Tag Archives: Israel settlements

French Foreign Minister Critical Of Israeli Settlements

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner speaking in Bethlehem at the investors conference for Palestinian aid, made clear his nation’s opposition to current Israel efforts on the West Bank. He was particularly critical of West Bank settlement expansion. “Nothing justifies the settlement expansion which constitutes an impediment to peace as well as an obstacle obstructing the development of the Palestinian economy.” He also urged the Israel government to re-evaluate its current program of road blocks and interference with the right of movement of Palestinians. He said, Israel should and can exert more effots to (ease the restrictions) without endangering security.” The three day conference is designed to revive the Palestinian econonomy which has virtually collapsed due, in many ways, to Israeli restrictions on the free movement of people and goods.

Naturally, the Israel government claimed it was doing everything within its power to assist the development of the Palestinian economy and was working to “create greater movement and access for Palestinians while maintaining security,” according to Mark
Regev who spoke for Prime Minister Olmert.

Kouchner is absolutely correct in raising the issue of West Bank settlements which have been going on for over twenty years and which increasingly make difficult any Israel agreement with Palestinian leaders. As settlements increase, the sense of Israel permanency in what was supposed to be a Palestinian area makes for difficulty in reaching an agreement unless Palestinian leaders surrender land that was rightfully part of a Palestinian nation.

Bush In Israel-Shambles In His Trail!

George Bush made another trip in order to assist in the quest for peace, in the aftermath of his short stay in several Middle Eastern nations lies a trail of confusion, anger, and missed opportunities to help resolve conflict. President Abbas made it clear that “Palestinians aren’t committed to Bush’s proposal for monetary compensation to Paletinian refugees.” Hizbullah leder, Sheikh hassan Nasrallah, referrred to the Bush idea as allowing Israel to “give crumbs to Palestinians.” and gunmen in Gaza wrecked an American school(which has no affiliation with any American agency) and killed a Hamas policeman in the process as they attempted to demonstrate anger against the American president. In Kuwait, Bush once again laid blame for violence in Iraq on the shoulders of Iran. “Iran’s role in formenting violence has been exposed,” declared the man who originated violence in Iraq.

President Abbas needs much more than what was granted by the benevolent US president who apparently believes Israel should obtain all of its goals even if some damage the ability of Palestinian leaders to work on a compromise. A more reasonable solution would be for West Bank settlement to be evacuated, buildings turned over to some Palestinian refugees as a symbol of reconciliation, and monetary payments be made to those who settle in the new state of Palestine. Such a dramatic proposal might capture the imagination of Palestinians and persuade them to accept much less than they desire in terms of the return of refugees. Israel simply can not absorb so many Palestinian refugees withouot completely altering the nature of the nation of Israel.