Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Stefan Sharkansky would like to know what the reaction in Israel is to the Friday interview of four former Shabak heads who warn of imminent doom as a result of the actions of the current government and support the initiative of one of them, Ami Ayalon, with Palestinian Sari Nusaiba.

So reactions? Erm, well, Haaretz editorial yesterday fully supports (duh). In today’s Yediot Aharonot op-ed page (the newspaper in which the original interview appeared) (Hebrew link), Yaron London was in favor and Arye Eldad was opposed. Interestingly, they both ask why these people are only saying these things now, and why, when in office, they didn’t refuse to implement the same sorts of policies they are now opposing.

Eldad even goes further to remind us that one of the four, Avraham Shalom, was forced to resign his post as head of the Shabak following the # 300 bus fiasco, in which Shabak operatives killed terrorists who had hijacked an intercity bus in 1984. It came to light that the terrorists had been apprehended, and were tied up, when killed, making this an illegal execution. Shalom then sent his people to lie to the Commission of Inquiry and blame the killings on then IDF Southern Command General, Yitzhak Mordechai. He also reminds us that Carmi Gillon resigned his post after his operatives failed to prevent the murder of Yitzhak Rabin.

Yaron London says that it’s better late than never. He contends that the opposition to Sharon and his policies is growing. He has a point. People are starting to feel a bit uneasy about Sharon. But considering the majority the right got just under a year ago in the elections, and that the left still doesn’t really look like a serious alternative, it’s far too early to start burying him.

So that’s a bit of media reaction for you, from those guys who get paid to have an opinion. But what are people on the street saying?

Nothing. They’re not interested.