Tag Archives: West Bank

US-Israel Compromise On West Bank Settlements

Reports from Jerusalem indicate the Obama administration has reached a compromise agreement with the Netanyahu led Israel government. Under the agreement, Israel will announced a six month moratorium on construction of new housing in the West Bank, and the United States will ignore the building of 2,500 housing units now on delay. Israel sources suggest Obama is not willing to give in regarding the need to end further construction of housing in the West Bank as well as requiring evacuation of many units in a final compromise agreement between Israel and Palestinians. He needs evidence that America can force Israel to compromise or he will lose any credibility he might currently possess with Arab leaders.

Israel is still arguing its government made housing agreements with the Bush administration and Obama must adhere to those commitments by George Bush. Of course, this idea makes no legal sense let alone foreign policy sense for any American government. Obama was elected to END Bush agreements.

Israel For Peace, A Piece Of Jerusalem, West Bank, etc..

In 2003, Israel signed onto an American sponsored road map peace plan which called for a settlement freeze including natural growth, but to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Israel signs an agreement it is open to interpretation, but when Arabs sign agreements, what is signed is. An American State Department spokesperson made clear the Obama administration believes any further expansion of building whether in the West Bank or in east Jerusalem is a violation of the 2003 road map. “We’re talking about all settlement activity, yes, in the area across the line.” Israel insists it has a right to build anywhere in Jerusalem, it says so in the Torah.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a cynical political leader whose goal is maintaining power and he will take whatever steps are necessary to gain support of the religious right and West Bank settlers. The Obama administration will lose all credibility in the Middle East if it allows Netanyahu to continue building settlements. Obama must stand firm, he is the only real friend the state of Israel has in the world.

Netanyahu Twists And Dodges To Avoid Peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been challenged by President Obama to focus on the importance of peace in the Middle East, but the Israeli politician is more focused on securing votes than peace. He finally came out in support of the existence of an independent Palestinian state, but the “buts” are clearly an impediment to moving along the road to peace. “If we have guarantees,” he said, “of demilitarization and security arrangements required for Israel and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people we will be prepared to in a real peace arrangement to achieve an independent Palestinian state.” However, in the next breath he made clear Jerusalem must remain under Jewish control and praised West Bank settlers and insisted they have the right to expand housing based on normal population increases.

President Abbas responded to this “offer” saying “Netanyahu’s remarks have sabotaged all initiatives , paralyzed all efforts being made, and challenge the Palestinian, Arab and American positions.” No one denies the right of Israel to insist on a demilitarized Palestinian state, but to demand that Palestinians must accept the idea that Israel is a “Jewish state” when one out of five of its inhabitants is not Jewish is simply unheard of in any form of international interactions. Could Netanyahu identify another example in which a nation must accept that another nation is “X” or “Y?”

There are numerous reports that Arab nations are not oblivious of limiting their demands on the “right of return.” This can be negotiated, but it will entail Israeli compromises. Step one is to recognize that Jerusalem will be ruled by both peoples.

Israel Refuses To Halt Settlement Building

The issue concerning continued building of housing in West Bank settlements continues to create a bridge between the United States and Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Obama’s special envoy, George Mitchell, that his government would not halt what he termed “natural growth” of housing in the settlements. He also expressed the view, “Israel is working to promote peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors and the wider Arab world.” However, the refusal on the part of Netanyahu to even say he was in favor of an independent Palestinian state most probably reflects his real aim which is to delay and hamper any efforts on the part of the United States, Palestinians, and the wider Arab world for a peaceful solution.

The West Bank was seized by Israel forces in 1967 and thus is occupied territory. Neither the UN or any international body has ever awarded that area to Israel which makes the settlements illegal under any definition of international law.

Bush Lied About Israel Settlement Growth!!

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the American government his predecessor, Prime Minister Sharon, had reached a secret agreement with former President Bush which allowed further building in West Bank settlements. He said there was a “private understanding” between the men that while Bush publicly told Palestinians he was against West Bank settlement expansion, the Israelis could continue the “natural growth” process of their housing.

However, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both told Netanyahu that Israel must cease any further expansion of housing since Israel has “obligations” to work for peace with Palestinians and the continued growth of settlements is a major stumbling block in any future negotiations. Israel illegally seized land on the West Bank for the construction of housing and it must cease since the final status of those houses is subject to negotiation.

