The Illusion of Progress: 9 Reasons Why Israel-Palestinian Talks May Fail

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ALI ALI / EPA

A Palestinian man works at a smuggling tunnel which connects the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, July 19, 2013.

It’s almost too easy to be pessimistic about prospects for the talks U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finally coaxed Israel and the Palestinians to the cusp of last weekend. But it’s a pessimism born on one hand of hard experience – 20 years of previous talks, and still no hint of a resolution — and on the other of circumstances, the kind that stack easy and fast against the hope that naturally rises when opponents agree to sit down together, no matter the odds. No one knows what will come from closed-door sessions, if they actually begin, as Kerry proposed, in Washington this month. But what follows are nine factors hedging hard against success.

1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to submit any agreement to a referendum. Bibi’s promise, made Sunday at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, brought cries that he was shirking the leadership role required of a statesman, though acting consistent with his reputation for governing by poll. In any event, an Israeli plebiscite would likely sound the death knell for an agreement based – as any to emerge from Kerry’s planned talks would have to be – upon the Oslo Accords, the 1994 framework for a Palestinian state that, as a candidate, Netanyahu used to burn in effigy, marching beside a coffin labeled “Oslo.”  Polls consistently show most Israelis want a peace agreement but do not believe one will come, one reason surely being that most Israelis reject the specific concessions a deal almost certainly would entail. To take only one issue: Two out of three centrist Israelis in one recent poll refuse to divide Jerusalem, the city Palestinians insist must also serve as their capital. And this week, even in the absence of any specifics at all, only 55 percent of Israelis said they were inclined to support an agreement Netanyahu might present.

(MORE: Israel and Palestine Agree to Peace Talks, but With Reluctance)

2. The make-up of Netanyahu’s coalition.   Never mind that a majority of the Likud Party that Netanyahu leads strongly supports the West Bank settlers who reject a Palestinian state. Or that the settler-based Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett campaigned on the notion of simply annexing most of the West Bank. If push came to shove, Jewish Home’s place in the coalition can be taken by the Labor Party, which has signaled it would join the government to support peace talks. But there’s no replacing Yesh Atid, the centrist party led by Yair Lapid, and the linchpin of Netanyahu’s government. The former anchorman says he wants talks, but perhaps only for the sake of talks: Lapid is among the centrists who is not willing to share Jerusalem. “Jerusalem is not a place,” he told the New York Times in May. “It’s an idea.”

3. The weakness of Mahmoud Abbas.  The president of the Palestinian Authority is a favorite of the diplomatic world and has done much in those circles to rebrand the Palestinian image from terrorists to well-behaved nationalists straining under military occupation. Sponsored by the Americans as an alternative to Yasser Arafat, Abbas is an ardent believer in ending the conflict with Israel through talks, advocating that position even in more militant times when saying so aloud could easily get you killed. But he has no popular following. In the words of Mohammed Shtayyeh, who ran his 1995 campaign: “He is popular, but not very popular.” Israel’s pending release of some 80 Palestinian prisoners – mostly older men, held since before Oslo was signed – as a good will gesture will give Abbas a boost, since prisoners are of huge importance in Palestinian society. But if past is prologue, Abbas will decline to embrace the acclaim, cultivate it, or have it in reserve when he most needs it — when coaxing Palestinians to swallow the unpopular compromises inevitable with any final agreement. As he told me, with a shrug, after his rapturously received 2011 UN speech: “I don’t want popularity.”

4. Hamas still has the Gaza Strip. Of the perhaps 4 million Palestinians who live in the territory militarily occupied by Israel after 1967, some 1.6 million are not even controlled by Abbas’ Palestinian National Authority. They reside in the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave unconnected geographically to the West Bank, and governed by the militant Islamist group Hamas since 2007, when it took over Gaza militarily after winning territory-wide parliamentary elections the previous year. Hamas has divisions of its own, and the side favoring a more moderate and diplomatic approach appears to have won the upper hand lately. But the group continues to deny Israel’s right to exist, and in every way is a much harder nut to crack than Abbas’ Fateh faction when it comes to sealing what diplomats call a final-status agreement. The Islamic Resistance Movement, as its is formally known, still talks not in terms of a permanent peace but of a long-term ceasefire. And its mandate to govern – unchallenged, like that of Abbas, by elections since 2006 – gives the group de-facto veto power over any agreement Abbas might produce.

