Tag Archives: settlements

Clinton Told To Support Palestinians Or No Progress!

Palestinian and Arab leaders throughout the Middle East are furious at the backsliding on the part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the issue of halting further west bank settlements. Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Moussa said he feared there would be no peace in the Middle East until the United States supports the issue of halting further west bank settlements. President Abbas is furious because just a few months ago, President Obama was making sounds about taking a firm stand to halt settlements and now the American government appears to be more interested in placating Israel than in attaining peace. Hillary Clinton defended her position by saying: “The Israelis have responded to the call of the U.S., the Palestinians and the Arab world to stop settlement activity by expressing a willingness to restrain settlement activity.”

There is a vast difference between “restraining” and “ending.” How about compelling Israel to cease and desist and stop worrying about “restraint?

Netanyahu Settlement Is More Settlements!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to grasp that George Bush is no longer president of the United States and building more settlements on the West Bank in defiance of international law will no longer be ignored. President Obama was planning to bring together leaders of Israel and Palestine in order to revive peace talks, but that is impossible as long as Israel builds and builds more houses on the West Bank and refuses to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians to land they were promised in the UN Partition Plan.

Special envoy George Mitchell increasingly is becoming more and more frustrated at the obstructionist behavior of Netanyahu whose idea of a “settlement freeze” is promising to continue building houses but not as many as originally planned. Mitchell knows he can not persuade Netanyahu to cease his games. Israel wants to build 2,500 homes, continue building in East Jerusalem, and may agree to a six month freeze before resuming building.

There is no evidence Israelis have any conception their settlement policy damages the safety and security of their nation. Obama will just have to be blunt– no settlement freeze, no further assistance from the United States, you are on your own.

Netanyahu Hems And Haws About Peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s idea of a just peace is for Palestinians to accept the current reality of apartheid and end their legitimate rights to land the UN allocated to Arabs. The Obama administration is demanding an end to West Bank expansion, but the Israel leader insists Jews in the settlements have a right to a “normal life.” Unfortunately, what Netanyahu terms “normal” is hardly just for those whose lands have been taken and all too often their fields destroyed. The Israel prime minister insists he has the basis of a fair agreement with the United States on the issue of settlements.

Netanyahu also made clear, “Jerusalem is not a settlement an Israel will not accept limits on it sovereignty there.” These are the statements of a man who defends the status quo and is unable to reach out with vision as to what might constitute the basis for peace in the Middle East. President Obama has all too often endeavored to work with hard liners who do not seek compromise on health care, and we fear he is taking a similar approach in the Middle East.

Israel settlements on the West Bank must go. Perhaps, there can be a compromise which allows small areas to remain intact, but the status quo merely hinders peace in the Middle East.

“Not For Distribution” About Israel

Frank Lutz, a prominent Republican pollster is working for a group named “The Israel Project” which contains members from both sides of the aisle in Congress. A recent report from Lutz argued the need to smear opponents of Prime Minister Netanyahu. “The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians, there can’t be Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don’t say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizens of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove Jews.”

Wow!! Where does one begin to deal with this misinformation and blatant lying? The West Bank, according to the UN Partition Plan was reserved for an Arab state. Israel seized the area during the 1967 war and it became occupied territory. According to international law a nation can not colonize with its own citizens land that belongs to another nation. Please inform Israel Arabs they now possess “equal rights!!”

Those who care about Israel understand the best security for Jews and Arabs is peace, not war, no land aggression, not spreading lies. Arab nations for the first time in history are prepared to negotiate for peace with Israel. Groups like The Israel Project” would best be termed: “The Anti-Israel Project.”

We Can Have Peace In Middle East!

At the recently concluded Fatah convention, younger members were insistent on the importance of negotiations with Israel in order to achieve peace and an independent Palestine. President Abbas made clear he wants to enter into negotiations but insists Israel must abide by the road map and cease further construction of settlements on the West Bank. For the first time in decades a host of Arab nations want peace and recognition of Israel, but what hold up further negotiation?

Four Ministers in the Cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Prime Minister to ignore Israel’s previous commitment to the United States to remove 26 unauthorized outposts and urged that those together with a host of other illegal outposts should be termed to be legal. In other words, Israel for years has complained that Arab nations fail to keep agreements, but four Cabinet Ministers are arguing their nation does not have to abide by any agreement!

As Shakespeare put it so well, “the fault lies not in the stars but in yourselves.” The Israelis have met the enemy and he is them!

