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March 3, 2010
Arab League gives Abbas green light for indirect talks

Arab foreign ministers from 14 nations meeting in Cairo today gave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas four months to pursue indirect negotiations with Israel.

The expectation is that the U.S. would act as the intermediary between the two sides.

An Israeli government spokesman welcomed the news, saying he hoped Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would resume soon.

For more, Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Daniel Levy, co-director of the Middle East Task Force of the New America Foundation.

What will it take to secure a long-lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians?

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

[Sidebar photo: MaanImages/POOL/Thaer Ganaim]

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87 comments

#87

To Jgarbuz (#84): Sorry, the report I mentioned below may have said that the event occured in 1948 rather than 1946 – I may have been mistaken about the date. However, apparently hundreds of thousands of Palestinians WERE displaced around that time. (Google: Palestinians displaced 1947).

#86

I just want to conclude with my satisfaction that Worldfocus is biting the dust, and hope the BBC from which it gleans its propaganda from follows it as well. Hopefully, it will go to show that engaging in anti-Israel propaganda to win the hearts and minds of hateful Muslim audiences is not going to add to their bottom line as much as they had hoped. In fact, it will do nothing for them as Israel is there by RIGHT, and Jerusalem is its united, eternal capital.

#85

Regarding the dissolution of the League and creation of the UN to replace it, nothing in the UN Charter gave it any right whatsoever to arbitrarily revoke any of the League’s prior decisions. If it did, the boundaries of many countries would have to radically be changed. The fact is, that the Arab attack on Israel in 1948 was an act of aggression explicitly illegal under the UN Charter and nothing was done to either stop or condemn the Arab aggressors. So the UN is as worthless as the League was and well on its way to irrelevance and dissolution as well. Then everything the UN ruled on will become equally worthless as everything the League ruled on previously.

#84

To B. Kelly

I wouldn’t trust a thing the British Bollox Corporation has to say about Israel if they paid me as well as they do their BBC reporters to write anti-Israel “hit” pieces. And if you can get me my mother’s ancestral home in Poland back, you can give it to a Palestinian family to settle in. When is the BBC going to show a piece about the abandoned lands and properties of 900,000 Jews kicked out of the Arab countries? Or for that matter a piece about the properties taking from American supporters of the Crown during the Revolutionary war who were banished and whose abandoned properties were confiscated? If you believe all the BBC reports, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d just love to interest you in.

#83

To Jgarbuz (#78): It was reported JUST RECENTLY on BBC World News that the Israelis kicked over 100,000 Palestinians out of their homes and off their land back in 1946, I believe, so they could settle the territory. (May have been reported on or about Dec. 18 of last year). Are you saying that if a relatively small group of men get together and decide to form an organization in some foreign country hundreds of miles away, whether it’s called the League of Nations or not, that they had, or should have had, the authority to violently displace over 100,000 people out of their homes when they had done nothing wrong and some of their ancestors may have been there for thousands of years? Should the President of Sudan have had the authority to displace hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen in Darfur because, after all, he is the President? Should Adolf Hitler have had the authority to move against and displace the Jews in his own country because, after all, it is Germany and a nation of Germans, not Jews? After the League of Nations dissolved in 1946, (the same year that the Palestinians were displaced coincidentally), it was replaced by the United Nations. If the United Nations today, (or a present-day League of Nations), were to issue a ruling that the Palestinian National Home is in Palestine, would you accept that?

#82

It is the contrary, the fact that you have nothing to add is s ign of the time. Look at your own contribution/s eight months ago and compar them to now and tell me what facts are you talking about

#81

To John Smith

Just laying a few solid FACTS on the table. Sorry if straightforward hard facts is so annoying. Must be a sign of the times.

#80

I would like to put a reolution on to the floor, let us make this Forum the J Garbuz forum of debating oneself. Since Jgarbuz began writing here, he has been debating and rpeating himself all the time. Very interesting

#79

ARAB PALESTINIANS ARE NOT MYTHICAL BEINGS, NEITHER ARE JEWISH PALESTINIANS MYTHICAL BEINGS; WHAT IS CRUEL AND USELESS IS THE HATRED AND PROPAGANDA SPEWED FORTH BY BOTH ARABS AND JEWS, WHO AT VARIOUS TIMES IN HISTORY HAVE EXPERIENCED SHARED OCCUPATION BY FOREIGN POWERS, MOST RECENTLY BY EUROPEAN POWERS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

The world should express sadness and compassion at all loss of life, as deeply as expressed in comment #70. At the same time, the world should not be blind to the differences of language and culture behind the Arab-Israeli Conflict, nor to the reality that, if perhaps a third of the Arabs currently living within Israeli controlled boundaries prefer the life and protections of a democratic modern Israel, the other two-thirds are indifferent or hateful of Israel and represent a Fifth Column that Israel cannot tolerate and that the world should not require Israel to tolerate.

The world should carry the ball in seeing to an enforced and well-paid resettlement of that Fifth Column. The sooner the world ceases to worship the “false idol” of the idea of a “State of Palestine”, then the sooner the killing can stop and peace be realized.

There is no need to bribe or leverage either side or both sides with money or the withholding of money. There is only need to see the realities of past and modern history, which suggest the solution (see comments #39, #45, and #67). Proper boundaries and resettlement of the FIfth Column will make for sounder nations able to sustain investments and to engage in mutually beneficial trade and tourism.