5. Where’s the buy-in? For both sides, the incentives to talk are far more apparent than any appetite to reach a solution. For Israel, even nonproductive talks serve to keep at bay the pressure of world opinion, which in the absence of formal negotiations tends to focus on Israel’s creeping takeover of the West Bank with its settlements, which is the kind of attention Israel dislikes. The same day Kerry announced a “framework for talks,” the European Union published rules barring EU funding to Israeli entities operating in the settlements. More alarming, September brings the annual convocation at the United Nations, where the Palestinians were preparing to exercise diplomatic and legal options aimed at dragging Israel before the International Criminal Court. “If Kerry does not come up with something that really meets our minimum, then we will move from negotiation strategy to confrontation strategy,” Shtayyeh, the close adviser to Abbas, told me last month. ”I don’t mean military,” he added, and pointed instead toward the UN, where Palestinian statehood was recognized last year. “That’s where our next confrontation with Israel is, I think.” Netanyahu insists his motives for talks are driven by the real need for peace. And a deal would have him remembered for something besides serving longer as prime minster than anyone since Israel’s founder, David Ben Gurion. But skeptics note that Netanyahu’s party’s charter calls for Israel to keep the West Bank, not make it part of a Palestinian state. “Netanyahu knows that without negotiations you can’t maintain the status quo,” says liberal parliamentarian Merav Michaeli, of the Labor Party. “What he wants is negotiations that don’t go anywhere and don’t change reality as we know it.” Michaeli spoke in late April, when the new Secretary of State had only been to the region a couple of times, trying to coax both sides into talks that neither seemed to want—a situation she called dangerous, give the letdown that usually follows a collapse. “It’s better not to start another round of hopelessness,” she said. Palestinian liberals understand the problem. “What happened is it looks like the peace process is a substitute for peace,” says Mustafa Bargouthi, a Ramallah physician and activist. “That’s not what we want. We need something that produces results.”

(MORE: After Peace-Process Stumble, Is John Kerry Wasting His Time in the Middle East?)

6. The Palestinian Stock Market.  It moved not a jot after Kerry took to the podium at a World Economic Fund conference at the Dead Sea in May, and with great pomp lifted the veil on a $4 billion plan to revitalize the Palestinian Territories through private investment.  Palestinian business leaders understood the market’s indifference as a confirmation that Kerry was building castles in the air. The reality on the ground, they say, is that Israel controls the Palestinian territory and, far from allowing new industries to build there, for decades has dispatched bulldozers to knock down certain structures not approved by the Israeli military, which approves very few.  The smart money was not on what Kerry said, but on what Israel does, and for 46 years, what Israel has done is invested billions in settlements, roads and industrial parks that signal an intention to retain the stunning Biblical landscape it calls Judea and Samaria. “A prosperous Palestine means losing control of the place,” says a downbeat Samir O. Hulileh, chief executive officer of Padico Holding, a major Palestinian private firm. “Occupation is control.”

7. Many Palestinians think Oslo is already dead. Israel’s most popular news channel last month floated an idea that’s already gained a firm foothold on the Palestinian side: The Two-State Solution envisioned by the Oslo Accords is already expired, and at this point talks are just something to keep everyone busy until another way forward emerges. Many Palestinians put their faith in demography — the population trends that suggest they will, in the next decade or two, clearly outnumber Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and force Israel to either grant them democratic rights, or accept the pariah role of a state in which the minority population governs the majority, a prospective choice that pleases Palestinians searching for leverage over their occupiers. “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak famously warned in 2010. “If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

8. There are signs Israelis do, too.  The Israeli government already argues that it no longer bears an occupying power’s responsibility for Gaza, which its troops and settlers left in 2005. Israel could unilaterally quit the West Bank as well and call it a day — though only after drawing the border to its liking. The boundary might take in Jewish settlements but exclude Palestinian cities, which would threaten the Jewish majority in the new, larger Israel. In the last year or so, the notion of simply annexing sections of the West Bank moved from the fringes of Israel’s right wing and emerged in the political mainstream. Consider the counsel of Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute for National Security Studies, a deeply establishment think tank attached to Tel Aviv University but staffed heavily by former military and intelligence officials like Yadlin (who was the last head of Military Intelligence). The next round of negotiations, the retired general says, should be the last. “We have to submit a proposal to the Palestinians, a decent proposal, a fair proposal,” Yadlin told a group of foreign reporters in Februray. “If the Palestinians will accept it, it’s a win for peace. If they refuse — as we think they will — then at least we win the blame game and we can continue to shape our borders by ourselves without the need to wait for the Palestinians to agree.”

