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Is it Really Up to Israel?

In the days following Yasser Arafat's death, many in Europe and around the world began to question the future path of Middle East peace. DW's Peter Philip said the next move was up to Israel, but many readers disagree.

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Does Arafat's death offer a new chance for the peace process?

The following comments reflect the views of our readers as received so far. If you would like to have your say on this our another issue, please click on our feedback button below. For editing purposes, not all reader comments will be automatically published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Mr. Phillip's opinion is a mixed bag. In some parts, he is a realist about the situation in the Middle East. In other parts, he shows an amazingly amoral world view, wherein perpetrators and victims are equally responsible for violence. He shows utter depravity by trivializing the struggle between the Jews and the PLO and classifying Arafat as a "disagreeable opponent." For crying out loud, Arafat's stated goal was the utter elimination of the Jewish state! He wanted to kill them all! He acted on this goal! He was expelled from several countries because he kept trying to kill the leader or start a war! And for this he is called "disagreeable?"
The progress of peace is not up to Israel. They are not the ones who insist on bloodshed. If the Palestinians would stop attacking Jews and any Arab who refuses to attack Jews, the bloodshed would stop TODAY. I always shake my head in amazement over the world's opinion that the Jews should just keep their heads down and their mouths shut in response to persistent attacks. Not much has changed over the centuries, apparently. The Jews have always been a convenient scapegoat for someone's rage.
The next move toward peace must come from the Palestinians. They need to rise up against the extremists in their midst and eliminate them. Then, they need to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist in deeds, not just words, and negotiate in good faith with them. If they would just do those two things, the Israelis and the rest of the world would rush in to rebuild the infrastructure and economy that has been held hostage by an acknowledged terrorist for all these years.
Israel has done its part in the past, and they will do their part again in the future. But we are fools and masochists if we expect them to expose their necks to a rabid wolf. -- Michael Kreger

Regrettably, Mr. Phillip ignores essential facts: 1. The four-year Intifada is entirely the responsibility of Yasser Arafat, who preferred war as an alternative to talks. Too bad that the Palestinians are now unhappy. 2. The main obstacles to peace have remained: the incapacity or lack of will to put an end to terror. If the new Palestinian Authority includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad, nothing will move. It is rather up to them. 3. Hamas and Iran have declared openly that their objective is the destruction of Israel. This is likely to stay. -- Dan Bradu, South Africa

Please explain to me what Israel should do when the next rockets fall on an Israeli town or a murderer blows up another bus full of women and children? Please be straight forward with your answer. I think what you are implying is that Israel has to take a certain number of terror hits and murders and mayhem and do nothing - I for one DON'T find that a workable solution. The ball is really in the Arab's hands. Stop Hamas and Hezbollah and then Israel can withdraw. Without that you are just asking Jews to become willing victims to so-called Arab "frustration and anger," which I might add they brought on themselves. -- Stephen M. Hall, USA


The Israelis now have their chance to 'transfer' the entire populations from the Gaza and West Bank areas. The Gaza strip is a concentration camp of over a million-and-a-half people where soldiers shoot children in the head for sport. -- Bernhard Busch, Australia

Will Yasser Arafat's death bring new life to the Middle East conflict?

I say not until there exists a true holy man in Israel and a true holy man in Palestine who can make a just and equitable peace. In the meantime, place the Muslim quarter of Jerusalam under the United Nations protectorate. -- Pierre Andre Harbin, Akbar Ahmed, Muslim Mutual Benefit Society of North America

Unfortunately, the death of Arafat will most likely lead only to increased tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. With Israel so firm in its policies and the Palestinians angrily mourning the death of their leader (believed by them to be caused by Israel), things can only get worse before they get better. -- Renate Gaddy

Arafat's death heralds a new of peace in the middle east -- if the new players are willing to negotiate peace with Israel and restrain the suicide bombers. However, the current jostling for positions within Fattah, PLO and the PNA could prove a huge stumbling block. -- Joe Okurut, Kampala, Uganda

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