Monday, May 26, 2003

In the U.S., the popular image of the Middle East conflict has all the radicals on the Palestinian side. In the wake of the Israeli Cabinet's approval of the Road Map, however, the Israeli radicals are speaking up big-time. Haaretz talked with settler leader Elyakim Haetzni, whom I will let speak for himself:

"The Jews also willingly boarded those trains, believing everything that the Germans told them. The Jews are a people which is very dangerous to itself. It is a people that brought Holocausts down on itself throughout history"

"Our sovereignty ends with the beginning of the American mandate. What they are doing in Afghanistan and Baghdad they will now do in Jerusalem."

Haetzni also accused Sharon of national treason. Members of the settler movement also used that term to refer to Yitzhak Rabin before his assassination by a Jewish militant. Unfortunately, I think the settlers might be getting upset over nothing. The approval of a Palestinian state by a conservative government does set a sort of precedent, but Sharon's 14 Red Lines would seem to contain some deal-breakers, such as #9, the refusal to discuss settlements. Also unclear is how the PA can crack down on terrorism when they reportedly still haven't fully recovered from the Israeli assault on them last year.


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