Let us stop using degrading language that clouds conversation and incorrectly defines who is who and what is what. The myth of a State of Palestine does not make the millions of Arab Palestinians mythical beings any more than it makes the millions of Jewish Palestinians mythical beings. Every drop of blood that is spilled is real blood, not mythical blood; only the conversation is mythical, for it does not correspond to reality.

Even as I write this, most of the world is programmed to believe that by definition a Palestinian is not Jewish and that Israeli Arabs are oppressed Palestinians; therefore, most of the world may have to read comments such as mine over and over until it sinks in that the term “Palestinian” applies equally to Arabs and Jews — including exiled Jews living in the Diaspora for two or more thousand years — and that a “State of Palestine” would deny Jews a secure homeland and at the same time would deny Arabs entry into their natural homelands.

Similarly, the mythical “West Bank” is a European invention of territorial naming; the proper designations for that territory are Judea and Samaria, part and parcel of historical Israel, the singular tiny national homeland of Jews. For every reason the world must support Israel to be whole again as one undivided State; so, too, the world can support the Arab right to return to their many existing historical homelands.

#78

Oh, forget this “scripture” nonsense already! The LEAGUE OF NATIONS after WWI issued a ruling that the Jewish National Home is in Palestine. Scripture or no scripture, Israel is the Jewish homeland in accordance to modern, man-made international law! In addition, the UN General Assembly voted by 2/3rds vote authorizing a Jewish State. Those are the very words of UNGAR 181, “Jewish State.” Even if there had never been any Bible, the Jews have been assigned sovereignty over that territory. Most nations don’t need ancient writings to assert their rights to a territory when that assertion is backed by international rulings! The Bible stuff is just icing on the cake. Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people just as China is the homeland of the Chinese people. It’s that simple!

#77

You get to employ a carrot + stick approach when you are talking. When you isolate, it’s just stick. So the opposite side hardens, and 3rd parties don’t come over to your side of the matter — saw a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

#76

Jgarbuz: you are making me agree with #69. We need to save everybody— Israel as well as descendants from the other six sons of Abraham, and descendants from Esau, from nuts like you rallying them to destroy one another.

You don’t know your Hebrew Scriptures.

I agree with #69. Rober A. Kehl Says:
Intensive financial pressure on both entities by the United States. Hit em in the pocketbook.

#75

The world should turn its back on this phony-baloney “Palestinian” fairy tale nonsense once and for all before it envelops the world in nuclear war.
Israel is a fact of life, just like the United States. “Palestine” is a myth like NeverNeverLand with Peter Pan. IF the world continues to get behind and continues to perpetuate this myth all out of proportion, the world will find itself burnt out and blown up. Israel, like England and France is a serious nuclear power and not some fairy tale like “Palestine.” If the world wants to push someone around, let them pick on China over Tibet, or Spain over the Basques, or France over the Corsicans, and so on down the line. The world has spent 80% of its time behind the most nonsensical myths of all times, the “Palestinian refugee problem.” By pursuing this non-issue, it is getting closer to planeticide. Imagine if the world gets behind the Lakota Sioux issue and begans to pester America to give the native Indians 22% of the land, plus air rights, a military and so on. What if Russia, China, Europe, and the UN got on America’s case relentlessy over it? The world has to get off Israel’s case and get on with the serious business of the world. Only the media benefits by this circus at Israel’s expense.

#74

resurrect pres. eisenhower. the isreali’s continue to give the pals., us saps in the u.s.and the rest of the world the snow job that they want to talk peace. a wise man once said, isreal wants to talk about the pizza while their eating the pizza.

#73

03/04/2010 :: 12:40:06 PM
I agree with #69:
Rober A. Kehl Says:

Intensive financial pressure on both entities by the United States. Hit em in the pocketbook.

#72

Tell them this is Reagan speaking from his grave:

He speaks with experience from ending the cold war,
“Give each side enough nuclear power to destroy the other within microseconds after the launching of a nuclear attack by either side. This way each knows that it is not just some young soldiers or innocent people who will die but the entire country, maybe the entire world. Dare any of them to push the button first. Eventually, leaders from both sides suffered so much anxiety, so many sleepless nights that they were forced to relent.
Out of sheer fear of button malfunction or spontaneous, unintentional firing from “sticky” fingers, they agreed to disarm.”

Reagan looks very proud as he adds, “Little has changed. I just replace the word ‘seconds’ with ‘microseconds’. And in a few years, I’ll replace the word with nanoseconds for two other countries. I’m not rusty!”

#71

“Palestine” is a European identity adopted by Arabs who lived in the Land of Israel. It was the Romans who renamed the country from Judea to Palestina. Only European maps have the name Palestine on it, not Ottoman Turkish maps. The imposition of the name “Palestine” on Judea was the final Roman crime, but the the crime of Arabs to adopt that false identity is a crime against history. A total falsehood. Jews among themselves use only the name Eretz Yisrael, which is Hebrew for Land of Israel. The Bible was written in Hebrew, which is a Canaanite language. Arabic is an imported language from Arabia, which came with the religion of the Muslim Arab invaders.

#70

Tell Abraham to appear in the dream of every Middle Eastern leader.

He was promised that his descendants would be so numerous that they would be like the stars in the sky.

Every time one of his stars falls, he grieves:

Tears drip down his cheeks, for he is too sad to wipe them off.
Tears turn bloody, but he is too hurt to wipe them off.

#69

Intensive financial pressure on both entities by the United States. Hit em in the pocketbook.

#68

The Arab League always fails to clearly explain why Palestine is treated immorally, by clearly explaining what is basic human morality. This should be their biggest argument for justice in Palestine. It is simple: [Human beings should live in such a way as to cause the least amount of pain and suffering to other living beings]. Clearly, Israel is violating this cardinal human value! If the Arabs use the moral argument, they must be willing to behave in a moral way in their own culture, this includes the humane treatment of women and animals. I think the Arabs will not use the argument and they will fail. Israel just wants to talk forever and thus they win. Talk without a moral compass is bound to fail for Arabs/Palestine.

#67

FIRST, CORRECT THE LEXICON IN THE CONTEXT OF WHICH THE CONFLICT IS DISCUSSED; THEN, REALITY MAY HAVE SOME CORRESPONDENCE TO THE TERMS OF DISCUSSION. BOTH JEWS AND ARABS ARE PALESTINIAN. IT IS JUST PLAIN WRONG TO EXCLUDE JEWS FROM THE PALESTINIAN IDENTITY. SIMILARLY IT IS JUST PLAIN WRONG TO DEFINE THE CONFLICT AS AN “ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN” CONFLICT, WHEN IN FACT IT IS AN “ARAB-ISRAELI” CONFLICT.

Once the terms are properly defined, once the distortion of incorrect ‘prescription glasses’ is removed, the reality of the conflict may come into focus. That reality has far greater implications than the world conversation has embraced in the past several decades. Ever since the decisive wars of 1967 and 1973, the world has believed that the scale of the Arab-Israli Conflict no longer ranged outside Israeli controlled borders and that therefore a final peace with the local Arab population could only be a few moments away. The world chose to call the Arabs within Israeli controlled borders “Palestinian”.

“Palestinian” is a term given by the Ancient Roman occupation of the middle east to all the inhabitants of that geography — Israeli, Arab, and everyone else. The British and French and Germans (Modern Romans) applied this Roman lexicon to the middle east, when in modern times they themselves occupied these lands and subjugated these middle eastern Peoples. There never existed a People or a State called “Palestine” except as a subjugated territorial entity of the Romans and the Modern Romans. [Today’s Arabs from that geographical area are not identifiable with the “Philistines”, although it has been a convenient myth with which the Arabs and Jew-haters propagandize in order to falsely claim an historical claim to Gaza.]

Jews have lived in Israel/Palestine dating back to the times of ancient Egypt. There has been continuous Jewish life in Israel/Palestine throughout history, even during the most decimating occupations by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks, Modern Romans….

The vast majority of Arabs are Muslims, not Christians, and if at street level most people are not motivated by militancy, there are two powerful minorities that are married to militancy. These are the Jihadists, who wage their terrorist utopian Holy Wars; and then there are the Governments of the many Islamic nation-states, who rule by terror and by diversion of attention away from their own repressions by scapegoating Jews and the West; too often they find common cause with the Jihadists.

Israel has no peace with the Arab population within Israeli controlled borders because the Arab Governments don’t want peace with Israel and to this day refuse to make peace with Israel, the well-paid semi-exceptions being Egypt and Jordan. When the world at large understands that the Arab-Israeli Conflict is like a giant iceberg, and that the localized violence that is visible in Israel is visible in the same way that the tip of an iceberg is visible, perhaps then the world can become constructive in the seeking of real solutions. Denial just means ‘shipwreck after shipwreck’ and a steady rise in ‘maintenance and insurance costs’.

If President Obama has the courage to stand up to reality, and not just be team leader in a never ending Washington game of “Capture The Flag”, he may make the most of the name his father gave him, declare himself to be the first American Muslim to be President of the USA, and establish a worldwide Muslim precedent demanding worldwide recognition of the State of Israel inclusive of Judea-Samaria (commonly referred to as the “West Bank”); he should suggest the creation of a world fund to support the voluntary emigration and resettlement from Israel of all willing Arab residents living within Israeli controlled borders, who cannot stomach the idea of living in a Jewish State, to the nations of their choice.

More than 1500 years of Muslim expansion in the world has created no shortage of possible destination homes for the Arabs today living within Israeli controlled borders; by nation of origin they may be identified in fact as mostly Egyptian, Saudi, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian, and Turkish.

All should remember not only the decimations of Hitler; Hitler had many allies including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a Muslim world that raped, murdered, and exiled Jews all the way from Afghanistan to Africa and from Russia to Iran. Israel remembers, and yet despite this history 20% of Israel’s voting citizens today are Arabs…. At what point must Israel’s idealism gove way to Israel’s survival needs as a tiny ‘island’ Jewish State in a vast ‘sea’ of Muslim States?

President Barak Hussein Obama can make a profound difference and set positive democratic precedents in the solution of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Israel is already a democracy with two-million Arab citizens. This reality can be preserved and can be a precedent towards liberalization of Arab States to become inclusive and tolerant of non-Muslims. Anything less is a profoundly anti-Israeli, anti-democratic double standard that the world must reject on principle.

#66

How about inviting some Jewish “settlers” and “right wingers” to your show and hear what they have had to endure? Don’t forget the Jewish community that was forcibly uprooted from their homes and businesses in Gaza, many of whom are still homeless today inside Israel.

#65

First of all, the Jewish state today is only 74% Jewish. 26% of Israelis are Arabs, Armenians, Druze and a host of other minor minorities. By contrast, Gaza is now 100% Judenrein, and the West Bank (Judah and Samaria) is less than 10% Jewish. So if the Palestinians do get a state, at most it will be only 8% Jewish overall, whereas the Jewish state today is already 26% non-Jewish.

#64

In theory, peace between Israel and Palestine is possible: One can carve two viable states out of the land that is now mostly-Israel and make them habitable by massive seawater desalination fueled by solar and wind energy. Israel would have its uniformly-jewish state; Palestine refugees could return to the new Palestine; those evicted from Israel would be compensated.

#63

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.

#62

Why not invite representatives of the Palestinian Christian organization (Sabeel, Fosna.org I think,) and the CMEP, (churches for Middle East Peace) on your program to give their points of view. They will describe Palestinian suffering accurately.
We all know Israel was created by pushing people off their land. We all know that the Israeli state survived because it received military help from the U.S. Let’s just look at the facts, let’s realize that the Palestinians do not receive 3 billion a year from the U.S., nor do they receive arms. They are a people subjugated by the Israelis. Let’s explore the facts. Let’s hear from Palestinians of whom there are many objective and educated people. Of course the Palestinians never had a state, they went from the Turks to the British, but they have a strong sense of cultural identity, and have lived in Palestine for thousands of years, and have lived with Jews of Palestine peacefully, until their property was violently seized without compensation.
With the establishment of facts, and without supernatural belief we can settle the matter. The Jews cannot think of the bible as international law, it is a book, part history but also including primitive mythology and supernatural belief. The opinion of a humanist: stop funding Israel and force them to compensate the Palestinians for their land. It is the U.S. which can force peace.

#61

Until the Palestinian people understand that they have to help themselves to achieve peace the latter will be elusive. Which country in the world would willingly turn off the free flowing money? Playing the blame game does not bring peace.

#60

What will it take to make peace? It will take for the Muslim world to recognize that Israel is Jewish land, and in exchange for that recognition Israel would cede some of that land to the Palestinian Arabs in recognition that another group of people have lived on our land for a very long period of time and that Jews should not rule over them. So land for true recognition and peace is the answer.

#59

Well, antisemitism is the most ancient and prevalent form of racial and religious prejudice in world history, and since Jews are outnumbered by 1000 to 1 on this planet, it’s not an easy form of hatred to combat. Nevertheless, thankfully there are some people of good will who refuse to submit to this ancient baseless form of hatred, and so with God’s help, the Jewish nation will manage to survive.

#58

Is Israeli & Palestinian’s PEACE a utopian dream or is Armageddon ..the epic battle more towards the reality ,the state of things to come..a foreshadowing.. ! …..Too deep rooted in hatred & to gain the upper hand [control] of the middle east..THE-HOLYLAND…????,,Islamic vicitory = A[KHALIFAH] ?? MADRASSA INCITE HATE ..urge there followers [faithful] into ..jihad against the west
and their people, innocent people being slander
because someone or call=[jihad]anarrow view in to ISLAM…RADICAL TRYANNICAL [CALL] TO GAIN A DEATH WISH ..TO HEAVEN ? OR A HI-WAY TO HELL ?
EAST meets.. WEST..a culture divide ? will the RADICAL HOUSE OF ISLAM.. LET GO OF THE HATE &
STOP KILLING OF INNNOCENT PEOPLE …NO..JUSTIFICATION !

#57

To waldo

The story of Purim is indeed instructive, and all those who have tried, such as Hitler, and are continue to try murdering the Jewish people, such as Ahmadinejad, should have studied it. A hateful Persian minister, Haman, gets a moderate Persian emperor to issue a decree that would lead to genocide of the Jews. In the end, Haman gets hanged and the Jews wipe out many who were about to destroy them. Most instructive.

Regarding the Jewish revolts against Rome that ended in 73, 117, and 135 respectively, they did end the destruction of at least a million Jews by the Romans and end of Jewish sovereignty for 2000 years. But as the Bible also promised, the Jews would be returned after prolonged exile. So Bible prophecy has had a pretty good record of reliability so far.

#56

Secure a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine? I’d recommend letting some bright teenagers from both sides take the top government positions for a week. They’ll work it out!

#55

The comments citing religious beliefs focus on the core problem. How many remember how the story of Purim ends? – one group completely wipes out the other! People who believe supporting Israel is a necessary preparation for the End Times should remember the results of the Jewish wars of 73, 117, and 135.

#54

Wow, what a great question. I wish I had several days to think about it before I answered. I wonder if one of the essential elements of a solid peace is the willingness of both parties to go back to the beginning, when it all started, about 60 or 70 years ago. First of all, might it help if the Palestinians could see the Israeli government acknowledge what the Palestinians have presumably known all along, which is that the Israelis apparently kicked over 100,000 Palestinians out of their homes and off their land back in 1946, which of course is called stealing. The Israeli government should be big enough to acknowledge it, and then tailor its policies accordingly. When the American colonies were established along the Atlantic coast back in the 1700s, what if some other group of people had come in, forcibly shoved over 100,000 colonists out of their homes, took over the land, and then decided to establish their rule over all or a large part of the colonies by proclaiming that area as their state? They would have been looked apon as invaders. Would the colonists have ever accepted that? Would we have accepted that to this day? What do you suppose George Washington would have done in response to that? I believe that both sides should take a good look at all events that have happened, bring everything out into the open, sit down and discuss it, and try to approach the situation FAIRLY and honestly. And that would be the first step…

#53

I think that by the number of anti-semetic remarks before me nothing would until we stop treating them as equals. Israel are not monsters.

#52

If I knew that I would be a rich man.

