About 200 Gazans, petrified by the chaos in the Hamas-controlled coastal strip, have been camped out for six days in a tunnel reeking of trash, urine and sweat on the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing, pleading with Israeli authorities to grant them safe passage to the West Bank.
From a Haaretz editorial: "The pictures at the Erez crossing remind any person who still tries not to forget harsh scenes of locked, sealed gates from the previous century."
The fear that dangerous Hamas operatives might infiltrate into the West Bank is not baseless. But the Shin Bet security service presumably knows how to properly screen those seeking to pass - if that is what Jerusalem decides to do.
In the dark days before the Holocaust, it was similarly argued, not without justification, that the German and Austrian refugees fleeing for their lives could include moles seeking to assimilate into the countries through which they passed and sabotage them.
The lessons of history should never be forgotten.
The Christian Science Monitor has more about the Palestinian refugees.
And, as I predicted last week, Olmert begged for more money from Bush and got it, of course. "At the end of the 10 years, Israel will receive $2.9 billion annually in military assistance from the U.S."
While the dictator strikes again:
The prime minister asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for his assistance in expediting the handling of a number of IDF procurement requests meant to complete the replenishment of equipment and stores used during the Second Lebanon War.
Gates pointed out that though there is no problem with the requests in principle, there is an orderly procedure. However, Bush intervened and directed the defense secretary to expedite approval of the IDF's requests.
The reason Bush did that, of course, is because Ehud Barak is reportedly planning a massive military attack on Gaza and he needs the supplies - hoping to avoid a disaster like the failed efforts of the IDF against Hezbollah in Lebanon last summer. So, screw this talk of "process", Gates.
There won't be any talk of "peace" while Barak is around. He was waiting for an aggressive move by Hamas and he reportedly got it.
So, here we have the same scenario: innocent civilians stuck in Gaza, which the Israeli government is reluctant to lift a finger for - even those with pressing medical problems - who will be subject to a sweeping military incursion. How many innocents will die this time? And, more importantly, for what?
Meanwhile, Bush was busy hosting a congressional picnic on Wednesday.
MR. RUFFINS: Well, thanks for having us.
THE PRESIDENT: Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, right out of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Applause.)
MR. RUFFINS: Thank you. Thanks for having us. We're glad to be here.
THE PRESIDENT: Proud you're here. Thanks for coming. You all enjoy yourself. Make sure you pick up all the trash after it's over. (Laughter.)
Who's going to end up picking up Bush's trash in the Middle East once he's gone and who will bury the bodies?
Tony Blair as the UN's Middle East envoy? They're joking, right?
A Leader of Hamas Warns of West Bank Peril for Fatah
And yet another big lie had to be rolled out again:
The Americans say that their effort to aid, train and equip the elite Fatah forces was to protect the crossings to Israel and to deter Hamas, not to start a civil war.
A Secular-Democratic State Solution; The Light at the End of the Gaza-Ramallah Tunnel