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January 27, 2009
Obama expands communication with Middle East

In the week since he became president, Barack Obama has plunged into the challenges and complexities of the Middle East — from broadcasting to the Muslim world that “Americans are not your enemy” to trying to help create a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

The president’s special representative, George Mitchell, arrived in the region today, even as the cease-fire was strained by new violence between Israel and Hamas.

Daniel Levy, the director of the Middle East task force at the New America Foundation, joins Martin Savidge to discuss Mitchell’s mission in Gaza, the U.S. approach to Syria and the president’s decision to do an interview with Al-Arabiya.

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20 comments

#20

[…] appointment as special envoy for Israel and Palestine has naturally prompted a flurry of comparisons between his efforts in negotiating a peace in Northern Ireland and the prospects of doing the same […]

#19

Boris: I never doubted you racism against the Arabs, so now you happy that an ethic cleanser is elected to the Knesset. When you stop listening to you leaders who love killing Palestinians and when you stop listening to your rabbis, who advocate racism against the Muslims, Arabs, Christians and Palestinians ask others to stop doing the same. Mubark is a thug like Peres and Olmert and Barak and Lieberman, and Livini.

#18

To Susan:
President Mubarak is “brain wash” too?
You can not deny facts, you can only curse and abuse me.It’s show your weakness. I am sure you understand that life made us (I mean Jews from Russia) very strong but I do not know any Jew who wants “Palestinian blood”. We can live together if you stop listen your dictators and sheikh. And now you should pay more respect to us: we have 15 seats in Knesset!
Boris D.

#17

Boris: You are so confused and brain washed, I feel so sorry for you because you do not know what you talking about. All that matters to you is to repeat fearful tactics and to believe them. I think you belong in Russia more than occupied Palestine

#16

To Susan Wolsh: I’ve admitted just two careless mistakes, they do not have any connection with my “history understanding” or “all you historian facts are wrong”. Yes, I learn history in Russia
And I am very familiar with Soviet anti-Israeli propaganda. KGB presented to Arafat tactics of using civilians in propaganda war. Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, Islamic-Jihad and Al Quida terrorist are using this coward tactics. You should blame them for civilians dead on both sides!!
You and your “Jewish historian” (there were many “Jewish historian” who work for communist) will never ever change these historian facts:
Jews have had live in the Land since 1500 b.c.e. till now.
Arabs countries did not even try to create Palestinian state in 1948; they have “the only one solution”: extermination of Israel and still trying to do that.
Arabs countries initiated all wars and lost. (According to your “historian facts”: “because, every time sly Jews cheat”)
Israel captured the territories of West Bank in self-defense in response to aggression of 5 Arabs states.

”Boris, you happy to keep killing the natives in Palestine” -How dare you to put on me this false accusation!!
I’ve heard this dirty lies about Jews and Israel many times in Russia but it does not change my beliefs.
I am telling you one more time you better listen what recently sad Egypt president Mubarak!
Boris D.

#15

Boris: I have corrected you so many times, and every time you say it is my mistake. I do not think its your mistake, I think you have been taught history the wrong way. All the Arabs are bad and you are the victim. All your historical facts are wrong and I got my information from an Israeli Jewish historian, not from an Arab or a UN source. I gave you the name and you should find the book to read instead of throwing information left and right. Can Israel defend itself by not by killing babies and bombing refugee camps. Or you will be upset Boris. Do you always have to see Palestinian blood to feel secure? Look at you Boris, you just came from Russia few years ago and aleardy happy to keep killing the natives in Palestine

#14

To Susan:
My mistake, I mean 5 Arabs armies.
“Israel had more men and more fore power than the entire Arab forces in 1948”- that is huge LIE, for Arab children!!
If Arabs could not assembly efficient armies why did they attack in 1948, 1967 & 1973?? To be beaten and then cry in UN “that Israel violates international law”.
Because Arabs were beaten so many times you are calling Israel:” It is a nation of bay killers. It is a nation that violates international law all the time”.
To me it’s a great Nation which now can defense itself against any aggression all the time.
Boris D.

