On a daily basis, we read about deadly clashes between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian territories. Part of the peace process requires that these two feuding groups form a unified government. Why aren't the neighboring Arab countries putting real pressure on the Palestinians to move in this direction? Unfortunately, it's to their advantage to keep the Palestinians stirred up. With world attention focused on the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, less attention is being paid to what is going on in other Arab countries. Iran and Syria are two cases in point. We know that terrorists smuggle weapons into the Palestinian territories by way of Syria. And we know that Iran has a very questionable nuclear development program underway. Both of these countries want to keep world attention focused elsewhere; so instead of working toward promoting peace, they throw more fuel on the fire between Hamas, Fatah and Israel. At the same time, their fingers are always pointed at Israel as the reason behind all of the Palestinians' woes. So Israel is constantly forced to defend itself in one way or another < often in the arena of public opinion. But in such cases, bowing to public pressure is rarely in Israel's interests. The Palestinians are demanding the right of return for third-generation "refugees," and that Israel halt all settlement growth as part of the peace process. This, they say, is non-negotiable. Israel is saying, "No way." I hope and pray that Israel stands firm. To people who don't understand the ramifications of allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's stance sounds rather harsh. But it's not harsh. It's simply a matter of self-preservation.