Israel has accepted the existence of a Palestinian state, and is committed to exiting the occupied territories for the most basic reason — demographics. Polls show Israelis realize they cannot protect their security by occupying a population with a non-Jewish majority. Israelis would prefer a negotiated path to peace, but it takes two sides to make peace. Unfortunately, there is no prospect of meaningful talks for a comprehensive agreement between Israel and a Hamas government that refuses to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.
Lacking a negotiating partner, Israel has for some time regarded unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territories as the only way forward. But for Israel to proceed with plans to withdraw from the West Bank, it is convinced the "withdrawal equals weakness" mindset must be changed. Hence its decision to carry out powerful retaliation for Hamas and Hezbollah attacks to demonstrate both its capability, and more importantly its resolve, to strike back at its attackers.
For a time, it looked like the Israeli pullout from Gaza might reduce tensions. Hamas declared a so-called "hudna" or unilateral cease-fire. But over the last few months it had become a sham as Hamas militants in Gaza fired scores of rockets into Israel, even causing a village to be evacuated.
At first, Israel exercised restraint at the Hamas provocations and then began limited counterattacks. Once Hezbollah and Hamas decided to kill and capture soldiers inside Israel and send more rockets into Israeli towns and cities, Israel shifted to the more muscular response we have seen on our TV screens. This escalating cycle of violence dramatically demonstrates the danger of even relatively small incidents.
I for one feel Jerusalem as an International city and un-occupiying by all sides might be a start.
any other ideas?
Anders is such a fun character. His writings are hosted on this super-fun "historical revisionist" site. These guys know quality when they see it!
(Hezbollah) Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers! A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians.
The way I saw it unfolding... Hamas was democratically elected, they continued their rhetoric and homemade rocket attacks on Israeli settlements. Right about the time they were going to fold into the PLO (which has already explicitly recognized Israel's right to exist), a Palestinian family was blown to pieces on a beach. Then the first Israeli soldier was kidnapped in response, then the tanks rolled back into Gaza in response, and THEN Hezbollah did their raid in response...then Israel carried out an already planned military excursion to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure and to try to terrorize the Lebanese people into submission. Sorry, but chasing away nearly 1,000,000 civilians from their homes by destroying entire neighborhoods can only be called "terrorism"...at least by sane people.
Had Nasser triumphed last June  he would
have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save
the Jews. No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is
worth the paper it is written on .
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