9.  The Americans are involved. Historically, this is simply not an encouraging indicator. All of the peace deals that have held up over the decades – the pacts with Egypt and Jordan, and the mutual recognition with Palestine Liberation Organization – began “behind the back of the respective American administrations,” notes Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Nahum Barnea. The United States got involved in the late stages to support and guarantee the pacts.  It’s had no luck, however, as an initiator. “Washington is a great place to celebrate an agreement in,” Barnea writes. “It’s a cemetery for negotiations.”

That said, when the subject is the Holy Land, people have been know to rise from the dead. But when they do, it’s what they call a miracle.

 PHOTOS: President Obama’s First Official Trip to Israel

45 comments
dksonpar
dksonpar

US support for Israel is only partly for sentimental reasons. Israel is US' cats paw to control US energy needs from the middle-east. There is possibility of US pulling out from the middle-east, once it is no longer dependent on its oil. Israel with its historical desperation for a separate Jewish state, recognizes the reality of US pulling out, with the blood-thirsty Islamic states at its throat. Its only option to keep US interested, will be to use tactical nuclear weapons against nuclear facilities in the regions surrounding it, viz Iran and Pakistan, as a 'wild card' and assure its relevance, if not survival.

The only secular ethnic based solution for the sectarian fratricidal state of affairs, is to create a greater Palestine. That's easier said than done, but it appears to be the only sensible choice.    

ntiquesrme
ntiquesrme

No John Kerry does not think he is wasting time he has agenda to bring in the Anti-Christ and the New World Order. Guess who the Anti-Christ his???

Arie'sPragmaticPolitics
Arie'sPragmaticPolitics

Out of curiosity: Did the author first have to clear this article with the State Department and Hamas?

AdamSmith
AdamSmith

Palestinians???  What does that have to do with Israel?

This is what the Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad,  said on Al-Hekma TV on March 23, 2012

"Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots, and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots - whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy?

Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, HALF OF THE PALESTINIANS ARE EGYPTIANS AND THE OTHER HALF ARE SAUDIS."

ongafrac
ongafrac

WHAT IS A PALESTINIAN. . .NOT THE NEWS MEDIA TERM, WHAT IS AND WHERE DID THESE MUTTS COME FROM . . .COME ON. . . .THE "TRUTH"  THEY ARE A BUNCH OF ISLAMIC WILD SUB HUMANS   thrown out of syria because they would not abide by ISLAMIC syrian rules. . . . LOOK IT UP. . . .FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE. . . .

arvay
arvay

First of all, Abbas doesn't represent the 4 million or so Palestinians who want to return to israel.

Second, Israel will never allow a Palestinian state because these refugees would start streaming in. Israel's objective is endless talking while it eats Palestine.

The US wants an agreement as fake as Obama's "reform" of Wall Street, that would allow him to declare "mission accomplished" and get another Nobel Prize.

Only a one-state solution can avoid the inevitable explosion, and that's not going to happen. 

One way or another, probably as it hurls nuclear weapons in all directions -- israel will cease to exist. 


AdamSmith
AdamSmith

Amazing how many Americans can't tell the difference between their friends and their enemies.

Video footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets and handing out candy when 3,000 Americans died - footage from the left, right, and center (MSNBC, FOX, CNN)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRA0NKQ0k6E

AdamSmith
AdamSmith

What an absurd, slanted article, that misses the root cause of the strife - Palestinians will be satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of Israel, anything the gain in the meantime is merely a stepping stone.

From the Hamas Charter:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From an ABC news article today on the proposed "prisoner release":

The fate of those held in Israeli jails is an emotionally wrought issue for Palestinians, who view the prisoners as heroes who made personal sacrifices in the struggle for statehood. "

And who are these prisoners, these "heroes?" From the same article:

"In April 1993, Omar Masoud and three accomplices broke into a European aid office in Gaza City, grabbed a young Israeli lawyer working there and stabbed him to death.

Israel arrested Masoud a month later and sentenced him to life, meaning he was doomed to die in prison one day for killing the lawyer in the name of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small PLO faction.

Now Masoud, along with dozens of other long-term Palestinian prisoners, is up for release as part of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's attempt to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks after five years of diplomatic paralysis."

