May 28, 2009
U.S. demands an end to Israeli settlements

The Obama administration administration is in a dispute with Israel over the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The U.S. is demanding that Israel stop building those houses on land the Palestinians want for their own state.

Ghassan Shabaneh, an assistant professor of Middle East and International studies at Marymount Manhattan College, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the dispute, what steps the Obama administration can take and Obama’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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23 comments

#23

Many intelligent and perfectly civil comments were removed from this site. Since this site is operated by WNET.ORG Propeerties LLC, whatever the hell that is, I wonder if Neil Shapiro of WNET had anything to do with this censorship. Every one of the removed comments opposed Israeli government policy. Yet some really inflammatory near-gibberish remains. So much for free speech. Neil? Anything to say?

#22

Joshua: See, you made my point. You are following your religion. Your religion brainwashed you and convinced you that Palestine is yours as (a country) incorrect. You never established an empire in Palestine. King David and King Solomon were very weak and could not defend their own territory, had not been for God who always intervened on their behalf, they would have been defeated all the times. According to the book of exodus, Palestine was never yours and you came to it as a weak community, and you were very afraid to enter. You need classes in a none Zionist Racist school, to know the truth about your history and religion

#21

i am not brainwashed i dont need history im following my religon which says jews have the right to the palestin ian region nothing can vouch for this

#20

i know where the palestinians came from but they should go back the jews created an empire where there were only barbaric palestinian tribes

#19

Joshua, Judaism began with Abrahm. Correct? The Philstines came frmo Greece 2000 years before Abraham. Between the Philistines and Abraham at least three different people lived in Palestine and none of these people was Jewish, because Judiasm was not a religion to begin with. So go figure, a history class in a none Zionist racist school would help all of you Brain washed immigrants from Russia, Poland, And the USA.

#18

first off my name is joshua not joush and second off jews were first to the west bank palestinians came later so palestinians should return to where they came from

#17

Jousha, The Palestinians should go where? to Russia!!! and Russians should go to Palestine!!!!. Bad idea. Russians belong in russia and Palestinians belong in Palestine. That’s how it is and that’s how it will be

#16

israel deserves the right to settle the west bank palestinians should leave

#15

israel is in the right the russians are not racist palestinians should leave and never return they should let the jews be where they belong

#14

Eric: What about you? where are you going to go back to? Russia, Poland, Bronx. Would love to see where you and your a likes belong. The Palestinians are there to saty. We have been there for the last 5000 years, even before Abrham was asked by God to stop in that land and move on, the Palestinians were there. Its people like you who will eventually leave and not us

#13

Israle has the rightn to build. It time for the Palestinians to move to syria

#12

Boris: Russians and both cowards and racists. Before every war in the region, they ran away before tha war starts. They never cared about the Arabs, but always ran away. Arfat never asked the Russians for anything.

#11

To “Son” Of Jerusalem: You are wrong about Russians they are not racist, they like Arabs, they supply and trained Arabs armies. They even send officers, pilots and military specialists to fight in 1967and 1972 against Israel. They provide instructors for Y. Arafat terrorist and teach them how to fight guerilla war. It’s not their fault that every time you lost.

#10

Castigating Israel over “settlements”, while ignoring 60 years of Arab wars and rejectionism is not going to bring peace between Arabs and
Israelis. If there were no “settlements”, if the Dalai Lama was Israel’s Prime Minister, and Israel consisted of just Tel Aviv, the Arab League
would quickly find new pretexts for hostility. The “Saudi Peace Plan” is punted within the Arab world as a means to force Israel back to
indefensible borders, to be followed later by more warfare.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ real agenda is apparent from his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and his stance on refugees. He demands resettlement of Arab refugees in pre-1967 Israel, not a future Palestinian state in the West Bank. This denies the rights of the similar number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands, and sidesteps Arab responsibility for the wars that initiated both refugee issues. Why is it OK for
Mahmoud Abbas to demand that the West Bank be Judenrein, even as Israeli Arabs
(rightfully) continue to enjoy Israeli citizenship?

If Mahmoud Abbas is so interested in peace, why did he recently name the PA’s largest computer center, funded indirectly by US money, after Dalal
Mughrabi, who in 1978 hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children, including American photographer Gail Rubin?