#51

The World Court should charge Israel and its empowering benefactor and protector,the United States, with genocide of the Palestinian people.

#50

What will it take to secure a long-lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, god only knows!

#49

I can not imagine how four months of “indirect” negociations can make a difference on centuries of wars and hatred between these two nations decendants of two brothers:Issach and Ismael or Jacob and Esau later on. Peace in Palestina/ Israel can only be accomplish by an act of God. For that, both brothers need to come together and remember the God of their father. Humble themselves before God and obey His law and then their land will be healed.

#48

That so many of the comments given here express the opinion that, “The Arabs don’t want peace.” testifies to the success of the Zionist propaganda machine. Why is it that the media never mentions things like the Saudi Arabian Peace Initiative? In 2002 Saudi Arabia offered Israel normalization of relations, including full diplomatic recognition and an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict in exchange for the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Arab lands occupied by Israel after June 1967, and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank. The 22 member Arab League unanimously endorsed the plan. Israel rejected the plan outright. It was offered again in 2007 with no response from Israel. The truth is out there.

#47

The Palestinians have missed many opportunities and the Israeli leadership will simply drag on the process. President Obama should address the people of Israel from the Knesset and generate renewed hope and aspiration for both sides. There needs to be a movement at the grass root level with new leaders who will transform the region.

#46

The only this that will bring peace is if all the Jews convert to Islam and all the Arabs convert to Jews. The perhaps they will become confused as to who they hate and why. If only both people adheres to the teaching of their faiths, then there would be peace. Peace will only happen when the son of god places his foot upon both nations, until then let the Jews worship Islam and the Islamists worship Judism. They wont know who to hate and might forget for a moment who they should be trying to kill.

#45

PURIM, PESACH, [PEACE?] — AND 1347 CAPTIVE DAYS FOR GILAD SHALIT AND STILL COUNTING…. SO, TODAY THE UNITED NATIONS IS ABUZZ, that the United Arab Emirates Summit is encouraging resumed “Peace Talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority — at the behest of George Michel, former American Senator (of Arab-American extraction) and international negotiator, famous for the present relative peace in Ireland [that he worked out during the Clinton presidential administration]. So the Arabs have tossed President Barak Hussein Obama either a fig leaf or a Trojan Horse.

A four-month window has been set for these talks to take place and yield results. Meanwhile Hamas and Fatah have still not come together even on terms for a “reasonable and speedy” release of Gilad Shalit. In four months shall we see real movement toward peace or more Arab preparation for another hot summer Intifada?

It is said that Purim, which was celebrated this past weekend, is a Jewish holiday pregnant with hidden miracles. Purim celebrates survival in the face of imminent annihilation dating to the captivity of Israel in Persia. In that sense it is related to Pesach, which is only a few weeks away now, when Israel “re-enacts” it’s creation as a nation, remembering the many miracles composing the larger miracle of escape from Egypt more than three-thousand years ago.

Gilad Shalit’s captivity is symbolic of Israel’s history of captivity and struggles for freedom.

As of today Gilad Shalit has been held captive for 1347 days! For one man alone, denied even a visit from the Red Cross, such captivity of one day is like unto a lifetime….

May Gilad Shalit’s release be granted unilaterally and unconditionally by his captors before Pesach!

#44

Absolutely nothing will ever change the outcome of the middle-east from blowing each other up,…nothing. If it wasn’t for the “Arab’s Oil Wealth” the Jew’s would have completely dominated the entire region today,period! Two millennium ago,…”there once was a fellow named Barabbas,…a terrorist captured in the Judea Province of Rome,that was offered up his freedom for a Jewish prophet named “Jesus Christ” – his crime was only that of a practicing “Devout-Jew” unable to agree with the Sadducees’s,and Pharisees’s interpretation of Jewish Law,as written in the Torah. The Jewish religious hierarchy having labelled Christ a subversive too undermining their infallible momothesis religion – and a traitor to the Roman Empire. Pilot obliged,…thusly killing an innocent for a murdering “Zionist” – justice be served by turning the cheek,…to an “Eye for an Eye” by virtue of the Jewish Torah visioned by Abraham,and scribed by Moses – the oldest diabolical testament of “Satan’s handywork in modern times,…if not follwed by a close second scribbling given-up as the “Great Abdon’s Talmud” of deception! Fie,Fie,…Fie!!! PS. Jesus Christ was not secular/political – he left no writing,…he was a devout Jew during his short lifespan – literally rewritng the “Old Testament,and prearched “Love,and Peace” for all – if not for Saint Paul’s proselytizing Christianity as we know it would not exist today. Saint Paul never new Christ personally,nor was it likely they ever crossed paths. Note: Buddha also never left no writings,…and Muhammad ordered all his writings burnt after his death,even though he was illiterate – all Three Prophets ,Jesus Christ,Buddha,and Muhammad were the greatest peaceful apotheosis credited to mankind’s genius til the end of “Our Near Nuclear-Age Time”?

#43

Peace between Israelis and the Palestinians will happen until long after the killing has stopped and memories of dead loved ones have faded and a generation or two has passed. Until the you can not even find peace in this forum.

#42

If the Israelis vacate Israel & Palestine and disperse themselves throughout the rest of the world. The Arabs want the Jews out! Period! Until then there will never be peace. It’s that simple. The rest is political clutter.

#41

Daniel Levy claims he was a “consultant to the Israeli government”. For how long and when and in what capacity?

Levy is a marginbal figure, who does not represent mainstream Israeli opinion. He would welcome one-sided pressure on Israel. The net result of that pressure will be no peace and no progress.

