In 2002, Israel surrounded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to restrain a group of 39 Arab terrorist gunmen who were firing at them from inside the church. The gunmen were mostly from the PLO Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade with some Hamas terrorists, as well. The Israel army did not fire back but rather lay siege to the building. After a lot of intervention from many sources, a deal was worked out, and the 39 were allowed to leave peacefully. Thirteen were exiled to Europe, and 26 were sent to Gaza.
Prime Minister Olmert, with his “wisdom” and amateurish political skill, as a “holiday” gesture, promised the “moderate” Palestine Administration Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to allow these 39 gunmen to return to Bethlehem.
The Christian world seems to ignore the fact that the Muslims have hounded Christians out of Bethlehem, and that the Christian population has dwindled from 80 percent of the residents to 20 percent. Now, with the proposed return of these gunmen, the Christians fear that the Muslim gunmen will reinstitute a reign of terror against the Christian population. I guess the Europeans and the Church will say that Christians do not belong in a Muslim city like Bethlehem (even though the residents are Christian Arabs).
In another “brilliant” diplomatic move, Olmert has promised to arm PA gunmen with 2,000 Kalashnikov rifles (as Prime Minister Rabin did in the past). It is difficult to know how many Jews were murdered with Rabin’s gift to the Arabs; now (G-d forbid) even more Jews will be murdered with Olmert’s rifles.
Wait, there is more. Olmert also agreed to give Abbas no less than $100 million so that salaries can be paid to these gunmen.
The saddest part of the story is that the Arab “cease-fire” continues. Two Jewish teenagers were badly injured by one of the recent Kassam rockets fired at the town of Sderot by Arabs. Our prime minister has openly declared that Israel will restrain its reaction to, I guess, firing at the empty fields from which the Kassam rockets are being fired, and will refrain from attacking the leaders of the terrorists or the workshops where the Kassams are manufactured.
I guess Olmert is waiting for, G-d forbid, a large number of Jews to be murdered by the Kassams. If they were being fired at Olmert’s family, he might realize that the Kassams are dangerously deadly. Poor Jews in Sderot seem to be “acceptable” losses to the prime minister.
In another “goodwill gesture,” Olmert reduced the number of checkpoints and roadblocks in Judea and Samaria, despite the warnings of military experts that this move will increase the mobility of the murderous bombers. Another “gesture” is his plan to release thousands of terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails, despite the blood on their hands and despite the fact that the kidnapped Israeli soldiers are not being freed.
For years Olmert has been saying that Abbas is not a partner for negotiations. Now, after one whole meeting together, Olmert is sending Abbas $100,000,000 and 2,000 rifles.
Does anyone understand the Olmert “logic?” Does Olmert have a “strategy” that only he understands? He arrogantly ignores military and political advisers and continues down a path that may lead to tragedy and capitulation. His own party is confused by his decisions. The president of the United States and the leaders of Europe do not understand. Is it simply the thrashing about of a person who has no clue how to cope with a leadership job thrust upon him unexpectedly by the illness of Arik Sharon?
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