Posts tagged ‘Peace Process’

2011/02/22

Some Israelis See The Danger In US Veto

Thank You, Obama, For Showing The Israeli Left Your True Colors by Akiva Eldar (for Ha’aretz)

The decision by 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barack Obama, to veto a resolution urging Israel to refrain from activities deemed subversive to peace efforts represents a victory of domestic politics over foreign policy in the world’s leading superpower. The lame excuse that denunciation of construction in the settlements would harm “the peace process” constitutes a victory of opportunism over morality.

Just two weeks ago, during the demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the United States honors “the universal right of all persons to live in freedom.” Even Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, a graduate of the “nationalist camp,” argues in his book that settlements violate human rights, the quality of life and freedom of movement of the Palestinians.

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2011/02/18

US Vetoes UN Resolution On Settlements

The Obama administration on Friday cast its first ever veto in the UN Security Council, blocking a Palestinian-backed draft resolution that denounced Israel’s settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.

The US vote killed a resolution that enjoyed the backing of the 14 other members of the UN Security Council and isolated the United States on a crucial Middle East matter at a time of political upheaval in the region.

The US action also ended an urgent last-minute diplomatic campaign, involving conversations between President Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to convince the Palestinians to drop their resolution in favor of a milder statement rebuking Israel for constructing new settlements in seized Arab lands.

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2011/02/18

Obama’s Choice For Palestine


Obama’s Choice by Henry Siegman, President of the U.S./Middle East Project. This article is based on a study he prepared for the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (Noref) in Oslo.

Virtually overnight, the Arab Middle East has been irrevocably transformed. The implications for America’s vital interests in the region and for Israel-Palestine peacemaking will be far-reaching. Most observers seem to agree that Israeli fears of the growing political influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of a resurgence of Hamas in the West Bank end what little prospect for an Israeli-Palestinian accord might have survived the latest deadlock in the US-brokered peace talks. But in reality there was never the slightest possibility of the parties reaching agreement. Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were convinced they had bested Obama in their confrontation over continued settlement construction, and could now continue gobbling up the West Bank with impunity, disregarding not only American interests but international law and all previous agreements committing Israel to halting the construction of settlements and dismantling all its illegal outposts. (Despite repeated promises, not only were the illegal outposts not removed, many were converted into full-blown settlements.) The long-planned goal of Israel’s colonial enterprise – establishing irreversible control over Palestine through its settlements – was clearly in sight, if not already an accomplished fact.

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2011/02/18

US To Support UN Anti-Settlement Vote


Ed. Note: Feb. 19, 2011: Foreign Policy Magazine sucks.

Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that the US has informed Arab governments that it will support a UN Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal.

The US position signaled a willingness to break with Israel and join others in the council in sending a strong message to its key ally to stop its construction of new settlements.

In the US-backed draft statement, the Security Council “expresses its strong opposition to any unilateral actions by any party, which cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community, and reaffirms that it does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process.” The statement also condemns “all forms of violence, including rocket fire from Gaza, and stresses the need for calm and security for both peoples.”

Complete article via Foreign Policy

2011/02/14

Why Can’t Israel Support People In Egypt?


[Ed. Note: Looking at the world as it once was, as it is today and how it could be tomorrow, one of the most vexing questions I have is “How can Israel be so blind to what it has become?”

I will forever remember a television interview many years ago in which Shimon Peres retold how the Oslo negotiations with Yasser Arafat started off poorly. Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were frustrated by Palestinians disinterest in details of various Israeli proposals.

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2011/02/14

Abu Mazen To Cabinet: Get Out!


Reuters is reporting that the Palestinian cabinet will tender resignations today after which Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will select new ministers at the request of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The shake-up was long demanded by Fayyad and some in Abbas’s Fatah faction, according to the Reuters report.

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2011/02/11

A Free Egypt Can Be Good for Israel

While Israel has legitimate concerns regarding its future alongside an Egypt that will be reflecting the will of its people, democratization could also be to Israel’s benefit. But attention needs to be paid to the opportunity of creating a true peace between two peoples rather than between two governments.

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2011/02/11

HRW 2011: Israel & Palestinian Territories

The human rights crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) continued in 2010, despite marginal improvements. After Israeli commandos enforcing the naval blockade of Gaza killed nine civilians on a flotilla attempting to run the blockade, Israel announced it would ease the severe import restrictions on the territory. Still, Israel continued to block exports, having a devastating impact on the Gaza economy.

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2011/02/08

Rethinking Egypt, Israel Relations

Egypt, Israel And A Strategic Reconsideration
By George Friedman

The events in Egypt have sent shock waves through Israel. The 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel have been the bedrock of Israeli national security. In three of the four wars Israel fought before the accords, a catastrophic outcome for Israel was conceivable. In 1948, 1967 and 1973, credible scenarios existed in which the Israelis were defeated and the state of Israel ceased to exist. In 1973, it appeared for several days that one of those scenarios was unfolding.

The survival of Israel was no longer at stake after 1978. In the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the various Palestinian intifadas and the wars with Hezbollah in 2006 and Hamas in Gaza in 2008, Israeli interests were involved, but not survival. There is a huge difference between the two. Israel had achieved a geopolitical ideal after 1978 in which it had divided and effectively made peace with two of the four Arab states that bordered it, and neutralized one of those states. The treaty with Egypt removed the threat to the Negev and the southern coastal approaches to Tel Aviv.

The agreement with Jordan in 1994, which formalized a long-standing relationship, secured the longest and most vulnerable border along the Jordan River. The situation in Lebanon was such that whatever threat emerged from there was limited. Only Syria remained hostile but, by itself, it could not threaten Israel. Damascus was far more focused on Lebanon anyway. As for the Palestinians, they posed a problem for Israel, but without the foreign military forces along the frontiers, the Palestinians could trouble but not destroy Israel. Israel’s existence was not at stake, nor was it an issue for 33 years.

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2011/02/02

Israel: Egyptian Unrest Is Justification To Make Palestinians Even More Miserable


ED. NOTE: Linkage between allowing Palestinians to live in dignity and what is happening in Egypt is despicable – but hardly surprising from an Israeli government whose Foreign Minister refers to Palestinians as rats and cockroaches.

With neighboring Egypt and other parts of the region in upheaval, Israelis contemplating their own future are taking refuge in familiar positions, and the prospect of the Netanyahu government’s making peace with the Palestinians, already distant, receded further.

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2011/02/01

The Vichy Palestine Papers


The Papers of Opprobrium By Mohamed El Mokhtar

The recent damming documents, consisting of minutes of negotiations, memos, diplomatic correspondences, and maps dating from 1999 to 2010, secretly obtained and publicly released by Al Jazeera satellite TV channel eloquently laid bare the material evidence attesting and conforming, beyond any reasonable doubt, the direct complicity of the Palestinian Authority in the continuing rape and criminal destitution of the Palestinian land and people.

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2011/02/01

Leaked Papers Show Israel Refusing Peace


ED. NOTE: When it comes to assigning blame for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Americans tend to blame the Palestinian side.

However, recent leaks of highly secret offers made to Israel by Palestinian negotiators provide strong evidence that it has been the Israeli side that refuses to accept peace and is not negotiating in good faith.

Could it be that it is the Israelis who”never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” to make peace? And are Americans ready to reconsider their views of the 44-year old conflict in light of new facts?

The Rest of the Story by James Traub

At a meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators on June 21, 2008, Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian prime minister, raised a familiar concern: “When will you freeze settlement activity? This will kill us.” Israel’s continuing refusal to stop settlement construction was making the Palestinian Authority look fatally weak in the eyes of Palestinian and Arab public opinion and thus empowering the radicals of Hamas. “You want to help Hamas on our account?” he asked.

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