Saturday, March 15, 2008

Advice For Israel

Hugh Fitzgerald has some advice for Israel.

Much should have changed in the minds of the powerful. It is absurd for Abbas to be allowed to feign indignation over Israel's attempts to stop rockets reigning down on its cities, and to call a halt to negotiations. It is even more absurd for the Israelis themselves to be seen urging him to continue, or at least acquiescing in Rice's attempts to urge him to do so.

For god's sake, it is Israel that should cut off the negotiations, period, never to resume them -- and the "never" can be represented to the world not as a "never" but as something else: after there has been a complete halt, for one year, on ALL terrorist attacks on Israel, whether from rockets fired indiscriminately into cities, or attacks on civilians such as this one, by individual or groups of Arab attackers, then we will think about opening negotiations again.

Given that the Arab ceasefires generally mean a lessening rather than a stop in the number of attacks against Israel I think that this would be a tremendous idea. Israel announces that it will engage in substantive talks with the PA after a period of one year of peace. A time-out, if you will, because the current process that we're following isn't working, a chance for both sides to take a breath and re-evaluate their positions. Israel could even announce (loudly and to the whole world) that it will suspend all military operations against Gaza and Judea and Samaria (the latter comprising the West Bank) for as long as the peace lasts- only resorting to force to defend its citizens from attack.

Who could possibly object to that?

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