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Reaction to Sharon’s stroke somewhat (and surprisingly) mixed among Palestinians
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 05, 2006

By now, everyone has heard of Ariel Sharon's massive stroke.I would guess that among Palestinians, the following sentiment most closely reflects the feeling of the majority of them (via the Jerusalem Post:
But a radical Palestinian leader in Damascus, the Syrian capital, called Sharon's health crisis a gift from God.

"We say it frankly that God is great and is able to exact revenge on this butcher. ... We thank God for this gift he presented to us on this new year," Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Syrian-backed faction Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a small radical group, told the Associated Press.

He said Sharon's legacy would be one of huge damage inflicted on the Palestinian people.
Yet, the Post notes an interesting commentary by another Palestinian on Saudi TV.
A Palestinian commentator on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network offered Sharon unexpected praise as "the first Israeli leader who stopped claiming Israel had a right to all of the Palestinian's land," a reference to Israeli's recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

"A living Sharon is better for the Palestinians now, despite all the crimes he has committed against us," said Ghazi al-Saadi.
Again, I'd guess that's certainly a contrary or minority position among a people who have been very radicalized over the decades, but surprising it was even stated at all. It is reported that quiet has prevailed in Palestinian refugee camps as they follow the coverage of Sharon's condition.

A Beruit newspaper editor predicted that Sharon's absense from the political scene would only have local repercussions:
In Beirut, a newspaper editor said he feared Sharon's absence from the scene could lead to more Israeli-Palestinian violence.

"This is a big event," said Sateh Noureddine, managing editor of Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper. If Sharon dies, it "could lead to the postponement of the Palestinian elections and the Israeli elections and possibly could lead to a security deterioration," he told AP.

He predicted, however, the repercussions would largely be limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"It's a quake, whose aftershocks will be local - Israeli and Palestinian - because the (Mideast) conflict has become a Palestinian-Israeli one," Noureddine told AP.
In the meantime, Israeli politics is left in disarray:
Sharon is Israel's most prominent politician, and his absence from the political scene would leave a power vacuum and prompt a scramble among would-be successors.

He abandoned his right-leaning Likud Party late last year to form a centrist party, Kadima. Sharon enjoyed a wide lead in the polls.

He was joined in his new party by several Likud allies and another Israeli elder statesman, the Labor Party's Shimon Peres. But Kadima's appeal stems almost exclusively from Sharon's clout and popularity, and it is uncertain whether the party could survive without him.

Under Israeli law, Olmert may serve as acting prime minister for 100 days. The parliamentary elections set for March 28 fall within that window.
If Sharon's new party does indeed collapse without his presence, it's anyone's guess which way the election in March might go, but it is a distinct possiblity that without Sharon's presence it (and the looming Palestinian election) may spell the end of the "Roadmap" however it goes.

In the meantime, Ehud Olmert has taken over the PM's job:
On Wednesday night, Sharon's prime ministerial authority was transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the course of a telephone call with Olmert, Maimon and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.
UPDATE [Jon Henke]

One statement in this — "A living Sharon is better for the Palestinians now, despite all the crimes he has committed against us," — really stands out to me. Just as "only Nixon" could go to China, it may turn out that only Sharon could make the necessary concession to the Palestinians.

Can Kadima survive — and succeed — without Ariel Sharon? Only if its leader has the credibility of Sharon among both the Isreali and Palestinian people. Unless one arises, the next Israeli Prime Minister may end up negotiating both on behalf of and with people who don't necessarily believe he can deliver on his promises.

Which, ironically, would put him in just about the same position as that previously occupied by Yasser Arafat.
 
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He said Sharon’s legacy would be one of huge damage inflicted on the Palestinian people

And that’s a bad thing?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think it is a bit presumptuous at this time to say either way which of the two quoted statements most accurately reflects those of normal Palestinians.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I think it is a bit presumptuous at this time to say either way which of the two quoted statements most accurately reflects those of normal Palestinians

What’s a normal Palestinian? There’s either pre-dynamite vets Palestinians, or post-dynamite vest Palestinians....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think it is a bit presumptuous at this time to say either way which of the two quoted statements most accurately reflects those of normal Palestinians.

