Tag Archives: Arab League

Trouble At Mid-East Corral?

There was high expectation the United States would take a pro-active role in Middle Eastern peace negotiations when President Obama began the year by asserting an objective manner in dealing with issues rather than pursuing the Bush “Israel can do no wrong” approach. But, something happened along the way and Obama slowly, but surely, assumed the position of defending Israel disregard for international law and adopted the attitude by never being critical of Israel actions it would result in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu becoming receptive to new approaches to dealing with Palestinian needs. If that was his expectation, it never happened.

Amir Moussa, head of the Arab League, told Reuters there was need for the United Nations to assume a role as mediator of Middle Eastern issues. “There should be a change in the direction of the peace process by having a mediator who understands the needs of the two parties and not one party.” Gee, I wonder who he means by having a “mediator” who supports the ideas of one party?

It is time for the US to step aside unless the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can assume the role of being objective mediators who seek to resolve issues, not just to placate Israel desires.

Ball Of Peace In Arab Court!

The aftermath of President Obama’s speech has resulted in renewed discussions among various Arab groups about the necessity of coming together in a coalition for peace. Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal is now in Cairo discussing the situation with General Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in order to find a solution to end the breach between Fatah and Hamas. An anonymous source told the Arab weekly, Al-Ahram, “the Americans– to judge not just by the Obama speech and talks in Cairo and Riyadh, but also by successive delegations to the region –seem serious about getting engaged in talks for peace. Now the Palestinians and Arabs in general have to work to make these talks possible.” Amen.

The devastating results of Ahmadinejad’s stealing of the Iranian presidency means groups like Hamas have to cease relying on Iranian assistance. For the first time in years, the United States is adopting a balanced stance between conflicting groups which requires all radical elements to unite with moderates and present Israel a united front determined to seek peace. If they allow Iran to enter the process, it will merely provide an excuse for Israel negotiators to play the Iran card and frighten the United States.

Sudan Rejects Arab Proposal For Trials

The Sudanese government rejected a proposal by the Arab League to establish a “hybrid court” to prosecute those suspected of participating in the murder of thousands of innocent people in Darfur. The Arab League suggestion was an attempt to circumvent the International Criminal Court indictment of Sudan leder Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who they charged was responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 in Darfur as well as rape and brutalization of thousands of women. The Arab League gave full support to Bashir in his refusal to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICC. There are reports Sudan diplomats are furious at the suggestion of a hybrid court which they claim gives credence to the ICC warrant.

Arab media claim Sudan has threatened to withdraw from the Arab League, but if they did so, there are few options in the rest of the world for friends. Sudan demands Arab nations completely reject the very suggestion that anything has gone wrong in Darfur. Most probably the 300,000 reputed dead people are really hiding out in Argentine or Israel.

Arabs Fear Rise Of Right Wing Israel Politics

The apparent triumph of right wing Israeli parties to the leadership of their nation has sent fears running through the spines of Arab leaders who believe the last hope for peace in the Middle East has been lost. The prospect of having to deal with conservative Benjamin Netanyahu means there will be scant possibility of compromise on the part of Israeli leaders which may doom the prospects for peace. Openly anti-Arab leaders like Avigdor Lieberman only seek to drive out all Palestinians and gain control of as much of Palestine as they can obtain either legally or illegally. The Syrian government run Al Thawra commented: “the Israelis are electing war and extremism.” This theme is being echoed in newspapers throughout the Middle East.

Years of diplomatic failure on the part of both sides have resulted in feelings of doubt that any real change in the region is possible under current leadership. A few Arab leaders who have worked with right wing conservative, Benjamin Netanyahu believe he is capable of genuine compromise in problem solving. Perhaps, it will take a right wing conservative to implement peace with Israel that entails equitable resolution of several land issues.

