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    Friday
    Dec112009

    Why won't the Palestinians make peace?

    Right now the Palestinian Authority is refusing to negotiate at all, nominally because Israel is building a few apartments in Jerusalem. So what? That should be an incentive to negotiate faster so that the construction doesn't go on and on, becoming even more irreversible. Why, if the Palestinians are suffering so much, won't they make peace?
        The answer: The Palestinian leadership wants total victory and Israel's elimination. It is willing to go on letting its people suffer for a century in pursuit of that goal. It hopes that the world will give it everything it wants without having to make any concessions. It realizes that saying "no" and letting the conflict continue gives it more - not less - leverage internationally because this makes Israel look like the guilty party. (Jerusalem Post)

    Friday
    Dec112009

    West Doesn't Support Palestinian Preconditions for Talks - Guy Bechor

    The Palestinian Authority is starting to be portrayed as the side against peace. Two moves by Netanyahu managed to change the picture: First, his willingness to endorse a Palestinian state, and then the temporary settlement freeze. Israel made a move, so why is Abbas refusing to negotiate? He is being asked this by world leaders at a time when his PA continues to incite against Israel.
        While Israel is ready for negotiations, here and now, the Palestinians are presenting preconditions and are losing the West's support. Preconditions for talks with Israel? As if we never had Oslo, mutual recognition, and signed agreements?
        The Palestinians failed to realize that hatred for Israel does not equal sympathy for the Palestinians. They confused anti-Israel sentiments with pro-Palestinian sentiments. They failed to understand that many in the world hate Israel, but are using the Palestinians as the fig leaf for this hatred. The Obama administration is increasingly having reservations about them. (Ynet News)

    Friday
    Dec112009

    U.S., UK, France Poised to Seek New Sanctions Against Iran - Margaret Besheer

    The U.S., UK and France say they will seek new sanctions against Iran if it does not comply with existing UN Security Council resolutions demanding that it end uranium-enriching activities and come to the negotiating table. Japan's UN ambassador, who heads the Security Council Sanctions Committee on Iran, briefed the council Thursday on violations of existing resolutions that have taken place during the last three months.
        Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant outlined those violations: "This report set out a pattern of violations by Iran of Security Council resolutions - including two illegal exports of shipments of arms from Iran in direct contradiction of Resolution 1747....And if you add this together with the continued uranium enrichment activities of Iran, in violation of Security Council resolutions - of Iran's failure to answer questions to the IAEA about its weaponization activities, the revelation of a secret enrichment site at Qom, and Iran's rejection of the offer over the Tehran Nuclear Research Reactor - then I think you can see there is clearly this pattern of violations of international obligations and an unwillingness of Iran to negotiate seriously with the international community over the nuclear issue."
        French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the council that Iran is not respecting its international obligations and that there "is no longer any reason to wait" on pursuing new sanctions. "France considers that the time has come to increase this pressure," he said. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told the council that "engagement cannot be a one-way street....Should Iran continue to fail to meet its obligations, the international community will have to consider further actions."  (VOA News)

    Friday
    Dec112009

    Israeli Settlements Are More than Legitimate - Eric Rozenman

    President Obama asserts, seconded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements" in the West Bank. But history shows that Israeli settlements not only are legitimate under international law but positively encouraged. The League of Nations' 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, Article 6, encourages "close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public use." Most Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built on land that was state land under the Ottomans, British, Jordanians and Israelis, or on property that has been privately purchased.
        Eugene Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for President Lyndon Johnson, said in 1990: "The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before the State of Israel was created." One can argue, as Obama does, that Israel's establishing towns in the disputed territories after 1967 obstructs diplomacy, but one cannot accurately declare the settlements illegal. The writer is Washington director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. (Los Angeles Times)

    Friday
    Dec112009

    What is Israel going to do about Iran?

    How close are we to the day that we will wake up and find that Israel has destroyed the Iranian nuclear programme? An Iranian cleric said on Friday that the West will not succeed in stopping the country from developing its nuclear program. 

    "The Iranian nation will never give up its nuclear right at any price," said Hojjatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi during the Friday prayers in Tehran. "They cannot prevent us from using nuclear energy for peaceful aims by lies and propaganda." 

    Will any possible sanction regime make a difference or will it be left up to Israel?




     

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