IDF officers get photo of dead child
‘How will you explain this to God?’ says letter sent from Spain to homes of officers exposed on ‘war criminals’ website. ‘I’ve gotten used to curses, but when such a thing arrives at your doorstep, it’s very unpleasant,’ reserve colonel tells Ynet
Colonel (res.) Bentzi Gruber, a deputy commander of an Israel Defense Forces division, was at a training base in Tze’elim last week. His wife called to tell him that he had received a letter from Spain, which didn’t particularly surprise him. But when she opened the envelope, she was shocked.
Mother of boy who was forced to open suspicious bags disappointed with ‘light sentence’ given to soldiers, says ‘This is a scandal that encourages others to continue this behavior’; MK Ben-Ari: Soldiers deserve medal
“Unfortunately, I’ve gotten used to curses and scathing words against me, but when such a thing arrives at your doorstep, it’s very unpleasant,” he tells Ynet.
Gruber is just one of the officers who received a threatening poster from Spain, after his name appeared on a website referring to IDF soldiers involved in Operation Cast Lead as “war criminals”.
The poster includes a picture of a young child buried in the sand. His head is the only thing sticking out and he appears to be dead. Two hands in the background, apparently belonging to a soldier, are directed at him. The picture’s caption reads, “How will you explain this to God?’
The letter was sent in an envelope from Madrid to the homes of Colonel (res.) Gruber and several other IDF officers, including Central Command Chief Avi Mizrahi and outgoing Military Intelligence Director Amos Yadlin. Some of the posters include a picture of an injured or dead young woman being held by a soldier. The English sentence is similar.
The army does not know at this stage the exact number of letters sent to the officers’ home. The website included dozens of addresses of IDF officers, most of whom are believed to have received such letters.
“When my wife told me what it was all about, I felt bad,” recounts Colonel (res.) Gruber, an Armored Corps officer who played an active role in the Gaza operation due to his senior position. “It’s disgusting. It’s really unpleasant when such a thing reaches your doorstep, but it won’t make me stop doing what I do.”
Since the end of the Gaza operation, Gruber has delivered more than 150 lectures in many countries on the IDF’s activity and ethical code. He admits that he has been met with curses and signs reading “wanted” quite a few times.
“I’ve gotten used to this attitude in some places, but such a letter is much more difficult to deal with,” he says.
Gruber’s exact home address appeared on the same website that was later removed. The letter was signed by “Rodriguez”, and the address is handwritten on the envelope.
“There’s no doubt that it could get worse,” the reserve officer says. “It might even result in real harm to one of the officers. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m supposed to travel to the United States for a series of lectures, and this is something that cannot be ignored. It’s extremely troubling.”
After Operation Cast Lead, the army placed a gag on the identity of brigade commander for fear of legal proceedings against them. The prohibition was lifted later on, but fears that the information will be misused remain.
The IDF is also checking whether the details published on the website were revealed by a military source. Officials estimate, however, that the information was collected on the Web and did not originate in the army.
“The phenomenon of classifying IDF officers as ‘war criminals’ is unacceptable, and it’s even worse when their homes and relatives are targeted with this filth. We must do all we can to back this officers, while working to reduce this phenomenon,” says a senior military source.
Paris: Anti-Semitic ‘Jewish mafia’ book promoted on walls
City Hall mobilizes its employees to remove posters; move follows complaint by body monitoring Jewish related incidents in France.
–Editor’s note–would the world be subjected to this kind of censorship if the “Mafia” in question were Italian, Corsican, Russian, etc, etc, etc? NEVER–and this despite the fact that all known law enforcement agencies world wide consider the Jewish mafia to be the most dangerous, given that its business activities are not limited to one city or type of business, but rather is world-wide in its scope and includes trafficking in things such as nuclear material. Just one more example as to how the Chosenoids reserve for themeselves special treatment in all matters, including those dealing with organized crime.
(jpost.com) PARIS – The Paris City Hall has mobilized its employees to remove wall posters making publicity for an anti-Semitic book denouncing the “Jewish mafia”.
The move followed a complaint by the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), a body monitoring anti-Semitic incidents in France.
According to BNVCA president Samy Ghozlan, these posters have been regularly placed on the walls of Paris and its suburbs since November 12.
