• Peace is possible
    July 22,2014
     

    Peace is possible

    The American press has helped legitimize Israel’s merciless attacks on Gaza by castigating Hamas for rejecting an Egyptian cease-fire proposal.

    The Egyptian offer was the poisoned fruit of collusion among Egypt’s new dictator, Tony Blair, Israel’s prime minister and John Kerry.

    As reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Hamas was never invited to the party.

    Rule No. 2: If you want a cease-fire, talk to your adversary.

    Rule No. 3: When your adversary offers a credible truce proposal, negotiate.

    The same week the Egyptian cease-fire story was making headlines, Hamas offered Israel a 10-year truce in exchange for 10 conditions, including: withdrawal of Israeli tanks from Gaza’s border; freeing of all prisoners arrested after the killing of three Jewish settler youth; lifting the siege of Gaza and opening border crossings; establishing a seaport and airport in Gaza under U.N. supervision; and increasing the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast to 10 kilometers.

    It also called for internationalizing the Rafah crossing under U.N. control; placing international forces on the borders; easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque; prohibiting Israeli interference with the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah; and re-establishing an industrial zone in Gaza and further economic development.

    Clearly, the chief focus is ending Israel’s inhuman and unlawful siege on 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, most of whom are refugees and desperately poor.

    So why did Israel destroy Gaza’s only rehabilitation hospital Saturday, and why does it keep killing civilians indiscriminately, after it was offered a 10-year truce?

    Mark Hage

    Montpelier

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