I didn’t "say". I gave my opinion (that’s why the phrase "I guess" was used twice)

That’s what we do here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
You have shown me that a blog is just a place to dsplay your own brand of racism.
 
Written By: Cammie
URL: http://
Cammie, I’m going to assume that you are referring to sharks original comment? I would agree that it is pretty abhorrent that a person would relish the idea of harm being caused to an entire group of people. If you are referring to McQ’s post, I’m not seeing what you are referring to.

Regarding the update:
One statement in this — "A living Sharon is better for the Palestinians now, despite all the crimes he has committed against us," — really stands out to me. Just as "only Nixon" could go to China, it may turn out that only Sharon could make the necessary concession to the Palestinians.
I suspect that this is essentially accurate. The future of Kadima is very much in question with Sharon out of the picture.

At this point in time, I think it is entirely safe to say that Sharon is out of the picture. I’ve seen the effect that even a relatively minor stroke can have on a persons mental faculties and ability to communicate. After a major stroke, surgery, and remaining on life support there is little chance that Sharon will be re-entering public life regardless of whether he lives or dies.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Here is what the right’s favorite man of God has to say on the subject:
The Rev. Pat Robertson said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being punished by God for dividing the Land of Israel. Robertson, speaking on the “700 Club” on Thursday, suggested Sharon, who is currently in an induced coma, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by an Israeli extremist in 1995, were being treated with enmity by God for dividing Israel. “He was dividing God’s land,” Robertson said. “And I would say, Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the E.U., the United Nations or the United States of America. God says, This land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.”
Something tells me that this former major GOP presidential candidate is not alone in his take on the matter.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
...former major GOP presidential candidate...

He was about as much a "major GOP presidential candidate" as Jesse "Hymie Town" Jackson was a major Democrat presidential candidate.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
McQ:

More to the point, how many presidential primary debates has Pat Robertson been part of?

Compare and contrast that with Reverend "Honest Al" Sharpton, never mind Jackson. (Jackson was merely a racist, whereas Al, of course, was foursquare a part of the whole Tawana Brawley hoax-and-circus act.)
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
Sharon’s incapacitation is a tragedy even for the Israeli left and the Palestinians. He was the only man they had with both street cred with enough of the Israeli right to drag them kicking and screaming into giving up Gaza and the balls to actually do it. Love him or hate him, the man had moxie.

It would help to know more about Ehud Olmert. If anybody has links to information about him, things he’s written, things written about him, things he’s supported or opposed, etc., please post them?
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
In ’88, Robertson won the Washington GOP primary, and placed second in Iowa and Michigan. George Bush came in third in Iowa. If you beat the eventual winner in a primary, you are major candidate.

But more to the point: there are millions of winger/evangelicals/fundies who believe that the second coming will happen only when the original Israel (i.e., the Biblical borders) comes back into existence. I suspect there are literally millions of winger/evangelicals/fundies who are thanking God in their prayers that Sharon suffered his stroke. These types are fanantically anti-Palestinian and against any kind of Roadmap or peace process in the Middle East. They are the same people who came out in droves in ’04 to vote for Bush. Today is a great day for them.

Ironic, isn’t it, that there are Palestians who are at least ambivalent about Sharon’s stroke, while there are millions of self-identified Christians who are enthralled with it.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
In ’88, Robertson won the Washington GOP primary and placed second in Iowa and Michigan.

Yeah, two of those are huge red states, aren’t they, MK?

Give it a rest. Your nonsense isn’t selling ... as usual.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I’m sorry, I don’t quite get this. Are some of these supporters of Pat Robertson here? Are you expecting us to defend him and/or the view that this is a sign of the second coming? I’m lost as to what you’re getting at.
If you beat the eventual winner in a primary, you are major candidate.
Al Sharpton beat John Kerry in the 2004 DC primary.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon H:

The point?

