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December 8, 2009
Israeli government struggles to confront West Bank settlers

Over the past week, Israel has been sending government inspectors to hand out construction freeze orders in West Bank settlements.

Clashes continue to escalate between settlers and Israeli police accompanying the inspectors.

For more on the situation in Israel, Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Yossi Beilin, who initiated the negotiations that led to the historic 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

Will Israel’s 10-month settlement freeze actually allow the peace process with the Palestinians to move forward?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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I still have no answer to the question as to who here has actually lived and worked in the vacinity of Gaza and Sderot as I did during the 1980s? How many think they know what they are talking about based on all the pro-Arab news media drivel, or from personal experience and observation? I have to believe that the world is not flat based on what the scientific data has taught me. I know about Gaza and Israel from 10 years of living and working there in the area close to the conflicts. I’m in no way saying that some Israelis did not hold personal prejudices, and vice versa regarding Arab prejudices against Jews, but to say that racism is in any way part of this particular conflict is pure hogwash. There is more racism involved in the way most Americans view Mexicans than there is in how most Israelis view Arabs. But Arab Muslims especialy grow up with massive doses of anti-Jewish religious propaganda they are fed in their mosques and madrassas. That Jews are “monkeys and pigs” is very much part and parcel of Arab Muslim religious indoctrination. That’s the simple truth.


More nonsensical palestinian propaganda.
Such quotes interweave worthlessness
and entirely meaningless plays
on words and names.

The idea that the palestinian smiled
proved his sinister intention in saying
what was said…
not what otherwise was and is
and forever shall be.


More nonsensical palestinian propaganda.

Such quotes are hardly priceless
and entirely meaningless as a silly
play on words and names.


This quote allegedly from the Palestinian representative to the UN is priceless!! ‘Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something
about Moses. When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath!’ He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. An Israeli had stolen them.’ The Israeli representative jumped up furiously and shouted, ‘What are you talking about? The Israelis weren’t there then.’
The Palestinian representative smiled and said: ‘And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.’


Palestina would have achieved to have their own state and live peaceful with Israel if they had trusted the UN law and stop using terrorism to Intimidate Jews world wide. All people who suppoted them to run terrorism work have become the good friends of Israel after the fall of communism. Almost all black african states have restoared diplomatic relation with Israel. Now the palestinia have a very few friend and people view them as the menace to the worl community instead of freedom fightes. My advice to the is to stop all form of killing inocent civilians and trust UN as much as South African did to get back what you have lost. If Eghpy got back Sinai mountains by negotiation why can’t you? Please stop killing inocent jews and believe in UN principle. Israel is the most powerful nation on eath and they are they rightful owner of Israel so palestina need to be meek people.


Eygpt’s President Sadat said a few months before he was assassinated. “There will have to be a Jewish civil war before there can be peace.”

My own conclusion is that any Israeli leader even thinking about taking on the settlers, and probably triggering a Jewish civil war, would need to be empowered by a referendum in which all Israelis were asked one question: In exchange for a real and lasting peace with the Arab and wider Muslim world, are you in favour of Israel withdrawing to its borders as they were on 4 June 1967, with Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states?”

If a majority of Israelis answered “Yes”, the leader could take on the settlers.


J Garbuz, if former prime minster Olmert addmitted to racism against the Arabs, who are you to say otherwise!!!!! You are debating yourself on this website. You have more than 17 blogs alone for this pice. I am rather stuned because WF let you have all this space especially because they have been blocking many others from geting on


To J Garbuz #85 very simple because it is occupaied.


Israel is a parasite on the backside of the American taxpayer. The Zionist imperialists, AIPAC and their US Congressional co-conspirators support the criminal activities of the thieving Israeli settlers. The settlement pause is a joke to be believed only by the brain dead.


To Waldo

I lived in Israel for ten years, and saw no evidence of Israeli Arabs being treated as second class citizens. How long have you lived in Israel,and what evidence have you that Israeli Arabs are second class citizens?


I’m still waiting for someone to give me an argument why Jerusalem should be redivided and half of it be made the capital of yet another Arab state.


Israel’s PM Netanyahu has made a correct,and admirable decision. His diplomatic,and strategically conscious move of halting the settlements for ten months,… is without-a-doubt a courageous peace incentive to say the least. He has put his head on the chopping block via political suicide this suigeneris unsung-hero! If we look back at history,…the not so distant past,given the “Six Million Jewish Holocaust Victims”,.. the United States,and Britain were correct to compensate the Jewish people with the 1948 New State/Country they (Jews)should,could,and would be able to call their own,period! The powers to be were well aware of the geographic/ethnic/geo-religious problems that would occur,..but were thought to be manageable. Unfortunately,…the few adamant,and arrogant (harsh words,but do justify their premature/precarious actions)neo-settlers (???) are generally new nesting foreigners that Israel never expected logistically,or demographically through the years (but so it is,and Israel is trying to peacefully accomadate)increasing their population to that of todays New Jersey. Now,..I would like to speak (or say a few pointed words directly)of the PLO/1964-?,and Yasser Arafat the unquestioned leader? When Arafat died he had plundered from the Paleatinian people (well documented) approx.$1.3bn,with no sorrow for the indigenous poor which was originally meant for food,and aid. He was in the pockets of the Saudi’s ie)Kuwait const. engineer beginnings with the Ben Laden Family? Finally,I would be remiss not to mention the paranoia,and hypothetical trumped-up conspiracy theorist today,…the very vile cuspitor of hate-mongers ! Just give peace a chance,…! Great article, World Focus thanks:)


Israel is like the old apartheid South Africa.


