Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why Is It
The Palestinians
Are Not
Being Asked
To Initiate Peace?

The United States is putting pressure on Israel to make some "gestures" to the Palestinians ahead of the Annapolis Summit which will attempt to work out an agreement in the Middle East conflict. From AP:

JERUSALEM - The U.S. is pressuring Israel to declare a complete freeze on West Bank settlement construction ahead of a high-stakes peace conference, rejecting Israel’s long-standing policy of expanding existing communities, Israeli government officials say.

The U.S. also wants Israel to release more Palestinian prisoners than it plans to free before the meeting, expected to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, later this month, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal the information. U.S. Embassy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The U.S. has been urging Israel to make a series of gestures to the Palestinians ahead of the summit. American proposals have included an Israeli freeze on West Bank settlement construction and a large-scale release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel holds an estimated 9,000 such prisoners.

Israel maintains that it should be allowed to build housing in settlements to account for the “natural growth” of the existing settler population. The U.S. opposes settlement activity, but President Bush has signaled that he would support Israel’s position that it retain some settlements under a final peace deal.

Why is it that the Palestinians are not being asked to make "gestures"?

Why aren't they asked, or rather told, to cease lobbing missiles at Israeli schools? Why are they not asked to put a stop to suicide bombings? Or, at the very least, why aren't they asked to change the charters of Fatah and Hamas, which both call for the destruction of the state of Israel?

Why is it that Israel is asked to make concessions and the Palestinians are not? I believe the reason is everyone knows the Palestinians are not serious partners for peace, and that any request for gestures would be a losing cause.