Another summit has been concluded with more of the same words and promises as has happened so often in the past. Money given (this equates to ammunition for Fatah) and prisoners to be released (equates to future terrorists)
I know this seems very negative and I would really like to find positives in what went on but history has shown us that nothing has changed in Fatah. I would love to feel the the Palestinians, at least on the West Bank, would have a leader of the stature of Nelson Mandela but everything not said by the Palestinian leadership indicates a continuation of the failed policies of the past. Incitement on TV and in the schools continues unabated.
A report by a Palesinian journalist this week, received from Palestinian Media Watch,http://www.pmw.org.il/Latest%20bulletins%20new.htm#b2303006 says “We knew that they would do it, especially in Gaza, where a mother brushes her young son's hair at 7:00, so that he will be killed at 7:30, and where the children learn that death is preferable to life! We knew that they would do this, it was clear to us: with language overflowing with the rhetoric of death and the norms of killing, in the religious rulings [Fatwas] and in Friday and holiday sermons.” [Ghassan Zaqtan, Al-Ayyam, June18, 2007]
Real progress can only be made if there is a willingness for peace on BOTH sides.
Much talk is heard in the coffee shops on the possibility of renewed violence in the north this summer. One of our contacts writes; "We are very concerned about the situation here - the only thing to hope for is that the Hamas takeover of Gaza will somehow serve as a catalyst for something to happen that will tip the scales towards peace. I am wondering what will happen in the summit in Cairo next week. No one is optimistic about what will happen up north, and people on both sides of the border are getting very jumpy. Last Monday's rocket attack on Kiryat Shmona was an isolated incident, but I think it would not take a lot to set things off again. So we are hoping for a hot but quiet summer."
Meanwhile, this week is full of joy and celebration within our circle of friends. we all enjoyed a wedding blessing ceremony on Sunday. The son of friends of ours had been married in London and to compensate their Israeli friends who could not attend the wedding, a party was held in Kibbutz Bet Oren just 15 minutes away from our home in the middle of the Carmel Forest, what a romantic setting.
On Wednesday, we will be travelling a little further afield to the Arab village of Abu Gosh, just 15 mins west of Jersualem for the wedding of another friend's son.
It never ceases to amaze us how every wedding we attend has its own personality. no two weddings ever seem to be the same. with so many different cultures represented in the country, this should not be surprising.