Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 8:46AM :
...you've got to love them. Right now they are debating whether to leave Sharon's government, or to give the Palestinians the entire West Bank and Gaza strip for a future state.
They are kind of like the democrats in the US...only that they still have testicles. The democrats in the US are silent about the right wing government and this endless war, but in Israel at least they have the guts to stick to what they believe in...peace... even in the midst of their own "endless war on terroism".
Also, on an unrelated note, I read that the curfew was lifted for Palestinian college students who are taking finals exams. I thought "That's nice of them to lift the curfew for college students..." then I read that once the students arrived at school, the males and females were separated, interrogated, and some of the males were arrested. So much for that.
Israel's Labour Party at Crossroads Over Peace
Tue Jul 2, 3:45 AM ET
By Jeffrey Heller
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's center-left Labour Party headed toward a crossroads on Tuesday over divisive issues of peacemaking with the Palestinians and its future as a key partner in Ariel Sharon ( news - web sites)'s coalition government.
Opening a Labour party conference on Monday, its leader, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, rejected demands by dovish members to bolt the alliance with the right-wing premier.
"It should be clear that quitting the government would cause the immediate cessation of the building of the separation fence," Ben-Eliezer said about a planned 350-km (210-mile) barrier along the frontier with the West Bank to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of Israel.
The defense chief has been a strong advocate of the year-long, $220 million project, which some right-wingers have said would set a de facto border that could weaken Israel's claim to land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
Ben-Eliezer also voiced support for a Palestinian state and the dismantling of some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip ( news - web sites) under a future peace deal. But he said he objected to any unilateral move to uproot them.
Some 4,000 delegates were to vote on ratifying Ben-Eliezer's vision of peace on Tuesday, while Israeli forces he oversees continue to occupy seven Palestinian cities seized after 31 Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks from June 18 to 20.
His left-wing leadership rival, Haim Ramon, was trying to amass enough signatures to hold a debate on whether to resign from Sharon's coalition. Ben-Eliezer opposed any such debate.
"I say the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state living in peace alongside an Israel that has safe and recognized borders is a supreme Israeli interest," Ben-Eliezer said in his televised speech to the convention in Tel Aviv.
"This state must cover the large majority of territory in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip, contiguously and with special passage arrangements," he said.
Underscoring a point of contention with Sharon, Ben-Eliezer said "there will be no choice but to evacuate...within the framework of a peace agreement" settlements in the heart of the Gaza Strip and in hard to protect areas in the West Bank.
Ramon has called for an immediate and unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, something out of the question for Sharon who has said Israel's security would be endangered if it reverted to pre-1967 borders.
Israeli military operations against suspected Palestinian militants continued on Tuesday with moves into the northern West Bank towns of Zababdeh and Tilfit, where Palestinian witnesses said college students were being questioned.
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