Friday, March 14, 2008

Bulls-eye brings a breather

Only a desperate suicide attack on Zionism's nerve centre shook some sense into Olmert

By Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah

"....Similarly, the attack on Merkaz Harav, which is viewed as the central nervous system of the Jewish settlement movement, shocked the Israeli government, especially the upper echelons of the political-military establishment. After all, Merkaz Harav represents the soul of Zionism, the symbol of Greater Israel and religious messianic Jewish nationalism.

The attack, carried out by a young Palestinian from East Jerusalem whose political affiliation remains a mystery, showed that Israel can't declare open season on the Palestinians in Gaza and remain immune to deadly retaliation. It also showed that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can't be decided by military means alone......

"I think the PA leadership is discovering that it will be futile to count on the Bush administration to pressure Israel to end the occupation that started in 1967," said Palestinian political commentator Hani Al-Masri.

He told the Weekly that the Palestinian leadership is now realising that there is a vast gap between the realities that Israel wants to impose through coercion on the ground, and what the Palestinians want, namely an end to the occupation and the creation of a viable state on all of the occupied territories.

"It is very clear that the utmost Israel is willing to give for peace will not be accepted by the most moderate Palestinian leader. Hence, Abbas and Fatah are reconsidering their previous calculations. They simply can't give the US the benefit of the doubt, although they wouldn't say this publicly."

It is actually no secret that Abbas feels that he is losing in terms of public support as Palestinians have come to realise more than at any other time that Israel only understands the language of brute force and that had it not been for the Jerusalem attack on Thursday, Israel would have kept up its murderous onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

What is more important though is the growing realisation in Abbas's immediate circle that Israel is not really taking him, not to mention the entire peace process, seriously and that the American-sponsored peace talks are futile......"

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