"If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
> Good to be back, but I'm only visiting for a few weeks. <
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
The Arab initiative--revised or not--can't be a "take it or leave it" proposition, if it is to be a milestone on the road to peace. It can be a constructive starting point.
But for things to move from concept to concrete substance, the parties will need to engage in direct negotiations. Only through negotiations can differences be bridged and mutual needs accommodated.
And Israel has dropped a mailed fist on them repeatedly. I get it. There is a war going on. But some Palestinians and some Israeli's would seriously like to see an end to the fighting. In fact I would bet most would. The question is how do they reach an amicable solution.Palestinians have been supporting the firing of rockets into Israel, and you want them to let them back in. Hello!!!
I'm rather hopeful, even if it sounds naive to be so, that at some point a solution will be reached. I do not think the Israelis and Palestinians are such animals that they simply fight out of instinct. But that's just me.
The Livni block did indeed garner the most votes in the election, but not enough to form a working government without embracing the various minority blocks and thus diluting the Kadima platform.
Remember that the election was held in the midst of conflict with Hamas. Olmert and Kadima had previously adopted a very moderate postion in regards to negotiations with Abbas. It was Livni's intent to continue this moderate stance after the election.
Olmert asked, cajoled, pleaded, and warned Hamas to stop the incessant rocket attacks. Hamas refused. Due to the great internal pressures from Israelis fed up with the Hamas attacks, Olmert had virtually no viable alternative except to initiate blunt force.
I personally believe that if Hamas had stopped with the attacks (even temporarily), Livni would have garnered the plurality necessary to claim uncontested victory and form a majority moderate government. But Hamas didn't stop. It instead increased the tempo and violence of the attacks. Many Israeli voters who had intended to vote for Livni considered the situation and came to the conclusion that Hamas had no intention whatsoever of meeting a moderate Kadima government even halfway. Continued warfare was unavoidable. In such a war environment, many people understandably prefer a hawkish government. This preference sucked precious votes away from Livni and the moderates.
One could easily speculate that the increased Hamas attacks were calculated to almost ensure that post-election, Abbas would have to deal with the implacable Netanyahu rather than the more moderate and flexible Livni.
The calculated Hamas rocket attacks were political arrows rather than resistence weaponry. The implications are clear. The result is before your eyes. One could venture to say that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the love child of Hamas rockets and intransigence.
אשכנזי היהודי • Белый Россию