Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Does Israel Want Peace or Land ?

Well, April fools is over, (and Adar will be gone soon too) so now back to sad reality.

Does Israel want peace or land? The answer is that it wants both. But if push comes to shove, it prefers more land. How do I know? 'Cause Israel just keeps building and building in the occupied territories, continues to establish "fact on the ground", and continues to think it can wear down the Palestinians and impose its position unilaterally. The fact that virtually guarantees a future of never-ending-violence, some times low level - as now - and sometimes intense, seems to be beside the point as far as the Israeli government is concerned.

The latest proof of this sad reality: "Israel plans 1,400 new homes on contested land" - from today's Globe and Mail. Story highlights include this gem:

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to keep building in east Jerusalem and theWest Bank, dismissing Palestinian claims that construction on contested land is the greatest obstacle to peace."

Who is he deluding? The answer, of course is the Israeli public, who continue to think thay can have it both ways. Keep the land and also have peace. Then they see the Palestinians as being unreasonable for refusing to acquiesce - often violently so. But who is being unreasonable? Is it reasonable that one side gets 90%? The West Bank and Gaza are barely viable as is. Could Palestinians reasonable survive when Israel nibbles away at that small land base, taking the best land, and effectively slicing the area into disjoint cantons?

What is the latest plan? 600 "Jewish homes" in Psigat Zeev and 800 in Beitar Illit. This is in addition to 600 announced in November for Har Homa.

Israelis are making their choices day by day. I fear they (and the Palestinians too) will live with the consequences.


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