They represent three men standing upright with the mention “The Jewish mafia, the great international predators” and feature a new book by extreme-right and anti-Semitic author, Herve Ruyssen.
The BNVCA was alerted by several of its Parisian correspondents who were shocked to discover the anti-Semitic advertising posters on the walls of diverse locations in the French capital.
On these posters one could also read: ” Racket, weapons trafficking, murder under contract, drug trafficking, money laudering, casinos and discotheques, pornography, diamond trafficking, slave trade, Third world plundering, artworks trafficking, swindle.”
“We call on the Paris public prosecutor of Paris to initiate public action against Herve Ryssen. We ask to prohibit and destroy the book which contravenes the anti-racist laws,” BNVCA said in a statement.
The Paris City Hall said it mobilized a unit able to intervene 24 hours a day. To date 38 actions were initiated to remove the posters.
“What is new is that people are daring to put these posters similar to ones that were put up in the forties during the war even though they are in violation of our rules and laws,” BNVCA said.
Amish community asks forgiveness of Jews at Kotel
Representatives take highly unusual step of using modern transportation to make journey to the Holy Land; commit to loudly supporting Jews.
(jpost.com) Representatives of the Amish community from the United States and Switzerland paid a visit to the Western Wall on Saturday night, during which they asked the forgiveness of the Jewish people over their group’s silence during the Nazi’s extermination of Jews during the Holocaust.
Part of what made the visit so special is the fact that Amish, a split-off from the Mennonite Church who largely reject modern technology, do not normally use contemporary transportation forms such as the aircraft on which they made the journey to the Holy Land.
According to an announcement issued by the office of Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites Shmuel Rabinovitch, with whom the group met, the Amish delegates saw a great importance in coming to Israel and expressing their contrition, as well as declaring their unreserved support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The delegation members stressed that they are neither seeking any kind of gesture from the Jewish people nor to proselytize, only to support Israel for the simple reason that they haven’t in the past.
Rabinovitz was presented various tokens at a ceremony in the Hassmonean chamber, including a parchment with the request of forgiveness in the name of the entire Amish community. The Amish representatives also gave a commitment that from this time on, they will loudly voice their support of the Jewish people, especially in the wake of the expressions of hatred by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad and his extensions.
The delegation left Israel on Sunday.
Bnei Brak man suspected of raping three teenage daughters
Police uncovered alleged crime after raid on drug house led them to one of the victims.
Prosecutors have filed an affidavit against a Bnei Brak resident accused of raping three of his teenage daughters over a five-year-period, law enforcement officials revealed on Sunday.
The 47-year-old father of 10 was arrested two weeks ago after a police drug raid spiraled into an investigation of the alleged rape.
During that October raid, police officers found one of the girls, age 14, residing in a Bnei Brak apartment with another minor. They soon discovered that the girl did not live in the apartment, but had been on the run for three month.
The girl claimed that she had fled from her father, who used to rape her, and from two of her brothers, ages 15 and 19, who beat her and her sisters.
The investigation revealed that over the course of the past five years the father repeatedly rape, beat and abused the three girls. On several occasions, the man had rented a hotel room in south Tel Aviv, to which he would bring his daughters.
Police issued a warrant for the arrest of the man and his two sons, and transferred the girl to a temporary youth shelter in Bnei Brak.
The father and his sons have allegedly tried to track the girl down the girl in order to prevent her from testifying and are suspected of planning to beat her so severely that she would not be able to cooperate with police investigators.
At a certain point, the man and his sons arrived at the apartment where the girl had been hiding and attacked the boy that had hid her. He did not give any details and the two were arrested two weeks later.
The three relatives are currently being held in police custody. The defense lawyer said Sunday that her client denied completely all the allegations against him.
“He has many children, most of whom did not complain… the girl has ulterior motives, which will be exposed in due time,” the lawyer said.
Visiting German president: Nazi past has made it our duty to defend Israel
Peres tells Christian Wulff on latter’s first official visit to Israel: Iran only has aim of war.
German President Christian Wulff on Sunday reiterated his country’s pledge to protect Israel’s right to exist, during his first official visit to the country.
