To be officially considered a blizzard, a storm requires wind speeds
of at least 40 km/h and visibility reduced to at least 400 metres — and
it must be sustained for a minimum of four hours.Visibility did drop as low as 200 metres and winds peaked at 74 km/h. But the conditions lasted just three hours and 51 minutes.
It also dumped 10 centimetres of fresh snow in the city, which is about half of what was expected.Still, the storm packed a whallop and has left many streets clogged
with snow drifts. And it's still lingering, blowing light snow around in
45 km/h wind as of 7 a.m.
Snow plows and sanding trucks are out in full force and have already cleared many of the main thoroughfares.Winnipeg's manager of street maintnenance, Ken Boyd, said as many as
150 pieces of snow clearing equipment could be used this weekend."Our main priority right now is major routes, the collectors and the
bus routes. We're going to get them in operating shape before we look at
the residential streets," he said.
are far worse outside the city, where a blizzard warning remains in
effect for the southern part of the province — Morden, Winkler, Altona,
Emerson, Morris, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita, Richer.The Trans-Canada Highway was closed Friday night from Winnipeg to the
Saskatchewan border, and remains that way, leaving hundreds of drivers
stranded.Greg Cristanti, who owns a Tim Hortons restaurant in Virden, said
there's a line of about 200 semi-trailers alongside the Trans-Canada."Lots of coffee going out, lots of drink trays. They're taking them
out there and they're making some friends out there helping each other
out through the crappy situation," he said."It's pretty bad but [the drivers] are a little humorous — they come
in asking for [job] applications, thinking that they're going to be
there for a while and that maybe they can come in and help us pour some
double-doubles this morning."One of those stranded drivers, Andrew Bessen, said it was
white-knuckle driving Friday night and despite his 33 years of
experience on the highways, he was "so stressed out" and happy to see
the road block."I was like, 'Oh, thank you, I don't have to drive any more. Let's go
to bed.' So I got up, I had a coffee and I'm waiting at the barrier for
them to open it up," he said."I've been doing this a long time and I drive the mountains of B.C.
quite a bit and I can drive in the snow and I can drive in the ice but I
can't drive in whiteouts."The Yellowhead Highway has also been shut down from the Trans-Canada all the way to Minnedosa.Highway 5 from Neepawa to McCreary was also closed for several hours but reopened at about 9 a.m. CT.A winter storm warning remains in place for the extreme southeast
corner of Manitoba, where another five centimetres of snow is likely
before the system makes its way into Northwestern Ontario.
The storm has caused some power outages as well.In the St. Pierre-Jolys area south of Winnipeg, Karen Letourneau and
her husband were in the dark from Friday night until about 9 a.m. CT
Saturday.They managed to stay warm but living in the country, they even needed
power for their water supply so things were getting worrisome.They also learned a lot about their own ingenuity — Letourneau’s husband used a soldering torch to make her coffee this morning.“And he went into our basement near the chimney so the fumes would go
up the chimney, and he boiled the water in a stainless steel cup,” she
said with a laugh.
OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government promised a new
focus on First Nations grievances after aboriginal leaders voiced their
demands in a day of pleas, protests, warnings and high-level meetings
around Parliament Hill.After four hours of talks Friday, First Nations leaders came out of
the meeting with a pledge from Harper for talks on treaty relationships
and comprehensive claims.Harper also promised to put an “enhanced oversight” on aboriginal
issues in his office and the Privy Council Office, the powerful
bureaucratic wing of the PMO. That could mean a more active role for the
government’s top offices in resolving troublesome issues on the file.And Harper and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo
will meet again in the coming weeks to put “some precision” on the
issues agreed on Friday.
