[tweetmeme] As the proximity talks between Israel and Palestine proceed, the need for calm is magnified. Palestinian ans Israeli violence could easily undermine the already fragile state of the talks. Though it seems like stating the obvious, the region could be setting itself up for further violence and, possibly, an early end to the troubled talks. Israel is starting up its PR machine to officially track and bring attention to any Palestinian incitement and US President Obama has urged Palestinian President Abbas to prevent any actions or speeches which could be seen as incitement.
This comes after reports that a Palestinian teenager was allegedly shot and killed by an Israeli settler after the teen was throwing rocks at cars. Palestinians responded by opening fire on Israeli cars, injuring 2.
Unfortunately, the calendar might bring more unnecessary and unneeded violence. On Wednesday, Israel celebrated ‘Jerusalem Day‘ to celebrate the 1967 Israeli victory and the capture of Jerusalem and Palestinians will celebrate ‘Nakba Day,’ which marks the anniversary of the establishment of Israel and the resulting flight of Palestinians.
Is this incitement by both sides? Jerusalem Day and Nakba Day are both days that hold substantial meaning for both sides. Yet Palestinians understandably resent the Jewish celebration and Israeli understandably resent the Palestinian celebration. It is not difficult to image more bloodshed this week, despite its severe consequences. Here’s to hoping peace and rational minds prevail.