Thursday, June 22, 2006

Retro: Shiloh on the Block

The Jerusalem Post reports:-

In a conversation with Wiesel at the Petra Nobel Laureates Conference, Olmert spoke of the Jewish love for the Land of Israel. "Shilo, Beit El, Ofra and Kedumim were always part of the historical Land of Israel, and they always emotionally will be.

"We, Israelis, Jews, firmly and deeply believe that this Land of Israel from the Jordan River to the [Mediterranean] Sea has always been our heritage. We will always have a right to this land. Our history, and not that of the Palestinians, is buried underneath this land," the prime minister said.

However, Olmert added, Israel would have to make a choice whether to continue living in places where Israelis would never be separated from the Palestinians and which would make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "endless," or to live in "a part of this land" so that Israelis would be able to live "in partnership" with a contiguous Palestinian state.

Settlers, Olmert added, would have to make a "personal choice" whether they wanted to live in a Jewish state or a Palestinian state. "The settlers can decide they would rather live on this particular piece of land, and that is [their] choice," Olmert said.

A Reuters report covering the same event lacked that reference to my home. In fact, admittedly after a quick 10 minute search, I couldn't find any other reference to the statement above.

Haaretz has it this way:-

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert surprised participants at a Nobel Prize winners conference in Petra on Thursday when he broached the possibility of Israeli settlers in the West Bank remaining in their homes under Palestinian sovereignty.

"Each and every one of the settlers who live in territories that stand to be evacuated will need to decide whether to live in a Jewish state, the state of Israel, or in a Palestinian state," Olmert said.

Olmert made his remarks in response to a question from Hebrew University Professor - and Nobel laureate in economics - Yisrael (Robert) Aumann, who asked the prime minister whether he intends "to expel tens of thousands of people from their homes" by way of the convergence plan, which he described as "a crime against humanity."

What did Ariel Sharon say?


Earlier, Sharon told the Jerusalem Post on September 15, 2004, "I don't see the possibility of Jews not living in Shiloh or Beit El, or not controlling Rachel's Tomb or living in Hebron."

(Amotz Asa-El, Herb Keinon and Gil Hoffman, "My Algeria is Here: Interview with Ariel Sharon," Jerusalem Post, September 9, 2004)

Back in April 2003, Sharon had a different opinion:-

Critics on the Israeli Left say that, although Sharon has said that Israel must be willing to give ground on new settlements such as Shiloh and Bet El, the government is still allowing building work to go ahead.

Confirmed here:-

The final, most dramatic news came from Israel, where Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave an interview to the liberal daily Haaretz in which he reluctantly held out the prospect of a withdrawal from the settlements if it would lead to peace. "We are talking about the cradle of the Jewish people," he said. "Our whole history is bound up with these places, Bethlehem, Shiloh, Beit El. And I know we will have to part with some of these places. I do not think we have to rule over another people and run their lives. I do not think that we have the strength for that."

Here it is fuller:-

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave his strongest indication yesterday that he expected to see a Palestinian state and was willing to evacuate controversial settlements to achieve peace.
Apparently softening his stance, he declared that he was prepared for a "parting from places" that have been bound up with the state of Israel.

"Eventually there will be a Palestinian state," he told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

"I do not think that we have to rule over another people and run their lives. I do not think that we have the strength for that."

Mr Sharon even named places in the "cradle of the Jewish people" that would have to be given up: the Palestinian town of Bethlehem and the West Bank settlements of Shiloh and Beit El.

"I know that we will have to part with some of these places," he said. "There will be a parting from places that are connected to the whole course of our history.

"As a Jew, this agonises me. I feel that the rational necessity to reach a settlement is overcoming my feelings."

Well, we all know where Sharon is now.

And where Shiloh is.

1 comment:

Michael Brenner said...

What are your last two sentences supposed to mean?