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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jordan valley - a disaster is quietly in the making

The popularity of the Kadima party seems to rest primarily on its ability to keep everyone in the dark about its plans for the future. The situation vis-a-vis the Palestinians is so bad, that any solution that is proposed could probably be shown to be dangerous or unworkable and antagonize a large section of the voters. The Labor party favors a negotiated solution along the lines of the Geneva accord, clearly anathema to a large section of Israeli voters. Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, made it clear at the Herzliya conference that the Likud intends to keep the Jordan Valley settlements and to make the Jordan river the border of Israel in any settlement. Most Israeli voters might like that, but most Israeli voters, if they would reflect, could also understand that there is a problem with that idea: the rest of the world would not agree.


by Moderator @ 02:55 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rise of Hamas - debacle for peace

There is no reason why you should believe me or almost anyone else concerning the victory of the Hamas, since almost everyone including myself did not see it coming. Moreover, the future contains so many unknowns that it is wrong to make dogmatic statements. What I write below is therefore only "today's view," written in the hope, or rather the fear, that it will still be true tomorrow.

Even worse than the failure to forecast the rise of the Hamas, was the apparent failure of just about everyone to foresee even the possibility that the Hamas would take power, and to safeguard the various agreements against this eventuality.

If I am not greatly mistaken, when the Hamas representatives took their oath of office and the Hamas led Palestinian Legislative Council inaugurated its first session, the peace process and the road map formally came to an end, regardless of any declarations by Mahmoud Abbas. If not then, then when the government of Hanniyeh is sworn in. The peace process was predicated on the notion that the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist, and Israel recognizes the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority was formed, according to the Oslo Interim Agreement, to negotiate a final peace peace settlement. Hamas, has stipulated explicitly that it will never recognize Israel and will not negotiate peace with Israel. At most, the "moderates" propose to negotiate a "truce" agreement, in which Israel withdraws from Palestinian territories and agrees to let the Hamas build an army and educate more Palestinians to hate Israel. In return for that, the Hamas will continue to insist that all of Israel is "Palestine" and belongs to the Muslims, but they will not try to destroy Israel until they are certain they can do it. That doesn't sound like a good deal to me. [more]

by Moderator @ 04:44 PM CST [Link]

Monday, February 13, 2006

Palestinian Unilateralism in Action: The Hamas Campaign Platform

This commentary is especially valuable because it analyzes the Hamas election platform in detail, and gives us a Palestinian estimate of what it might mean in practice.

The Palestinian Earthquake Series No. (3)
Palestinian Unilateralism in Action
The Hamas Campaign Platform

Reading the Hamas 16 page campaign platform for the legislative elections, one can see its unilateral character clearly. In the preamble. the platform explains that Hamas will work for "Islamic- Arabic security strategy", for "A Palestinian sovereign independent, and free state in all West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem without making concessions in regard to each inch from Palestinian historical land", for "Islamic- Arabic unity" for "Islamic- Arabic and international investment" for the "promotion of voluntary work", and for "economic development", "support the poor", and the "promotion of equal opportunities". [more]

by Moderator @ 12:18 PM CST [Link]

Friday, February 10, 2006


Upon first learning of Ariel Sharon's massive stroke, the BBC devoted most of its newscasts on PBS and NPR to this breaking story. Among the many personalities interviewed was Meretz party leader Dr. Yossi Beilin. I was amazed at the ignorance and naivete of the BBC newsman. Beilin, after being appropriately solicitous in expressing his concern for the health of the prime minister and the well-being of his family, shocked the interviewer by indicating that even in his recent role as the initiator of disengagement and withdrawal, Sharon was not a dove. The fact that Sharon never engaged the Palestinians in a genuine peace process seemed incredible to this so-called journalist. [more]

by Moderator @ 04:35 PM CST [Link]

Monday, February 6, 2006

Cartoon Crackup

It is very difficult to write about the subject of the cartoons of Muhamed without getting someone angry, but it is very difficult and very wrong not to write about it. It was not wise of the Danish newspaper to print these cartoons. The reactions in the Muslim world, which resulted in burning of embassies, murder of a priest, and demonstrations in which people were killed, were very much worse than the cartoons. [more]

by Moderator @ 09:28 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Hamas Victory: What happened and what should be done?

(Second article in a planned series)
Evening of 25/1/2006
Updated 27/1/2006
The preliminary official results of Palestinian elections indicate that Hamas got 45% (30 seats) of the votes for the national lists, while the other five lists won the other 55% (41% to Fatah with 27 seats, 4.5% to PFLP list with 3 seats, and 3% to each of the Independent Palestine list, Third Path list, and the Alternative list, with 2 seats for each one of them. The PLC is composed of 132 seats: 66 elected in national lists and the other 66 elected in districts. [more]

by Moderator @ 02:09 AM CST [Link]


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