Tag Archives: Palestine state

Is Israel Serious About Peace?

Hassan Nafaa, writing in al-Ahram, expresses a view that is very common in the Middle East. He argues that “no Israel government now or in the forseeable future, is prepared to reach a solution to the Middle East conflict on the basis of the Arab initiative.” Nafaa argues Israel leaders believe they have the upper hand and while Israel becomes stronger, Arab nations grow weaker so why pursue the road to peace that will result in the emergence of an independent Palestinian state. He says “there is no sign that international public opinion is putting any pressure on Israel to accept the initiative.” And, to make matters worse, there is a leadership vacuum in Israel.

There is no question Nafaa builds a strong case to remain stubbornly committed to the Arab initiative to make clear to Israel they must accept their view or maintain the current status quo. He is very pessimistic about the Obama desire to force peace on the Israelis by making them compromise with Arabs. Granted the current Israel government leaves much to be desired in terms of visionaries who can look to the future and realize that Israel must compromise to survive, but Mr. Nafaa ignores new dynamics at play in the Middle East.

1. The Obama-Clinton initiative depends on a two state solution if there is to be any hope of gaining Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Failure to secure a Middle East peace threatens peace possibilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Obama administration knows such failure could result in a Republican comeback in 2010.

2. Just about every important American Jewish organization has come out in support of a two state solution. American Jews voted overwhelmingly for Obama and know he must get a two state solution. Israel is no longer in 2007 when Bush was in power and supported any and all Israel initiatives.

3. It is simply a matter of time before Iran gets atomic weapons. If Israel has not secured peace with Palestine it creates a dangerous situation that neither the US nor the European Union will allow. They will demand Israel accept a two state solution.

Hamas Reaches Out To Europe While Israel Burns Itself

A new government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as the Israel people turned to right wing demagogues even as Hamas is reaching out to Europeans and putting on the face of compromise. Ahmed Yussef, a political advisor to the Hamas Foreign Ministry, revealed his group has been in contact with Norway and other European nations who are urging his organization to renounce violence and work for peace with Israel. A French official has been working with Hamas leaders in Gaza in an effort to secure the release of Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Hamas is finally realizing with Israel digging deep into its bunker, Europeans will welcome any group that comes across as desiring peace in the Middle East.

The key issue for Hamas is whether it will accept the concept of recognizing Israel as a legitimate state. If they are willing to make that commitment, it would not be difficult to become accepted by European nations as a legitimate force. Meanwhile, Israel has decided to go with right wing haters like Avigdor Lieberman who does not wish to recognize the right of a Palestinian state. It is not beyond the stretch of imagination for Europe to be on the side of Palestine and Hamas while Israel remains buried in its bunker mentality of denial.

Barack Obama wants peace in the Middle East. Hopefully, Israelis will finally grasp that Obama is not George Bush.