Saturday, November 25

A Cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians is Overdue

The situation in the south of Israel – Sderot and some of the kibbutzim in the Negev is becoming untenable. What is it in the Gaza psyche to continue this policy of terror against innocent people? Are these people unable to accept the fact that the havoc that they wreak will hit innocent Palestinians hard? The steadfast attitude of Hamas never to recognize Israel’s right to exist is a contributing factor to this violence. The absence of leadership qualities of the Israeli leadership with its rookie triumvirate responsible for defense is another factor.

The Qassam rockets fall unabated on the citizens of Sderot coupled by Hamas threats that if the Israeli Army does not cease its activity, they will continue their terror until every resident vacates Sderot. The Hamas-Islamic Jihad hate for Israel and the Jewish People is irreconcilable! Israel vacated Gaza unilaterally without negotiations. The worst fears of many people is that the vacuum left as a result is being filled by Palestinian terrorists whose motivation for the destruction of Israel is high.

When one is faced with an enemy of this magnitude, even army operations are useless.

The terrorists manage to gain world sympathy for their activities. Their propaganda machine portraying themselves as freedom fighters for the liberation of Palestine is very effective. The price that they are prepared to pay is high as well as their motivation. This problem has to be fought. How can the Israeli Army deal a crushing blow to the terrorists without harming innocent Palestinian People? Israeli intelligence does not seem to have the answer nor does Israel’s faltering leadership that is involved in bitter infighting. Amir Peretz, Minister of Defense and P.M. Olmert are unable to work together because of their differences of approach. Added to that problem is the Commander in Chief of the Israel Defense Forces, Dan Halutz, who is an Air Force Commander-In-Chief whose knowledge of ground army operations is questionable. One thing this triumvirate has in common is their inexperience in military security matters. This is not good for Israel! The conclusions are obvious – the triumvirate must go! The escalation of violence serves the Palestinian terrorist interests. They prove to the world that the strong Israel Army with its military resources is no match for the Palestinians and that they use the tragic accidents against innocent Palestinians that occur to their advantage.

P.M. Olmert has no agenda for peace. It is all hit, miss, hit again, unintended killings, hit the target at times, and miss again at other times! The result is more suffering, frustration and further escalation of violence! This is the result of “No Agenda”! It just cannot go on anymore! We have all had enough! Palestinians and Israelis have indecisive leadership that is achieving nothing but more hate and bloodshed!

The solution seems to lie in inviting an International Force, as well as observers that have the power to observe rather than being impotent sitting ducks as has been the case in the past, to separate the two sides from killing each other. This seems to be working on Israel’s border with Lebanon against Hezbollah attacks on Israel. Both sides must climb down from the tree of war. Hamas has stated its desire to a hudna (temporary cessation of hostilities). Surely this is better than the continuation of violence and bloodshed! Maybe it is not the ideal solution, but it could be a small step towards dual recognition and eventual peace. How long must this war continue with no end in sight? How many people must still be killed to add to the increasing death statistics on both sides? Where is the United Nations – as weak and ineffectual as it is?

While it is true that there is no trust between Israel and the Palestinians, the necessity of a neutral honest broker to initiate talks between the two sides has become even more urgent. Perhaps the Quartet could fill that post. The U.S. is not trusted in the Palestinian camp nor is Britain. Representatives from the European Union could fill the role of facilitator. Israelis and Palestinians are tired of this no win situation. Both sides must have a common desire for peace. Hamas has not shown any true indication to achieve peace, while Israel in their eyes has become once more the despised “Zionist Entity” of the past.

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