What ceasefire?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 22, 2003

Yesterday Israeli helicopters fired several rockets at a car on a crowded street in a civilian area in Gaza; Israeli troops shot down two teenagers in the West Bank.

So why do this morning's newspapers tell us that Palestinian groups have decided to end the ceasefire?

I'll answer my own question: it's because Israel forces were doing pretty much what they've done all along.

This ceasefire has been phony from the beginning. Israel plainly believes that the ceasefire does not forbid attacks on Palestinian faction leaders; the Palestinian factions don't think the ceasefire should prevent them from retaliatory suicide bombings. And both sides have enough complaints to keep the fires of vengeance amply stoked for years to come.

Worry about the future of the Holy Land, yes, But don't worry about the breakdown of the ceasefire. There never was a ceasefire.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Phil - Aug. 28, 2003 11:35 AM ET USA

    Sorry, but I just don't understand this last comment. There is absolutely no justification for terrorism, ever. That's not the issue here. But there are plenty of Palestinian Christians still living in the Holy Land, and while they're not allied with terrorists, they are certainly not happy with the Israeli occupation.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 12:34 AM ET USA

    There is NO similarity between Palestinian terror bombings with small children killed and the viciousness of Palestinian homicidal maniacs. For once, Catholics, get that straight. Phil Lawler is out to lunch. The Palestinian Christians are now here in the US...and don't want anything to do with Moslem fanatics. Phil, get out of your office and into the neighborhood.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 23, 2003 2:28 PM ET USA

    What about the "Berlin Wall" type of barricade the Israelis are putting up to close the Palestinians into a kind of large concentration camp? Having watched the activities of the Israeli State since the 1940s I am now convinced that a majority of its inhabitants will not be satisfied until they have killed the very last Palestinian. [Using USA money and USA armaments, of course !] It's high time for the USA to declare its independence from the Israeli international colonialism.

  • Posted by: Charles 275 - Aug. 23, 2003 12:24 PM ET USA

    The 'cease fire' was unilaterally declared by terror groups who set the condititions and declared them binding on Israel. Even so, Israel abided by those conditions until the bus bombing. If Israel can easily find and kill terrorist leaders wherever they are, why does the 25,000 man PA security force find it so hard to arrest them, even when Israel tells the PA exactly when and where they can be found?

  • Posted by: miasarx - Aug. 22, 2003 3:42 PM ET USA

    There is no moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel does not use terrorism, does not directly intend the murder of innocents, does not send its children to blow up women and children. Israel does not seek the destruction of the Palestinians. But the Palestinians and their Muslim brothers clearly desire the utter destruction of Israel.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 22, 2003 2:14 PM ET USA

    ExtremeCatholic, you're just plain wrong. Israeli forces have killed several Palestinian leaders over the past weeks, often in the same reckless fashion. Israeli officials say they're retaliating after Palestinian attacks. Palestinian bombers say they're retaliating after Israeli attacks. The retaliation could go on forever.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 22, 2003 2:09 PM ET USA

    Prior to the bus bombing, Israel was not attacking Palestinian faction leaders but releasing them from jails. Prior to the bus bombing, Israel was turning over more territory to the PA. From the point of view of Israel the ceasefire was real. What did the PA do to suppress terrorism during the period of the ceasefire? What terrorists did they arrest? Either the PA arrests terrorists or Israel will take the military action to do so.