly hair from Barak's office gave them yellow roses. The children were taken aside and dressed in white Barak campaign T-shirts, some with the slogan from the previous campaign, "Israel wants a change." Scattered about the hall were white balloons that occasionally burst with a feeble pop.

Barak's entourage entered the hall at a quarter past five. Barak was accompanied by Ministers Beilin, Vilnai, Cohen and Tamir and a few Meretz MKs. Gradually the trauma outside was forgotten. Beilin stole the show when he said Sharon was born a racist, and that his inability to make peace was genetic.

MK Hussniya Jabara (Meretz) called Sharon a "war criminal" but Barak repudiated the epithet. By the time he got up to speak, the crowd had warmed somewhat but his speech was predictable and superficial. He said he had wanted to meet the families of those killed in October, but did not have the opportunity. He said that until a few weeks ago, he had not been aware of the deep damage wrought to the fabric of relations between Israel's Jews and Arabs. He told them to vote according to their interests, and not to cast a blank ballot.

Afterward, everyone went home. Afif Halili from Majdal Krum was still upset by the demonstration outside. "An Arab girl cursed me. I have never been cursed by a girl before. The Arabs have become like the Likud."

January 2001


Leila Khalid - refugee from Haifa, fighter for Palestine
(January 31, 2001)
When Palestinian liberation fighter Leila Khaled hijacked her first plane in 1969, she became the international pin-up of armed struggle. Then she underwent cosmetic surgery so she could do it again. Thirty years on, she talks to Katharine Viner about being a woman at war.

The end of Israel?
(January 30, 2001)
At a time with rampant current events breaking daily, often hourly, there is much need to remember the importance of sometimes taking time for reflection, of sometimes stepping back to contemplate both the past and the future.

Sharon - the REAL legacy of Clinton and Barak
(January 30, 2001)
As the Barak era fades from view -- more short-lived than anyone predicted just a long year and a half ago -- his epitaph is already being written and Ariel Sharon's government and policies are already being debated.

Looming civil war in Palestine
(January 29, 2001)
Fears are growing in the international community that Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) is heading for collapse.

Arafat blasts, Peres maneuvers, Barak sinks
(January 29, 2001)
For all practical purposes Ehud Barak is gone and Yasser Arafat is now desperately trying to save his own skin.

Barak's 3 no's, and Bush's 7 minute call
(January 28, 2001)
The Americans leaked it, a 7-minute Saturday call from the new U.S. Pres to the sinking Israeli PM -- leaked its brevity that is.

The Bomb and Iraq
(January 28, 2001)
As war clouds gather in the Middle East public opinion is being prepared for a possible regional war that could likely include a combined Western/Israeli effort to take out the weapons of mass destruction in Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The "nuts" in the next room
(January 27, 2001)
In recent years Israel's most important and serious newspaper, Ha'aretz, has taken to not only reporting Palestinian affairs much more deeply but to interviewing major Palestinian personalities abroad.

Get ready for Prime Minister Sharon
(January 27, 2001)
The new Ma'ariv-Gallop poll questioned a particularly large sample of 1,100 people, putting special emphasis on the Arab population and new immigrants.

Panic in the Barak camp
(January 27, 2001)
All the tricks and lies of the Israeli Labor Party have now come back to haunt it. Barak, never a politician, bears the brunt of popular blame for all the political deceptions and tricks that have for so long accumulated.

War alert in Europe and Middle East
(January 27, 2001)
We've noted the "war fever" growing in the region for some months now. There's considerable anxiety about who may now strike first.

Israeli and Jewish soul-searching
(January 26, 2001)
The Intifada, coupled with Israeli brutality and recognition that the term "Apartheid Peace" is in fact applicable after all, are having an effect on at least some Israelis and some Jews; even while Ariel Sharon marches to the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem (and maybe because of this).

"Disastrous" American intervention
(January 26, 2001)
ou've got to wonder about these Palestinian "negotiators". What others saw decades ago those who have been most involved are apparently beginning to see only now.

Sharon marches on, Barak stumbles on
(January 25, 2001)
The 554,000 Arabs eligible to vote represent 12.3 percent of the electorate. The Arab turnout in 1999 was 76%, and 95% voted for Barak.

An alliance of the outcasts? Iran, Iraq and Syria
(January 24, 2001)
So the Israelis are going to elect war-criminal tough-guy General Ariel Sharon to be Prime Minister. This after the most top-heavy military-intelligence government in peacetime history for Israel -- that of General Ehud Barak.

