And then comes the "daily incident:" Shooting a 14-year-old girl by mistake, and a "mishap" in Ramallah that leaves four civilians dead while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. It's happening not only now, but throughout the recent years. Every time we approach calm, an incident takes place but is presented by the government and media establishment as a necessary response.
It appears as though we're talking about a conspiracy or great foolishness – yet this is really not the case. Thinking that Sharon and Olmert are stupid in fact means that we're stupid and are playing into their hands.
There's of course an ideological side to this conduct: A Greater State of Israel and security considerations. Yet beyond any argument there's a giant monster chained by the conflict and waiting to be freed.
A whole sector within Israeli society (and perhaps even the entire country) cannot afford a genuine process of calm. True peace could lead to endless Palestinian demands that may undermine the fundamentals of Israeli society - Demands that stem from the sins of secretive murders and sins of robbery.
We're talking about a legal, media and public bomb that has been accumulating for 40 years. We can also expect to be suing all sorts of martyr-dispatchers and rocket-launchers, yet the mere act of dealing with criminal deeds undertaken by the Palestinians would not "neutralize", neither publicly nor emotionally, the Israeli cases. The healthy parts within Israeli society would react powerfully to cases of murder and robbery.
Façade of law and order
Scrutinizing these cases could place a whole sector, including thousands of army officers and state officials, in the position of pariahs. Thwarting the peace process at any price (or through political assassination) is almost the only why for them to protect themselves against such eventuality.
This effort to thwart, by the way, doesn't need to be consciously aware of the skeletons hiding in the closet at this moment. The unconsciousness is also in action here.
The officials involved in fraud and the officers involved in problematic killings are currently living under the protection of Israel's security establishment and the government system. But they too know that if they are caught under the spotlight within the darkness, the system would renounce its obligations to them.
A state must present a façade of law and order in the face of proven crime, even if in the past the state itself didn't' bother enforcing that same law and order. This is not about sentimentality, but rather, preparing excuses just in case, similarly to cases where spies are dispatched. You succeed? You're great. If you're caught – we don't know you.
Those involved know how the media finds new victims to target all the time (regardless of the fact this same media quietly backed them when they did what they did.) And we're talking about thousands of people, most of them entrenched in the government and security system.
Therefore, the parties involved find it convenient to use any random and temporary argument in order to postpone developments that can expose them.
Therefore, the process is about letting time pass now and worrying about peace later. When? Once the laws of nature or the status of limitation do their thing.