The ten month freeze is a charade and totally irrelevant since the settlements are already illegal. Obviously neither the U.S. nor other Israeli supporters are going to do anything about it such as stop aid and apply scantions BUT they certainly jump at the chance to impose such measures on others sucb as Iran.


Not unless Israel is also willing to give them East Jerusalem and free all prisoners and allow all of the Palestinian refugees to return. The settler freeze is just one of many pre-conditions.


Jgarbuz, the Palestinians are a people and deserve their own country or a country that would treat them as full citizens. Israel wants the land but not the people. Israel treats the 1.2 million Arab citizens it has as second class citizens. According to the Bible, when the Israelites first took control of the area they often completely wiped out the people living there — every man, woman, child and sometimes even the animals on God’s command. Now, Israel is expelling the current residents from Jerusalem and the settlement areas to consolidate a religious state.


No – there will never be peace in the middle east – in order to have peace – they Israel and Palestine both have to pursue peace and neither one wants to truly pursue peace. I can appreciate Israel’s stand but at the same time I don’t think that Israel is very kind to the Palestinian people – for that matter neither Israel nor the Arabs really care about the Palestinian people. So in view of that one’s heart has to go out to the Palestinian people and at the same time understand why Israel has to be careful not to be lured into an insecure environment, i.e., Iran and Syria using Palestinian people as a front to pursue evil! Jim @ USA


chancellor merkel,beneevolently handsover the blue prints of the gas chambers used to murder millions of jews to bibi. they shall be placed in the ”holocaust museum”. she inadvertently forgot to hand him the deed to the 15 thousand square miles of territory [alone the baltic sea], to compensate them ,along with the blue prints, for the heartache they have caused, thereby relieving the hapless pals. of their victimization. carl scala


no. they are still extending existing settlements. also building new schools,etc. in the west bank and new construction going full speed ahead in Jerusalem. this 10 month freeze is an insult to the Pals.and Pres.Obama.


The “Palestinians” are dysfunctional. They were nothing but a collection of clans and tiny villages at odds with each other just as the various “indian” tribes were at odds with each other in the Americas before the coming of the white man. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, the “Palestinians” would only tear each other apart as do the clans and tribes in Somalia and other dysfunctional parts of the Muslim world. Gaza and the West Bank are the size of NY and Long Island. If the “Palestinians” weren’t so dysfunctional, they could have had a state many decades ago. But since they are a mythical nation, whereas the Jews are a real ancient nation, the results produced on the same tiny piece of soil is so very different. Actually, a peaceful demilitarized Palestinian state would be good for Israel if it were at all possible to construct. But it is a mirage, just like Neverneverland. It only exists in the imagination, and not in reality.


The peace process must go forward with security forces on both sides involved. The peace process must include all of the people, not just the leaders. Citizen cooperation is essential.


I’m with Mr.Yossi,Full freeze on settlements or they put this energy of inhumanity onto their children,and that is sad for all.


The Palestinian people will never be defeated. Muslims from as far as Malaysia and Indonesia are willing to volunteer to fight for the Palestinian cause.


I agree with the guest. There needs to be “very intense talks” from all three parties.


Israeli/Palestinian issue…

1. All US aid and money to Israel must end.IMMEDIATELY!

2. US must no longer be complicit in the destruction of Palestine..

3..All funds to Palestine must be delivered by the UN..nothing to go through Israel.

4 Israeli’s legitimacy must be considered by the UN.. in lieu of the many violations since ’48..and the continual confiscation of Palestinian lands…

5. Goldstone must be acted upon ASAP!

6. The US must be an ‘honest broker’ in any and all negotiations. Accountability and serious penalties for transgressions of any kind!

7. The UN should be permanently stationed in Israel and Palestine to monitor and enforce any agreements made and signed and also held accountable for any transgressions of parties..

8.Jerusalem must be a divided city..

9.There must be no Israeli military in any Palestinian areas..West Bank or Gaza..

10: A reputable Justice system implemented by the UN to take care of Palestinian Prisoners incarcerated in Israeli Prisons…
Hearings for all, and trials if necessary…Proceedings always monitored by the UN with accountability….

10. There will be no more ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in their own land.

11. Reparations made by Israel for destroyed ‘trees’ property and such, as well as farm equipment to Palestinians.

12..all shore lines must be strictly opened to facilitate fishing…no Israeli ships near Palestinian shorelines..


Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin paid with their lives at the hands of assassins from their own people.

While Sadat’s critics in the Arab world remained beyond his reach, increasingly he reacted to criticism at home by expanding censorship and jailing his opponents.

The point to be made is that people must not be censored and allowed to vent their opposition. If Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not allow the people in the settlements to voice their opinions opposing the peace process calling for a halt on the development, the settlers will become increasingly violent.

The peace process must have as many voices as possible expressing every point of view to be effective. Let the peace process go forward with initiative and referendum offered the Palestinians in Palestine and the citizens of Israel offering a vote on the final outcome of any peace process.

It is dangerous and foolish for one man, even if he is the leader of the nation, to make any decision without public support.


Israel defeated the Arabs in 1967 using primarily English tanks and French airplanes, and captured East Jerusalem, Judah and Samaria from the Jordanians who had shelled West Jerusalem using British Long Tom cannon and thus forced the IDF to enter the territory to push them out of the area. Israel today uses mostly Israeli-made tanks, but does use American made aircraft and helicopters because they get them much cheaper than manufacturing their own planes. The US also supplies Egypt and Saudi Arabia with US aircraft as well. If the US stops supplying all sides with its weaponry, I’m certain Israel can produce its own. If Sweden can do it, so can Israel.


