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Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Ongoing War against Reality - Has it Reached Europe?

What's surprising about this well-written article is not that it was written. If it had appeared in an American right-wing publication or blog, or in an Israeli one, no one would bat an eyelash. But what's surprising about this article is that it's in the German daily Der Spiegel.

Hat Tip: Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Many are treating the apparent recognition of Israel by Hamas as a sign of hope. It's not. Indeed, the Palestinians have no such intention -- and have left Israel with only military options.

Once again the Palestinians are in the process of shattering the Israeli dream of peace. The building of a tunnel under the border, the attack on an army post and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier haven't just served to stir things up in the stagnating Middle East war. The attack also served to bring the Israelis face to face with the limits of their power. And to provide the Palestinians with a short-lived though uplifting feeling of superiority. It's difficult, after all, to categorize an assault on an army unit as an act of terrorism.

...

Now, however, the conflict has reached a new level. The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza last summer has more than anything motivated militant Palestinians to demonstrate to Israel that the conflict is not primarily about territory, the end of the occupation and the return to the 1967 borders. Rather, it's about all or nothing. It's about the control, not the division, of the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Were the Palestinians to invest only a tiny percentage of the energy they consume in internal conflict and resistance against Israelis into the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and Gaza would be much better off.

And the Israelis? Those who believed that unilateral action and the construction of a fence would result in the security that negotiations have been unable to provide are now being confronted with the bitter reality. Fences and walls cannot provide absolute security -- and no matter how high such barriers are, they can still be dug under. The question they are asking themselves is this: "What is cheaper: ending or continuing the occupation?" What's the point of military withdrawal when those Palestinians who want a peaceful resolution are unable to assert themselves -- and those Palestinians who want to continue fighting merely feel vindicated and encouraged?

...

Indeed, if there is a clear message provided by the paper, it is this: The Palestinians do indeed want a two-state solution. One in those regions -- the Gaza Strip and the West Bank -- occupied in 1967. And one in that region that is today known as Israel. One shouldn't forget that the PLO was founded in 1964 with the goal of freeing Palestine from the Zionists -- three years prior to the Six Day War when Gaza was still under Egyptian control and the West Bank was a part of Jordan.

...

Israel has no other choice but to stand tough because every climb down and withdrawal is interpreted as weakness. Furthermore the word "compromise" is a foreign word in the Arab world. You either prevail or go down in a blaze of glory.

Read the whole thing.

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