MarkBurdman
MarkBurdman

What a load of crap. Unless Abbas speaks for all of the Palestinians nothing will change. For anyone who wants to know what is going to happen when it pleases God`s I  recommend reading Zechariah chapter twelve

Like everything else in the old testament, Gods truths were written before Jesus was born.

You should not trust in the pledges of Nations or the EU, UN, Team Obama, Ashton, my favorite flaming Jew hater William Hague and others.

When it suits Gods will, he will deliver Israel from World powers who are stirring against the Jewish Homeland.

Let`s not forget there are over 1.2 million Arabs who per capita have the highest level of Income, and Education  of any Arab group in the Middle East.

Gods blessing is extended to Jews and none Jews alike. Jerusalem has been attacked well over a hundred times. As of now Jerusalem remains the Capital of Israel.

Obama was under pressure during his second run  and he said that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel as the Senate, Congress, and Romney were breathing down his throat.

Sadly during Obamas administration he will not let any American on official business be transported on any land that Obama contested should be Palestinian when Netanyahu was visiting the United States.

We will see Gods hand in all this, and we have seen his promise of the Remnant of Judea returning from North and South and East and West to reform the land.

For we are not fighting Human beings, but the wicked spiritual forces that are ruled by the God of the flesh.

His time is limited and he knows it. Satan and his Minions are trying to hurt God by destroying His Elect. Israel is the chosen nation and Jerusalem is God`s beloved Capitol.

Do not fall prey to those who try deceive you. Stand tall in God`s word and you will be blessed. Understand that the Messiah came and he took our place on the cross. Access to the Kingdom of God is very simple. Jesus did not come to war with the World. He came to save the world.

When he returns he will be coming to save his elect, and to save Zion. The Armies of this world will all take up arms to destroy this tiny nation that you can fly over in 5 minutes.

Jesus will be coming back for his elect, and to protect Zion, and to settle old ancient hatreds.

yesh1prabhu
yesh1prabhu

What is most striking about this article is its prose lacking both elegance and clarity; it is sprinkled with grammatical errors also: "That said, when the subject is the Holy Land, people have been know to rise from the dead." "It’s almost too easy to be pessimistic about prospects for the talks U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finally coaxed Israel and the Palestinians to the cusp of last weekend." "But it’s a pessimism born on one hand of hard experience – 20 years of previous talks, and still no hint of a resolution — and on the other of circumstances, the kind that stack easy and fast against the hope that naturally rises when opponents agree to sit down together, no matter the odds." .....

The quality of writing in Time's articles has gone down considerably. Correct grammar, elegance and clarity of the prose, and precision of the words and phrases used, are all hallmarks of good writing.

Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania


GaborHungary
GaborHungary

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.hu/2013/07/karl-vicks-anti-israel-bias-shines.html

Karl Vick's anti-Israel bias shines through againTime magazine's Karl Vick lists nine reasons to be skeptical about the chances for a peace agreement - and not one of them blames Palestinian Arabs or the PLO.

However, his first reason is enough to show how Vick will selectively choose or even twist facts to fit his anti-Israel mindset:

1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to submit any agreement to a referendum. Bibi’s promise, made Sunday at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, brought cries that he was shirking the leadership role required of a statesman, though acting consistent with his reputation for governing by poll. In any event, an Israeli plebiscite would likely sound the death knell for an agreement based – as any to emerge from Kerry’s planned talks would have to be – upon the Oslo Accords, the 1994 framework for a Palestinian state that, as a candidate, Netanyahu used to burn in effigy, marching beside a coffin labeled “Oslo.” Polls consistently show most Israelis want a peace agreement but do not believe one will come, one reason surely being that most Israelis reject the specific concessions a deal almost certainly would entail. To take only one issue: Two out of three centrist Israelis in one recent poll refuse to divide Jerusalem, the city Palestinians insist must also serve as their capital. And this week, even in the absence of any specifics at all, only 55 percent of Israelis said they were inclined to support an agreement Netanyahu might present.

So Bibi's promise to hold a referendum is a bad thing, according to Vick, because forcing Israelis to accept something they don't want or believe in is the correct action for a democracy. and he knows that the public will reject such a peace agreement. How? Because a poll shows that only 55% of the Israeli public would support a plan that Netanyahu recommends!

And we all know that 55% is, in Karl Vick's mind, a minority.

How's that for pretzel logic?

