(Nearly) game over

Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, July 10:

The Israeli government, as is its wont, has climbed a tall tree, and is becoming entrenched there in total opposition to its own interests. It insists that first the soldier be released, and afterward we will hold our fire, and perhaps will agree to talk about the release of prisoners. The Palestinians, as is their wont, are climbing up after their neighbours. They are demanding that Israel first hold fire and agree to release prisoners, and then they will release Shalit and stop firing Qassam rockets.

Dr. Mustafa Mazini, a lecturer in the natural sciences department of the Islamic University and the son-in-law of assassinated Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin, this week suggested a ladder that will allow everyone to climb down from their trees. In an interview on the Hamas Web site, Mazini suggested counting to three together – and carrying out a deal simultaneously. It’s such an obvious solution that there is no chance that the Israeli government will adopt it. After all, this is a matter of “Israel’s power of deterrence.” But that power was lost along with the decision that was made to withdraw from Gaza without an agreement, so what remains is the prestige of a handful of politicians and the honor of a gang of generals.

Meanwhile, Israel continues its apartheid policies:

For the first time since 1967, Israel is preventing the entry of Palestinians with foreign citizenship, most of them Americans.

Most of those refused entry are arriving from abroad, but have lived and worked for years in the West Bank.

How much longer must be wait before a modern Israeli Prime Minister openly states his desire for a Palestinian/Arab free Jewish state? Ethnic cleansing by another name. It can’t be long now. The Middle East’s “only democracy” is enjoying the calm before the storm.

UPDATE: A moving piece in the Toronto Star about the “faceless” Palestinians.