An opinion piece published today in the Jerusalem Post on “The urgency of Annapolis”, written by MJ Rosenberg, Director of Israel Policy Forum’s Washington Policy Center, says that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and lives must end:
“…There are people among us who believe that all is fair in the effort to preserve the settlements and keep the Palestinians under occupation. In a sense, it is not surprising that occupation produces this kind of ugliness. By definition, occupation coarsens the occupier. Furthermore, an occupation that started as the retention of lands won in a defensive war evolved, once the settlement movement began, into a fierce religious nationalist movement that is less about love of Israel than hating those perceived as Israel’s enemies, especially fellow Israelis and Jews. These new nationalists, for the most part, have little use for the State of Israel and its leaders. Their attachment is to the Land of Israel, a place located in the Bible, in their hearts and in the West Bank settlements … These are the Israeli counterparts of the much ballyhooed Islamo-Fascists – although the people so up-in-arms about Arab crazies tend not to see the similarity with their Jewish brethren, and vice versa. That is one of the remarkable things about extremists. They never recognize their mirror image in the people they hate most. One of the many things these fanatics have in common is that their biggest fear is Arab-Israeli reconciliation … Now the crazies on both sides are determined to see Annapolis fail. Israel’s security agencies are on alert, with Olmert under even more protection than usual. Hopefully, the same precautions are being taken by the Palestinian Authority which needs to guard against both attacks on the Fatah leadership and an increase in attacks on Israeli targets. All this adds urgency to Annapolis. Without movement toward peace and an end to occupation, the lunatics on both sides are going to triumph in both Israel and Palestine. Yitzhak Rabin’s son, Yuval, predicts that, at the rate things are going in Israel, [Rabin’s assassin, Yigal] Amir will be freed and his children will be treated as princes of the state. Many Palestinians, for their part, worship suicide bombers and other vicious killers (note the insistence by some Palestinians on the release from prison of Samir Kuntar, the monster whose claim to fame is that he murdered a young family in Nahariya.) The bottom line is that the status quo is a disease that is destroying two societies…” The JPost opinion piece urging movement toward peace and an end to the occupation is here.