Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Piece plan

There probably isn't a better a demonstration of just how disingenuous the Israeli government is as regards the "road map" to peace and any larger effort to resolved the Israeli-Palestinian problem than the recent announcement that Israeli officials have just approved new settlements in the West Bank. Quite apart from the violations of UN resolutions that this move represents is the fact that such activity breeches the 2003 US-backed "road map," which Israel agreed to then. In true up-is-down fashion, Israelis have said that the approval to build new settlements in the West Bank does not breech the agreement not to build new settlements in the West Bank. When you can wrap yourself in that kind of logic, all problems necessarily become everyone else's fault: no matter what we do, we are not breaking any promises we may or may not have made.

Even for the Israelis, this move is aberrantly bizarre. After weeks of preaching peace with the Palestinians if only President Mahmoud Abbas would get control of the unruly Hamas government, which included the release of some $100 million in tax funds to the Palestinian Authority -- money that rightfully belongs to the Palestinian Authority anyway -- now Israel defiantly turns and boldly asserts a long-maligned "authority" to approve new West Bank settlements. This is surely a move that will only convince the Palestinians of Israel's true intentions -- as though they don't know already -- and gives bald-faced lie to the fallacious notion that Israel has only ever wanted peace and nothing more. Anti-Israeli criticism and sentiment will surely result from this, which will then be used by the Israelis to further demonstrate the intransigence of the Palestinians. It has been the common refrain for decades.


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