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September 21, 2009
How you see it: Settlement freeze for Israel?

Tunnels near Rafah.

On Monday, one day before U.S. President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet in New York with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s air force launched an attack on Palestinian targets in the southern Gaza Strip.

The targets were three tunnels Israel says are used to smuggle arms into Gaza across the border from Egypt. The Israeli army said the attack was a response to rockets fired into Israel by Palestinian militants from Gaza over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo with Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak. Abbas repeated the Palestinian position that negotiations with Israel cannot resume without an agreement by Israel to freeze Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.

If Israel imposes a freeze on all settlement construction, are you confident there would be a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Marius Arnesen under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments

43 comments

#43

There will be no peace with the arabs/muslims. They do not want peace no matter what they say! The goal of islam is to conquer the world and rid the world of non-believers. Take a close look at the radical arab/muslim groups that want to destroy Israe! Also, did you ever notice the al-qeda training films where they bust through doors and shoot at targets – the targets all have “Crosses” on them.

#42

Why are settlements such a problem? There are many arab settlements in Israel. Simple truth is—arab countries cannot get along with neighbors–period

#41

Nya:

Where are the obligations of the Arabs and Palestinians?;

#40

The BDS movement: BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT and SANCTIONS against Israeli occupation and apartheid, issued by the major Palestinian civil society organizations in June 2005, and after the Call for the Global BDS Action Day issued at the World Social Forum in Brazil have been spreading all over the world.It worked in South Africa!

#39

This land belongs to ISRAEL,the palestinians should start their state outside of the State of
Israel. There is lots of desert land and the Arab
states have money to give to them. They can then
show the world that they can make the desert grow
as Israel did. That is the TWO STATE SOLUTION,and
both Israelis and Palestinians will be better off.
Israel gave up Gaza willington for peace, but it
didn’t work for them. Hamas has been shelling them
from Gaza for years.

#38

Nya:

Where are the obligations of the Arabs and Palestinians?

#37

The Palestinians continue to build tunnels for survival since the Gaza crossings to Egypt are almost always closed or limited goods can be shipped. I’m sure that guns and other contraband make it, but that happens all over the world. Hamas fires rockets to gain attention and stir public sentiment for the plight of the Palestinians. This is unacceptable, but Israel’s continued practice of apartheid is equally unacceptable. Stopping the settlements is only one part of the overall solution. Designing a functioning Palestinian homeland that is not carved to pieces and looks like Swiss cheese will be the trick.

#36

USA can’t see that allowing the injustice in Palestine is why they will fail in Middle East wars. This will never be mentioned in media. Don’t worry, bigger problems will face humanity and only by looking to universal justice will they be solved. In the process the Middle
East problem will automatically be solved. Of course, this stuggle may include a drastic drop in human population. Only a few my see a brighter world with people with more enlightened minds and growth though stuggle.

#35

I don’t think that there will ever be peace. If Israel does stop the building of settlements – they should still not give up the occupied lands. If Israel gives up the land – the land then will just become another haven for terrorist to lop rockets into Israel – Israel gave into world demands on the Gaza Strip and look what happened – Hamas targeted Israel with Rockets. Hamas & Hezbollah ought to be driven into the sea by a united world for decency – it is these two terrorist organizations that will never allow peace. If you were in Israel’s place – would want to have to give up land where it is prosperous currently to a hate filled Hamas and other Iranian supported terrorist. Israel – hold your ground – don’t let Obama talk you into something less than you can live with. JW @ USA

#34

Settlements pinch off pieces of the loaf (promised state for Palestine). No loaf left. No hope for peace. No light at end of tunnel. As history proves: religious clashes have nothing to do with God. It has to do with delusional people fighting like animals. We are lost. Rational thought and the human heart lies on the ashes of ancient fires of primative peoples. We are screwed.

#33

Settlements pinch off pieces of the loaf (promised state for Palestine). No loaf left. No hope for peace. No light at end of tunnel. As history proves: religious clashes have nothing to do with God. It has to do with delusional people fighting like animals. We are lost. Rational thought and the human heart lies on the ashes of ancient fires of primative peoples. We are fucked.

#32

The Jews have been settlements all over the West Bank to thwart the creation of a Palestinian state. I think their aim is to eventually expel Palestinians from the West Bank. Israel has violated all international laws about the West Bank. And the report of war crimes in Gaza is a telling signal of what they intend to do to the Palestinians in the West Bank. I do not think the Palestinians will ever have a state unless the world puts pressure on Israel to meet its obligations.

