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Archive for the ‘historical opinion’ Category

… the Holy Father responds [to Univ of Notre Dame] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,February 3rd,2014

.. the University of Notre Dame is currently having its annual trustees meeting … at the Vatican , of all places …

.. Pope Francis (yes , the Holy Father , himself) spoke to the trustees …

.. how would I put it … His Holiness put it , ” It is time to step up , folks . ”

.. the Holy Father did put it differently . Yes , I know that . However , I put it in a way that was K.I.S.S. , keep it simple and specific . Popes are like many religious leaders , they tend to get long winded and wordy …

.. [h/t — CNSnews]

.. [link] to the news piece …

( – Pope Francis on Thursday told the president and trustees of the University of Notre Dame–which  is suing the Obama administration for mandating that its health  insurance plans cover sterilizations, contraceptives and  abortion-inducing drugs–that Notre Dame should defend the freedom of  the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are intrinsically immoral.

“The vision which guided Father Edward Sorin and the first religious  of the Congregation of Holy Cross in establishing the University of  Notre Dame du Lac remains, in the changed circumstances of the  twenty-first century, central to the university’s distinctive identity  and its service to the Church and American society,” the pope told the delegation from Notre Dame, which visited with him at the Vatican.

“Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic  universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her  freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that  teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her  pastors,” said the pope, according to a transcript published by the Vatican.

“It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to  offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic  identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to  dilute that indispensable witness,” he said. “And this is important: its  identity, as it was intended from the beginning. To defend it, to  preserve it and to advance it!”

Prof. Carter Snead of Notre  Dame  Law School saw the pope’s words as encouraging the university in  its court battle against the Obama administration’s efforts to restrict  the freedom of religion.

“The Holy Father’s words strike me as  a timely and profound encouragement to Notre Dame in its continuing  efforts to defend its religious liberty in court,” Prof. Snead told

They “are a powerful reminder to all of us who love and work for  Notre Dame that we have the duty to preserve and expand the university’s  witness to the truths affirmed and proclaimed by the Church,” he said.

“As Pope Francis observes, this witness requires the freedom to  organize and conduct the work of the university in a manner that  reflects these truths,” said Snead. “It seems to me that the dangerous  effort to ‘dilute that indispensable witness’ is the HHS  contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.”

On May 21, 2012 Notre Dame filed suit against the regulation that the  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued under the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires almost all  health insurance plans to cover sterilization, contraceptive and  abortion-inducing drugs. A federal judge initially dismissed the lawsuit  in December 2012, arguing that Notre Dame lacked standing at the time  to bring the suit. The university filed suit again in December 2013.

Although some other organizations that are suing to stop the  sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate have been granted  injunctions against enforcement of it while their complaints work their  way through the courts, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals  for the Seventh Circuit on December 31, 2013 denied Notre Dame’s  emergency motion for a stay.

After that action by court, Notre Dame continued to press its  lawsuit, but began to comply with the federal regulation that required  it to notify the third-party administration of its self-insurance plan  that the administrator would be providing the disputed coverage.

“Having been denied a stay, Notre Dame is advising employees that  pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, our third party administrator is  required to notify plan participants of coverage provided under its  contraceptives payment program,” said Paul Browne, Notre Dame’s vice  president for public affairs and communications, according to WNDU.  “As part of an ongoing legal action, however, the program may be  terminated once the university’s lawsuit on religious liberty grounds  against the HHS mandate has worked its way through the courts.”

A professor of history at Notre Dame, Holy Cross Father Bill  Miscamble told the National Catholic Register that he was disappointed  “with the tepid way in which Notre Dame has acquiesced with the  Obamacare provisions and authorized its health-insurance administrator  to implement the HHS mandate.”

Gerard Bradley, a professor at the Notre Dame School of Law, wrote in a post on National  Review’s Bench Memos, “The reasons for [violating the ACA contraception  mandate] would be, as Notre Dame asserted in its formal complaint in  the local federal court, that so ‘triggering’ the coverage would be  tantamount to facilitating abortions in violation of the university’s  Catholic beliefs.”

