The Curmudgeon


Friday, December 17, 2004

News 2020

We regret that we cannot be held responsible if the future turns out differently due to inaccuracies in the present

The ruling coalition in Israel has run into more trouble over its plans to abolish the Palestinians. The minority Labour government, which hopes to lay the groundwork for a fast-tracking of Washington's new two-lane blackcap high-speed cul-de-sac roadmap to peace in the region, depends on the support of the Likud party to maintain its hold on power.

However, hardline factions within the Likud party are opposed to the roadmap, which they claim would limit Israel's future freedom of action in the region. Several Likud members in the Knesset have announced their intention to vote against legislation declaring the Palestinians a non-existent people, on the grounds that such legislation would "dismiss and belittle the extraordinary sacrifice of the Israeli Defence Force in protecting the country from this very real terrorist menace."

"One cannot simply remove a problem by passing a law stating that there is no problem," said Likud leader Yeshua Abimelech today. "Ask the guards at the containment centres whether the Palestinians exist, while they're hammering out the dents all those stones have made in their tanks."

Many Likud members fear that the new legislation will be the first step on a slippery slope towards letting the Palestinians out of the containment centres, where the so-called intifada, or religious ritual stoning of Jews in army uniforms, is being kept under fragile control.

"If the menace does not exist, who are those lurking behind those walls waiting for the first chance they get to murder us all in our beds?" demanded Mr Abimelech in a recent debate on the subject.

The Labour government has said that the roadmap will not involve any condoning of the intifada, and that the containment centres will not be closed until Israel's security can be absolutely guaranteed for all time. "The purpose of this law is definitely not to give terrorists more freedom to commit acts of violence," said Israeli foreign minister Belshazzar Kvetch.

"All we wish to do is to remove the illusory semantic loophole whereby these terrorists can claim that throwing stones at our children is an act of legitimate self-defence," said Mr Kvetch.

The British Prime Minister, who has been fervent in his support for all the roadmaps initiated by the US over the past few years, said today that the new initiative represented "the best chance for peace in the region for a very long time", and called on both sides to show restraint and understanding. "Past and present differences, however serious, must not be used as excuses for any failure of responsibility by either Labour or Likud," he said.


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