Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Precarious Balance

Foster peace efforts without giving up strategic military defense positions. This is the issue facing Israel today.

I truly believe that the current leadership does not want the fighting. I don't' know how much they're willing to concede, though. Both sides believe that they're entitled - by god, no less - to the same pieces of land, and that's what makes this "road map" to peace so difficult to travel. This morning I've read both the Reuters' version and the Ha'aretz version of the story on Abbas' visit to the states. The Ha'aretz version is more skewed towards Israeli interests, of course. While the Reuters' version speaks of how Israeli settlements in the West Bank harm the peace effort:
"Palestinians welcome the prospect of taking over Gaza but say that if Israel keeps larger tracts of the West Bank as the trade-off, it would be impossible to set up a viable, territorially contiguous state."
The Ha'aretz story speaks of how the settlements are indispensable in that effort:
Sharon, who received enthusiastic applause from the 4,000 delegates at the AIPAC conference, said the disengagement would enable Israel to ensure that the large settlement blocs in the West bank remained an inseparable part of Israel.
Israel does not feel secure in the idea that giving up large sections of land will make them *safer*. The Palestinian Authority does not feel that non-contiguous lands serve their purpose for a united homeland. Tricky issues, to say the least, and I haven't even thought about mentioning the religious stuff.

I can't say as I have any faith in our current administration's ability to help reach a compromise. Actually, I'm not sure I have faith in anyone's ability to work this miracle.

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