Israeli Jihadists Strike At Palestinian Drivers

The Israeli government maintains accurate records of attacks by Palestinians on their citizens but for some reason attacks by Israelis on Palestinians is not always recorded. Palestinian drivers were proceeding on their journey when suddenly they were attacked by stone throwing West Bank settlers who believe God has ordained they must remain in the area regardless of the cost to themselves or other humans. Medics said two Palestinians were taken to the hospital as a result of stoning, and the culprits fled into their settlements where they can declaim and denounce any effort to achieve peace with the terrorist Palestinians.

Settlers have warned the netanyahu government they will not peacefully accept any form of destruction of their homes because it is stated in the Torah that Israelis have a right to build houses anywhere in the area now known as Palestine. Naturally, with such attitudes it makes impossible any peaceful settlement with Palestinians.

We hope the Israel government releases figures on attacks by settlers on innocent Palestinians.

Obama To Ostrich Headed Israel-Halt Settlements!

The people of Israel undoubtedly are tired from decades of struggle to gain peace with the Arab world, and this fatigue no doubt influenced the decision in voting earlier this year to support right wing elements led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Unfortunately, for Israel which prefers to bury its head in the earth like an ostrich, the majority of American Jews, of English Jews, and supporters of Israel throughout the world want peace and that means compromise and ending efforts that impede the road to conflict resolution. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bluntly told Israel on Wednesday to halt settlement growth as well as building new houses in existing Jewish enclaves. Israel argues children have an inalienable right to have a house built next to their parent’s home. An interesting theory, but not one agreed to by most people in the world.

Israel government spokesman, Mark Regev, said construction will continue within existing settlements. There is no question the new administration wants peace in the Middle East and this requires ending unqualified support for Israel. The government and people of Israel must recognize the importance of compromise and ending the constant expansion of the West Bank which was illegally seized from Palestinians. The Gaza invasion blunder almost cost Israel its friendship with Turkey. The housing expansion on the West Bank might cost Israel its friendship with the United States.

Wake up Israel, the world is turning away from a democratic society which has allowed demagogues to gain power and to use hysteria and ethnocentrism to guide policy decisions.

No Settlement On Settlements In Israel

The focus on most observers this week is on attempts by President Obama to persuade Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree on the concept of a two state solution to the dispute with Palestinians. Israel leader Ariel Sharon worked out an agreement with George Bush under which the United States would ignore Israel accelerated construction of housing in major West Bank settlements, particularly around Jerusalem. President Obama is now trapped in a dilemma– is the cost of getting Netanyahu to the table for serious discussions about an independent Palestinian state, allowing Israel to maintain its settlements on the West Bank? Of course, no Palestinian government could reach an agreement that allowed the extent of Israel settlements to remain in place.

Most probably any final agreement will have to allow some residue of settlements although Palestinians will demand their share of Jerusalem and some acceptance of return of refugees. One can only wonder if Barack Obama knows what he has gotten into by becoming president and attempting to negotiate the swirling waters of the Middle East.

Abbas Spells Out Views On Peace With Israel

The new Israel government has been presented with a road map to peace by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. On a visit to Baghdad, he spelled out exactly what he requires from an Israel government. It would have “to accept the creation of a Palestinian states, stop construction in West Bank Israel settlements, and remove army roadblocks crippling life in the West Bank so that we can resume dialogue in order to reach a political settlement.” The statement merely reflects positions he has been stating for over a year, but unfortunately, his words have yet to register on the minds of several Israeli leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that within days his administration would spell out their ideas concerning peace with the Palestinian Authority. However, on one hand, his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has made clear he is not bound by past agreements and has no enthusiasm for a Palestinian state while Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the government is bound by past agreements and must work toward a Palestinian state.

We hope all readers are now clear as to the policy of the current Israel government.

It’s Them, Not Us, Asserts Israeli Leader

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asserted his nation was prepared to sign a treaty of peace but Palestinians were unable to get together in order to achieve peace in the Middle East. “If we have not reached (this agreement) by now, this is–first and foremost–the result of Palestinian leaders’ weakness, lack of will nd lack of courage in reaching an agreement. Everything else is excuses and attempts to divert attention from the main issue.” The assumption of the prime minister is that a fair offer has been placed on the table, but Palestinians do not wish to cooperate. He cited offers made by prior Israeli prime ministers like Ehud Barak who were willing to give up major portions of the West Bank. Naturally, Olmert did not not mention his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu opposes giving any concessions to Palestinians.

The issue is not whether either side is willing to sign a treaty of peace. Of course, each would love signing one that gave them everything they desire. The real issue is the need for Israel to evacuate most West Bank areas, and the recent election witnessed victories for those political parties which oppose such a move.