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Thursday, January 24, 2008

4,200 balloons symbolizing Kassams placed on UN doorstep

JPost: As the United Nations Security Council debated a response to the situation in the Gaza Strip and Sderot, Israel's New York Consulate held a protest in front of UN headquarters on Thursday, in which they placed 4,200 red balloons on the UN's doorstep. The number of balloons signified the 4,200 Kassam rockets fired into Israel from Gaza since the 2005 disengagement from the Strip.

The display was meant to raise world awareness to the fact that Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip are part of an effort to end the rocket attacks, the consulate said in a statement.

"Up until this day, every attempt to raise the issue and make it part of the American media's agenda has been unsuccessful," Consulate Spokesman David Saranga said.

"The suffering of Gaza residents has received increased attention recently. The display is intended to emphasize the suffering of the residents of Sderot [and to] illustrate the incessant Kassam rocket attacks, as well as to call on the international community to stop ignoring what is happening in Israel," Saranga explained

Even NYT in its OpEd has conceded that:

We are deeply concerned about the many innocent Israelis who live along the border with Gaza and must suffer through the constant bombardment.

New, more vigorous strategies are required. Arab states, who for years have pleaded the Palestinian case and have thrown their support behind the Annapolis peace process, must use their influence (and their oil profits) to pressure Hamas’s leaders to halt rocket attacks, renounce terrorism and align with Fatah in pursuit of a peace deal.

Egypt, whose stature as a peacemaker has withered under President Hosni Mubarak, should take immediate, robust steps to shut down the tunnels that allow arms and money to flow to militants in Gaza. It should also accept more responsibility for securing the common border. No Israeli prime minister can sign a peace deal if it doesn’t make Israel more secure.

The NYT recommendation?

Mr. Bush needs to appoint a high-level envoy to deal with this and the dozens of other crises waiting to boil over. Gaza is a reminder that nothing in the peace effort can be ignored or taken for granted.

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I am a cantankerous man living and working in the Silicon Valley where reading books is an abomination that is virtually unheard of, frowned upon and may be detrimental to one's career. I avoid censure by never conceding that I ever read or owned a book in my life. If anyone accidentally glimpses my scant proficiency in any subject matter, I immediately accredit it to having glanced at DrudgeReport that day.

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