MKu’s point (as ever) is quite straightforward:

Bush BAAADDDDD

Bush BAAAADDDDD

GOP BAAAADDDDD

GOP BAAAAADDDDDDD


Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
I’m sorry, I don’t quite get this. Are some of these supporters of Pat Robertson here? Are you expecting us to defend him and/or the view that this is a sign of the second coming? I’m lost as to what you’re getting at.
Not expecting anyone to defend anyone. Just taking a page out of McQ’s playbook - find something outrageous said by someone clearly identified with the side of the political spectrum I am not on and then generalize based on it.

And then McQ gets to play the part I usually play:
Give it a rest. Your nonsense isn’t selling ... as usual.
As for Al Sharpton, funny, but I don’t often so the good reverend claim that someone else is suffering because God is pissed at them.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Not expecting anyone to defend anyone. Just taking a page out of McQ’s playbook - find something outrageous said by someone clearly identified with the side of the political spectrum I am not on and then generalize based on it.



Yeah, it was all a plan, wasn’t it MK? Got your ass handed to you as usual and then worked on an alternate explanation.

It isn’t selling either.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Got your ass handed to you as usual and then worked on an alternate explanation.
Ass handed to me? I see you don’t deny your method.

And how was my ass "handed" to me? Did someone out there show that a right wing figure with millions of followers didn’t suggest that God was punishing Sharon? No.

My point is this: There is a sizable faction on the right in the United States that does not want peace in the Middle East. They certainly don’t want a Palestinian state. And the certainly see Sharon as a traitor to their cause and are probably happy with the idea that Sharon is probably out of commission for good. They are a roadblock on the roadmap. Contrast this position with the reaction of many Palestians, many of whom have a lot more reasons to be angry with Sharon, who see that Sharon’s decommission may have been a bad thing for them.

Nice try, McQ.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And how was my ass "handed" to me?

If you have to ask, it would take way to much time to explain, and frankly, it’s not worth it.

There is a sizable faction on the right in the United States that does not want peace in the Middle East.

And that has what to do with Sharon, his successor, and the status of the Roadmap to Peace in the upcoming Israeli elections?

This is what floors me about you. You accuse me of going out to find things which are extreme and generalize on them. I find that to be projecting on your part because that has been your MO here from day one.

Day one.

And not content with that, you inject the stuff when it has no bearing on the topic at hand. There is nothing in the article about the left or right in this country. Nothing.

Yet here you are trying to score cheap rhetorical points with your usual strawmen and red herrings.

It’s tiresome, MK. Join the rest of us and discuss the topic at hand instead of whatever topic du jour pops into your head in which you think you can get away with denigrating someone on the right.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
One (very small) word for MKu:

While he is tiresome and boring in his incessant attempts to somehow lecture the proprietors of this blog on the eeevillls of the Right (much of which I find quite amusing, since I get the feeling that Jon Henke and McQ hardly see eye-to-eye on everything, much less function as stalking horses for the GOP), MKu has a huge advantage over Orlando and Book Adams.

He does not come across as nearly as blatantly anti-Semitic as those other two. In fact, I’d hazard that I’ve not seen him be anti-Semitic at all (at least in the time that I’ve been reading this blog). One-track, obsessed, absolutely a victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome. But not anti-semitic.

Small praise, but in light of the recent comments by those fellows, it’s an important one.
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
... MKu has a huge advantage over Orlando and Book Adams.

A dead cockroach has a huge advantage over those two.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
There is a sizable faction on the right in the United States that does not want peace in the Middle East.

And that has what to do with Sharon, his successor, and the status of the Roadmap to Peace in the upcoming Israeli elections?

This is what floors me about you. You accuse me of going out to find things which are extreme and generalize on them. I find that to be projecting on your part because that has been your MO here from day one.
The Roadmap was brokered by the United States. You ask: What does the United States have to do with the Roadmap, a peace agreement brokered by the United States?

My response? The United States has much to do with the Roadmap, a peace agreement brokered by the United States.

