April 9, 2007

Israel Does Not Want Peace

The fading of a fateful opportunity

by Gideon Levy

The moment of truth has arrived, and it has to be said: Israel does not want peace. The arsenal of excuses has run out, and the chorus of Israeli rejection already rings hollow. Until recently, it was still possible to accept the Israeli refrain that "there is no partner" for peace and that "the time isn't right" to deal with our enemies. Today, the new reality before our eyes leaves no room for doubt and the tired refrain that "Israel supports peace" has been left shattered.

It's hard to determine when the breaking point occurred. Was it the absolute dismissal of the Saudi initiative? The refusal to acknowledge the Syrian initiative? Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's annual Passover interviews? The revulsion at the statements made by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, in Damascus, alleging that Israel was ready to renew peace talks with Syria?

Who would have believed it? A high-ranking U.S. official says Israel wants peace talks to resume and instantly her president "severely" denies the veracity of her words. Is Israel even hearing these voices? Are we digesting the significance of these voices for peace? Seven million apathetic Israeli citizens prove that we are not. . . .


Enver Masud, "Justice, Not Compromise, on Jerusalem," The Wisdom Fund, September 4, 2000

Simon Tisdall, "Ahmadinejad on Israel," Guardian, December 20, 2005

[Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and to cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders.--Gareth Porter, "Iran Proposal to U.S. Offered Peace with Israel," IPS, May 24, 2006]

Ibrahim Barzak, "Israel Says It Won't Work With Coalition," Associated Press, March 15, 2007

[The initiative, first put together at a summit in 2002, has won uniform acceptance from Arab leaders gathered for the two-day event in Riyadh, but could yet founder, with Israel expressing doubts about the extent of territorial withdrawal and the possible return of large numbers of Palestinian refugees to their former homes.--"Arab peace plan could see detente with Israel," Guardian, March 29, 2007]

Henry Makow, "The Holocaust and the Nakba The Reason for Israel's Moral Failure,", April 6, 2007

[The Saudis, however, would not dare take on an assignment that did not have Washington's approval.

. . . they keep on harping about the non-existent threat from Islamic Iran. Can they name even one country that Iran has invaded in the last 250 years?

Based on this non-existent Iranian threat, the Arab regimes are getting together to seek an alliance with Israel in which the interests of the Palestinians will be sacrificed yet again, provided that the current Arab rulers are allowed to remain in power. While the Israelis say they find some "positive" elements in the Saudi proposal, as did foreign minister Tzipi Livni, they have also made it clear that they find certain points unacceptable. These include Israel's return to the 1967 borders, the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194 (passed in 1948), and East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.--Waseem Shehzad, "Arab summit in Riyadh aims to recognise Israel and 'contain' Islamic Iran,", April 2007]

Robert D. Novak, "Is U.S. ignoring the Hamas call for peace?," Union Leader, April 17, 2007

[The plan as delivered to Abbas, according to a Fatah official, is quite detailed - salaries would be provided to those parts of the Palestinian government closely affiliated with Fatah and supported by Abbas. The plan envisages delivering "a strong blow to Hamas by supplying the Palestinian people with their immediate economic needs through the presidency and Fatah". At the same time, the international boycott of Hamas would stay in place and Hamas-affiliated programs would be starved of funds.--Mark Perry and Paul Woodward, "Document details 'US' plan to sink Hamas," Asia Times, May 16, 2007]

Scott Wilson, "Fatah Troops Enter Gaza With Israeli Assent: Hundreds Were Trained in Egypt Under U.S.-Backed Program to Counter Hamas," Washington Post, May 18, 2007

"Israelis seize Palestinian cabinet minister," Reuters, May 24, 2007

[The Israelis' aim is to undermine the elected Palestinian government and ignite a civil war. . . . Just as the invasion of Iraq was a "war by media," so the same can be said of the grotesquely one-sided "conflict" in Palestine.--John Pilger, "Imprisoning a Whole Nation,", May 24, 2007]

Donald Macintyre, "General who helped redraw the borders of Israel says road map to peace is a lie," Independent, June 10, 2007

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