General Powell says no to sanctions on behalf of Corporate America
(January 23, 2001)
Hamas has struck again and the "negotiations" are "suspended" again. Two Israelis were assassinated by masked men while eating at a restaurant in Tulkarm. Though this time it was Israelis who were killed it was another warning to Yasser Arafat. Last week similarly masked men in Gaza killed a close Arafat friend, the head of Palestinian TV in Gaza, just as it was rumored Arafat was about to sign some kind of new deal with the Israelis.

EyeWitness Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa
(January 23, 2001)
The depressing element of this entire struggle is that the Arafat regime survives and...will be the one to ultimately determine the fate of the Palestinian people.

War Fever - Israel and Syria
(January 23, 2001)
Tensions continue to grow in the Middle East region, armies continue to prepare, public opinion continues to be manipulated. Though Ehud Barak too is a militarist -- a former commando, General, and Chief of Staff of the Army -- Ariel Sharon brings with him historical baggage and war-criminal image which could easily contribute to a clash of armies sooner rather than later, even if not fully intended by either side.

EyeWitness Gaza
(January 22, 2001)
A year or so ago, I visited the Mouwasi area in Gaza. It was a green paradise, on top, and in the midst, of white sand dunes. I particularly remember this Guava grove, where the guavas hanging from the trees were the size of large oranges; I hadn't seen anything like that ever before.

Reaping what they have sown
(January 22, 2001)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak abruptly cut short a radio interview on Sunday after being asked about his poor showing in opinion polls, prompting speculation he was buckling under pressure of a February 6 election.

Israel's president departs
(January 21, 2001)
There has never been, and there probably never will be, a president who had such fantastic relations with the State of Israel. It's unbelievable.

Ross officially join Israeli lobby
(January 19, 2001)
During the Lebanon War of 1982 -- some think of it as Sharon's war -- the Israelis and their American Jewish friends felt they had a difficult time when it came to public relations. And when the American Marines pulled out, symbolizing the failure of the Israelis to force Lebanon into the American-Israeli orbit and out of the Syrian-Arab one, the Israelis realized that they had much power in Washington on Capitol Hill, but not enough power with the media, intellectuals, and think-tanks.

War preparations in Israel
(January 19, 2001)
It's always called "The Peace Process" but more behind-the-scenes the whole Middle East region continues to be an arms bazaar with more weapons being sold to the countries in the area than ever before, most by American arms merchants and allies.

Palestinian TV Head killed
(January 17, 2001)
It may have been a warning to Arafat not to dare sign any new agreements, as has been rumored in the past few days he was planning to do tomorrow in fact. It may have been another Israeli assassination - though usually they don't take such risks and use such methods, strongly preferring instead to use high-technology and long-distance means.

Iraq, Saddam and the Gulf War
(January 17, 2001)
It was 10 years ago yesterday that the U.S. unleashed the power of the Empire against the country of Iraq after created the regional conditions that lead to the Iraq-Iran and then the Iraq-Kuwait-Saudi wars. In that period of time somewhere in the number of 1.5 million Iraqis have been killed, the history of the Middle East altered, the future of the region more uncertain and dangerous than ever.

Last night in Gaza ghetto
(January 16, 2001)
It's quite a game of international political brinkmanship. At the same time that Yasser Arafat is being tremendously pressured, and quite possibly further tricked, to sign some kind of "framework agreement" with Clinton and Barak before it is too late -- his regime is also being threatened with extinction both from within and without.

Generals Sharon and Barak as politicians
(January 16, 2001)
With Jan 20 (Clinton leaves office) and Feb 6 (Barak likely to be defeated by Sharon) fast approaching, desperation and near panic are evident in the traditional power centers, including various Arab capitals.

"Unilateral separation" one way or another
(January 15, 2001)
The separation plan would go into the event of one of the following three scenarios: as a response to a unilateral declaration of statehood on the part of the Palestinians; under a severe security threat; or as part of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority

Up in arms against Apartheid
(January 13, 2001)
At the end of the second millennium, three million Palestinians are imprisoned in ghettoes by the very man whom the Palestinian leadership hailed as the saviour of peace. Netanyahu had driven the peace ship off course. Barak scuttled it.

Locking in Oslo
(January 12, 2001)
The Americans and the Israelis continue to try to twist the screws. Their minimum goal now is to "lock in" the "Oslo Peace Process" approach to the conflict. It may be an "Apartheid Peace", and it may have resulted in considerable bloodshed, but even so it is leading to a form of "Palestinian Statehood" and "separation" that the Israelis strongly desire as the best alternative for themselves.