One-sided Israeli concessions cannot bring peace when the Arabs don’t want peace.

#40

If the Arabs want peace, how come only 2 out of 21 have recognized Israel and have diplomatic relations with it? And how come they won’t negotiate face to face, and only indirectly? When Sadat said he wanted peace (but really the Sinai back) he finally came to Jerusalem (after losing the ’73 war) and talked directly to the Israeli people in the Knesset. Of course he was subsequently killed for doing so, and that is certainly a fact why more Arab leaders prefer not to stick their necks out. But all the same, why should ISrael negotiate with anyone who doesn’t even recognize its right to exist as a Jewish state in peace?

#39

Suppose there were no “settlements”.
Suppose that Israel handed over East Jerusalem.
Etc. etc.

Would the Arabs accept Israel? They didn’t in 1948, nor 1967, nor 1973, nor 2001.

There is a famous book “From Time Immemorial”. It is based on a quote from the British consul James Finn, to the Holy Land in the 1860’s. He saw an Arab mob ransacking Jewish homes in Safed. He asked them why. The response was that it was their right from time immemorial to go into a Jew’s house at any stage, and take whatever they want.

That attitude has not changes. The standard Arab cry is “Palestine is our land, and the Jews are our dogs”.

Peace anyone?

#38

The problem is not the Arab countries because they all agree and wanted peace a long time ago.
The problem is the United States and Israel. Israel has American money, American weapons, and American power. The United States can ask, and make Israel, withdraw to the 1967 borders easily…and then there will be peace.

#37

There were no pre-’67 borders, but only the Armistice line of 1949. An armistice line that the Arabs in 1949 refused to accept as a permanent border of “the Zionist entity.” To constantly refer to border that never was is to make a mockery of history. An armistice line is not a border until all belligerent parties conclude peace talks and agree to them as such. Enough already with fiction! Time for historical truth.

#36

No one really has the right to “pressure” Israel because Israel is within its legal rights. Let them pressure China to give up Tibet. Or the UK to give up claims to Northern Ireland. Or France to Corsica. Or the Spaniards to give a state to the Basques. Or for a Kurdish state. Or a state for the Lakota Sioux. This reflexive habit of pressuring Israel or Jews has to stop. Israel has already stated its readiness to cede territory for a state for the Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza but only on terms it can safely live with. It’s up to the Arabs to get their act together, recognize the Jewish state’s unequivocal right to exist in peace, and then sit down to deliberate boundaries and all other details.

#35

Israel must return to its 1967 borders. It must compensate the Palestinians for the orchards, olive groves, land, and buildings it has illegally confiscated or destroyed. Israel has to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, starting with its nuclear weapons, and all Jewish “settlers” (colonists) now living in the West Bank must leave and move to Israel.
And the United States must stop subsidizing the illegal occupation of any land not specifically “given” to the Zionists by the United Nations. Israel must obey and directives issued by the United Nations.
If the above actions are taken, I believe that much of the violence instigated by Israel and responded to by the Palestinians can be halted.

#34

Want peace? Get the major powers out. Remove the media, especially the Arab media, that play such an incendiary role. The conflict has become so politicized, so overheated.

#33

To #31: You are right its about land.

The Arab world doesn’t want the Jews to have any. And when Israel handed over Gaza, and withdrew from south Lebanon, it did not bring peace. Instead it led to far more missile attacks and more extremism.

Every Israeli territorial compromise has led to the same result: more attacks, more Arab intransigence, more extremism.

Until the CULTURE of the Arab world changes, from its emphasis on revenge, clan identity, hatred of non-Arabs, there is not going to be peace.

And not just in Israel. For non-Arab Africans also, and others living on the borders of the vast stretch of land now occupied by the Arab world (and conquered in wars of brutal genocide centuries ago).

#32

Displaced Palestinians? What of the Jews who were expelled by the Arab countries?

There were more of them than the Arab refugees, and half of Israel’s population is descended from them.

Especially, as it is the Arab world that rejected a two-state solution in 1948, and started the wars!

#31

If displaced peoples are all entitled to some compensation, then certainly the 900,000 Jews displaced from the Arab countries, the 14 million Germans displaced from Eastern and Central Europe, and Armenians and a host of other peoples can claim the same. It sets up a Pandora’s box of claims and counterclaims. I fully agree that the Arabs who are today living in Arab countries should be given citizenship and work rights and assistance. In the case of the ARabs of Palestine, they were displaced by a war that the Arabs started. SO it is the Arab states who bear the lion’s share of the responsibility and it is they who should bear the lion’s share of the costs to make the Palestinians whole.

#30

There will be no peace until Israel takes all the land. It is all about the land. The fifth column (israel/jewish lobby) will see to it that the U.S. tax payer continues to subsidize Israel ($5 billion) each and every year. Until the american voter wakes up and votes the 12 jewish senators out of office, we will have to live with this financial and endless middle east wars until we are bankrupt and the death toll on our troops is unbearable.

#29

Everyone displaced by the State of Israel should be offered a settlement in return for their relinquishing all claims. The compensation package could include education benefits, health care, appropriate resettlement options and cash…(as well as international recognition of their special status and situation). The costs of the package should be born by the U.N. and by those nations, organizations, groups and individuals that are willing to respond to the situation and the need… The treaties and arrangements that have been made with aboriginal people in North and South America and in Australia, New Zealand and other places may be good starting points.

