My two ce...uh... shekels on Netanyahu, Gaza, and Israel in general.
I've been thinking a lot about how exactly to broach the subject of Israel in this blog for a while. I'll even admit to avoiding it (which should come as a surprise to anyone who knows me personally), because it's so easy to offend people. However, I couldn't resist the urge to comment on Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's resignation from Ariel Sharon's cabinet. I've decided to admit that I am a big-time Zionist. If that offends you, then it's your problem, not mine.
This morning, Bibi resigned as Israel's Finance Minister as a last-second protest to the Gaza pullout. I think he did the right thing, Sharon is selling out. The pullout may placate the international community, but it will not make a single Israeli any safer. Terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (which is the military wing of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party) will not halt their murderous campaign until they wipe Israel off the planet (which will never happen). I am not totally opposed to negotiating with the Palestinians. However, I would prefer that they negoitiate instead of just demanding concessions!
Example: Mahmoud Abbas and company want Israel to pull all Jewish settlers from Gaza (and we all know that they're going to want them out of the West Bank next). However, they also demand that thousands of Palestinians whose mothers and fathers fled Israel back in the 1940s and 50s be allowed to return and settle in Israel. Am I the only one who sees a double standard here?! They want all of the settlers pack up abandon their lives in the Palestinian Territories, but they want to send thousands of Palestinian settlers flooding into Israel!
Until the Palestinians abandon their "right of return" policies, Israel should ensure that every last settler stays in Gaza and the West Bank. When they quit insisting on putting their people on Israeli land, then they can talk about getting Israelis off of thiers.
I greatly respect Netanyahu for having the chutzpah to stand against the forces of appeasement, doing what's right by Israel, and not bowing at the altar of international opinion. I hope he runs for Likud Party leadership at the next election and takes back the Prime Minister's Office.