Old Fears Die Slowly

There is no new news on the Middle Eastern front since Palestinians and Israelis are well dug in their trenches of anger, hate, and distrust. Neither side seeks to do anything other than bring in more machine guns, heavy artillery and stretch miles of barbed wire in front of the trenches. FRUSTRATION is definitely the word that best describes this conflict. Each side is committed to repeating what the other side did yesterday or last year in in 1948. Each side is going to dig the trench even deeper and arm it even more strongly. Israel leader Tzipi Livni wants peace to succeed and there are Palestinians who agree with her desire, but any movement in the so-called, “peace negotiations” have ceased. She argues a problem is: “part of what happened in the past few months was more negotiations between us and the United States and less with Palestinians. I believe we need to move to more meetings, more negotiations.”

I agree with the sentiment, but do not believe more negotiations will lead to other results. Let us be honest. Israel holds the trump cards, it is in the stronger position. It is time for a dramatic act on the part of Israel. For example:

1. Cease settlement building for one year.

2. Free the next batch of Palestinian prisoners.

After these two acts, Israel should then ask Palestinians to make at least one new act.

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