Let's be clear: You don't have to support disengagement to agree that the Nazi-talk is grotesque. The Israeli army is not the Gestapo. The peaceful Jewish residents who will be forced from the homes and land they love are not being sent to gas chambers. Sharon's plan may be delusional -- instead of enabling Israelis to ''disengage" from Palestinian violence, it will bring them more of it, and in deadlier forms -- but it isn't the Final Solution.
And yet . . .
And yet there is no getting around the fact that Israel is about to become the first modern, Western nation in more than 60 years to forcibly uproot a whole population -- men, women, children, babies -- solely because they are Jews. There is no getting around the fact that the forthcoming expulsions are rooted in the belief that any future Palestinian state must be Judenrein -- emptied of its Jews. And while it goes without saying that Sharon and every member of his government abominate the Nazis and all they stood for, there is no getting around the fact that disengagement is meant to appease an enemy that has always regarded the genocidal hatred of Jews in a very different light.
Long before there were ''occupied territories," Haj Amin El-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the leader of Palestine's Arabs, urged Hitler to ''solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries . . . by the same method that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries." When five Arab armies invaded the newborn Israel in 1948, the secretary-general of the Arab League vowed to wage ''a war of extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."
More than half a century later, what has changed?
on the occasion of the recovery of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, has granted pardon for prisoners who do not constitute a source of danger to the public security or to the regime, said an official source at the Interior Ministry noting that such prisoners constitute the overwhelming majority of the prisoners.So it's back to pooping in the pool for King Fahd.
The official source pointed out that prisoners detained or convicted for big crimes, those who have been convicted by the Shariah court or expected to be convicted, those who have been detained for special rights, or those have escaped the penalty either before or after the issuance of the verdict, will be excluded from the forgiveness.
Persons due to be granted pardon have to take the pledge of avoiding recurrence of their crimes.
In case of recurrence of the crime, they will be re-imprisoned. Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister, has issued his directives to the governors of the regions and to all concerned authorities to immediately carry out the Royal Order.
BELFAST -- The British army began closing or demolishing military installations in the Irish Republican Army's rural heartland yesterday in a rapid response to the IRA's declaration to renounce violence and disarm.
Soldiers started to dismantle or withdraw from three positions in South Armagh, a rebellious borderland nicknamed "bandit country," where soldiers still travel by helicopter because of the risk of IRA dissidents' roadside bombs.
The move came a day after IRA commanders promised to disarm fully, and directed their units to dump their weapons and use "exclusively peaceful means" from now on.
The breakthrough was the product of a two-year diplomatic showdown between the IRA and its allied Sinn Fein party, on the one hand, and the British, Irish and U.S. governments, which demanded the IRA's full disarmament and disbandment -- in effect if not in name.
Britain, which also paroled an IRA mass murderer Wednesday as part of the emerging new agreement, agreed to close down an army base in the South Armagh village of Forkhill, a hilltop tower near Camlough Mountain with commanding views of surrounding hamlets and roads, and a tower in Newtownhamilton, the only South Armagh village with a substantial Protestant minority.
Lt. Gen. Reddy Watt, who commands the British army's 12,000-member force in Northern Ireland, confirmed the military cutbacks. Gen. Watt said he and Chief Constable Hugh Orde, commander of the Northern Ireland police, "have decided that a further reduction in security profile is possible."
The British army has already withdrawn more than 7,000 soldiers and closed more than three dozen installations since 1998, but paused the gradual process in recent months to await the IRA's next move.
With yesterday's cutbacks, seven watchtowers along the South Armagh border with the Irish Republic will remain -- half the number in place in 2001. One tower already dismantled had monitored activities at the farm and fuel-smuggling base operated by Thomas "Slab" Murphy, the IRA's reputed chief of staff.
The hilltop posts allow troops to monitor movements on roads and eavesdrop on conversations with the use of high-powered directional microphones, and are despised by Catholic locals as fostering a "Big Brother" atmosphere in their tight-knit, closed communities.
Protestant politicians condemned the British authorities' rapid reward for the IRA words, noting that police still aren't able to operate without military backup in South Armagh.
"It's criminally irresponsible of the government to do this, given what has gone on in those border areas," said Arlene Foster, a negotiator for the Democratic Unionist Party, which represents most of the province's British Protestant majority. "The government seems quite happy to act on words alone."
But Conor Murphy, a former IRA member who is Sinn Fein's member of the British Parliament for South Armagh, said its residents "have lived with the negative effects of military occupation for too long." He said yesterday's military retreat "must be built upon in the days and weeks ahead."