These facts on the ground are leading to a split in Israeli public opinion. One vision seeks a full invasion, even an expulsion of Palestinians, from the Occupied Territories. This is illegal under international law, and would resemble nothing so much as Serbian President Slobodan Milosevich's attempts to ethnically cleanse his country. He is presently on trial for war crimes.
The alternate vision calls for a full or partial withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, with attendant peace talks. Not In My Name supports a full withdrawal from the Territories, including a complete abandonment of the illegal, Jewish-only settlements.
Sharon needs some sense of support for one or the other vision from the US. Bush's toothless condemnation for Israeli attacks on civilians translates directly into Sharon supposing he has, if nothing else, license to continue civilian attacks. Unfortunately therefore, for both the Palestinians and Israeli citizens, Bush's hollow gestures of leadership allow Israel's leaders to move further down the path towards all-out war.
To bring the combatants back from the brink, Bush must adopt the position of the revitalized Israeli peace movement, the 1000 strong Council for Peace and Security, the 270 reserve officers and soldiers, and others calling for negotiations and ultimately, withdrawal from the Territories.
NIMN is a Chicago Jewish peace group working for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; it calls for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as a crucial first step towards this peace.
We hold our weekly Sunday Vigils at Michigan and Pearson between Noon and 1pm to voice our solidarity with both Israelis and Palestinians who seek a just and lasting peace.