#13

Boris: I know you are very proud of Israel, because you love to kill like your Israeli thuggish soldiers. I am sure that you have killed Palestinians in your life and you were greeted like a hero by your friends and neighbors. Notice that you no longer compare Israel with Western Democracies and you are comparing it with Iran, Syria, Al Qaeda , and Pakistan, this is where Israel belong. It is a rouge state by all means, it is an outlaw. It is a nation of bay killers. It is a nation that violates international law all the time. I love the 95 Arab armies attacking Israel, where did you get that from, your Israeli history books, they teach that the Arab states had 95 state and they attack your small peace loving state, poor Boris. All history book talk about five countries engaging Israel in 1948, but the five countries were never able to assemble more than 25,000 thousand soldiers and your small country had more than 35,000 soldiers. Most of your soldiers were in the British, French, American, and other European Armies. All were better trained and better equipped. Israel had more men and more fore power than the entire Arab forces in 1948, but of course your history books teach you something else ( read a an Israeli Jewish author on this you may improve your English and your information, Avi Shlaim).I see you began using anti-Semitism as an attack, all Jews when they cornered they begin using that term to scare people. Very cheap shot, it will not work with me

#12

To Susan:
“Israel is the only country on earth is occupying another country and steals lands”!!??
That is probably from new J. Carter book??
Let’s start from Syria and Iran: Syrian and Iranian terrorist organization Hezbollah occupied Lebanon. Hezbollah established terror control over Lebanon. Iran occupied Kurdish Province population about 4mil. Turkey occupied south part of Armenia, Kurdish Province and N.Cyprus; Pakistan occupied Kashmir, part of India; England occupied N. Ireland; Kosovo, Chechnya… the list may go forever.
But you, Arab Liege and UN stick only to Israel. Historically that Land was belonging to Jews (do they say about this in Arab schools?).Than Roman rule in b.c. In 600 region fell to Arab Muslims; than Turkish Empire; than British. Since creation of Israel in 1948, Arabs countries continued daily attack on Israel. Arabs do not want peace they just simply want to eliminate Israel! They did not even try to create Palestinian state in 1948, they have “the only solution”: Arab League Secretary, declared on Cairo radio: ‘This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.'[95 Arabs armies trained and commanded by British officers invaded immediately. How do they explain that DEFEAT in Arabs schools you know better?
It makes you and all anti-Semites sick that we (Jews) took back small piece of Land which belong to Jews. But most of all makes you sick that, Arabs armies and all terrorist organizations (PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaida) were DEFEATED in many wars and conflicts.
It’s too late for Arabs demand and dictate, if they want peace they should be agree on Israeli demands.
I am very proud of Israelis and Israeli Army, you may throw on us everything you can, you can call us everything you like but we will BEAT you AGAIN and AGAIN!!
Boris D.

#11

Boris: I saw the same churches in East Jerusalem, I would like to have a permission to build one church and one Mosque in the West Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv. I was in the region last year I saw no evidence of that. How many Christians from Ramallah and Bethlehem can go to Jerusalem and prey in the Churches there? How many Muslims from Nablus can go to Jerusalem and pray freely without your criminal army stopping and returning them from Jerusalem.
I am so happy that you are comparing Israel to Iran and Syrian, for that where it belongs. I strongly believe that Israel is a rouge state even worse than Syria and Iran. Remember Israel is the only country on earth that is occupying another country and steals land left and right for thuggish settlers. As far as I know Syria and Iran are not occupying anybody’s land. I hope that you have seen the Harretz report five days ago that shows the violation of your government of Palestinian rights by stealing their land and giving it to the settlers.
Imaging Iran has 81 million people has less than 800,000 thousand soldiers, Israel has 7 million people and has more than 500, 000. The numbers speaks volumes of your true intentions of aggression and love to kill children and women

#10

No one is innocent in the middle eastern conflict, and attempts by both sides to blame the other are counterproductive. The 2 state solution is the only way forward but as long as Likud and Hamas have influence more moderate elements will have difficulty making peace.

#9

Susan most of yours statements are lie:
“Israel will never allow building a church in Tel Aviv and prevents many Christians from going to Jerusalem to pray”. There are Armenian, Greek, Russian, Catholics churches in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv and everybody free to pray! I saw that by myself many times!
Population of Egypt is 81mil. and Egypt Army estimated to number around 340,000, plus around 375,000 reservists for a total of 655-715,000. You forget Syrian Army about 400,000 and 300,000 reserve; Iranian Army 820,000 and 125,000 revolution guards. That’s why Israel should have strong Army and that’s why Iran and Syria afraid to attack directly Israel they sending PLO, Hezbollah, Hams to attack Israel and to keep Israel under constant pressure.
“What happen to thrue Jewish morality” maybe Israel should send flowers and candy to Hamas after every Katusha rocket attack?
“Jews control media” but Arabs control most of world Oil supply!! I prefer that we control Oil. To me CNN, NBC, BBC is anti-Israeli and bias.

