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?


Bob said…
From AOL news just now...

(Sept. 27) -- A boat carrying pro-Palestinian Jewish activists is heading to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli government blockade of the territory.

Ten people are aboard the 33-foot catamaran named "Irene," including Jews from the U.S., Germany and Britain, according to Jews for Justice for Palestinians, based in London.

Organizer Richard Kuper said the boat, which set sail Sunday from northern Cyprus carrying toys, medical equipment and textbooks, is a "symbolic statement" against Israel's "illegal, unnecessary and inhumane" blockade of Gaza. Kuper said his group expects to be intercepted by Israeli navy boats and will not resist, according to a Web page documenting the journey.
Pro-Palestinian Jewish Activists Sail for Gaza With Aid
Vish Vishvanath, Metro
Passengers on a Gaza-bound boat carrying pro-Palestinian Jewish activists gather for a group photograph before their departure. The boat set sail Sunday from northern Cyprus.

The vessel is expected to reach Gazan waters late today. Its journey comes nearly four months after Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship in an aid flotilla bound for the territory. Eight pro-Palestinian Turkish activists and a Turkish-American were killed.

Israel has long asserted that its three-year-old blockade is necessary to stop arms shipments into the coastal strip controlled by the militant Hamas party.

"Jewish communities around the world are not united in support of Israel," Kuper said in a telephone interview from London with The Associated Press. "Israel's future peace is coming to terms quickly with the Palestinians."

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Kuper said the trip was funded by donations.

Among the activists on board is 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz. "It is a sacred duty for me, as a survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza," the Israel resident said, according to the BBC.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David called the protest boat "a provocative joke that isn't funny," CBS News reported.

"It's unfortunate that there are all kids of organizations involved in provocations that contribute nothing and certainly don't contribute to any kind of agreement," David said.

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