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Seven Questions for the Olmert Administration

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  • normmcohen
    Seven Questions for the Olmert Administration By Dr. Aaron Lerner March 31, 2006 http://web.israelinsider.com/views/8158.htm With our national elections behind
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2006
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      Seven Questions for the Olmert Administration
      By Dr. Aaron Lerner
      March 31, 2006

      With our national elections behind us, Acting Prime Minister Ehud
      Olmert faces important challenges and questions.

      Here are a few:

      1. Arrangements at the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and the
      Gaza Strip are a farce, with the Palestinians not only responsible
      for inspections but also having the last word as to who and what can
      pass. This was irresponsible when Fatah controlled the PA and with
      Hamas in charge it is farcical.

      Will Israel insist on changes in the arrangements to prevent
      smuggling into Gaza?

      2. Israel has yet to come up with an effective response to the short
      range low payload Qassam rockets that have been fired almost daily
      from Gaza into Israel and to make matters worse, the considerably
      more accurate and higher payload/longer range Katyushas have already
      made their appearance in the Gaza Strip. The higher payload makes
      the rockets considerably more dangerous and the longer range can
      render the "no entry zone" at the northern edge of the Gaza Strip
      irrelevant since the Katyushas can strike a large number of key
      Israeli targets from deep within heavily populated Palestinian

      Will Israel address this challenge now with action or continue
      its "'talk loudly and carry a small stick'" policy?

      Will Israel revise its rules of engagement in order to deny the
      Palestinian rocket teams the sanctuary they enjoy from human

      3. The Palestinians have enjoyed considerable success in their
      public relations battle to force Israel to operate the Karni
      Crossing despite terror threats - and the availability of safer
      alternative crossing points (including Kerem Shalom).

      Will Israel do its PR "homework" - with photo ops, briefings and
      other activities at Kerem Shalom and elsewhere and stick to its guns
      on the issue so that it can get the upper hand?

      4. Hamas now controls an armed and trained infantry force numbering
      in the many tens of thousands (various official PA security forces
      equipped with automatic assault rifles as well as other equipment).

      Will Israel announce and enforce a policy to address this threat?
      For example, a "no rifle" rule enforced by a no-nonsense shoot to
      kill policy against anyone seen holding a rifle?

      5. Mr. Olmert has termed his retreat plan to be a retreat to
      internationally recognized "final borders".

      What is to be considered "international recognition"? A UN
      resolution following up on 242 proclaiming that the retreat, if
      carried out to the predetermined lines, fulfils 242's call for
      withdrawal to "secure and recognized borders"?

      What if the international community insists on the caveat that the
      retreat lines are "interim borders", with the "final borders" to be
      ultimately established in the future via negotiations with the

      6. During the election campaign Mr. Olmert declined to publicly
      counter remarks by senior security personalities in Kadima such as
      Dichter and Ezra that Israeli forces would remain deployed in the
      evacuated areas of the West Bank even after the Jewish communities
      are bulldozed.

      What if the international community takes the position that while it
      is happy to see Jewish communities in the West Bank bulldozed that
      the "pay-off" of recognized "final borders" requires also pulling
      the army out?

      7. Mr. Olmert said that the retreat would be to lines that enjoyed
      the broad support of the Israeli public.

      Would that "broad support" be tested via national referendum?

      There are, of course, many more questions.

      But answering these would be a good start.
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