By Gideon Levy
"A festive day for peace: Israel is planning to announce a freeze on construction in the settlements as compensation for refusing to discuss the core issues......and the prime minister has already spoken with the settler leaders and informed them of the decision. They said it was a "difficult meeting," as it always is, winking at each other deviously.
Undoubtedly, Israel wants peace. But a tiny detail seems to have been forgotten: Israel has signed a series of binding agreements to freeze settlement activity, which it never intended to fulfill. Of the 40 years of occupation, only during three has construction been stopped despite all the agreements and promises to do so. There is no reason to believe that Israel will behave differently this time.......
The mountains of excuses, "settlement blocs" and "natural growth," as well as "beyond the fence" and "inside the fence," cannot conceal the naked truth: The enterprise has not ceased for a moment. It will not stop now. The hands of a quarter million settlers are soiled by iniquity and felony, but they are not the true guilty party. That belongs to all Israel's governments, with the exception of Yitzhak Rabin's second government. All of them have a hand in the iniquity.
Nowadays, when Ehud Olmert says no, what does he mean? Is the "no" really "no" - perhaps it is only "maybe but not right now?" In view of past experience, the bitter truth is that Olmert's "no," like all those before it, is more inviting than "yes." "