Tag Archives: Israel-Palestinians

UK Urges Obama To Focus On Iran Diplomacy

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, urged Barack Obama to support a policy which seeks to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms, but avoid use of military force to attain that goal. He made clear the “prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran poses the most immediate threat to stability” in the Middle East, and UN efforts to impose sanctions are not an attempt to overthrow the present Iranian government, but seeks to ensure peace in the region. “We are 100% committed to a diplomatic resolution of this dispute. We will work closely with the new US administration on this issue.” There has been concern for years the Bush administration might employ use of force to end Iran’s nuclear development program.

Miliband also made clear there is a growing fatigue about the ongoing never ceasing discussions between Israel and Palestinian leaders and they are “tiring of the conflict, they are also tiring faster of efforts to resolve it.” Perhaps, for the first time in decades most Arab nations are also tired of the ongoing conflict and ready to recognize Israel if they can obtain assurances the 1967 borders will be restored. It is time for all parties to reach a compromise. A compromise means each side must surrender some of its desires.

Cheney-Blame Israel-Palestinian Issue On The Devil

The conflict between Israel and Arabs goes back over fifty years, but according to Vice President Dick Cheney the effort to torpedo peace negoations is being led by Hamas with the support of Iran and Syria. “It is clearly a difficult situaiton, in part because I think if it’s true, there’s evidence that Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria and that they’re doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process.” Cheney, after talking with President Abbas, is convinced there will be no Fatah-Hamas reconciliation until Hamas returns control over Gaza to President Abbas. Cheney also emphasized chances for peace were hampered by the continual rocket attacks from Gaza.

When asked by reporter his reaction to the 4000th Americ an death in Iraq, the vice president said, “the president is the one that has to make that decision to send young men and women into harm’s way. It never gets any easier.”

The Bush administration tragedy in dealing with the Israel conflict with Palestinians is failure to exert pressure on the Olmert government to cease their policy of killing militant leaders when a cease fire has been declared. Cheney’s unconditional support of the Barak strategy of kill, kill, kill, has damaged opportunities for peace.

Vice President Cheney and President Bush undoubtedly feel pain in the death of American soldiers and it is a difficult task sending young people into harm’s way. Of course, Bush and Cheney in their own lives made certain they personally never got in harm’s way.

Is BBC Mideast Coverage Biased?

Steven Sugar, a solicitor, has been waging a one man war to have disclosed an internal BBC report on whether or not it has been presenting an anti-Israel biased view of events in the Middle East. His plea under the Freedom of Information Act was rejected. The BBC argues the Act does not apply to journalism. In 2004, the BBC commissioned Mr. Balen to conduct an analysis of its Mideast coverage. The BBC has long been charged with displaying an anti-Israel viewpoint, a point exemplified when BBC correspondent Barbara Piett admitted she cried at the death of Yasser Arafat. In2006, however, a study for th BBC governors by Sir Quentin Thomas concluded its coverage favored the Israeli side.

A government funded media source has the responsibility of presenting a broad range of views although it has every right to advocate on issues. Th issue is not lso much as to whether the BBC has been partial so much as to whether or not it has pursued truth in its reporting.

Of course, one can question the ability of a correspondent who cried at the death of an incompetent leader like Arafat who caused so many of his own people to suffer due to his ineptness and incompetence.

Bush Promises Peace Within A Year

President Bush laid out a clear blueprint for resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that will be attained within a year. His plan depends upon both sides adhereing to promises that would lead to a compromise solution. The President made two points, Israel must end the occupation of the West Bank and there has to be creation of an independent Palestinian state. He is insisting Israel adhere to territorial guidelines based on the armistice lines of 1949 while Palestinians must agree to end demands for return of refugees.

President Bush’s ideas are not that different from those previosly proposed, but never attained. Among the issues Bush is not addressing is the presence of Hamas and other groups which are not part of the peace negotiations. If Abbas agrees to end demands for the right of refugee return and Hamas insists on fighting for that right, where does that leave peace negoations? The president has continually failed to grasp the importance of involving a wide sprectrum of Palestinians in any peace negotiation. Abbas simply lacks the power to make such an agreement without having support of other Paletinian groups.

Arab World Concerned About Iran’s Influence

Salah Nasrawi, writing in the Turkish Daily News, emphasized the growing concern among Arab nations regarding the increased power of Iran in the Middle East. many share America’s anxieties, but regard a military option an an invitaton to disaster. Among there greatest fears is an American-Iran military confrontation could set the Middle East ablaze and give rise to violence and insurgency. Iraq and Lebanon are major concerns among Arab leaders since both nations are suseptible to Iranian influence, particularly, since Iran is funding insurgent groups. Even befoe America got into the picture, Arab leaders have been attempting to curtail Iran’s influence over what happens in Lebanon and trying to hedge in Hizbullah which is closely linked to Iran.

Many Middle East experts like Steven Cook at the Council on Foreign Relations, are warning that Arab leaders are probably hedging their bets rather than lining up behind the United States. Bush has confused most Middle Eastern nations, and they still wonder if he is serious about an Israeli-Palestinian peace or whether he simply lacks a copherent approach to dealing with the problem. That underlines the importance to Bush of being decisive and working to ensure both sides in the conflict are ready to accept compromise and move on rather than remained paralyzed in rhetoric.

Bush Arrives In Israel To Hot And Cold Welcomes

President Bush arrived in Israel where he was warmly greeted by President Peres and welcomed by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The American president once again referred to his desire to “guarantee Israel’s security as a Jewish state” despite the fact at least ten percent of its population is not Jewish, but Muslim. In Gaza, militants marched denouncing talks between Israel and Palestine and there apparently were al-Qaeda elements among those waving weapons. Even a Fatah leader in Gaza, Zakariya al-Agha, contradicted Abbas the head of Fatah, by denouncing Bush for supporting Israel. On the other side of the ledger, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, urged his followers not to support peace talks until the Palestinians cease firing rockets onto Israel territory.

The object of having peace talks is to prevent rockets from firing since despite years of military efforts to wipe out rocket launching sites, they continue coming into Israel. It is also unfortunate that President Bush did not acknowledge the presence or importance of Israeli Arabs by making his mistaken comment that Israel was a “Jewish state.” That was never a concept one finds as a prominent point among those who forged creation of the nation of Israel.