But it gets better. Because Mahmoud Abbas said the exact same thing, that he would hold a referendum.Vick doesn't see this as a problem (if he is even aware of it.) There is no doubt that the Palestinian Arabs would overwhelmingly reject any deal that does not include the "right to return" and destroy Israel demographically, or that would allow Israel to keep Jewish neighborhoods around Jerusalem, things that are non-starters for Israel. Poll after poll prove that Palestinian Arabs aren't interested in real peace, andVick has read the polls.  But Vick has nothing negative to say about Abbas' call for a referendum, while slamming Bibi for the exact same thing..

 No, according to this faux-Middle East "expert," Netanyahu and Israelis are the only stubborn, intransigent parties. The Palestinian Arabs who are fed a steady diet of antisemitism and rejectionism in their media, their classrooms and their popular culture are given a free pass by Vick. Even Hamas is considered moderate by Vick, who stated nearly two years ago that it was on the verge of recognizing Israel. How did that prediction pan out, Karl?

This is only one of the many examples of bias in this article alone. Fisking the whole thing isn't necessary when it is so easy to prove bias, but just another tiny example:

Vick states that Israel approves "very few" Arab structures in the territories. In fact it mainly is concerned with Area C. Arabs can build all they want in Area A and Ramallah is filled with new buildings.  I showed recently how a French-backed industrial park in Bethlehem, adding potentially thousands of jobs, is about to open with full Israeli cooperation. But Karl Vick will never report on that - because it contradicts the web of anti-Israel lies he has spun over the years, and his concern over being proven a fraud is far more important than reporting the truth.

Vick has been proven not just wrong, but consistently wrong over the years. Why he is still respected? Mostly because he writes to confirm the biases that he and his fellow reporters helped create, rather than report reality.

Israel and Israelis Jews are intransigent, Abbas and the Palestinian Arabs are moderate, Hamas is moving towards moderation, and everything is always Israel's fault. How do we know? Because the Karl Vicks of the world keep saying it, without the slightest shred of proof, or the tiniest bit of embarrassment at being proven wrong!

(h/t Zvi)

Emanuel
Emanuel

How about the alleged $8B secret deal Obama did with the Muslim Brotherhood to buy 40% of the Sinai to give to Hamas? Referendum isn't unfair Martin Indyk as a "mediator" is unfair but you should know that! How come if both sides are going to put it to referendum you are only blaming Israel? on #9 you are completely correct! but that is Obama's fault for being divisive self-loathing and secretly so far to the left he falls off the scale. The Palestinians weakness has always been the main impediment to peace but don't blame Israel because they would cut a check one time if they knew they would get what they were paying for.

wearewideawake
wearewideawake

@TIMEWorld  @karl_vick Another reason was reported today in Hebrew Media RE: leaders of settlers from Samaria traveled to Washington to convince US Congressman not to support the peace agreement, Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Asaf Gabor reported.

The heads of the settler Samaria regional council in the northern West Bank met with more than 20 Congressman and Senators.

The meetings were organized by the director of the foreign relations unit of Samaria, Shai Atias, director of PR in the unit, David Haivri and ten heads of organizations in the US that support Jewish settlement in Samaria, who voluntarily have worked closely over the last year with "The Samaria Foreign Ministry."

Congressman John Palming promised to help the settlers
saying he was "disappointed by the EU decision to intervene in Israel's affairs." Congressman Trent Franks emphasized the "need to drop the issue of boycott and of the '67 borders, which leaves Israel helpless." Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said: "The world needs to stand with the Jewish people."

ALL the settlements are ILLEGAL under international law.

The EU and Americans of conscience are standing with the Jewish people such as Jonathan Ben Artzi, a nephew to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who went to jail for 18 months as a Conscientious Objector of the Occupation of Palestine.  He said: “If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.”
http://wearewideawake.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNfxqe1mol0


JackHunt
JackHunt

"When the subject is the Holy Land, people have been know to rise from the dead. But when they do, it’s what they call a miracle."

We at TNT have been praying for the miracle of a MEDIA who will REPORT on American policies that collude in Israel's nuclear ambiguity/deceptions and Mordechai Vanunu's 10 year struggle seeking asylum:

http://www.causes.com/VANUNU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYVH_SuOec4

wearewideawake
wearewideawake

@TIMEWorld @karl_vick Will you PLEASE respond to my many TWEETS #VANUNU ?

In 2005 I made my first of 7 trips to BOTH sides of The Wall and stumbled into becoming a REPORTER after Vanunu told me what i had NO clue of until Israel's Nuclear Whistle Blower clued me in when he said:

“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.

“In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”
http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=21&Itemid=26


nreclleshaj
nreclleshaj

18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

Do not tempt God your Lord

FrankNolo
FrankNolo

The failure of the descendents of Abraham is upon us.  The world will not be vaporized because one family on this earth cannot find a way to resolve their family dispute.  The entire world does not revolve around just one family on this earth, as all humans have a right to live in peace and there is no mandate from any religion, Islam, Christianity or Judaism, to destroy the entire planet in the name of g-d.  If only Jews and Muslims knew how a stalemate could affect them, then perhaps they would stop being religious fanatics and start making serious religious concesions that are in the best interests of both religions.

cryptomedia-dot-com

FrankNolo
FrankNolo

The only people to blame are the Islamic Imam's, and the Jewish Rabbi's, and I think it may be time for the remainder of the world to start to take a defensive position and just allow these two parties to excersize their religious philosophies as they choose.  So if Israel chooses to attack Iran, that is Israel's problem and if they bite off more than they can chew, they should not expect the world to come to their aid in any way whatsoever, not with arms or even intelligence or information, and Israel should not take revenge against the world if no one helps them.  The same thing goes for the Muslims, as if they keep attacking Israel with bigger and more lethal forms of attack, then they should understand that if Israel returns fire against them, that the rest of the world will not intervene to help them either.  It is a sad situation, because unfortunately even a permanent stalemate can turn that entire region stale, plunge their economies, make life miserable for both Israelis and Arabs, and maybe that is what is necessary to force them to capitulate on their religious zealotry and approach the situation from a purely secular persptective.

FrankNolo
FrankNolo

Peace is not possible at this juncture.  Only a treaty to dictate the way forward.  Muslim rhetoric against Jews cannot be abated with all that has occured, and Jewish rhetoric against Muslims cannot be abated due to all that has not yet occured (ie return of the Messiah).  So we have a genuine, diametrically opposed religios philosophy on both sides that makes it a situaton of religious debate, and not a land debate.  Both sides have boxed themselves into a corner where all non-muslims and non-jews have pretty much had enough of the bulls**t and are genuinly concerned that a confrontation between the parties can harm everyone else.  So the rest of the world has no other option but to force a stalemate, but this stalemate is a failure of the religious leaders on both side and should always be recognized as such. 

nreclleshaj
nreclleshaj

Here is your evidence two covenants

18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

npbinni
npbinni

And, #10, The Palestinians don't want peace, anyway

HershieRockman
HershieRockman

Ziyad Abu al-Haj, Hamas cleric:
"The Jews today are leading the all-encompassing war against Muslims... We, the Muslims, know the nature of Jews the best, because the Holy Quran taught us... it is a cancer that wants to rule the world... The time will come, by Allah’s will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth."

peace with islam/arabs not in this life time .

henrytobias2646
henrytobias2646

Hamas still has the Gaza Strip. Terrorism, this is the crux of the matter. 

inachu
inachu

All news agencies are acting like they do not know the real reason why both sides always fail but the jews and muslim do know why and the failure lays in legal terminology and the use of such words.  If any word are held to their legal deffinition then they must abide by those words in a court of law so either both sides use them or they use do not use them and act like a bully in the documents without them.    So the one word that each side gives to themselves but not to the other party is the word "sovereign"    sovereignty for me but not for you.

Now is that fair?  Hell no.

AdamSmith
AdamSmith

@arvay  

In 1947, there was a population exchange 10x as large, when India was partitioned. 10 million people moved from Muslim areas to Hindu areas and vice versa.

This compares with the 800,000 Palestinian refugees, and the 1,000,000 Jews who were expelled from the Arab countries after 1948 where their families had lived for centuries, their belongings and land (4x the current landmass of Israel) were forfeit.

Of course, the 10,000,000 in Pakistan/India and the 1,000,000 Jews got on with their life.

The problem is the UN, UNRWA, and the Arab states that have refused citizenship to the Palestinians that have been living in their countries for 65 years.

Time for the Palestinians to move on with their lives and stop sucking on the UN teat. They are NEVER going to go to Israel, no matter what they do.

