The Belarusian opposition, which is obviously unhappy about the re-"election" of A. Lukashenka, has reassembled in larger numbers to mark the "Freedom Day", commemorating the foundation of the short lived independent Belarusian state in the beginning of 20th century. And the police beat them and arrested some. There are reports that one protester was killed, and both opposition candidates are arrested. Everyone's favorite Belarusian blogger wrote about it. Read the BBC for more.
In the comments to that post Suzanne asked me to tell my opinion about Olmert's so-called "Convergence" plan. My opinion is that it is, quite obviously, a total disaster - but there's nothing new about it.
Giving this disaster a different name every time will not change its nature. The only thing that changes is the promise. In 1993 Rabin promised peace in exchange for territory. In 1996 Netanyahu promised "safe peace". In 1999 Barak promised "better future" or something. Then Arik Sharon promised that the disengagement will bring "security" and "redeployment" of the army. He didn't even mention peace. We didn't get any peace; we didn't get security; as for redeployment, well, no more troops are dying in the Gaza strip, which is good, but Hamas are preparing for another war, so it doesn't really matter.
And under those different names the disaster remains the same - evacuate the settlers from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Evacuate, disengage, pull out. Evict, transfer. Drive away. What's the difference?
Did Russia evacuate its settlers from Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg) exclave, a.k.a Eastern Prussia? Did China evacuate the many millions of Chinese settlers from Turkestan and Tibet? Are they the problem? Am i crazy, am i the only to miss this simple fact there are some terrorists around here who really don't mind whether it's convergence, disengagement, or some peace process? That they just want to kill us? That they don't care whether one lives in a village in Samaria or in downtown Tel-Aviv? So, are those settlers a problem? Why isn't anyone talking about evacuating Arabs who came to live in sovereign Israeli territory in the last few decades? Because, quite simply, evicting people from their homes is unthinkable. Unless they are Jews, of course.
And now Olmert, who was until recently one of the champions of supporting the settler movement, has became the champion of the eviction. He promises "permanent borders". Only a fool will believe that ridiculous promise - the borders that he promises won't be permanent, because the UN won't recognize them, EU won't be happy about them, Hamas will kill because of them and the US government will say that it never promised to support Israel's decision to keep the so-called "settlement blocs" (and, judging by the way the Disengagement from Gaza went, Olmert is simply lying about the "blocs" anyway). He says that he finally realized that permanent safe borders are important, and to create permanent and safe borders some settlers need to be evicted. What he really realized is that a politician who anounces that he is going to evict any amount of settlers immediately becomes the darling of the media, the UN and the EU (there are no Jewish settlers in the media, the UN and the EU). So, if it makes him the prime-minister for a few years, why not try it? He's calling it "convergence", which is a good word to put people in the suburbs of Tel-Aviv to sleep. Now that the "Hitnatkut" - Disengagement is over, and no-one wants to hear this word anymore, there will be the "Hitkansut" - Convergence. Very quickly the Israeli bourgeoisie will not want to hear this word anymore either and will consider the settlers' protests as a mere annoyance stuck in between reality shows, soap operas and basketball games. That is, until the war with Hamas breaks out. But that war won't hurt Olmert's family - his children live abroad. And in the meantime he'll play a little with being a head of state. And the public is asleep. And the public will blindly vote for Olmert, without even considering the alternatives. Without even bringing to mind that evicting people - any people - from their homes and destroying whole villages is just bad on every possible level.
1 пiдрахуйство - technically, this word word means something like "recounting" in Ukrainian, and is used in the sense of faking opinion polls or the vote count. But to everyone who knows Russian - and most Ukrainians know Russian, often even better than they know Ukrainian - this word sounds much more like cuntfagdickery. In the USSR faking votes and opinion polls is a known fact and an accepted norm; Israelis, on the other hand, won't admit anytime soon that such things are accepted, but fall for it just as well. The closer the results will be to the opinion polls, the more i'll think that they are fake. It's just impossible that so much people would vote for Olmert's ridiculous lies. Conspiracies, conspiracies everywhere.