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January 7, 2010
Renewed momentum for the Middle East peace process

One of President Obama’s first major initiatives was to revive the Middle East peace process, in part by dispatching special envoy George Mitchell to the region. Progress has been slow, and at times there has been considerable tension between the United States and Israel.

However, a year later, there is some movement toward a resumption of talks. Mitchell will be going back to the region in the next few days, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to meet tomorrow with officials from Jordan and Egypt.

To take a deeper look at the issues, Alon Ben-Meir, a senior fellow at New York University’s School of Global Affairs, joins Daljit Dhaliwal. Ben-Meir discusses why the timing is right to resume the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. He also talks about the new role settlements are playing in the peace process.

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22 comments

#22

sorry a little favoritism there …watch WORLD focus &…FOX ..SO I CAN BE WELL BALANCED ! LOL ~! :)

#21

You have not yet erased my comments.

What time do you start working?

Watch Morning Joe a fair and very popular show. Learn and change!!

#20

Fox News cable channel is the most popular in the USA.

Worldfocus is not carried by PBS Philadelphia area channels 39 and 23. Why?

Quickly before they remove my posting. At the end of the day is fun.

#19

Read my post quickly before it is removed.

#18

Waldo the new name of DH (DisHonest), you are lucky the “”moderator”” supports you.
There is no difference for the Hamastistanians: peace is definided as suicide bombers and violence and more violence.

The moderator, when he is awake, does not understand the word Hamastistan. Worldfocus should stop outsorcing to unemployed Palestinians and let Waldo/DisHonest post his ramblings.

#17

Question. . . What was that last rambling all by “Neolithic Cave Painter” all about? :S
The main question is this: Does Israel really want peace with the Palestinians? If they do, a couple of things are very clear. All new settlement building has to stop. All destruction of Palestinian homes under the guise of ‘zoning codes’ has to end. The realization that (Arab) East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians as a future capital of Palestine needs to be psychologically comprehended. Jewish people and Jewish Israelis need to remember that Palestinian people were ethnically cleansed, and even massacred, by ultra-Zionist pioneers to the lands of Judea/Palestine right before Israel even became a country. Compensation to Palestinians driven from their lands before Israel’s founding will have to be a part of the final peace plan. Equal rights to those Arabs that are actually Israeli citizens, instead of being treated like dirt, have to be upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court and the Israeli Constitution.
It’s truly amazing that (most, but not all fortunately) Israelis cannot see what their psychological (terrorizing) torment of the Palestinians has done to the Palestinian psyche since 1948. The Palestinians live in their own ghettos in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, barely given the feeling of living like humans. It is no wonder that all of this has breed terrorism within the Palestinian population and beyond. Terrorism is a failure of human society to deal with social injustices, causing super-extremism. Let me be very clear, all forms of terrorism, destruction, and acts of violence, no matter who the perpetrators are, CANNOT be tolerated! But unless the people of the world open their eyes to the root causes of conflict, everything will be an endless cycle of intolerance, going around and around.
On the flip side, all Palestinians (factions/groups) will have to formally recognize, in their own declarations and documents, Israel’s right to exist {this will be much easier once a peace treaty is fully realized}. The Palestinians will then have to be vociferous proponents of a peace accord with Israel to the rest of the Arab world. The Palestinians can then tell everyone else to stop using (hijacking, and abusing) their cause in fomenting violence. Peaceful existence between Israel & Palestine will be a powerful union, visual to the world, that nobody will be able to besmirch. PEACE ON EARTH PEOPLE!!!

#16

Don’t worry will solve this problem:

Today is a bright day, a new opportunity, a new beginning for the world at large. This year there will be opportunity for development and change. No matter how stagnant the forces have been which have kept the humanity in their current dilemma, those forces cannot sustain, cannot resist the changes and developments that are coming. Change is always present in human life. Change is a part and parcel of existence in this worldly life. But the changes coming in this world are significant, strong, enough to dissolve the orders of the past and to create a synthesis, a new dawn in human history.