I’d just love someone to explain to me why any part of Jerusalem is “Arab land.”


The failure of the United States government to enforce its laws related to export of and use of American weapons against civilian targets and its failure to look into and revoke the tax exemption statutes of many of the American Jewish organizations that actively support and fund Jewish terrorism in Palestinian territories shows that President Obama is not an enemy of the Jews but a very good friend of Israel and its criminal policies in the Occupied Territories, otherwise he could order his attorney general to look into and investigate funding of Jewish settlers’ groups and organizations, perhaps issue executive orders that revoke tax exemption status of American Jewish organizations that fund and sponsor Jewish terrorism.

However all of that support by Obama’s administration is never enough to satisfy power and political greed of the American Jewish leadership and community. They have succeeded in derailing the nomination of Chaz Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council citing his “anti-Israeli leanings” and now are after former senator Chuck Hagel as President Obama’s intelligence aid and his lack of being pro-Israel. It seems and in the words of Natsha Mozgovaya writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community”. That is the way it is in the United States, what really counts are Israel and the American Jewish community and the hell with the United States and its national and security interests. The litmus tests of public service in the United States is not loyalty to the US or long-term service but loyalty to Israel and its supporters in the United States, supporters and sponsors who corrupted our election laws and financing, corrupted both the executive and Legislative branch and are now on the way to corrupting the judicial branch and perhaps undermining and corrupting the soul of our nation’s strength; the United States Constitution.


And Israel did not drag the US into anything. Israel fought its war of independence using Czech arms supplied by Stalin. It fought the ’67 war with French and British arms. The US was neutral for the most part, until it saw Israel as an asset againt Soviet penetration during the Cold War. The US gives more aid to Arab countries than to Israel, and actually sells them 2.5 times as much arms in dollar terms than it gives or sells to Israel. So the myth that the US is totally in Israel’s corner is just propaganda. The Arabs are simply angry that the US doesn’t help them to eliminate Israel, because they have failed to so on their own despite having 50 to 1 odds in their favor numerically speaking.


Well, Jews don’t consider Jerusalem Arab land, or for that matter Judea and Samaria either. Why is Jerusalem Arab land? It was never an Arab capital. Jews have been the majority there since 1844 when records began to be kept. When Jordan occupied East Jerusalem, and the city was divided, they did not make it their capital nor did they create a state for the Palestinian Arabs. Jew founded Medina, which was once called Yathrib before Muhammad, but they were expelled. But Jews don’t claim Medina as Jewish land. I cannot understand why any part of Jerusalem should be considered anything other than Jewish land.


For the sake of discussion let’s ignore the fact that Netanyahu’s freeze is only partial; does not apply to occupied Arab East Jerusalem; and that the settlers have been assured that when the freeze ends, it will be back to construction and, by definition, more consolidation of Israel’s hold on occupied Arab land.

Again for the sake of discussion. How then should the Palestinians respond? My suggestion is this.

President Abbas calls a press conference and says something very like the following.

“I am now ready, without preconditions, to sit down and talk with Prime Minister Netanyahu. But I am giving notice of the one question I will ask and to which only a “Yes” or “No” answer is required. The question is this. Prime Minister, in exchange for peace with the whole Arab and wider Muslim world, is your government prepared to withdraw from all Arab land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem but on the understanding that if all the parties agreed, it would remain an undivided city and the capital of two states?”

President Abbas could conclude his very short statement with something like this.

“The fact that I have given advance notice of the question may of itself be enough to cause Prime Minister Netanyahu to find an excuse for not meeting with me and blaming me. But the world should know this. Were the two of us to meet, and if he answered my question with a “Yes”, we would be kick-starting a real process that would deliver peace for all.”


As it stands now, I don’t believe that the Palestinian leadership will respond to Israel’s dramatic gesture for peace. The Obama administration made a horrendous tactical mistake in calling for a total freeze of Israeli construction in Judea,Samaria and East Jerusalem. It permitted the Palestinians to believe that they need do nothing and their every demand would be met, thanks to U.S. and world pressure on Israel. The fact that the Palestinians are split between Fatah and Hamas only exacerbates any hope of concluding a lasting peace agreement. There has been no shortage of gestures by Israel to move the peace process forward. But, Arab-Palestinian hatred of Israel trumps all efforts toward peace by Israel. And now, Israel is curtailing settlement activity. The move will shake Israeli society, but the Israeli government seems determined to honor its pledge. Sadly, only if U.S. pressure applied to Palestinian leadership magically transforms intransigence into political flexibility, once again hopes for peace will be shattered. Even if, somehow, negotiations proceed, the road to true reconciliation and a lasting peace agreement is arduous and barely tenable. I guess that hope is eternal.


What a charade. Israel is a relentless, savage illegal colonial occupier. A shamelessly hypocritical interlocutor, spouting one dodge after another as the “facts on the ground” give the lie to any talk of peace and a just Palestinian state. We’re supposed to be reassured because your guest says when the time comes the settlers will leave? Why not leave today, instead of continuing colonial land theft?


As much as Israel uses every possible means to drag us all into an endless war against Islam, the Europeans are coming to terms with the devastating reality of Zionist murderous brutality. Some 45.7% of the Europeans either “somewhat or strongly” agree that “Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.” In case someone fails to understand the meaning of it all, I will say it plainly: almost half of the Europeans accept that Israel employs genocidal tactics. They basically agree that Israelis are the Nazis of our time. According to Ynet, about 37.4% agree with the following statement: “Considering Israel’s policy, I can understand why people do not like Jews.”