Under the Obamacare regulation, the university says in its lawsuit,  “Notre Dame must provide, or facilitate the provision of,  abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraceptive services to  its employees in violation of the centuries’ old teachings of the  Catholic Church.”

“If the government can force religious institutions to violate their  beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the Government’s  power,” says the Notre Dame lawsuit. “Such an oppression of religious  freedom violates Notre Dame’s clearly established constitutional and  statutory rights.”

… LEC here again — It is time to step up , folks . Get to it , and uphold your moral standards ! …


Posted in historical opinion, moral opinion, moral opposition, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… If There is No Legal Basis [for Exec Orders] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,February 1st,2014

.. then , what is their legal foundation , if any .

.. this piece frames a substantive question from US Senator Mike Lee [R-UT] that was put forth in an oversight hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee . AG Holder was , to say the least , on the hot seat . He could not provide any legal basis at all for many of POTUS ‘ EOs , especially his delay of the ObamaCrapCare employer mandate . If there was not any legal basis for them , then how are they legitimate at all …

.. [h/t —Washington Examiner] ..

.. [link] to the Congressional testimony . Watch the AG sizzile as he tries to explain the unexplainable acts …

.. the courts will give the Exec Branch a great deal of what it now known as ” Chevron deference ” in the interpretation and implementation of a law . That deference only goes so far . If it does not confer with Congressional intent , Congressional powers , and / or the explicit or implicit powers of the Executive , then No Soap ..

Posted in constitutional opinion, historical opinion, legal opinion, legal strategy, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… You would think [Competence] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,January 30th,2014

.. that the ObamaCraps would nominate someone who actually knew what they were doing or knew a pretty fair bit about the country that they were nominated to represent .

.. Apparently not . This idiot that they nominated was a nominee to be Ambassador to Norway . Boy , what a bomb !! Senator John McCain nailed this on the head with his sarcasm …

.. [h/t — TruthRevolt]

.. [link] to the clip

.. try better next time , you dummies . Dingy Harry may have changed the filibusters rules , but make the DummyCraps pay a political price for this arrogant ass ‘ behaviour in front of a Congressional Committee . Congress deserves better …

Posted in failure, fraud, historical opinion, Investigative, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… the Loonies want Single – Payer [Health insurance] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,January 16th,2014

… yes , yet again ..

.. we have one – half of a century of experience with it . Those ” experiments ” are called Medicaid and Medicare . So what else is new .

Single Payer: We’ve Been There, Done That
(It may bankrupt us yet)

.. Well, our lunatic ” friends ” are once again calling for single payer health care. The ironic pretext this time is that ObamaCrapCare has collapsed into chaos. The health care “reform” law they assured us would cure the ills of our medical delivery system is disintegrating before our eyes . The  advocates of the “ Affordable Care Act , ” as these people stubbornly refer to it, refuse to accept that the crackup was caused by the inevitable incompetence of government bureaucrats , along with the designers of the program itself : the Congressional DemoCraps . They believe the real problem was avaricious insurance executives.

.. If anyone possessed any level of expertise , they would know that the U.S. has spent nearly half a century experimenting with the kind of system he advocates. Paul Krugman puts a name on this experiment in a recent pitch for single payer, “In this system you would not have to shop for insurance, nor would you have to provide lots of personal details… we don’t have to imagine such a system, because it already exists . ” It is called Medicare.… So why don’t we just extend that system to cover everyone ?

.. You heard me right . Medicare is itself a single payer health care system for seniors . It is Exhibit A in the case against government-run health care. “Medicare-for-All” (or , “Medicaid – for All) is what single payer advocates usually mean when they refer to universal health care . Most of these people naïvely believe that such a system could be paid for with a few modest tax increases. Krugman is an economist , and he knows perfectly well why we don’t “just extend that system to cover everyone.” He knows Medicare-for-All would bankrupt the country.