For some years now, the dawning of a new era has begun. But like all dawns, in the beginning it is barely perceptible, imperceptible to almost all. But as the sun rises, so the light becomes greater, and the ability of people to perceive the change grows in magnitude until it is undeniable, and no one can say that there has not been a change of the light dawning in the world. The ability to perceive comes as this dawning light grows in magnitude. It is not a singular event; it is not any particular circumstance. But it is a change that is powerful, like the sun rising from the night to the full light of day – a change which takes place both gradually and suddenly, but a change that is undeniable. The light of the spirituality of the dawning of divine love and compassion, of awareness of the unitary whole, of those things which support the upliftment of the spirit of all beings – that is dawning in the world. That which is of self-centered greed, limited view, egoistic thinking, that is fading from the view. That is the night of the past.

The dawn of the present brings the future in which there is a rise in that which is conscious, that which is whole and interconnected, that which draws humanity and all beings into union with each other, into awareness. There is a change going on, a change in the human race, a change on the planet. And that change is a change which is bringing the linking and bonding of living beings into a unitary whole, into a unitary understanding of the nature of life on this planet.

So a new dawn rises. Not merely this year. This year is part of the rising of the sun – the sun of illumination, of truth, and love between living beings. This has been going on for a few years already; it will go on for some years to come, this rising. You will notice, perhaps you have already noticed, that those ideas, those activities which promote the expansion of the human heart and spirit, which support the reverence for all life as an interconnected whole, which support the loving kindness to all beings – those ideals are easier today in the world than ten years past. And in ten years future, they will be normative. So it is this type of truth and light in the world that is taking place. And this year coming is a formative year. For until this time, the change has seemed a bit uncertain, like the dawn that is rising and you cannot quite tell if it is dawn or just a little light in that area of the sky. So it is; so it has been. But this year, it changes; it will become clear.

A new time approaches, a new existence. Change is never without struggle. There is a natural tendency for that which has been to desire to continue. And for some, the change is met with fear. But there is nothing to fear in the changes to come. For these changes are the dawning of light, the dawning of the way of truth, the way of harmony for this planet, for all beings who reside here.

There is nothing to fear in those changes, though there may be some adversity, some difficulty, here and there. For change is not easy – even when it is very, very positive, the change that arises. There are always forces that resist change. And when the change is strong and powerful and cannot be resisted, yet there are forces resisting, there becomes a tension, a clash, and it finds its way through.

This is a very auspicious time, a very great time in human history, a very great time to be alive. Today is the dawning of a new day, a new beginning, a new opportunity. So do not be downcast. Do not look back to the past. Only look forward. See the opportunity at hand, and do your utmost in your life to align yourself with this vital change and to bring into your existence harmony with this transformation. Be a bearer of light. Let the dawning of this new dawn, new day arise in you and the light shine through you, in your words, in your deeds, in your intentions to living beings. And when you see adversity, do not be discouraged. Never be downhearted. Only see it is part of a larger harmony. It is part of a rising day, a new dawn, and the future for humanity, for the planet Earth, is very, very bright – very bright. Though certain adversities happen, it does not mean a dark future; it means a bright future. For what arises is the balance, the harmony. There is a bringing back to center – but not of the past, for the past is finished, it is done. It is a level of integration and development that has not existed in the history of humanity. It is a new dawn, a new day, a new opportunity which is arising in the world.
Never before has this which is coming into existence been fully expressed here. For there is an evolution of consciousness, an evolution of living beings, an evolution of humanity towards the cherished goal. The very Earth itself arises, becoming more and more awakened as the children of Earth arise towards wakefulness. The vitality of this planetary existence is ever increasing, growing in magnitude.

So this opportunity for humanity gives a certain vision to those who wish to see. For those whose minds are caught in the turmoil of change, they may see only the upheaval. And without seeing what is occurring in that upheaval, their minds may go to fear or despair. But those sentiments come through lack of spiritual association. And through your knowledge, your light, your inner association with divinity, you can hold within yourself the greater vision, the greater understanding. And you can help others to have this understanding as well.