How can you call it a freeze when it includes only some settlements and none of Jerusalem? It sounds more like a public relations stunt.

If I understood your broadcast correctly, your producer translated the segment from Israeli Television. How cozy is that. I guess that helps explain why when Palestinians attack Israelis it’s terrorism, but when Israelis attack Palestinians it isn’t.


This sitiation is old and futile, if both these sides don’t work together they well suck the whole World into war,now that I’ve side it, I guess their both the Worlds enemies.


It’s nonsense to say that Israel will never stop building settlements, when I myself saw Sharon taking away the settlements of Yamit in Sinai back in 1982! Sharon also started the process of removing the Jews from Gaza. So it’s just a pure lie or ignorance that Israel never removes settlements in exchange for a peace treaty. And Israel has also removed a few small ones from Samaria in the West Bank. But if 1.2 million Arabs can live as citizens inside the State of Israel, there is no reason why half a million Jews shouldn’t be able to live in ancient Judah and Samaria. If Israel can be 25% Arabs and other non-Jews, why can’t a future Palestinian state be 25% Jewish? Jews have AT LEAST as much right to live on that land as any Arab Muslim or Christian.

As for giving money to the Palestinians, today they receive more aid ON A PER CAPITA BASIS from the US and EU than do Israelis. And the aid that Israel gets is in the form of military equipment, whereas the Palestinians get economic aid.


Adjustment and Further Comment on Previous Post

…”look again (or remember what you beheld)”
…just as in the days of old when you, Israel, were led out of Egypt.

Were those days and nights any more important than these days and nights?
Or are both placed, equally, in the Balance as when the days of kingdoms (or countries) are numbered and weighed in that Balance and found wanting and therefore soon divided and given over to others?

What point is there, in again, wandering in such
Places of Contention and Bitterness…whether locally; or, at a distance…or both simultaneously?


Israel has been building Jewish settlements for decades and will never really stop. The Palestinians are helpless to stop them. Only the US has clout, $3 billion a year worth, but we dont use it. Giving that money to the Palestinians insttead of Israel would solve all the problems. The Palestinians could then live as well as the Israeli. Israel is a first world country with a per capita income greater than Spain or Italy. We have given them almost $100 billion over the the last three decades. When will it end, considering that it is no longer really needed?


Additional Thought(s) on Previous Post (#54):

“This is not a matter of belief. This is a matter of something that transcends matter and glows down on the Speaker of the House in all its History.”

If you don’t believe that something is able to glow down on the Speaker of the House (or the Knesset, for that matter), look again (or remember what you beheld concerning this Program’s Anchor (Dhaljit Dhaliwal) in her preview of the show for 8 Dec 09 with golden light shining down on her and the set.

If this is possible physically…how much more is this possible, spiritually?


To Smythie and Naftalis the cost of both Iraq and Egypt can be charged to Israel. The money we give to Egypt is to make nice to Israel. Have you read “A Clean Break: A new Strategy for Controling the Rhelm” by Perle, Feith and others. The document is still on line in its source site. The document was presented by Perle and Feith, later advisors to Bush, to the Likud to do among other things make Israel strong enough to enforce her demands on the area and begin with regime change in Iraq and then Iran. It also called for rejecting US aid and influence. As we know, Bush, Woiowitz, Feith, Perle, and Chaney promoted the war in Iraq to implement the neo-con plan/ideology.
Every time somthing happens in the area, our congress rushes to pass a resolution supporting Israel. The UN Goldstone report condemnation by the US House is but one of 50 or more examples.
True that the Palestinians receive aid from the EU. Without it Israel would starve the Palestinians to death. As it is Israel, allows as little aid to the West Bank as she can.


Israel is still the symbol of Divine Light.
If their Scroll (i.e. Torah) is being carried around rolled up…please unroll…and some kind of hidden answer will become evident sooner or later.

This is not a matter of belief. This is a matter of something that transcends matter and glows down on the Speaker of the House in all its History.

Re-read, please, the Words which transcend even the Scroll which has been sanctified and see if there will not be an answer forthcoming.

Transcend Matter to achieve the Awareness…the Transmutation is possible–but not if no one is looking in the right Place of Presence.

Jerusalem! Are you listening?


Abbas is head of the P.L.O. the Palestine Liberation Organization. It states that all of Israel will be “liberated”. This means that all Jews will either be killed or must leave. A second Holocaust!
Whether they talk or not is not important, as there will not be any agreement. Talks about peace have been going on intermittently for 60 years!! The Arab nations will not accept Israel unless forced to do so.


The Palestians will never keep the agreements made in any peace process. They make agreement to gain an advantage and then never honor what they agree to. Their ultimate goal is the complete destruction of Israel. Just consider the Oslo accord. The facts of history continue to be ignored by the naieve attempts at negotiating with the Palestinians.


Contrary to some of your correspondents:

One-sided US pressure on Israel is counterproductive.

(1) It encourages the many extremists on the Arab side to ratchet up the pressure;

(2) It makes Arab regimes harden, not soften, their positions (as just happened over the “settlement freeze”);

(3) It discourages moderate Israelis, who see that every concession they make leads only to more demands;

(4) It gives the impression to terror groups elsewhere that they can make similar gains by using the combined terror/ political pressure employed by the Palestinians.

Simply put” appeasement does’nt facilitate peace. And land for peace brings little more than it did in Chamberlain’s time.


Not a chance.


If all Hebrews are to be expelled from Hebron and Jews from Jericho, then why should Arabs be allowed to settle in Acco?


