Tag Archives: Peres

Israel President Tells Syria Peace Is Possible

Israel President Shimon Peres sent a message to Syria via the good offices of Russian President Medvedev that his nation did not seek conflict with that nation and only wanted peace. Medvedev will be in Damascus to see President Bashar Assad and he brought a message from Peres that Israel seeks peace and only desires to witness an end of Syrian aid to terrorists. “Israel won’t allow Syria to have their cake and eat it too–they can’t have both the Golan Heights and Iranian missiles.” Peres has accused Syria of sending Scud missiles to the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

The desire for peace stated by Shimon Peres is genuine and important in order to attain stability in the region. But, Assad is not the only one who aids terrorism. Prime Minister Netanyahu continues aiding Jewish settlement terrorists who assault peaceful Palestinians, who destroy their property, and take over their land. Granted such actions are not the same as missile attacks, but they also hinder the quest for peace in the Middle East. Let’s have an end to all forms of terrorism.

Israel Leader Urges Abbas To Continue Fight

Israeli President Shimon Peres sent a public plea to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urging that he continue fighting for peace in the Middle East and not refuse to run for re-election. “I turn to you as a colleague and ask that you don’t let go. Yitzhad(Rabin) is not with us, but he lives in our midst as a figure, as a policy, as a purpose: a joint purpose of a just society and comprehensive peace-two inseparable goals.” Unfortunately, the Israel that Rabin represented has been replaced by one which views ultra nationalist, Muslim hating Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as a man who can be trusted to conduct intelligent, honest negotiations. President Obama told Israel that “Israelis will not find true security while the Palestinians are gripped hopelessness and despair.”

There are rumors the Palestinian Authority will simply declare itself an independent nation on the basis of its 1967 border with Israel. This will result in the world recognizing the new nation and creating problems for Israel which will once again be isolated. The ongoing problem is that Israelis prefer the martyrdom of isolation to the security of peace.

Israel President Hints At Action Toward Iran

Israel President Shimon Peres employed aggressive language in discussing the actions of Iran and how their challenge might be met. In an interview with Kot Hai Radio, he said the arrest over the weekend in Egypt of a Hizbullah cell was a blow to Iran which undoubtedly funds that organization. “Ahmadinejad recruits forces against us, but there are also forces against him.” He called for unifying Arab nations which are threatened by terrorism in order to defeat Iran’s aggressive behavior. He want on to note his hope Obama will be successful in being able to negotiate with Iran, but warned that if Iran continued fostering terrorism it might require Israel to undertake military action, “we’ll strike him.”

President Peres is correct in calling for Arab nations to unite with Israel against Iran, but until Israel refuses to accept a Palestinian state and withdraw from the West Bank, there will be no such coalition. Ahmadinejad is not the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East, the president only has to look at the current cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu.

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.

Fruit Of Gaza Invasion–Diplomatic Isolation!

During the past half century while Israel was being isolated by Arab nations, the Muslim nation of Turkey maintained close working relations and the military forces of both countries even worked on joint exercises. Israel last month decided to invade Gaza and end rocket attacks regardless of the diplomatic cost of such an operation. At the Davos conference, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Edogan clashed with Israeli President Shimon Peres over the Gaza invasion. The Israeli leader defended the invasion on ground it was done to halt rocket attacks. “What would you do, ” he asked Erdogan, “if you were to have in Istanbul every night a hundred rockets?” This incited within the Turkish leader an angry reaction, “I know very well how you hit and killed children on the beaches.”

The end result of the Gaza operation was to further isolate Israel from the world. It has become the greatest public relations disasters in the history of Israel. The issue is not so much about halting rocket attacks, but the METHOD USED TO END ROCKET ATTACKS. Firing heavy artillery into areas containing many civilians on ground that Israeli soldiers must be protected is a violation of international law which requires caution in such operations. To argue the life of one Israeli soldier is worth the death of ten children is not a morally defensible view.

The world agrees that Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket attacks. Perhaps, the Gaza operation should have been focused on destroying tunnels being used to smuggle goods. Perhaps, the Israel government could have worked to have Turkish soldiers assume control of Gaza crossings in exchange for a guarantee that rocket attacks would end. There were many options and failure of Israel to utilize them has resulted in diplomatic isolation.

Will Disbanding West Bank Settlements Lead To War?

There are decisions made by nation’s which come back to haunt future leaders who must live with failure to act in the past. For nearly forty years, some Israel leaders have warned of dangers that might arise from continuing to allow settlers to expand their building on the West Bank. President Shimon Peres told members of the British Parliament that his nation would encounter difficulty dismantling West Bank settlements and such action might readily turn into violence, if not war within Israel. Despite anti-Israel demonstrations by supporters of the Palestinians, Peres told Oxford University students recent peace proposals by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia might be the basis of peace, but it would require action by Arab nations to make Hamas abide by the provisions of such an agreement.