“The incomprehensible crimes of the Shoah have made the defense of Israel’s right to exist a permanent duty for Germany and Germans,” Wulff wrote in the guest book at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
Two German teenagers laid a wreath at the memorial’s Eternal Flame while Wulff, his 17-year-old daughter Annalene and Israeli President Shimon Peres looked on from the front row.
The teenagers accompanied Wulff to Israel to emphasize Germany’s commitment to teaching its youth about the Holocaust. The group also visited the Holocaust museum and the memorial for children, which commemorates the 1.5 million children deliberately killed by the Nazis.
At the beginning of the four-day visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Wulff met with Peres, with the two leaders afterwards stressing the importance of close relations.
“Relations with Germany are so important such as relations can ever be,” Peres said. Wulff was the first German president to have been born in the post-war period, he noted.
Wulff and Peres also reviewed the Mideast peace process, with the German president calling for a just peace in which Palestinians and Israelis could live within recognized borders.
A constructive engagement by Israel in the issue of settlements was needed for this process, Wulff said.
Peres also called for peace based on a two-state solution and thanked Germany for its support, saying “Israel has achieved many important things in the domain of science, culture, arts and education, but the thing what we are really lacking is peace.”
“We made peace with two countries – Egypt and Jordan – and gave back everything we won in the war and now we are trying to make peace with the Palestinians,” Peres said, adding that he believed “that peace with the Palestinians will have an automatic positive effect on the entire region.”
The president also reiterated the importance of a peace deal with the Palestinians in aiding the moderate Arab countries, saying peace could help “nations that are against terror and against new religious imperialism like the Iranians are trying to introduce.” At the same time, the 87-year-old politician criticized the Iranian leadership.
“The only aim that they have is the aim of war,” Peres said.
The German president was due to meet Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman later on Sunday.
Iran offers to protect Lebanon and Hezbollah defense needs
Lebanon PM visits Tehran amid mutual efforts to deepen relations, will also hold talks with Ahmadinejad.
“Iran has constantly said that it would be beside the Lebanese army and resistance [Hezbollah] and ready to cover the country’s defense needs,” Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said at a military fair in Tehran also attended by visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, according to ISNA.
|Saad Hariri in Tehran on first official state visit, Nov 27, 2010.|
|Photo by: AP|
Hariri welcomed the Iranian offer and called for a closer cooperation between the two countries’ defence ministries, ISNA said.
Hariri arrived in Tehran on Saturday and is scheduled to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad later Sunday.
As a symbol of Iran’s solidarity with Lebanon, Vahidi presented Hariri an Iran-made machine-gun.
In a meeting earlier Sunday with Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, the two sides urged a deepening of relations in all fields.
But Hariri’s visit has been overshadowed by Iran’s support for Hezbollah, which leads the opposition against his Western-backed government.
The rift between the two factions has widened after reports that the United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former premier Rafik Hariri, was ready to indict Hezbollah members for the murder.
Iranian media quoted Hariri as saying Sunday that he was the leader of the “unity government” and hence represented all political parties and groups in Lebanon.
Iraqi Christians fleeing to Turkey
Editor’s note–before anyone jumps to the same pre-ordained conclusions scripted by the Jewish interests driving to bring about this clash of civilizations between the Christian and Muslim people, remember–there was none of this before the invasion/destruction of Iraq. The present presecution of Christians in the MIddle East is purely the product of deliberate attacks brought about by Israel’s Mossad who want to further propagandize American parents into sending off their beloved children to fight and die in Israel’s wars for her.
ISTANBUL // When extremists in Baghdad told Hadeer Khawaja, a Christian in Iraq, to leave the country, a friend suggested he should get a visa from Turkey. So together with several members of his family, Mr Khawaja went to Istanbul, the metropolis of a Muslim country that has become a haven for a small, but growing number of Iraqi Christians.
“We received a threat by some people” in Iraq, Mr Khawaja, a 37, an engineer who works as a volunteer at a Christian charity in Istanbul, said this week. “There is no security. Sometimes when you go out in Baghdad, you cannot even be sure that you can return home,” Mr Khawaja said. “They are killing Christians every day in Iraq.”
In his new job, Mr Khawaja meets many other Iraqi refugees who have been flocking to Turkey and who sometimes bring news from Baghdad, most of it grim. “Just the other week, I spoke with some people here who told me our house in Baghdad had been bombed,” he said. “It’s gone.”