Sharon charges on
(January 12, 2001)
he long-serving (now recalled to Cairo) Egyptian Ambassador to Israel was quoted saying last week that if an Israeli-Palestinian agreement isn't reached in the next two weeks there won't be an agreement for the next two decades.

"Sharon leads to peace"
(January 11, 2001)
The last time the Israeli "Arab vote" was pushed toward Shimon Peres for Prime Minister -- back in 1996 -- there was much resistance. Then Peres was acting Prime Minister after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Army had just committed the Qana massacre in Southern Lebanon, and Peres was busy trying to cover it up.

Grandfather Sharon
(January 10, 2001)
If the polls remain as disastrous as they now are for Ehud Barak, expect him to be pushed out and Shimon Peres substituted. Barak has no chance; Peres has some, especially with the "Arab vote".

The Dangerous weeks, months ahead
(January 10, 2001)
Guys like Commando-General-Prime Minster Ehud Barak don't go easily from the scene. Barak's daring-do was lavishly praised just a few years ago; now it has even the military types fretting. No telling just what Barak and friends might try in the next few weeks.

Assissination, siege and war crimes
(January 9, 2001)
The Israeli government, both as a group and as individuals, bears full responsibility for the crimes that were committed. We will do everything possible, including declaring members of this government war criminals who are eligible for trial by the world tribunal." Palestinian Authority "Minister"

Soul-searching Israelis
(January 9, 2001)
The "liberals" among them, the most cosmopolitan and internationally-oriented of the Israelis, are now getting extra nervous. Not only is Ariel Sharon coming to power, not only is regional war possible, not only are the cold treaties with Egypt and Jordan in jeopardy, but even Israel's future has come into question

Israel acts while Arafat talks
(January 8, 2001)
srael continues to take major steps designed to shrink, isolate and control the Palestinian areas forever. The policy is termed "unilateral separation" and it is linked to bringing about a so-called "Palestinian State" that serves Israeli interests, making everything worse than ever for the Palestinian "natives".

Clinton's Israel speech
(January 8, 2001)
On his way out the Presidential door Bill Clinton went to New York City to speak to his American Jewish supporters and further grease his way toward his future. This is the Bill Clinton that turned the U.S. government over to the Israeli/Jewish lobby in his years in office; of course pretending otherwise.

Specter of an "ugly future"
(January 5, 2001)
Lofty, humanitarian goals like 'peace and democracy'? No, America's primary interest in the Middle East is effective control of the world's most important energy reserves, Noam Chomsky tells Ha'aretz

Prime Minister Sharon
(January 5, 2001)
Did President Hindenburg and the German intelligentsia feel this way in 1930s when they saw that Adolf Hitler, and his brownshirt thugs, were about to be elected to power?

Barak and Sharon
(January 5, 2001)
While the Labor "Doves" are busy running ads in Arab papers showing dismembered corpses in Palestinian Refugee Camps -- with the caption "Sharon" -- the reality is that Generals Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon are more two of a kind than anything else.

Arab nations add their voices to the chorus of despair
(January 4, 2001)
All chance of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in the near future is vanishing, destroyed by hardening opinions on both sides, continuing violence, the precarious position of the political leaders involved and disagreements over key issues.

Darling of American Jewry
(January 4, 2001)
Over the years, most of the strongest advocates of Israel have usually been people who are not Jewish....[I] look forward to working with him...

Barak publicly warns of regional war
(January 4, 2001)
Amid veiled threats from the Israelis to start targeting even more senior Arafat Regime persons, and even to bring the Arafat "Palestinian Authority" to an end, Ehud Barak has also started publicly talking about the possibility of regional war.

No deal for Arafat
(January 3, 2001)
In particular, the Palestinians are concerned that the proposed settlement would create Palestinian territorial islands separated from each other by Israeli territory and therefore not viable as a nation. They object to a proposed land swap that would allow some Israeli settlers to remain on the West Bank in exchange for land that the Palestinians claim is desert and a toxic waste dump.

Arafat rushes to Washington
(January 2, 2001)
Clinton and the Israelis have set the stage for the last act of their multi-year drama attempting to trap the Palestinians on controlled reservations and calling it "an end to the conflict". But like a modern-day computer game the users can interact and change the outcome to various scenarios.

Top Palestinian Leader in the Arafat Regime
(January 2, 2001)
The whole house of political quicksand built by Bill Clinton at the behest of the Israelis (and popularly known as the "Peace Process") is bubbling, steaming, and swallowing many of its key participants.

Arafat hangs up on threatening Clinton
(January 1, 2001)
The coming issue of TIME magazine reports that Arafat hung up the phone receiver on Clinton a few days ago, turning to an aide and saying: "He's threatening me!

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