Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Full of Surprises

Well, obviously Haaretz have been reading my blog and are taking a liking to my KICviews. They might have thought it up themselves, (no seriously!) but nonetheless yesterday's Haaretz editorial was a mirrior image of my opinion on the lynch which I posted on Monday and which attracted some interesting comments from readers (both public and offline).

I read Haaretz online a great deal, mostly because I find its site a lot clearer than some others. It reports breaking news speedily and its editing (also in its print version) is of much greater quality than other English publications.

Still, I have often found its editorials and opinion pieces disconcerting and periodically find them frightening to read. While their news is fairly similar to other sources, their contributors tend to turn Haaretz into far more than just a left-wing publication, in fact almost anti-everything that moves, breathes and makes decisions in Israel - especially if the thing wears a kippah, lives outside the Green Lines or votes more rightward than Labor (or maybe Meretz). I'm all in for freedom of press, speech and opinion but I've often questioned why Haaretz hosts contributors who persist on demonizing their own State without a whisper of constructive suggestions to accompany the criticism.

Hence my surprise (and that of others that I've spoken to) that Haaretz is calling for the investigation of the lynch of Eden Natan-Zadar. For once it appears, Haaretz can find no excuse for Arab misdemeanors. Like I do, Haaretz recognizes Israeli-Arab frustrations at their struggling status in the State, but rejects out of hand suggestions that the lynch should be swept under the carpet. Haaretz also specifically criticizes Arab MK Azmi Bishara who hinted that this could have all been planned by the Shin Bet and Sharon anyway.

The editorial concluded that "the investigation must be conducted without concessions and without extraneous considerations, with the understanding that it is unacceptable for such a serious act to take place in Israel without those who are involved paying the full price for their actions" - on that I could not agree more. Kol HaKavod Haaretz!

A few other surprises appear to be waiting in the wings. Iran has done the Bibi and put all its money on the table of the diplomatic poker game. Slowly, slowly, European patience is running out and as Iran restarts nuclear preparations, they have let us know that there is plenty riding on any move by the UN Security Council to order sanctions and they warn against any planned attack on their sites. I've posted about this previously and I repeat that there is a real need for the Europeans to continue their sudden awakening to the dangers and allow for tough diplomatic and other action to be taken. One thing's for sure, Israel will not sit back, eat shwarma and watch Iran reach the finish line.

Netanyahu might have surprised us, now Sharon might be in for a bit of a surprise too, a shock even! A poll of Likud members released today shows that Bibi's bailing has lifted his popularity and it predicts the end for the brave man of Disengagement. And yet, if the rumors can be believed, Israel's political landscape might be in for yet another bout of reconstructive surgery and Sharon might yet fight another day.

Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. Disengagement, love it or leave it, is arguably the biggest challenge to Israel's society that we have ever known and starting D-Day, the surprises will almost certainly keep on coming and increase in shock value.

No comments: