Well that does it - again!
It seems to me that everytime there is a flicker of hope for peace in the Middle East, one side or the other will do everything in their power to fuck it up.
This time it is the Palestinians turn (this happened today, March 6th 2008), Gunman kills 8 at Jerusalem seminary.
Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip praised the operation in a statement, and thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza to celebrate.
The day's violence, which also included a deadly ambush of an army patrol near Israel's border with Gaza, was likely to complicate attempts by Egypt to arrange a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants.
It seems to me that Hamas NEEDS a hostile Israel to justify their own existence. So every time a peace effort flares up, they make sure that it doesn't lead to a permanent peace.
Israel, on the other hand also NEEDS Hamas et al to stage terrorism acts in Israel proper, to justify the settlements in the West Bank and the land grab going on. So Israel sabotages the peace process also (this report was written in November, 2005):
In report compiled by U.K. consulate in Israel, presented before EU committee, Britain slams Israel for illegal construction in east Jerusalem, accuses country of sabotaging peace process with Palestinians.
Presented by the British Foreign Minister Jack Sraw before an EU committee, the report reveals the U.K.'s estimates and standing regarding Israel.
The report's authors claim in their account that Israel is illegally constructing settlements in the east Jerusalem area, in order to prevent any future transfer of the territory to Palestinian hands. The report brings the example of the construction of thousands of housing units in the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement, aimed at appending the community to Jerusalem, according to the report.
If this is accomplished, the West Bank will be divided into two separate geographical parts.
Remarking on the country's close supervision of roadblocks on highways leading in and out of Jerusalem, the British writers claim these are intended to restrain the growth of the Palestinian population in the city.
This was in 2005. Old news you say?
Now, in 2008:
CAIRO, Feb 22: Arab officials are warning they could withdraw their landmark offer of peace and full ties with Israel in exchange for a return of Arab lands, unless Israel explicitly accepts the initiative.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal — whose country sponsored the Arab peace initiative, adopted by Arab nations in 2002 — warned on Thursday that ‘’despair would force us to review these options,’’ including withdrawing the proposal.
He accused Israel of ‘’sabotaging’’ the initiative, which is now ‘’facing grave danger.’’
’’The key to solving the Arab-Israeli issue is to hold serious negotiations, not fictitious ones,’’ he said.
Moussa’s deputy at the League, Mohammed Sobeih, accused Israel of putting the ‘’sole political initiative’’ on the table at risk.
’’If Israel makes it fail, they (Arabs) have to search for other options,’’ Sobeih told The Associated Press on Friday.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been marred by ongoing Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas the Palestinians want for their future state, as well as by the near-daily rocket barrages into Israel from the militant Hamas rulers of Gaza and Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip.
It seems that there is one thing all sides can agree on in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - the need to keep the conflict going, to keep killing (limited) number of civilians on both sides, to further their political agendas.
Ten civilians bombed by IAF bombs here, eight Jews killed in cold bloog there, yada yada etc etc. This will NEVER change if somebody does not step in to lay down the law. Both sides have everything to GAIN to continue the small scale atrocities on each other, and everything to LOSE if they stop and pace breaks out (Israel would lose much territory in the West Bank, tens of settlements with tens of thousands of settlers, and Hamas would lose its reason for existence - who needs a terrorist/pro warfare organization when there is peace and your priority becomes the economy?).
A classic example of Israeli sabotaging ongoing peace process was the famous visit of Mr. Sharon to the Temple Mount:
Clinton's proposal [...] included explicit guarantees that Jews would have the right to visit and pray in and around the Temple Mount... Once Sharon was convinced that Jews had free access to the Temple Mount, there would be little the Israeli religious and nationalist Right could do to stall the peace process.
According to New York Times, all Arabs, including Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Jordanians point to Sharon's visit as the beginning of the Second intifada and derailment of the peace process.
I won't bring examples of Hamas sabotaging the peace process here - the list would be immense and you would need to read it for hours. Suffice it to say, every time the Arab countries and the USA push for peace and it looks like Israel might not do anything to antagonize the Palestinians or make the situation more "flammable", Hamas will take it upon itself to send a suicide bomber to kill Israeli women and children or at the least send Kassam rockets into Sderot (Israeli town).
Both sides in this conflict are served by the continuance of these atrocities - killings by suicide attackers/bombers, bombing of apartment buildings from the air, beatings etc etc.
Peace, for the good of the world, will have to be imposed by a third party, preferably a very powerful country. That country will have to step in and force both sides to negotiate and then supervise the peace... with cluster bombs and napalm strikes if necessary.
The world does not need another 1914 Balkans situation...
I wonder what country is strong enough to dictate terms to both warring factions? Hmmmmmmmmm?