Egypt's Proposal - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Scott Weber
    • 25.07.06 | 09:47 (IDT)

    If Isreal is sincere in its stated objective to secure the release of the captive, Shalit, it should agree to this reasonable offer. Surely it can guarantee the release of select Palestianian prisoners, as set forth in the proposal, just as it and other allied countries have done so in the past, and end this tragic debacle. Further, it would set the stage for an agreeable solution to the quagmire in Lebanon. Too much destruction has been wrought and too many innocent lives lost on all sides. Unless, of course, Isreal and Hezbollah insist on over-reaching and making matters much worse, alienating its traditional friends and foolishly escalating this war and thereby entrenching hostilities. Beyond this initial settlement, Isreal should discontinue its practice of demanding the impossible: That the Lebanese army confront Hezbollah forces, risking a sectarian split, civil war, and further humiliation: Isreal imploring civilians and foreign nationals in the south to flee intensified missile attacks, but attacking them as they flee, thereby instilling a fear of movement and assuring a continuation of pointless terror, grevious injury, and death, as if an intentional stroke. I have observed this campaign of humiliation upon the Palestianians. Isreal demands concession under threat and, when the Palestinian factions relent, albeit reluctantly, Isreal strikes mercilessly. It is a cycle of humiliation intended to perpetuate polarization and defeat any sense of dignity. Those of us who resist propagandisement can't ignore the obvious dynamic. It is past time to break this hopeless cycle of triumphalism. I will not subscribe to the cynical notion that my friends in Isreal will never know peace with their neighbors. The higher road leads to the "buffer zone". In this frenzied calculus, purpose and proportion have become sublimated to enduring passions. Isreal has made a dramatic and bold statement, but risks undermining it by persising in its aim to destroy, ratherr than cleverly out-maneuvring its avowed enemies by demonstrating an unprovoked humanitarianism toward the innocent and a far-sightedness toward the future. Peaceful coexistence and true security requires courage and humility, not myopic fear and inordinate aggression. Hebollah would not dare resist such an overture and alienate the aggrieved Lebanese peoples and marginalized Syrians. Isreal should recognize this opening and take initiative, defying prejudicial expectations and hysterical prognostications. This would serve to undermine Hebollah, its base of support, and growing sympathy, in a way that wildfire warfare may never achieve. It is not worth the risk of unforeseen and unintended consequences. It is a reckless gambit. It is time for diplomacy -- not faintly marshalled by the Bush Administration or imposed by the United Nations -- but by Isreal and its neighbors. Isreal, being the stronger, has the larger responsibility. The whole world is watching and shall never forget. Shalom

    from the article: Gaza groups ready to deal on cease-fire, release of Shalit
    First published 00:00 25.07.06 | Last updated 00:00 25.07.06
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