It is unfortunate that the current administration’s pressure on Israel, and granting of a free pass to Mahmoud Abbas is only going to encourage the Arab world to stick to its hardline. Indeed, Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post noted after interviewing Abbas, that the latter now will refuse to make any concessions on core issues (borders, Jerusalem, refugees, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, ending funding of Al Aqsa).

As regards “settlements”: the previous US administration gave Israel an undertaking that it could build within existing settlement boundaries where this was due to demand (e.g. a room for children). The current administration is now violating this previous undertaking. And indeed, all Israel is asking is to build for natural population growth, within existing boundaries.

#9

Boris: The only propoganda is what you say about your people. That Settlers are not killiers. Everyone knows that settlers are killers and Russians are racisets. Look at the thug Liberman who will soon go to prison and then you will be out of a job.

#8

To “Son” of Jerusalem: Did you see report done by person “who speaks better English and who can lie better on its behalf”.
On April 22, 2009 World focus producer Mohammad Al-Kassim broadcast report on Palestinians watching popular Turkish television soap opera: Report show reality of Palestinian life under “Israeli occupation” and it show how “they struggle to survive” in nice big house with expensive furniture, sitting on leather sofas and eating good food. Then it show well dressed Palestinians youth hanging in big stylish design cafe with flat screen TV’s, where they trying to “escape from hard daily realities of life”.
This report not lie, it shows that so call “struggle to survive brutal Israeli occupation” and “ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their country” is a big lie of Arab propaganda.

#7

Boris. If the settlers are farming an empty land, why are they heavily armed and always use the military to push people outside their homes and farms. Less than a year ago your minister Haiam Ramon declared that the Efrat Settlement was established on privately owned land. All Hebron settlements are build on privately owned land. Settlers are not farmers, they are killers who are committed to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their country. Boris, you are doing a very bad job in explaining your country’s policies to people around the world. Israel can do much better to hire someone who speaks better English and who can lie better on its behalf.

#6

First of all settlers are hard working farmers. They brought life to desert. Mostly they settle in empty land.
Second, only naïve liberals can believe that Palestinian administration will provide security. Every body knows what happen after Israel left Lebanon and Gaza.

#5

Amid all the focus on the “Palestinian side” (and there is such side), one needs to understand the Israeli psychics in regards to the west bank.

No one plays in the hand of the Israeli right wing fanatics more then Hamas itself.
There are many among the Israeli settlers who will tell you “look, Hamas is already telling everyone, that, they will not settle for anything less then ALL of state of Israel under their control, and intent to deport all those Jews back to where they immigrated from. So, why shouldn’t we make sure that ominous possibility will not happen. The only way to prevent it is by controlling more and more of their land. Much like that famous saying goes.
you keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.
By now, one would think that Palestinians leaders and their backers would realize that, they do not threaten the Israelis with (yet again) attempted annihilation, and live to see it.

#4

Dr. Shabaneh as always provides an intellectual analysis of the situation. The Palestinian people are fortunate to have such a passionate advocate. It is time for the United States to make the Israeli’s accountable for their actions and force them to keep their word on peace and settlement agreements. Israeli bombing the Palestinians in the name of democracy can no longer be tolerated. The Palestinians deserve a place to call home and the two nations must learn to live in harmony. Israel cannot call itself a democracy at the expense of Palestine…its not in line with the vision of democracy.

#3

The best thing for Mr. Keshava, is to focus on Dr. Shabaneh’s analyses. No body - I guess- ask Niila about solutions as it obviously seems that he doesn’t understand what is the reality of Israel-Arab struggle
Dr. Shabaneh’s vision is extremely neutral, and I do agree with Obama’s admin to urge Israel to stop settlement.

#2

I would like to respond to mr. keshava: We in Poland were luck. We had someone who came to our rescue.

#1

I think it is time for Palestinians to forget Palestine and let Israel have everything. Give them Gaza, the West Bank and the Dome of the Rock. Anyway, the Jews are better at irrigation, farming, etc. They are better organized like the Germans and are very neat and proper with most all their projects. I know Poland does not want to hear such talk, but life goes on!

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