Israel/Palestine and the settlements

Israel/Palestine and the settlements.

First a couple links on the subject. (here) and (here)

I would like to applaud Arik Sharon for the Gaza withdrawal. This was an important step towards peace for Israel. It showed that the majority of Israelis were willing to actually take action against the right wing extremists within their society and that they really would be able to deliver land for peace if the Palestinians offered them genuine peace. However this was not a perfect step. Call it only a half step.

The Palestinians offered a ceasefire in return. This ceasefire in itself was not perfect. Pretty darn good but not perfect. It was close enough to perfect for me to call it a full step that should be answered in kind by the Israelis.

But that is not what happened. Instead we see some more of the twisted logic that has permeated this conflict. Everything "we" do is "good" and everything "they" do is "evil". Not that there has been no evil in the conflict. I am just saying there is enough evil to spread around that both sides breads would end up being buttered.

Where do I find fault? Them damn settlements. They continue to expand. More and more territory is being confiscated from the Palestinians in an attempt to make "facts on the ground" now facts in the future peace settlement. And of course Dubyah somewhere along the line is going to chime in with "we have to face facts" and we can not expect Israelis to abandon neighborhoods that are built up.

Dubyah, I will be willing to accept facts as they are TODAY however I look at what facts are going to become tomorrow. Outposts keep springing up and settlements continue to expand. Allowing the settlements to continue to expand for ANY reason is just twisted, evil logic. Settlement expansion is not as Silvan Shalom explains it (natural growth), there are NEW families moving in there.

New outposts springing up and existing settlement expansion has got to stop. Do not get me wrong. I realize that BOTH SIDES have their extremists. But why should ONLY OUR EXTREMISTS be rewarded for their efforts? If they can go out at night and incite Palestinians to violence by taking potshots at household water tanks... and if their efforts are met with Palestinian violence... they win. The settlements continue to expand. They spread across the Palestinian landscape like a cancer.

While Palestinians are preached at to be nonviolent and patient they can look at the construction cranes busy working away. They can look at the hilltop that used to be their olive grove and see mobile homes tauntingly displaying Israeli flags.

Sharon demands that Palestinians stop the incitement of their people. Well Mr Sharon how about the Israelis stop inciting them? Stop expanding the settlements so Mr Abbah's efforts might fall on fertile grounds.

As for me, well while I could never find it in my conscience to become a suicide bomber I most certainly would be upset enough that I would do something. I guess I might be motivated to grab the nearest rock, slingshot, knife or whatever weapon someone put in my hands and lash out at the nearest member of the IDF. I might not become a suicide bomber but I could see myself being a suicide rock thrower. It would be un-American to do less.

1st half step: credit Israel, Gaza withdrawal

2nd full step: credit Palestine, ceasefire

3rd full step: It's Israel's turn. Stop expanding the settlements. Quit pointing at the Palestinians when it is your turn to act.


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