There are about 3,800 Christian Iraqi refugees in Turkey at the moment, according to the Chaldean-Assyrian Association, or Kader, the charity where Mr Khawaja works. Many more have fled to Arab-speaking neighbours of Iraq, but Turkey is attracting a growing number of them lately despite the language barrier. Since the attacks on churches in Baghdad earlier this month, 300 to 400 Iraqi Christians have knocked on the association’s door in Istanbul. “There were two families last week,” Mr Khawaja said. “One had nine members, the other 13.”
While most Iraqi Christians do not see Turkey as their permanent new home but want to move on to the United States, Canada, Australia or Europe, Ankara lets the refugees in and allows them to stay for an average of two to three years before they find a country willing to take them, said Francois Yakan, the Patriarchal Vicar and leader of the Chaldean-Assyrian Church in Turkey. Most Iraqi Christians are Chaldeans, who regard the Pope as their spiritual head even though their rites differ from those of Catholics.
“Injustice is being done to Christians” in Iraq, Father Yakan said. “We do not know who does it. All we know is that Christians leave Iraq and go to Turkey, Syria, Jordan or Lebanon.” He said there were 1.2 million Christians in Iraq before the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003. “Today there are less than 500,000.”
Father Yakan, a Turkish national who runs the Kader charity, praised Ankara’s attitude towards the refugees. Several European countries, which often criticise Turkey for the way it treats its Christians, have taken in a small number of Iraqi refugees in the past, but those initiatives were mostly symbolic and “for the media”, Father Yakan said.
When Kader was confronted with the steep increase in Iraqi Christians seeking refuge in Turkey after the attacks this month, offers of support poured in from Turks, but not from Europeans, Father Yakan said. “Muslim associations and Turkish authorities asked us if there was anything we needed,” he said. “But Europe? No.”
In co-operation with Turkish aid groups and Turkish authorities, Kader is trying to help the refugees by providing advice to get registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, by providing translators for hospital visits and by handing out food cards, medicine and clothes.
“They come by plane or by bus, and all they have is one suitcase,” Father Yakan said about the refugees. Financed by contributions from international aid organisations and by individual donations, Kader does not help only Iraqi Christians, but people from all religions and countries, he said. Turkey, a major transit hub for people from Asia and Africa trying to get to the West, does not recognise refugees from non-European countries but relies on the UNHCR to find a place for them.
The Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants, or Asam, a Turkish aid group that has an office next door to Kader and has been working closely with the Chaldean organisation, is offering English language courses to refugees. This week, four young men from Afghanistan, Congo, Somalia and Sudan sat together with an American volunteer teacher who was explaining the concept behind the word ‘wish’ to them. “I wish I find a good country,” one of the men said.
While Turkey may be unwilling to provide the refugees with a new home, authorities are ready to find pragmatic solutions for those who have fled to the country, Father Yakan said. “About a month ago, the education ministry told all state schools to accept refugee children free of charge,” he said. “That is a very important development for us.”
That kind of attitude is not the only reason Turkey has become an attractive destination for many Christian refugees from Iraq, Mr Khawaja said. “We can’t trust the Arab countries, their politics change. Turkey is better,” he said.
Mr Khawaja said many Iraqis wanted to go on to European countries but had to give up their plan because the Europeans did not let them in. “So they go to the United States, because they don’t have another choice.”
For Mr Khawaja, the choice was clear from the start. His mother and his sister went to the United States four years ago, and the rest of the family is eager to join them there.
That dream may be about to come true soon. “I just received a call, I have to get my medical check-up,” Mr Khawaja said. “They accepted my file.” The plane ticket to the US would be the next step. “I hope to celebrate Christmas with my family. Today is my lucky day.”
FBI apparently set up US teen blamed for fake car bomb
Boy told undercover agents he could get a gun because he’s a “rapper”; authored article containing “jihad” workout tips
A Somali-born, American teenager was apparently set up by federal law enforcement officials who posed as radical Islamic fighters and lured the young man into a plot he believed would lead him to detonate a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
The bomb, provided by FBI agents, was “inert” and did not pose a threat to public safety, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon.