Israel Excellent At Losing Friends And Influence In World

Israel was born in violence when Arab nations refused to accept the United Nations partition plan and during its entire existence, the Israel government and people have reacted in the manner of a besieged mentality. Turkey has been the only Muslim nation which has maintained close relations with Israel even to the extend to conducting joint military exercises. Turkish leaders have paid the price in their relations with Muslims by refusing to end close contacts with Israel. But, the Turkish government finally gave up supporting Israel due to the disastrous IDF invasion of Gaza which led to the death of 1,300 (including hundreds of civilians) and the wounding of 5000 while Israel had ten soldiers and three civilians killed. Prime Minister Erdogan told Newsweek, “I’m not saying that Hamas is a good organization, and makes no mistakes. They have made mistakes. But, I am evaluating the end result.. the current Israel government should check itself. They should not exploit this issue for the upcoming elections.”

Erdogan confronted Israel President Peres at the Davos conference and stormed out of the room after an angry meeting. The Israel propaganda machine is trying to convey the message the European Union backs them and is angry at Turkey. Hogwash. The entire world is furious and after death and destruction, rockets still come. The solution was never military in nature but working with Arab nations to achieve peace. The Arab League offered a sensible compromise of returning to 1967 borders in exchange for peace, but Israel internal politics prevent such agreements. Erdogan was right on target– the Gaza invasion was linked to the upcoming Israel elections and Defense Minister Barak is now posing as a savior in order to get votes.

It is time for Israel to end the power of West Bank settlers and the religious right, and create a secular society that is centered in compromise and peace.

Does Might Make Right?

Many people in Israel are celebrating the success of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in crushing Hamas during the invasion of Gaza. The assumption of these individuals is somehow a “victory” was attained in Gaza. For a moment, let us examine the premise that killing 1,300 people at a cost of 13 Israeli lives represents a “victory” over an enemy. Hamas most probably lost a few hundred of its soldiers in the battles, but aside for a few leaders being killed, the top leadership of the organization is intact. If the aim of the invasion was to “teach the Arab world a lesson that Israel is strong and can inflict pain,” that message has been conveyed, but will it result in desired results of peace and reconciliation? There is no question the most important “lesson” of the Gaza invasion is not to arouse the fury of the IDF unless one seeks bombing, death, and destruction.

In the end for all Israelis and Palestinians is some sort of peace agreement under which each group can live in peace and their children can live normal lives without fears of bombing and death. The Gaza invasion showed vividly that a significant portion of the Israeli population now accepts the death of hundreds of children on ground it will provide “security” for their own lives. Is such a view in accord with the experience of Jews over thousands of years in which they endured prejudice and death from individuals who regarded them as a threat to their “security?”

Israelis, understandably, view the world from the position of being in a small nation which is surrounded by enemies seeking their destruction. To believe using might to inflict pain will somehow remove the reality of being surrounded by enemies it so live in fantasy land. The Arab League offered peace and recognition of Israel based on 1967 borders and removal of illegal Jewish immigrants from the West Bank. It was not a perfect offer, but certainly was the basis for further negotiation. Does killing 1,300 people enhance the possibility of a better peace offer? I doubt it. Each dead Gazan produces several Gazans who hate Israelis and may not seek peace, but prefer vengeance.

The United States of America has been led for eight years by a man(most probably the worse enemy Jews have known in their history) who believed in war and destruction rather than negotiation and peace. For example, in 2001, the Iranian government of Khatami provided intelligence support to the American campaign in Afghanistan and offered to negotiate a peace agreement under which Iran would cease aiding terrorists, recognize Israel and cooperate on nuclear energy issues. Bush turned them down. I wonder how many Israelis today would prefer if Bush had accepted the Iranian compromise offer or do they believe using might like bombing Iranian nuclear facilities as a more intelligent approach to peace?