So you should not be concerned for the small-mindedness that has dominated the politics, the approaches – that has caused the greenhouse gases and the pollution of the Earth, that has caused the wars between brothers and sisters, that has brought narrow-mindedness and groupism as the dominant human condition, each protecting I and mine against them and those. This is the past.

A new dawn – this dawn – brings forward towards the future, a future where all humanity is interwoven, interconnected, woven together in ways that are beyond current technology. Technology is not your enemy; it is your friend. Today it is crude, and the instruments are crude. But the technology of human beings will become subtle. It will become more sophisticated, and thus more clean – less pollution. And through this, the interconnectedness of human beings and of all living beings will grow in magnitude, so that the web of life will be visible, visceral, known to all – not an outstanding idea of freethinkers. This will not be the case. This will be the fundamental understanding.

The reverence for life will become inherent. The interconnectedness, the interwovenness of human beings will grow. And many of the problems that are today will fade, fade. Others will come to crisis and then []. But the new way cannot be stopped. There is a shift in the vitality, the energy, the frequency of the planet, and all beings in this planetary field. It cannot be undone; it cannot be stopped; it cannot be delayed. The sun will rise; the darkness will be dispelled. It is a sure guarantee.

And you are fortunate people because you live to see the dawn.

#15

Today, Haaretz reports that the US is storing 800 million in munitions in Israel and that Israel can use these munitions in case of emergency – like the wars in Gaza and Lebanon that used the old storage. The US is not and cannot be a peace broker between Israel and Palestine. It is time for the UN to take over. The Gaza war killed 1400 Palestinians and destroyed 40,000 houses and businesses. Israel lost 10 IDF soldiers and 3 civilians. Now Israel is preparing for another invasion of Gaza. US taxpayers give the IDF 3 billion a year some of it is used to support the 500,000 settlers in the occupied territories. The US gurantees Israel’s loan and supplies munitions under the table.
Israel cannot make peace because of its settlers they are in revolt over a temporary freeze in settlement building.

#14

The people in Gaza and the West Bank were doing very well before the first intifada when I lived in Beersheba and worked just outside Sderot back in the mid-1980s. Too bad they decided to go on the warpath in the first intifada and ruined their own economies. Israel offered to give Gaza back to Egypt as part of the peace agreemenet with EGypt, but Anwar Sadat wanted no part of Gaza. Israel had nobody to give Gaza back to. And the people there can’t make a living without working in Israel, yet choose Hamas to rule over them, so what is ISrael to do?

#13

I see a bomb went off in Northern Ireland the other day. SO how is John Mitchell’s peace in Northern Ireland holding?

#12

Why can’t some honest media (which is what I thought World Focus would be) ask people who have seen first hand (like Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, members of Code Pink) the appalling suffering of the Palestinian people what they think of the “peace process”? Is all the media in the US so compromised and utterly behoven to Israeli interests that we will not get any honest reporting or analysis of the apartheid conditions that prevail in israel and occupied Palestine? Alon Ben-Meir is another in a long line of Israeli academics who is an “expert” on the “peace process” …what is his view on a colonial occupation that is the most oppressive in our time? Even as he was speaking of “conditions for peace” improving, US supplied Israeli war planes were killing Palestinians in Gaza and humilating and incarecerating Palestinians in the West Bank.
Daljit Dhaliwal needs to get her back up and challenge these establishment figures.

#11

Geo. Mitchill is a joke. As long as Israel gets $3-5 billion from the U.S. tax payer there will be no peace process. THEY WANT THE LAND. And, the fifth column in the U.S. Government is determine to see that it happens.

#10

I know very little on the middle east..but[I’m reading ] what I do get is this… [IF ] the U.S. & ISREAL SOME HOW …could even give them …Palestinian’S =[HAMAS ]everything..they ask for ON A SILVER PLATER …TO GAIN PEACE … THEY WOULD ASK FOR MORE ! In other words .. ENOUGH IS NOT ALWAYS… ENOUGH ! PEACE IS NOT IN HAMAS OR AL-QAEDA’S ..DNA !…BRAIN WASHED …HELL BENT ..ON HEAVEN ????A MIX BAG -OF -TRICKS OF LIES THEY OFFER TO…YOUNG HUMAN SACRIFICED FOLLOWERS TO DO DEEDS OF …TERROR ON INNOCENT PEOPLE !…. IN THE END GOD WILL HAVE HIS JUDGEMENT DAY !! ….PEACE ON EARTH !

