Does “special ties” mean their Political Action Committees and Funds? It is time for the US and the US politicians to quit prostituting themselves out for Israeli PAC money and do the right thing for America.
OK, this is a long post, and I beg you to read it fully. The Palestinian – Israeli conflict is a complicated one, I don’t profess to be an expert, but I do believe that if we educate ourselves we stand a better chance at solving it.
For those of you “Tweeters” out there who want news in 140 characters or less, this won’t fit for you, if you want to think…grab a cup of coffee sit down and read…
I think we can all agree that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an idiot. His rhetoric is obscene and inflammatory, but you know what …I am fully convinced that Netanyahu is just as evil in his rhetoric.
These folks have something else in common…neither of them are based in reality, neither of them have any regard for the UN or any other recognized government’s opinion or sovereignty, nor does the idea of what is the morally right and just course of action apply to either of them.
What will it take for Israel to get the message? The world is rapidly running out of time to placate Israel and their disregard for reality. Solving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict will help us get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I want my family members home who serve their country.
I am tired of American blood being shed. We are fighting with one hand tied behind our back, if we solve the Palestinian problem, it removes a MAJOR source of tension and feed for those who want to terrorize the world. I often wonder if we are fighting the wrong enemy?
Perhaps our biggest enemy is Israel and their refusal to engage in a realistic peace process or implement any of the 60 plus resolution passed by the UN.
Their continual provocation and escalation of the situation as so well illustrated by Benjamin Netanyahu – the current Israeli Prime Minister and his recent inflammatory remarks that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Israel continually ignores and has no use for the UN, unless of course the UN is going to protect them, when it is somebody else’s blood being shed on their behalf , like right now there are UN peacekeeping troops on the Israeli – Lebanon border, then the UN is just dandy!
Israel is a rogue state, just like Iran. And no, I am not being anti-semantic here, it is just a fact. Given the recent events linking Mossad the Israeli intelligence agency to the Dubai Murder of a Hamas member, using cloned passports from all over the world and the expansion and inflammatory language from Netanyahu I ask a simple question: What is the difference between Iran and Israel?
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has slammed Israel for approving construction of 20 new apartments in occupied East Jerusalem, pressing that the building of “illegal” settlements “must stop”. Photo: AP / Khalil Hamraa
The US should own up to what we have created, we continually blocked binding resolutions and resolutions condemning Israel because of our “special ties” with Israel. Does “special ties” mean their Political Action Committees and Funds?
It is time for the US and the US politicians to quit prostituting themselves out for Israeli PAC money and do the right thing for America. Here is an organization – the UN -delegated with keeping the peace of the world, and guess who has consistently ignored resolutions with regard to the Palestinian Israeli conflict? Israel.
In January Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon made the following statement at the opening of the 2010 session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in New York, 21 January:
I congratulate you and your distinguished colleagues on your re-election to the leadership of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
As we open this year’s session, intensive efforts are under way by the international community to restart the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. I support the United States-led efforts to bring about a resumption of meaningful negotiations on all final status issues, including the security of Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem.
In the absence of talks, confidence between the parties has diminished. Tensions have risen in East Jerusalem. People in Gaza and southern Israel continue to suffer from violence. If we do not move forward on the political process soon, we risk sliding backwards.
Notwithstanding the Government of Israel’s decision to restrain settlement construction in the West Bank, I am concerned that settlement activity and financial support for settlement expansion continues in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The international community has repeatedly appealed to Israel to halt settlement construction throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Settlement construction violates international law and contravenes the Road Map, under which Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement activity, including the so-called “natural growth”.
This is in no one’s interest, least of all Israel’s. Settlement activity undermines trust between the two parties, seems to pre-judge the outcome of the future permanent status negotiations, and imperils the basis for the two-State solution.
In East Jerusalem, a series of worrisome events has not only stoked tensions in the city but also has the potential to endanger stability in the region. The Israeli authorities have continued to discriminate against Palestinian residents, including by ordering house demolitions and evictions and revoking identity cards. Local authorities have also announced plans to consolidate and expand settlement infrastructure.
It bears repeating that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, which remains part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The question of Jerusalem is a central and highly sensitive issue to be addressed by the parties in permanent status negotiations. A way must be found, through negotiations, for Jerusalem to emerge as the capital of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. This is the road to fulfilling the vision of Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
In Gaza, one year after the end of the most recent round of hostilities, neither the issues that led to the conflict nor its aftermath have been fully addressed. Very few of the key measures for stability, as identified in Security Council resolution 1860, have been implemented. Moreover, and regrettably, accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law has not been adequately addressed. I call on Israel and the relevant Palestinian authorities to conduct, without delay, credible domestic investigations into the many reported allegations of serious human rights violations.
The grave humanitarian situation in Gaza remains of special concern to me. The amount of humanitarian and other supplies allowed in is insufficient to meet the needs of the population or to enable urgently needed reconstruction. I deeply regret that the United Nations proposal to kick-start civilian reconstruction activity has not been approved. I repeat my call on Israel to end its unacceptable and counterproductive blockade and to fully respect international law.
I am also greatly concerned about those in southern Israel who have to live in fear of continuing Palestinian rocket and mortar fire from Gaza. I call for a complete end to violence and the targeting of Israeli civilians.
For 42 long years, the Palestinian people have been living under occupation. I reiterate my firm commitment to putting an end to the occupation, and to the conflict, through the creation of a State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security, and through the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.
We shall pursue this objective in keeping with Security Council resolutions, previous agreements, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.
If we are to advance this common agenda in the crucial period ahead, a revitalized Quartet must step up its engagement. This Committee has also a contribution to make.
I look forward to continuing our work together to end a tragic situation that has persisted for far too long, to the detriment of far too many men, women and children.
Today Ban Ki-moon made the following statement:
New York, 24 March 2010 – Secretary-General’s press encounter following security council briefing on the Middle East
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to see you.
I have just briefed the Security Council on last Friday’s Quartet meeting and my own visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Tomorrow I am heading to Sirte, Libya, to participate in the League of Arab States Summit meeting.
These missions take place amid continuing efforts to start Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, as well as a crisis of confidence surrounding Israel’s plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.
I am aware of the latest news concerning yet another 20 dwellings to be constructed in East Jerusalem, this time in the heart of an Arab neighborhood.
I say again, here, what I have been repeatedly saying: that settlements are illegal under international law. This must stop.
From my discussions with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership and the Quartet members, as well as what I saw for myself in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, I would draw four main points:
First, there is no alternative to negotiations for a two-state solution. As the Quartet stressed, proximity talks should move ahead, evolving into direct negotiations between the parties as soon as possible. The goal should be to resolve all final status issues within 24 months.
Second, we must not let those negotiations be disrupted by provocations. No doubt there will be tests. However, you should know that extremists must know that the parties are determined to stay at the table.
Third, there have been too many negative facts on the ground. We need more positive facts — a settlement freeze, a lifting of the blockade of Gaza, an end to rocket fire from Gaza, an easing of the constraints that stifle Palestinian life, prisoner exchanges, Palestinian unity, further security and economic progress by the Palestinian Authority.
The list is long, and time is very short. Israelis and Palestinians should do much more to build trust and meet their obligations under international law and the Roadmap.
Fourth, while peace is primarily in the hands of the parties themselves, the international community will continue to play a crucial role. At this important juncture, the Quartet is determined to push the parties and monitor the situation. That is one of the reasons why I am going to Sirte to meet with Arab leaders to encourage and facilitate and support these proximity talks. The parameters of a solution are well known. Our challenge is to get from here to there.
Thank you very much.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you spoke of how the indirect talks should not be interrupted or delayed by provocations. What about pre-conditions? Would you say that the Palestinian side should not allow the building going on as a pre-condition for beginning these indirect talks and moving to direct talks?
SG: Most ideally speaking, there should be no pre-conditions in talks. There should be negotiations going on. The process for these proximity talks has been agreed upon. It has been quite difficult. However, I am pleased these parties have agreed to engage in proximity talks. Therefore, any unilateral actions, which would undermine or prejudice the final outcome of this negotiation will have to be refrained.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you’re going to Sirte to tell the Arab leaders there’s no alternative but a negotiated two-state solution. Many Arab countries including Saudi Arabia have come and said that the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. [Binyamin] Netanyahu in Washington about East Jerusalem have torpedoed the talks, and they want clarifications from the Quartet and the United Nations on their position on such statements. What do you say to these Arab countries who are very worried that this is not a pre-condition, that this is already undermining the final status talks by declaring a position on a very important subject for the Arabs and for the world: East Jerusalem. What do you say to that?
SG: That is exactly what and why I have been saying that not only the parties concerned, the whole international community, particularly the countries in the region should do their best to encourage these talks. I know that the Arab countries are frustrated, and they express their concerns and even reluctance in supporting these proximity talks. I have been engaging in bilateral talks with many Arab leaders, advising an opinion to them to support this dialogue process, and I’m grateful for their flexibility, even though they have given some conditional support. This support should continue so that Israeli and Palestinians will continue their bilateral negotiations. These proximity talks eventually should lead to direct negotiations. I will talk first of all with President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and engage a group of Arab leaders collectively and individually, and I’m going to discuss this matter with them.
Q: A follow-up, sir. It seems like all the talking has been done with Arab leaders, while many feel that the Israelis should be told to refrain from making such statements on a very important topic, East Jerusalem, in a very definite way, which Binyamin Netanyahu did!
SG: The Quartet and the United Nations and the whole international community have been vocal and clear and loud that Jerusalem is an issue that should be negotiated and discussed as a result of a final negotiation.
Q: I wanted to ask in the run-up to this meeting with the Group of Friends of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has said that her party, the NLD [National League for Democracy], and other opposition parties, shouldn’t even register for the poll, that the election laws are flawed. I’m wondering; you convened the meeting, what’s your thinking of what the UN can do, given that the main opponent now wants to boycott it? And just one other thing, a week ago you’d said on the Sri Lanka panel or board on accountability that there’d be no delay. So a week’s gone by, I want to know if anything’s been done in that regard in that week?
SG: For your first question, let me answer tomorrow afternoon after I have convened the meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar. I need to discuss this matter with the ambassadors participating in that meeting. I will have a clearer answer, if you excuse me.
And second, I’m in the process of identifying persons who can work in the panel of experts. My chef de cabinet has been meeting with the Sri Lankan ambassador here and they are now in the process of making a move on this, and I expect that Mr. Lynn Pascoe will be able to visit Sri Lanka in the near future to discuss all the matters.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, in the past week you’ve seen Prime Minister Netanyahu, and you met yesterday with the opposition leader [of Israel] Tzipi Livni. Do you sense at all that there’s any room for movement in these proximity talks? It seems that, particularly in his speech in Washington, the Prime Minister took a very, very hard line defending the settlements and everything else, so I wonder if whether in your private talks you got any sense that there was any room for movement or flexibility?
SG: First of all, you should know the positions of both Israelis and Palestinians on proximity talks. These proximity, talks facilitated by the United States with a lot of political difficulty, have now been agreed. This is an encouraging point. How much progress can they make? I think they need to discuss all substantive core issues in the proximity talks. If you remember, there is a conditional restraint on settlements, freeze by the Israeli Government, and again some conditional support by the League of Arab States on these proximity talks. Time is very short so we must make progress so that they can move further toward direct negotiations. I can only urge the parties concerned to engage in dialogue with sincerity, sense of flexibility and also political will with longer perspective, visions.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, while you were talking in Moscow and here in Washington and other places, while talks are for talks and may take a very long time, what did you sense from the leaders and the ministers regarding the situation in Gaza? Are the people of Gaza going to wait many years until this blockade will be lifted?
SG: My second visit to Gaza was very much sobering. I went there with a sense of a heavy mind, knowing that the people in Gaza have been living under such very difficult circumstances. I have seen many houses and ruins still lying without being cleared. All these things need to be accelerated, for reconstruction, which will last one year after the end of this conflict. Nothing has been done, and I was relieved that the Israeli Government had finally approved the United Nations humanitarian projects. But as I said it is just less than one per cent of all the requirements which are needed to reconstruct all the Gazan economy. I have made this case very strongly to the Israeli authorities that the longer this closure continues, the more the people, Palestinians in Gaza, will suffer and may end up in undermining and disrupting the normal economic life of Palestinian people and also empowering these extremist militants there in Gaza. That is not in the interest of Israel, it is not in the interest of people in the region and it’s not in the interest of anybody in the international community.
Q: But they don’t care. Are you going to take any further steps like recommending to the Security Council to come forward – any new resolution in this regard?
SG: The Quartet in its statement said that they will monitor the situation and will take into consideration any additional steps if necessary, and we will continue to monitor the situation. And I have very sincerely and strongly urged the Israeli Government to take urgent measures to ease such closures and open crossings, and urge them to have longer perspectives for the future.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, do you think that lifting the blockade in Gaza can be played with this, with some tolerance from the Palestinians for the new settlement?
SG: I’m not sure about all this. However, easing the sanctions that they are [placing], the closures, and opening crossings — that should be done without any preconditions on humanitarian grounds.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, it was remarkable that you added Iran in the Middle East context, that you addressed the issue of Iran. Do you believe that the issue of Iran should be addressed in the Middle East context, the whole Arab-Israeli conflict?
SG: There are many regional dynamics in the Middle East. The Iranian issue is one of them. It has become international consensus that this is the one which must be addressed now. All the Member States of the international community have deep concern on the nuclear development programme. The Iranian authorities, according to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], have not been able to verify the true nature and scope of their nuclear development programme, that it is genuinely for peaceful purposes. That should be verified and proven by international community, and the burden is on them. At the same time, the negotiations should continue. Iranians should return to negotiations with the EU 3 + 3 and IAEA has made a good proposal and EU 3 + 3 also, their proposal is now something which needs to be given serious consideration by the Iranian authorities. I again urge that this issue should be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, as soon as possible.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
It is time for America to play hard ball with the Israeli’s, there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. Perhaps it is the stain of the holocaust and the atrocities that occurred that makes us feel protective of Israel, but I think we have created a spoiled child, we have raised this child with no boundaries, never told this child no, always held their hand and assured them they were “special”.
The fact is a Jewish soul is no more special, than an American soul, than a Palestinian soul, than a Muslim soul, a Buddhist soul, Christian soul… or any other living being’s soul. It is time for Israel to either grow up and come to the table prepared to do what is right, or it is time for the US to break those “special ties”, including the purse strings.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.
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