#31

Israel has conceded land and limited armed conflict, Palestine Authority digs tunnels to smuggle attacks, armaments and suicide bombers. The beat goes on.

#30

Zionists believe that Israel’s success in the 1967 war was God’s stamp of approval for their continued expansion of Israel. This is the foundation of their argument. Israel will not discontinue expansion regardless of American and/or European positions.

#29

It is a bloody religious conflict with the hope of re-creating Biblical Judea and Samaria in the West Bank without the Palestinians. No Israeli government will survive if they agree to a Palestinian State.

#28

sick of this regeime-ISREAL is prepairing tO attack IRAN-several 100’s of Bunker busters was delivered why do they need these? Saudi’s r very upset ready to revolt oh ISREAL what have u done?

#27

It is my opinion that there will not be resolved by negotiation, but it will come to open conflict. If not now then later in the form of Armageddon or the final conflict.

#26

the israel wants the land to create their greater israel. they will keep creating conflict so that jews around the world will support them. western press will aid them in that effort.

#25

No, Israel does not want peace,it will continue to misguide Americans through its well placed agents in the congress and elsewhere in the government of USA. I am convinced that we no longer are in control of our international politics it is Israel who determines what steps we should take only to sacrifice our youth to do that country’s dirty work.

#24

The Palestinians have never accepted any peace proposal with Israel (Peel Commission 1937, UN separation resolution 1947, Oslo agreement 1993, Camp David 2000, Taba 2001, and the Olmart proposal 2008.) Israel has evacuated settlements in 2005 from Gaza and the north of the Shomron area (the West Bank) and for return, we have gotten thousands of rockets from the Gaza strip control by Hamas.

So blaming Israel is just plane un founded argument, and pure anti-Israel propaganda.

The issue is the refuse of the Palestinians to accept a Jewish Israel state –as I demonstrated above.

Indeed, Israel is not violating International Law. In fact, under International Law Israel is the only party which has a legitimate legal claim to the West Bank and Gaza. Here are the historical facts:

In 1922 the League of Nations allocated the area that is today Gaza, Israel, West Bank and Jordan as the national home for the Jewish people. The British government then partitioned the Palestine Mandate giving 77% of the Mandate area to King Hussein and leaving 23% of the Mandate west of the Jordan River for the Jewish state. From 1922 to 1948 the British violated the mandate by severely restricting Jewish immigration while allowing free Arab immigration. The British where attempting to make their presence permanent by creating a small and defenseless Jewish population which would always need their protection. Thus the origins of the conflict. During this period there were numerous anti-Jewish riots in which large numbers of Jews were murdered in cold blood by Islamic and Arab nationalists. This included for example, the massacre of Hebron’s Jewish community and the expulsion by the British of the Jews from the Silwan / Shiloach neighborhood outside the old city purportedly to protect them from Arab violence.

Then in 1947 the UN voted to create a second partition of Palestine, this time dividing up the remaining 23% between a Jewish and a second Arab state. This partition was rejected by the surrounding Arab states – and was ignored by the local Arab population as they mostly saw themselves as either Egyptians or Syrians and had never bothered to try and build any of their own governmental institutions.

The Arab states then launched an unprovoked war of agression in which they attempted to destroy the Jewish state and in their own words, “Throw the Jews into the sea.” At the end of this war cease fire lines were drawn and Jordan illegally annexed east Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria, a.k.a the West Bank. The Jordanians ethnically cleansed all Jews from the areas they controlled and granted Jordanian citizenship to the Christian and Muslim Arabs.

These cease fire lines are more or less what is called the ‘Green Line’ today forming a temporary eastern boarder for the state of Israel. Since the 1947 UN partition was rejected by the Arabs that leaves the 1922 League of Nations Mandate as the document which determines the legal status of the area West of the Jordan River.

#23

Although we all need to Cool Down a bit, Freezing the (Natural) growth of Settlements won’t do it. They Must be Dismantled. That is the Only path to Peace.

Peace, Love & Respect.

#22

No guarantee, but a beginning sign of good faith…

#21

Israel cannot support the population it now has without West Bank water resources. Their open immigration policy and continued growth will demand even greater Israeli control of the West Bank, not less. A freeze on settlement construction seems a reasonable, though unlikely, first step. Considering the massive financial and military backing the U.S. provides Israel, further steps toward peace seem even less likely.

