Thursday, November 26, 2009

Israel Contemplates Settlement Freeze As Palestinians Ponder More Attacks

It should come as little surprise that Israel's efforts to show that it is interested in peace are met with indifference or outright terrorism. The Palestinians do not reciprocate with peaceful gestures, but instead show their dedication to the ultimate goal of a one-state solution without Israel's existence.

The Obama Administration has been pressuring Israel to freeze construction of housing for months, and the Netenyahu government finally relented.

Israel has announced a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem
, despite the fact that housing never was an impediment to peace. Housing (which is derisively called settlements) was never an impediment to peace with the Egyptians, and Israel has repeatedly shown itself capable of uprooting Israelis to trade land for the possibility of peace.

Israel withdrew from Gaza, uprooting dozens of communities, and the Gazans returned the favor with Hamas coming to power and starting a rocket war, and Gazans continue firing rockets into Israel even after the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. They continue smuggling weapons into Gaza in an effort to restock their weapons and equipment for the next phase of their conflict with Israel. Any peace deal has to reflect the fact that Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas aren't even in control of all territories involved; Hamas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist.

The Palestinians don't even see the settlement freeze as legitimate. They think it's a deception. The only ones deceiving here are the Palestinians who don't recognize Israel's right to exist even within the 1948 border, let alone the border from 1967 and thereafter.

Hamas continues holding Gilad Shalit and the terms are as they have been since he was captured; the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists for Shalit. The terror group has frozen talks, and despite the reports claiming that a deal is imminent, don't hold your breath. The terrorists have strung the Shalit family along for more than three years, and aren't going to be satisfied until they get Israel to bow to their demands. If Israel does relent, more Israelis will be put at risk and Hamas gets to enhance its power by showing that they can get Israel to submit to Hamas demands.

Now comes word that a Palestinian attacked two Israelis as they were trying to reach the Jewish enclave in Hebron. Hebron has been a flashpoint of contention for 90 years - while Arabs outnumber Jews by nearly a 10-1 margin, the Arabs and now Palestinians want to completely eliminate the remnants of a once vibrant Jewish community there. They aren't merely satisfied with a Jewish minority; they want a total elimination and they want it as an internationally sanctioned ethnic cleansing. The same goes for Israel's withdrawals from the West Bank and mirrors what happened in Gaza in 2005. So, while Palestinians want a right to overwhelm Israeli with demographics via the right of return, they refuse to allow Israelis to live among the Palestinian controlled territories.

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