And with Sharon gone, the role of the United States is even more important than it was before. There needs to be a driving force behind the roadmap, because such a driving force is unlikely to come out of the Israeli elections. That role has to be played by the United States. But there is a sizable faction on the right in the United States that does not want to see peace in the Middle East. That is why it is important for responsible voices on the right to denounce Robertson, as he is a spokesperson for this sizable faction.

If you believe that Robertson was not speaking directly to those hard-line voices on the right in Israel, you are sadly uninformed.

Indeed, the summary I quoted above came from JTA, which bills itself as the "Global News Service of the Jewish People."

In other words, because I quote from a Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service read by Jewish people, many of whom will presumably vote in the Israeli elections, my post has nothing to do with Israel, the Jewish People, or the Israeli elections.

My guess is the JTA quoted Robertson to let its Jewish (and non-Jewish) readers know what a prominent right-wing religious figure in the United States had to say about Sharon’s demise. Given that the attitude of Americans toward the Middle East peace process matters to many Israeli voters, since we are in essence a party to the process, I guess I fail to see why a summary of what Robertson said on a website read by potential Israeli voters is not relevant to the Israeli election.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
If you believe that Robertson was not speaking directly to those hard-line voices on the right in Israel, you are sadly uninformed.

Thanks for playing, but still irrelevant.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Sadly, MKu, it didn’t take long for me to wonder whether my (admittedly guarded) words for you were worthwhile or not.

Consider the following:

The main focus of the post was on the likely passing of Ariel Sharon, and the concomitant likely impact on Israeli politics.

Your insistence on foisting, of all people, Pat Robertson into this conversation is truly meaningless, and your subsequent claim that, "No, no, by golly, it’s actually relevant!" is embarrassing.

Why? Because the simple act of reporting on Pat Robertson no more indicates that Robertson is viewed as a major figure in American politics, than reporting on students rallying in support of Israel means that a university is a solidly pro-Israel locale. (Note that this is also from the JTA.)

And that, in turn, is b/c Pat Robertson is not a major figure in American politics. You may claim that he represents millions of evangelicals, but if that were the case, then surely Al Sharpton "represents" millions of black Americans—-do you really want to claim that?. At a minimum, Sharpton is more representative, after all, since he ran in 2004—-please remind me when Pat Robertson last made it onto the ballot of, oh, half the states?


Finally, you suggest that Pat Robertson is somehow relevant b/c it is up to the US to broker peace in the Middle East. Conceptually, that’s pretty far-fetched already—-was Pat Robertson a factor when Arafat turned down the Camp David/Taba offers made by Barak and Bill Clinton (he’d run more recently more office at that point)? More to the point, why is it up to the US to broker peace? It seems to me that Palestinian and Israeli leaders (whoever they may be) are far more of a factor; and if they are at dead center, exactly how does it become our problem?

Next thing you know, you’ll be claiming that it’s the US role to police the Middle East, foster democracy, and even push for regime change among recalcitrant states!
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
When you guys are done discussing Pat Robertson, profiles on Ehud Olmert can be found here (hattip Winds of Change) and here.

Sorry to interrupt. Carry on.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Robertson, as usual, isn’t the brightest knife in the drawer. But one wonders how effective thia withdrawal move has been. In Gaza, and in the West Bank there
have been nearly 3,000 attacks since the truce was declared, Hamas has won a plurality of votes, along with the assistance of several christian mayors, has
formed a coalition. Hamas, is the local contemporary analogue to Al Queda, with
their source in the ’Cambridge of madrassas" Al Alzhar university, The settle
ments were likely the only major source of Western civilization in the region.
Olmert will not likely be able to carry this ill conceived ’Road Map’ with either former Black September Munich financier Abu Mazen, or Hamas. Iran is still the major long term crisis, thanks to the Russians, who will live to rue
the day, they empowered their Chechen enemies
 
Written By: narciso
URL: http://
I suppose we’ve already had a shout out here about how Robertson has proved himself to be a consumate idiotarian and asshat. Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I expect Robertson has about the same influence with the GOP that Fred Phelps has with the Democrats.

I should not be surprised that in MK, Robertson has a rival in his superlatives.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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