27 September 2010
If they build it, they won't come
Israel. Palestine. Settlements. Peace talks. This hours ago from Reuters and the UK press, "UK Foreign Secretary William Hague will urge Israel to renew a moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank amid fears the expiry of the 10-month ban could scupper Middle East peace efforts. Mr Hague said there is "widespread international concern" that the issue could derail the latest direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Shortly after the ban expired at midnight [today], Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinians not to walk away from the negotiations, saying in a statement that his "intention to achieve peace is genuine".
There was no Palestinian announcement about the future of the talks although they asked for a meeting of an Arab League body on October 4 to discuss the situation." (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iz6Ji9-y-WP035tqNAbFaEkpUIpQ)
It's very likely Israelis will build more settlements in the West Bank, an area that has been under Israeli control for decades since the Six Day War of June 1967. Those 'two state' proponents want the West Bank (biblical Samaria) to be given to Palestinian families. Israelis who live in the area, and whose land it is by conquest reject that plan for peace. To be fair, it's not an easy solution, no matter on what side of the fence you live.
In the West Bank settlement of Revava south of Nablus where this photo was taken, residents released 2,000 balloons in the blue and white of the Israeli flag. The balloons were meant to symbolise the 2,000 apartments that settlers claim are ready to be built immediately. Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party is quoted on CBS Evening News saying, "We will start building as in the past. We hope that tomorrow morning we will see more new buildings."
So is it true...if they (the Israelis) build buildings, will the Palestinians come (to the peace talk table)? Or do we have to have another Field of Dreams somewhere else?