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  1. 14 May '09 17:39
    http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13649239

    (extract from the text)

    Barack Obama must not just scold Israel’s leader but also promote his own plan soon


    FOR the first time in many years, an Israeli government is scared stiff that an American administration may squeeze it until its pips squeak. That is surely a good thing, if it makes the Israelis more amenable to giving the Palestinians the fair deal—in essence, a proper state of their own—that might bring peace to the two peoples and to the wider region of the Middle East. So when Barack Obama meets Binyamin Netanyahu in the White House on May 18th, he must be tough with him.

    Mr Netanyahu refuses publicly to accept the notion of two states. He seems to want to continue to squeeze the Gaza Strip until its elected government, run by the Islamist movement, Hamas, is toppled. He says he will not give Syria back the Golan Heights, which Israel conquered in 1967. He now adds a demand that the Palestinians should not just recognise Israel as a country but as a specifically Jewish state. He refuses to freeze the growth of Jewish settlements that continue to bite into what is left of a barely contiguous Palestinian state on the West Bank. And, most pressingly, he seeks to link peace with the Palestinians to a prior deal between the West and Iran to ensure that the Islamic Republic is prevented from having a nuclear bomb. His stance on these issues makes him appear an unpromising partner in negotiation; but much the same was said of Menachem Begin, whom the Americans persuaded to make peace with Egypt 30 years ago, so it’s certainly worth Mr Obama’s while to put some political capital into budging him.

    Mr Obama must tell Mr Netanyahu that he is flat wrong on all those counts. No more settlements can be built or expanded—on pain of a reduction in American aid. On Iran, Mr Netanyahu’s logic is back-to-front. For sure, sensible leaders the world over, including Arab ones, want Iran to forgo the bomb. But how much easier it would be to persuade the Iranians to drop their ambitions if they were unable to invoke the unresolved conflict over Israel as part of a holy nuclear cause.

    It is not just for the Palestinians’ sake that Mr Obama needs to take a tough line. Being too kind to the Israelis, as American administrations have been in the past, does them no favour in the long run either. Israel’s long-term security can be ensured only by America cajoling and even threatening its leaders in the hope that they will accept that the Israeli state’s safety depends overwhelmingly on the viability of a Palestinian one.
  2. 14 May '09 17:52
    Are you Ivanhoe in disguise?
  3. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    14 May '09 18:25
    The British seem unaware they are not in any position whatever to give advice on a the solution in that part of the world.
  4. 14 May '09 20:24
    I shall for once restrain myself and make no comments besides this in this thread. Just in case any of you wonder why I'm missing in a thread obviously about Israel.
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    14 May '09 20:53
    Originally posted by Sushill
    Are you Ivanhoe in disguise?
    No. It doesn't say VIS in the title.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    15 May '09 00:53
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13649239
    Generalissimo, in posting this 'extract', have you removed any words or sentences or paragraphs in a deliberate attempt to alter the balance or substance of this article?

    You have been caught doing this before. Have you done it on this occasion?

    Please state clearly whether or not you have doctored this 'extract' in any way in an attempt to deceive fellow posters.
  7. 15 May '09 12:46
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    No. It doesn't say VIS in the title.
    Overlooked that one indeed.
  8. 15 May '09 15:37
    Originally posted by Sushill
    Are you Ivanhoe in disguise?
    no.
  9. 15 May '09 15:39
    Originally posted by scherzo
    I shall for once restrain myself and make no comments besides this in this thread. Just in case any of you wonder why I'm missing in a thread obviously about Israel.
    Too bad.

    I'll miss your "destroy Israel!" posts.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    15 May '09 16:04 / 1 edit
    Rather than take the time to think through and elucidate a position, which I don't really have the time to do right now, I'll just plagiarize Steve Huntley's column today in one of President Obama's hometown papers, The Chicago Sun Times. I don't agree with everything in this article, but I do agree with its general theme.


    U.S. tough on Israel, light on Palestinians

    May 15, 2009

    BY STEVE HUNTLEY

    Hanging over next week's meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be Obama's June address to the Muslim world.

    Outreach to Islam is central to Obama's strategy of shifting away from the foreign policy of George W. Bush. He won't want anything coming out of his Washington session with Netanyahu that could spoil the speech. That kind of thinking had to figure, in part, in Obama's praiseworthy decision to reverse himself and oppose release of photos of alleged detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Inflammatory images igniting anti-U.S. protests in the Muslim street wouldn't be a good scene-setter for Obama's June 4 speech.

    The conventional wisdom in the Muslim world -- shared by much of Europe and left-wing America -- is that Washington tilts too much toward the Jewish state and should adopt an "even-handed" approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    During the campaign, Obama seemed to agree: "I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, then you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel."

    Netanyahu, of course, is Likud.

    Vice President Joe Biden sounded a tough line in a speech to Israel supporters.

    "You're not going to like my saying this," Biden stated as he listed things the administration wants Israel to do to promote peace, including freezing settlement construction, removing roadblocks in the West Bank and turning over more security responsibilities to the Palestinians.

    Israel has signaled it won't start new settlements in the disputed lands. But it can hardly be expected to stop natural growth in long-established communities. Peace efforts by presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush recognized major settlements would become part of Israel in any solution to the conflict. Those towns are organic communities where families form and new economic endeavors blossom to serve them.

    Already, Israel has been trying to make movement easier on the West Bank. For example, two roadblocks near Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian government, were taken down four days ago.

    Israel also has handed over some security responsibilities in the West Bank to the Palestinians. But the Israelis won't, and shouldn't, move so quickly that their citizens are again threatened by suicide bombers.

    Beyond that, the Israel-must-do-more argument is dishonest.

    Already it has done plenty. It pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, soon found itself facing 10,000 terrorist rockets and mortars, and in 2006 was forced into war with Hezbollah. In 2000, Israel offered the most generous terms imaginable to create a Palestinian state, and in return got a suicide-bomb campaign aimed at civilians. In 2005, Israel shut down all settlements in the Gaza Strip and pulled out, only to be confronted with a Hamas terrorist statelet and more warfare.

    Where are bold moves by the Arabs? They point to the "Saudi peace initiative." That offers peace if Israel gives up everything it won in the 1967 defensive, existential war -- and more. It demands "a right of return" for Palestinians who fled their homes, often at the urging of invading Arab armies, in 1948. That demand includes descendants of the refugees -- millions of people who weren't born in 1948. Only last week, the Arab states reaffirmed that demand.

    The Palestinians are the only people to have been accorded refugee status for six decades and counting. Imagine if Germany declared a right to return for millions of its citizens to the provinces of East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia it lost in World War II.

    Biden is telling Israel supporters things they don't want to hear. Obama and Biden should do the same for Palestinian supporters. A good place to start would be telling them to acknowledge the realities of the world and abandon the "right of return." Don't expect to hear that June 4.
  11. 16 May '09 00:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Rather than take the time to think through and elucidate a position, which I don't really have the time to do right now, I'll just plagiarize Steve Huntley's column today in one of President Obama's hometown papers, The Chicago Sun Times. I don't agree with everything in this article, but I do agree with its general theme.


    [b] U.S. tough on Israel, ligh on the "right of return." Don't expect to hear that June 4.
    [/b]Bahahahahaaa ....

    phht ...

    ooops. Couldn't resist that laughter.