Technorati Tag: Israel and Middle East.
Since taking office more than two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly pressed the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” In his speech before the U.S. Congress in May, Netanyahu even made this demand the linchpin of any future peace deal, promising “a far-reaching compromise” if only the Palestinian leader were to publicly declare “I will accept a Jewish state.”
The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Sarkozy's foreign minister, Alain Juppe, publicly stated: "There will be no solution to the conflict in the Middle East without recognition of two nation-states for two people," including "the nation-state of Israel for the Jewish people."That's been a significant Israeli condition for years -- that the Palestinians must recognize Israel's existence as a Jewish state, thereby ending their claims on the entirety of Israel.
Just as significantly, that's something the Palestinians adamantly refuse to do.
Starting in the 1970s, his work on "biased intermediaries" had an impact on prominent U.S. negotiators such as Aaron David Miller and Dennis Ross, who borrowed his ideas.
Dr. Touval drew on concrete lessons from disputes in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans to assert that neutrality or impartiality were not as important as holding power.
Looking at the Middle East, he pointed out that Arabs viewed the United States as a reliable ally of Israel. This was not a problem, he wrote, because the Arabs knew that the Americans were in a better position to win concessions for them.
Shulamit Shamir, wife of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, died in her Tel Aviv home Friday at the age of 88.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the Shamir's son, Yair, after learning of Mrs. Shamir's death and sent his condolences to the family.
"Shulamit was Yitzhak's right hand in the Lehi," read Netanyahu's statement. "We join all of Israel's citizens in mourning her death."
Mr. Obama's greatest deviation from current policy is also our biggest worry: his insistence on withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq on a fixed timeline. Thanks to the surge that Mr. Obama opposed, it may be feasible to withdraw many troops during his first two years in office. But if it isn't -- and U.S. generals have warned that the hard-won gains of the past 18 months could be lost by a precipitous withdrawal -- we can only hope and assume that Mr. Obama would recognize the strategic importance of success in Iraq and adjust his plans.
Iraq may seek to keep U.S. troops in the country past this year to help with training, a role not requiring the approval of a parliament ready to reject continuation of American combat missions, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said today.“Iraq needs the Americans for training on the sea, air and ground and sea weapons,” he said in an interview with state- sponsored Iraqiya television. “This does not need the approval of parliament,” he said.
The security situation in Iraq is more dangerous than it was a year ago, according to a government watchdog report issued Saturday that cites more attacks on U.S. troops, a continuing wave of assassinations targeting Iraqi officials and a growing number of indirect rocket strikes on Baghdad’s Green Zone. “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, wrote in his quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.”
The announcement of the deal came as Iraq and the U.S. government discuss whether to keep some U.S. troops or military trainers in the OPEC country after the planned withdrawal of the last American soldiers at the end of the year."A delegation from the Iraqi Air Force along with advisers will travel to revive the contract to include a larger number than the contract had agreed before... We will make it 36 instead of 18," Maliki told reporters.
As my colleague Anthony Shadid reports, tens of thousands of Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square on Friday for a day that had been billed as one of unified protest against the interim military government. But the turnout was lopsided, dominated by members of religious movements, ranging from the most conservative, the Salafists, to the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Mideast Media Sampler 07/31/2011