Atleo, who came under sharp criticism from other chiefs for even
meeting with Harper, voiced some optimism after the session wrapped up.“We have achieved some movement today,” Atleo said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister listened respectfully to the Chiefs and responded to
all they brought forward and for the first time, provided a clear
mandate for high-level talks on treaty implementation. Prime Minister
Harper also committed to high-level discussions on comprehensive
claims.”The meeting took place against a backdrop of rising tensions within
the First Nations community, giving rise to the Idle No More movement,
which has blocked highways and rail lines in recent weeks to press for
action on their priorities.Indeed, the high stakes of Friday’s meeting was driven home by
several thousand people who gathered for a boisterous demonstration
across the street in front of the parliament buildings.In a statement, Harper’s office said the “government remains
committed to ongoing dialogue on aboriginal issues and to taking
achievable steps that will provide better outcomes in First Nations
communities.”“Everyone came to this meeting knowing we’re not going to solve
everything in one go. The key is to have our commitment to work with
each other,” said an official present at the meeting.He described the tone as “very civil, very productive.”But “that’s not to say any punches were pulled . . . it was a very
frank discussion and there was a sense of urgency to it,” the official
said.However, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan told reporters the
Conservative government will not give in to demands to reconsider the
parts of the omnibus budget implementation bills C-38 and C-45 the
Assembly of First Nations argued contravene their treaty and inherent
rights. The legislation streamlines regulations governing environmental
protection, a shift that aboriginals see as an attack on their land and
livelihoods, and was an impetus for the grassroots and growing Idle No
“We are quite comfortable that we have met our constitutional
obligations with those bills and we believe there is every reason to
proceed,” Duncan said.Duncan said the government realizes that giving native bands access
to resource royalties is part of any discussion about improving economic
conditions for First Nations. But any changes will have to be discussed
with the provinces, which have jurisdiction over resources, he noted.There were sharp divides among First Nations leaders whether Atleo
should even attend the meeting with Harper. Instead, they wanted the
prime minister and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to meet on their terms.
Championing that position was Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who
has been on a hunger strike to force that meeting. However, in a
surprise move, she left her wooden enclosure on Victoria Island, where
she has spent the past month avoiding solid foods, to join other chiefs
for meeting with Johnston at Rideau Hall Friday evening.Spence had refused to participate in the Harper meeting if Johnston did not attend.“It’s nation-to-nation with the chiefs, to have this meeting with the
prime minister and the Governor General,” explained Spence, who is
continuing to survive on broth and tea.Spence joined a group of her fellow chiefs at a downtown Ottawa hotel
before heading to Rideau Hall for the evening meeting described by
officials as “ceremonial.” Looking frail and tired, she walked gingerly
with the help of several handlers.At one point, she stood briefly in a room full of chiefs, wearing a
headdress, to be feted by a group of aboriginal drummers. Her health,
however, is seriously diminished, said spokesman Danny Metatawabin, who
admitted surprise at her appearance at the hotel, The Canadian Press
reported.“She’s tired, she’s weak. She’s weakening. Got cramps in her stomach.
We’re all praying for her,” Metatawabin said. “The body’s stressed
right now because of all the commotion of today.”In his comments to the chiefs at Rideau Hall, Johnston expressed a
“special welcome” to Spence and voiced worries about her health along
with the health of two others also on a hunger strike.“My deepest wish is for the well-being of all Canadians, and for
dialogue to always take place in a safe and healthy manner,” Johnston
said, according to a text of his remarks.Johnston conceded, “There remains much hard work to be done.“I am confident that by working together in a spirit of respect, we
can create the conditions in which aboriginal and non-aboriginal people
can thrive equally, according to their hopes and dreams,” he said.Later, a group of chiefs, including Spence, said they walked out of
the Rideau Hall meeting, feeling snubbed and complaining that
traditional symbols like the wampum belt had been disrespected.“Before the closing ceremonies we had to walk out . . . because
somehow it felt like a show, a picture opportunity,” Metatawabin told
several hundred supporters later at an Ottawa hotel.
“What’s happening here is not done yet. It’s not over yet,”
Metatawabin said. “Sadly, the hunger strike continues. I didn’t feel
that honour. I didn’t feel that privilege.”With some angry chiefs threatening widespread disruption of roads and
rail traffic, the federal government’s efforts to respond to the
growing aboriginal protest movement has taken on added urgency.The question is whether Friday’s outcome would be enough to head off
an outpouring of civil disobedience by Idle No More supporters.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak from Manitoba, who boycotted the meeting,
warned that aboriginals are in a position to bring the Canadian economy
to its knees.“There is a great power that’s emerging once again. The warrior
spirit of our people is once again across the land — it’s very strong,”
Nepinak said.Nepinak told CBC-TV aboriginals are peace-loving but, unless their
demands are addressed, “at some point the energy and power of our young
people will start to spill over the political boundaries we’ve tried to
create.”The Idle No More movement has staged blockades of highways and rail
lines in recent weeks and plans to step up its protests with a day of
national action on Jan. 16.In a possible preview Friday, natives blocked the Canadian National
rail line between Halifax and Truro in Nova Scotia. And demonstrations
by natives and non-native sympathizers were held in Montreal, Vancouver,
Winnipeg, Calgary and other cities. Idle No More protesters even showed
up outside the Canadian High Commission in London, England.Duncan spoke with uncommonly plain language when asked the big
question that many Canadians — and the First Nations establishment —
will no doubt be mulling over the weekend: does he have confidence the
outcome of the meeting will head off disruptive protests? “I have no idea what it will do,” Duncan said.The meeting with Harper exposed sharp divisions among aboriginal
leaders. Like Spence, Ontario and Manitoba chiefs refused to attend
because they say it’s pointless without the Governor General as a
representative of the Crown that signed treaties with natives here in
the 18th century.But about 20 leaders from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and other
provinces attended, including Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come of Quebec
and Atleo, the AFN leader. In doing so, Atleo defied strong pressure
from some chiefs not to meet with the prime minister and natives said
his leadership of the AFN may be challenged as a result.Besides Harper and Duncan, the government contingent included Health
Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Treasury Board Minister Tony Clement.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations,(USELESS U.N) that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not.(ASSAD) This is the portion of them that spoil us,(ISRAEL) and the lot of them that rob us.
