There'll Be No Peace in Our Time

[Sunday Telegraph-Australia] Greg Sheridan - Even in the West Bank, the real power of the Palestinian Authority is very limited. Several West Bank cities are ruled by warlords, not the Authority. Indeed, Palestinian leaders cannot travel safely in all their own cities and are not ready to take over security in most of their cities from Israeli security forces. In truth, the PA does not have functioning state institutions. Two years ago, Israel did pull out of Gaza - and the result was that Hamas took over. Every day now, terrorists fire rockets - aimed at civilians - from Gaza into Israel. Eventually, one of these rockets will kill a large number of Israeli civilians and there will be a huge Israeli military response inside Gaza. The Annapolis process requires the fulfillment of the conditions of the Roadmap, the very first of which is that the Palestinians stamp out terrorism and stop attacks on Israeli civilians. There is no sign the PA can do this, or even that it really wants to. Its educational materials are full of hatred against Israel and incitement to terrorism. And that is the fundamental problem. Neither the Palestinian leadership, nor most of the surrounding Arab states, have really come to grips with Israel's right to exist at peace behind secure borders. Until that happens, no agreement is likely to work on the ground. The writer is foreign editor of The Australian.

2007-12-19 01:00:00

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