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The occupation is still occupation

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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:43 AM
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The occupation is still occupation
By Haaretz Editorial

The Lebanon war has not proved the unilateral withdrawal was a failure. Neither has it made occupation any more reasonable or moral.

The Qassam rocket fire from Gaza may have strengthened the position of those who demanded a withdrawal by agreement, but did not evoke a yearning to resettle there. The settlements in Gaza did not protect Israel from rocket fire or suicide attacks; they confined the IDF to missions that exhausted it and undermined the justness of its struggle.

The hasty withdrawal of reserve forces from Lebanon now proves there is no regret for the pullout six years ago from this region either. Perhaps the pullout wasn't carried out wisely, perhaps Israel missed a chance for peace with Syria, perhaps it failed to foresee Hezbollah's gaining strength, but nobody believes Israel should have stayed in Lebanon permanently.

The occupation of the territories is still a millstone on Israel's neck, paralyzing any attempt at normalization with the Arab states, even those who share interests with Israel against radical Islam. One cannot demand of the citizens of Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to identify with Israel as long as it refuses to release its stranglehold on millions of Palestinians under its rule.

Conducting negotiations with the Palestinians' representatives is still an utmost Israeli interest. Palestinian politics are changing daily, but Israel is blind to this process. Only yesterday Israel captured and imprisoned the deputy Palestinian prime minister, and other cabinet and parliament members are still in Israeli prison. It is doubtful whether this behavior advances Israel's interests, or even the release of Gilad Shalit.

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