Browsing Posts published on March 18, 2009

We reported yesterday that the government has decided not to accede to Hamas’s demands for Gilad Shalit.  As communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office, Hamas refused to negotiate in good faith and remained firm in its exhorbitant demands.  The government reaffirmed its commitment to working towards Shalit’s release, even as this round of negotiations did not succeed.  In addition, the Government released a partial list of the Hamas operatives it had mulled releasing in an exchange.

The Palestinian people, especially those in Gaza, have suffered for some time from abuse and being played as proxies in a war against Israel.  For many years, they were the proxies of the Arab world, which refused to welcome them and forced them to live in refugee camps.  Now, it is Hamas that manipluates the people of Gaza, putting them in harm’s way while its “fighters” take on Israel.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal Europe suggests the path to peace lies in recognizing and redressing this injustice.  An excerpt:

The media tend to attribute Gaza’s decline solely to Israeli military and economic actions against Hamas. But such a myopic analysis ignores the problem’s root cause: 60 years of Arab policy aimed at cementing the Palestinian people’s status as stateless refugees in order to use their suffering as a weapon against Israel.[...]
Arabs claim they love the Palestinian people, but they seem more interested in sacrificing them. If they really loved their Palestinian brethren, they’d pressure Hamas to stop firing missiles at Israel. In the longer term, the Arab world must end the Palestinians’ refugee status and thereby their desire to harm Israel. It’s time for the 22 Arab countries to open their borders and absorb the Palestinians of Gaza who wish to start a new life. It is time for the Arab world to truly help the Palestinians, not use them.

Haaretz is reporting that Israel rejected the changes made to the statement prepared for the Durban Review Conference as superifcial.  As noted yesterday, UN leaders had scrambled to change the statement after threatened by an EU boycott of the event.  However, the Foreign Ministry said, the document still refers to the original Durban resolution, which singled out Israel.