Indeed, Medicare threatens to break the bank even without the vast expansion that would be required to convert it to a single payer system covering all Americans. The most recent Medicare Trustees report reveals that the program is encumbered by an unfunded liability of $43 trillion. This is the amount by which the program’s promised benefits will exceed the tax revenue available to pay for them. $43 trillion is three times the nation’s GDP. Thus, the Trustees also project that Medicare will become insolvent in 2026.

.. How, then, can we afford to expand it to cover everyone? We can’t, of course. Yet single payer advocates continue to mislead the public. And their prevarications aren’t limited to matters fiscal. Krugman’s claim that Medicare-for-All wouldn’t require us to “provide lots of personal details” is a case in point. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has long maintained a vast central database, the “Common Working File” (CWF), that contains intimate personal health information as well as demographic data on every Medicare patient.

This information is updated by data transmitted to CMS by hospitals, doctors, and various other health providers every time a Medicare beneficiary receives care anywhere in the country. Even if a senior is covered by a private insurer via the Medicare Advantage program, providers must submit a “shadow” file to CMS for every encounter the patient has with the health care system. The CWF must be fed, and its appetite will increase exponentially if all Americans are herded into a single payer system that falls under the aegis of Medicare.

.. On top of all this, Medicare patients endure many of the same difficulties gaining access to decent health care that plague the Medicaid patients discussed in this space last week. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules.” And, like the patients “covered” by Medicaid, Medicare patients have worse outcomes than patients with private health care insurance. And yet most progressives believe that Americans would be better off if we dumped the private insurance industry and herded everyone into “Medicare-for-All.”  Obamacare was a fallback plan, as Michael Moore recently pointed out in the New York Times, “implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go.”

.. the lunatic left likes to think of themselves as smart and technically savvy . Yet they are not  willing to try a health care delivery model that has never been attempted in this country. This model would eliminate regulatory impediments to provider efficiency, remove perverse tax incentives for patients, and permit real competition among insurers.

.. This truly first class and cutting – edge solution is called “the free market.”

Posted in economic opinion, historical opinion, personal opinion, political strategy | Leave a Comment »

… A Damning Indictment [Iran Nuclear Sanctions] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,January 16th,2014

.. this one comes straight from former Defence Secretary Bob Gates .

.. He is on the interview tour for his book , ” Duty . ” He has thought quite a bit about the subject , and he has come out in full support of the new congressional effort to adopt sanctions on Iran .

.. [h/t — Washington Free Beacon]

.. [link] to the video clip ..

Posted in communications strategy, historical opinion, intelligence, personal opinion, political strategy | Leave a Comment »

… Why the Truth Matters [Benghazi , et al] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,January 15th,2014

.. a fraud was perpetrated on the American people .

.. Obama Lied , Susan Rice lied , Miz Hillary lied , while people died .

.. their families and the wounded deserve to know the truth . The Truth . The Whole Truth . Nothing but the Truth .

.. [h/t — RealClearPolitics]

.. [link] to Dr. Krauthammer ‘ s comments … a lie helped to perpetuate a fraud …

Posted in communications strategy, fraud, historical opinion, moral opinion, personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… Superb Post , David [Middle East / Israel] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,January 14th,2014

.. I am a regular reader of the blog Legal Insurrection .

.. Yes , it is primarily devoted to legal issues , but it also jumps into other items , as the need arises . The academic boycott of Israel and even comedy are two of them . Yes , comedy . There is a very funny cartoonist , A. F. Branco , whose cartoons I sometimes repost here on my blog .

.. David Gertsman is one of their regular contributors . He is , I believe , from Israel , and covers developments in his native land as items warrant .

.. This one is a dandy . As a result , I am going to post a [link] to his article , but repost his article in its entireity . Yes , it is that good …

Will accepting Palestinian 1967 “Border” Demand Make Peace More Likely?



Posted by   Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 9:30am

Mideast Media Sampler 01/12/2014 – Palestinians are looking for concessions, not an agreement.


Exhibit A:

In June, 1999, shortly after Ehud Barak had defeated Benjamin Netanyahu to become Israel’s new prime minister, Charles Krauthammer wrote a column title, Clinton Should Have Targeted Arafat Instead.

