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November 25, 2009
Netanyahu proposes 10-month West Bank settlement freeze

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proposed a 10-month freeze on settlement construction.

For more on the latest announcement, Martin Savidge speaks with Ghassan Shabaneh, a Palestinian-American professor at Marymount College.

Shabaneh talks about how Netanyahu might be trying to prop up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and why the Palestinians have already rejected Israel’s offer.

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To Sarah Jones #28:This statement used few times blogger by name “Son of Jerusalem”. You are the same person or you are using same “template” from Arab version of false “history”. Jews don’t need to “dig in” to prove; everything is here on land of Israel, Jewish land.
I don’t deny Palestinian existence, I sad that “Arab living in Israel start calling them self Palestinians after 1960”. In a real History, Arab move from Arabian Peninsula and conquer Middle East aprox in 11 Century. Palestinian are Arab.


Boris, Israel has been digging in Jerusalem for a long time and it did not find one evidance to link the Jewish people to Palestine. So you deny the Palestinian existance and they can easly deny yours.


To Sarah J.#25: Your “the histroy argument”, that Palestinian are one of the oldest nation, should be in the Guinness world record Lie book!! Arab living in Israel start calling them self Palestinians, aprox in 1960. There is Not Palestinian language and culture.


The Canaanites only arrived after 3000 BC, some 5000 years ago. But Hebrew is the only indigenous Canaanite language. Arabic is a foreign language imported with the Arab conquest in 638 AD. So is the Muslim religion. It comes from Arabia and is not native to the Land of Israel (“Palestine”).


# 24, the Palestinians have been in the land for 8000 years and more. The histroy argument is not in your favor neither is the religious argument. If jews have the right of return this gives all people the same right based on religion and if 4000 of time is your argument the Palestinians have been there longer than prophet Abrham and indeed David and Salamon


The jews in this land for 4000 Years , they give Jesus to the world and later came the muslim , muslim show respect for the one before you and there land and stop you greed to take what was not your , god bless the jews and the christians and you will be bless with peace if your respect the one before Mohamet came .


The west bank or JUDEA was before Jordan land . israel take this land afther the 6 days wars , Israel take what was jews land for 4000 years , please muslim arabe stop to cry and go back to Saoudi Arabia your land , to invade others land was not good for you , you have your land giving by god and jews have there land givind by god , so every body go back home and leave a happy life


Thank you Worldfocus for the best news in town and for inviting the best ever expert on this conflict. The Palestinian and the American people are so fortunate to have him.


All land is of equal “holiness”, because it is all from the same source. Those who steal other’s property on dogmic pretense are lower than the dirt. Those who cause human suffering need to be better girls and boys.


I too am disappointed with Netanyahu’s proposal. I would have done it differently. If I were Israel’s prime minister I would give the 56 Muslim countries, including the PA and Iran, one year to recognize Israel as the Jewish STATE and make peace and freeze all settlement activity for that one year until Israel gets its answer. If the 56 Muslim states do agree to recognize the Jewish state and make peace, then I would grant the Palestinians a state. But if not, then not only would I ANNEX all of the West Bank, but if there was any resistance I would open up all of the West Bank to homesteading for millions of Jewish immigrants from America to full populate it with Jews. If there was any resistance from the Arabs, I would surround every Arab town and village with barbed wire, walls, and mines, and turn them into reservation the way the EUropean settlers did in America. I would not give any Palestinians the right to vote unless they pledged allegiance to the Flag of David.
Now that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons, it is important for Israel, with half of its population living in a narrow ten mile wide band of seashore, to disperse the Jewish population into the West Bank for their survival. Also to disperse Israeli military bases as well as its population.
Israel has to stop appeasing the appetites of those who want to eat it up and make it disappear. If the Palestinians will not accept Israel’s right to exist, then they must be treateed like the American “indians” and concentrated and contained. Once and for all, there must be an end to this dance. Either the rights of the Jewish state are accepted, or else the Jewish nation must take its own destiny into its own hands and let the rest of the world do as it will.


Further Adjustment(s) To The Previous Texts (#’s 17 & 18):

Supply, by Ellipsis:
the presumed impossibilities of occurances otherwise of:

…raindrops, by nature, being anything other than wet.
…Winter winds being anything other than cold
(archetypically speaking).
…such spiritually and diametrically
opposed viewpoints, centuries old, ever meeting
at the intersection of two chords (geometrically) resulting in a “center point” within the Circle of Life.

The Question does, however, remain:
What, transcendent of Earthly Thinking, will
render the Impossible: …Possible?