23 Concerning Damascus.(SYRIA) Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea;(WAR SHIPS WITH NUKES COMING ON SYRIA) it cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.
25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.
27 And I will kindle a fire (NUKES OR BOMBS) in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.(ASSADS PALACES POSSIBLY IN DAMASCUS)
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,(JORDAN) and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, PALESTINIANS,JORDAN) and the Hagarenes;(EGYPT)
7 Gebal,(HEZZBALLOH,LEBANON) and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA,ARABS,SINAI) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
Experts: Syria May Have Unenriched Uranium
and Israeli security experts suspect Syria may have tons of unenriched
uranium in storage which could be transferred to Iran.
By Elad Benari First Publish: 1/11/2013, 10:51 PM-Israelnationalnews
Western and Israeli security experts suspect Syria may have tons of unenriched uranium
in storage and that any such stockpile could potentially be of interest to its ally Iran for use in Tehran's nuclear program.
The experts told the Reuters
news agency on Friday that natural uranium could have been acquired by Syria years ago to fuel a suspected nuclear reactor under construction
that was allegedly bombed by Israel in 2007."Someplace there has got to be an inventory of fuel for the reactor.
It doesn't make sense to have a nuclear installation, a nuclear reactor,
without any fuel," proliferation expert Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie
Endowment think tank told Reuters
.But, he added, "to my knowledge there hasn't been any substantiated accounts identifying where that material may be located."Even if Syria did have such a stockpile, it would not be usable for nuclear weapons in its present form, he said.The Financial Times
newspaper reported this week that Syria may hold up to 50 metric tons of unenriched, or natural, uranium
- material which can fuel atomic power plants and also provide the
explosive core of nuclear bombs, but only if refined to a high degree.A recently retired Israeli security official told Reuters
he believed Syria was keeping uranium at a site near Damascus, one of the places the UN's atomic watchdog wants to inspect, but he did not say what he based this on.The former Israeli official said rebels fighting Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad may get hold of the stockpile and make its existence
public."Then it would put pay to the Syrians' claims that they never had a reactor in the first place," he said.Another possibility was that Syria, "knowing the material is no
longer secured, could ship it out to Iran, which is certainly in need of
more uranium for its own nuclear plans," the former Israeli official, who declined to be named, added.A Western diplomat told the news agency there had been speculation about possible uranium - perhaps in the form of natural uranium metal to fuel a reactor - in Syria because of the destroyed Deir al-Zor site but that he knew of no specific details."It is plausible. But as far as I know no one has ever had any idea
where the material is," he said, adding it would not be easy to ship
large quantities to Iran without detection.Of greater concern to the West is Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, which dates back to the 1970s and is the biggest
in the Middle East.While it is well-known that Syria has chemical weapons, the precise scope of its stockpile.The country has hundreds of tons of various chemical agents,
including sarin and VX nerve agents, as well as older blistering agents
such as mustard gas, dispersed in dozens of manufacturing and storage
sites, experts say.U.S. officials recently said there was evidence
that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's troops had not only moved
deadly sarin gas that might be used against rebels, but also that its
binary components, usually stored separately, had been combined and placed into bombs for use
.Doctors have said that Assad’s forces are probably also using “Agent 15,”
which causes paralysis.U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that his country is increasingly focused
on how to secure Syria's chemical weapons if Assad falls from power.President Barack Obama has issued stern warnings
to Damascus against resorting to chemical weaponry in its war with rebel forces.The United States and its allies, including Israel, have repeatedly expressed concern
that Syria's stockpile, believed to be one of the biggest in the world, could be stolen and fall into extremist hands or be transferred to the Hizbullah terror group by
a crumbling Syrian regime.(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until
the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all
Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)
ZECHARIAH 12:1-5 King James Bible
1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.(WW3 STARTS BECAUSE JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED AND ISRAELIS UPROOTED FROM THEIR GOD GIVIN LAND)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
ZECHARIAH 14:1-4 King James Bible
1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.
