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October 19, 2011


David MacDonald

He's not British. I don't care.

PS. Will someone please also send this same message to the BBC?

Ultimo Tiger

20,000 in Japan weren't British either David.

David MacDonald

The victims of the Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan we the innocent victims of a terrible natural disaster whereas Gilad Shalit is a soldier in foreign army occupying conquered territory and facilitating the displacement of the indigenous population by the building of settlements in contravention to the Geneva Convention. Of course, Shalit is but a pawn in this game but I cannot find it in my heart to care about foreign soldiers engaged in a brutal war of which I disapprove.


44 years ago....the Six Day War broke out. While some fade into obscurity, this one remains as relevant today as in 1967. Many of its core issues remain unresolved....politicians, diplomats and journalists continue to grapple with the consequences of that war, but rarely provide context. Yet without context, some critically important things may not make sense.

First, in June 1967, there was no state of Palestine. It didn't exist and never had. Its creation, proposed by the UN in 1947, was rejected by the Arab world because it also meant the establishment of a Jewish state alongside.

Second, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem were in Jordanian hands. Violating solemn agreements, Jordan denied Jews access to their holiest places in eastern Jerusalem. To make matters still worse, they destroyed many of those sites..

Third, the Arab world could have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza strip any day of the week. They didn't. There wasn't even discussion about it..

Fourth, the 1967 boundary BEFORE the war...was nothing more than an armistice line dating back to 1949 after Arab armies had attacked Israel in 1948, trying to destroy her. They failed. Armistice lines were drawn but they weren't formal borders.

Fifth, the PLO was established in 1964, three years before the 1967 conflict erupted...with the goal of obliterating Israel. Remember, that in 1964 the only "settlements" were Israel itself.

Sixth, in the weeks leading up to the Six Day War, Egyptian and Syrian leaders repeatedly declared that war was coming and their objective was to wipe Israel off the map...so 22 years after the Holocaust, another enemy was speaking about the extermination of the Jews.

Seventh, Egypt's President Nasser demanded UN peacekeeping forces in the area, in place for the previous decade to prevent conflict, be removed. Shamefully, the UN complied and we know the result....Egypt blocked Israeli shippling in the Red Sea which was regarded as an act of war by Jerusalem. The US spoke about joining with other countries to break the blockade, but did not act. Jordan was urged by Israel, via the UN and US, in the days leading up the war not to get involved in any pending conflict. King Hussein of Jordan ignored Israel's plea and tied his fate to Egypt and Syria - his forces were defeated by Israel and he lost control of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

After winning, Israel hoped its newly acquired territories would be the basis of a land-for-peace accord. Feelers were duly sent out. The formal response came on 1 Sept. 1967, when the Arab Summit Conference famously declared in Khartoum: No peace, no recognition, no negotiation with Israel.

All wars have consequences and this one was no exception. But the Arab aggressors have failed to take responsibility for actions THEY instigated. They want the world to believe post-1967 Israeli settlement building is the key to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Six Day War is proof positive that the core issue IS, and always HAS been, whether the Arab world accepts the Jewish people's right to a state of their own.

Fast forward to the various "peace" initiatives and "peace" treaties and we see that very little has changed.....the PA authority says nice words in English (and present a very different account in Arabic) concerning recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state; Hamas refuses to do so. This is echoed from other Arab countries.

We see from the above, why history matters. Gilad Shalit served his country in the IDF defending his nation state's borders against constant attack - he was kidnapped and held for 5 years in isolation and it is to Israel's enormous credit that the very, very difficult decision was taken to release 5000 Palestinian prisoners (many guilty of extreme acts of terrorism) for his safe release. Israel places great store on their covenant with those (and their families) who serve in the military. They value life.....judging by the reports in the press that the Palestinians call for more Gilad Shalits.....they obviously do not.

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