Tag Archives: Abbas

Can Israel Leaders Learn From Obama?

Aluf Benn, writing in the Israeli Haaretz, argues that Israel leaders could learn from President Obama how to conduct foreign policy. “In Israel, war is declared after a two-hour debate and daring peace plans are concocted without deliberations or consultations. In America months are devoted to preparing every diplomatic or military move.” He notes many Israelis feared or hoped that Obama would reveal his peace plan and force it on Palestinians and Israelis but nothing like that has happened. Benn believes Americans work at a slower and more deliberate pace than Israel leaders.

He points out that Obama appointed George Mitchell as his envoy and that has resulted in numerous discussions as Mitchell attempts to develop relations with each party. He suggest Obama/Mitchell are working to secure agreement on minor issues as they build for larger agreements. On the other hand, Netanyahu worries about what someone in his coalition will do if he makes the slightest attempt at compromise. The result is stalemate for Netanyahu and an inability to offer dramatic new choices.

Can coalition governments ever achieve lasting peace?

Netanyahu Bully Tactics Work!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the proverbial school yard bully who pushes people around and that justifies his behavior on ground they sometimes push back. He has absolutely no interest in securing a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority that recognizes the rights of Palestinians. After playing word games with special envoy George Mitchell that said he would freeze settlement construction it turns out he refers to settlement housing construction in the future, not the present.

President Obama is trying to bring together Netanyahu, Palestinian leader Abbas and himself to a three party meeting in Washington. Abbas declined any three party meeting since it is clear the Israel government is NOT interested in peace. Naturally, the bully boy, Netanyahu exclaimed that he “warmly welcomed” such a session.

It is time for President Obama to make clear to Israel there will be no further aid, there will be no further cooperating with Israel until its government becomes serious about peace.

Fatah Gets Some Fresh Blood

Fatah leadership of the Palestinian people is desperately in need of some fresh blood so it was good news at their convention when new political figures were elected to office. It is estimated that only four of the old guard who are associated with corruption and failure to achieve peace with Israel secured leadership positions. Marwan Barghouthi, who is currently imprisoned by Israel, was one of a multitude of new faces who were elected as members of Fatah’s central committee. Analysts said without these new men in positions of authority, Fatah might have collapsed. “The committee election results are a type of coup, a white coup without which Fatah would have been finished,” claimed Hani Masri of a think tank.

There is now new men in leadership positions. It is up to Israel to engage in serious discussions with these men in order to move forward the process of peace and recognition of the independent nation of Palestine.

Obama Works For Peace In Middle East-Termed “Racist”

George Mitchell, the Middle East envoy sent by President Obama in order to work with Palestinians and Israelis for peace, told Palestinians he is still on the task, but has not yet reached the end of the process. He told President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority Israel has yet to agree on the West Bank settlement issue. “We are discussing the issue but we didn’t conclude an agreement yet with the Israelis.” Unfortunately, the former US senator might talk and talk but he is dealing with Benjamin Netanyahu who would run in the opposite direction if given an actual plan that would bring peace to the people of Israel. Mitchell emphasized that President Obama is not backing away from the peace process and intends to work toward resolution of the West Bank settlement problem.

A Rabbi Eliezer Waldman from the West Bank told the press that President Obama was “a racist.” This comment exemplifies the level of intellectual discourse within Israel on the topic of peace. I am perplexed. How can Obama be a “racist” in regard to Israelis? Is the assumption of the good Rabbi that Jews are “a race?” If so, perhaps he can explain to the world to which race do Jews belong.

Israel must compromise in order to achieve its half century goal of peace.

Netanyahu Backs Down Due To Obama Pressure

It is slowly dawning on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his dear friend George Bush is no longer president of the United States. After making clear he would not discuss the issue of a Palestinian state unless Arabs recognized Israel as a Jewish state, he changed his mind and indicated a willingness to engage in discussions with Abbas without this precondition. It is reported that Defense Minister Barak made clear to Netanyahu the United States would not support his views and he had to be flexible. The United States has made clear it wants the creation of a Palestinian state and Netanyahu hopefully got the message when his visit with President Obama was cancelled.

Perhaps, the most intelligent move Netanyahu can make is to fire his loud mouthed racist foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman as a show of independence from the crazies on the right of Israel politics. George Bush is in Texas. Do you get the point, Mr.Netanyahu??

