‘The cease fire failed because Israel does not want peace and subverts any step in that direction. Israel does not want peace because they are the beneficiaries of the status quo’
By David P. Hamilton / The Rag Blog / January 8, 2009
Last June, Hamas initiated a six month cease fire with Israel. They hoped that this ceasefire would lead to an easing of the Israeli blockade of Gaza and greater international recognition of Hamas as a legitimate representative of the people of Gaza. The ceasefire was scrupulously observed by Hamas until November, when it began to unravel.
It failed because Israel and its international supporters, particularly the Bush regime, gave nothing substantial in return. The Israeli blockade of Gaza did not end or significantly diminish. There was no improvement in the acceptance of Hamas as a negotiating partner. Hence, the cease fire lapsed at the end of the six month period and the rocket attacks against Israel, militarily insignificant and misguided as they were, were resumed. The Israelis seized upon this resumption as a pretext to initiate an all out assault on Gaza in an effort to totally destroy Hamas, the legitimately elected government in Gaza.
The result has been, so far, the murder of hundreds of Gaza residents, many of them civilians, including many children and the utter destruction of the paltry preexisting Gaza infrastructure by the IDF, a ratio of killing of roughly 100 Gaza Palestinians for every Israeli killed. This blatant Israeli terrorism is very reminiscent of the Nazi occupation of France, where the Nazi Germans pledged to kill 100 French for every German soldier killed by resistance forces in the occupied zone and on several occasions did so.
The cease fire failed because Israel does not want peace and subverts any step in that direction. Israel does not want peace because they are the beneficiaries of the status quo, in which they continuously strengthen their hold on West Bank land and water that would be part of the future Palestinian state under any conceivable peace treaty.
It is said that Israel has no partner for peace negotiations because the Palestinians call for the destruction of Israel. This is a lie. All Palestinian factions have endorsed the two state solution contained in the Arab League proposals which recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. These proposals have met with no Israeli positive response since they were first proposed in 2002.
The simple truth is that the Palestinians have no serious negotiating partner, because Israel does not want peace and undermines every step in that direction. The current massacre has more to do with the ruling Israeli political faction, faced with a challenge by the even more right wing Likud Party, looking tough in order to pander to bellicose Israeli public opinion so as to benefit them in the upcoming Israeli elections rather than countering any actual Palestinian terrorism.
The only thing that can be done to change this dynamic would be for the US to pressure Israel to accept serious negotiations that would lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Even if the Obama administration did so, the Israelis would resist a peace settlement. The provisions of such a settlement are not obscure. They would have to include Israel returning to its pre-1967 borders, although minor revisions might be negotiable. Israel is unwilling to do so and, therefore, obstructs any steps that might lead to peace.
One obvious outcome of this current Israeli invasion of Gaza will be the further diminution of the moral standing of Israel and that diminution will be richly deserved.