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Kara Bue, a former Assistant Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, writes at The Christian Science Monitor that Secretary of State John Kerry’s push for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is a waste of precious time, is unlikely to work, and takes America’s eye off the ball at a crucial point in world history:
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His efforts are laudable. To increase the security of Israel and ensure the well-being and dignity of the Palestinian people are tremendously worthy goals. If they could be accomplished, it would be a significant achievement. But the truth of the matter is that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would not significantly alter the broader, more complex forces at work in the Middle East, or impact the challenges America faces in other parts of the world.
Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 8:56 AM | Stand For Israel
Israel Hayom columnist Gonen Ginat writes that, while it might not have been particularly diplomatic or popular in Western capitals, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s comments about John Kerry and the peace process are views that are widely held by the Israeli public. Perhaps that’s something the Obama Administration might want to pay attention to — the views of the free citizens of a sister democracy — before pushing them to do something they believe is unsafe and unwise:
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Indeed, most Israelis commonly agree that the Americans have a shoddy understanding of the Middle East, and that the current administration has done a great job utilizing the so-called Arab Spring to show that it has no clue what to do, whatsoever.
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 8:29 AM | Stand For Israel
For the past few days, we’ve been keeping track of the fallout from Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon’s strongly worded criticism of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his activities vis-à-vis peace talks. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin points out something that seems to have gotten lost in all the diplomatic hand-wringing: Minister Ya’alon’s assessment of the peace talks is 100% accurate:
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Leaving aside the diplomatic harm he has done his country, honest observers must admit that what Yaalon said was true. The question facing both Israel and the United States is not so much what to do about Yaalon or other members of Netanyahu’s Cabinet who can’t keep their mouths shut, but at what point it will behoove the two governments to acknowledge the futility of Kerry’s endeavor.
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
Reports out of the region indicate that a number of Arab leaders — mostly foreign ministers — have notified U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that they will not accept any declaration of Israel as a Jewish state, nor will they accept any compromise on Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, at the funeral of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Vice President Joe Biden is quoted as saying that Israel’s future security requires it to make peace and that he believes Prime Minister Netanyahu is “up to” the task.
Once again, Western leaders preach about sacrifice to Israel while the Jewish state’s “partners for peace” reject even basic, symbolic concessions. Once again, Western leaders know better than Israel’s own elected leaders what is best for the future of their own country. Once again, Western leaders assume not only that there is peace to be made, but that it is solely Israel’s responsibility to make it. Once again, Western leaders lecture Israel about the importance of living in peace; as if, having just lost a living symbol of the sacrifices required to defend Israel from her enemies, Israelis need a sermon from the manicured lawns of Washington. The hubris is astounding if unsurprising.
Without support — open, public support — from Arab leaders, the hands of the Palestinians (who are represented at the talks by only one of the two terror groups that control Palestinian life) are tied. Thanks to decades of cultural conditioning, any concessions — no matter how small or meaningless — will result in a Palestinian leader being called a sellout throughout the Arab world. Without Arab leaders backing up such concessions, there’s not much point to negotiating. And yet, Ariel Sharon’s funeral is yet another opportunity to lecture Israel.
The Palestinians and their enablers are, obviously, not prepared to make any concessions — no matter how insignificant — in these talks. And why should they? They can count on the Western powers to continually improve their bargaining position.Comments (21) »
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Stand For Israel
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, writing in The New York Post, pens this brilliant peace on why, aside from the lack of Palestinian sincerity, the latest push for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement is folly – it diverts needed attention and effort away from more pressing (for U.S. interests, at least) policy areas:
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Diplomacy, like all human activity, has costs as well as benefits. The obsessive focus on Israeli-Palestinian issues incurs what economists call “opportunity costs” — namely, the lost opportunity to concentrate on other issues of greater importance or where there are better chances for progress. This is a decidedly serious problem.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
We have, several times in the past weeks, detailed why any deal between Israel and the Palestinians is unlikely right now. But we thought it might be time to look at the other possible outcome of the U.S.-brokered talks: a concrete framework for progress toward ending the conflict.
It’s worth reiterating that such a framework still seems very unlikely. But what if it happens?
Reports from both Israeli and Palestinian sources have indicated a few early issues that would be addressed in the framework. The Palestinians will “agree” that Israel is a Jewish state while Israel will agree to use the 1967 borders (which place the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount in Palestinian territory) as the beginning point for negotiations. Both sides will agree to swap large Israeli towns in the West Bank (what the U.S. government calls “settlements”) for large Palestinian communities inside Israel that are home to the majority of Israel’s Arab citizens.
It is extremely unlikely that Israel will agree to a negotiating position that begins with placing the Old City in a foreign country. Far more likely is that Israel will agree to use the 1967 borders with Jerusalem’s status left unsettled as a final status issue to be worked out when most of the heavy lifting has been done. This is how Jerusalem was handled during the Oslo process.
So, let’s imagine that the Netanyahu administration and the Fatah wing of the Palestinians agree to such a framework. What then? Well, first, the mortars, rockets, and bombings will start. Hamas and radicals within Fatah will seek to derail the agreement by murdering innocent Israelis and forcing Netanyahu to crack down. If the two sides are still talking – a big if – the next Israeli push could be to end Palestinian incitement against Israelis and Jews, while the Palestinians will want greater control over internal security (meaning more operational freedom for PA forces).
We still believe this scenario is…Read More » Comments (21) »
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 8:26 AM | Stand For Israel
Last week, we noted the unpopularity among Israeli Arabs of the idea, proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry and seconded by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, that large numbers of them would become citizens of a Palestinian state in any peace deal. Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian journalist working in Israel, says the same thing, only better:
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The Knesset has 120 members, 12 of whom are Arabs. Some of the Arab parliamentarians have over the past two decades acted and spoken in a way that has caused damage to the interests of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel. They are first and foremost responsible for radicalizing a large number of Israeli Arabs and turning them against the state. These parliamentarians have, in fact, spent more time defending the interests of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than those of their voters.
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli politician, physician, and retired IDF general Ephraim Sneh writes in The Christian Science Monitor about the nuclear agreement with Iran and the harmful implications it will have on the Israel-Palestinian peace process:
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Without the Geneva deal in place, the U.S. administration might have been able to give the Israelis and Palestinians a bridging offer in early 2014. But now that this deal is signed, the U.S. may not have the moral authority to exert pressure on any Israeli government regarding an agreement with Palestinians.
Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Stand For Israel