Archive for the ‘Palestinian’ Category

Arabs, Israelis Unify on One Thing: Obama Is An Innocent Abroad

May 23, 2009

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi has published what it claims are key details of the new Middle East peace plan to be presented by President Obama in his speech in Cairo on June 4. Details of the plan made the front page of two leading Israeli newspapers.

By Jonathan Spyer
From the Jerusalem Post

If the revelations prove accurate, they reveal a US administration as yet unacquainted with several basic facts of life concerning politics and strategy in the Middle East.

There were those in Israel who suspected Obama of being a kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing, preparing with a friendly smile to offer up Israel as a sacrifice to its regional enemies.

The picture emerging from the alleged details of his plan suggest a different, though not necessarily more comforting characterization: When it comes to the Middle East, Obama is an innocent abroad.

Observe: We are told that the new plan represents a revised version of the 2002 Arab peace plan and is to offer the following: a demilitarized Palestinian state approximating the armistice lines of June 5, 1967. Territorial exchanges may take place on the West Bank. This state will be established within four years of the commencement of negotiations.

On Palestinian refugees: The refugees and their descendants will be naturalized in their countries of current residence, or will have the right to move to the new Palestinian state. In parallel to the negotiations with the Palestinians, separate negotiating tracks with the Syrians and Lebanese will be established.

If the Obama plan does indeed include these elements, its failure is a certainty, because it has been formulated without reference to regional realities.

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Obama arm-twisting Israel for an untenable two-state solution?

May 18, 2009

Will the decades-long alliance between the United States and Israel fall victim to the Obama administration’s naive quest for instant peace in the Middle East?

President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet today. But the White House seems to be engaging in calculated alienation of the Israelis, shutting down communications with Israeli diplomats and media.

By Ariel Cohen
The Washington Times

For example, when Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Mr. Obama at the White House, senior adviser David Axelrod – not Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton – sat in. Mrs. Clinton, it seems, is “too pro-Israel.” When the meeting ended, there was no press conference for the Nobel-winning Israeli elder statesman.

In another diplomatic slight, Israel is not on the itinerary for the president’s June trip to the Middle East. Mr. Obama will go to Egypt to deliver a major speech to the Muslim world and swing through several other states in the region. Jerusalem doesn’t rate a visit.

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Dangerous split between U.S., Israel?

May 11, 2009

Despite the reassurances of Shimon Peres and of Foreign Ministry officials, American Middle Eastern policy under President Barack Obama may lead to US-Israeli tensions. However, the policy directions adopted by Washington have significance for American national interests and the defense of the free world that go far beyond the Washington-Jerusalem bilateral relationship. While as a superpower the US has large margins of error, we have to pray that its learning curve regarding international realities will be short.

By Efraim Inbar
The Jerusalem Post

Obama’s intention to “engage” countries like Iran and Syria in order to start a “new page” in bilateral relations strikes most Israelis and Mideast Arabs as na├»ve, as if nice words can change established national interests. Arabs, as well, as Israel, want to see Iran and its proxies rolled back, not appeased, by Washington.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent statement to the effect that Arab support for Israel’s bid to prevent the nuclearization of Iran requires Israeli flexibility on the Palestinian issue – is similarly worrisome. It is hard to believe that the State Department does not understand that the moderate Arab states will cooperate to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb regardless of the Palestinian issue. The Iranian threat dwarfs any potential repercussions of an impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian track. Above all, preventing a nuclear Iran is a paramount American interest. If Washington’s current prism on world affairs obfuscates its strategic judgment, the West is in trouble.

TWO WEEKS AGO we also learned that the White House is trying to make kosher the transfer of funds to a Palestinian government that includes the radical Islamist Hamas. This is another sign of strategic folly. Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, is an Iranian proxy with a clear jihadist agenda.

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Pope calls for a Palestinian homeland

May 11, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI puts himself at odds with the country’s new government today by calling for an independent Palestinian homeland. “I plead with all those responsible to explore every possible avenue in the search for a just resolution of the outstanding difficulties,” he said.
By Richard Boudreaux
Los Angeles Times
3:20 AM PDT, May 11, 2009
Reporting from Jerusalem — Pope Benedict XVI, arriving in Israel on a pilgrimage across the Holy Land, put himself at odds with the country’s new government today by calling for an independent Palestinian homeland alongside the Jewish state.

“I plead with all those responsible to explore every possible avenue in the search for a just resolution of the outstanding difficulties, so that both peoples may live in peace in a homeland of their own, within secure and internationally recognized borders,” Benedict said in a speech minutes after landing at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

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Pope Benedict XVI started his visit to Israel on Monday by acknowledging the millions killed in the Holocaust and endorsing a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict.

From CNN: