Peace talks between Israel, West Bank, And Hamas-ruled Gaza have slowed while Israel observes several memorial ceremonies for victims of terrorist attacks this week, culminating in the 60th anniversary of the country. This anniversary is also observed by Palestinians but is called Nakba, which means "disaster" and refers to the UN decision in 1948 to partition what was one Palestine into two different nations.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed an unusually strong sentiment toward peace in one memorial speech:
"There is nothing we desire more than to end the conflict with our neighbors, and there is nothing that would benefit both sides more than the end of the conflict," Olmert said.
But later in the same speech implied that the fault lies on one side in a juvenille "He started it!" maneuver:
"Had our neighbors responded in 1948 to our hand extended in peace - how many victims would have been spared from both sides! How tremendous the suffering and loss, and how powerful the pain and grief which would have been prevented!
And in another speech this week he even further distanced himself from fault with a condescending moral judgement:
"I cannot help but think of how deep the moral gap is between us and our enemies, he said. We make every possible effort to limit and focus our attacks on the terrorists and we never intentionally harm the innocent ... We don't have mothers who joyfully send their children to blow themselves up in packed buses or in busy malls," he said.
More opinionings to come about this week's celebrations/protests as they happen.