Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Palestine/Israel - Peace ?

Now that Hamas is "the enemy" in Gaza - for both the U.S. and Israel, one might want to look seriously about what is being done to eliminate the threat that it poses.

Clearly the Israeli Government is trying to isolate Gaza and create economic turmoil with its attempts at blockading and isolating it. Hamas clearly has at least had periods where it has sought an end to the bombing/counter-bombing cycle which polarizes things further. Nothing being done by Israel or the U.S. is encouraging economic growth or prosperity in Gaza.

Israel and the U.S. rushed to the support of Mahmoud Abbas and his supporters supporting their takeover of the government in the West Bank when Hamas took over Gaza, despite the fact that Hamas had won elections with a majority of the representatives elected previously.

Abbas can only succeed as "the leader" if he succeeds in "the cause" of his Palestinian supporters. Such success necessitates a move towards a peace agreement with Israel.

An independent Palestinian State under "moderate leadership" is the most viable goal for all except "radical" leaders (such as those of Hamas). Unfortunately as Abbas tries to negotiate with the Israelis, the only clear steps occurring are continued Israeli expansion of settlements and the expansion of its Wall separating Palestinians both from Israel and from much of the Palestinians' land (as well as using such land for the Wall).

If or when peace efforts fail (again) two possible "solutions" will exist:

1.) Continued - "war" - battles between Israeli and Palestinian forces - as terror rears itself probably in small, but important instances - continuing the stalemate of many years or

2.) Building a "single state" solution - where Palestinians will be a majority in a permanently expanded Israel.

Neither solution seems viable for either side.

One hears repeatedly - "Why don't the Palestinians show good faith so the Israelis can learn to trust them and make peace?". Now the "moderate" forces in The West Bank are not in a "state of war" and are trying to build for a peaceful future.

It is time that Israel and the U.S. tackle the tough issues and make peace finally! It is really possible now that the process could succeed. One must hope that Israeli leadership will change its position and strengthen and that the U.S. will finally be a "leader" in helping broker a real, lasting peace in Israel and Palestine.


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