Peres raises an important point in emphasizing any agreement must be implemented and responsibility for that rests in the hands of Arab leaders. On the other hand, the Israel government must be prepared to deal with angry West Bank settlers in order to ensure that agreements are respected. Most probably, there might have to be some minor modifications about the West Bank that would allow a small portion to remain in the hands of Israel. Such, might be reality.

Peres Says Hamas Helping Achieve Peace!

President Shimon Peres offered a back handed compliment to Hamas by arguing its terrorism and radical message is forcing both Palestinian and Israel leaders to get serious concerning the need for peace because failure to do so will only increase Hamas power and influence in the region. He doesn’t believe moderate Palestinians wish to live under the rule of religious fanatics and are anxious to find some way of achieving a compromise peace with Israel. Peres emphasized, “we will not cease to negotiate with the Palestinians and help them with all our might in order to establish an independent Palestinian state with a real economy. The better the life is for the Palestinians, the better it will be for us and we want to see the Palestinians as a neighbor and not as an enemy.”

Any logical person would have to agree with Peres, but, unfortunately there are too many hot headed fundamentalists among both Israelis and Palestinians who prefer war to compromise. The Saudi Arabia proposal for a return to 1967 borders is the basis for a compromise solution. Can Peres sell it to the West Bank settlers?

Bush Arrives In Israel To Hot And Cold Welcomes

President Bush arrived in Israel where he was warmly greeted by President Peres and welcomed by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The American president once again referred to his desire to “guarantee Israel’s security as a Jewish state” despite the fact at least ten percent of its population is not Jewish, but Muslim. In Gaza, militants marched denouncing talks between Israel and Palestine and there apparently were al-Qaeda elements among those waving weapons. Even a Fatah leader in Gaza, Zakariya al-Agha, contradicted Abbas the head of Fatah, by denouncing Bush for supporting Israel. On the other side of the ledger, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, urged his followers not to support peace talks until the Palestinians cease firing rockets onto Israel territory.

The object of having peace talks is to prevent rockets from firing since despite years of military efforts to wipe out rocket launching sites, they continue coming into Israel. It is also unfortunate that President Bush did not acknowledge the presence or importance of Israeli Arabs by making his mistaken comment that Israel was a “Jewish state.” That was never a concept one finds as a prominent point among those who forged creation of the nation of Israel.

Turkey–New Middle Man Of Middle East?

At the turn of the 20th century, Turkey was usually portrayed as the “sick man of Europe,” but today it is emerging as the new “middle man of the Middle East.” The Turkish government just concluded an important meeting by bringing together the presidents of Palestine and Israel for an extended get together in which President Gul tried to use his influence in resolving some problems. He also urged in his private sessions with Peres and Abbas that Syria should be invited to the upcoming Annapolis conference. Turkey is already attempting to build an industrial zone on the West Bank in order to stimulate economic activity and create jobs for Palestinians. The Muslim Justice and Development Party of Turkey is among the few Muslim political groups which has excellent relations with Israel and seeks to serve as a go between in fostering peace in the region.

The prospect for significant progress at the Annapolis meeting is doubtful. But, Turkey might well be encouraged by the United States to follow up on the meeting by serving as a middle man in negotiation with both sides. It could well be the site of an Israel-Syria meeting to discuss the Golan Heights. Perhaps, Turkish soldiers could serve as a guardian force to maintain peace in that area and end the current impasse between Israel and Syria. They could also guard the Israel-Lebanon boarder and halt Hizbullah initiated raids on Israel.

Israel Urged By Turkey To Back Syrian Attendance At Annapolis

The Turkish government is presently hosting a meeting with Israel President Peres and Palestinian President Abbas in hope of fostering peaceful relations. President Gul urged Israel to support the presence of Syria at the upcoming Annapolis conference but the Israeli leader was hesitant since he charged Syria is hostile to peace. Gul also emphasized the importance that “tangible and cocnrete results” will emerge from the conference. He also supported the desire of Abbas that all meaningful issues related to the Middle East should be open for discussion at the conference. Peres responded: “I believe we can make peace with Palestine, it takes time to make peace.”

Perhaps, the United States might learn the importance of allowing regional powers such as Turkey to assume leadership in moving the Middle East forward toward peace. Gul is right that all issues must be discussed, that Syria should be invited, and that the end result has to be more than talk. Peres is right that peace takes time, but it is also important for immediate steps in order to build some momentum to further the progress. After all these years of talk and promises, the region is anxiously seeking concrete results today, not in some unknown future.