To: Waldo.
You are wrong. The US is far more swayed by the Arab lobby groups, which never get mentioned. The UN, EU are also dominated by pro-Arab interests. Never mind President Obama’s Cairo speech, look at the way former President Bush kowtowed to the Saudis – even after most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi.

As for aid: the Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid from the EU, the UN, etc.

Much of the aid has been frittered away into the personal fortunes of Palestinian officials, including Mahmoud Abbas – yet none of this get mentioned.

Large amounts of aid have also been diverted to terror groups like Fatah’s Al Aqsa Brigades, and to the armed struggle.

Appeasing the Arab world with even more pressure on Israel, will not help the peace process, or individual Palestinians. The Arab world has never cared about individual Palestinians, only seeing the cause as a means to dismantle Israel, and return Jews to “dhimmi” status.


I am tired of the Israel bashers who regularly post here claiming that Israel is the largest recipient of US dollars.I guess they missed the 100’s of billions spent in Iraq,Afgahnistan, the war to liberate Kuwait, our troops in Bosnia protecting Muslims there and even in Somalia to protect UN Aid workers which also resulted in the deaths in the blackhawk down tragedy.They also fail to mention that Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid and that the US is the primary underwriter of UNWRA which exclusively serves Palestinians to the exclusion of all other refugees in the world.The truth is that most US aid to Israel is in the form of credits which the Israelis use to purchase military equipment made in the USA which also creates jobs here.The Israelis also share their improvements to our technology which has resulted in making our tanks and other military equipment more effective in deserts (our equipment was originally designed to fight European wars in those types of climates).It has never been used to build “settlements”‘ as some pretend here.Those who also add to their complaint claims regarding the influence of the “Jewish lobby” further reveal their underlying bigoted agenda.


Having read the foregoing comments, I see a great deal of ideological and rhetorical repetition. Unfortunately there are also historical errors, which should be pointed out. anyone who cares to study the history and prehistory of the Israeli/Palestinian region will discover two facts: neither party originally “owned” the region; let’s keep in mind that even in the Biblical account, the land was given to Moses by God. This mean someone else had it before. Furthermore, the appeal to regard opposition to Israeli expansionism as antisemitic, fails to account for the fact that the Palestinians are in fact Semitic brothers to the Israelites. Contrary to Mr. Beilin’s opinion that Senator Mitchell should be replaced, Mitchell is EXACTLY the right man for this task, as he has previously had success in Ireland in bringing peace to a fratricidal struggle.
I don’t know whether a one-state or two state solution is the best, but let’s get on with it. The world is tired of giving this little piece of real estate the inordinate attention which it seeks. If there weren’t oil in the region, I don’t think the US would give a damn.
Incidentally, since others speculate about these issues, for instance, why a 10-month freeze, let me speculate too. 10 months is what Israeli planners
have suggested as the next reasonable time interval needed to carry out the burdensome task of “legally” dispossessing the Palestinians in East Jerusalem of their properties, so that expansion can proceed there.


The US Congress is in the pocket of Israeli/Jewish political groups. US taxpayers give Israel 3 billion a year for the IDF and this money directly or indirectly goes to assist settlers in the occupied area. In addition, 70% of the money that goes to Israeli charities comes from outside the country, much form the US. Contributions to Israeli charities are usually US tax exempt but as revealed in the news recently some of the tax exempt money goes to settlers and IDF troops to defy their government. In one case, the families of IDF soldiers imprisoned for not following orders reguarding the settlers receive an educational monetary award for every day of imprisonment.
The Israel government has relied on the settlers for decades for political power and now finds they have a revolt on their hands.


The main problem is not settlement construction but the status of Jerusalem and Muslim/Jewish holy places. There are 1,25 Billion Muslims, many may not care about the Palestinians but they do care about their holy sites. The EU council of foreign ministers has said that Jerusalem must serve both Israel and Palestine. The Kings of Jordian and Saudi Arabia have recenyly warned Israel that the Jerusalem issue must be settled but Israel is taking over more of Jerusalem, destroying Palestinian buildings and kicking the locals out. Even countries friendly to Israel like Egypt and Turkey are a criticising Israel.
For eight years Bush allowed Israel to use force to get rid of Hamas and Hezbollah. The US is in Iraq as part of Bush’s grand strategy to enforce Israel’s wishes. Now world opinion, except in the US, is turning against Israel. Look for Israel to start a war with Iran to focus world attention outside of Israel.


Dear Daljit,

The Israeli partial freeze is nothing more than a propaganda move, played out many times before. It works like this. The Islaeli government “gets tough” with settlers. The settlers object. after all “their turf” is being threatened. Never mind that it never was “their” turf, but belongs to the Palestinians> The public sees the upset entirely in terms of their long-established opinion, that is the pro-Israeli partisans are outraged; the pro-Palestinian partisans are outraged. In the meantime, with attention focused on this epic, futile struggle, Israel continues its settlements, expulsions and expansions elsewhere with impunity and inattention.

Only when the United States takes a firm position of ACTION vis-a-vis Israel will the picture change materially, This means, as a meaningful fist step, withholding the annual subsidy in support for the economy and the military. Let them bear the cost for their unending obstinacy. They, not their weak Palestinian opponents, are the obstacle to a peaceful settlement. Power never yields to the weaker side.