Oddly enough, Arthur Balizan, an FBI agent in Oregon, contradicted the US Attorney’s Office, suggesting that the threat posed by 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud “was very real.”
Excerpt: “[At] every turn,” he explained, “we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack.”
The story rings devastatingly familiar when stacked next to the tale of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a Jordanian man arrested in 2009, at age 19, for allegedly planning to detonate a car bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.
Each boy was led down the path to imagined violence by federal agents, with authorities ultimately providing fake bombs in both cases. Smadi and Mohamud, officials claim, expressed a desire to engage in terrorist attacks before agents began luring them in.
Federal agents noticed Mohamud in December 2009, after he allegedly communicated with a suspected terrorist in Pakistan. Months later, an undercover agent contacted Mohamud claiming to be the individual’s associate, and Mohamud agreed to meet in Portland.
Agents claimed that Mohamud revealed himself to be the author of a bizarre 2009 article for the English-language “Jihad Recollections” magazine. The story made headlines for it’s comical images of masked fighters helping each other exercise.
Source: “Jihad Recollections,” April, 2009.
Other articles in the 70+ page magazine published in North Carolina included a preview of “emp technology,” poetry, speeches from Osama bin Laden and a how-to guide to global jihad.
One key thing, however, was oddly lacking from the magazine’s first edition: as even Fox News noted, it did not explicitly call for violence against anyone.
The magazine also featured quotes from Tennessee Republican Congressman Zach Wamp, who made headlines again last July for suggesting that his state secede from the US.
Agents also reveal in court documents that Mohamud had told them he might be able to get a gun, because he was a “rapper.”
“We were unable to determine Mohamud’s Jihadi emcee name, or the potency of his flow,” Gawker quipped.
Court documents claim the first meeting between Mohamud and the FBI took place in July, 2010. In the months following, agents ostensibly worked him up to the point where he was willing to flip the switch on a car bomb. Agents even took Mohamud to a secluded location to blow up a bomb they placed in a backpack, allegedly as a test run.
Mohamud was arrested by FBI agents and Portland police around 5:40 pm Friday, after he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van. Officials claimed that early on Friday, Mohamud had recorded a video explaining why he wanted to carry out the attack.
“I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured,” he said, according to law enforcement.
Mohamud is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday.
State officials: US-Israel freeze talks deadlocked
Recent talks between Israel and the Unites States have indicated that the sides are close to reaching a conclusive draft on a guarantees document, which will give Israel US assurances in return for a three- month extension on the settlement building freeze.
However, official sources Saturday evening confirmed that negotiations between the parties have reached a standstill.
After returning from the US, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly announced some of the guarantees – including 20 F-35 fighter jets – which were eventually not included as written clauses in the document. As a result, he did not convene the cabinet to vote on the three-month freeze extension.
Last week, state officials stated that there are still “disagreements on a few of the clauses, and Israel is waiting for clear answers from the Americans.”
The sources noted that “although only few clauses were still unformulated, talks seem to have reached a deadlock.”
American sources close to the Obama administration stated that “there is still a debate in the US over what can be given to Israel, and what cannot, ” adding that “the administration is not clear on what Netanyahu wants.”
The US has kept a low profile in recent weeks, while State Department spokespersons preferred to refrain from making comments on the situation.
Israeli sources estimate that talks will slow down even further in the upcoming days, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Israeli fire wounds three Palestinians in Gaza
(Xinhua) — Israel fire wounded three Palestinians on Saturday in separate incidents in the Gaza Strip, medical sources said.
In the morning, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was injured in his leg while collecting gravel in northern Gaza, while in the afternoon, a 19-year-old worker was wounded when digging for gravel in the same area.
Also on Saturday, the Israeli naval forces fired at a Palestinian fishing boat off the Gaza city coast, wounding a 26- year-old fisherman, said Adham Abu Selmia, spokesman for the health ministry’s emergency department.
Israel has imposed a naval and ground blockade on the Gaza Strip. In June, it started to ease the land closure, allowing more goods into the territory, but still banning the fishermen from sailing beyond a space of two nautical miles.
Israel has also allocated a 300-meter-wide buffer zone along its borders with Gaza, where, according to official statistics, 71 people have been wounded since February, most of them being gravel diggers.
