Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with an interesting approach to halting progress on peace with Palestinian leaders. In effect, he has created a swap market by supposedly giving American negotiators something in order to continue expanding Israel presence on the West Bank. Israel Maretz leader Zehavba Gal-On terms it swapping the release of prisoners who have rotted in jail for a dozen years in exchange for building hundreds of new homes on the West Bank and making it increasingly impossible to reach a compromise agreement. As she notes, “Netanyahu is giving the American administration the finger” of scorn. I will give you some old men who have been inn prison and you will give me permission to build and build.
A peace agreement between Israel and Palestinian leader Abbas IS possible, but not until the American government makes clear it will halt all assistance to Israel until its leaders halt housing construction and reach an agreement with Palestinians. Yes, the refugee issue is difficult to resolve, but an offer that includes a Palestinian state can be accompanied with an offer of some form of financial compensation. Compromise entails EACH SIDE giving in.
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If Israeli settlers (in reality, we mean Israeli occupiers) on the West Bank had a college football team its cheers would be along the following lines:
Hold the line
Hold the line
Let them pine
Let them pine
Because, now its mine!
Let them moan
Let them moan
But, its set in stone
Its set in stone
Only over this land, we can roam
While they groan and groan!
The months of occupation has been transformed into years of verbal masturbation while Israeli officials delay and delay in hopes Palestinians will finally go away and away. During the past seven months Palestinians once again endeavored to discuss and discuss and discuss. Finally, Saeb EraKat, the Palestinian negotiator, said enough is enough. He turned down an extension because it would simply reinforce the Israel fascination with extensions and delays. As President Abbas put it: “Israel wants to replace occupation by making it permanent with a signature.”
It is time for Israel to behave based on historic Jewish values of social justice, and end social injustice!
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Future historians will be writing books and articles concerning the spy policies of American presidents from Bush to Obama because a serious issue has become the greatest farce of modern times. Each day brings another example of the National Security Agency spying on this or that American ally. President Obama offers a serious face from which words emerge about another “study”to be made, and, perhaps, just perhaps, some action to be made about the right of America to spy on leaders who, allegedly, are our partners. The government of Israel is now furious over evidence the NSA spied on its leaders for years. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz burst out with, “this thing is not legitimate. It is embarrassing between countries,” friendly ones, that is. I sometimes forget that we Americans are a “special people” who possess the right to spy on anyone who threatens “our security.” It is time for the United States to make a list of “special qualities” we possess that all nations of the world must respect.
For Israel, the issue is doubly upsetting. Thirty years ago, a man named Jonathan Pollard, spied for Israel in the United States, was caught, is still in prison and the government of Israel promised never again to spy in America. So, what is the end result, lock up for thirty years an Israel spy and then spy in the state of Israel.
Question: Does Israel get the right to lock up American spies and also receive a promise not to spy on them? Just asking.
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