Israel’s government has made two troubling decisions in the wake of what should have been a momentous summit between Olmert and Abbas last week. One was the announcement to establish the first official new settlement on the West Bank in ten years — a small one in the Jordan Valley. In itself, this need not be horrible; the Jordan Valley is of some strategic interest to Israel and needs to be a point for negotiations. But again it is a unilateral move and tends to undermine the goodwill presumably intended in holding the summit.
The second decision, more understandable, is that Israel would strike back (as they say, in a pinpoint way, but that remains to be seen) at those who continue stupidly and outrageously to launch rockets from Gaza into Israeli territory. At the same time, Israel says it’s maintaining the partial cease-fire; this non-cease-fire cease-fire has been a phenomenon in itself, as over 50 rockets have been fired by the brave Palestinian “resistance” against children and other civilians in Israel. I’m all for cease-fires; I wish this one were real. Ami Isseroff reported last week on the Abbas-Olmert non-meeting meeting (click Web link below):