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Sludge Report #83
Be Vigilant Ariel And Arafat - Terror Lurks
As the ceasefire in Israel and Palestine enters its fourth day today, the pressure is coming on, and the participants in this quest for peace, particularly Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat will need to remain acutely alert to lurking terrors.
Yesterday a rally of right-wing Jewish elements in West Jerusalem was attended by 20,000 Zionists demanding an end to the Israeli cease-fire. They called upon Sharon to live up to the tough words he spoke on the election campaign trail earlier this year.
In another incident this morning NZT a group of Israeli settlers invaded a Palestinian village, drove the Palestinian residents out, and flew an Israeli flag.
No mistake should be made about the desires of these extremist elements.
They do not want peace, and they are prepared to do everything in their power to prevent it.
Having failed thus far, the next step will almost certainly involve serious levels of violence and loss of life.
And when terror strikes it could easily come from either side. Remember, just yesterday it was revealed that the fighting wing of Hamas indicated they far from sure about committing themselves to the path to peace.
It is vital when the next tragic blow of terror is struck, that the fragile flame of peace that has only just been ignited is not equally quickly extinguished.
It will not be easy to keep this flame alive. It will involve trust, honour and courage.
There is no simple path to peace.
Peace will not come simply because Yasser Arafat finally decides to try to lock up Islamic extremists. Nor will it come just because Israel agrees formally to suspend construction activity in the settlements.
These things will help, but they are not the key.
The key is faith. Faith on both sides that through restraint, through taking the hard decisions, through relying on courage and virtue and trust, that peace will eventually come.
If terror strikes again in the hours ahead, Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat must prepare to abdicate their personal political interests in favour of the long term interests of humanity and their peoples.
And then history and the heavens will thank them.
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