It is the end of the Bush era and his friends undoubtedly feel the need to make some pleasant remarks to the president about his efforts over the past few years. In his farewell comments to Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, claimed the United States had helped to create the idea of a two-state solution to the Israel and Palestinian conflict and had ensured that peace was furthered in the Middle East. Perhaps, Prime Minister Olmert is trapped in a time warp, but does he really believe the Middle East in 2008 is more peaceful and secure than it was in 2001? “I’m sure that history books,” he said, “will be written the contribution that you made to the safety and security of many people will be greatly appreciated.”
History books are written by intelligent people who carefully study what happened in order to uncover a sense of reality. Any competent historian already knows George Bush brought terrorism to the Middle East and created chaos in Iraq and other nations of the region. Perhaps, Olmert forgets, former President Bill Clinton proposed a two state solution in 2000 that was more advanced and advantageous to Palestinians than anything that has emerged from the Bush era. If Arafat had accepted that proposal there would be a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Posted in Conservatives, George Bush, Iraq War, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Israel, Olmert, Palestinians
The exist of Prime Minister Olmert will be accompanied by the entry of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who will soon become the new prime minister. The undecided question is whether Livni will work toward building bridges of peace with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. As a first step Livni met with Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak who is expected to play a key role in any coalition government that emerges provided Livni and he can put aside their personal conflicts with one another. Barak has been assured of a “full partnership” with Livni.
Creating a coalition government that is strong enough to withstand pressure from right wing groups which oppose meaningful compromises with Palestinian leaders is the greatest challenge confronting Livni. She is still attempting to cope with the apparent anger of Shaul Mofaz’s announcement that after losing the fight to become the party leader, he is leaving the political world.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters during a trip to Lebanon that all Palestinian refugees should eventually be allowed to return to Palestine. The highly contentious issue of refugees remains one of the most difficult to revolve between the parties seeking to achieve a compromise. “The refugees should have a right to return to their homeland,” said Abbas. He indicated this has been a sticking point in negotiations with Israel leaders because “we are not with permanent resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. We are against permanent resettlement.”
A sticky issue is the presence of Palestinians in Lebanon which has a tenuous balance of power between Muslims and Christians. The addition of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Palestinian refugees to the Lebanese population would benefit Muslim Lebanese political parties while hurting Christian ones. Thee are about 400,000 Palestinians and their descendants living in Lebanon.
The bottom line is no Arab nation wants Palestinians in “its territory” and just wants them sent back to Palestine. Palestinians are unwanted guests– no Arab nation is willing to grant them citizenship– living in a nation that simply wants them to leave.