Tag Archives: Peace

Is Mugabe For Real With Talk Of Peace?

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has spent the past several years engaged in a systematic program to destroy his nation’s economy and brutalize opposition members. Suddenly, he announced that “Zimbabweans is our together” and urged people belonging to all political parties to work together for the common good. “Fighting each other must end. “I hear there are still incidents where people’s homesteads have been burned. That must stop. We belong to different political parties but we must not fight each other.” Oh, the words come across as conciliatory and peaceful, but they come after the latest manifestation of incompetence in which he is seizing land owned by whites and turning those areas over to some of his incompetent allies who will continue the process of destroying rich land.

Mugabe told the world, “we have got the inclusive government so that we have unity, peace and stability.” We suspect the words are meant for the outside world and within Zimbabwe his thugs will continue brutalizing members of the opposition and stealing land.

US Diplomat Resigns Over Israel Remarks

Chas Freeman, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia was forced to resign as one of Barack Obama’s top intelligence officials over remarks he made about Israel. Mr. Freeman noted that “Israel violence against Palestinians” makes it “utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance.” President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have already complained that Israel actions in continually building on the West Bank and destroying Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem does not help the cause of peace in the region. Building houses on land that belongs to Palestinians is a “violent action” and Mr. Freeman really said what the administration has been stating in more polite terms.

Twenty years ago, Israel leaders complained they had no one to speak with about peace. Today, the Arab League has agreed to recognize Israel and President Abbas has been working to establish the basis for peace with Israel, but the problem today is there is no one in the Israel government who wants to discuss peace.

Perhaps, Mr. Freeman should not have been that blunt, but his remarks signify the need for honesty to Israel. At this point in its history, the people of Israel need honest discussions with people, not polite expressions that only blur the need for genuine peace.

Syria Ready To Negotiate With Israel- Is Israel Ready?

In the topsy turvy world of Israel politics it is doubtful that a new Israel government would be ready to respond to the new Syrian desire for negotiation about issues of concern between the nations. Over the past decades Israel government after government argued there was no desire on the part of Arab nations for peace, but today, the Arab League has come out for peace based on the 1967 borders and Syrian President Bashar Assad said he was ready to negotiate with any Israel government. “One is bad, the other is awful” and admitted his government would simply ignore the ideology of Israel politics and instead focus on how to reach peace with that nation. Assad said peace with Israel was very possible but normal relations would depend on establishing peaceful relations between Israel and a Palestinian government.

There is simply too much irony in the current situation in which Israel leaders now behave in the same manner they complained Arab leaders were acting twenty years ago. How ironic that Israel now has Arab nations prepared to negotiate for everything it wanted twenty years ago, but the entire process is hampered by decisions on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. Is it possible for the people of Israel to regain their common sense and a realistic view of life in the Middle East?

Was Israel Better Off To Jaw Jaw. Not War War?

Last December, Israeli leaders decided to bomb and invade Gaza in order to get Hamas to adhere to their desires and the result was a loss of respect for the nation in the world and ruptures in its relation with close ally Turkey. Israel Military Intelligence Chief, General Amos Yadin, insists the reason Hamas is willing to negotiate was because of the operation, but Defense Minister Barak believes Israel would have been better off negotiating with Hamas through the good office of Egypt. On the other hand, Prime Minister Olmert made clear he did not want to negotiate with Hamas and as far as he was concerned the major issue is the release of the captured Israeli soldier.

Israel is completely divided without a leader who can offer new ideas on how to resolve its conflict with Palestinians. In a sense, the Israelis are trapped in the past and are unable to adjust to new conditions which might offer alternatives that were not available months ago. They can draw upon the good offices of Turkey, Egypt and Hillary Clinton to forge new opportunities for meaningful peace negotiations.

