Israel Defies Peace Efforts

  • 11 March 2010

At the time when US Vice President Joe Biden came to the region to invigorate the peace process, Israel initiated steps that posed a clear challenge to the US and international efforts in this regard. The Minister of Environment of Israel announced the building of 112 houses in a West Bank colony, while Israeli Minister of Interior announced the building of 1600 housing units in East Jerusalem. The Netanyahu government, through its provocative expansion of colonies—in terms of its timing and content—is using all possible means to jeopardize any positive and real steps toward peace, and is sending messages to all concerned parties that it does not accept any pressure, and is not subject to any obligations. It is implementing its plans and is trying to impose a “custom-made peace”, which violates all prior international resolutions and terms of references of the peace process, which was built upon since the “Madrid Conference.” Israel through its recent colony-building plans, and its listing of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque and Bilal bin Rabah Mosque among its Jewish heritage list, as well as its attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque, has thrown the gauntlet to the world. It is not interested in achieving peace, stability and coexistence in the Middle East of any strategic importance for international peace and stability. 

Israel always claims that it espouses peace and is willing to achieve it, yet it does not find any Palestinian or Arab party worthy of contributing to this effort. However, the rise of the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu confirms that Israel is not interested in peace and that it employs all means to put obstacles on its way. US Vice President Joe Biden has reaffirmed that Israeli decision to expand housing in East Jerusalem would undermine the necessary trust needed to push the peace process forward. But it is clear that Israel is not interested in building this trust at this stage, and is pursuing policies of unilateralism  which builds more hatred and suspicion among Palestinians, rejects any commitment to the previously agreed upon terms, and is working to formulate a new set of “Israeli terms” for peace without giving the other party the right to object, as it would deem it a non-starter for negotiations.
It is time for an international stand against Israel and its extremist government which has dragged the region to an explosive situation because in the absence of such a stance talks about peace would remain suspended in a vicious circle which will lead us nowhere, but would only give Israel the opportunity to annex more Palestinian territories, further Judaize Jerusalem and its holy Muslim and Christian shrines.