The Pendulum Swings

November 13, 2003 14:04 by

As any observer knows by now, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict swings back and forth like a pendulum:

Palestinian terrorist groups and the PA talk peace; the IDF lowers its guard. The terrorists then launch a series of deadly attacks on Israeli civilians; the IDF applies pressure on the terrorists, re-entering Palestinian cities. PA leaders then call for “new talks” and the terrorist leaders (feeling the heat) become willing to enter an internal Palestinian “ceasefire.”

The pendulum has been swinging back and forth for some time now, with Israel and the US’s fundamental demand to uproot the terrorist infrastructure still unfulfilled (that’s what would end its perpetual motion). Yesterday marked a swing back to the “peace talk” side, when Arafat made some conciliatory remarks before the Palestinian parliament, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad began talking “hudna” again.

At this stage, the media generally enter a historical amnesia period and begin describing Israeli hesitancy to lower its anti-terror guard as unfairly “rebuffing” Palestinian gestures toward peace (Reuters said Arafat “extended an olive branch” yesterday). But given this well-established pattern, (and new revelations about PA funding of terror), that characterization by the media is simply unfair. Be on the lookout for it in your local coverage, and respond with the historical context that tends to disappear when the pendulum swings this-a-way.

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