Israel is Playing with Fire

It looks as though Israel has decided to take the initiative to stop any initiatives to reach a Palestinian national unity. Image First, the Israeli government continues to shrug off external pressure to end the imposed siege on Gaza, which has entered its fifth year. Second, it continues to slight the new Arab democracies, especially the Egyptian one. Finally, it continues to block the road to an imminent Palestinian state, which could be accomplished by September.

Israel’s latest military escalation on Gaza is a clear indication of its intention to escape all commitments and once again cast itself in the role of the victim, accumulating solidarity from foreign nation—something that we grew sick of a long time ago. Israel knows that whenever they kill people in Gaza, as they have in the past few days, unrest will not settle down any time soon. And it is certain that the ensuing escalation only benefits Israel.

The Jerusalem bombing, in which a bomb was left at a bus stop in West Jerusalem, killed one and injured 30. I have no doubt that Israel did this. There is no evidence that Palestinians perpetrated the attack. The attack had no repercussions; the army didn’t even impose a blockade on the West Bank and we haven’t seen Israeli countermeasures common to every Palestinian attack. The government’s attempts to use Itamar attack—in which a family of five settlers were killed by an unknown assailant—as a weapon to attack Palestine and its leaders has been unsuccessful, simply because there is no decisive evidence who carried out the murders.

The Israeli public should be aware of what their government is doing, and in which direction it is heading. The public should know that this will not end the international pressure on Israel to end its occupation, nor will it jam Palestinian reconciliation for very long. Considering what is it planning to do, this government might lead to things that no Israeli citizen wants, especially in light of the rabid changes sweeping the region, which has a clear impact on Israel’s relationship with its neighbors.

Israel must be much clearer with its people, the Palestinians and the world; it has to admit in a clear voice that it wants to maintain the occupation and eschew peace. It was not interested in the 2002 Arab peace initiative nor the recent superficial peace negotiations to escape its suffering from hardline positions on everything. Israel must understand that giving the Palestine the choice between peace and Hamas does not interest us. No one doubts that Palestinians want peace, because we are the ones under occupation and we continually demand freedom.

Israel, it is time for you to stop using security issues to hamper peace. Haven’t you had enough of military checkpoints, barbed wire, and walls over land and sea? And you want the world to believe that we are the ones responsible for the Jerusalem bombing? Or that we terrify and want to eliminate you? Time has come for you to rethink your strategies and evaluate your policies that have led you to war rather than peace, bloodshed rather than life. Time has come for you to decide whether you want your futures government to live in peace with the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab world—to end this shameful chapter of humanity as a whole.

(english.pnn.ps /24.03.2011)

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