Friday, January 2, 2009

Israel Must Defend Itself

I see in the news that hypocrites all over the world are denouncing Israel because of the Gaza war. They don't care that Hamas has been terrorizing the civilian population of Israel by shooting rockets over the border for years and recently stepped up the pace. Israel left Gaza as a start of the peace process, but Hamas rejects the peace process. They insist on one Palestine under their rule from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, in other words no Israel and no Two State Solution. What do they expect? Do they really think that the Israelis are going to voluntarily disappear for the convenience of Hamas. The plight of the civilians in Gaza is tragic just as is the plight of the Israelis who live near the border and have to live in bomb shelters. But who's fault is it? The surrounding Arab countries who regularly denounce every effort by Israel to survive are the very same countries that began the problem in 1948 by invading Israel/Palestine. At that time Israel declared its independance in its part of the U.N. partition and called on the Palestinian Arabs to do the same in their part. And when the war ended, Jordan and Egypt simply annexed the parts of Palestine that they had conquered. Where was the desire for an independent Palestine then? The tragedy is that for many years an approximate solution to the Israel/Palestine problem has evolved, and has become obvious to all rational people involved. I say approximate because there are details to be ironed out,but the rational people on both sides have actually been close for some time. The Clinton Plan which Ehud Barak offered to Yasser Arafat almost a decade ago when the good will between the Israeli and Palestinian people was at an all time high, and which Arafat rejected resulting in the Intifada, was very similar to the plan recently offered by the Saudi government. But Hamas rejects it, calling instead for the destruction of Israel. That plan involves returning to approximately the 1967 borders, the dismantling of most of the Israeli West Bank settlements, keeping the Israeli Jerusalem neighborhoods in what was once the West Bank in Israel, and allowing for some kind of Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem. There are differences in what and where the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem should be, but those things can be worked out. Israel also cannot allow the return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel. That would not work.
Hamas does not appear to be willing to accept the peace plan, but if they were only to stop shooting rockets into Israel, Israel would stop bombing them. They could simply remain a separate country from Palestine. Israel and Palestine on the West Bank could make a peace treaty without them, and things between Israel and Gaza could slowly evolve into some measure of normality.

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