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Commentary

What Does the Cease-Fire Mean?

Sarah Weir
If Americans Knew
February 11, 2005

Abbas and Sharon reach across the negotiating table to shake hands. Abbas (L) and Sharon

With all the hype about the cease-fire, it is important to realize that very little is changing on the ground. Israeli occupation, which is inherently violent and the root of much of the current violence, is not being lifted; the Palestinian refugees are not being allowed home.

Even when people aren’t being killed or injured (which they almost always are), the wall is ripping people from their land, destroying their means of survival; checkpoints prevent people, like a wonderful Ramallah woman I met, from visiting their sisters and mothers, fathers and brothers; discriminatory policies divide families; homes are demolished; people waiting at a checkpoint under an awning in the rain are forced out from under the awning for the soldiers’ sadistic pleasure.

The ‘cease-fire’ will do nothing to stop the numerous violent policies that Palestinians face everyday – policies that amount to ethnic cleansing – and so it will not bring peace. But if people working for peace in the region allow it to cause our attention to drift it might just give Israel some peace-and-quiet in which to continue its policies of dispossession.

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