#20

Remember that Yitzak Rabin was shot because he tried to stop settlement building on Palestinian territory, and I fear that any Israeli statesman that tries to halt further building will share a similar fate. The Israeli government can’t control the settlers. The Palestinians should make a declaration of independence and ask for international recognition.

#19

Israel will NEVER let the Palestinians be free. As Jimmy Carter said the israelis have established an apartheid state such as existed in South Africa. Nothing will happen unless the US and Europe force the Israelis to concede the land to the Palestinians….such as happened to the Boers in SA. Remember! The Israelis were allies of the apartheid South African regime….helping each other develop atomic weapons and other arms.

#18

Israel wants the land. They give lip service to placate the u.s. government and to pick up another $3-5 billon check and then go back to Israel and continue to build new settlements. The american tax payer is paying for these settlements.How stupid we are.

#17

Israel has demonstrated, In Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon & Gaza, that it will cede land for peace. The Palestinians have demonstrated that they are not interested.

#16

No confidence whatsoever. There were no settlements prior to 1967, and peace was nowhere in sight. Settlements are a red herring. The core issue is accepting a Jewish state as neighbor. Sadly, I see no sigh of this.

#15

If you want to see that the Arabs reject peace, see the actions on refugees:
(1) Israel absorbed and uplifted over 800 000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands. They came to Israel penniless, but looked forward. Their descendants from half of Israel’s population.

(2) In contrast, the Arab world never allowed absorption of a similar number of Arab refugees – even when they had the West Bank. They have resisted resolution of the Arab refugee issue for 60 years. This is especially hypocritical, as they started the wars that led to BOTH refugee issues.

#14

Mahmoud Abbas is no moderate. At the recent Fatah conference in Bethlehem, he
(1) rejected recognizing Israel as a Jewish state;
(2) boasted of the attacks of the Al Aqsa Brigades and reaffirmed support for them;
(3) appointed a commission to investigate how “Israel murdered Arafat” (!);
(4) demanded that refugees be resettled in pre-1967 Israel, not the West Bank.

#13

The Palestinians have never shown any sign of compromise. They react to every Israel concession (e.g. the Gaza withdrawal) with more attacks.

#12

Hey Jordan, learn how to spell ISRAEL, Look the real battle is about Jerusalem and the Israeli’s are never going to give it up, hence, there will be no peace deal.

#11

US pressure on Israel has already make the Arab world take an even harder line – with even Egypt rejecting recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

#10

Settlements are not the real obstacle to peace. The real problem is Arab refusal to accept Israel as a permanent state, no matter how small.

The Arab world rejected a two-state solution, and invaded the tiny Jewish state in 1948, and started wars several times since. They have never given up the goal of destroying Israel.

Just read the Arab press, and you will see.

#9

there will never be peace between arabs and Israel. the arabs want to kill every Israeli, completely destroy Israel, but I tell you the truth, when the worst comes, G*d will fight for Israel. I am not Jewish or Israeli, it’s just the way it is.

#8

Stoppig settlement construction will not appease the Palestinians, it’s only an excuse to cry fowl and blame the Israeli’s. The Palestinians, have shown through their actions that they do not really want Peace. There are two factions: are they going two have a “Seperate State”, for each faction? If they really wanted Peace they would sign on the dotted line and take what they have now and be satisfied. The world should be talking about a demilitarized Palestinian State.

#7

I do not believe that Israel truly seeks a peaceful negotiation. I affirm the aforementioned comments of W Bradford. It is truly unfortunate for everyone.

#6

There will never be a genuine peace deal. The Jews know that and so do the Palestinians. The Palestinians have been offered their own state many times before and have always insisted upon the total annihilation of the Jews. Nothing less will satisfy them.

#5

Not likely. Israel is not looking for a peace deal. They offer Palastinians less and less, and I firmly believe thier ultimate objective is the elimination of the Palastinian people in the west bank entirely. The reason America can do little is simply the unparelled economic and political power they have in the US. No president or politician can stand up to it.

#4

I know.

But the tunnels are still
being dug by those
with somewhat
of the same
thinking
as…

North Koreans.

Hence, my former Question.

#3

No.

#2

Who are the ones digging the tunnels?
North Korea clones?

#1

ISREAL BOMBS AND KILLS,THE U.S.A. WILL KISS THEIR BUTTS JUST LIKE ALWAYS!!!! ISREAL KNOWS THE GAMES TO PLAY AND DUMB AMERICANS JUST KEEP BUYING THEIR LIES AS ALWAYS! PUT ISREAL ON ANOTHER PLANET, THE HOTTEST ONE!!!!!

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