25 November 2012

Rising Militancy

Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter, 2006, Excerpts

Since 1967 more than 630,000 Palestinians [about 20 percent of the total population] in the occupied territories have been detained at some time by the Israelis, arousing deep resentment among the families involved. Although the vast majority of prisoners are men, there are a large number of Palestinian children tried as adults, a violation of international law. Confessions extracted through torture are admissible in Israeli courts. Accused persons usually are tried in military courts in the West bank, and then incarcerated in prisons inside Israel.

Militant Arabs, including Hamas and Hezbollah, have been given new life and influence as they are seen to be struggling against Israeli occupation of Palestine. The absence of any viable peace initiative exacerbates each individual controversy. Continuing impediments include the desire of some Israelis for Palestine land, the refusal of some Arabs to accept Israel as a neighbor, the absence of a clear and authoritative Palestinian voice acceptable to Israel, the refusal of both sides to join peace talks without onerous preconditions, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the recent lack of any protracted effort by the United States to pursue peace based on international law and previous agreements ratified by Israel.

This cycle of provocative acts by Arab militants and the devastating military response by Israel demonstrates once more the permanent, festering results of the unresolved Middle East dispute. Israel’s powerful military force can, with American acquiescence or support, destroy the economic infrastructure and inflict heavy casualties in Gaza, Lebanon, and even other nations. But when this devastation occurs, guerrilla movements are likely to survive, becoming more united and marshaling wider support.

Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.

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