 

wearewideawake
wearewideawake

@yesh1prabhu@karl_vick what is most striking to this reporter are how lame the attacks against Vick are and how every ONE ignores the elephant in the world- #US collusion in #ISRAEL #NUCLEAR deceptions and #Whistleblower #VANUNU 10 year struggle #asylum 

wearewideawake
wearewideawake

@karl_vick  interesting to this reporter is that @GaborHungary'sVERY first comment @TIMEWorld is a personal attack on Vick. If we truly love our friends we tell them the the truth. Truth is there are growing numbers of Israelis such as Jonathan Ben Artzi, a nephew to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who went to jail for 18 months as a Conscientious Objector for refusing to serve in occupied Palestine.

He said,
If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Omq-QG7isA




Duffman
Duffman

I guess they want to able to take the Arabs down if they get attacked. Seems like THE EXACT same rational between the U.S. & Soviets during the cold war. With the Bomb Israel can lose a war but will wipe out ALL Arab capitals & Mecca. To me this seems like a great strategy. I think other nuclear powers are hypocrites in complaining about Isreal's nukes.

EileenFleming
EileenFleming

@nreclleshaja little story for you:

Then my old man would be on a roll, and he’d tell us about Sarah, Abraham’s wife. And we loved to hear that part, so we’d quit our fight. You see, although Sarah was already menopaused, she still desired a child. God had even shared a laugh with her about it coming true, but just like a woman, she took the matter into her own hands, and refused to wait for the Lord to deliver. So old Sarah decided to give her maidservant to her old man, and that chick and Abraham made a kid. Everything was fine when Ishmael arrived, but only for a very short while.

“Now, although Sarah was a dried-up old crone, she, too, birthed a son, and named him after the laughter she had shared with God, but called the kid Isaac. Sarah had gotten very territorial and demanded Abraham cast out his beloved first son with his mama Haggar, into the barren wilderness, and Abraham did it! But, as God always hears the cries of mothers and sons, he promised to make a great nation from Ishmael’s descendants, too. And thus, the Arab nation was born.

“By the sixth century before Christ, the conflicts in the land were already old news, and Jeremiah warned the people that all God could see was violence and destruction in the city. Sickness and wounds were all around.

And then my old man would get tears in his eyes and softly recite:

For every misunderstanding, every condemning thought, every negative vibration, every tear torn from a heart, every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go, and they only did it because they did not know. The Divine is within all creation and within all women and men.

And every tiny kindness you have ever done, every gentle word spoken, every time you held your tongue, every positive thought, every smile freely given, every helping hand that opens, helps bring in the kingdom. And the kingdom comes from above, and it comes from within. Imagine a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men.”

http://wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2141&Itemid=249

EileenFleming
EileenFleming

@FrankNoloIn 2005, during my first of 7 trips to both sides of The Wall in Israel Palestine, I met Israel's Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu and we had this conversation on that topic:

I said, "Did you know that in America there are Christians who actually want Armageddon? They believe they will escape the nuclear holocaust because they are now the new chosen ones. They think they will be raptured; they think they will be lifted out of the world. They believe a theology of escapism and they ignore that Christ promised that ‘The peacemakers shall be called the children of God’ and that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.”

Vanunu replied, “The time has come for the United States to see the truth of Zionism. It began as a secular nationalist movement, not a religious one. Then some Christians believed that when Israel became a nation, it was the beginning of the second coming. They are deluded if they believe peace will come through atomic weapons. Atomic weapons are holocaust weapons. Christians should be the first people against them. The Christians in America should be helping the Christians here. America needs to wake up to this fallacy that Jesus will come back by nuclear war. America needs to wake up to the fact that the Palestinian Christians here have no human rights. Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about other Christians? Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about all the poor and oppressed?”

I asked, “How was it--being crucified for telling the truth?”

Vanunu said, “My human rights have been denied me because I am a Christian. When I was on trial, I was treated just like a Palestinian: no human rights at all, and cruel and unusual punishment, all because I told the truth. The government spread slander about me, that I was a homosexual, that I hated Jews, that I wanted fame and money. What I did was sacrifice my life for the truth. In prison, I really began to feel like Jesus and Paul. When Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, it was like me in Dimona, exposing the Israelis’ dirty secrets. I felt like Paul, being thrown in prison for speaking the truth.