Israel President Pleads For Peace

Shimon Peres, president of Israel finally talked bluntly and honestly to the Knesset by saying peace with Palestinians was the highest priority for the nation. A peace agreement with Palestinians will set the stage for regional peace and finally allow Israel to establish peaceful political and economic relations with other nations in the Middle East. “Peace will create a new economic reality–for us and our neighbors.” If Palestinians have a thriving economy they will be less interested in violence and supporting extremists. The original hope of Israel’s leaders was not only the founding of a homeland, but to establish peaceful relations with Arab neighbors.

The task of Benjamin Netanyahu is to adopt a realistic view of what his nation needs at this moment in time. This means creating a middle of the road government and rejecting the crazy ideas of people like Avigdor Lieberman.

Israelis Embrace Hamas Tactics And Beliefs!!

Less than a decade ago, the Israel Peace Now movement was alive and supported by a large segment of the population, but recent events indicate a dramatic shift in attitude toward extremism and hatred of Palestinians. Years ago, there was a comic strip named Pogo in which a character(expressing a metaphor for supposed anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy) “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Israel political leaders constantly decry the extreme hate attitudes of Hamas, but the only group that currently would understand the attitude and behavior of Israeli political leaders is Hamas. Avigdor Lieberman, the racist pseudo-Fascist Israeli politician, will probably secure about 16 seats in Parliament based on his program of non-stop hatred toward Palestinians, wherever they are. He even wants to institute “loyalty tests” for Israel Arabs.

Events over the past few years increasingly have moved many decent people in Israel into a defensive and hating stance toward Palestinians. What is one to make of support for Lieberman who in 2002 urged blanket bombing of Palestinian areas. “At 8:00 a.m. we’ll bomb all the commerce centers,… at noon we’ll bomb the gas stations…… at 2:00 p.m. we’ll bomb the banks while keeping the bridges open.” Tragically, many liberal Israelis are buying into this hate program, probably out of fatigue or being disheartened by events.

Nelson Mandela spent years in prison and emerged with love in his heart, not hate. Jewish leaders like Helen Sussman who recently died struggled for years to end apartheid, and never slipped into the mode of hate. Israel has become lost nation and one which will sell its soul for the pretense of “security.” The only security for Israel is peace. The Arab League has an offer on the table for peace and recognition of Israel. Grab it.

President Obama can not allow feelings for Israel to get in the way of working for peace. He must make clear to Benjamin Netanyahu who will most probably take over the Israel government that American policy can not support inclusion of Lieberman in a Cabinet.

Open Gaza Crossings Urges Obama

President Barack Obama urged Israel to open all Gaza crossings in order to facilitate the flow of commerce and goods into the devastated region. “Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace, as part or a lasting ceasefire, Gaza’s border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce.” He also emphasized the importance of providing relief to “reach innocent Palestinians” who desperately need medical assistance, food and other necessities of life. He expressed his concern over the extensive loss of life during the recent Israel invasion of Gaza.

Many Israelis will most probably react in negative ways to the Obama plea and will cite rocket attacks from Gaza into their nation. Israel has a right to defend itself, but when 1,300 are killed in an operation that witnessed the death of 13 Israelis, the world will judge Israel as the aggressor, not Hamas. Obama is placing the issue on the head of Hamas. If Israel opens the crossings and Hamas fires rockets into Israel, then the world will condemn Hamas. If Hamas continues to extend the fighting, even the Arab world will move away from this organization.

Many times in the past has witnessed Israel reaching out to Palestinians, and in many cases, their efforts came to nil. It is important for Israel to allow President Obama an opportunity to achieve a peace settlement. This means Israel must hold back, and allow the process of peace to unfold. Peace is always a gamble, but give it one more chance.

Nelson Mandela Hails Barack Obama

Barack Obama received a letter just hours before he took the oath of office. It was from a man who also had experienced racial prejudice but endured in order to bring his nation together in a new birth of comradeship and hope for a unified society. Nelson Mandela told the new president: “We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our own country but around the world were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better world can be achieved. You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.”

In his closing words to the young president, a man who suffered so much but never lost his hope in the dignity of humanity. “You will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and to pursue that dream. We wish you well.”