#28

There is no realistic hope for a peace settlement. As commentors have pointed out this is a religious crusade on both sides. The only possible way would be for the US to stop its 3 billion annual payment to the IDF, remove the stock pile of US weapons stockpiled in Israel and used by the IDF and prevent tax deductions for donations to Israel. This would limit Israel’s war making capability and force negotiations. But, the US will not put pressure on Israel. What will happen is that countries in the area will become more Islamic in government. Iraq will have a Shia government allied with Iran. Turkey has elected an Islamic government that is now consolidating power. Egypt may be the next country to experience regime change. Dubai is turning toward the Arabs and away from Israel and will possibly start enforcing some of its anti-trading laws.
In sum conditions will get worse and a war is possible.

#27

There is no legal or historical basis for a Palestinian state because there is no previous record of any such state either in history or myth, nor in any legal ruling by the League of Nations nor the United Nations. Certainly, the Kurds, Sioux, and a host of other peoples have a greater claim to a state than the Palestinians. If Israel is to cede ancient Hebrew lands to become an Arab sovereign entity, it can only be on Israel’s terms. The League of Nations ruled in 1920 that the Jewish National Home was to be in geographic Palestine. This was arbitrarily amended by the British in the White Paper of 1922 which created an Arab state, the Emirate of Transjordan east of the Jordan river. That was the first partition of Palestine. In 1947, the British turned over the responsibility to the UN which offered another partition of the remainder for a Jewish state and another Arab state west of the Jordan river. This compromise too was rejected by the Arabs who went to war to quash the newborn Jewish state. After this failed, and despite the fact that Jordan controlled East Jerusalem and what became the “West Bank,” no Palestinian state was created. As a result of the ’67 war, Israel came into possession of all ancient Hebrew lands west of the Jordan river. So why should it cede any of it for anything less than full recognition and peace, and on security terms it can live with? Israel is the victor of 6 wars, not the vanquished. It does not have to accept terms as if it is the defeated party. It’s never been the case in history that the defeated demand the victor submit to its terms.

#26

The Arab League represents mostly police states and/or a handful of opportunists. Rabid Israeli warmongering settlement builders and Hamas radicals do a disservice to their people and will not achieve peace. Perhaps it will take a nuclear weapon going off in Tel-aviv or the West Bank to make people think that peace agreements must be made.

#25

Yes of course this is the big one. Peace will continue to elude both sides as both are fighting for real estate promised to each side by scripture. There can be and will be no compromise. The world will continue to suffer due to the consequences of non peace in the middle East. This problem will ultimately be solved by the appearence of the foretold “antichrist” whose first duty will be to come up with a solution for this age old problem in an ingenious fashion. When that happens, and a treaty is signed, the end of the end times will begin. It will last seven years..the first half being a wonderful peaceful and prosperous period followed by total world war and the eventual return of Jesus Christ. Many millions of Christians believe this. I hope whoever reads this will believe it also.

#24

There must be a sovereign Palestinian state – based on the borders before 1967 – with control of its airspace, water and other resources. The military occupation GONE! Vacate all illegal settlements in the West Bank but for those illegal settlements which would be impossible to remove (some have been in existence for over 20 years), let them remain, but give Palestine COMPARABLE land in Israel. Open up all roads to everyone, not just Israeli’s. And let the Palestinians who were forced from their homes (and Israeli’s are now living there) return to their homes if they wish. If they don’t wish, then give them restitution. Two states independently governed – no control over anything in Palestine by Israel (unlike what is presently happening in Gaza). This tiny piece of land has the potential to be a rich, multi-cultural, beautiful area. It was once that way – ask the old people who were there before 1948 – they will tell you how they all lived together with respect – before the Zionists began their program of ethnic cleansing and land grabbing.

#23

Peace talks should NOT resume until Iran’s nuclear program is stopped, and until all Muslim states recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist in peace. But if not, Israel should disperse its threatened concentrated population from the narrow coast deep into the West Bank. IF the UN can’t stop Iran, then no peace is possible.

#22

Ten years of talks have produced nothing towards peace. Ten years more won’t either. What is needed is ACTION.

The current Israeli nationalist government has ignored all previously signed agreements, so Israel’s word is worth nothing, and action toward a Palestinian State is not coming.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to confiscate more and more land in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

Complicate that with Israel’s support from Christians who believe the Old Testament pronouncements while ignoring what Jesus taught. He said His Kingdom was not of this world, and talked about loving one’s enemies.

No wonder the only people He ever condemned were the religious leaders! People invented Christianity, a religion, as a substitute for “the Way”–Jesus. What a different world it would be if people followed Him and loved as He taught and demonstrated by giving His earthly life so that man could start over again with a “new life.”

In short, it would currently take a miracle for peace to happen. What is more likely is a new uprising by the Palestinians and more bloodshed.

#21

The Arab League, sponsor of this new ‘peace’ initiative, should go back to supporting UN resolution #181, which created Israel and an Arab state side by side. At that time (Nov.29,’47) this League rejected it totally and threatened to “erase it in rivers of blood” (Jamal Husseini, the League’s representative to the UN then).

#20

I hate to say it, but I think peace will not come until everyone alive in that region has died and are replaced by people who are truly tired of living in constant strife. As it is, all the powers that be in the region owe their power to the continuation of the war. I hate to say it, but that’s the way I see it.

#19

The Arabs have to end indoctrination in schools, mosques, media. No hope of peace as long as they incite hatred.

#18

Want a solution? Tell the Arab world some home truths. Tell Israel some too.

