"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." - Ariel Sharon, as Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.
By now it should be clear to all Middle East analysts that the main impediment to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Israel and the right-wing Zionist extremists in Israeli politics. Time and again the Palestinians have expressed their sincere desire to end the inhuman conditions under which they are forced to live by the occupying IDF forces, yet every time that a peaceful settlement seems to be within their grasp, bizarrely, Hamas or Islamic Jihad decide to fire a few, usually harmless, Qasam rockets at an illegal Israeli settlement, or unknown "Palestinian gunmen" will murder an Israeli settler, inviting the IDF to retaliate with deadly and overwhelmingly superior force.

How to explain such repeated, apparently self-defeating acts by the alleged representatives of the beleaguered Palestinian people? It has been obvious for many years now that the Palestinians cannot win an armed conflict with the massively militarily superior Israel and any further attacks against Israeli forces, population or interests simply provide Israeli politicians with the justification to increase Israeli control and oppression in the occupied territories. And Israel's nukes ensure that no other Arab nation dare interfere. It is equally obvious that the international community has all but washed its hands of the conflict and is resigned to allowing it to play out to its final and surely tragic denouement.

In the June 2005 "summit" between Ariel Sharon and PA authority Chairman Abbas, Abbas told the Israelis that he wanted "freedom of movement in and out of Gaza, air and sea ports re-opened, key Palestinian towns handed back to their control and the release of Palestinian prisoners." Such demands are widely understood to be a precursor to the formation of a Palestinian state, an eventuality that Sharon built his political career on ensuring never occurs.

On that occasion, the Israeli government agreed to Abbas' demands on the proviso that all Palestinian attacks against Israel must first stop. What is clear is that the only reason Sharon accepted Abbas' demands is because he was confident that he could ensure that the Palestinian authority never met the condition of a cessation of all "terrorist" attacks.

It is clear that Israeli government oppression of Palestinians has little to do with "security concerns" and everything to do with harassing and murdering Palestinian civilians and leaders in order to prevent them from establishing themselves as a independent people with a sovereign voice on the world stage.

Central to this goal is the continued portrayal of any Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation as "terrorism" when, in reality, resistance (including armed) to an occupying power is a fundamental right laid down in the article four of the third Geneva Convention.

However, according to humanitarian law, in order to lawfully use force in a conflict you must first be designated a lawful 'combatant'. To be a 'combatant', you have to belong to an 'armed resistance group' and that group must belong to a 'party' to the conflict. It is in this fact that we find one of the chief reasons why Israel will never willingly allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

As long as Palestine does not have official state status, any Palestinian resistance group cannot claim to be a party in the conflict and must remain a simple independent resistance group, or a "terrorist" group in modern parlance.

Not only did the developed world oversee the theft of Palestinian land in order to create the state of Israel in 1948, but in continuing to refuse to lobby for an independent Palestinian state, they ensure that any Palestinian resistance to Israeli aggression is delegitimised in advance.

To the shame of the international community, in April 2006 it was an Israeli court that first officially ruled that the Palestinian Authority fulfilled all of the criteria to be classified as a state and that Israel had no jurisdiction over Palestinian lands. Of course, the ruling changed nothing, and any opportunity that it contained to open international debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict was immediately crushed by a mainstream media blackout on the story. As I have said so often in the past, from the ruling Israeli right-wing's point of view, open and honest discussion, dialogue and debate on the Palestine issue must be prevented at all costs, because the day that ruling Israeli politicians engage in fair negotiations with the PA, is the day that they lose their death grip on Palestine and its people. And that is the very last thing they are willing to do.

But how then can the Israeli government be so confident that the Palestinian dream of a state of their own will remain just that - a dream?