To be praised by Nelson Mandela is to receive an accolade from a man who stands above most world leaders in respect for the goal of peace and justice.

Does Might Make Right?

Many people in Israel are celebrating the success of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in crushing Hamas during the invasion of Gaza. The assumption of these individuals is somehow a “victory” was attained in Gaza. For a moment, let us examine the premise that killing 1,300 people at a cost of 13 Israeli lives represents a “victory” over an enemy. Hamas most probably lost a few hundred of its soldiers in the battles, but aside for a few leaders being killed, the top leadership of the organization is intact. If the aim of the invasion was to “teach the Arab world a lesson that Israel is strong and can inflict pain,” that message has been conveyed, but will it result in desired results of peace and reconciliation? There is no question the most important “lesson” of the Gaza invasion is not to arouse the fury of the IDF unless one seeks bombing, death, and destruction.

In the end for all Israelis and Palestinians is some sort of peace agreement under which each group can live in peace and their children can live normal lives without fears of bombing and death. The Gaza invasion showed vividly that a significant portion of the Israeli population now accepts the death of hundreds of children on ground it will provide “security” for their own lives. Is such a view in accord with the experience of Jews over thousands of years in which they endured prejudice and death from individuals who regarded them as a threat to their “security?”

Israelis, understandably, view the world from the position of being in a small nation which is surrounded by enemies seeking their destruction. To believe using might to inflict pain will somehow remove the reality of being surrounded by enemies it so live in fantasy land. The Arab League offered peace and recognition of Israel based on 1967 borders and removal of illegal Jewish immigrants from the West Bank. It was not a perfect offer, but certainly was the basis for further negotiation. Does killing 1,300 people enhance the possibility of a better peace offer? I doubt it. Each dead Gazan produces several Gazans who hate Israelis and may not seek peace, but prefer vengeance.

The United States of America has been led for eight years by a man(most probably the worse enemy Jews have known in their history) who believed in war and destruction rather than negotiation and peace. For example, in 2001, the Iranian government of Khatami provided intelligence support to the American campaign in Afghanistan and offered to negotiate a peace agreement under which Iran would cease aiding terrorists, recognize Israel and cooperate on nuclear energy issues. Bush turned them down. I wonder how many Israelis today would prefer if Bush had accepted the Iranian compromise offer or do they believe using might like bombing Iranian nuclear facilities as a more intelligent approach to peace?

Life is never “either/or?” There are always alternative paths. Allowing West Bank settlers to control Israel foreign policy is a choice, not a must. Israel lacks leaders and, apparently, now it lacks a population which is committed to peace. We propose the following actions on the part of Israel:

1. An apology to the people of Gaza for the killing of innocent civilians.
2. Providing medical care to all Gazans who were injured in the attacks.
3. Financial compensation to Gazans for the destruction inflicted on them.
4. Immediate evacuation of the West Bank and acceptance of the Arab League proposal.
5. Ask an impartial international law group to investigate any examples of criminal behavior during the Gaza invasion on the part of Israel or Hamas soldiers.

Might provides the illusion of victory.

Fruits Of Israel Gaza Action-Division In Arab League

An intelligent Israel foreign policy would seek to create a consensus within the Arab League in order to support moderate Arab nations to establish peaceful relations with its enemy. However, Israel is led by short-sighted inept individuals who place emphasis on short term goals–and winning elections– over working for the long term goal of peace in the Middle East. Arab foreign ministers met in Kuwait and revealed serious confusion within its ranks. There was agreement to provide Gaza with funds to rebuild. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said “there is a big chaos in the Arab world” which increasingly makes it difficult to have any joint action. But, joint action for peace must be the Israeli goal!

Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia who has supported peace with Israel based on the 1967 borders, warned that if the Gaza war continues it will have “serious and far-reaching implications” for the attainment of peace. Perhaps, Israel’s leadership has a plan to establish peace with Arab nations, but as of this date it is among the best kept secrets in the world.