“Israel must gear itself to leave the West Bank and East Jerusalem too so it can become a good member of the international community, but not a pariah”. So, Iran and Syria are good members of “international community”?

Boris D.

#8

Elki: you failed miserably to answer any of my points. I tried to engage you in a healthy and an informative discussion, you resorted to classical Jewish propaganda. I feel sorry for you and for the culture in which you have been raised. Since an early age you were told lies about the other and you have been indoctrinated in a culture of hate. You think by hating Palestinians and making up lies about them, you save yourself. The opposite is true, by hating Palestinians, you end up hating yourself and you will end up the biggest loser. Look at you accepting and defending the killing of the other as if it’s the right thing to do!!!!! Ammmmmmmazing

#7

walsh

The Arabs have only one goal in their life. To ethnically cleanse the basin of Jews and Israel. Ofcourse they can’t. Israel cannot afford tobe without arms.

Arab education in Gaza is to kill Jews. Mumbai shows that quite clearly. The killing of other westerners is also part of this inhuman maniac behaviour. A wild beast that looks like a man.

Unfortunately 6 year olds in Gaza, already know who the ‘enemy’. They are being programmed to hate and kill. What education is this?

The UN has been supporting the the deplorable conditions of the refugees in Gaza for 60 years. The Arab brethern in 22 Arab states should have absorbed these refugees, just as Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands in 1948 era. Roughly about same amount of refugees on both sides.

The Jews do not have any idea of ethnically cleansing the area. That would be impossible. Hitler tried that.

The Jewish newsmen you mention– they are self hating Jews. We have plenty of them. Totally lost and misguided. We hope they will see the light!

Hitler took those FIRST. Even the ones who converted.

Yes, there were good Muslim Turks. There are alway good people amongst everyone. The Holocaust museum in Jerusalem testifies to the good gentile that did the right human thing.

My own mother was saved by a local farmer. He hid her in his truck, right off one of the famous train station.

#6

Elki, I tend to disagree with you on all your points. You say “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.” Israel is a democracy for Jews only and not for all its citizens equally which makes it more of a racist democracy. For example an Israeli Arab can not buy a house wherever he/she wants and can not own land anywhere she/he desire. Israel will never allow building a church in Tel Aviv and prevents many Christians from going to Jerusalem to pray. Look in real democracies a situation like that could easily be fought at a supreme court, but in Israel the supreme court supports that. You say “the Arabs would like to drive you into the sea,” all the Arab countries combined do not have the fire power that Israel has. Israel has more than 1700 F16s and other fighter jest, more than 6000 tanks and more than 300 nuclear bombs and active on duty more than half a million solider. Egypt has 70 million people is not allowed to have more has 250, 000 soldiers per the Camp David accord of 1979. In the Gaza war we saw who wants to drive who into the sea. The war crimes that Israel committed are unconscionable and should make you and make every Jew ashamed for many years to come. You say that the” UN has not been nice to Israel,” remember who created Israel and what were the conditions of its creation. Please read on that and let us have a constructive debate. As for the media, it goes without saying that the Jewish influence in the media is unparalleled by any other ethic group in this country. I do not know were to start. CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and NY-times, the Washington post and many more. Most of the reports, writers, producers, and anchors are Jews. It amazes me why are you complaining about that. “You say that Jews were massacred” you are absolutely right, but you should not be ethnically cleansing Palestinian Muslim and Christians for that. Reading history should have taught you that It was Muslims who protected you all the time. When European Christians were killing you, Muslim Turks and Arabs protected you. You say that “Israel uprooted families” you are wrong Israel uprooted illegal settlers from an illegally occupied land, thus no rewards and no thanks for Israel on that. Israel must gear itself to leave the West Bank and East Jerusalem too so it can become a good member of the international community, but not a pariah. Elki, it amazes me how young Jews have accepted to control the lives of others and defend it rather than speak truth to power. What happened to true Jewish morality. Is not that what your elders fought against the control of Germans and Russians and other Europeans over you.? Looking forward to your well informed responses to my point, also would like to encourage you to avoid labels like anti-Semitic, for its the cheapest shot used by most Jews against those who know facts

#5

Susan Walsh

You are right. There are many Jews in Israel who came from America, but they are still Jews. Remember that. And the wars the Arabs run, are because they wish to drive the Jews into the sea.