Fatah: No to Israel as Jewish state, no land swaps
Fatah Revolutionary Council concluded its fifth convention in Ramallah over the weekend by declaring its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
The council also urged the Palestinian Authority leadership to work toward foiling a new Israeli law requiring a referendum before any withdrawal from Jerusalem and the Golan Heights that has not been passed by two thirds of the Knesset.
The Palestinians are opposed to any understandings between Israel and the US that could harm their interests, the council said.
“The council affirms its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal,” said a statement issued by the council.
“The council also renews its refusal for the establishment of any racist state based on religion in accordance with international law and human rights conventions.”
The council made its statement as Israel awaits a document from the US which would set out an incentives package in exchange for a 90-day freeze on new settlement construction based on the terms of the 10- month moratorium on such activity which expired on September 26.
The Palestinians have insisted that Israel must halt all settlement activity before direct negotiations can be resumed.
An Israeli government official on Saturday night called on the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations without any preconditions.
“Let us meet and talk,” he said.
The official said he was disappointed by the council’s statement with respect to a Jewish state.
“I would ask the Palestinians the following question: If the Jewish state is fundamentally illegitimate in your eyes, what sort of peace are you offering us? “It is clear that their refusal to recognize the Jewish state’s legitimacy is the true obstacle to peace and reconciliation,” the official added.
In its statement Saturday, the Fatah council said it was categorically opposed to proposals for a land swap between Israel and the Palestinians under the pretext that “illegal settler gangs can’t be put on an equal footing with the owners of the lands and rights.”
Israel has long assumed that any final status agreement would include land swaps.
The Fatah leaders said they supported PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s policies, especially with regard to the peace process with Israel.
“The council salutes President Mahmoud Abbas for adhering to the basic rights, first and foremost the right of return for Palestinian refugees,” the statement said. “Also, the council salutes President Abbas for standing up against pressure aimed at resuming the peace talks without achieving the demands of the Palestinians.”
The council dismissed plans to supply Israel with weapons in return for reviving the stalled peace talks. It added that the Palestinians would not accept any understandings between Israel and the US which could “harm Palestinian rights and prolong occupation.”
The reported US package of incentives to Israel does not serve the cause of peace, the Fatah council cautioned.
“Such gifts to the occupier will only make the occupier more stubborn and radical.”
Referring to the new Israeli law regarding Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the council said it was in violation of international law and urged the PA leadership to make efforts through the UN and the Security Council to thwart it.
Abbas told Fatah leaders during the three-day gathering that the Palestinians want a just and comprehensive peace, but would not compromise on their rights.
He also ruled out the possibility of returning to the negotiating table without a full cessation of construction in settlements and east Jerusalem.
In its sessions, the council also reiterated its opposition to the idea of creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders. A PA official said there was no change its position on this issue.
“The PA leadership dismisses the idea of a state with temporary borders, the official said.
“We insist that the issue of borders and security be the first to be discussed when the negotiations resume.”
The official’s statements follow statements by several Israeli politicians who recently came out in favor of creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders in an effort to prevent a diplomatic vacuum and give the Palestinians the responsibility that a state would provide.
Kadima leadership candidate Shaul Mofaz unveiled a plan a year ago in which Israel would annex settlement blocs while withdrawing from 60 percent of the West Bank, comprising Areas A and B, where 99.2 of the Palestinians live, and additional land to create a contiguous Palestinian state. Intensive negotiations would then begin on final borders.
Mofaz said that he has met with senior Palestinian, American and European officials who have privately endorsed his plan.
President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have also expressed support for the idea of creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
Journalist Yair Lapid, who is expected to run for the next Knesset, wrote in his Yediot Aharonot column last week that Israel should forget about trying to achieve peace and instead focus on creating a Palestinian state as soon as possible.
“The time has come to separate the question of establishing a Palestinian state from the question of peace,” Lapid wrote.
“Israel must work toward the establishment of a Palestinian state not because it would bring peace, but rather because it would be much easier to manage the conflict vis-a-vis such a state.”
He predicted that the establishment of a Palestinian state would “take the world off our backs, curb the process of turning us into a pariah state, enable us to maintain our security with fewer restraints, lift the burden of controlling three million people, and enable us to manage the discussion on our final borders and the future of the settlements.”