A festive day for peace: Israel is planning to announce a freeze on construction in the settlements as compensation for refusing to discuss the core issues. The Palestinians are ecstatic at all the good-will gestures Israel is throwing their way. First came the release of prisoners, now a freeze on construction, and the prime minister has already spoken with the settler leaders and informed them of the decision. They said it was a “difficult meeting,” as it always is, winking at each other deviously.
Undoubtedly, Israel wants peace. But a tiny detail seems to have been forgotten: Israel has signed a series of binding agreements to freeze settlement activity, which it never intended to fulfill. Of the 40 years of occupation, only during three has construction been stopped despite all the agreements and promises to do so. There is no reason to believe that Israel will behave differently this time.