Israel: December 10, 2003


 Israel believes that some of the Palestinian terrorist groups are maintaining a de facto truce while negotiations go on among Palestinians about what to do next. The way things stand now, the best peace offer the Palestinians can get is what was offered three years ago, before Arafat decided to try a little terrorism to squeeze some more out of Israel. Now, after 3,000 (mostly Palestinian) dead, everyone is back to where they were. Except for those killed and injured, and the majority of Palestinians who were put out of work by the border controls implemented to keep the terrorists out. The Israeli security fence also continues to cause problems, as it does stop terrorists, but also sets up a new border that incorporates many of the settlements into Israel. While the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are now willing to compromise and make a deal, the extremists on both sides are in control. The Palestinian terrorists are still determined to destroy Israel, not negotiate with it. The Israeli settlers are still determined to reclaim "Greater Israel" (making the West Bank part of Israel and, if need be, expel the Arabs.) One bright spot has been the ability of Israel to stop Israeli terrorists (often extremists settlers who have lost family or friends to Palestinian attacks)  from carrying out attacks against Palestinians. There have been some attacks, but there were then arrests and the Israeli terrorists backed off when they realized they could not get away with it like the Palestinians can.


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