Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Unclear result of Israeli election makes peace near impossible - Updated

(Source: Haaretz)

The result of the Israeli election was a blow to right-wing Likud Party and a less than expected success for the centre Kadima party. "



Seats in Knesset after 99 per cent of votes counted:
Kadima: 28
Labour: 20
Shas: 13
Yisrael Beitenu: 12
Likud 11


The result will make it difficult to negotiate peace with the Palestinians.

And so what? Israelis seem to have dropped that anyway, perhaps opting for the permanent apartheid society?

Peace talks did not seem to be on Kadima's agenda at all before the election. The party suggests withdrawing from parts of the West Bank, including isolated settlements. It will keep the big settlements jutting out into the West Bank from the Jerusalem area, for instance the biggest one, Maale Adumin. In that way the West Bank will be cut in two, making Palestinian movement difficult, - perhaps even impossible if Israel continues controlling the border region to Jordan. The Palestinians will find it difficult to get to and from Jerusalem, which is a Palestinian city as well as an Israeli city.

It would be impossible to make a Palestinian state, when Israel controls the borders. It would be a state functioning in much the same way as the Gaza strip: No control of import and export trade, border controls that'll infuriate the locals. The Palestinians will be at the mercy of the Israelis, who can use the economic weapon to effectively punish the area and its population. Anger will build up and the spiral of violence will continue.

It must be up to all involved to live up to past agreements. Israel should stop its imperial ambitions and live up to now long-forgotten UN Security Council resolutions (242) and withdraw behind the borders before the 1967 war. The US and the EU must put pressure on Israel to carry it out in practice. The Palestinian authority and Hamas must be ready to negotiate. They seem to be so. The prime minister Haniyeh of the Hamas government wrote in The Guardian March 31st:

Olmert's unilateralism is a recipe for conflict. It is a plan to impose a permanent situation in which the Palestinians end up with a homeland cut into pieces made inaccessible because of massive Jewish settlements built in contravention of international law on land seized illegally from the Palestinians. No plan will ever work without a guarantee, in exchange for an end to hostilities by both sides, of a total Israeli withdrawal from all the land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; the release of all our prisoners; the removal of all settlers from all settlements; and recognition of the right of all refugees to return.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

I am worried by the rise of Israel Beiteinu (Israel our home, the word beiteinu for home means the same in Arabic). These people are ''virulently anti-Arab''. Lately they ''watered down calls for forced removals to merely advocating redrawing Israel's borders to move 500,000 Arab citizens into a Palestinian state.''
As for Likud, Kadima or Labor, they are all the same. Their leaders conducted a hostile policy toward palestinians. Thay are bound by the will of israelis. The majority of them want peace without any substantial concession.
Palestinians have nothing to give as concessions. Everything was taken from them. But I think, they should stop warfare and stick to a strict policy of development and building of civil society, state building (this is what Hamas was doing) in order to be ready when a peace opportunity comes.
I think peace should be imposed in the case of the israeli-palestinian conflict from the outside, the international community. But there is no international community right now.

I am really pessimistic but not for the same reasons as you.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Sophia.

It is interesting that only 63 per cent of voters found it worthwhile voting at all. It is due to politicians making the election void of real political disagreement. The theme of peace negotiations has been exempt from the election, apart from small leftist groups.

The main parties seem to agree that Israel shall live within "secure borders", which means only withdrawing from parts of the West Bank and making de facto borders that make it impossible for Palestinians to get a viable state unit.

5:46 AM  

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