Tag Archives: Israel

Abbas Steps Down As Leader Of Fatah-What Next Israel?

For half a century, Israel leaders complained they were unable to find people in the Arab world who were willing to negotiate for peace. Finally, President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, became a voice seeking peace and willing to enter into diplomatic negotiations with the Israel government. So, what was the response of Israel? Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu placed one barrier after another in the path of peace and refused to abandon West Bank settlements even though he knew it was impossible for any Palestinian leader to accept the abandonment of an area that belonged to Arab people under the UN partition plan. President Obama attempted to steer an even path between Palestinians and Israelis and urged Israel to cease further West Bank construction. Netanyahu just ignored the president. Secretary of State Clinton stepped into the situation and indicated how pleased she was that Netanyahu might promise at some future time to do something about the west bank.

President Abbas announced he is not running for re-election. There is no question when Palestinians select a more radical person as their president, Israel will commence to sound the alarm and complain how could they negotiate with radicals? The reason is simple, Israel created the current problem and only Israel can solve it.

Middle East Stubborness Pays Off In Nothing

The Netanyahu approach to peace in the Middle East is maintain the status quo because that ensures there will be no movement in the process of peace. Arab nations are awaiting some action on the part of Israel that heralds a new open approach to peace. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal indicated his nation was tired of delays and obstructions such as continued construction of settlements on the West Bank. “What is required as a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final status issues.” Arab nations are under pressure from President Obama to make a dramatic move to display their desire for peace with Israel.

Saudi leaders argue Israel has displayed continual refusal to deal with the West Bank settlement issue and it is up to the Netanyahu government to make clear his nation is committed to recognize an independent Palestinian nation and to make major withdrawals from the West Bank. They point out Israel will not even respond to American requests to halt further West Bank construction.

If only Israel had a leader with vision other than placating West Bank fundamentalists. The dilemma for the moment is in which corner is the ball of peace?

Israel Doesn’t Yet Know When To Apologize

A day after admitting there was need to investigate possible violations of proper military procedures by the Israel Defense Force in the Gaza Operation Cast Lead, the foreign ministry had to argue the invasion was proportionate to the challenge. “Israel’s resort to force in the Gaza Operation was both necessary and a proportionate response to Hamas’ attacks.” Israel definitely has an argument in support of the need to use force in response to ongoing Hamas rocket attacks, that is NOT the main criticism of the Gaza invasion. To argue killing 1,200(of whom about 900 were civilians) while losing fewer than ten people on your side suggests this is not a “proportionate” affair. Destroying vast areas of homes and businesses can hardly be justified on grounds there had to be a “response.”

Israel trots out once again the 12,000 rocket argument. No rational person would disagree with the argument there was need to response to this provocation. There were several options that were never explored such as a massive bombing focus on tunnels or occupying areas in which there were tunnels. An army which kills hundreds of innocent civilians at a loss of fewer than ten has made a serious human rights mistake.

Israel is doing the right thing in conducting an investigation into human rights violations by its soldiers, no Arab nation would engage in such an investigation. But, it is time for Israel to admit its error in killing innocent civilians and gain the respect of the world.

Israel Confronts Its Own Mistakes

The Israel government has decided to confront issues related to misbehavior on the part of members of the Israel Defense Force(IDF) during the recent invasion of Gaza. An army source angrily commented: “we do not need NGOs and rights groups to tell us to investigate ourselves. we know how to investigate on our own and have been open all along to receiving additional material from peace groups.” There is no doubt historically the IDF has been sensitive to violations of law by its members and willing to admit errors. The current investigation into fourteen cases of alleged abuses can only benefit Israel. There are allegations IDF soldiers looted Palestinian homes, beat prisoners and used Palestinians as human shields to avoid getting shot.

The good news is a decision by Israel’s military leaders that in the future civilians will be warned about possible bombings and even provide information to them on the best way to get to safety. An open trial with information publicly shared is the best defense against accusations of human rights violations.

Which Comes First –End Settlements Or Talk?

The Israel-Palestine conflict increasingly resembles an old vaudeville act in which each side insists the other make the first move toward peace. The current assessment in Jerusalem is serious negotiations will not resume until the Obama administration is able to work out an agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the West Bank expansion of settlements issue. The US State Department has send invitations to various Arab leaders urging their support in order to foster a peace agreement in the Middle East. Mitchell is seeking some dramatic event from Arabs that would place Netanyahu in a situation in which he must take positive steps for peace.