I totally agree with Robert W. Mays. I can hardly believe the majority of the comments posted here – those about how it is all the Palestinians and Arabs fault!! Really hard to take was the comment about how the US is feeding and clothing the Palestinians! Give me a break! Nothing said about the 3 billion a year that the US taxpayers give to Israel, the 50th richest state in the world! Israel gets 1/3 of ALL US foreign aid to help them build Israeli-only roads, demolish Palestinian houses, build a wall betweeen farmers and their fiels, and establishing ILLEGAL Jewish settlements on Palestinian land plus holding children in jail under “administrative detention” without charging them, without even telling them what they are in jail for and on and on and on. A 10-month freeze on ILLEGAL Jewish settlements is a joke! It is a crime what is going on in Israel against the Palestinians – the occupation must stop!


10 months, what a joke. Israel wants the land and they want the U.S. tax payer to keep on paying for their expansion. The U.S. tax payer is being led around by their nose by the very politicians who are in the pockets of the Israel/jewish lobby.


“The Palestinians” were created by the Arab league expressly for the destruction of Israel. The PLO and Hamas charters say so. Nothing short of this will get an agreement from “The Palestinians.”


The Palestinian Authority teaches its school children that all Israelis are settlers, and all of Israel is an illegal settlement.

So if Israel vacates the West Bank, the conflict would quickly move to Haifa, Tel Aviv, etc.

If the West wants to encourage peace, it should demand that every Israeli concrete concession be matched by an Arab concrete concession.

It should demand recognition of the Jews of the Middle East as indigeneous. It should demand that the Arab League recognize the rights of the 800 000+ Jews who had to flee Arab countries. It should recommend that any compensation of Arab refugees, be matched by compensation for the much greater losses of Jewish refugees from the Arab world.

Current policy, of appeasing Arab egos, and pressure on Israel, will simply not work.


The Palestinians have no interest in peace except one that gives them what they want: Israel to withdraw to the 1967 border, Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine, and that they can return to the homes that no longer exist from where their ancestors left.

If Israel will agree to these terms there will be peace: a cessation of construction in the West Bank settlements will do nothing for peace nor will anything else. The Palestinian leaders have no reason to reduce their demands since the UN and Western countries, including the U.S., will continue to feed and clothe the Palestinians forever.


Absolutely not!! There is no 2-State peace process. In my opinion, what is going on is an elaborate surreal and virtual “peace process”. We are in a holding process awaiting the next paradymn which is going to take place within a year to two. An eplanation: Israel has won the tactical battle of “creating the facts on the ground” but has lost the “war”–a 2 state solution. I believe a 2-state solution, for many reasons is now unachievable, and everyone involved knows this and is just biding time until the next phase of the struggle–“one person, one vote, one state”


No, settlement freezes are not going to bring peace – as long as the Palestinian Authority, and its rival Hamas, both have the same goal, namely destroying Israel.

Ultimately Fatah and Hamas differ only in strategy. Fatah believes in political means, and Hamas in military means. Neither is capable of making a single concrete step towards peace.


Suppose Israel evacuated all Jewish residents of the West Bank, aka “settlers” like it did from Gaza. Do you really think there would be peace?

Or would the rockets start to fly into Tel Aviv from the West Bank just as they flew into southern Israel from Gaza?

Would the Palestinians accept coexistence, or elect extremists, as they did in Gaza?

It’s obvious: Israeli concessions will not bring peace when the Arabs refuse to compromise.

If you were in Israel’s shoes, would you repeat such a risky policy?


Frankly those who post here claiming that Israel doesn’t want peace are either nuts, have totally bought into Arab propaganda or are antisemites.Do you think Israelis like living with thousands of rockets shot at their towns (this week a new sophisticated Russian made rocket was shot from Gaza into Israel despite a “truce”),suicide bombers blowing up buses,markets & pizza shops,daily Iranian,Hamas & Hezbollah threats to wipe them off the planet,endless military expenses,long universal military service for men & women,endless wars starting with the invasion by 7 Arab armies in 1948 when the state was created and endless military & civilian casualties?Israel may not be a perfect state,but it is a democratic one whose population longs for a final peace with its neighbors and whose government must respond to the demands of its populace.To those who claim that the current government isn’t prepared to take the steps for peace,I remind you that it was Israeli political conservatives that withdrew from Egypt & Gaza removing all Israeli settlements there.It should also be remembered that the violence Israelis live with long predates the “occupation” or the building of any settlement,so settlements are not the root cause of the dispute.It has been the Arab refusal to accept the reality of Israel.What is necessary for peace is a Palestinian leadership which is not corrupt like Fatah,not committed to destroying Israel & approves of killing Jews anywhere in the world like Hamas, but a genuinely moderate leadership commited to peace on the realistic terms everyone knows are the key to an agreement & commited to changing the Palestinian focus to improving the lives of the Palestinians.What is also needed is genuine Arab support for peace & acknowledgement that Israel is both permanent & part of their region.Arab governments have used the status of the Palestinians & a rejection of Israel as a way of deflecting their failures to meet the needs of their own people.They have used the Palestinians as a political football& prior to 1967 they did not help establish a Palestinian state in Gaza & the west bank (Gaza was an Egyptian occupied territory & the west bank was illegally annexed by Jordan in 1950).Tonight’s guest was right:George Mitchell’s “diplomacy” has been a failure & he should be replaced by someone knowledgable about the middle east,a serious diplomat.Further the Obama Administration erred by making the settlements their focus point rather than getting the parties into serious talks.Obama’s September UN photo op did little for the process & was merely an exercise in self-promotion by the President attempting to look like a world leader.The US & the Quartet should focus on the creation of a new Palestinian leadership commited to peace & participation in serious talks not setting the terms of any agreement as some Europeans seems to be doing.When the Arabs offer a Sadat,a man truly committed to peace & who understands what must be done to achieve it,I am certain they will have a willing partner in Israel as they had before.


wo-state solution was implemented in 1922 when more than half Israel territory, called Palestine” was allocated to Transjordan for relocation of all Palestinian muslims. No need for new two-state solution. Palestinian muslims must be relocated to Jordan. This Israel land and Jerusalem has been Israel capital for over 35 huf=dred years.


