Middle East Peace - Alternative View

Since I have at least a small pro-Israeli bias in my viewpoint (I hope my home does not end up being bombed by an Israeli right winger for saying that) I have sought to explore the alternative viewpoint.

(Here) is an Aljazeera piece written by Jim Miles that does justice in providing a reasonable alternative viewpoint from the "Palestinian perspective".

Now I will not attempt to claim that Jim Miles' article is "balanced". I will only claim that from this voice which argues for consideration of Palestinian goals, some headway could be reached.

I do not have the inclination to dissect all the points Mr Miles makes. Let's start off with the openers. In the second paragraph of the article we can read:
In the past, the Israelis have quite willingly agreed to negotiations, going even further at times as with the Gaza “withdrawal” as another smokescreen to continue with their settlement policy of both expanding existing settlements, allowing more illegal outposts, declaring more and more of Palestinian lands as military areas, and continuing with their house demolitions, roadblocks and detention of the Palestinian people. Nothing has changed, still going nowhere.

Mr Miles makes little of the Gaza withdrawal. It is part of the "smoke screen" he claims. Well if there is a smoke screen the smoke is coming from the exhaust of Qassam rockets fired into Israel out of Gaza. But he does have a point. While the withdrawal from Gaza did happen, the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements within the West Bank did occur. So what happens if the expansions are called to a halt, at least pending the outcome of negotiations? If expansion stops will hostilities from the Palestinian side be halted as well?

If there are no further hostilities from Palestinians, there will no longer be justification for "house demolitions, roadblocks and detention of the Palestinian people". I realize that there is some justification for hostilities from the Palestinians. However when "two states for two peoples" is within the realm of possibility are they willing to throttle back on resistance to the occupation? Or is there something more that motivates them then ending the occupation of the West Bank? The Israelis already withdrew from Gaza and what springs forth from Gaza in the aftermath does little to promote future withdrawals from other occupied lands.

Do not point the "finger of blame" unless you are willing to acknowledge that the rest of the fingers in your hand point back at you (discounting the thumb - grin).

If Israelis cease expansion of settlements in the West Bank could Mr Miles promise that resistance to the occupation would, at least temporarily, halt pending the outcome of negotiations?

I am wanting a "cease fire". I realize that expansion is one of the weapons that Israelis use. Such expansion should not continue during the cease fire. But what if the Israelis really do stop the expansion for the duration?

Impossible you say? You can not get all the powers behind you? It is just as "impossible" for the Israelis to stop the expansion. If Olmert manages to pull a rabbit out of his hat, I am going to be watching with eager anticipation when Abbas takes his turn on the stage.


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