New leadership could help bring peace

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2002, 12:00am

I agree that Israel has a right to the land that it has acquired over the years. I also agree with the right of Israel to defend itself against suicide bombings that have killed many of its innocent civilians.

However, there must be limits on what action a government and its military are able to take. The recent activities sanctioned by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon go well beyond what is acceptable as far as international human rights are concerned.

It is one thing to invade a neighbour's territory and destroy the terrorist infrastructure. However, it is completely another to kill innocent civilians and permanently destroy an infrastructure that is necessary for everyday life. Israel's military showed no concern for human life when it went on the rampage. The result of its actions will be a further decline in the quality of life for Palestinians and some Palestinians will commit more desperate acts.

I hope that the international community can become more involved to help stop this never-ending cycle of violence. International observers must be allowed into the Palestinian territory to confirm what has taken place. The US, as the designated peace broker, must do more.

Washington has quite rightly said Yasser Arafat must denounce suicide bombings, but there has been no acknowledgment that the Israeli actions against Palestinian civilians are reprehensible. What is really needed is new leadership on both sides and a new peace broker. However, I doubt if this will ever happen.