Salman Masalha


The shape of the new Israeli government as it looks right now means one thing. It means the postponement of the dealing with the main issue that has caused this land to bleed in the past decades. I mean the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Looking at both sides, the shape of the coming Israeli government on the one hand and on the other the internal Palestinian geographical and political dispute that has created Palestinian agendas in Gaza and in the West Bank, we see a deep crisis that doesn't help in moving forwards genuine efforts to deal with issue, let alone to taking steps towards solving the problem.

The Labor Party's decision to join the new coalition, pushed by its leader Ehud Barak who is supposed to continue serving as the defense minister in the next government, may indicate that there are hidden things that might happen and that this country might be facing in the near future with respect to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Bearing this in mind and in light of what I've said above, it seems that speaking now about bringing an end to the Israeli occupation sounds unrealistic with this government.

Hope in such a situation can be found only if the international community, the USA and the EU as well as others, decides to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation and on the Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist. The international community can give assurances and aid to both if they choose to take this path. Otherwise, this conflict will keep causing suffering to both nations in this part of the world as well as far beyond this area.

Jerusalem, March 28, 2009


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