12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
NO ITS NOT THE RIGHT,ITS THE LEFT THAT WILL DESTROY ISRAEL.ONCE JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED AND GIVIN TO THE ARABS.THANKS TO THE LEFT.WW3 KILL OFF 1/3RD OF ISRAELIS AS WELL AS HALF OF EARTHS POPULATION.OR 3 BILLION.SO THANKS LEFT WINGERS,NOT ZIONIST ISRAEL LAND SUPPORTERS.
Analysis: Israel left wing sees Jewish state's end
By Associated Press – 17 hrs ago JAN 12,13
TEL AVIV, Israel
(AP) — An apocalyptic tone has crept into Israel
hitherto muted election season, with opposition leaders and others
sounding increasingly desperate warnings that a few more years of rule
by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
's heavily favored right wing might well destroy the Jewish state.The idea is that by holding onto the lands Palestinians want for
their state — and continuing to settle them with Jews — the Israeli
right is marching blindly toward a future in which Arabs could outnumber
Jews in the country and ultimately take over.Perhaps the most strident
proponent of this message is former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who
four years ago led peace talks with the Palestinians and recently
founded a new party whose primary message is that the Zionist project is
in danger. "Netanyahu
is leading us toward the end of the Jewish state," she said in a
statement Friday. "Israelis must choose between extremism and Zionism. Israel
is in great danger and everyone must wake up now."Outgoing opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, a former military chief and
defense minister, warns at campaign appearances that Arabs will soon
outnumber Jews in the Holy Land and the main strategic priority must be
to partition the land to prevent the emergence of a "binational state."
Leaders of the main center-left Labor Party say much the same.Netanyahu's majority depends on his Likud party in coalition with
other nationalist and religious groups known as the "right." Despite all
its bewildering complications, the political spectrum ultimately
resembles something of a two-party system.
The prime minister and his supporters have argued that Israel
must not act in haste and many on the right stridently oppose any territorial concessions on the lands Israel
captured in 1967 — the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinians want to set up their state.The author Amos Oz, who has long been viewed as an oracle of sorts in Israel
, called the governing coalition "the most anti-Zionist in the history of Israel" for ignoring the demographic issue."If there will not be two states here, neither will it (even) be a
binational state — it will be an Arab state," he was quoted by Haaretz
as saying on Friday. "They believe Jews can rule an Arab majority (but)
no apartheid nation in the world survived without collapsing in a few
years."Netanyahu himself has at times conceded the logic of the argument: Israel
proper has 6 million Jews living alongside almost 2 million Arab
citizens; with the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza thrown into
the mix, the populations divide about evenly and the Arab birthrate is
higher. Hence, if Israel
insists on ruling the entire Holy Land, Jews will be in the minority.Even as the tipping point approaches, Israel
continues to add to the Jewish settler population in the West Bank,
which together with the Israelis who live in adjacent east Jerusalem now
number a half million. Israelis on the left fret that too many settlers
will make a partition impossible in a few years. Under this narrative,
partition is not an Israeli "concession," which must await Palestinian
promises of peace — but rather a life-saving surgery for the Zionist
enterprise.The demographic message resonates
with many Jewish Israelis who — like the founding fathers of Zionism a
century ago — view themselves as an ethnic group and consider Israel
its nation-state. And it seems widely supported among the country's
secular elites — in academia, the business world, major media
organizations and even in the senior echelons of the security
establishment.Israel's security chiefs must generally clam up while in office, but
outbursts by the recently retired have been striking: Yuval Diskin, who
headed the Shin Bet security police, excoriated Netanyahu for missing a
chance to pursue peace with the moderate Palestinian leadership of
Mahmoud Abbas; Meir Dagan, who headed the Mossad spy agency, has
portrayed the premier as a dangerous adventurer who might drag Israel
into war with Iran; and former military chief Gabi Ashkenazi was so
widely touted as a leader-in-waiting for the left that a law was passed
freezing security officials out of politics for just long enough to keep
him out of the current election season.In an interview with the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Diskin warned that
the current lull in Palestinian violence was in danger because it
depends on the Palestinian Authority's security cooperation with Israel —
and Palestinian leaders "will not be able to be seen over time as the
protectors of the Israeli interests while Israel, from their
perspective, every day steals more lands, builds more (Jewish)
settlements, and pushes away their dream of a state, chopping up the
territory into parts that it will be very difficult to connect.""I don't know whether it is possible to achieve peace, but with these
moves we are certainly diminishing even the small chance that is left,"
