The following is what unfolded within a span of several days: Jewish youths brutally bashed a young Arab at Zion Square (in Jerusalem, on Aug. 17). A gang of ultra orthodox youths pelted stones at the windows of an Arab neighborhood in north Jerusalem, igniting a biblical-like battle of stones. The Israel Defense Forces' bulldozers leveled structures and razed dwelling caves near Susya (near the Hebron Hills of the West Bank on Aug. 28), claiming the area was needed for training and insisting that the Palestinians were trespassers. A Palestinian from Beit Furik alongside two Israeli Palestinians poisoned a Jewish family (in October 2011), citing the incisive argument: "I can't stand Jews." Children from the settlement of Bat Ayin torched the car of a Palestinian family (on Aug. 16), wounding five family members, while the severely burnt father is clinging to life by a thread. Should it turn out that the firebomb wasn't prepared by precocious Jewish children who are well-versed in the chemistry of explosives, suspicion will be directed at other Jews. After all, even conspiracy experts – of whom there are many in right-wing circles – will not claim that Palestinians did it. Either way, the difference between this crime and the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar settlement (March 2011) stems from a criminal law that draws a distinction between different types of murder. The intent, however, remains the same.
Israel is ignoring an escalation in conflict with Palestinians _ at its peril despite its power, writes Yaron London. With the state's tactics increasingly resembling those of apartheid, the time has come to renew talks on a peace deal.
Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel)
Burying Our Head in Judea and Samaria
September 3, 2012
September 6 2012
Some more recent chronicles: Migron (outpost in the West Bank that the Israel Supreme Court ruled on March 30 must be evacuated, which finally was done on Sept. 2). Having been taken to court, this affair highlighted the obvious, namely that lies and deceptions are not sins of individuals but of the state. The country, which has been unable to decide what to do with the occupied territories and their residents, has dug itself a deeper and deeper hole. It has promulgated despicable laws and outlandish decrees. It has been implementing oppressive measures against the Palestinian population, making it comparable to an allied state that had existed for several dozen years but has ceased to. I'm talking about South Africa and its apartheid policy. Yes, for years I angrily repudiated this comparison until I became convinced that the dilemmas are similar and that the solutions concocted by the whites are not much different.
And yet there is a numbing silence in Israel. The territory controlled by Hamas sees an inpouring of products that prevents extreme distress, in return for which the rulers make sure to reduce the number of rockets fired by rogue organizations. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas makes sure to continue the cooperation with Israel's security forces. Driving in the occupied territories, which we have carved up into separate compartments by building walls and danger-averting bypass roads, is safe. The settlements are being built rapidly. Attempts by the Palestinian Authority to be admitted to the UN have been repelled successfully, and the Arab Spring has relegated the Palestinian problem to the sidelines of Arab and international awareness. The situation is benign.
And yet what will become of us, the two peoples living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea? What will happen in two years' time, or five or 20? How much longer will the Palestinian subjects endure being discriminated against? When will the politicians start noticing that our finest are taking off? When will they start seriously talking about our future?
There are some simple and straightforward options that need not be expatiated on: to wit — waiting for Elijah to pose conundrums, coming to terms with 'Must the sword devour forever?' (Book of Samuel II, Chapter 2, verse 26) and having faith in divine salvation. Other options are much more complex and can be divided into four types. The first is to insist on the Geneva Initiative (aka Geneva Accord), which means the partition of the land and the eviction of tens of thousands of Jews. The second is to annex the occupied territories, earmarking 'pales of settlement' to the Palestinians, and providing residency rights in the extended Land of Israel to Palestinians who would (then) become Jordanian citizens. The third is to have one state for two peoples. And the fourth is the partition of the land into two sovereign states without evicting the Jews from the territories occupied in 1967 and without expelling the Arabs that have remained in Israel after 1948. In other words, having two countries whose minorities have equal rights and duties.
It's time to talk about everything. Talking is the only alternative to doing nothing.