IMRA'S Weekly Commentary on Israel National Radio

Aaron Lerner - Arutz7 Radio - March 7, 2002

(Broadcast in English on Thursday nights at 10:00 PM on 98.7 FM and on 1539 AM throughout Israel.
Recording available on and

  1. Pollard petition
  2. Now more than ever is a time requiring national unity. And when I learned that MK Mickey Eitan succeeded in getting 110 MKs to sign the letter to President Bush urging Jonathan Pollard's release I must say that it brought tears to my eyes. What an unprecedented act of unity!

    Prime Minister Sharon presented the letter to President Bush when they met in Washington and the message of 110 MKs joining in this call has the potential to make the difference. I hope that Sharon is following up on this - pressing for a positive answer to the Knesset petition for the release of Jonathan Pollard NOW, as a gesture to Israel in these horrendous times. For if Sharon does not press for a response to the Knesset petition for the release of Pollard now at this time, the President and his advisors will understand the message: the Knesset petition was an empty gesture which Israel is not committed to. It means nothing, you can ignore it - which is exactly what Bush is doing now...

  3. #2 Colin Powell should know better
  4. US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

    Colin Powell knows what an army can do when it wants to. How many hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands an army can readily kill when it enjoys overwhelming supremacy in the field.

    But yesterday Mr. Powell claimed to a congressional hearing that Israel was trying to "solve the problem by seeing how many Palestinians can be killed."

    Shame on you Mr. Powell.

    You know the casualty figures. You know that these are not the casualty figures generated by an operation to see "how many Palestinians can be killed."

    Shame on you.

    By using this language you put yourself with the vile propagandists who claim Israel is no better than Nazi Germany.

    There's no better time than the present for Mr. Powell to issue a "clarification".

  5. Is Tulkarem a watershed?
  6. Unlike the recent IDF operations in Jenin and Balata, the IDF apparently is not allowing the Palestinian fighting forces to escape from the Tulkarem area tonight. What happens in the next hours and perhaps days may set the model for the liberation of Israel from Palestinian terror.

    If we succeed in roundly defeating the Palestinian fighting forces - not letting them run away to fight yet another and another day - it will lift the psychological barrier that some in Israel have against seeking victory instead of an open-ended war of attrition.

    With Tulkarem - the source of several attempts to launch missiles against Netanya - neutralized, the same can be repeated in the remaining terrorist centers. Repeated before the Palestinians have a chance to learn from their defeat in Tulkarem how to make the next operation considerably more expensive for Israel.

  7. Don't repeat the immorality of Joseph's Tomb
  8. If the IDF is serious tonight in Tulkarem then I certainly hope we do not find ourselves witnessing a repeat of the immorality of the decision made back on October 1, 2000 when border policeman Sergeant Major Madhet Yosef from Beit Jann bled to death of wounds incurred during clashes at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.

    The decision to let him bleed to death was the subject of considerable debate over the morality of abandoning wounded soldiers - even if a rescue mission may cost considerably more Israeli lives.

    But it turns out that this was not the story at all.

    As an Israeli official later bragged on a visit overseas, Sergeant Major Madhet Yosef bled to death because a rescue operation would have cost the lives of many Palestinian fighters as an IDF strike force plowed its way through the fighting Palestinian forces to reach him and get out.

    This is nothing to be proud of.

    Faced with the choice of more Palestinian militiamen dispatched to Moslem paradise or more Israeli dead I certainly hope the IDF commanders make the right choice.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, is a well-known Israeli journalist and commentator. He is the director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) an independant Middle East news service.

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