Krauthammer noted that Arafat was going around the world to lobby support for accepting UN General Assembly resolution 181 as a basis for any peace deal.

What is that? An obsolete, defunct resolution passed by the General Assembly (unlike 242 and 338, not by the Security Council, and thus not even binding) . . . in 1947! It partitioned British Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. At the time, every single Arab state and the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee totally rejected 181. In fact, they invaded the area given to the Jews with the express purpose of wiping it off the map.

They failed. And now 50 years later, the Palestinians are converts to 181.

What’s wrong with that?


In the course of that ’48-’49 war, Israel fought back. The armistice lines of 1949 ending it created the current internationally recognized (pre-’67) Israel–an area larger than that outlined in 181. Hence Arafat’s 181 ploy. Under 181, Israel would have to give up not just the ’67 conquests (all of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) but large chunks of pre-’67 Israel proper in the Galilee and the Negev. Indeed, 181 would take not only East Jerusalem away from Israel, but West Jerusalem–entirely Jewish and always under Israeli control–as well.

Arafat had, as Krauthammer put it, “moved the goal posts.” Krauthammer pointed out further that the Clinton administration was silent about this deal killer.

Exhibit B:

Nearly three years ago President Obama blindsided Netanyahu with a speech in which the President endorsed Israel’s 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations. Charles Krauthammer wrote at the time:

Nor is this merely a theoretical proposition. Three times the Palestinians have been offered exactly that formula, 1967 plus swaps – at Camp David 2000, Taba 2001 and the 2008 Olmert-Abbas negotiations. Every time, the Palestinians said no and walked away.

And that remains their position today: The 1967 lines. Period. Indeed, in September the Palestinians are going to the UN to get the world to ratify precisely that – a Palestinian state on the ’67 lines. No swaps.

Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war – its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian – alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.

This time it was the United States moving the goal posts for the Palestinians. The New York Times reported that the speech marked a “subtle but significant shift” in American policy.

It’s also interesting to see how the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler treated the speech. Kessler acknowledged that the American position had “evolved.” Here’s how he portrayed the starting point:

From an Israeli perspective, the de facto borders that existed before 1967 were not really borders, but an unsatisfactory, indefensible and temporary arrangement that even Arabs had not accepted. So Israeli officials do not want to be bound by those lines in any talks.

From a Palestinian perspective, the pre-1967 division was a border between Israel and neighboring states and thus must be the starting point for negotiations involving land swaps. This way, they believe, the size of a future Palestinian state would end up to be — to the square foot — the exact size of the non-Israeli territories before the 1967 conflict. Palestinians would argue that even this is a major concession, since they believe all of the current state of Israel should belong to the Palestinians.

Notice what the “Israeli perspective” is. Kessler’s taking what everyone believed after the Six Day War (and he even acknowledges this later) in the article and making it strictly Israel’s position. Furthermore he describes the Palestinian position in great detail crediting them with a “major concession” for even allowing Israel to exist.

In contrast, (though he wasn’t officially wearing his “fact checker” hat at the time) when Kessler earlier dealt with “settlements,” he treated a one time opinion by State Department bureaucrat as law.

Thirty years ago, the State Department legal adviser issued an opinion in response to an inquiry from Congress: The establishment of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories “is inconsistent with international law.”

The opinion cited Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Israel has insisted that the Geneva Convention does not apply to settlers and broadly contests assertions of the settlements’ illegality.

Despite the passage of time, the legal opinion, issued during the Carter administration, has never been revoked or revised. President Ronald Reagan said he disagreed with it — he called the settlements “not illegal” — but his State Department did not seek to issue a new opinion.

Kessler treats the 1979 opinion by Herbert Hansel as authoritative even though Morris Abram, who helped draft the Fourth Geneva Protocol stated that the intent was strictly to prevent the sort of brutal policies that the Nazis carried out.

I bring up Kessler as an example of a mindset in the media and the diplomatic corps which treats most Palestinian claims as valid and most Israeli claims as something only Israel believes.