No To Obama On West Bank!

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is headed for the United States to discuss Middle Eastern issues with Obama, but there is not much hope anything positive will emanate from the discussions. Daniel Hirschkowtiz, head of Habayit Hayehudi, claimed he had been assured by Netanyahu that current policies will remain in place. “I can say confidently that I don’t think he will freeze natural growth in the settlements.” He expected some compromise that allows “natural growth” while pretending there is no expansion of west bank settlements.

Naturally, according to Herschkowitz, the president of the United States is pursuing policies that “are borderline anti-semitic.” Naturally, like all those in Israel who oppose an independent Palestine, the problem is never Israel, it is because “there is no partner” from the Arab side which desires peace. The only path to peace depends on trust and a willingness to deal with the present, and not inhabit the past.

Middle East Stubborness Pays Off In Nothing

The Netanyahu approach to peace in the Middle East is maintain the status quo because that ensures there will be no movement in the process of peace. Arab nations are awaiting some action on the part of Israel that heralds a new open approach to peace. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal indicated his nation was tired of delays and obstructions such as continued construction of settlements on the West Bank. “What is required as a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome at the outset and launches into negotiations over final status issues.” Arab nations are under pressure from President Obama to make a dramatic move to display their desire for peace with Israel.

Saudi leaders argue Israel has displayed continual refusal to deal with the West Bank settlement issue and it is up to the Netanyahu government to make clear his nation is committed to recognize an independent Palestinian nation and to make major withdrawals from the West Bank. They point out Israel will not even respond to American requests to halt further West Bank construction.

If only Israel had a leader with vision other than placating West Bank fundamentalists. The dilemma for the moment is in which corner is the ball of peace?

Olmert Blasts US Stance On West Bank Settlements

Former Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert sharply criticized the Obama administration for insisting on a complete halt to housing on the West Bank. Although he agrees the construction of this housing “commands the agenda between the United States and Israel,” he regards it as a mistake because it is “impossible to completely enforce” and will only embitter the situation within Israel and between his country and the United States. He believes Palestinian needs to create an effective government and provide security have no connection to the issue of West Bank housing. Olmert also blamed Palestinian leaders for rejecting his proposal a year ago which dealt with many of their concerns.

Olmert is absolutely correct that Palestinian leaders have lacked a sense of vision and been unable to take risks in order to achieve peace. However, no Palestinian leader today can enter negotiations with Israel if they must accept West Bank settlements as they currently exist. Barack Obama is correct housing must cease and the Israel government has to become realistic of their chance to retain only a small portion of the West Bank. What could have happened last year or ten years ago has no relevance to what must occur today.

Israel Government Plays Word Games With Settlements

There is an ancient Arab legend entitled, “An Appointment in Samarra.” According to the legend, a servant went out one day and saw Death in the marketplace. He rushed home and told his master. His master feared Death had come for him and fled to the city of Samarra. The servant went back to the marketplace and criticized Death for frightening his master. Death replied he meant no harm, he was just passing through because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The state of Israel is like the merchant, it is fleeing headlong into an appointment in Samarra. The Israel Defense Ministry announced it was approving construction of 50 new homes. The houses will be built for the relocation of 200 settlers from Migron, a wildcat settlement built without official permission.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband exploded by saying “settlements are illegal under international law and they are a major blockage to peace in the Middle East. This is the worse possible time for new settlements.”

According to Prime Minister Netanyahu housing will only be built for “natural growth.” So, a group of people develop a settlement illegally and they are now entitled to housing under the guidelines of “natural growth.” This stinks to high heaven. Unless the people of Israel cease this stupid rush to stupidity, they are doomed to an appointment in Samarra.

Big Mouth Berlusconi Meets Small Mouth Netanyahu

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met his fellow pompous prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi in order that their combined brains could discover solutions to the Middle East Crisis. Berlusconi warmly endorsed the Netanyahu idea that a future Palestinian state must be demilitarized, but somewhat confused his friend by also urging an end to building settlements on the West Bank. The Italian leader did not express any new idea other than ones being urged by President Obama that Israel must end building of new settlements which are regarded as an obstacle to peace.

Benjamin Netanyahu still does not get the message– George Bush no longer is in power and most American Jews support peace in the Middle East as expressed by President Obama. Benjamin, George will not come running to your rescue. Heck, you can’t even get a blockhead like Berlusconi to support your weird ideas about peace in the Middle East.