Sharon to Condi: F– You!
Haaretz reports on US Secretary of State Condi Rice’s visit to Israel:
‘ U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spent Thursday in Jerusalem, where she met with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. Rice told Shalom that coordinating the pullout plan with the PA [Palestinian Authority] was critical and must be continued. She said it was important to be able to use the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank to strengthen Abbas. Rice said she would like the disengagement to form the basis of a renewed diplomatic process and help boost Abbas’ regime. ‘
While US Secretary of State Condi Rice was meeting with the Israeli foreign minister to encourage Israel’s adherence to the “Road Map” toward Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was out assuring the Israeli colonists on the West Bank that he was going to unilaterally annex even more Palestinian land, along with the holy city of Jerusalem, permanently.
‘ During a visit to the West Bank settlement of Ariel yesterday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that in the future an expanded Ariel would be an integral part of Israel.
“I reiterate and clarify that this bloc is one of the most important. It will forever be part of the State of Israel. There is no other thought and no other direction of thinking.
“I came here today to see how the city can be expanded and the bloc strengthened, as I do and shall do in the other blocs. This bloc will forever be an inseparable part of the State of Israel, territorially contiguous with the State of Israel like the other blocs,” he said. . .
During the meeting with Nachman and the council members, Sharon criticized Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, also a member of his Likud Party, without mentioning him by name.
“There is a Knesset member in our party who constantly, in a hysterical and shrieking tone of voice, announces the next stage of the disengagement, even though he knows it’s a lie. I cannot issue denials all day long. I hear MKs saying that I’m going to divide Jerusalem, but I don’t intend even to discuss Jerusalem. The incitement keeps recurring, and even those who incite know it’s a lie and that there won’t be a second or additional disengagement, and that Jerusalem will not be divided.” ‘
Let’s all imagine how much “help” Sharon was giving Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with these inflammatory and expansionist threats. Ariel to Condi: “F— You!”
By the way, for Jerusalem “not to be divided” means in essence that Arab East Jerusalem will be permanently annexed by Israel. Over time, various subtle forms of ethnic cleansing have been applied to isolate and reduce the Arab population there, making it an increasingly Jewish city. Israelis understandably invest a lot of emotion in Jerusalem as a religious and national symbol, given the biblical stories of David and Solomon. But they are not the only ones to do so. Christians revere the city, and ruled it during the Crusades and again during the British Mandate of Palestine after World War I and until 1948. It is also important to Palestinian nationalism. Jerusalem was not founded by ancient Israel, but rather is an ancient Near Eastern city built in honor of the god Shalim by the common forebears of the Jews and Palestinians, who spoke an ancient Semitic language. Muslims held it from the seventh century to 1918, longer than any other group, and revere it as the third holiest city of their faith. In very early Islam, Muslims prayed toward Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is a sacred shrine to 1.3 billion Muslims (there are about as many Muslims in the world as Roman Catholics).
Al-Qaeda is obsessed with Jerusalem, and sees Sharon as a danger to a continued Muslim presence there. Osamah Bin Laden viewed the September 11 attacks in part as a punishment of the United States and Israel for Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, and tried to have the timing of the attack moved up in response to Ariel Sharon’s threatening visit to the Temple Mount in fall of 2000, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. (Muslims interpreted the visit as a threat to tear down the Dome of the Rock so that the Temple alleged to be beneath it could be “rebuilt.”)