Tag Archives: Peace Now

Olmert Warns Of Israel Terrorist

Prime Minister Olmert warned about the presence of an ultranationalist underground that seeks to halt any effort to resolve issues between Israel and Palestinians. It is believed this group is responsible for the bombing and wounding of Zeev Sternhell, a critic of West Bank settlements. Olmert ordered security agencies to thoroughly investigate the attack and break up any new underground group that might be emerging in the fight to halt peace in the region. After the bombing, police found posters in the neighborhood which offered a one million shekel ($294,000) reward to anyone killing a member of the Peace Now movement that opposes Jewish settlement on Palestinian territory.

There have been constant reports of the killing of Palestinians by settler groups so it is not surprising radical groups might extend their terror to include Jewish critics who seek reconciliation with Palestinians.,

Israel Public Toughens Stand Against Hamas

Several years ago Israel had an active and vibrant Peace Now movement, but in the aftermath of turbulence, rockets, inept leadership, public opinion has moved toward a hard stance view of relations with Arab nations. Although the nation is divided on ways of responding to the Kassam rockets from Gaza, it is quite clear a 71% majority says Israel should not accept the Hamas offer of a cease fire and favors military solutions to issues of peace. In a new poll, 25% want to reoccupy Gaza while one-third wanted a more limited military action. There was also strong feeling the nation needs a national government and many Israelis believe there is less interest in southern regions of their country than in major urban centers.

It is understandable why many Israelis are moving toward military solutions after so many years of failed peace negotiations. However, the history of every successful peace agreement between those who had been engaged in violence against one another suggests the importance of never giving up the flag of peace. The current Israel military solution has been anything but a solution. Every time a Hamas leader is killed, violence increases, it does not go down. Israel, like the Palestinians, suffers from lack of visionary leaders who can transcend the present and focus on ways to move into a peaceful future.

Perhaps, Israel might borrow the talents of a Nelson Mandela to help negotiate peace. Its current crop of leaders lack the expertise of developing plans for peace.

The Housing Expansion Will Continue, Says Israel

As the world seeks a new beginning in resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, leaders of the Israel government are determined to proceed with policies as is and refuse to make any alternations in altering the status quo. Rafi Eltan, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, claims, “no promise was ever given to anyone that we wouldn’t continue to build in Har Homa because it is within the municipal borders of Jerusalem.” Housing plans call for construction of 100 apartments in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. US Secretary of State Condi Rice has termed building in Har Homa an “unhelpful” action. Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenhemier termed the decision a hindrance to diplomatic negotiation “before they’ve begun. Despite the government’s declarations that it would freeze construction, the 2008 budget proves that things will look differently on the ground.”

There comes a point in any conflict in which each side has to hold back from actions that are considered their right to carry out in hope that long-term consequences will take precedence. This is not the time for claiming that since no one told me I couldn’t do it, I will proceed along the path I desire. Palestinian and Israel negotiators must have the freedom to proceed without actions that only hamper success. There is little doubt the issue of east Jerusalem is a central point in any negotiations and building new apartments in order to expand Israel control only serves to hurt negotiations.