As long as we refuse to plainly point out that the Arab world starts and bears primary responsibility for maintaining the conflict, we encourage the doublespeak of the Arab League.

They keep sating “if only Israel…” . What they really are saying is they care as much about Palestinainas as they do about their own citizens (nothing!) and just need Israel as a distraction.

#17

The chances of progress are slim. The Palestinians are divided between Hamas and Fatah.
Fatah won’t make any compromises, because it has Hamas looking over its shoulders.

In any event, the goals of Fatah are the same as that of Hamas – the end of Israel. Only the tactics differ.

I cannot see why the US should invest so much effort in this conflict, which cannot be solved as the Arab governments need it kept alive. Just look at President Clinton’s failed efforts, sunk by Arafat.

#16

The US gives hundreds of million of dollars to the Palestinian Authority every year. The aid should be made conditional on ending support for the Al Aqsa Brigades, and on ending indoctrination in Palestinian schools.

#15

For there to be peace:
(1) The Arab world must give up on the fraudulent “right of return”. It must recognize the population exchange – that as many Jews were kicked out of Arab lands as fled Israel.

(2) The Arab world must accept responsibility for starting the wars, and stop trying o shift all blame to Israel.

(3) The Arab world must end incitement, and start educating for peace. Israel has been teaching Israeli students Arab narratives. There must be reciprocity on this.

#14

These negotiations will fail because the US will pressure Israel, but not the Palestinians and the Arab world.

Only when we stop using Israel as a scapegoat, and face up to the culture of violence, revenge, and hatred of the other, that is the Arab norm, is there even a glimmer of hope.

Have any of you looked at the racism that permeates Arab media?

#13

Negotiations and Israeli withdrawals will not bring peace – just look at Gaza, south Lebanon, etc.

Peace can only come when the Arab world changes its attitudes, and stops seeing the “peace process” as a means to dismantle Israel.

#12

For both sides to beleave in God’s peace,love and
to forgive each other for all past wrongs.

#11

Until the land is returned and building stopped, orchards not cut down, and some respect to the Palistinians, you can hold your breath. Our constant quote, Israel,right or wrong, our monetary aid to them while they slap our face will get the solution to nothing.. By the same standard, the Arabs must recognize that Israel is a real state, and will not go away. Using the Palistinians for cheap labor will never be as good as making them a trading partner in a fair, and reasonable way. I feel the frustration of the Isrealis who truly want peace but are frustrated by their land hungry government, these people deserve to also live in a peaceful environment.

#10

Israel needs to return to its 1967 borders, before any peace will ever be secured. One of things that really annoys me about World Focus is its constant stream of Israeli government officials or former Israeli government officials giving their opinion about the situation. We never hear from the other side. Unless you put on FATAH or HAMAS officials, all of your programming on the matter is propaganda. I didn’t give money to Channel 13 for this type of propaganda!

#9

Everyone knows the solution except for the two parties involved. Just like Europe’s old religious battlefield, Belgium, there has to be Israel with it’s capital in West Jerusalem and Palestine with it’s capital in East Jerusalem. Or perhaps a shared capital like Brussels.

#8

I would support a peaceful, democratic, demilitarized Palestinian state next to Israel IF and only if it would fully reconcile and accept the right of the Jewish state to exist and decide to reconcile and be good neighbors, like Canada next to the US. But that’s never going to happen. They will forever remain an irredentist thorn in Israel’s side waiting for revenge. If they seriously want a peaceful state, they have to prove it both in word and deed.

#7

A lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians will happen only when we in the US stop our financial and military support for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. The Israeli government says whatever it needs to say to keep the aid flowing, then drags its feet in the actual negotiations, building more settlements all the time. The fact is: Israel wants the land, needs the water and thrives on the conflict. #3 jgarbuz sums up Israel’s real goal: to get rid of the Palestinians. That is their “final solution” to the Palestinian question.

#6

Read your Bible, not going to happen.

#5

The more land Israel has returned since 1979, the worse it has gotten for Israel. There is no “peace process” but only a “strangle Israel” process in place. Compromise is weakness in Arab eyes. Feed a crocodile and he won’t kiss your hands in appreciation.

#4

As long as Israel can buy, steal, borrow or rent
land west of the Jordan River, the Peace Process
is in limbo.

#3

The best plan for peace is for Israel to help Palestinians relocate to Jordan (eastern Palestine) and leave the Jews alone. All the US aid now given annually to Israel should be used to relocate Palestinians to Jordan or elsewhere in the vast Muslim world. That would be the best peace plan.

#2

1 #]…I beg to differ, on the yellow brick road
to H’CARE approch.[both-sides]…Obama’s call for bipartianship comes at the ..end game= come on board after the H’CARE BILL ..is crafted ? ..THE COST OF H’CARE ..OBAMA ‘CARE IS TO WEIGHTY $$ !
…little by little our ..FREEDOM ..is being SIPHON OFF ! AMERICA A SUPER POWER …HOW..WHEN SHE’S SOON TO BE ..SUPER BROKE…THANKS TO THE LIBERAL DEMS… PUSH FOR ..OVER SPENDING $$ POLICY’S !
…AS FAR AS ISRAELI & PALESTINIAN CALL FOR PEACE
..if only they could be IRISH ..and have some
…GOOD LUCK !!! :)

#1

Maybe to do like the U.S is trying to do on Healthcare. Work with the things that both sides are agreeing upon, implement them, and just continue talking on the things where there is disagreement.

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