Israel: A Shifting State?



The “state” of Israel today is one of shifting change and also one of bitter holding back on releasing Palestinian prisoners; those who caused death or injury to Israeli citizens. Leaders, who are concerned with keeping their peace promises, are attempting to make policy changes toward the compromising platform that international politics dictate.

Citizens whose families, not counting their own lives, have been tragically altered by terrorist acts and reprisal attacks, do not have the luxury of playing political games.  These are their lives, after all, and for some the release of Palestinian murderers and terrorists will be a very difficult and emotional issue to over-look in the name of peace for all.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo), spoke with President Obama on issues such as Iran’s nuclear proliferation, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and other current delicate issues.  Previously, Netanyahu brokered a peace deal with Secretary of State John Kerry.

In breaking news today, Jerusalem’s High Court rejected the plea of the Almagor Terror Victims Association on Tuesday evening to prevent release of 26 Palestinian prisoners. Israeli courts are standing behind the peace plan, which is a forward way to proceed, however, Israel’s people do not view these measures as a way to resolve the indignities they have suffered.  The High Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction in the case and that for this reason, other attempts at keeping Palestinian inmates from their release were rejected as well.

The unrest that this imminent prison release has caused among the citizens of Israel was compounded by the events of last Monday. Palestinians on the Gaza Strip targeted Ashkelon, a southern city just 12 km north of Gaza.  Two missiles were launched and although there were no casualties, due to one drone hit and the other missile falling into the sea, it drew an immediate response from the Israeli military.

During an August prisoner release, militants in Gaza fired rockets across the border into Israel and Israel answered with air strikes.  The actions of the Palestinian forces may be a way to keep Israel vulnerable, but only underscores individual fears of the people of Israel for their safety following prisoner releases.

Hamas, called on Abbas, a powerful element in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to leave off peace talks with Israel and instead to form a Palestinian power-sharing government.  Hamas does not have much leverage, because they have been experiencing some financial and political difficulties as a result of being restricted from entering Egypt.  Since Egypt is now being led by the military-guided interim government in Cairo, Hamas has no pull with current political leaders.

The dilemma comes down to the real people, both Israeli and Palestinian, who are affected by factional fighting and unstable governments.

Fifty Israelis protested outside the West Bank prison on Monday, where the inmates were being held. Their signs read: “death to murderers.”  Over a thousand people demonstrated.  On the other hand, Tayser Shubair said, “Today is a day of joy for the family and for all of Palestine.”  Shubair’s brother is currently being held as prisoner in Israel.  He added, “my brother is a freedom fighter and we are proud of him and we thank the president for his effort to get him out.”

The clearest answer to the question,is Israel a shifting state?  It would be a resounding yes.

Written by Lisa M Pickering


Los Angeles Times





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