Jan 15, 2006

Will Hebron be Olmert's Achilles Heel?

Ehud Olmert, the Acting PM of Israel, has ordered a crackdown of forces on the rioting of the Hebron settlers in the Casbah.

Some background: The area in Hebron under discussion was owned by Jews until the massacres of 1929. This is agreed upon by everybody invloved. The Supreme Court of Israel has agreed to this ownership as well. After the massacre, the remaining Jews left Hebron, never relinquishing their rights to the property. The Arabs took over the area and more recently the Jews have taken it over as a result of shootings. The surviving family members of the original owners have said that they allow the Jewish community of Hebron to use the property, so it is only the non-owner Arabs who are upset.

The government of Israel has now declared that the Jews of Hebron must give back the area of the casbah to the Arabs who were using it (though not owners, as ownership is still held by the Jews who were massacred and their families). This is a blatant violation of ownership rights. While I could understand if the government would not send in people to take it over from the hands of the Arabs, once the Jews have gone in on their own (and they had returned to the area already a few years ago - not this past week) the government of Israel should be supporting those Jews and not throwing them out. Is the government on our side or the Arab side of the dispute??? Sorry for the digression.

If Arabs cause problems anywhere in Israel in the near future, Olmert better beware. What will people think if they see Olmert cracking down on Jews but not on Arabs? Will people give him the same freedom that they gave to Ariel Sharon, just because he was Sharon's yes-man? He has not yet done anything to earn the people's trust and freedom.

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