When Is Peace Not Peace?

Israel’s new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas concerning his desire for peace with Palestine and said he wanted to work closely with Arab leaders. However, this man who seeks “peace” refuses to accept the idea of a Palestine state nor will he even consider the idea that Israel settlers must leave the West Bank. But, Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace! Abbas had called to wish a happy Passover and the two men spoke for a few minutes in a friendly manner. However, the man of peace from Israel so far has only spoken of helping Palestinians to develop their economy but when the idea of a Palestinian state is raised, it is met with silence.

Most probably Netanyahu believes “peace” is when Palestinians accept his view they should not have a state but should depend on the good will of men of good will like Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course, the Israel leader’s appointment of Avigdor Lieberman who is a blatant racist to the position of Foreign Minister is undoubtedly his way of conveying a desire for peace.

Abbas Spells Out Views On Peace With Israel

The new Israel government has been presented with a road map to peace by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. On a visit to Baghdad, he spelled out exactly what he requires from an Israel government. It would have “to accept the creation of a Palestinian states, stop construction in West Bank Israel settlements, and remove army roadblocks crippling life in the West Bank so that we can resume dialogue in order to reach a political settlement.” The statement merely reflects positions he has been stating for over a year, but unfortunately, his words have yet to register on the minds of several Israeli leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that within days his administration would spell out their ideas concerning peace with the Palestinian Authority. However, on one hand, his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has made clear he is not bound by past agreements and has no enthusiasm for a Palestinian state while Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the government is bound by past agreements and must work toward a Palestinian state.

We hope all readers are now clear as to the policy of the current Israel government.

Once More Hamas And Fatah Try Friendship

Once again, Hamas and Fatah are attempting to forge a relationship which allows them to engage with Israel as a united front, but the prospect for such an alliance is still doubtful. President Abbas needs to have Palestinians united in order to deal with an increasingly right wing Israel government which does not have confidence Abbas can implement peace within his own ranks. Talks began yesterday in Cairo as Egypt once again is trying to be a mediator between the clashing Palestinians.

Hamas has a dilemma since donor nations such as the United States who are pledging to help rebuild Gaza, will not give any money to Hamas and will insist that any money be distributed by international agencies. If Hamas wishes to play a role in the reconstruction of Gaza it will have to alter some of its ideology regarding the existence of Israel.

Reality for Hamas is that Benjamin Netanyahu is not Ehud Olmert and will not be willing to give into Hamas demands. It is time for Hamas to confront the situation and make adjustments in order to meet Palestinian needs.

Abbas Insists Hamas Must Accept Israel Agreements

The Palestinian people need a government which is united and prepared to work for peace with Israel, but differences between Hamas and Fatah increasingly illustrate why peace will take a long time to appear in the Middle East. President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian government outside of Gaza, insists Hamas must accept agreements made between Palestinians and Israel. “This government must fully honor the commitments that we agreed to in the PLO. When governments come, they respect and honor and accept obligations of previous governments.” However, Hamas leaders are complaining the Abbas insistence on accepting Israel as a legal government impedes opportunities for forming a unified Palestinian government.

Hamas wants to continue bringing in arms and ammunition which they believe are necessary to protect their government in Gaza. Abbas wants to end reliance on violence and shift the emphasis towards that of peace and reconciliation. Ironically, the failed dialogue between Palestinians prevents a successful dialogue between Palestinians and Israel. The real issue is which comes first– an internal Palestinian agreement or an agreement between Israel and a Palestinian authority?

President Abbas Urges EU Role In Palestine

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority urged the European Union to assume a more active role in the Middle East by becoming involved in maintaining peace between Israel and Palesinians. “I would like to stress again our request for the sending of international forces in order to protect our people.” There is hesitancy among European Union members to send their military into the Middle East in order to keep Israeli and Palestinians from fighting one another. Abbas recognized that Israel is only one part of complex issues facing his administration which must also deal with the rebellious Hamas faction. His dilemma is that while Hamas shares his desire for a united Palestine, it refuses to recognize the existence of Israel as an independent nation.

Abbas understands there is need for a government of national consensus, but also one which is committed to the peace process. The president admitted while he wants peace with Israel he is also upset at crimes committed by Israel forces in Gaza. However, in his even handed manner, Abbas also admitted that Hamas had committed crimes by getting civilians involved in the fighting.