Israel controls all entrances and exits to and from the Gaza strip and the West Bank, it is Israel therefore - or more accurately the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus - that decides who and what gets in and out of the occupied Palestinian territories. Without doubt, the Israeli army could, with relative ease, accomplish the goal of a cessation of all "terrorist" attacks that successive Israeli Prime Ministers have demanded of their Palestinian counterparts, yet the cold, hard fact of the matter is that Israel's present position as the dominant force in the Middle East is dependent on the continued existence of a "terrorist threat". That this has been true for many, many years was made clear by Israeli commentator, Yoram Bar Porath, in the Israeli News outlet, Yediot Aahronot of 14 July 1972:
"It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands."
In attempting to ensure that the "terrorism" so necessary to the state of Israel is never vanquished, Israeli politicians have gone to great lengths to infiltrate and co-opt various Palestinian resistance organizations. Indeed, there is much evidence to support the thesis that, far from being the victim of terrorism, Israel is in fact one of the prime instigators of terrorist attacks in the Palestinian territories, attacks that are conveniently set up to look like the work of Palestinians. For example, consider the following excerpt from a UPI article from June 2002:
Hamas history tied to Israel

Richard Sale
UPI Terrorism Correspondent

In the wake of a suicide bomb attack Tuesday on a crowded Jerusalem city bus that killed 19 people and wounded at least 70 more, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, took credit for the blast.

Israeli officials called it the deadliest attack in Jerusalem in six years.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon immediately vowed to fight "Palestinian terror" and summoned his cabinet to decide on a military response to the organization that Sharon had once described as "the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face."

Active in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas wants to liberate all of Palestine and establish a radical Islamic state in place of Israel. It is has gained notoriety with its assassinations, car bombs and other acts of terrorism.

But Sharon left something out.

Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.

Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official. [...]
Of course, here, we are deep into conspiracy theory territory, yet, when several current and former U.S. intelligence officials openly state that Hamas is basically a tool of Israeli intelligence, are we talking about a conspiracy theory, or simply the much-ignored SOP (standard operating procedure) of most of the world's spy agencies? Readers should also take note of the fact that, over the past few years, it has been Hamas that has repeatedly scuppered Palestinian aspirations for statehood by launching attacks on Israeli targets at the most inopportune moments, thereby providing Israeli politicians with the justification to renege on his hollow promises to the Palestinian people.

Of course, Israel has a willing partner in its phony terror-crime in the American government. Vast sums ($billions) in non-refundable loans are funneled every year from the pockets of US taxpayers into the coffers of the Israeli treasury for the purpose of "fighting terrorism". Israel, with the implicit support of the U.S. government, has been allowed to contravene or ignore dozens of UN resolutions, the Geneva conventions and Humanitarian and International law because it claims it is "fighting terrorism". Indeed, the role of the current US government in facilitating the continued persecution of the Palestinian people can be clearly seen in its promotion of the phony "war on terror" and the equally phony 9/11 attacks that precipitated it, both of which have greatly benefited the extreme right despots in Tel Aviv and Washington.

Israel then, in its present configuration, is an illegal state founded on the unlawful theft of Palestinian land and the blood of the thousands of innocent Palestinian people that refused, and continue to refuse, to bow down to the murderous racism of their Israeli taskmasters. Every Israeli Prime Minister knew and understood this. They also knew that the day that an Israeli government allow Palestine to be officially recognised as an independent state, is the day that Israel will no longer have the right to bulldoze Palestinian homes or arbitrarily execute Palestinian school children and claim that they are "fighting terrorism". On that day, Palestinian resistance to a brutal occupying power will be legitimised and the actions of successive Israeli governments and the IDF will be recognised for the war crimes that they are.

For this very reason, all "peace summits" between Israeli and Palestinian leaders should be understood as nothing more than a sop to the spineless international political community and a publicity stunt designed to con the world into believing that any Israeli government is genuinely interested in peace. Those in control of the state of Israel and its evolution have but one plan in mind, and it can be summed up by the words of an 84 year-old member of the Israeli parliament and former top Mossad agent, Rafi Eitan, as quoted by Gad Becker of the Yediot Ahronot and which appeared in the 14 April 1983 edition of the New York Times:
"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz (Greater) Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours."