Israel says it will not negotitate with Hamas:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refused to release any Palestinian prisoners in exchange for information about an abducted Israeli soldier.
He was responding to a demand from three militant groups that women and youths be freed from Israeli jails in return for news on Gilad Shalit.
Those making the demand included the armed wing of governing party Hamas.
Mr Olmert also threatened military action to free the soldier seized in clashes on the Gaza border on Sunday…
…”There will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements.”
The 19-year-old soldier is said to have been taken captive by terrorists who tunnelled out of Gaza to attack the army post at Kerem Shalom. Two Israeli troops and two militants were killed during the raid. Here’s an update on his condition–alive and wounded.
But Caroline Glick explains Israel’s rude awakening–negotiating with terrorists resulted in this awful predicament in the first place:
It is painful to watch Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni try to contend with the terrible outcome of the Palestinian terror strike against the IDF on Sunday morning.
They use so many fancy and angry words. They sound so resolute. And yet, they have nothing useful to say. Two soldiers are dead, a third is now the prisoner of jihadist killers, seven are wounded, an IDF border post has been overrun, and a world view and a security doctrine have been blown to smithereens.
Olmert and his associates have four general messages. First, they tell us that Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas is responsible for bringing about Cpl. Gilad Shalit’s release. Second, they say Hamas better watch out because they’re gonna get it. Third, they say that Hamas won’t get it until later. Finally, while stipulating that they will not negotiate with Hamas, Olmert and his associates are negotiating with Hamas.
None of these messages and none of the actions that attend to them have any chance of making Israel safer. They also hold little promise of bringing Cpl. Shalit home. Yet there is next to no possibility that Olmert or his associates will widen their options to include any relevant responses to Sunday’s terror offensive. Doing so would involve an admission that what the Kadima and Labor parties have presented to the public as their world view is wrong.
That world view involves a denial of a basic, fundamental truth: When you empower terrorists, terrorists are empowered.
WE HAVE been in this situation before. Six years ago, in October 2000, on the eve of Yom Kippur then prime minister Ehud Barak gave Yasser Arafat an ultimatum. He was ordered to end all the violence he had fomented within 48 hours or face the consequences. When as the deadline passed Arafat continued the violence, Barak did nothing. He did nothing because he could do nothing. His entire government was based on the idea of making peace with Arafat by empowering him. When Arafat chose war, Barak had nothing to say.
Kadima and Labor insist that by empowering terrorists they are somehow weakening them. This is the notion that stands at the base of the government’s insistence on reenacting the empowerment of Hamas and Fatah caused by last summer’s retreat from Gaza by repeating it twenty-fold in Judea and Samaria…
A letter from Gilad’s parents here.
At Israpundit: Washington tries to hold Israel back.
Meryl Yourish says: Go into Gaza…
Imagine that Mexico was firing rockets on San Diego every day. Imagine that this happened in San Diego. Now imagine what the reaction from the government would be, and tell me why Israel is not allowed to do what any other sovereign nation would do.
Olmert needs to send the troops into Gaza. Olmert needs to tell Hamas that if the rockets don’t stop, no member of Hamas will be able to sleep in the same bed two nights in a row.
Funny how Kofi Annan doesn’t seem to think that daily rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel is worthy of a condemnation statement.
Well, no, not really. What time is it? Why, every time that question is asked, no matter what time it is, it’s Israeli Double Standard Time.