Adjustment(s) To The Previous Text: (# 17):

Are raindrops, by nature, anything but wet?
Are Winter winds (as Winter is, archetypically, perceived as being cold, generally, by its very nature) anything but cold?
Can such spiritually and diametrically
opposed viewpoints, centuries old, ever meet
at the intersection of two chords, geometrically, resulting in a “center point” in the Circle of Life?


Are raindrops, by nature, anything but wet?
Are Winter winds anything but cold?
Can such spiritually and diammetrically
opposed viewpoints, centuries old, ever meet
at the intersection of two chords resulting in a “center point” in the Circle of Life?

If one must even think, for a moment, whether
the last question is possible…then, that last
question becomes just as impossible as the first two questions.

So will the matter here in question remain…if the last question cannot be answered as any more possible than the first two.


to #15, The proposal has no merits, it was meant to be a PR gimmick by Israel. The expert put things in context the best way anyone can. According to the expert Jerusalem has expanded more than twelve times in the last 40 years (from 6 to 72 square Kilometers) All the additions are illegally built settlements on Palestinian occupied land. It is amazing how many occupation supporters overlook the brutality and the illegitimacy of the occupation


I was very disappointed by your biased anti-Israel coverage. First Mr. Savidge slams Netanyahu’s proposal and then Mr. Savidge Palestinian “expert” slams the proposal. Where was someone to put the proposal in context and speak to its merits?


Patrick Gray, you are 100% wrong in your understanding and history regarding religious sites. Muslims and christains from the West Bank have hard time going to thier holy sites because of the occupation. It is important for you to read and see the other point of view. I want to thank WF for this expert who put things in context for the American people. I never heared such informed views on CNN


Thank you Mr. Shabaneh for educating us with such calm and grace about this bad situation. The United States needs more experts like you


I think WF is very balanced on the Arab Israeli conflict. They bring an Arab and an Israeli to expalin the situation to the American people. I do understand the outrage however. Many Americans are used to one view CNN,ABC, MSNBC, FOX, and CBS et all. They all bring one point of view and that is why many are amazed to hear the other point of view from such able experts like Mr. Shabaneh. One has to remember that WF last week had an ISraeli minister to expalin Palestinian politics


First of all this is not a zero sum game as in game theory. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinian’s can come out the victors no matter what the political strategy turns out to be on the part of the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in spite of pressure from the United Nations or threats from Iran. Everybody fails to understand, it is a deep rooted, ancient, religious war that is going on between the Israelis and the Palestinian’s, and the entire Islamic world, and neither will forego their moral religious convictions that it is their God (or Allah) given right to possess the land. I don’t believe a secular or military solution will ever be reached. At least not on this planet. For the Israelis, to give up any territory to the Palestinian’s, runs the risk of the threat of global Israeli homelessness. Such a fate is analogous to what the Holocaust was all about.

So to die defending Holy ground, given to Abraham and subsequently the Jewish people, by God, in their minds [Jewish people] is defined as a Just Holy War. In contrast, the Palestinian’s purport Ishmael, the son of Abraham, as well as Abraham, to be their descendants too. And thus are reluctant to give up their jihad to recoup what they believe to be their sacred right to the land as well.

So you see… any common ground, or a Two-state solution by the West, I believe, will be based on divine intervention, otherwise an all out religious war is inevitable.

The Seventh Man.


From the comments below one gets the impression that the Israeli ministry of agitation-propaganda and hatred is well organized. What a bunch of American neo-McCathyite slop, bull, and venom in words from our Jewish friends. Ah, such peace seeking people we live amongst.


Ten months, what a joke. All settlements should stop, all U.S. Foreign aid to Israel should stop, all military aid to Israel should stop and then let us see how fast this Israel/Palestinian question gets resolved. This ridiculous one sided foreign policy of ours has gone on long enough.


Mr. Savage and the rest of the WF gang. Your piece would be lot more credible had you allowed the Israeli side to present its view as well. Particularly on E. Jerusalem. Then let the viewers to make up their mind. Rather then you steer them by your cheap mantra “if it bleeds, it leads”.


Settlements are not the biggest issue in Arab-Israeli peace. It was a strategic mistake for the Obama administration to make this the only issue.

It led to harder Arab positions and disillusioned centrist Israelis.

President Obama should have demanded real compromise from the Arab world, not just from Israel:
(1) Recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Th Arabs refuse).
(2) Accept that Arab refugees will be resettled in the West Bank, just as Jewish refugees from Arab lands were absorbed in Israel. (Instead Abbas demands resettlement in pre-1967 Israel!).

(3) Stop indoctrinating people in the Arab world for endless conflict, and stop using hatred for Israel as a distraction from their own failures.