#9

Talk of peace? Two sides dripping with differnent sciptures. I was thinking: Jews move move into the Middle East in great numbers after WWII. They begin to displace the local folks of different religious beliefs. The world faces great problems concerning the conflict that can’t be fixed short of becoming of a different mindset and ideology. Good luck.

#8

Why does America just give up and stop giving George Mitchell a part-time job? And I am sure not for nothing. Any talks where you put the Palestinians as an equal will never work.Plus the land is that of Israel and will always be. Obama, the current PM is strong and does not answer to you.

#7

Any discussion or so-called “peace process” wherein the Muslim world does not fully embrace and accept the right of a JEWISH STATE to exist, is not and will never go anywhere, except nowhere fast. In 1947 the UN General Assembly proposed partition of Mandatory Palestine into JEWISH STATE and an ARAB state living next to each other in peace. The Arabs instantly rejected it and went to war to strangle the Jewish state at birth.
And because of theological, ideological and doctrinal reasons, cannot stomach the very idea of it.
Israel has not lost any of the many wars that were imposed upon it, and yet despite it all has bent over backwards as far as any nation could ever be expected to, in trying to placate its mortal enemies short of committing national suicide. It’s time for the world to get off Israel’s back and start working on getting the truly obstinate side to give in for a change. Enough harrassment of Israel already!

#6

Dear World Focus,

I like Daljit Daliwal. She is articulate, experienced, a pleasure to watch, and uplifts World Focus. But I don’t like it when World Focus turns into PollyAnna.

Tell me, World Focus, where is the reason for optimism over the ME peace process? None of the core issues can be resolved.

It was also amusing to see Prof. Ben Meir claim Hamas has softened its stance. I challenge him to show one statement from a leader saying it will accept a permanent Jewish state, no matter what the boundaries. Some have talked of a long term “hudna” (ceasefire), acknowledging that Israel cannot be destroyed all at once. But none have given up the expectation of dismantling Israel. Indeed, the same is even true of Fatah, which still sticks to the PLO’s policy of stages.

Suppose Israel handed over the West Bank altogether. Suppose it removed all “settlers”. Would there be peace? Or would the Arab world only pile on the pressure on a still more vulnerable Israel? The Arab initiated wars of 1948, 1967, 1973, … suggest the latter.

Just look at the Arab media, and what is taught in the schools, and uttered by religious leaders. Does this give the slightest glimpse of hope? Quite the contrary, incitement and indoctrination have intensified, for endless conflict.

Just look at Mahmoud Abbas’ recent actions and statements:
(1) Refusing to ever recognize Israel as a Jewish state, even as he demands a Judenrein West Bank (and even as 1.25 million Israeli Arabs continue to rightfully have Israeli citiznship).

(2) Continuing to fund the militant Al Aqsa Brigades;

(3) Naming the West Bank’s largest computer center after the notorious Dalal Mugrabi, who killed over 30 civilians in a terror attack on an israeli bus some decades ago;

(4) Demanding resettlement of Arab refugees in pre-1967 Israel, not the West Bank. This denies the rights of the similar number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. It sidesteps Arab responsibility for starting the wars that led to both refugee issues.

(5) Palestinian cabinet ministers denying that there ever was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, or any Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

#5

Is World Focus in cloud cuckoo land? Where is the normally savvy Daljit Daliwal?

The negotiations are performance art, staged for the media. It is like an elaborate facade.

There is no hope of peace, for the same reason as there was no hope for peace in 1948, or 1967, or 1973, etc, when the Arab world launched wars against a small Jewish state.

The Arab world cannot accept a Jewish state as an equal. The Arab world cannot accept that Jews who for 14 centuries were “dhimmi” and vassals, are now their equals. Israel’s mere existence is an affront to Arab pride.

