Friday, January 11, 2008


As Bush sticks his nose in Israeli politics, protesters tell him to butt out
By Israel Insider staff January 10, 2008

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"Don't worry, GW: Olmert is behind you." Bush signs a guest book (Flash90)
U.S. President George W. Bush, breaking with all conventions of a visiting politician, blatantly urging government ministers to back Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whom he described as a strong leader, and keep him in power. Out of respect for the guest, the ministers suppressed their giggles and guffaws.

Industry, Labor, and Trade Minister Eli Yishai of the Sephardi religious Shas party told Bush that he is "not willing to compromise on Jerusalem" and recited several psalms that emphasize the importance of the holy city. "We cannot make peace with half of the Palestinian nation, which is all that is ruled by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas," Yishai added.

"We saw what happened when we left Gaza," Yishai said. "We cannot accept a similar situation tomorrow in the West Bank. Hamas entered every place we left. We cannot compromise on Israel's security. The problem with Hamas is that it wants to destroy Israel."

Nearby, some 200 right-wing activists gathered in central Jerusalem to protest the ongoing visit of US President George W. Bush. The rally was organized by the 'SOS Israel' under the banner of praying for a unified Jerusalem. Protestors read psalms and carried signs, several of which warned that Bush and Olmert were "bringing another Holocaust."

One demonstrator was detained for displaying a toy gun.

"The struggles for the other settlements will be ten-fold what there was in Amona. It is good to die for our country," said SOS Israel chairman Rabbi Dov Wolpe, echoing the reputed last words of legendary Zionist activist Joseph Trumpeldor.

"It won't do Bush and Olmert any good -- one land for one nation."

Some protesters held posters depicting Bush, Olmert and President Shimon Peres wearing kaffiyahs, with the words "terror abettors" written on them.

"There is talk of President Bush's vision of two states for two peoples -- may the All Merciful protect us," Wolpe said. "On the day after his election, President Peres said we must cede the territories. If the president of the United States would have said after his inauguration that Seattle and Manhattan should be handed over, what would (the American public) call him?"

"A traitor," the demonstrators shouted back.

Wolpe continued to say that "only the coming of the messiah can save us, not the High Court (of Justice), which is collaborating with the Arabs."

Earlier in week, Wolpe caused a furor when he claimed that -- according to Israeli law --Olmert, Vice Premier Chaim Ramon, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and others should be "hanged upon the gallows" for collaborating with and aiding "Nazi" terrorists.

"This gathering is intended to make it clear to the public that we are facing a serious danger due to the government's actions," said Rabbi Wolpe on Tuesday. "We have a government that collaborates with the enemy, the Palestinian enemy that wants to destroy Israel. The government of Israel is supplying them with money and weapons, releasing murderers.... We came to warn and discuss how we can prevent this, G-d forbid, holocaust that the government is bringing on us."

MK Eldad: Arrests Violated Freedoms
Three arrests of right-wing activists in Jerusalem on Wednesday were called a violation of civil rights by Member of Knesset Aryeh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party). In a letter to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter sent Thursday, Eldad asked the minister to investigate reports that police had arrested activists Susie Dym, Jeff Daube, a new immigrant, and Yehudit Dassberg for giving journalists a booklet detailing the ties between Palestinian Authority terrorist groups and Fatah, the faction currently in control of half of the PA.

The arrests clearly violated the activists' freedom to speech and expression, Eldad charged. He feels that any police officer who violated the law by harassing activists should face criminal charges. Eldad called for the police to "allow the distribution of material to journalists and not to act like the police in a totalitarian state."

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