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Monday, July 19, 2004

Why Israel cannot negotiate anymore

It takes two to tango, play "Go Fish", and to negotiate complicated settlements to land issues that have festered for 50+ years. Israel is constantly criticized by the global press (including some US papers) for their treatment of Palestinians, the security wall, and whatever else they can come up with.


This ignores the constant suicide attacks they suffer, the multiple wars launched against them, the constant rhetoric of eliminating their country from almost every Arab nation.


All this focuses around the lands of "Palestine," specifically the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For many years now the Israelis have been attempting to negotiate with the Palestinians over withdrawl and statehood. But finally, fed up with the car bombings, suicide bombers on buses, and everything else, Israel is unilaterally pulling out. They threw up the security wall around most of the West Bank and are pulling out all their troops from the Gaza Strip.


And can you blame them? They have absolutely no one to negotiate with. How can you negotiate with a "nation" that has two officials claiming to be chief of general security and a powerless prime minister who has tried to resign three times in three days? How do you deal with a corrupt leader who seems to have no interest in actually stabilizing his land and lets terrorist groups kidnap police? How do you co-exist with culture that teaches young children that Israel doesn't exist and should be wiped out, and teaches them to be "martyrs," like this young man:





The answer is that you can't. Hence the Gaza Strip pullout and the security wall. The security wall is an imperfect idea, as it does indeed cut off people from their land and assumes control of land that should belong to the Palestinians under existing agreements. Well, maybe if they killed a few less children and women with car bombs, the Israelis wouldn't have need the wall in the first place. If you're asking Sharon to decide between legalistic border-minding and keeping his countrymen alive, it's not even a choice. The wall has kept potential killers out of Israel. Until there is some order in Palestine, can you blame Israel for keeping the wall up? I sure can't.

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