Can you imagine any other country being forced to hand over land to people who openly say they want to destroy it, and have repeatedly started wars against it?

Israel is the only country in the world that has to keep handing over land to people whose hostile intentions are openly stated.

It is the only country expected to keep handing over land taken in wars of survival (not even defence).

If this “principle” was applied anywhere else, can you imagine what the maps would look like?


When will World Focus ever suggest that the Palestinians and Arab world make some stps towards peace:
(1) Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state;
(2) Recognizing the rights og Jewish refugees from Arab lands;
(3) Stop indoctrination in schools and media for endless war;
(4) Acknowledge Arab responsibility for starting and maintaining the wars?
(5) Make some constructive moves towards settling the refugee issues (on both sides).


Did you know that there was an ancient Jewish community in Hebron in the West Bank – until the 1929 massacre that killed 67 Jews and expelled the rest of Hebron’s Jews?

Did you know that “Arab East Jerusalem” had a Jewish majority from the 1850’s, when counting started, until the late 1920’s? The Jews were driven out by Arab rioters and mobs in the late 1920’s.

So why is it wrong for Jews to live on the West Bank? Why is the onus always on Israel? Why does the Arab world get a free ride?


How is one-sided pressure on Israel for unilateral concessions going to bring peace?

Especially when one ignores over 60 years of Arab military, political and economic warfare to destroy a tiny Jewish state.


It is wrong to demand that all “settlers” (Jewish residents of the West Bank) be expelled – while all Israeli Arabs rightfully maintain Israeli citizenship.

It’s hypocrisy that plays into fanning the demands of Palestinian extremists.


NO: The automatic Palestinian rejection reveals that “settlements” are not the biggest issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The bottom line remains Arab refusal to accept a permanent Jewish state, no matter how small. Indeed, the peace process is promoted within the Arab world as a political means to push Israel back to indefensible boundaries, after the failure of many wars.

One-sided pressure on Israel has encouraged the Palestinian Authority to adopt an even harder line. It has discouraged Israelis, who have
seen their previous compromises in the West Bank and Gaza bring only more demands, and more extremism.

If there is ever to be peace, it must be on the basis of compromise from BOTH sides. The Arab world has to recognize the rights of the
millions of Israelis whose parents were Jewish refugees from Arab lands. Instead of demanding that Palestinians be resettled in pre-1967
Israel, Mahmoud Abbas should agree to esettlement in the West Bank, in addition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Instead of indoctrinating children for endless conflict against Israel, media and schools should start educating for coexistence.

Absent that, a Palestinian state on the West Bank will lead to rockets hitting every part of central Israel, just as the Gaza withdrawal led
to thousands of rockets hitting southern Israel. Rather than solving the problem, it will be seen as a springboard to ensure Israel’s demise.


NO: settlements are not the real issue preventing peace. The real issue is Arab refusal to accept Israel no matter what the size.

If there were no settlements, and if the Dalai Lama was Israel’s PM, and Israel was just Tel Aviv, there still would not be peace. The Arab world would quickly find a new pretext for conflict.

Until the Arab world genuinely changes its attitude, no amount of Israeli concessions is going to bring peace.


The U.S. should stop funding the Israeli oppression of its Palestinian minority through an excessive foreign aid package that Israel doesn’t deserve. The Israeli government has many times over decades feigned a settlement freeze only to continue stealing land with the quiet connivance of the U.S. government. While our government pretends concern about human rights abuses and appropriated land the aid to Israel never stops. Too many Americans fail to see the real link between our disproportionate support of the Israelis, and corrupt Islamic leaders, and the terrorism we now face: by the way, this misguided and unfair support long predates 9-11-01.


It is hard to believe that there are still some people who think that a few Jewish people interested in building homes on their forefathers land are more dangerous to world peace than an unstable leader of a suppressive regime interested in nuclear weapons.
Not to mention the fact that if Arabs were genuinely interested in solving the Palestinian problem they could have done it years ago.
The Paelstinians still did not get the idea that Arab leaders are ready to sacrifice them rather than solve their problems.


Where was the UN when the Sri Lankan army crushed the Tamils a few months back killing 4,000 or more civilians? I have not heard one word out of the UN about it. Why so many words about Israel? IT was Hamas that chose to fire thousands of rockets on Sderot, a town made up of Jewish refugees from the Arab countries.


IF the issue is debeted in UNO IT CAN BE SORTED OUT QUICKLY… WORLD is sick and tired OF EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE BY ISRAELI WAR MACHINE thousands and thousands of palestinians civilians has been slaughtered by the israel IN THE PAST 55 YEARS
world can not trust israel ANY MORE I dont think that israel is sincere in any peace deal as long as they ARE capable of killing 2 thousand INNOCENT civilians in exchange of one Israeli


Every day I am more and more convinced that Israel should NEVER have given up ANY land at all, and never should have entered into any phony peace processes with Jew-hating Muslims and their supporters! Israel won ALL the land FAIR AND SQUARE and has every right to keep every inch of ancient Jewish lands!


The prejudice against Israel and Jews here is beyond belief! It only proves to me again that Jew-hatred (antisemitism) is as great today as it was in 1939, and that Israel must not give in an inch! IT won’t help them at all to do so.