Exhibit C:

Jackson Diehl from last week:

Israelis and Palestinians have signed on to U.S.-sponsored frameworks before, most recently the “road map” of George W. Bush. But Kerry’s aim is to produce one that would cover more substance. Most likely it would include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the stationing of Israeli troops near the Jordanian border and language that excludes a mass “return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel. In exchange, Netanyahu would be expected to swallow the principles that the territory of Palestine would be based on Israel’s 1967 borders and that its capital would be in Jerusalem.

Again, in exchange for “givens” – acknowledging Israel as a Jewish state shouldn’t be negotiable, but the Palestinians never accepted it, the right of return would end Israel as a Jewish state and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the Philadelphi corridor demonstrated the need for Israel to remain in the Jordan valley – Israel is expected to agree to the Palestinians’ terms. Remember too, as has been observed above, the 1967 borders are really the 1949 armistice lines.

The Game:

If accepting the Palestinian view of the 1967 borders would ensure that Israel could make peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA), that might be understandable.

But in a recent paper, No End to Palestinian Claims: How Israel and the Palestinians View Borders, Pinchas Inbari shows that it is uncertain that such a concession would impel the Palestinians to make a deal. While Inbari doesn’t discount the possibility “there could be surprisingly favorable developments,” he still takes a cautionary approach based on the publicly expressed positions of the PA.

In particular, Inbari writes:

The question, though, is whether the ratification of the 1967 border would entail the end of the dispute. Hopefully, the answer would be yes, with the United States putting its full weight behind the finality of the agreement.20 Yet we cannot ignore certain Palestinian positions which, if they do not change, are likely to generate crises even after an agreement is reached. For example, in an article posted prominently on Fatah’s website, the author discussed – uncharacteristically – the issue of the Jewish refugees. Zionism, according to this author, deliberately sowed terror in Iraq so as to frighten the Jews there and, eventually, settle them in Palestinian areas that were emptied of their residents, who then became refugees. Thus, the right of return is actually the right to return to lands that the United Nations allocated to the Arab state in the partition plan.21

What this means is that, from the Palestinians’ standpoint, the negotiations being held today are about the results of the 1967 war. The Palestinian state to be established along the 1967 lines is not intended to absorb the refugees from the 1948 lands; their proper place will be within the partition-plan borders. After “closing the file” on the 1967 borders, then, the “refugee file” will be opened, and the Palestinians will demand their return to the Arab state postulated by the partition plan. In other words, the real, intended border is not one along the 1967 lines, but the one of 1947.

The Palestinian peace effort so far has been a combination of failing to abide by previous agreements (Arafat committed to stopping incitement against Israel, a phenomenon that continues until today); impose new terms on Israel (prisoner releases were meant to apply only to non-violent prisoners and was a confidence building measure not a requirement); and ensure that grievances remain (claiming that Israel “occupies” their territory when over 90% of Palestinians have lived under the PA since the end of 1995.)

The record suggests that accepting the Palestinian demand for a return to the 1949 armistice lines won’t bring Israel any closer to peace. The Palestinians are looking for concessions, not an agreement.

.. LEC here again — eventually , I hope , Israel does reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian people . It will have to be one that is arrived at freely , not one that is imposed on them ,  such as POTUS and JohnBoy Kerry are trying to do now . The P.A. and Hamas are not to be trusted . Someday , the Palestinian people will have representatives that are freely chosen , that will recognize Isreal as the Jewish homeland , and will live in peace .

.. however , that time will be sometime in coming . Until the influence of the mullahs of Qum [ie, Iran] are eliminated , there will be no realistic way of the Palestinians reaching a peace deal in a free manner .

Posted in historical opinion, personal opinion, political strategy | Leave a Comment »

… There is Very Good Reason …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,January 13th,2014

.. why I call the Justice Department the Department of InJustice .

.. when you get crap for justice .

