The Israel government insisted the only solution to dealing with rocket attacks from Gaza was to invade the area and employ a strong hand approach which would result in large numbers of deaths. It is now revealed that Hamas attempted to conduct secret talks with the Israel government in the weeks leading up to the invasion. Senior officials in Hamas were ready to enter into negotiation with Israel due to their increasing frustration with Egypt’s role as a mediator that apparently were going nowhere. Gershon Baskin, a veteran Israeli peace activist and a member of the family of Prime Minister Olmert were at the center of these efforts. A major issue in addition to rocket attacks was the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and Baskin said he tried three times to get discussions about these issues but the Israel government would not cooperate. Baskin tried to open secret talks and link a prisoner exchange that would involve Shalit as well as establish a cease fire.
Bashkin’s efforts extended for months and at times his efforts were blocked by Hamas and at other times by the Olmert government. He had excellent connections with Hamas but they were never used by the Israel government. As the crisis deepened he involved a member of the Olmert family but was not able to get the government to hold off on the invasion and the result was death and destruction.
Any human life is precious and no one with any sense of decency would allow a person to die without being concerned. A single Israel soldier’s life is as important as a single life of a Muslim person. Cease fire should have been the major thrust of peace negotiations, not the life of a single person. That might come across as cruel and insensitive, but 1,300 humans died in the Gaza invasion including a dozen Israelis.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Gaza, peace negotiations, Shalit
Alon Liel, who formerly worked in the Israel Foreign Ministry, told the London Daily Telegraph there had been considerable progress in his talks with second-tier Syrian representatives. Syria is ready to make a move to alter its current relations with Iran. “They are asking not only for the Golan Heights but for a change in Washington that will break the Syrian isolation internationally. But, I think they will not do it unless they are assured they have an alternative to Iran. According to Liel, the Syrians may well wait until there is a new president in Washington due to their distrust of George Bush who for years denounced their country as a source of terrorism.
Turkey has been playing a key role as the mediator in the discussions. It suggests the world has not paid sufficient attention to the importance of Turkey in establishing stability in the Middle East. The Syrian attitude most probably will become more supportive of change if someone like Barack Obama becomes president.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Syria, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Iran, Israel, peace negotiations, Syria
A Palestinian academic, Sari Nusselbeh, proposed that Arabs should consider the possibility of a compromise under which the new Palestinian nation would be given the existing borders of 1967, including east Jerusalem, in exchange for abandoning the right of refugees to return to Palestine. “Today, we have to choose between the two and that’s why we must decide which right we want to give priority to.” He argues the highest priority is gaining independence and creation of a Palestinian state. The president of Al-Quds university believes Abbas might be willing to consider such a compromise.
It is this type of thinking which can move both sides toward negotiation that produces a compromise which does not satisfy all goals of either group, but it leads to peace and further negotiations.
Leaders of North and South Korea announced they will work to end the current armistice which separates the two nations and work towards writing a peace treaty to ensure peace, harmony, and cooperation between the two entities which have been separated for over fifty years. In the first step towards that goal, they agreed to initiate train service between the nations and have their military leaders get together to work out details of neutralizing border areas. North Korea stated that it would cease production of nuclear weapons.
Six years ago, George Bush assumed the presidency by attacking Bill Clinton’s efforts to conduct peace negotiations with North Korea. Bush claimed the United States could not negotiate with “evil” dictators. He began a verbal campaign of abusing North Korea which only increased tension. Today, the fallacy of Bush policies is now evident. One can negotiate with dictators and achieve the basis for peace and cooperation. Perhaps, now, Bush can push for talks with Hamas and other enemies of Israel and the United States.