A major problem is lack of visionary leadership from either Israel or Arab nations. Mundane leaders display mundane attitudes and are unable to make a move that captures attention of the world that sets in motion action toward peace.

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.

Patience Instead Of Violence Urged On Israel

The rush to judgment on the part of the Netanyahu government reminds those who have studied American-Soviet relations of Americans who wanted to drop atomic bombs on the enemy because unless the US acted immediately, evil would triumph. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent TV interview, urged the Israel government to halt its head-long determination for a finality with Iran. She termed Israel’s Iran policy “futile” and that it would only result in disaster for both nations. “We have negotiated with many governments who we did not believe represented the will of their people. Look at all the negotiations that went on with the Soviet Union. That’s what you get to do in diplomacy. You don’t get to choose the people. It required fifty years of negotiation with the Soviet Union before democracy and peace came to that nation.

Recent events in Iran indicate a significant portion of its population seek peace and democracy. The future of Iran is still unknown, but one thing is for certain, an Israel air attack on Iran would unite the nation behind the current rulers and kill any hope for democracy in that nation for twenty years. Sometimes, the race actually goes to the turtle rather than the hare.

Apres Moi, Le Deluge Boasts Benjamin Netanyahu!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an appointment with Death and destruction and damned if he will hold back from pursuing that path to complete isolation of Israel in the world. The United States has made clear Israel has no right to build housing and commercial enterprises in the area around Jerusalem known as “E-1″for to do so would cut the West Bank in half and make impossible the ability of a future Palestinian government to have a united nation. In his recent election campaign, Netanyahu told Israelis, “I want to see one continuous string of build-up Jewish neighborhoods.” His argument is failing to have Jews build in this area would result in Palestinian construction. It appears Netanyahu is ready to challenge the United States, the European Union and the world, all in the name of Jews should “have the right to live and buy anywhere in Jerusalem.”

If we follow the logic of Benjamin Netanyahu that people can not be told where they can live, does this mean Palestinians can live in Jewish areas of Jerusalem? How about Saudi oil billionaires deciding to buy up large parts of Jewish areas in Jerusalem and then placing Palestinians in those areas?

President Obama is TRYING TO HELP ISAREAL! If current Israel policies of building without regard to Palestinian rights, there will be no peace and Israel will be condemned to fifty more years of war and violence. Israel must cease building houses and focus on building peace!

Israel-Syria Talks Remain Silent

The Israel government continues insisting its desire to engage in discussions with the government of Syria, and has made clear these talks could begin without any preconditions. At the same time, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon argued it was impossible to engage in discussions with Syria as long as that government maintained its ties with Iran and Hamas. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visited Damascus in an effort to get discussions back on track and once again serve as a mediator. “We are determined to do all we can for peace in the Middle East.”

The Turkish -Israel relation is vivid proof that Jews and Muslims can work together and maintain peaceful relations. A Turkish mediation effort can serve to bring together Israel and Syria provided the Netanyahu ceases playing word games with the peace process. As Winston Churchill, the great prime minister of England often said: “Jaw, jaw, not war, war.”

Israel Will Disband “Illegal”Settlements

The Israel government informed the United States it would demolish 23 “illegal” settlements that were built after 2001. Dan Meridor, a deputy prime minister said the Obama administration was bound by “tacit” understandings on settlement construction that Israel had reached with former President Bush. The so-called “illegal” settlements never received planning permission. However, under international law, all settlements built on occupied territory are illegal. Prime Minister Netanyahu insists his government will proceed with further construction of housing that meets “natural growth” regardless of what the outside world desires. French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, told Israel’s ambassador to France “these activities must be stopped” referring to construction of housing in the West Bank. The British and the EU both have urged an end to settlement construction.

It is time for the Israel government to understand the American people voted out George Bush in order to end his idiotic foreign policy. Most American polls reveal a large majority of American Jews support the Obama administration ideas on ending settlement construction. Israel has the option to stand apart from the world. In so doing, it loses any chance to be recognized as a moral government.

Wake up Israel, the world is passing you by.