Why should America support terrorism in Gaza?Israel is the only democracy in the m.e.

Israel uprooted families from beautiful homes in Gaza in a unilateral disengagement. What did Israel get for it? Rockets and murder.

The UN has been supporting the Arabs in Gaza and preserving the squalour there for 60 years. The media wears blinders when it comes to Israel. That is not Israel’s fault. The Jews have a right to live in their homeland. They have been thrown out of practically every country and region in the entire world just because they are Jews. The ones thrown out were the lucky ones. The others were massacred. (By the way, what happened to those countries after they got rid of the Jews? Are they doing better?) Well the Jews have a right to live. And if our new president sees fit to release terrorists involved in a desire to destroy America, where do you think Americans will head? The Jews have a home to go to, now.

#4

Elki,
I fully agree with you Israel is not America’s 51 state, but why do you want our F-16s, protection at the Security Council, protection at the Gaza boarder, and to guarantee your loans from the World Bank all the time. If you stop asking us for all of that, then your request is fair, but as long as you keep crying on our door steps to always rescue you, and keep sending you our most advanced technological discoveries, you must be willing to abide by our rules.

As for Israel’s contribution to the world, it is all done by American money and American education, and American minds. Many Jews immigrate to Israel and take their expertise with them. They learn in the US, and then register their discoveries in in Israel. Israel’s achievements are so small compared to the money it received from the Europeans and the US. More than $400 Billion in economic and military aid and many free trade agreements for less than 6 million people. Just face the facts and then measure your successes

#3

Israel is not the 51st state of America, and Obama cannot dictate to Israel what to do.

He should dictate to his bretheren to accept Israel and let the Jews live their lives. Let the Arabs start focusing on improving theirown lives, instead of trying to destroy someone else’s accomplishments. Israel contributes to the world from computers to medecines, and many other industries. Enough is enough.

#2

The US continues to push the same failed land for peace agenda with a repeat preformance of Mitchell who failed the last time he was here.
It’s not about Jewish settlments ,it’s about Arab intolerance of non-moslems.
It’s all about stealing land from Israel and the Gaza retreat by Israel in 2005 proved the Arabs do not want peace with Israel.
Whatever Israel does for any peace is not good enough for those who openly call for Israel’s complete destruction.
There really is nothing to talk about unless it’s to entrap Israel.
They sure have been stupid in falling for this phony peace scam.
I wonder if they have wised up since the last Mitchell visit ?
The more the US does the worse it gets for Israel.
The mad moslems are not interested in peace or another Islamic state ,they already have 222 of them.
The problem which the media and corrupt western politicians who pander to the intolerant despots of the Arab street is that they do not want non-moslem Israel in their neighborhood under any circumstances and this is why the 2 state final solution has failure written all over it.
The insecure Moslems are troubled because their global jihadist crusade for allah is hindered by the presence of a non Islamic state in what was once the House of Islam. Their failue to defeat ISRAEL after so many wars calls Isalm’s veracity into question,and thats what all this is about.
Saving Arab face and this is why the West ,especially the U.S. always restrtain Israel from a crushing victory over Hizbollah or Hamas.
Israel has to break free from the US leash and lap dog leaders like Barak,Livni and Olmert.
Obama’s betrayal of Israel will only lead to even greater war in the Middle East because Israel is not going down under the Trojan Horse Road Map which is nothing but Western appeasment of the islamic world at Israel’s expense.

#1

Very important topic but very poor analysis by Mr. Levy, your expert failed to explain the importance of Mr. Mitchell’s mission and the reasoning for it. In addition, he was unsuccessful in analyzing the importance of the appearance of president Obama on an Arab TV. The appearance was a coup on the Old Regime of president Bush. The previous administration was uniform in using explosive expressions on political Islam, but president Obama avoided that language, thus a major and an important change. Your gust missed reading both events critically.

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