So now the "jews" in Israel, who have got to be the STUPIDEST people on the planet, plan to assassinate parents in order to attempt to prevent suicide bombing.

Even:"Just a minute, you're saying that if it turns out that by killing the father of a suicide bomber it would prevent him from going to a discotheque to blow himself up, then the parents should be eliminated?"

Ezra:Absolutely. You have to understand that we paid a price in children and elderly and babies ... the suicide bomber should know that his family will be wiped out, and that's better then him going out, and nobody will get killed and there will be peace."

Is there anyone else on the planet who is so STUPID as to think that this will work?   No.


People and Politics
Ask Clinton what he thinks about Camp David
By Akiva Eldar
Al-Baz: Warned the U.S.
(Photo:  )

To understand why Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is relaxed about American pressure, one should read a bit of what Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage, a friend of the Bush family, had to say to an interview.

Asked when and under what circumstances the U.S. would stick its feet into the mud of the Middle East, Armitage said "One thing I think we've all learned - and you don't have to be a Middle East negotiator to take this lesson home - is that you can't want peace more than the two parties want peace.

"If you really think about it, what does Mr. Clinton think about having spent the waning days of his presidency locked in at Camp David to no effect? Or Ehud Barak, who found himself losing an election because of it? Or four prime ministers of Israel who in recent years have been perplexed by the search for peace?" Armitage summed it up by saying that "when the opportunity is right, we'll try to seize it. To describe it right now, I'm incapable [of saying] what exactly would be the right moment."

And if that's not enough to make clear why the Americans told Osama al-Baz, right hand man to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, to tell Arafat he can forget about international observers for the moment, take a look at the latest polls. According to a CNN and USA Today poll, 65 percent of Americans think the administration's job is to tell the Israelis and Palestinians to get along with each other on their own. Only 32 percent support active U.S. involvement. Support for Israel is at 41 percent compared to 13 percent for the Palestinians. But most - 46 percent - don't care which side is nicer.

Al-Baz tried to frightened his Washington hosts by warning that if they don't restrain Sharon, their embassies and interests in the Middle East will be endangered. He told them that pro-American Arab regimes are losing support in the street. Al-Baz, whose Israeli friends know is torturing Arafat on the terror issue, went home with the message that if Egypt doesn't do more, not only will Bush not touch Sharon, but his vice president, Dick Cheney, and his friends in Congress will be happy to deal with the aid the American taxpayer sends Egypt.

Enjoying every minute

Sharon's dive in the public opinion polls wasn't evident on his face on Sunday, say some ministers. They're under the impression that he is enjoying every minute of the job that fell into his hands. True, he didn't really have an answer to the questions raised by Industry Minister Dalia Itzik: "What do you conclude from the fact that Arafat is not a partner? Look what's happening to the economy and the trade agreements with Europe. Where's it all going? Where are the painful concessions you talked about?"

Sharon was restrained. So what if he's not exactly a leader for peace? The leader of the free world is waiting with him in the bleachers for Arafat to stop the violence, Yedioth Ahronoth and Ma'ariv announce in their headlines: "Sharon: We found the way to deal with the security problem," and Shimon Peres is waiting for the phone call from Ramallah. And as an added safety precaution against Bibi Netanyahu, the former Likudniks known as the Center Party joined the Sharon government.

No wonder that the political vacuum around Sharon is filling up with peace plans, like the unilateral separation proposed by Itzik, Haim Ramon and Dan Meridor. Peres thinks it's a terrible plan, and if there's no agreement, no fence will stop Palestinian shells on their way to Israel. Peres has his own plan. If Arafat would just meet with him, the foreign minster won't conduct - heaven forbid - political negotiations, but the chairman would get a peek at the Oslo Agreement's stepdaughter. The foreign minister believes that if Arafat - of course without political negotiations - halts the fire, Peres can sell it to Sharon. Peres tells reporters that he's sticking to his view that Sharon doesn't want his swan song to be fire and smoke. Peres believes there's fire behind the smoke around the promise of "painful concessions."

