"Arafat is the obstacle". For years this has been the mantra of the Israeli government. "We're ready to negotiate - but not with Arafat, whom we hold directly responsible for the terrorist attacks against Israel."
When Arafat died, the obstacle no longer existed, and the Israeli government no longer had any excuse for refusing to take part in the "Road Map" negotiations.
I wondered how long it would take the Israelis to find a new obstacle.
Not long at all, as it turns out.
Today - a day before the new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, is due to be signed into office - the Israeli government has announced that it is cutting all contact with the Palestinian authority. The pretext is the killing of six Israelis at a Gaza Strip crossing point on Thursday night. But of course any incident would have served just as well.
The simple fact is that Israel has no interest in negotiating with the Palestinians, and no intention of giving back the Palestinian territory it currently occupies.
I expressed my views on this subject a year ago on this message board. They haven't changed, so I might as well copy & paste them and save myself the trouble of composing them again.
"Israel has only one objective, and that is total control of the entire region.
Disregard what the leaders of Israel say, and look only at what they have done, and are still doing, and you will see that Israel has never compromised, never given back anything, never shown any indication of deviating from the course it has followed since its inception - that course being one of military domination, the illegal acquisition of land, the disenfranchisement and ghettoization of the Palestinian people (whose land Israel occupies), and the flouting of international laws."
"I am in no doubt whatsoever that the name of the game is subjugate the Palestinians, take as much of their land as possible and never compromise.
That has been their strategy for the last five decades, and it is their strategy today.
"The game they play - and they play it well - is to pretend that they are interested in peace through negotiation and compromise. The facts, when looked at objectively, tell a very different story.
"They have never compromised. Instead, they have taken more and more Palestinian land and coralled the Palestinians into sectioned-off ghettoes and concentration camps.
"Time and again they have pretended to go along with peace processes, but as soon as they are put in a position where they have to deliver the goods, they find some excuse to pull out.
"When they painted themselves into a corner in the 'Road Map' - in the middle of a ceasefire - they embarked on a campaign of assassination, targeting senior Palestinian resistance figures. They knew perfectly well that this would wreck the peace process. That was their intention.
"And throughout this and all previous 'peace processes', they have relentlessly continued with their land-grabbing and settlement building campaign.
"Now they've built a fence, ostensibly 'for security'. Oddly enough, though, every 'security measure' they've ever taken has involved annexing Palestinian land or destroying Palestinian homes. And this time is no different.
"They've been fooling people for years with this simple, classic ploy (Hitler used it to great effect). But if you look at what successive Israeli governments have actually done, and ignore their verbiage, the picture becomes crystal clear. They are engaged in a ruthless, relentless and long-term plan: to systematically and by degrees establish a Naziesque super state predicated on the notion of Jewish racial and religious superiority. "
Created By: Zak Martin