.. the Fast & Furious operation cries out for a special prosecutor . The Department of InJustice has interfered with the investigation constantly . The Benghazi operation itself calls out for a select committee of Congress . Right now , we will not get one .

.. the most offensive act , so far , to me , is the I.R.S. scandal . The Infernal Service was misused and abused in order to target conservative organizations . It cries out for a special prosecutor , more likely , an independent counsel .

.. now , the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey is investigating ” Bridgegate . ” And he is talking out loud about it . At worst , it is a state – level offense . A political prank gone wrong , no question . But a federal offense ? Absolutely not .

.. [h/t]

.. [link] to Judge Jeannine Pirro ‘ s Opening Statement from Saturday ‘ s show . She rips into both POTUS and Holder for their corruption and misconduct …

Posted in communications strategy, historical opinion, media opinion, personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… Ariel Sharon has died …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,January 13th,2014

.. and our world will be a lesser place without him .

.. Thousands of Israelis bade farewell on Sunday to former prime minister Ariel Sharon, the maverick warrior-statesman who helped reshape the Middle East, as his body lay in state outside parliament in Jerusalem.

.. Sharon died at the age of 85 on Saturday after eight years in a coma caused by a stroke he suffered at the pinnacle of his political power. He will be buried on Monday in a military funeral on his farm in southern Israel.

.. Sharon was one of Israel’s finest military strategists and most powerful and decisive political figures. He spearheaded military campaigns in several wars with the Arab world, expanded Jewish settlement-building on land the Palestinians want for a state, and made the shock decision to withdraw from one of those territories, the Gaza Strip.

Prime minister from 2001 to 2006, Sharon was incapacitated by a stroke shortly after he quit the right-wing Likud party and founded a centrist faction to advance peace with the Palestinians, whose 2000-2005 “Intifada” uprising he had battled with air strikes and fierce military offensives.


Sharon drew the long-standing enmity of Arabs over the 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camp in Beirut by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel, where he was defense minister at the time.

A lifelong farmer renowned for his big appetite, Sharon was known as “the Bulldozer”, in part for his headlong pursuit of hardline policies that included a major growth in settlements across terrain Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

But the United States and other foreign powers mourned him as a peacemaker in later life, noting his pursuit of dialogue with the Palestinians. Negotiations continue under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though gaps remain wide.

“He was bound to the land. He knew that the land must be protected. And he understood above all else that our existence is predicated on our ability to protect ourselves by ourselves,” Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday after ministers stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of honor.

Many Israelis will remember Sharon as a brilliant but unpredictable military leader who fought in the 1948 war of Israel’s founding and, rising to general, went on to earn a reputation for trigger-happy disobedience on some occasions.

But he was also hailed in Israel for the crucial counter-attack across the Suez Canal that helped to turn the tide of the 1973 Middle East war with Egypt and Syria.


A memorial service will be held in parliament on Monday before an afternoon funeral at the Sharon family’s Sycamore Farm. Israeli generals will serve as pallbearers.

Vice President Joe Biden headed to Israel on Sunday and was due to deliver a eulogy for Sharon at Monday’s service in Jerusalem.

Among other foreign dignitaries expected to attend the ceremony were Mideast peace mediator and former British prime minister Tony Blair, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and delegates from Russia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Greece, Australia, Singapore, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Sharon surprised friend and foe alike by withdrawing soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005 under a policy of “disengagement” from conflict and a pursuit of dialogue with the Palestinians.

The pullout, however, led to Gaza’s takeover by Hamas, which, unlike the West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas, spurns co-existence with Israel and often trades fire with it.

Sharon was also resented by many Jewish settlers who once regarded him as their champion. Israeli media quoted lawmaker Orit Strouk of the Jewish Home, an ultranationalist party in Netanyahu’s coalition, as thanking God that Sharon was removed from power before he could order withdrawals from the West Bank. The remarks sparked outrage and she later apologized.

As Sharon’s finance minister in 2005, Netanyahu resigned in protest at the Gaza pullout. Netanyahu points to Hamas’s rise as vindication of his stance.

Posted in historical opinion, personal opinion | Leave a Comment »