 “The only real way to worship is in loving one’s enemies. It was not easy to love my tormentors; it was only because I felt so much like Jesus crucified on the cross, and as if I was crucified in prison, that I could do it. It was not ever easy. I have forgiven but not forgotten anything, and I never will. In Israel, a life sentence is twenty-five years. Even murderers go free after seventeen. They imposed the same restrictions on me that Palestinians receive: no human rights at all; no phone; no visitors, except family, and only through an iron grill; no vacation; no holidays; and no gifts. Even murderers get out for vacations! I was locked up for eighteen years and still cannot go on vacation; I cannot leave, and that is all I am asking for, just to leave here. For eighteen years in prison, they even attempted to control my thoughts on paper. I would write exactly what I wanted and they would censor words like kidnapped and atomic bomb. They would show me how they chopped up my letters, but I continued to write exactly what I wanted. They held my body, but never my spirit or mind.”

I asked him, “Have you ever considered the idea that the anti-Christ may not be a man at all? I keep thinking how nuclear weapons are promoted by governments as instruments of peace, but they only bring destruction. I can’t imagine that God intended for man to blow up this planet, but instead, to learn how to share it.”

Vanunu replied, “The only way to peace is peace; the only way is nonviolence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, and the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peaceful voice. When I became the spy for the world, I did it all for the people of the world. If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The United States needs to wake up and see the truth that Israel is not a democracy, unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find WMDs. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians: right here in Israel.”-

 http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=21&Itemid=26



BobsideBenhud
BobsideBenhud

@HershieRockman  QUR'AN   TEACH  YOU  TO HATE BUT TRUE  GOD HAS  BLESS ISRAEL  THE LORD GOD  WHO WAS  OPEN  READ SEA  ISRAEL TO PASS  DRY LAND  QUR' ANİ İT RECOGNİZE  TRUE  GOD  ALMİGHT BUT ARAB THEY CALL HİM  ALLAH

wearewideawake
wearewideawake

@Feth312@TIMEWorld @karl_vick God Bless everyone with a MEDIA that is a thorn in the side of politicians and NOT their megaphone. God Bless everone with Americans who hold 'these truths to be self-evident: That all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among [people] deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the RIGHT of the people to ALTER or to ABOLISH it.'-The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Lots more interesting reading here: http://www.causes.com/VANUNU

orly
orly

@Duffman hey that the same logic that says all arab countries need nuclear weapons

jkarp60
jkarp60

Vanunnu is a spy, he worked in a nuclear plant and got the job because he signed a contract to never say anything....yet he sang like a canary......

He is a traitor and its a shame since in Russia and the US and China would have executed him.

Israel did not.

Israel does not execute anyone through the courts.

IF YOU ARE A TERRORIST, PLANNING , SUPPORTING TERROR ATTACKS, AS WE ALL KNOW ABOUT BUS BOMBINGS THANKS TO THE pALESTINIANS.  yOU DESERVE IT, BECOME A MARTYR....

FUNNY THING ABOUT MUSLIMS, THEY ARE SO PIOUS YET THEY HAVE TO BE PROMISED 72 VIRGINS FOR THEIR MARTYRDOM........??????



FrankNolo
FrankNolo

Americans are forcibly required to pay taxes or go to jail, so that is hardly a reason to accuse an average citizen of complicity in crimes committed by our government.  

I read your comment and much of what you said is insightful, and yes it is true than even in America we have christian fanatics that have exploited this conflict for personal financial gain, but they are not real christians just fanatics that use christianity as the excuse for their fanatacism.  The question is whether there is a better way forward where people can challenge their governments without being subjected to illegal actions.  For that to happen i guess that governments will have to evolve in a major way to be more inclusive, and to remove as much secrecy as possible and in cases where information is only available to select few, a system of whistleblowing that is impervious to destruction.  One should also be allowed to whistleblow concerning activities that your government commites against another nation, because there should never be a situation where a person sees his government about to commit an immenent crime against another government, and if the fear is legitimate there should always be some opportunity to whistleblow regarding even matters of foreign security without being forced into the stigma of being called a traitor.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@EileenFleming 

do you really have nothing better to do than comment on every single post on here? we get it. you've been to israel/palestine and consider yourself an expert and think the US is at fault. trust me. we get that. maybe if you know so much and have solutions you should try to do something proactive with them instead of just sitting at a desk talking about them on the internet. 

or, more likely, could it be that you aren't quite the expert you think you are? 7 whole trips to the region? wow. that's an expert if i've ever seen one. i mean, forget the people that have been living there for 50 years who can't get it right, apparently all they need to do is call you up and things will be solved