Peres' plan is based on the assumption that Sharon is ready to suffer the terrible belly ache of Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state in Area A. Peres' plan also is counting on Sharon getting used to saying farewell to large swaths of Area C, along with resumption of final status negotiations (and not ongoing, long-term, interim deals according to Sharon's original plan, which was rejected by the Palestinians). Peres' plan also includes the assumption that Ehud Barak, who claims he left no stone unturned at Camp David, turned over a few extra ones, like Jerusalem and the Right of Return. Peres wants to offer Arafat a postponement in dealing with the symbols and slogans - sovereignty in Jerusalem and the right of return - and instead immediately get to work on the real problems of Jerusalem's Arabs and the refugees in the camps.

Former Meretz minister Ran Cohen's plan integrates the idea of "Gaza first," known to both the prime minister and foreign minister, and "Bibi first," which bothers both Sharon and Peres. Cohen proposes that they bypass Netanyahu and the radical right and go straight to the public, which according to the polls won't shed a tear over Netzarim. In a letter to Sharon and Peres, Cohen suggests declaring a national referendum, within 45 days, over a full withdrawal from Gaza, and recognizing its borders as the borders of the first part of the state of Palestine. Arafat would commit to the UN Security Council that by the time of the referendum he would put an end to the violence and take control over all the armed organizations. At the same time, Israel would halt its fire and implement all the agreements it signed in the West Bank. The Prime Minister's Office told Cohen yesterday that his proposal was given to the "appropriate authorities."

Family therapy

K., a Theresienstadt survivor, was distraught to the point of tears. "What's happening to us?" she asked. "Did you hear the deputy public security minister, Gideon Ezra? I can't calm down. Now he's proposing on television to execute the families of the Palestinian suicide bombers." K. said Ezra didn't invent the system in which relatives are punished for the sins of their fathers or sons. She remembers it well from the 1940s in occupied Europe. But her Hebrew is not very good, and maybe she didn't really understand what was said. Otherwise it's impossible that the Jewish state let such things go right past its ears.

But K. wasn't wrong. Here are excerpts from an interview with Ezra broadcast Sunday night on state television in the New Evening (Erev Hadash) program. And none of his colleagues in the government protested.

Geula Even: "What idea do you have to chill the motivations of the suicide bomber. You said something about harming their families. What does that mean."

Ezra: "I'm talking about there being a conversation between a psychologist with every one of those suicide bombers and the psychologists will check what brought them to suicide."

Even:"You mean the ones who are caught."

Ezra"The ones who are caught. To learn about those who go out in the future. If, for example, it turns out from the three [in Israeli custody] that harming their family would have prevented them from going out on a suicide mission, that's a possible answer..."

Even:"Just a minute, you're saying that if it turns out that by killing the father of a suicide bomber it would prevent him from going to a discotheque to blow himself up, then the parents should be eliminated?"

Ezra:Absolutely. You have to understand that we paid a price in children and elderly and babies ... the suicide bomber should know that his family will be wiped out, and that's better then him going out, and nobody will get killed and there will be peace."

Historian Prof. Moshe Zimmerman of Hebrew University says the Nazis used to arrest the families of people suspected of trying to undermine the regime or harm its officials. "The method had a name - sippenhaft. They used it, for example, when they caught the conspirators against Hitler in July 1944. You know that if you act against the state, the entire family will suffer. In the occupation areas, they made wide use of the method. If someone shot a German soldier, he knew that if the assassin wasn't caught, 50 people would hang."

But if Ezra is looking for help from some of his former colleagues in the Shin Bet to provide him with folklore about suicide bombers, he might end up with a better method than the family treatment plan he's suggesting. Someone at the Shin Bet no doubt noticed the sermon, broadcast on Palestinian TV, from the Sheikh Il'ijun Mosque, as preached by Sheikh Isma'il al-Adouan: "The shahid, if he meets Allah, is forgiven his first drop of blood; he's saved from the grave's confines; he sees his seat in heaven; he's saved from judgment day; he's given 72 dark-eyed women; he's an advocate for 70 members of his family." If nobody at the Shin Bet has seen it, it's available through the Middle East Media and Research Institute.

So who knows, Mr. Ezra. Maybe the family would hurry their dear son on the way to the protektzia up there. Fortunately, Sharon has meanwhile announced that he has found a way to deal with the security problem.