263. Israel blocking peace efforts

Betsy Wolf (Jan.8) contends that “Recent history is fraught with opportunities (to achieve peace) that Arafat rejected: in 1968, in 1979 in the 1980s and most recently in 2000.”  The reality is the opposite. In the Saudi peace plan adopted by the Arab League in Beirut in 2002, all the Arab states offered to establish diplomatic relations with Israel if it withdraws from the occupied territories. What was Israel’s answer? What was Israel’s answer to the recent Geneva initiative by Yossi Beiling and Yasser Abd Rabo? What was Israel’s answer to the peace plan by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh? All these offers were rejected by Israel. Even the road map was reluctantly accepted with 14 reservations.

Another point that Israel’s apologists, like Liz Wagner (Dec.30), consistently make is that that Israel is “making efforts, unmatched by any nation on Earth, to avoid harming civilians.” If this is the case what is her response to a Dec. 22 report by B’tselem, an Israeli human rights group, saying that at least 38 Palestinians, including 14 minors and 7 babies, died after being delayed or denied passage at an Israeli army checkpoint. This is rather an unmatched effort to harm civilians. Rani Talmor reported on Ynet, the Yediot Ahronoth web site, how soldiers at the Sara checkpoint near Nablus abused Palestinians. This abuse took the form of “staged executions, brutal beatings and shackling of innocents.”

Engaging in obfuscation and deception has always been the strategy followed by Israel’s apologists

January 16, 2004