Israel not Pulling Out of West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has “shelved” plans to withdraw from the West Bank, according to an article by The Independent. According to one of Olmert’s aides, they are planning to “deal with other things right now.”

What other things? Probably the invasion of Lebanon, for one. The destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure seemed high on the priority list, and the ceasefire is only a reason for slowing down, not stopping, as demonstrated by last night’s raid. Also, Olmert’s popularity levels are somewhat low. Although elections aren’t until 2010, not a single Israeli government has survived the entire four-year term in the past decade. Olmert has to improve his image in the eyes of Israel, not the world.

Israel has also demanded that no Muslim country that they don’t have good relations with, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, be allowed to be part of the peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Since Lebanon needs a peacekeeping force, western nations seem hesitant as best to help, and no one will be on Israeli soil, these demands seem slightly unreasonable.

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