PM: Hebron rioters a threat to democracy

Olmert and Peres say rule of law mst be asserted in Hebron; PM promises evacuation of Beit Hashalom.

olmert says fuck 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
olmert says fuck 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
The settlers barricaded in Beit Hashalom in Hebron and clashing with Palestinians and security forces are a threat to democracy in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday, asserting that the disputed house would be evacuated. "There are phenomena that cannot be tolerated and which the government headed by me cannot accept," Olmert said at a memorial for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion in Sde Boker. "The dispute over the Land of Israel is legitimate and the desire to maintain a Jewish presence in the holiest and most important of our cities is understandable. However, this desire cannot be stronger than the decision of the Supreme Court." The prime minister went on to say that he "loves" Hebron and "harbor[s] boundless respect for its lovers, residents and guards," but asserted that "now that the High Court of Justice has decided that a house in the city must be evacuated, it will be evacuated. I will not let anyone raise a hand against democracy in Israel" Olmert promised to try and circumvent the looming confrontation with negotiations, concluding, however, that "There are judges in Jerusalem; there is discipline, order and proportion." Speaking after Olmert, President Shimon Peres said that, "These days especially, it is worth repeating the words of Ben Gurion, who said there is only one state and one law, and the existence of the state necessitates fulfilling its laws. The state must oppose those who break its laws without hesitation." "We walk in the country remorseful, first and foremost over not having yet fulfilled Ben Gurion's vision. He bequeathed us the Negev, he bequeathed us the Galilee. He bequeathed us peace, and knew its price. He ordered us to treat our non-Jewish residents and neighbors with dignity and respect," Peres said. "In a democracy, leaders should be elected. But in a visionary state, after their election they must remain loyal to the nearby goals and the faraway destinations. They are not allowed to be desperate, they must not wallow in self pity. They must know that even a crisis can be a point of leverage and there is no leader as realistic as the one who has faith," the president said. Also Wednesday, Kadima chairwoman and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni harshly condemned the right-wing activists clashing with police and Palestinians in Hebron, and called on political and civil leaders in Israel to follow suit. "We have here a group that does not recognize the authority of the government, the authority of the court, or the authority of the army or police to act," Livni said. "Israel cannot be a state which has areas that are like the Wild West." "We are not speaking about one house, or an isolated incident," she continued. "This is a phenomenon which must end." "I expect everyone to speak clearly and with one voice," Livni said. "Every citizen is obliged to the law, and there is no way a citizen can raise a hand against a soldier. The political and societal leadership in Israel, especially those with influence on this group, needs to clearly denounce this, otherwise the phenomenon won't disappear."