What about the Warsaw Ghetto? My mother was a Holocaust survivor and growing up I knew Jewish partisans and ghetto fighters, all of whom are long gone now. THere is NO COMPARISON! The Palestinians were offered their own state back in 1947. It is they who choose to continue the war, not Israel. What insane comparisons!


I dont believe any peace in in middle east if western countries wont stop support Israel on illegal settlents and occupation
I dont think Israel want peace if they did they could have it in past 50 years .


The settlement freeze is a smokescreen, a propaganda story for the press. Israel has no intention of freezing the settlements.


Normally, the Palestinians would be considered a defeated people and would have to accept Israeli terms of surrender. But since 56 Muslim countries, many of them oil-rich states, back them, they feel no need to surrender and make peace. They think they have the right to dictate terms to Israel, which to date has not been defeated as far as I know. More double standards against Jews versus everyone else.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mostly about land. A 10 month freeze means nothing. The longer the conflict lasts, the more land the israelis will comand and build on. Remember tthe nazis at the warsaw ghetto? joe


Usually, you get peace when one side crushes the other side. ONe recent example is from earlier in the year when the Sri Lankan army finally crushed the Tamil Tigers. In WWII peace was brought by crushing Germany and Japan and imposing constitutions and social changes upon them. But Israel is not permitted to win decisively. Israel lives in a very hypocritical world that judges Jews on a different standard from anyone else.


It will slightly assist the process; however, Israel will most likely undermine the freeze near after it finishes or near its end; this is what Israel has done countless times before. Israel needs to accept a reality: the Palestinians want their freedoms, not the Israeli version of what Palestinian freedom is.


What most viewers don’t know is that inside Israel there are over 42,000 illegally built ARab houses in East Jerusalem and the Galilee. That is homes built without legal permits on Israeli soil. Also, in the WEst Bank, Arabs are building homes, in some cases CASTLES without rightful permits either. The amount of illegal Arab building DWARFS the amount of Jewish building, but not one story about this fact in the international media.


There will be no peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians until both sides are sick and tired of being sick and tired of their hostile attitudes and their leaders who lack the appropriate vision for two states to exist.


The freeze probably won’t advance the peace process. We’ve seen clashes like this between West Bank settlers and the Israeli government before, over settlement freezes, back when Menachim Begin was in office. Token gestures to partially freeze settlements in certain areas will not solve the larger problem. If the Israeli government wants peace, they should make a genuine and consistent effort toward a two-state solution. A demonstrated commitment to an eventual Palestinian homeland would go a long way toward weakening hard-line elements in the Palestinian government and througout the Middle East.


The freeze in settlement declared by Isreal has many holes which most readers/viewers do not know.The projects which are undwerway are going on , so where is the real freeze ? And East Jerusalem is out of the list. The viewers are urged to see the map of Isreali settlments that existed pre 67 era and now. Then you will realize how deep inside Palestinian land it has gone….
Unfortunate but true that this happened with encouragement and tax dollars.
The solution does not lie the current effort where US and Britain implicitly support Isreal. There should be a collective effort with few more Asian,middle Eastern and African nations .


First of all, it must not be forgotten that the Palestinian Arabs could have had a state NEXT to Israel back in 1947, and again between 1949 and 1967, and even after ’67 genuine settlement did not really begin until around 1975. During the entire time, the Arabs refused to recognize or make peace with Israel. It was only as the settlements began to grow in earnest that the PLO realized that if they did not recognize Israel, there might be nothing left to negotiate for. Unortunately, even to this day I don’t believe that either Hamas OR Fatah are serious about a permanently peaceful state NEXT to ISrael. Everything I understand continues to convince me that their ultimate goal is overome the Jewish state eventually, and now they are counting on the UN, EU and the US to do their work for them. War and terror has not worked, so they just say no and let the US and EU, so eager for stability, to pressure Israel to get their way. I think Israel has given in enough. Jerusalem will never be redivided again, nor any part becoming the capital of yet another ARab state. But, to help Obama to get support for stopping Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu has agreed to the 10 month freeze to see if Obama can stop Iran, or not. As for the Palestinians, as long as the US, EU and UN are pressing ISrael for them, there is no need to go back to the table to continue negotiations.
It’s an insoluble conflct that can only be managed but never solved.


Partial Settlement?

Israel wants a process … Israel does not want peace!


The mideast conflict will resolve itself when IRAN stops supplying weapons and propaganda to the foes of Israel. Iran is at the source of most evil in the mideast.


Isrial wouldn’t be having this problem if they had not encourage illegal settlement by these aggressive settlers from the very beginning. 62 years later and this is the first ‘real’ attempt by an israli gov’t to stop it!


From the Palestinian perspective, all settlements on Palestinian territory should be turned over to the Palestinians to do what ever they so choose to do with them!


There is a mini-civil war brewing between the settlers and their supporters versus the Netanyahu goverment over the draconian freeze. But the settlers and their supporters number no more than 30% of all Israelis at most, so democratically they cannot win it. However, there appears to be an implicit secret deal between Bibi and Obama, that Israel will freeze settlement activities in exchange for Obama stopping the Iranian bomb program dead in its tracks. If Obama delivers, the freeze becomes permanent, East Jerusalem excepted. If not, then construction resumes after the ten months has expired. I think it is reasonable. For if Iran goes again and gets the bomb anyway, as North Korea did, Israel had best disperse its population away from the narrow coast as soon as possible into the West Bank, as well as some of its military assets.

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