Diskin said.Yaron Ezrahi, a political science professor at the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem, said it was "not surprising that in Israel the officers
are more moderate ... as men of war who lost (friends) they become
pragmatists because they all sense very clearly the limitations of
power." But he warned that the broad support of a country's elites for a
given political argument would not necessarily translate into a
persuasion of the masses.Indeed, most polls show the right-wing bloc led by Likud as likely to win perhaps 65 of the 120 seats, enough to keep Netanyahu
in power — even though studies suggest most Israelis would support a formal two-state solution if one were offered.There are several reasons that account for this contradiction and compel so many Israelis to put the demographic issue aside.First, Israel pulled out of the tiny but crowded Gaza Strip in 2005,
removing all settlers and soldiers and cutting off its almost 2 million
people from Israel with a fence. Thus many Israelis feel they won some
"demographic time" and dumped the troublesome territory — yet the
Palestinians see Gaza as linked to the West Bank and they consider it
still occupied because Israel controls air and sea access to it.Second, the vast majority of West Bank Palestinians live in
autonomous zones set up in negotiations during the 1990s. There the
Palestinian Authority enjoys a measure of self-rule, with its own
services to citizens, its own police and various trappings of
quasi-statehood — enabling Israelis to view this population as not
exactly under occupation and already somewhat separated from Israel.
They note that Israel has not formally annexed the West Bank, the
implication being that even though the territory has Jewish settlers who
can vote in Israeli elections — it is not Israel.
But the reality is messy: dozens of islands of autonomy surrounded on
all sides by the 60 percent of the West Bank still fully controlled by
Israel, with Jewish settlements dotting the territory and Israel
controlling Palestinians' movements between the zones and into and out
of the West Bank. With the settlements in place, a reasonable-looking
map is already difficult to envision.Perhaps most damaging for the left, Israelis appear to have lost
faith that the lands can be traded for peace, because even when their
leaders proposed what they considered far-reaching offers no deal was
reached. That happened under Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2001, and
again when the government of Ehud Olmert proposed a state on almost all
the Palestinian territories in 2008.One poll conducted several weeks ago showed 60 percent of Israeli
Jews support a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians — but 67
percent believe that "no matter which parties prevail, the peace process
with the Palestinians will remain at a standstill for reasons not
connected to Israel." The poll of 601 people had a 4.5 percent margin of
error.Some — like columnist Elia Leibowitz — argue for a unilateral pullout
from at least part of the territory, if a deal is unattainable. "The
fateful question now facing Israel is Hamlet's: To be or not to be,"
Leibowitz wrote in Haaretz. "The option of Israel 'being' exists only
if it withdraws from all the occupied territories."But the unilateral model has been discredited in the eyes of many by
the example of Gaza where the Israeli handover was followed by a
takeover by the Islamic militant group Hamas and years of cross-border
rocket barrages."As opposed to the voices that I have heard recently urging me to run
forward, make concessions (and) withdraw, I think that the diplomatic
process must be managed responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue
haste," Netanyahu said last week. He notes that he has offered peace
talks but the Palestinians insist on a settlement freeze, which is
politically difficult for a right-wing government.The sense that they have run out of options — and yet that something
has to give — has some on the left predicting the world will step in."Maybe we need to hit rock bottom, to be on the verge of
international sanctions or a (foreign) military intervention before
change can happen," said Liora Norwich, a 30-year-old in a Tel Aviv
cafe, concluding that in this sense a Netanyahu victory could be for the
And critically, the demographic argument alienates the Israeli Arabs
who are crucial to any hopes of assembling a majority in the electorate
against the right. Unlike the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza,
they are citizens of Israel who can vote. But about half don't bother — a
much lower participation level than that of the Jews — greatly
diminishing the chances of the left to prevail.Among that group as well, the idea that a separation is no longer possible is increasingly heard."Every day that passes, with the expansion of settlements ... closes
the window of opportunity and sends people thinking about another
option: the one-state solution," prominent Arab legislator Ahmed Tibi
said.Contemplating such as Arab-majority state, Tibi added: "That's probably the only option in which I will be prime minister."___Dan Perry has reported on the
Middle East for two decades and currently leads AP's coverage in the
region. Follow him on www.twitter.com/perry_dan . Associated Press
writer Ariel David in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.
An AP News Analysis