Results from the Gaza withdrawal are still unclear.

The original article appeared in the Central Finland newspaper Keskisuomalainen’ ,

This article breaks from the usual editorializing style of the Keskisuomalainen editorial board, and actually is supportive of the Disingagement intitiative…….will wonders ever cease?

Results from the Gaza withdrawal are still unclear.

Israel has taken a step towards peace in the Middle-East, by emptying the Gaza settlements. The basis for the unilateral decision isn’t linked to any peace agreement. What is in question here, is an Israeli policy that shows the growing readiness to live in harmony with the Palestinians.

Though many Israelis ended up leaving their homes, the gross majority of the nation supported the decision. Nearly two thirds hold the opinion that, the settlements will be dismantled on a large scale. Weary of fighting with the Palestinian people, and if by giving up Gaza serves the interests of peace, the majority believes its worth it.

By withdrawing, Israel is taking a calculated risk. Giving up Gaza doesn’t mean the formation of a Palestinian state –which is regarded as the most important pre-requisite for peace – neither does it promise the end to terrorist activity. Someone though, has to take the first initiative, when it has been witnessed that the cycle of strike and counter strike has lead to nowhere, new alternatives must be sought. The biggest difficulty from the Israeli perspective is the Palestinian group, Hamas. The radical activist organization has announced that it doesn’t intend to cease hostilities, and the group also continually sets new conditions to the cease fire.

Its been painful for the Gaza settlers to leave the land, in which they have during the past thirty years, transformed from sand dunes into a livable area, through the practice of agricultural know how. In addition to this, Israeli politicians had earlier promised that Gaza would be kept. The betrayed portion of the population are bitter, and presages a political crisis after the dismantling of the settlements.

It will be a small miracle if the peace process proceeds as a result of the recent actions. Without the direct intermediation of the United States, the return for conditions for peace are not deemed likely, but that remains to be seen. The problem is till the Palestinian desire for a state of their own, and that a portion of Israeli society feels that the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has sold a portion of the state for nothing in return. Sharon is to some a hero, and to others a traitor.

The basis for Israel’s actions is probably the clear understanding that, nothing will ever go forward if nothing is done. The occupation of a dense Palestinian area has come to a cross road, and a solution has to be found in order to give oxygen to both sides.

For the moment, the word ‘peace’ has not been used, but the march towards it is truly on track. At least the ceasefire has held, and the other sides’ understanding of that, is to be interpreted to have grown.

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