By playing into the fantasy, the media push the hopes of real peace ever further away. The Arab world has to stop using hatred for Israel as a distraction. The Arab world needs to reform. And the issues of Arab and Jewish refugees need to be equated. Every concrete Israel action must be matched by an Arab concession.

#4

Alon Ben Meir’s assertion that Hamas has softened its stance is a bad joke.

All the Hamas leaders publicly claim they will destroy Israel eventually. Some are saying they will accept a preliminary Palestinian state as a stepping stone towards the elimination of Israel.

In this respect, they differ from Fatah, in strategy and not in goal. The “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas gives hints all the time of his goal of the step by step dismantling of Israel – as stressed in the PLO’s “policy of stages”.

Wou

#3

Israel-Arab Peace Plan Principles

Starting in 1948 from very first day of recreation of the State of Israel on the part of Israel territory, Arab countries waged several wars to eliminate Israel from her historic land. Israel won all wars and now Arab countries propose a peace agreement with Israel under conditions, which they intended to dictate. However, only Israel, who won all the wars and defeated Arab countries, has legal rights to formulate and dictate peace agreement terms and conditions, which, in general, shell include the following provisions:

1. Palestinian muslims must compensate Jews for damages caused by Jews massacres (actually, it was Holocaust) conducted in Palestine in 1920s-1930s under British administration supervision, for providing Hitler with idea of Final Solution and for taking active part in implementing the idea in Europe.
2. Arab countries must compensate Israel for damages inflicted on Israel during wars launched by Arab countries.
3. Arab countries must compensate several million Jews expelled from Arab countries between 1948 and 1953, where they lived for centuries, for violation of international law and stilling Jewish properties.
4. Arab countries must recognize “Article 24 of the 1964 PLO charter addressed to UN, which stipulates: Palestinian muslims do not claim Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza their territories” which gives Israel full legal rights to remove muslims from occupied Israel land of Palestine.
5. Arab countries must comply with Geneva Convention, which recognizes Israel rights on Gaza, Judea and Samaria, historic Jewish land liberated by Israel in 1967 war from Jordan and Egypt occupation.
6. Arab countries must recognize Jerusalem as historic Israel capital.
7. Egypt and Jordan are obligated to relocate Palestinian muslims (their former citizens) from Gaza (Egypt), Judea and Samaria (Jordan) inside their territories within 1 (negotiable) year term.
8. Arab countries have no right to develop or acquire WMD or weapon that can be used against Israel.

If any Arab country denies this peace terms and conditions, Israel has full legal rights for preemptive strike against this country using all available military power. All islamofascism organizations operating on Israel territory occupied by Palestinian muslims, such as PLO&Fatah (created after WWII on the principles of Hitler’s ideology and with close ties to Nazi party and SS), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Agsa Brigade, must be totally, unconditionally and immediately exterminated. All other Palestinian muslims must be expelled from Israel back to the countries of their origin.

#2

The optimism expressed about the peace process tonight was misplaced.

The State Department and George Mitchell want negotiations as a face saver. So does the Israeli government, and it suits the Palestinian Authority to tag along.

But the negotiations will go nowhere. As usual, pressure will be placed on Israel to make concrete concessions, while the Palestinians will yield nothing.

The core issue has not been resolved: Arab refusal to accept a Jewish state, no matter how small. And until that changes, and the Arab regimes stop indoctrination for conflict, the “peace process” will go nowhere.

How can concessions from a tiny country like Israel bring peace when the Arab world that surrounds it refuses to budge?

#1

Wonderful news,…absolutely a step in the right direction with both sides offering an olive branch to each other for lasting detente. My philosophy (purely subjective) is quite simple : “The Common Denominator of Self-Destructive,a Pyrrhic Victory Mired in Futility,Prostrating to Carnal Capituation” If you hate someone so much, for such a long ,and lenghty time, the period of retracement will be forgotten of the past, as we all question ourselves. Eventually we become somewhat ambivalent,and complacent thus methodically gravitating towards our quasi-ancestral pastoral breathrens. Our external,and internal lover that we all share througout our lives,…this marriage of convenience.

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