Thursday, April 30, 2009

Death for Peace

Benjamin Netanyahu decided to appoint Avigdor Lieberman as the new Foreign Affairs Minister despite objections from around the world. Lieberman's first day on the job was perceived as a major policy shift. He promissed to honour all previous agreements with the Palestinians with the exception of the Annapolis process.

He also showed his ability to be diplomatic by speaking nicely about the Egyptians that he would need to work closely with. He had previously been in trouble for being rude about the fact that Egyptian officials never hold meetings in Israel. Egypt has been sending mixed signals if they would boycott him. So far it seems to be business as usual in practical terms.

The Annapolis process is the last agreement between former PM Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian Authority. It has even been endorsed by the UN. The previous government did not want the details to be public because they feared it would hurt them in the election. Tthe agreement was hidden from the Israeli public. The government they elected has every right to say if voters had an oppurtunity to reject it they would have and therefore they would pursue the logical course of action.

This week Palestinian President Abbas reconfirmed his position on negotiations with Israel. Israel was to return to 1967 borders not one centimetre more and not one centimetre less. This solution ignores the events after Israel established it's original borders. There were Jews who left Egypt and Jordan to live in Israel. Arabs left Israel to live in refugee camps and become political pawns to the Arab world. Palestinians wish to ignore the Jewish evictions by establishing a state free of Jews. However they want all Palestinians to be able to choose to live in Israel rather than the Palestinian state they claim to want to help build. Land swap offers to minimize the physical transfer of people and place Jews in Israel and Palestinians under the authority of a Palestinian state have been vigourously turned down.

This week a Palestinian was sentecned to death by hanging by the Palestinian Authority. His crime was selling his property to Jews. While this story has been picked up in Europe I have not been able to find any references to this story in the Canadian media.

Israel always finds themselves on the condemnation end from Human Rights groups. Some how Palestinian violations almost always get a free ride. A look at the overall picture shows that Israel they are being condemned for a sense of self preservation and not an attempt to harm minority groups living within Israel's borders.

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