The Ministry of Dangerous Statements

Israeli Housing Minister Ze’ev Boim has given instructions to renew building of a major development in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, northwest of Jerusalem. (Here’s an earlier Hebrew report on the affair.) The development is planned for ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party has been pressing to go ahead. So much for the “total freeze” on settlement construction that Vice Premier Haim Ramon described at a press briefing several weeks ago. What’s even scarier is this: The radio quoted sources in Boim’s office as saying that that it was possible to resume construction of the stalled settlement project because of the “relative quiet” in the West Bank. As my wife asked after hearing the report, “What is a Palestinian to conclude from such a comment?” For that matter, apropos my previous post, what is an Israeli parent supposed to think before his child takes a bus?

4 thoughts on “The Ministry of Dangerous Statements”

  1. We will not stop building here in OUR land: Better get used to it.

    As to what the Philistines should conclude from this, it’s obvious: No matter how much violence and terror they employ, they cannot stop the return of the nation of Israel to its land. Even through the Intifada our population increased- at a rate three times that of the country as a whole.

    As to what an Israeli parent should think before his child takes a bus, thank G-d we DO know how to defeat terror:


    …Anyone who visits Jerusalem today will not see the ghost town it was in 2002, when Israel was absorbing an average of one suicide bombing a week.

    … How did things improve so dramatically, and so quickly, for Palestinians and Israelis alike? Begin by recalling Israel’s assassination, in late March, of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. At the time, the action was all but universally condemned as reckless and counterproductive. “By granting Yassin the martyrdom he craved, the Israelis have provided a motive for new suicide attacks,” went an editorial in the normally pro-Israel Daily Telegraph of London. “More young Palestinians will fall in love with death, and more Israeli civilians will die with them.”

    Yet what followed for Israel were nearly six consecutive terror-free months. This wasn’t because the Palestinian terror groups lacked for motivation to carry out attacks. It was because they lacked for means. The leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Yasser Arafat’s own al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had to spend their time figuring out how to survive, not on planning fresh attacks. The Israeli army incarcerated terror suspects in record numbers–some 6,000 now sit in Israeli prisons–which in turn helped yield information for future arrests. Most importantly, the security fence has begun to make the Israeli heartland nearly impenetrable to Palestinian infiltrators. (August’s double suicide bombing in Beersheba happened precisely because there is still no security fence separating that town from the Palestinian city of Hebron, from where the bombers were dispatched.)

    Taken together, these measures prove what a legion of diplomats, pundits and reporters have striven to deny: that there is a military solution to the conflict.

  2. “What is a Palestinian to conclude from such a comment?”

    I think the Palestinians concluded a long time ago that Israel would take more land during times of “peace.” The alternative doesn’t really bring about a more preferable situation for them does it, though? Slow death vs. slower death.

    Not that I can be all that righteous about this, here in the States we’ve sold our livelihood to our extreme fringe as well (at bargain prices, I might add).

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