Life is never “either/or?” There are always alternative paths. Allowing West Bank settlers to control Israel foreign policy is a choice, not a must. Israel lacks leaders and, apparently, now it lacks a population which is committed to peace. We propose the following actions on the part of Israel:

1. An apology to the people of Gaza for the killing of innocent civilians.
2. Providing medical care to all Gazans who were injured in the attacks.
3. Financial compensation to Gazans for the destruction inflicted on them.
4. Immediate evacuation of the West Bank and acceptance of the Arab League proposal.
5. Ask an impartial international law group to investigate any examples of criminal behavior during the Gaza invasion on the part of Israel or Hamas soldiers.

Might provides the illusion of victory.

Fruits Of Israel Gaza Action-Division In Arab League

An intelligent Israel foreign policy would seek to create a consensus within the Arab League in order to support moderate Arab nations to establish peaceful relations with its enemy. However, Israel is led by short-sighted inept individuals who place emphasis on short term goals–and winning elections– over working for the long term goal of peace in the Middle East. Arab foreign ministers met in Kuwait and revealed serious confusion within its ranks. There was agreement to provide Gaza with funds to rebuild. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said “there is a big chaos in the Arab world” which increasingly makes it difficult to have any joint action. But, joint action for peace must be the Israeli goal!

Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia who has supported peace with Israel based on the 1967 borders, warned that if the Gaza war continues it will have “serious and far-reaching implications” for the attainment of peace. Perhaps, Israel’s leadership has a plan to establish peace with Arab nations, but as of this date it is among the best kept secrets in the world.

Arab League Urges Middle Eastern Discussions

The head of the Arab League emphasized the need for nations of the Middle East to come together and discuss with Iran current issues arising from the fear of nuclear weapons in the region. Amr Moussa said most Sunni Arab nations are worried about Shiite Iran using its power to influence events within the area which has resulted in rising tension as nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia prepare for what they consider to be an Iranian power grab. “The time has come for an Arab-Iranian dialogue which should include all issues,” he said. “We have differences and problems but these can be solved because Iran is an important country.” Moussa warned Middle Eastern nations should not allow outside powers to meet with Iran to deal with problems in the region since those decisions belong to the Arab people.

Moussa appeared to support the idea proposed by Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheik Khalid Bin Ahmed al-Khaifa to create a regional organization that would include all Arab nations, Turkey, Iran and Israel. This is a sensible idea because those countries are most impacted by events in the region and should make decisions, and not allow European and Americans to decide the fate of the Middle East.

Arab Human Rights Going Downhill

A leading Egyptian human rights groups has issued a somber report on human rights in the Arab world that, essentially, gives many countries a “F” grade for their failure to defend them. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies accused Arab governments of attempting to silence the voices of those fighting to protect individual rights. The report specifically accused Egypt of using its presence in the United Nations to sabotage efforts at human rights efforts in order to avoid having anyone examine its own sordid record on human rights. “The Arab League,” said the group, “has become more oppressive of authoritarian tendencies than any time in the past.”

There are indications extreme Muslim groups are targeting not only foreign groups or Israel, but human rights groups within their own nations in an effort to halt any voices expressing opposition to their actions. Perhaps, it is time for those who only focus on Israel violations of human rights towards Palestinians to spend some time focusing on Arab violations of human rights.

Israel Military Considering Iran Attack

One can never lose money betting on the stupidity of Israel leaders when it comes to issues of how to attain peace in the Middle East. Instead of embracing the Arab League proposal for peace based on 1967 borders, Israel leaders engage in rhetoric rather than dealing with reality. The Jerusalem Post now reveals the Israel Defense Force(IDF) is drawing up plans for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities regardless of whether America approves of the attack or not. One Defense minister noted that while it was preferable to work in coordination with allies, “we are also preparing options that do not include coordination.” An assumption of the IDF is they can seriously impact Iranian nuclear facilities with air strikes whether assisted by the United States or not.

An attack on Iran would unleash thousands of terrorists including hundreds of suicide bombers which would result in chaos in the Middle East and elsewhere. There is a new American president and he deserves an opportunity to work with Israel and Arab nations in order to attain peace. Attacking Iran is an act of stupidity that will destroy possibilities for peace for at least ten years.