Your esteemed guest had a very imaginative view of the road map. In his view, it seems only Israel has to do things.

The Arabs have not made a single step towards lasting peace, or compromise.

Every time Israel has made concessions – such as the Gaza handover, it has led to even more extreme Palestinian and Arab positions.


In 1948, the Jordanian army ripped up all the synagogues in East Jerusalem. No Jews were allowed to Judaism’s holiest sites there till Israel got the West Bank in 1967.

Israel has allowed access for all religions to their holy sites.


Mr. Savidge talked of construction in Arab East Jerusalem.

Actually, Gilo is in SOUTHWEST Jerusalem. It was never part of East Jerusalem. Gilo was built on land owned by Jews before they were expelled in the 1967 war.

In any event, Arab east Jerusalem is a misnomer. There were far more Jews than Arabs in East Jerusalem from at least 1840 until the late 1920’s. Arab mobs and rioters killed many Jews in the late 1920’s and drove most of the rest out.


Forgetting the Past
In the 2000 Palestinian Arab -Israeli Peace Talks , the late Yasser Arafat was offered Eastern Jerusalem as the Capital , in addition 99 percent of what he requested . He refused , now it is somehow a major issue. Arafat began his second intifada in 2000, embraced Iran’s teachings of the use of suicide bombers ( first suicide bombers in Israel was Iran’s Hamas , 1994) What has Abbas offered ? , threatens war with Israel, threatens a third up rising (intifada ) , threatens to close rank with Iran , where I might add his government has held talks. He names streets after Palestinian Arabs who were suicide bombers, and other mass murders , and celebrates such . Hundreds of millions of US funds for Palestinian Arab schools, have only created a educational system, with books, films and more that preaches genocidal hatred and teaches young children to embrace suicidal bombing. Only one US Presidential candidate made an issue of this and that was H. Clinton, so there is no way the White House is not aware of this. According to 2009 report carried on several major news outlets, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) USAID program has pumped $2.4 billion into the Palestinian Authority since 1994 , The massive USAID program for the Palestinian Authority helps build schools where children learn incitement and that the State of Israel does not exist, investigative journalist David Bedein ground breaking report .
What has Abbas government done for peace ? Little noted news story , just in April 2009 in the Jerusalem Post “In the first case of its kind, a Palestinian Authority “military court” on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging after finding him guilty of selling land to Jews.” This land he legally owned.
In Aug 2009 , The Palestinian Authority’s chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, said that there was no evidence to back up claims that Jews had ever lived in Jerusalem or that the Temple ever existed. Tamimi claimed that Israeli archeologists had “admitted” that Jerusalem was never inhabited by Jews.
In another unbelievable gross act of hatred in a 2009 story carried BBC news UK, Palestinian Arab -West Bank children’s orchestra was shut down and disbanded after it performed a concert for Israeli Holocaust survivors in Israel. Adnan Hindi, a social leader in the Jenin refugee camp, accused the group’s director of “exploiting” the children for political reasons.
Currently there is a water crisis in the Mid-east millions are being displaced.
In 2009 the Palestinian Water Authority was allocated a piece of land on the coast, by the Isreali government to build a desalination plant for water for the Palestinian Arab s , they refuse to do so why ?
There has been no critical updating , no modernizations of the water sources and underground aquifers in Gaza since 1968 and that was done by Israel. The water that Israel provides Gaza, almost half is lost through antiquated water pipes and etc. But the Hamas has plenty of money for rockets.

These are but a few of glaring examples. Abbas and his Fatah government parades around in front of huge wall murals of the late Yasser Arafat preaching hatred and violence, and killing of Israelis.
In truth Abbas and his government has offered little and does nothing to advance the peace process, but demand and pocket millions, while the poor Palestinian Arabs suffer.
It is time for the US & Israeli governments to get off this merry –go-round of waste and death. Its time to build a real and lasting peace , and do something for Palestinian Arabs, do something for peace.


Dear World Focus,

Why did Savidge allow Shabaneh to get away with his distortions:

Contrary to what Shabaneh claimed, the Bush administration gave Israel an undertaking allowing natural growth. How is someone adding on a porch or bathroom going to stop peace?

Why did Savidge not point out that the Palestinians and Arab world have not kept to any of the provisions of the Road Map, nor made a single concrete compromise?


Dear World Focus,
How long will it take to stop using anti-Israel “experts” like Ghassam Shabaneh to exacerbate further the bias of your coverage?

The bottom line is not settlements. If there weren’t any settlements, the Arab would quickly find some other pretext for conflict.

At core, they refuse to accept Israel, no matter how small.

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