Perturbances

There are some perturbances of the atmosphere both inside and outside Israel. The most perturbing internal problem is the planned “gay-pride” parade in Jerusalem, supposed to take place next week. In the run up to this there has been violence from both sides. Haredi Jews had violent demonstrations in the area around Bar-Ilan Street, that forms a line between secular and haredi Jerusalem. Last night about 2,000 Haredim rallied against the “parade,” that they see as a provocation, bringing lewd and lascivious public displays into the heart of the holy city. They burnt trash containers and clashed with police. This parade has united the religious communities, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, against it.
On the other hand, the secular gays regard it as their right to parade their wares in public, to strut their stuff and generally show their proclivities. In a democracy, they argue, they have the right to do this. Two synagogues were desecrated in Tel Aviv, stones were thrown through their windows and on the Great Synagogue was written “if we can’t parade in Jerusalem you won’t be able to walk in Tel Aviv.” So a mini-war is developing between the ultra-leftist hedonists and the ultra-orthodox believers.
The police meanwhile are caught in the middle, trying to protect a legal parade, but at the same time fearful of the consequences of violence that it might engender. Since it seems clearly to be a provocation, because noone in Israel denies gays the right to their private preferences, this public demonstration is clearly intended to disturb the religious, rather than lead to a peaceful situation as the gays claim. So the police are now leaning towards banning the parade, and members of the Knesset are also considering taking legal action.
This is going on against a backdrop of IDF action in northern Gaza, where today Palestinian women were called upon publicly to protect the Hamas gunmen holed up in a mosque and surrounded by the IDF. The women did their job very well, although two of them were killed and several injured, nevertheless they managed to provide a human shield for the gunmen to escape from the mosque dressed as women.
Clearly the Palestinian gunmen are cowards. They first hide in a mosque, then they call upon unarmed women to give them cover as human shields. They don’t care if the women are killed in the crossfire because women are worthless in the Muslim world. Anyway it makes good PR for them to have children (as in Muhammed al Dura) or women killed by IDF fire, even when they deliberately engineer or falsify it. Let us not forget that the cause of this IDF incursion into Gaza is the daily firing of Kassam rockets into Israeli towns and villages, which continued even today. No country can accept such a continuing bombardment, and this incursion into Beit Hanun is to show the Palestinians that we mean business, they will not enjoy peace while we are under fire!
At the same time Iran held a “war game” to show off the performance of its rockets. The Shihab 3 can reach Israel with a large payload, although what is clearly most worrisome is the possibility that in the future it might be boosting an atomic weapon. This could also be used against US forces in the Middle East (Iraq, Afghanistan) as well as other western allies.
Iran is clearly manipulating things behind the scenes. Although the media trumpets the fact that Hamas is the elected government of the PA, the person who seems to be calling the shots, especially in relation to the release of the IDF hostages, is Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas head in Syria. He clearly listens to Syria and Iran before taking any action, and he has so far stymied the possibility preferred by Pres. Abbas of the PA to release Cpl. Shavit so that the PA can get back to “normal” and begin receiving funds from outside. Well, they are receiving funds for salaries and humanitarian concerns thru the EU and UN, and they are getting supplies from Israel, even during the fighting yesterday Israel released 30 truckloads of supplies thru the Karni crossing. But, according to the Egyptians, Mashaal is blocking an agreement that they mediated between the PA and Israel, and in this respect Hamas is acting as an agent of Iran and not of the Palestinians. This can only lead eventually to a civil war in the PA between the Palestinian nationalists of Fatah and the Islamist extremists of Hamas, who would rather side with Iran in order to carry on their war against Israel.
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Several of you have replied to tell me that the item I forwarded about the imposition of specific dress for religious minorites in Iran is untrue. For further information see: http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/badges.asp

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