War on Lebanon followed. Around 18,000 Palestinians were massacred. Israel occupied South Lebanon until May 2000. It still illegally holds Sheba Farms, a 14-square mile water-rich area near Syria's Golan. It's also been lawlessly occupied since 1967 along with Ghajar, a bordering Lebanese village.
If Israel plans Cast Lead II, expect one or more manufactured incidents preceding it. The possibility is real. Like Washington, Israel chooses confrontation, not diplomacy; hostility, not conflict resolution; and war, not peace. The business of both countries is war. Expect new theaters opened in 2012.
At the same time, sham peace talks continue in Jordan. Two rounds were held. Two more are planned on January 21 and January 26. Nothing's been accomplished. Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. Longtime collaborator Abbas never represented Palestinian interests and doesn't now.
WikiLeaks cables disclosed Israel informed him of Cast Lead before launching it. During the slaughter, his silence showed complicity. Defense Minister Ehud Barak's telegrams to US deputy ambassador Luis Moreni said Israel asked if Egypt and Fatah would take over Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.
At issue now is what do they know about possible new attacks, and how will they respond if launched?
A Final Comment
On December 26, Israel's High Court ruled that state and private Israeli companies may plunder Palestinian West Bank quarries. Doing so violated international law and past Supreme Court decisions.
Expect Israel to take full advantage. At issue is controlling all Palestinian resources and valued land. In March 2009, Yesh Din human rights volunteers petitioned the High Court to prevent it. On January 10, they requested another hearing for reconsideration. It posed the following questions: