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viernes, 16 de agosto de 2013

EL SACRIFICIO DE EGIPTO

Asistimos impotentes y tristes al sacrificio de una mayoría del pueblo egipcio, en aras de los intereses mezquinos de aquellos que anteponen sus fines egoístas y deleznables al interés de la mayoría.
Algo común a muchos países del mundo,pero en este caso mucho más detestable,porque utilizan  la religión como excusa para sus fines.
Algo también,desgraciadamente,muy común a todas las formas de poder que en el mundo son y han sido.
Pero hablamos de Egipto.
Mucho escribí ya,muchísimo escriben otros.
La ignorancia,culpable o no, de Occidente es asombrosa.
Como bien saben los especialistas,esto no comenzó ayer,es una de las muchas responsabilidades británicas referidas a un colonialismo brutal.
Los Hermanos nacieron como una forma de protección hacia los pobres y enfermos en plena colonización británica.de acuerdo con las enseñanzas del Corán,era un deber de aquellos que más poseían hacia los más desfavorecidos.
Por la misma razón,la discreción organizativa llevó desde sus comienzos a un cierto secretismo que protegía las vías de ayuda y su financiación.
El acceso al poder de los Hermanos se ha producido de forma casi sorpresiva,han sabido nadar en rio revuelto.
Sin estructura organizativa  democrática,sin más proyecto político que la aplicación de la Sharía de acuerdo a su versión de la Ley,pusieron en evidencia sus intereses reales casi en el momento en que accedieron al Gobierno.
Aplicación de la Ley Islámica,nueva Constitución,exclusión abierta de los que no acepten estas reglas,y un acelerado proceso de incautación de propios y extraños.
Desde que Egipto se liberó del yugo colonial,una sucesión de generales han administrado al país,unos con más fortuna que otros.Desde Nasser a Mubarak,un ejército bien provisto de armas y medios ha controlado Egipto .
Occidente ha tenido en Egipto su punta de lanza hacia Oriente Medio,con más sombras que luces los egipcios han intentado resurgir de sus cenizas.
Mubarak se extralimitó  y a punto estuvo de convertir a la República en su finca particular.
 
Conociendo a Egipto,su gente y su Historia,la hazaña del pueblo egipcio es impresionante.
 
Pero la práctica democrática exige una larga andadura,y ese ha sido su mayor problema.
La falta de diálogo entre los diferentes partidos a la hora de diseñar un proyecto político común,enturbió y difuminó lo mucho conseguido.

La falta de escrúpulos de los dirigentes islamistas ha hecho el resto.

 

Y ahora puntualicemos.
El que algunos cretinos occidentales escriban que los islamistas no han llegado a lo de "bomba humana",es eso,o son cretinos o manipulan la realidad.
Las "bombas" no han dejado de estallar durante días,el sacrificio al estilo islamista fundamentalista.
Al Qaeda,con su corte de Hizbulá,Hamás,salafistas y radicales de similar tesitura,se ha sumado desde el comienzo a este proyecto.No es casual la actividad en el Sinaí en estos días,las infiltraciones ha sido continuas.
Ni a los Hermanos ni a estas organizaciones les importa lo más mínimo el número de muertos,tampoco la idea democrática,y mucho menos el bien de la mayoría,su frontera es la de los que son como ellos,el resto no existe,y ello incluye su derecho a exterminar a los que no piensan de igual forma.
Lo sabían los Hermanos cuando instigaron a las muertes,persecuciones,incendios,de hace un año,también cuando pusieron en marcha nuevos poderes y constituciones.
La Revolución egipcia la inició una mayoría laica,mayoritaramente gente joven que buscaba un horizonte más lejano para su futuro.
Lejos de fundamentalismos de todo tipo,Tahrir es un ejemplo para el mundo,el papel del ejército que apoyó a aquella multitud,también.
Sus esquemas son distintos a los de Occidente,su visión de la vida,como todas las propias de culturas muy antiguas,difiere mucho de unos recién llegados al escenario,tal es el caso de Occidente.
¿Qué restan muchos elementos de la época Mubarak?Por supuesto,si no los matas ahí se quedan.Igual sucedió en España,hubo de elegirse entre un baño de sangre o la realidad presente.La bondad o maldad de esta decisión la decidirá la Historia.
De momento,los fundamentalistas,Al Qaeda y sus adláteres están ganando la partida,y esto es mucho más grave que las muertes diarias,las amenazas constantes y la voladura de las torres.
 
En este tablero de ajedrez se esta dirimiendo las batalla  más importante de la larga guerra del colonialismo,los fundamentalismos religiosos y la libertad como meta.
El no verlo es estar ciegos,el no tomar medidas es suicida.
Peo por favor,no me vengan con lo de llamar a Embajadores y protestas formales que no llevan a ninguna parte.
Actuen,ayuden al pueblo egipcio,no los dejen ir al matadero como "daños colaterales".No sean tan cobardes,perversos y mezquinos como toda la recua que se esconde detrás de barbas y turbantes pretendidamente puros.

Los egipcios han decidido que allí donde esta la libertad esta su patria,respetemos sus deseos.

Teresa de Angulo



martes, 13 de agosto de 2013

DR.HENRY SIEGMAN

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To eliminate the Iranian threat, Israel must relinquish the settlements

Withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories would address the existential threat facing Israel far better than an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

By Henry Siegman | August 11, 2013
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu illustrating the 'red line' for Iran’s nuclear capacity, at the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012. Photo by Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s very public confrontation with President Barack Obama over his reluctance to go to war with Iran to halt its nuclear program brings to mind a confrontation that occurred nearly 25 years ago between President George H. W. Bush and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir over the settlements that Israel’s government was establishing in the occupied Palestinian territories.
At the time, the government of Israel and American Jewish organizations were seeking U.S. housing loan guarantees to help finance Israel’s absorption of Jewish refugees who were leaving the Soviet Union in large numbers. President Bush agreed to provide the guarantees, but asked Israel to cease its illegal settlement construction. He pointed out that given the fungibility of money, U.S. financial assistance would be going to fund an activity the U.S. and the entire international community deemed illegal and intended to preempt negotiations over the disposition of the occupied territories by creating irreversible “facts on the ground.”
Shamir refused to end settlement construction, and American Jewish organizations sponsored a large rally in Washington D.C. on September 12, 1991 in opposition to President Bush’s stand, demanding that the issue of the settlements not be allowed to overshadow the critical humanitarian need of providing assistance for Russian Jews arriving in Israel.
Apparently it did not occur to Shamir, or to the American Jewish leaders, that the dispossession of the Palestinian people caused by the settlements might be creating as serious a humanitarian problem as the one they were seeking to resolve for Soviet Jews.
In 1965, as director of international affairs for the National Jewish Community Relations Council, I organized the first national demonstration in Washington that served to help place the plight of Soviet Jews on the American Jewish agenda. And in 1991, at the time of the aforementioned rally, I served as national director of the American Jewish Congress, an organization that played a pioneering role in the struggle to free Soviet Jews. But I saw Prime Minister Shamir’s refusal to halt the settlement project even if it meant foregoing what he claimed was financing that was critical to the success of that struggle as implying that the settlement movement’s land grabs were more important than the fate of Soviet Jews. It suggested an order of priorities that undermined the moral justification for the urgency claimed by Israel and American Jewish organizational leaders for the loan guarantees demanded from the U.S. administration.
I shared these views with General Brent Scowcroft, at the time the president’s national security advisor. When he met afterwards with an AIPAC delegation who told him that the American Jewish community is united in opposition to President Bush’s stand on this issue, Scowcroft informed them he knew that was not so.
Netanyahu’s deception
The dishonesty of Shamir’s position in his confrontation with Washington closely parallels the dishonesty of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s position in his confrontation with President Obama over Iran’s nuclear program; in both instances Israeli prime ministers resorted to deception to shield their government’s illegal settlement project.
Netanyahu has demanded repeatedly that the U.S. commit itself to going to war to halt Iran’s nuclear program because he is convinced the nuclear weapon Iran seeks to develop is intended to inflict another Holocaust on Israel’s Jews. But if Netanyahu really believes this, why has he not taken the one measure that would predictably deprive Iranian leaders of their only rationale for their hostility towards Israel – an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines in a peace accord with the Palestinians? That would not only remove the threat of the bomb but likely normalize relations with much of the Arab and Islamic world, a normalization held out by the Arab Peace Initiative that Netanyahu and his predecessors have done their best to ignore.
Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories would be a far more certain answer to the existential threat Netanyahu claims faces Israel than an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which would be rebuilt by Iran with even greater determination and popular support in a matter of at most a few years.
Former President Ahmadinejad as well as his predecessor stated publicly that a peace accord acceptable to the Palestinians would be acceptable to Iran, because Iranians need not be more Palestinian than the Palestinians. And while President Hassan Rohani has clearly denied making a statement, falsely attributed to him by official Iranian news agencies, that Israel is “a sore that must be removed,” Netanyahu’s spokesman insisted that even if he did not say it, that’s what he must be thinking!
If Netanyahu is convinced Iranians intend another Holocaust against the Jews in Israel, are the settlements worth risking such a tragedy? To pose the question is to expose the disingenuousness of his rants about the mortal dangers facing Israel. Netanyahu correctly noted at last year’s memorial observance for Yitzhak Rabin that the assassinated prime minister also saw the Iranian nuclear program as a danger. But Rabin did not construe that danger to be another Holocaust, nor was he prepared to indulge Jewish religious and chauvinistic obsessions with territory to justify a predatory land-grabbing policy.
Ironically, it is that policy that has created the kind of existential threat to Israel that Netanyahu attributes to Iran. As several Israeli prime ministers and Secretary John Kerry have warned, the loss of a two-state solution – which is the goal of Israel’s settlement project – may well end Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state.
By accepting the pre-1967 armistice line (with mutually agreed swaps) as Israel’s border in the renewed peace talks begun in Washington by Secretary Kerry, Netanyahu would not be giving up anything that rightfully belongs to the State of Israel. What he would be giving up is the settlers’ and his own efforts to create “facts on the ground” that will do to Palestinians what he claims Iran intends to do to Israel: Remove their national home from the map of the Middle East.
If the renewed peace talks are to have even the slightest chance of succeeding, the U.S. must finally begin calling things by their right name.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project and a former Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013

DALAI LAMA.LA COMPASIÓN ACTIVA

A compassionate community will not be achieved only through prayer; I pray myself, but I accept its limitations. We need to take action to develop compassion, to create inner peace within ourselves and to share that inner peace with our family and friends. Peace and warm-heartedness can then spread through the community just as ripples radiate out across the water when you drop a pebble into a pond


viernes, 26 de julio de 2013

DR.HENRY SIEGMAN.IS THE U.S.PREPARED TO PAY FOR PEACE?

 
 
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Is the U.S. prepared to pay for peace?
Kerry's relentless diplomacy will never result in an actual peace agreement unless the U.S. is willing to pay the domestic political price of pressuring Netanyahu to accept the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.
By Henry Siegman | Jul. 24, 2013 | 11:00 PM
The past week saw the intersection of two unexpectedly hopeful developments in the Middle East. The first was a decision of the European Union to deny EU funding to Israeli entities connected to the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, requiring an acknowledgment from Israeli recipients of such funding that those territories are not within Israel’s legal borders.
Hard on the heels of that development came the announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry that he has succeeded in getting Israelis and Palestinians to agree to resume the long-deadlocked peace talks.
Amusingly, the most angry attacks on the EU’s new rules came from the heads of political parties in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, including Naftali Bennett of Habayit Hayehudi and Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu, who bitterly oppose any “concessions” to Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority—as well as from Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, who believes that peace can only be made with the next generation of Palestinian leaders. The reason they gave for their anger is that the European action might jeopardize Kerry’s efforts to achieve a two-state solution.
Of course, they knew European rules were likely to have the very opposite effect, for they were the first indication that the up-until-now largely empty anti-settlement rhetoric of Western democracies may yet produce sanctions against a right-wing Israeli government determined to pursue a course that must lead to apartheid.
There may be something satisfying about exposing the shameless hypocrisy of the Greater Israel advocates who dominate Netanyahu’s government. But it is also a measure of the shamelessness of that government’s dishonesty that must bring into question its intentions in entering new peace talks—especially so in light of Netanyahu’s previous successes in using peace talks as a cover for his vast expansion of settlements, and also in light of his rejection of terms of reference that identify the pre-1967 lines as the starting point for the to-be-resumed territorial negotiations. It is a record of deception that should send a clear message that success in getting Netanyahu to agree to these talks says little about improved prospects for a two-state accord.
“Jaw-jaw is better than war-war, “as Winston Churchill famously observed, but not when it serves as cover for “settle-settle.” After nearly half a century of Israel’s disenfranchisement and dispossession of the Palestinian people, more jaw-jaw may be the worst of all options, for it delays confronting the parties with the moment of truth that can bring about change to a later time when it may no longer be able to do so, or may allow hopelessness and frustration to build to an explosion of the kind that led to the second intifada. Netanyahu’s agreement to resume peace talks and to accept certain of Abbas’ conditions for those talks, despite his earlier rejection of all Palestinian conditions, was as much the result of the fortuitous timing of the EU’s threat of sanctions as of Kerry’s relentless jaw-jaw.
The foregoing is not to argue that it is no longer possible to rescue a two-state agreement from the debris of past failures. It is to argue that it can happen only if it is clearly understood that the central issue that has from the very outset stood in the way of a peace accord is territory, not security, nor Arab refusal to recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish nation, nor the status of Jerusalem, nor even Israel’s refusal to allow the large-scale return of Palestinian refugees—each of which, as shown in the provisional agreements reached between Ehud Olmert and Abbas during the Annapolis Conference negotiations, are subject to compromise.
But having yielded to Israel fully half of the territories the UN determined in 1947 to be the legitimate patrimony of the Palestinian people, no Palestinian leader can or will ever agree to allow Israel, whose part of Palestine assigned to it in the 1947 UN Partition Resolution was enlarged by 50 percent, to remove even one additional square meter from the 22 percent of Palestine the Palestinian people have been left with.
On this key issue of territory, the U.S. enjoys unique leverage that no other country has. Considering the near-panic with which Israeli leaders reacted to the EU’s minimal step, imagine Israel’s reaction to a simple American warning that Israel’s rejection of the universally accepted formula for a two-state peace accord along the pre-1967 lines would no longer allow the U.S. to defend Israeli positions in the UN Security Council and in international courts.
Such an American declaration would either bring a Netanyahu government into peace talks based on the 1967 lines, or lead to the replacement of his government by one that is prepared to do so. Yet the only reason we have not made such a game-changing declaration is not because it is not the right or effective thing to do, but because it might incur a certain domestic political cost. Compare that cost to the ones the U.S. is demanding Palestinians and Israelis pay. For years now successive U.S. administrations have sought to bring an end to this conflict without undertaking any significant diplomatic initiatives that might incur a domestic political risk.
The likelihood that this will change seems to be less than zero. At a recent Senate hearing, Samantha Power, President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to the UN, declared that she intended to “stand up for freedom” at the UN. Lest anyone construe that statement as a concern for Palestinians, whose freedom has been denied for nearly half a century, she explained that she understands her mission to be the elimination of the UN’s “unacceptable bias and attacks” on Israel. So much, then, for expectations that this Administration will do anything other than recycle past failures.
Kerry has proven his formidable diplomatic skills in getting the parties to resume peace talks. But getting these talks to result in an agreement is a whole other matter. Expecting Netanyahu to accept the pre-1967 line as Israel’s border, or Abbas to make the major territorial concessions demanded by the settlers, without the U.S. contributing much more than its time and exhortations is utterly illusory.
The outcome of talks based on that expectation will only prove once again that in diplomacy, as elsewhere, there is no free lunch.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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martes, 9 de julio de 2013

EL CAIRO.DRA.ABEER ABD EL SALAM

abeer
Dra.Abeer Abd El Salam
Querida, Teresa. Aquí te pongo la traducción:
 ¡Malditos seáis los que buscáis y llamáis al apoyo externo para conservar vuestro poder! ¡Malditos seáis los que habéis optado por el derramamiento de sangre como alternativa de la pérdida de poder de un gran Estado que no merece ser gobernado por gente como vosotros! No os voy a tachar de “apóstatas” como hacéis con todos vuestros opositores, pero sí, os voy a negar vuestra nacionalidad egipcia “egipciedad”… No pertenecéis a mi patria. ¡Salid de Egipto, derrotados y cabizbajos! Mientras que nosotros viviremos en él vencedores y fieles...Fieles solo a él, no a una cofradía u organización!!! ¡¡¡¡Malditos seáis y bendito sea Egipto!!!!


Abeer Abd El Salam

Por favor Teresa hazlo...difundelo donde puedas...mil gracias

  


 

"SECRETARY KERRY'S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IN ISRAEL-PALESTINE".BY HENRy SIEGMAN.JULY 11.2013

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Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com)

 

Secretary of State John Kerry’s valiant exertions to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are bound to fail—for precisely the same reason previous efforts have failed: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s political establishment value territory above peace, or believe they need not choose between the two because they can have both.

And so far, they have been proven right.
 
The reason they hold this belief is because despite the many diplomatic initiatives the United States has launched over the years to persuade Israeli governments they should not continue to defy international law and opinion by denying Palestinians both the right to independent statehood and the right to equal citizenship in a Greater Israel, Washington never mustered the courage to do the one thing that would have worked: inform Israeli governments that such continued behavior would have consequences, beginning with America’s inability to defend Israel’s annexationist policies in the United Nations and in international courts.

Not only have we not done that, we have done the exact opposite—going to great lengths in assuring Israeli governments and the Israeli public that we would continue to defend them no matter what they do. When President Obama dispatched Vice President Joseph Biden to Israel in March 2010 to register with Netanyahu and his government his administration’s opposition to its violations of a settlement freeze that Netanyahu had agreed to, and Israeli officials used the occasion to humiliate the vice president and the man who sent him by announcing publicly further violations of the freeze, Biden assured Netanyahu that the Israeli-US relationship would remain so solid that “no daylight, no daylight” (no, this not a typo; he said it twice) would come between them.

The president repeated his assurances of the “unbreakable” nature of the US alliance with Israel in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2011 and again in his speech to AIPAC of March 2012, and yet again during his recent trip to Israel. And in a particularly effective recent speech by Secretary Kerry before an American Jewish audience, warning that the course Israel’s government is on now will lead to apartheid and to the delegitimization of the Jewish state, Kerry concluded with the assurance that despite differences, “we will always have Israel’s back.”

One might have thought that an Israeli version of apartheid would be seen by the United States as radically inconsistent with the “shared values” regularly invoked as the foundation of and justification for the unprecedented closeness between the two countries. Apparently that is not the case.

The assurance that we will always come to Israel’s defense, irrespective of whether or not we find its behavior objectionable or even against America’s interests, in effect serves as an American guarantee to Netanyahu’s government that no Palestinian state will emerge from renewed peace talks.

To this day, US policymakers take comfort in the commitment to Palestinian statehood that Netanyahu made in his Bar Ilan speech of June 2009. But even 6-year-olds in Israel did not need to be told what Tzipi Hotovely, a leading Likud Knesset Member, recently declared—that “Netanyahu’s two-state solution speech was tactical, intended for the world. He has no intention of carrying it out.”No one in Israel thought otherwise.

Yet spending time in Israel, as I have been doing, one can’t help hearing from the most unlikely sources—like longtime peace activists—that Netanyahu seems to have softened his opposition to a two-state outcome. A recent New York Times editorial cited a Haaretz report that “Mr. Netanyahu has ‘shifted’ and is now serious about the peace process and a two-state solution.”

Would that this were true, and not an illusion born of desperation. What seems to have eluded these optimists is Netanyahu’s bitter opposition to beginning territorial talks with Palestinians at the pre-1967 border. This opposition is not a tactical ploy for an Israeli advantage in resumed negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas. It is in defense of what Netanyahu considers to be a strategic principle—that the West Bank is not occupied territory but “disputed” territory, to which Israel has as much a claim as Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s uncompromising adherence to this principle was evidenced by his recent appointment of the so-called Levy Commission to determine the status of the West Bank. His choice of chair and members of this commission assured the commission’s conclusion—that Israel’s military subjugation of the West Bank is not an occupation, notwithstanding the unanimous decision of the International Court of Justice to the contrary in July 2004.

Similarly, the effrontery of Netanyahu’s demand that President Obama omit from a speech on US Middle East policy at the State Department on May 19, 2011, any reference to the 1967 border as a starting point for territorial negotiations can only be understood in terms of his determination to assert the primacy of Israel’s claim to all of the historic Land of Israel.

President Obama did not yield to Netanyahu’s demand in 2011. That Netanyahu renewed that demand by rejecting terms of reference, proposed by Secretary Kerry, for resumed peace talks that provide they begin at the pre-1967 lines—and that this time the United States accommodated him by offering to make that statement about the 1967 lines as an American understanding, thus leaving Netanyahu off the hook—tells us all we need to know about prospects for an alleged “shift” in Netanyahu’s views or about prospects for the outcome of Kerry’s efforts to save the two-state solution.

An American “understanding” that would have been followed by an American initiative in the UN Security Council affirming the pre-1967 lines as the starting point for equal territorial exchanges with the Palestinians would have been a game changer. America’s refusal to make such a commitment is a declaration of failure before the proposed talks even begin.

Henry Siegman is the president of the US/Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

 


Mustapha Cherif

  • UNESCO لقد صمدت الثقافة العربية عبر الزمن

    Posted avril 27th, 2013 by admin

    اليونيسكو 201325 أفريل

    مصطفى شريف

    خالص الشكر وعظيم الإمتنا لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلوم والثقافة ( اليونيسكو) و إمارة الشارقة على هذا التقدير الكبيرالذي حظيت به بتشريفي ، عبر شخصي ، بلدي الجزائر. إن هذه الجائزة المرموقة لليونيسكو- الشارقة للثقافة العربية و لحوار الثقافات - تكافئ مسعايَ الدؤوب طوال الثلاثين سنة و توجهي كمثقف وسيط بين الضفتين .

    يعبر هذا الاعتراف الدولي عن قناعة اليونيسكو الراسخة بالمبادئ النبيلة للسلم ، التي تتناغم وقيم الثقافة العربية و تراث بلدي اللذين كان لهما الأثر في مسيرتي الأكاديمية والفكرية : وإنه لمن البديهي بالنسبة لي أن كل ثقافة مستقبلية هي تلك التي تؤثر في القلب و العقل أي ثقافة الحوار و التعارف و التقارب بين الشعوب .

    يحضرني الآن الوجه المشرق لدربي ، وجه الأمير عبد القادر الجزائري ، أب نهضة الثقافة العربية الروحية و الإنسانية . الذي أقر بأنه أنقذ الآلاف من المسيحيين في دمشق” طبقا للشريعة المحمدية و حقوق الإنسانية ” ،ومنه تنطلق قناعتي في سبيل ترقية الثقافة العربية الإسلامية ومن أجل تقارب الثقافات بين الشعوب . وإننا ما فتئنا نعمل على تمتين الروابط ما بين الثقافات ونقر بأن التعايش معا أمر ممكن .

    أي مستقبل للثقافة العربية في هذا القرن ، الألفية الثاثة ؟

    ذلكم هو موضوع حفلنا. وجوابنانريده مباشرا و واضحا :

    صمدت الثقافة العربية عبر الزمن و هي فرصة سانحة للوقوف أمام مؤثرات النمطية،لأن إمكاناتها و مؤهلاتها تتمثل في عمق فهمها لمعنى الوفاء للأصول ،و في نفس الوقت للانفتاح على العالم واحترام التنوع . ومن مراميها أن تكون ثقافة الأخلاق و الاستقامة ، ثقافة تنهل في نفس الوقت من الوحدانية ، والمبادئ السامية للإنسانية و من عبق التراث . إنها تذكّر بمصادرنا المشتركة و تتجاوب والتطلع الجوهري من أجل حياة حرة كريمة. تسمح لنا الثقافة العربية بأن نؤكّد حضورنا مثلما نريده نحن. إنها تدعو إلى التجديد والاجتهاد و تمدنا بنظرتها لحقيقة الوجود ، التي تعيد للإنسان كماله الأول .

    ظلت الثقافة العربية بوتقة انصهرت فيها الكلمة المنطوقة و الكلمة المكتوبة ،و جسرا يربط ما بين العالم القديم و العالم الحديث ، ما بين الشرق و الغرب ، كانت حضارتنا المشتركة إغريقية عبرية عربية مسيحية و إسلامية.

    إن تمسكنا بالتعدد مكنّنا من الارتقاء إلى مستوى الثقافة العربية ،التي تشكل همزة وصل بين الأصالة و التقدم التي تدعو إلى احترام الكرامة الانسانية في أسمى معانيها ، وتمجد معاني الأخوة و الكرم فإننا- حينها –سنشارك في مسار التجديد لحضارة كونية جديدة ، هي اليوم مفقودة.

    إن الثقافة العربية مؤسسة على فكرة الأمة الوسط ، الإنسان الكامل ، لتجسيد التعايش المشترك. و تترجم القدرة على النهوض والإرتقاء الروحي و هذا يستدعي التفتح و الاعتراف كخطوة لتقبل الآخربمكوناته المختلفة.

    يتعين على الثقافة العربية ، أن تحافظ على المعنى الكامل للوجود ، حيث تتناغم السماء والأرض ، و تتلاقى الخصوصية والعالميةحيث تنصهر قيم الفرد والجماعة في بوتقة الوئام ، و تكون التربية ترسيخا لثقافة السلم و قبول الخلافات المتنوعة.

    و التاريخ شاهد على ذلك ،وعلى مر العصور تجاوبت وثقافت عديدة: إفريقية ،بربرية ،أسيوية ، أوروبية. إن لغتها و آدابها و فنها في التعايش كل ذلك يدل على طابعها الوسطي المميز .

    من واجبنا أن نتدارس معا كيف نتعاون على مواجهة الأزمة الإنسانية الراهنة، والمتاجرة بالقيم والتطرف بشتى أشكاله، ونعتقد بأن المرجعية التي تظل الأسلم ليست التي يفرضه عالم أحادي بل فيما يمكن أن نحتضنه جميعا .إن إثراء الثقافة وتشجيع التنوع والتسابق على الخير عامل حاسم في تطوير ما هو إنساني، وهذا ماتتطلع إليه الثقافة العربية و ترنو إليه.

    مع خالص شكري و امتناني .

    مصطفى شريف

Prix UNESCO 2013.Dr.Mustapha Cherif

La Culture Arabe résiste au temps

Posted avril 27th, 2013 by admin

Je remercie l’UNESCO et l’Emirat de Shariqa pour cette haute distinction qui m’honore et à travers ma personne honore mon pays l’Algérie. Le prestigieux prix Unesco Shariqa de la culture arabe et du dialogue des cultures récompense aujourd’hui mon inlassable parcours des trente dernières années et ma vocation d’intellectuel passeur entre les deux rives. Cette reconnaissance internationale témoigne de l’expression des nobles principes fondamentaux de paix de l’Unesco en harmonie avec les valeurs de la culture arabe et du patrimoine de mon pays qui inspirent mon action : toute culture d’avenir qui touche les cœurs et la raison est une culture du dialogue, de l’interconnaissance et de la coexistence.

J’ai une pensée pour la grande figure emblématique qui éclaire ma voie, l’Emir Abdelkader El-Djazairi, le père de la renaissance de la culture arabe, chevaleresque et humaniste. Il avait répondu qu’il avait sauvé des milliers de chrétiens à Damas « par fidélité à la foi musulmane et pour respecter les droits de l’humanité ». Je peux dire que pour ces raisons j’œuvre à la promotion de la culture arabo-musulmane et au rapprochement interculturel entre les peuples. Tissant sans cesse des liens entre les cultures, j’enseigne que vivre ensemble est possible.

Quel avenir pour la culture arabe en ce XXIe siècle ? Tel est le thème de notre cérémonie. Ma réponse se veut directe et claire : la culture arabe résiste au temps et représente une chance pour faire reculer l’uniformisation. Ses atouts résident dans son sens de la fidélité aux racines, de l’ouverture au monde et du respect de la diversité. Elle se veut une culture de l’éthique et de la transversalité, qui puise dans le monothéisme, l’humanisme et l’ancestral.

Elle rappelle nos sources communes et répond à l’aspiration fondamentale pour une vie libre et digne. La culture arabe nous permet de nous affirmer tels que nous nous voulons. Elle propose le renouveau, (tajdid), et l’interprétation (l’ijtihad), sa version de la vérité de l’existence, pour rendre l’humain à la plénitude première.

Hier creuset d’une révolution de la parole et de l’écrit, elle a été un pont entre le monde ancien et le monde moderne, entre l’Orient et l’Occident, notre civilisation commune était islamo-judéo-chrétienne et gréco-arabe. Demain, si nous restons à l’écoute de la pluralité, si nous savons être à la hauteur de la culture arabe, trait d’union qui articule authenticité et progrès, qui appelle au respect de l’égale dignité, et magnifie la fraternité et l’hospitalité, nous réinventerons une civilisation universelle qui aujourd’hui fait défaut.

La culture arabe se fonde sur l’idée de la communauté médiane,umatou el wassat, et de l’homme universel, al insan al kamil, pour réaliser levivre ensemble. Elle traduit la capacité de s’élever. Cela implique l’effort d’ouverture et la reconnaissance des différences comme richesse. La culture arabe intègre la variété du dedans et celle du dehors.

Pour la culture arabe, il s’agit de garder vivant le sens plénier de l’existence, où le ciel et la terre s’harmonisent, où le local se conjugue avec la mondialité, où l’individu et la collectivité ne s’opposent pas, où l’on éduque à la culture de la paix et à l’acceptation de désaccords raisonnables. D’autant que la culture arabe appartient à de multiples horizons. L’Histoire le montre : africain, berbère, asiatique, européen. Sa langue, sa littérature et son art de vivre témoignent d’un sens inépuisable de la synthèse du monde.

Nous avons à examiner par le dialogue comment résister à la déshumanisation, à la marchandisation et aux extrémismes. La référence qui reste valable ne consiste pas dans ce qu’un seul monde souhaite, mais dans ce qu’ensemble nous pouvons reconnaître comme des finalités. Pratiquer l’interculturel, favoriser la diversité, est un facteur de progrès humain. Dans un monde désorienté, c’est cette voie de l’émulation pour le bien commun, à laquelle nous invite la culture arabe.  Je vous remercie.

Mustapha Cherif

 

sábado, 20 de abril de 2013

REFLEXIÓN AL HILO DE UNA TRAGEDIA.BOSTON.

Una conocida mía,profesora de Universidad, a la que me une solidaridad en la tragedia del pueblo egipcio,publicó en nuestro facebook,cuando se produjo la masacre de Boston,que porqué no se le daba la misma importancia en la prensa occidental a lo que estaba pasando en Egipto o Siria.
En un primer momento me sorprendió la pregunta,puesto que día tras día, leo,analizo,traduzco del árabe y sigo diversas fuentes de información del mundo árabe y hebreo.Pronto caí  en lo obvio,lo que es evidente cada día desde hace muchísimo tiempo.Oriente y Occidente viven de espaldas el uno del otro desde hace muchas generaciones.El desconocimiento del"otro",las barreras del lenguaje,el odio religioso tan bien orquestado desde las Cruzadas,ha levantado muros de incomprensión,intolerancia, grandísimas ignorancias y fundamentalismo en ambos lados de ese muro.
Hablando con verdad,sin circunloquios,es mayor el grado de intolerancia en el Occidente llamado cristiano que en el Oriente llamado musulmán.
No es cuestión de hablar aquí del porque de esta realidad,es,esta ahí.
Los tiempos históricos no han coincidido en ambos mundos.Europa comenzaba a salir de la obscuridad de la Edad Media,cuando en Oriente Medio florecía una de las más grandes civilizaciones conocidas.
Este mundo comenzó a decaer con los radicalismos derivados  de las varias interpretaciones del Corán y la Ley Islámica.Y por la misma época Europa comienza a definirse como un conjunto de países que buscan su propia identidad.
Paradójicamente,sin el Islam en la Península Ibérica durante ocho siglos,aún y a pesar de las diversas invasiones que devaluaron su sentido primigenio,Europa,el Renacimiento,los grandes descubrimientos geográficos,no habrían tenido lugar.
Sería una hipótesis de trabajo interesante elucubrar sobre que sería hoy Europa sin las aportaciones del mundo antiguo,guardadas,transmitidas y difundidas por aquella generación de los Omeya.
Todo este preámbulo viene al caso por la tragedia de Boston y sus previsibles consecuencias.
La gran debacle de ambos mundos esta espoleada por ese trágico desconocimiento del "Otro",por el nulo interés que domina a casi todos,por la ignorancia,fuente de muchos males.
La visión del estallido de las bombas,los cuerpos mutilados,el pánico,fue terrible.La entereza y valentía con la que reaccionaron inmediatamente, fue ejemplar.
El análisis del porqué vendrá ahora.Radicalismo,exclusión cultural,que no social,aparecen en primer término.
Las conclusiones finales doy por hecho que llegarán pronto.
Hace años,desde la invasión de Afganistán,con otros Presidentes,con distintas circunstancias políticas,Rusia y Estados Unidos de América se repartieron esta zona del mundo,este puente de paso de todas las etnias y culturas.
Los tiempos han cambiado mucho,pero se continua repitiendo el estereotipo  de la parcela política.
Lo llaman estrategia,pero en realidad es el reparto de las materias primas que ocupan el subsuelo de la zona,además de la repetición ad infinitum de los mismos trillados esquemas de hace dos mil o tres mil años.Realmente son poco imaginativos,amén de un poco estúpidos.Siguen tropezando en las mismas piedras y ofreciendo sacrificios a los mismos dioses,sin caer en la cuenta de que estos están tan consumidos como los esquemas políticos y sociales con los que se justifican.
El mundo,o tiende lazos culturales,económicos y sociales en breve tiempo,o no será,no al menos tal y como lo conocemos al día de hoy.
Tiranos,mercaderes de la muerte,abusos sociales,ignorancia,las plagas de la Humanidad.
Lo he escrito ya tantas veces que hasta me cansa y me apura cansar a otros,pero hay que insistir siempre,dialoguemos,miremos a la cara al otro,busquemos puntos de encuentro,que son muchísimos más de los que se pueda apreciar a primera vista.
La tierra es la casa de todos,si la destruimos ,cuando llegue el frío no habrá donde cobijarse.Solamente el diálogo constructivo puede sostener la casa y dar origen a un mundo más justo y en paz.
Mientras,los radicales de esta sociedad,de toda la sociedad,con su cohorte de demonios, tienen el control de las puertas del infierno.
Estas víctimas son todas las víctimas,en todo tiempo y lugar.

lunes, 8 de abril de 2013

CON EGIPTO,PARA EGIPTO

No por repetido deja de ser importante lo que sucede en Oriente Medio, y hoy y ahora en especial en Egipto,que aunque no pertenezca estrictamente a la zona en sentido geográfico,si es uno de los puntos vitales de confluencia de esta parte del mundo.
Todos acogimos con entusiasmo la posibilidad de una aproximación social y política entre este mundo y el occidental.Podía significar el el comienzo de un nuevo tiempo de paz y entendimiento.
Al parecer numerosos intereses se conjugan para que esto no suceda.
Ignoro el fin último del presidente Morsi y algunos de sus adláteres,lo que parece a primera vista evidente es que ni es el bien de la mayoría del pueblo egipcio,ni la palabra diálogo esta entre sus principales intereses.Pareciera que rinda tributo a los suyos,pasando por encima de aquellos que le llevaron a donde ahora esta.
Se atribuye poderes que no están en los acuerdos previos,manda,no gobierna,y hunde aún más a una sociedad que demanda lo básico para salir adelante,dignidad,alimento,educación y libertad. Pongasele en el orden que se quiera.
La misma ceguera que lleva a Occidente a ver a esta cultura,al igual que a  muchas de la zona del Mediterráneo Oriental,como una extensión de los intereses colonialistas del pasado.
Viví hace muchos años dos guerras,no en primera linea,pero si lo bastante cerca como para oler el hálito de la muerte de aquellos que  luchaban en primera linea.
Una fue la de los Seis Días,en el año 67,la otra,la del Sinaí,en el 75,aunque los prolegómenos se apreciaban ya en el 74.
En ambas tuve ocasión de medir lo que significa el orgullo y la dignidad de un pueblo,Egipto era uno de ellos.
Estaba allí,en El Cairo,al igual que antes vivía cerca de la frontera de Siria,en Turquía.
Era muy joven y la experiencia,sencillamente, ni aún hoy soy capaz de describirla.
Una mezcla de asombro,irrealidad,proximidad a eso que llamaban la muerte sin poder valorar lo que significaba.
Hace mal Occidente,en especial Estados Unidos de América,el gran imperio del Occidente actual,repito,hace mal Occidente en no valorar lo que estos pueblos son y han sido en nuestro pasado,el peso determinante que han supuesto en nuestro devenir histórico.
En este área están nuestras raíces,con diferentes nombres,pero durante muchos miles de años,Irán,Egipto y Turquía han sido determinantes en la vida del mundo,y esto es algo sumamente importante a la hora de valorar el presente.
Cuando Europa no existía,cuando el mundo se debatía en el subsistir del día a día,con la excepción de lo que hoy es China,allí ya se habían creado grandes civilizaciones,prósperas en todos los sentidos,con los conceptos y atributos de aquel mundo.
Y esto imprime carácter,queda en la memoria colectiva como el recuerdo de unos hechos que definieron su futuro.
Todos los demás somos unos recién llegados,unos bárbaros,al lado de estos antepasados,los que vivieron en esta parte del mundo.
El colonialismo,la gran lacra de Occidente,el colonialismo excluyente,ignoró o desoyó el aviso de la memoria,sus consecuencias las sufrimos cada día.
Ya sabemos de los ciclos históricos,también del devenir de las civilizaciones,pero aún y así,la influencia de esta historia sigue dejándose sentir,y el hacer oídos sordos significa prolongar ad infinitum situaciones de hambre,guerra y muerte violenta.
La gran lección que nos da la historia es la básica,el no cometer los mismos errores,no tropezar en la misma piedra,ser conscientes de nuestro perpetuo mestizaje,convivir,existir en función  de intereses comunes,por y para nuestro común desarrollo.
Esto es lo que parecen olvidar los que ahora pretenden gobernar Egipto,y también los que le apoyan.
Sin convivencia,sin diálogo, no hay paz,y lo contrario de la paz son los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis.
Este es un texto sin fin ni principio,solamente un recuerdo del deber ser y el es.


Teresa de Angulo

 




miércoles, 3 de abril de 2013

DR.HENRY SIEGMAN.CAN KERRY RESCUE A TWO-STATE PEACE ACCORD?



Can Kerry Rescue a Two-State Peace Accord?


By  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/images/091022_meta_block.gifApril 2, 2013
If the purpose of President Barack Obama's visit to Israel was to dispel the view held by most Israelis, and by rightwing American Jewish supporters of AIPAC and the Likud's annexationist policies, that he is hostile to Israel and to the Zionist enterprise, it must be judged a brilliant success. Not everyone was converted, but his words and personal charm seemed to have worked wonders on most Israelis.
While his visit was not expected to revive prospects for a two-state solution, he spoke far more directly and energetically about the need for an end to Israel's occupation and about his own continuing efforts to help the parties achieve an agreement than his recent disengagement from the peace process prepared anyone for. But nothing he said in Jerusalem or Ramallah--and, more importantly, that he failed to say--justifies an expectation that his reengagement will be of a kind that has any chance of preventing Benjamin Netanyahu's new government from finally nailing down the coffin in which they are burying a viable two-state outcome.
For no matter how much he was pressed--by reporters and others--Obama could not get himself to affirm the main point of his speech of May 19th, 2011 at the Department of State that peace talks must begin at the 1967 border. It is one thing to say, as he did at his press conference in Ramallah, that once the parties agree on a border, Israeli settlements on the Palestinian side of the border will have to be removed, so why waste time arguing about them now. It is a valid point if, as the Roadmap to Middle East Peace of 2003 that was signed by Israel clearly provides, the negotiations begin at the 1967 line, and changes to that border are made only by agreement between the parties.
But Netanyahu has explicitly rejected that Road Map provision. Even before Obama left Jerusalem, Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, declared that the President's visit had not changed Netanyahu's position. "It cannot just be that one side makes demands and the other side makes concessions," he said. Obama's assurance to President Mahmoud Abbas that all settlements east of such an new border would have to be removed is therefore a hollow one if Netanyahu can decide on his own from which point within the Palestinian territories in the West Bank the negotiations begin.
It is important to understand that Netanyahu's unilateral abrogation of so central a provision of the Roadmap is based on his bizarre determination to present the West Bank as "disputed" territory, not occupied territory. That is why he has been so insistent on the eradication of the 1967 line, even to the point of calling President Obama moments before his speech of May 19th, 2011 to demand that he omit any reference to the 1967 border from his speech. And that, too, is why he recently appointed a commission of rightwing judges who share his view to help determine the government's position on this question. Which they did, and confirmed that the West Bank is indeed disputed territory to which Israel has as much a claim as Palestinians do. Abbas' return to negotiations without a clear understanding that changes in the 1967 line require Palestinian agreement would imply his relinquishment of the Palestinian right to statehood.
In both Jerusalem and Ramallah President Obama called for the abandonment of old formulas that haven't worked and for new out-of-the-box ideas that can yield a two-state accord. But there is no formula in the world that can do this if resumed talks are premised on the principle that the West Bank is contested territory. It should come as no surprise that the response to Obama's speech to young Israelis in Jerusalem by one of the most influential new ministers in Israel's new government, Naftali Bennett, the head of the Habayit Hayehudi party that opposes a Palestinian state anywhere in the West Bank, was there can be no occupation "in our own land." This not empty talk, for Netanyahu turned over to Bennett and his party key positions in virtually every ministry and Knesset committee that determines the continued growth of settlements and confiscations of Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Obama's failure to address these well-known Israeli positions tells us how seriously to take his attempts to establish his evenhandedness in this conflict. In both Jerusalem and Ramallah, he ruled out recognition of Hamas and its participation in a Palestinian unity government as long as it refuses to recognize Israel's legitimacy. He also expects them to renounce resort to violence. Now that Bennett has informed Obama that he mirrors precisely Hamas' positions in his own view of Palestinian claims--denying Palestinian rights to a state anywhere in Palestine and justifying the use of IDF violence in the implementation of that denial (it certainly will not be self-implementing)--will Obama apply the same standard to Netanyahu's government that he applies to the Palestinians?
What hope there still exists for a two-state outcome--and even the wildest optimist would concede its remoteness--now rests with Secretary of State John Kerry's conviction that a failure to prevent the disappearance of a two-state accord will have profoundly adverse consequences not only for Israel and for the region but for key U.S. national interests as well. He is right in this, and one must therefore hope he will persevere in his determination to achieve a breakthrough with both Israelis and Palestinians.
However Kerry will go about seeking to persuade the parties to return to meaningful negotiations, his efforts have no chance of success if he does not base his diplomacy on the following realities:
While both Israelis and Palestinians are guilty of behavior and policies that, in the cowardly and insipid formulation so often used by the U.S. and the EU, "do not help advance the peace process," Israeli and Palestinian prudential and political failures are not what has prevented a two-state accord. What has prevented it is the policy of Israeli governments headed by Netanyahu (this is his third), as well as of many previous governments, to prevent Palestinian statehood at all costs by enlarging the settlement project to the point where Israel's control of the entire West Bank achieves irreversibility.
Unless Kerry's strategy for achieving a two-state agreement is absolutely clear-eyed about this reality, he will get nowhere. Its dishonest denial by the U.S. and by other Western countries is the reason the Oslo Accords yielded nothing but a deepening of the occupation it was supposed to end.
Kerry must finally abandon the absurd assumption of former U.S. policymakers of the Dennis Ross era that permanent status issues cannot be addressed before certain confidence-building measures take root. That is unvarnished nonsense.
The only confidence that Netanyahu and his various governments have sought is in America's acquiescence in their planned disenfranchisement and displacement of the Palestinian people. What they need to hear from Secretary Kerry following President Obama's blanket promise of U.S. solidarity is that such acquiescence is inconceivable. If, as Obama himself indicated, Israel's present course may lead to the loss of its democracy and to apartheid, would not the foundation of America's "unbreakable" relationship with Israel, our shared values, have been shattered?
The only confidence that Palestinians seek is in a credible Israeli acceptance of the pre-1967 border as the starting point of peace talks. What they need to hear from Secretary Kerry is unwavering American support for this demand. He should also tell them that if Fatah and Hamas will not end their shameful competition for narrow political advantage and join in a common non-violent struggle for an end to Israel's colonial project in the West Bank, America's support will be to no avail.
The U.S. must explicitly reject Netanyahu's claim that Palestinian insistence on a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank alongside the State of Israel is in itself evidence that they are not prepared to match the "painful compromises" that Israel is prepared to make. It is a shameful accusation that is based on the Likud's ridiculous notion that the West Bank is disputed territory.
In fact, neither Netanyahu nor any previous Israeli prime minister has ever offered any concessions to the Palestinians, painful or otherwise, on the Israeli side of the 1967 border. Without exception, their position on every permanent status issue --whether territory, refugees, Jerusalem, water resources or security--is that Palestinians must make the concessions on their side of that border.

Abbas never demanded any Israeli concessions. He has never asked that Israel allow a Palestinian settlement on Israel's side of the 1967 border, or water from Israel's aquifers, or for any Israeli demilitarization. Beginning negotiations at the 1967 border, removing illegal settlements, halting the construction of new ones and ending the occupation are not Israeli concessions or Palestinian conditions but Israeli obligations under international law and Security Council resolutions that Israel accepted.
John Kerry must bear in mind that the only painful compromise that was ever made by either party was Arafat's decision not to seek the return of Palestinian territory that was lost to Israel in the war of 1948 when Arab armies invaded the newborn state. It was not an apologist for the Palestinians but Shimon Peres, Israel's president, who when recently challenged to defend his claims for the importance of the Oslo Accords (for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) said the following: "Before Oslo, the Palestinian state's size should have been according to the 1947 ... UN map [about 44 percent of Palestine]. In Oslo, Arafat moved from the 1947 map to the 1967 one. He gave up on 22 percent of the West Bank. I don't know any Arab leader [does he know an Israeli leader?] who would give up 2 or 3 percent. He gave up 22 percent."
Peres was mistaken. Arafat did not give up 22 percent of the West Bank but much more: 22 percent of Palestine--fully 50 percent of the territories recognized in the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 as the legitimate patrimony of the Palestinian people. And instead of acknowledging that this concession was a gut-wrenching one-sided Palestinian contribution to peace, Peres described it as "our [i.e., Peres's] greatest achievement."
Netanyahu and his supporters will of course argue that withdrawing from any part of the West Bank is a painful Israeli concession that deserves Palestinian reciprocity, i.e., granting Israel the right to hold on to the rest of the stolen parts of the West Bank. That is a novel principle that will welcomed by criminal enterprises everywhere. And theft, or more precisely robbery, is exactly what the settlement project is. For if the UN's Partition Resolution of 1947 lost its legal standing when Arab countries rejected it, as Likud ideologues claim, then the State of Israel, whose Declaration of Independence cites the UN Partition Plan as the source of its legitimacy, is also left without international legitimacy.
I do not propose that Secretary of State Kerry engage Netanyahu and his government in tired polemics. But any new U.S. effort that leaves Israeli interlocutors believing that America still has not caught on to their annexationist goals and remains prepared to provide American cover for these goals can only end in disastrous failure. America should act as the true friend of Israel it has not been. It should finally tell it the truth.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


 
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2013 1:22 AM

palestina-haaretz 

Palestinians still waiting for Obama to prove commitment to two state-solution

Many Palestinian lives and much political capital could have been saved over the last four years if President Obama had shown the determination to facilitate two-state solution negotiations. Now, rather than calling for the resumption of a meaningless 'peace process,' we Palestinians expect real action on the ground.

By Nabeel Sha'ath | Mar.20, 2013
Four years ago, Mr. Obama was elected President of the United States of America. He won the hearts of Palestinians and other peoples of the world with his principled positions, vision and courage. Later on, he stood up in Cairo and gave us hope. His moral convictions showed us that he understood our quest for freedom, justice and peace. His strong statements, especially his request that Israel cease all settlement activity, gave us hope that the U.S. could help us to achieve these ideals in reality. Both Palestinians and Israelis who believe in a two-state solution saw President Obama as a real opportunity for change.
Unfortunately, after that landmark speech, President Obama appeared to give up on his goal. This meant going back to business as usual: Putting pressure on an occupied people and rewarding the occupying power. In the past four years, Israel has added almost 50,000 settlers to the Occupied State of Palestine, almost 3000 attacks have been conducted by settler terrorists and over 1000 Palestinians have been killed. We could have saved lives and political capital if President Obama had shown the determination to create the right environment for meaningful decisions leading to a two-state solution.
We have tried every possible venue to get closer to peace, but we have been always met with Israeli intransigence and a lack of commitment to implement its obligations. It’s been Israel’s unilateral actions, mainly settlement construction and the imposition of an apartheid regime, that have undermined the entire goal of the peace process to a point that leave very few people optimistic.
Israeli unilateralism turned the peace process into a smoke-screen to cover its systematic policy of colonization. Today, in the Occupied State of Palestine, we have homes that are being demolished and families evicted by an occupying power at the same time that the number of settlers went up almost three times since the beginning of the peace process, with a total of over half a million settlers today.
What has allowed Israel to get away with its severe violations? It is an unprecedented culture of impunity that keeps treating Israel as a state beyond the law. But it is also the fact that rather than peace, Israel’s goal is to increase colonization as much as possible. The two-state solution is not part of the agenda of Israel’s government and that’s a primary reason why negotiations failed.
When last year we went to the United Nations we aimed to revive hope. This courageous and rightful step meant, for Palestine, a reaffirmation of our rights in a non-violent manner. Recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border meant also to create a positive initiative to open a meaningful political horizon by salvaging the internationally endorsed two-state solution.
We felt that after twenty years of Israeli violations to every single agreement, it was time for the international community to participate in the resolution of the conflict, whilst aiming to respect and honor the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It is in this spirit that we have committed as well to respect all our obligations, international treaties and international law in general.
But instead of welcoming this step, Israel led an unprecedented campaign of colonization with over 11,500 settlement units approved within a very few months following the UN vote. This act isn’t only a war crime, but it is also in open defiance of the stated U.S. policy regarding Israeli settlements. Acts like this, including approving hundreds of settlement units during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit, are Israeli messages to the U.S. and the rest of the world that it is not interested in peace: So far, Mr. Netanyahu has been able to get away with it.
Unfortunately, President Obama is not able to visit Palestine for more than a few hours. On March 21st, he will meet with President Abbas. He will be respectfully welcomed by our President and our people. We understand that he wants to listen, read and see for himself.
It would have been a great opportunity for President Obama to visit more of Palestine and see the current reality twenty years after the beginning of the peace process. Starting by the fact that we would have love to welcome him at Orient House, the closed PLO headquarters in Occupied East Jerusalem. He would also see segregated roads, just one example of one of the worst combinations possible: Apartheid under a belligerent occupation.
Next week marks the beginning of Holy Week for millions of Christians around the world. In Palestine, the oldest Christian community will be separated from their spiritual heart, Jerusalem, by Israeli checkpoints, walls and fences aimed at consolidating the illegal annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem. President Obama is welcome to see this reality and understand that the window of opportunity is closing. We don’t need another twenty years of negotiations to change this reality. We need tough and courageous decisions before it is too late.
Racial segregation, including those enforced on public transportation, was a dark period in U.S. history. This is happening today in Palestine, a symptom of how severe the current situation is. Rather than calling for resumption of a meaningless “peace process,” we expect real action on the ground. Such action should lead to ending the Israeli government’s impunity as well as to take the political steps needed. The future of millions of Palestinians and Israelis as well as the rest of the peoples of the region as a whole depends on the U.S. administration’s will to push for justice and peace.
For decades Palestinians have been waiting for a miracle. Maybe President Obama’s visit to the Holy Land can provide us with one. Maybe the bells of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem will ring once he visits this Friday announcing clear goals and actions to bring an end to decades of occupation, segregation and colonization. This is the road to justice, security and peace.
Dr. Nabeel Shaath is the Fatah Foreign Relations Commissioner and former Palestinian foreign minister. He was a member of the Madrid Peace Delegation and later was involved in negotiations with Israel that led to the signing of the Oslo Agreements. From 1993-1995, he served as the head of the Palestinian negotiation team, participating in the talks at Camp David (2000) and Taba (2001). He has also represented Palestine at the World Economic Forum.

 

ISRAEL-PALESTINA.PALESTINA-ISRAEL

Hay nuevo Gobierno en Israel,liderado,desafortunadamente,por Netanyahu.
Pero Livni también forma parte de él.
Por una parte,la extrema derecha más contumaz,liderada por el anterior ministro de Exteriores,amenaza con todos los males del infierno.
Por otra,el nuevo mapa político sugiere cambios positivos en la dirección adecuada,
la causa de la Paz,que lleva a la largamente deseada creación de dos Estados en una misma tierra común.
El que los partidos ultraortodoxos,esos que niegan la existencia del Estado,pero se alimentan y viven de él,tengan ahora que devolver en parte lo que reciben,vía trabajo y servicio militar,es bueno,puede ayudar a cambiar la mentalidad de algunos.
El cerco a la Jerusalén histórica,mediante la construcción de asentamientos,por aquello de aplicar la política de hechos consumados,es un truco viejo y superado.No sirve,no servirá.

Nunca creí que escribiría esto,pero los hechos son los hechos.En el momento presente,veo mayor impulso al proceso de paz por parte de Palestina que de Israel.

La evidencia es total y esta escrita en los sucesivos intentos de diálogo para la paz que han tenido lugar desde Oslo hasta hoy.

 

El discurso del Presidente Abbas en la ONU,fue ejemplar.

 

A pesar de los políticos israelíes que han intentado seriamente llegar a ese acuerdo,finalmente, ha primado el fundamentalismo de los extremistas sobre el sentido común.
La Paz esta ahora en manos de Estados Unidos.
Mayoritariamente dependerá de su Gobierno el llevar a buen puerto la nave.
Los motivos,por obvios,resulta innecesario citarlos,apenas un apunte,sobre geoestrategia,poder armamentístico,situación de la zona,ayuda logística.Necesidad de la Paz.
Es difícil,por no decir que imposible,mantener un criterio objetivo sobre lo que allí acontece,el corazón se implica inevitablemente.
Esperemos que este interminable enfrentamiento entre pueblos afines en sus mismos orígenes,termine pronto,que llegue la Paz a esta parte del mundo.

SALAM,SHALOM

19,Marzo,2013

Teresa de Angulo

 

ESTO ES PALESTINA



فيديو رائع بكل ما تحمله الكلمة من معنى عن فلسطين،حرام ما تشوفوه
palestina

Este video se colgará próximamente en "Proyectos",en cuanto este configurada la página.Mientras,se incluye en este apartado para contribuir ya a su divulgación.

 

DR.HENRY SIEGMAN.SENATOR HAGEL,SENATOR GRAHAM AND THE ISRAEL LOBBY



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-siegman/senator-hagel-senator-gra_b_2624503.html#es_share_ended
Senator Hagel, Senator Graham, and the Israel Lobby
By Henry Siegman
February 5, 2013
Of the many controversial statements made by Senator Chuck Hagel over the years, none seemed to enrage Senator Lindsey Graham more than his remark that the Israel lobby intimidates U.S. Congressmen into advocating "stupid" policies. He challenged Hagel to name one such senator and to identify one such stupid policy.
The challenge created an unusual opportunity for Hagel, for there could be no better and conclusive evidence of the Israel Lobby's power of intimidation of U.S. senators on the subject of Israel than these hearings themselves, and most particularly Senator Graham's own behavior.
Unfortunately, Hagel could not take advantage of that opportunity. Had he done so, his nomination by President Obama to head the Department of Defense would undoubtedly have been dead in the water, for his former Democratic colleagues are no less guilty of yielding to that intimidation than Hagel's former Republican colleagues.
But the truth of Hagel's charge must be affirmed, particularly by those who are more concerned about Israel's ability to survive as a Jewish and democratic state than about jeopardizing contributions to their own electoral campaigns. The truth that needs to be affirmed speaks not only to the existential dangers created by the current Israeli government's illegal and often immoral behavior in the Occupied Territories but to the violation of the shared values that supposedly form the foundation of the unprecedentedly close ties between Israel and the United States.
It is not enemies of Israel but some of its most loyal and patriotic citizens, six former heads of Israel's Shin Bet, the internal national security agency on which Israel's security and existence depend, who blasted the policies of the government headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu as threatening Israel's very survival because of its colonial ambitions in the West Bank and its lack of interest in reaching a peace accord with the Palestinians. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand lectured Senator Hagel that America's ties with Israel are "fundamental" and not to be questioned, even if according to Israel's president, Shimon Peres, its right wing government's policies have put the country on a path to apartheid, a judgment with which two former Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, concur.
The heads of the IDF reportedly refused to implement a demand by Prime Minister Netanyahu to prepare for an assault on Iran's nuclear facilities, believing it would have
catastrophic consequences for Israel. Whether they are right or wrong--given their unanimity, the high likelihood is that they were right--no one can question the patriotism of these generals and security chiefs or their motives. Successive Israeli governments trusted them and relied on their judgments in safeguarding Israel's existence. But such words of caution, when expressed by an American Congressman, are considered heretical, because the Israel lobby says so.
This record of Senate and House members' gutlessness in their subservience to the Israel Lobby was exemplified by Senator Graham's rudeness in his questioning of former Senator Hagel, repeatedly cutting him off as he was speaking. Apparently he believes that if he could have gotten Hagel to admit even one instance of disagreement with a policy of the current Israeli government, he would have made his case that Hagel is an enemy of the Jewish State, if not the Jewish People.
Of the many letters adopted by the Senate and the House to which Graham and other Senators referred, including letters criticizing Hamas, some of which Hagel would not sign onto, not one addressed the fact that the Likud, the party headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, to this day officially opposes a Palestinian state in even one square foot of the West Bank, or that even after Netanyahu made his speech committing his government to a two-state solution, members of his cabinet and his party established a "Greater Israel" Parliamentary Caucus whose official goal is the prevention of Palestinian statehood and the annexation of all Palestinian territories.
The attacks on Hagel for his occasional dissent from Israel's policies came from a man from a political party that has established entirely new depths of abusive attacks on the policies and the personality of the President of the United States and on the policies of their Democratic colleagues. Neither Graham nor any of his Republican colleagues have, to the best of my knowledge, expressed publicly a word of criticism of colleagues who established as their goal the defeat of every policy proposal that would be made by President Obama, irrespective of its merit, in the expectation that their stonewalling would lead to his defeat in the upcoming presidential elections. Yet they proclaim that the slightest criticism of even the most reprehensible policies of Netanyahu and Israel's government disqualifies a person from serving in a high office in the U.S. government. How does one explain the Senators' bizarre notion that criticism of their own government's policies is a responsible exercise of their duties but criticism of a foreign government's behavior--in the case of Israel, of course, but not of any other foreign government--is not, except in terms of the Israel lobby's "influence" (to use the term preferred by Senator Graham).
Senator Hagel's confirmation has to await action by the Senate Committee and by the full Senate. But we do not have to wait for confirmation that with respect to the Middle East peace process, the U.S. Congress remains in the grip of the Israel lobby. This was more than fully confirmed at last week's hearing.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

 

 

 

DR.HENRY SEIGMAN.ONE LAST CHANCE FOR THE TWO STATE SOLUTION?


 PROSPECT

february 2013
.
He is President of US/Middle -East Proyect.

 

One of Israel’s most respected political scientists
recently dismissed the idea “that simply engaging in
negotiations will automatically foster a peace agreement”
between Israel and the Palestinians. Writing
in Haaretz, Shlomo Avineri, a former director-general
of Israel’s foreign ministry, called it “a fantasy proven baseless
by the experience of the past 20 years.”
In this he is unquestionably correct. He is off base, however,
when he maintains that previous peace initiatives have failed
because they tried to resolve questions about the terms of a “permanent
status” deal. He argues that even the two sides’ most
moderate positions on these core issues are too far apart, making
agreement impossible. He therefore proposes that the peace
process shift from discussions of the endgame and Palestinian
statehood to incremental improvements—“interim agreements,
trust-building exercises, unilateral steps and other mechanisms,”
that would serve as building blocks for broader future agreements.
But this is the most deceptive illusion of all. For what the
20 years of failure to which Avineri refers prove above all is the
bankruptcy of incrementalism and confidence-building measures.
They were the hallmark of the stewardship of Dennis Ross,
special Middle East coordinator for President Bill Clinton, and
discredited the peace process.
That illusion should be resisted particularly by those now considering
a new attempt at peace talks. European Union countries,
led by Britain, France and Germany, are reportedly preparing to
present Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his new government
with a new initiative for negotiations with the Palestinians.
The initiative is prompted by the anger of European governments
at his announcement in November of plans for new construction
in East Jerusalem’s E-1 corridor and other sites around Jerusalem
that would effectively exclude the prospective Palestinian state’s
capital from East Jerusalem and would also destroy the territorial
contiguity of such a state.
The closing off of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians is a deal
breaker that forecloses a two-state solution: the creation of a separate
Palestinian state alongside Israel. It would also pre-empt
any new initiatives President Barack Obama may be considering
in his second term with a new team that is likely to be more resolute
in its determination to preserve the two-state option.
It is untrue that negotiations that focused on the endgame
drove the parties further apart. There were only three such negotiations:
the Camp David Summit between prime minister Ehud
Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2000, the Taba
talks that followed, and the negotiations between prime minister
Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the
time of the Annapolis Conference in 2007. Despite their failure,
each one advanced the process beyond where it had been.
At Camp David, Palestinians accepted the annexation of the
settlement blocs—new towns that Israel has built in the West
Bank—and Ehud Barak agreed to the sharing of Jerusalem. The
Taba talks that followed narrowed the differences even more. The
Olmert-Abbas negotiations of 2007/8 brought the parties even
closer together, and according to the principals would have led to
an accord had their negotiations not been interrupted by Operation
Cast Lead in December, Israel’s military offensive against
Gaza, and by Olmert’s resignation.
The peace process was brought to a complete halt only by
Netanyahu’s government. Not only did he refuse to address the
endgame, but he would not even agree to recognise the pre-1967
border (before the Six-Day War when Israel captured land from
Syria, Jordan and Egypt) as the starting point for territorial
negotiations. He reacted hysterically when President Obama was
about to propose in his address to the State Department on May
19, 2011 that negotiations must begin from that point. Netanyahu
called the president and demanded that he remove that proposal
from his address. The president did not comply, but he also did
not follow up and translate his speech into policy.
The requirement that Israeli-Palestinian talks begin from
the 1967 line was so upsetting to Netanyahu and his government
because they are unalterably opposed to Palestinian statehood
anywhere in Palestine. Obliterating the memory of such a border
(going so far as to remove that border from Israeli governmental
maps) is therefore seen by Netanyahu as an essential step
towards that goal.
To be sure, Netanyahu committed himself to a two-state solution
in his landmark speech at Bar-Ilan university in June 2009.
Some naively invoke that commitment as evidence that a resumption
of the peace process is justified. Tzipi Hotovely, a leading
member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, recently explained to these
naïfs that the Bar-Ilan speech notwithstanding, Netanyahu has
no intention of ever carrying out the evacuation of West Bank
settlements. His commitment to the two-state solution was “tactical,”
she said, “intended for the world,” but “the Likud will not
evacuate settlements.”
The Palestinian people have known all along how utterly disingenuous
was Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan speech. Not only was this
The US and Europe are poised to put new effort into peace talks. There is
one litmus test for whether the move is serious
self-evident from the facts Netanyahu and his government were
creating on the ground, in the form of the West Bank settlements
and building in largely Arab East Jerusalem. Senior Likud officials
were also the founders and leaders of the “Land of Israel”
Knesset Caucus that was established for only one purpose: preventing
a Palestinian state in any part of Palestine. At no point
did that caucus provoke a murmur of protest from the US or from
the Quartet (the joint attempt by the US , UN, EU and Russia
to mediate the Israel-Palestinian peace process). Imagine their
reaction—or the reaction of the US Congress, for that matter—if
President Abbas’s cabinet members had established a “Land of
Palestine” Caucus within the Palestinian Authority.
Indeed, even when Netanyahu announced plans to build
extensively in the E-1 corridor, the best that the US and the EU
were able to say is that such a plan would be an obstacle to peace
and to a two-state solution. There were no intimations that such
a plan, if implemented, might trigger sanctions against Israel
or end the American and European insistence that Palestinians
can achieve statehood only in negotiations with the man who
has been systematically dismantling what chances for such an
accord might still exist.
What Middle Eastern experts, not to speak of the US and
European governments that are calling for a return to negotiations,
cannot get themselves to acknowledge is that Netanyahu
does not accept Palestinian statehood anywhere in Palestine, and
will do everything in his power to prevent it because he and his
government want the West Bank for themselves. It is that simple.
They are convinced that with their vast military superiority
over the Palestinians, they can have it all. That is an obstacle to
the achievement of a two-state solution that neither incrementalism
nor reconfiguration of parameters for resumed negotiations
(a subject to which leading US Middle East experts last year
devoted an entire book) can overcome. Anyone who still does not
understand this simple reality, or who refuses to address it, has
little to contribute to a discussion of this subject.
To be sure, Israelis remain concerned about retaining the
financial, military and diplomatic support of the US , but Netanyahu
is convinced this is not a problem. He believes he exercises
greater control over the US Congress than does President
Barack Obama.
As ridiculous as this may sound, there are good reasons for
that belief. The main TV commercial in Netanyahu’s campaign
for reelection in January to his third premiership of the country
featured his last address to the combined US Senate and House of
Representatives, whose members jumped up from their seats to
applaud wildly every second sentence in his speech. The speech
included the suggestion that the West Bank is “disputed” territory,
not occupied territory, to which Israel has as much a claim as
do the Palestinians, a claim rejected by the whole world, the only
exceptions being residents of the Capitol building in Washington.
But it is not only the behaviour of the US Congress that gives
Netanyahu and his supporters the confidence that the US will
always have their back. It is a notion reinforced by President
Obama as well. In his speech to the UN General Assembly in
September of 2011, he admonished Palestinians, saying that they
could achieve statehood only through negotiations with Israel. He
thus removed the issue from the realm of international legality
and turned it over to the man he knew, from the experience of his
first two years in office, will never allow that to happen.
Both formally and politically, what the president said is
untrue. Formally, the right to self-determination by a majority
population in previously mandated territories is a “peremptory
norm” in international law. The implementation of that right
was one of the primary purposes of the UN’s establishment, and
international courts have confirmed it is a right that even overrides
conflicting treaties or agreements. The only reason the
Security Council has failed in its clear responsibility to implement
the Palestinians’ right to self-determination is Obama’s
threatened veto.
Practically, it is true that given its overwhelming military
power, and the virtually uncritical support it receives from the
US in the exercise of that power, Israel’s government can and will
continue to block Palestinian statehood. But that is a reason not
to subject the Palestinians’ peremptory right to self-determination
to an Israeli veto. Instead it is a reason to demand that the
UN exercise the role assigned to it by its charter. Israel’s engage-

ment with the Palestinians will cease to be the historic fraud it
has been only when its government comes to believe that its continued
stonewalling will lead to America’s support for intervention
by the Security Council. That is yet to happen.
Formally, the right to self-determination by a majority
population in previously mandated territories is a “peremptory
norm” in international law. The implementation of that right
was one of the primary purposes of the UN’s establishment, and
international courts have confirmed it is a right that even overrides
conflicting treaties or agreements. The only reason the
Security Council has failed in its clear responsibility to implement
the Palestinians’ right to self-determination is Obama’s
threatened veto.
Practically, it is true that given its overwhelming military
power, and the virtually uncritical support it receives from the
US in the exercise of that power, Israel’s government can and will
continue to block Palestinian statehood. But that is a reason not
to subject the Palestinians’ peremptory right to self-determination
to an Israeli veto. Instead it is a reason to demand that the
UN exercise the role assigned to it by its charter. Israel’s engage-
ment with the Palestinians will cease to be the historic fraud it
has been only when its government comes to believe that its continued
stonewalling will lead to America’s support for intervention
by the Security Council. That is yet to happen.
The problem is that too often the policy proposals of experts
and diplomats are shaped in response to the claims made by the
protagonists, but not by realities on the ground. Israel’s government
insists it has no choice but to continue its occupation
because it has made many painful concessions, and promised
more, only to run up against Palestinian refusals to consider
reciprocal concessions. It will put to you that in return for Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon’s magnanimous unilateral withdrawal from
Gaza in 2005, President George W. Bush agreed to allow Israel to
take in the main settlement blocs.
However, Israel has not offered a single concession on any of
the issues in dispute. On every one, whether borders, territory,
Jerusalem, refugees, water or security, it wants the concessions to
be made by Palestinians. Not a single concession has been offered
by Netanyahu on Israel’s side of the 1967 border.
As to the alleged “gift” of the settlement blocs to Sharon,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this at a joint press
conference with Israel’s then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni in
February 2006:
“The United States position on [unilateral changes in the border]
is very clear and remains the same. No one should try and
unilaterally predetermine the outcome of a final status agreement.
That’s to be done at final status. The President did say
that at the time of final status, it will be necessary to take into
account new realities on the ground that have changed since 1967,
but under no circumstances should… anyone try and do that in
a preemptive or predetermined way, because these are issues for
negotiation at final status.”
Netanyahu has famously accused Palestinians of demanding
that Israel “give and give, while they only take and take.”
This comes from the head of a government that has already
helped itself to more than 60 per cent of the West Bank. Here
is what Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, had to say on the subject.
When challenged to defend his claims for the importance of
the 1993 Oslo Accords (and for which he was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize), Peres said, “Before Oslo, the Palestinian state’s
size should have been according to the 1947... UN map. In Oslo,
Arafat moved from the 1947 map to the 1967 one. He gave up
on 22 per cent of the West Bank. I don’t know any Arab leader
who would give up 2 or 3 per cent. He gave up 22 per cent.” (But
instead of acknowledging that this concession was a gut-wrenching
one-sided Palestinian contribution to peace, Peres described
it as “our greatest achievement.”)
If Netanyahu and his new government are not to continue on
their certain road to apartheid, President Obama would have
to leave no doubt in their minds that the “special relationship”
between the US and Israel has its roots in shared values, and an
Israeli government that acts in egregious violation of those values
undermines that special relationship. International law grants
native populations of former colonies the right to national selfdetermination.
An Israel that denies Palestinians that right—in
this case, in the territories beyond the pre-1967 border—while at
the same time denying them full and equal Israeli citizenship is
not a democracy but an apartheid state.
Is President Obama up to that challenge? Nothing in his
performance during his first term in office would indicate that
he is. However, two recent developments hold out some hope.
The first, as indicated above, is his nomination of Senator John
Kerry as Secretary of State and Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary
of Defence—two men who have few illusions about the reason
for the failure of the peace process and the courage to speak
the truth.
The second are intimations of a new European initiative to
present to Israel’s new government a set of clear parameters
that establish the pre-1967 border (with provision for equal land
swaps to compensate Palestinians for Israel’s retention of the
large settlement blocs) as the starting point for resumed peace
talks. It is a parameter that by definition precludes Israel’s unilateral
annexation of all of East Jerusalem. Another parameter
would preclude a large scale return of Palestinian refugees to
their previous homes in Israel.
Because the UK, France and Germany are reportedly all on
board, it is likely this initiative will also receive the backing of
most—perhaps all—EU countries. More important, its sponsors
are likely to have received assurances that even if Washington
will not lead the effort, it will not block it. If so, that
would indeed be a significant change of direction. Ironically,
the chances of this initiative’s success will only be strengthened
if the new Israeli government proves even more rigidly opposed
to Palestinian statehood.
But no one should be deceived about the chances of such
an initiative if it does not contain the one condition that is the
litmus test of its seriousness. That is that if the parties do not
accept the parameters or are not able to reach an accord by a
certain date, the terms for an end to Israel’s occupation of the
West Bank will be determined by the UN Security Council, acting
under Chapter VII of the Charter. If it lacks that provision,
or the provision faces the threat of an American veto, the initiative
will be as phony as Netanyahu’s commitment to a two-state
solution in his Bar-Ilan speech.
For nothing short of the threat of being turned into a pariah
by the entire international community because of its apartheid
regime will persuade Israel’s electorate to bring back a government
that will safeguard the country’s democratic character and
accept a viable and sovereign Palestinian state along its border.

 

 

AÑO2012

 

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/meshal-s-folly.premium-1.484785
Meshal’s Folly
14 December 2012
By Henry Siegman
Just as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a state in the occupied territories beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders, providing new hope and encouragement to those who have not given up on the struggle for a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the State of Israel; and as major European countries condemned in unprecedentedly strong terms Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to enlarge the settlement project in the Jerusalem area and elsewhere, a move that would prevent such a two-state outcome, Hamas' political bureau chief Khaled Meshal last weekend called for the elimination of the State of Israel. Israelis who have been seeking to prevent a Palestinian state in any part of the land could not have hoped for a better gift from Hamas.
The UN General Assembly's action, as well as the European response to Israel's construction plans in the E-1 corridor and throughout the West Bank, held out the rare promise of a possible pushback by Western democracies to Jerusalem's intentions to put paid to the two-state solution. But Meshal's rant has enabled the most reactionary forces in Israel, and their U.S. supporters, to discredit an emerging international consensus that Netanyahu's deceptions and predations have gone too far. It has also cut the ground out from under any prospects that may have existed for the emergence in next month's election of a coalition of pro-peace forces that might have prevented Netanyahu's return to power.
That it was Meshal who engaged in this diatribe is particularly dispiriting, for he has consistently advocated far more moderate views, including Hamas' acceptance of a two-state peace accord that might be reached between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, if it were approved in a Palestinian referendum. He also supported the cessation of all violent resistance against Israel if its government were to accept the principle of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders.
But the self-righteous moral outrage from Israel's government that greeted Meshal's recent speech also illustrates dramatically Israel's and the world's double standard, which is the real cause of the failure of every previous peace initiative. For Meshal's declaration followed Netanyahu's announcement that he is going forward with major new construction in the E-1 corridor, as well as enlargement of settlements throughout the occupied territories - in other words, that Israel is putting an end to the possibility of Palestinian statehood.
Both Netanyahu and Meshal were calling for politicide - the elimination of a state and the dispossession, if not worse, of its people. The difference between them, however, is that
everyone knows Netanyahu has every intention of achieving his goal, and indeed may already have done so, but even Hamas' leaders would have settled for a state within the 1967 borders.
Israelis were apoplectic that Meshal omitted from his speech any mention of Jews in the democratic Palestinian paradise he envisions. Has anyone ever heard Netanyahu speak about the presence of Arabs in Israel's settlements in the territories? The settlements are in fact Arab-rein. Indeed, a number of Netanyahu's fellow ministers have endorsed calls by members of the rabbinate to landlords not to rent to Arabs in Jewish neighborhoods within the State of Israel.
This prevailing double standard could not have been exposed more blatantly (if unintentionally ) than it was by columnist Dan Margalit in Israel Hayom, where he wrote, on December 10, with a blinding lack of self-awareness, that Palestinians, not Israel, are the main obstacle to peace. He accused "leftists" who claim otherwise of "overlook[ing] the fact that there is no reason to believe that Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] - and certainly Khaled Meshal and Ismail Haniyeh - advocates a solution whereby the disputed land is partitioned" [emphasis added].
The entire West Bank, which the UN Partition Plan of 1947 recognized as the legitimate patrimony of Palestine's Arab population (half of which was subsequently annexed by Israel in its War of Independence, leaving the minority Jewish population with 78 percent of Palestine, 50 percent more than what the UN plan allotted to the Jewish state ) is now considered by Netanyahu and his government not as "occupied" territory but as "disputed" territory, to which the Jews have as much a claim as do its Arab inhabitants. But it is Palestinians who are seen in Israel - and not just by its demented "hilltop youth" - as the obstacles to peace.
None of this justifies Meshal's reckless incitement, nor Hamas' rockets aimed at civilian targets. Perhaps his fiery rhetoric serves Meshal's latest political ambitions, but above all it serves those whose goal is the permanent disenfranchisement and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Yet when that goal is for all practical purposes accepted by most Israelis, who in all likelihood will be electing Netanyahu for another term, they should not be surprised if their victims respond in kind.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.



 

OPINAMOS MUCHOS QUE NI EL PUEBLO DE IRÁN NI EL DE ISRAEL DESEAN LA GUERRA,PERO SUS GOBIERNOS,TAN LEJOS COMO LA MAYORÍA DE LO QUE PIDEN SUS VOTANTES,APUESTAN POR EL PELIGROSO JUEGO DE LA AMENAZA FUERA PARA ENCUBRIR LO QUE VA MAL DENTRO.

APOYEMOS LA SENSATEZ DE LOS QUE DESEAN UNA CONVIVENCIA EN PAZ Y CONCORDIA.

SALAM-SHALOM-PAZ.

 1

Published on The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org)
Source URL (retrieved on Sept 6, 2012): http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-triumph-greater-israel-7438

The Triumph and Tragedy of Greater Israel

Henry Siegman
September 6, 2012

Ma'ale Adumim, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The Middle East peace process is dead. More precisely, the two-state solution is dead; the peace process may well go on indefinitely if this Israeli government has its way.

The two-state solution did not die a natural death. It was strangulated as Jewish settlements in the West Bank were expanded and deepened by successive Israeli governments in order to prevent the emergence of a viable Palestinian state. The settlement project has achieved its intended irreversibility, not only because of its breadth and depth but also because of the political clout of the settlers and their supporters within Israel who have both ideological and economic stakes in the settlements’ permanence.

The question can no longer be whether the current impasse may lead to a one-state outcome; it has already done so. There is also no longer any question whether this government's policies will lead to what can legitimately be called apartheid, as former 2 prime minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli leaders predicted they would. Palestinians live in a one-state reality, deprived of all rights, and enclosed in enclaves surrounded by military checkpoints, separation walls, roadblocks, barbed-wire barriers and a network of “for-Jews-only” highways.

Until now, Israel’s colonial project has been successfully disguised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pretense that he is pursuing a resumption of talks for a two-state solution with President Mahmoud Abbas. It has also been strengthened by the pretense of President Obama and EU leaders that they believe a resumed peace process can still produce a Palestinian state. But these pretenses cannot be sustained for long, if only because of the inability of settlers to restrain triumphalist pronouncements of their achievement of Greater Israel and their defeat of the Palestinians’ hopes for statehood—as Dani Dayan did recently in the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Haaretz, in which he proclaimed that because of the settlements’ irreversibility there will be only one sovereignty west of the Jordan River.
But paradoxically, the triumph of the settlement project contains the seeds of its own reversal—or of the demise of the Zionist project.

First, some history. Israeli decision-making elites long ago made a cold cost-benefit calculation that the benefits of establishing permanent Israeli control over the entire West Bank exceed the cost. Immediately following the 1967 Six Day War, Israel’s government announced it would withdraw from occupied territories in Egypt and Syria in return for those countries' recognition of Israel but made no such offer to the Palestinians. When asked in 1968 what would be the future of the Occupied Territories, Moshe Dayan—the legendary IDF chief of staff and, at the time, Israel's minister of defense—replied with characteristic bluntness: their future, he said, “is being implemented in actual fact. What exists today must remain.” In 1977, replying to that same question, he said, “The question is not what is the solution, but how to live without a solution.”

As for what to do with the millions of Palestinians who live within Israel’s enlarged borders, many Israelis believe that the long-unacknowledged silent ethnic cleansing that has been going on for years in what was designated by the Oslo agreement as area C, comprising over 60 percent of the West Bank, can continue for the time being. And when it no longer can, then Israel would unilaterally draw borders around areas A and B and call the imprisoned enclaves within that area a Palestinian state.

Advocates of Greater Israel also believe that by granting (or pretending to grant) citizenship to the small number of Palestinians who have managed to resist expulsion from area C, which would be formally annexed, the apartheid issue will have been neutralized—at least sufficiently so to placate American Jews and the U.S. administration. That was stated explicitly by Naftali Bennett, a confidant of Netanyahu and a settler leader who reported that his proposal for Israel’s annexation of area C was well received by Israel's political, military and security establishments.
There is one price, however, that the vast majority of Israelis, including many if not most settlers, will not pay for a Greater Israel: the loss of the state’s Jewish identity. Israeli polls have confirmed this repeatedly. It is an issue that Israelis believe can be finessed, either by continuing to hold out the promise of a two-state solution in an undefined future or by carving up the West Bank in a manner that excludes the heavy concentrations of Palestinian population from Greater Israel, as advocated by Bennett and others. But if those two options were precluded and the choice were to either grant citizenship to the Palestinian residents of a Greater Israel or a two-state arrangement with limited and equal territorial exchanges, Israel’s cost-benefit calculations would have to change.
And it would come down to that choice if the disguise of the existing Greater Israel were stripped away. The issue for the United States would then no longer be where the borders of a Palestinian state are to be drawn—a matter Washington has for all practical purposes left to the Israelis to decide—but whether it is prepared to defend what increasingly would be seen by everyone as an apartheid regime.

It is unlikely that even those Western democracies accustomed to pandering to their Israeli lobbies would be prepared to shield Israel from condemnations and sanctions when its apartheid can no longer be disguised. One must assume that no American president would again declare at a UN General Assembly that Palestinian victims of such a system should seek relief not from the UN or international courts but from their occupiers.
The key to changing the deadlocked status quo is therefore exposing the Greater Israel that has been created by the settlement project in the West Bank and the de facto apartheid regime under which Palestinians now live. But the United States and the European Union will not be the whistle-blowers, most certainly not as long as Palestinians themselves continue to collaborate with Israel’s pretense that a one-state reality does not yet exist, a collaboration implicit in their adherence to the Oslo framework and to the myth that the Palestinian Authority and the strengthening of its institutions can still pave the way for Palestinian statehood.

Nothing would expose more convincingly the Israeli disguise of the one-state reality now in place than a Palestinian decision to shut down the Palestinian Authority and transform their national struggle for independence and statehood into a struggle for citizenship and equal rights within the Greater Israel to which they have been consigned. Only by declaring that Palestinians will no longer be complicit with their occupiers in their own disenfranchisement will Israelis be confronted with the need to choose between a two-state arrangement and a single state that sooner or later will lose its Jewish identity.

In recent talks with Palestinian leaders, some of them told me they fear that Israel would take advantage of such a move to annex area C and consign Palestinians to enclaves in areas A and B, as proposed by Bennett. But Israel's government has already done so. Only those blind to the facts on the ground created by the settlements can believe there still exists a possibility for a two-state outcome that might be put at risk. And the sooner Palestinians expose their new reality the better. For an Israeli land grab in area C that would follow the launching of a Palestinian anti-apartheid struggle is far more likely to be seen by the international community as confirming Israel’s apartheid than a land grab that precedes it—i.e. when the issue is still presented by Israel as the setting of the border between two states.
Friends of Israel should fervently hope that such a Palestinian strategy will succeed in changing the cost-benefit calculations of Israel’s government, for the success of the settlements holds the seeds of Israel's demise. Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation for nearly half a century and will endure, if they must, another half century. They have few alternatives.

However, it is highly doubtful that Israel can survive another half century of its subjugation of the Palestinians. The region has been radically transformed by the emergence of Islamic regimes that, unlike their predecessors, will not suppress Arab furies provoked by Israel's permanent disenfranchisement of the Palestinians. America's ability to impose its own political order on the region is in decline. Even Arab royals in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Emirates will be pressed to prove their legitimacy by joining efforts to deepen the ring of Arab hostility that surrounds and threatens the Jewish state. America's fading influence and Israel's growing vulnerability in this emerging regional order have already been exposed by Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's decision, in defiance of American objections, to attend a conference of nonaligned nations hosted by Iran. The heightened sense of isolation and insecurity that Israelis will experience as Arab countries join the nuclear club, which in time they surely will, is bound to lead to an exodus of Israel's best and brightest, and in time it could spell the end of the Zionist dream. As reported in Israel’s press, the search in certain sectors of Israeli society for foreign passports and second homes abroad has already begun.

An honest Israeli offer of Palestinian statehood based on the Clinton parameters would avert such a calamity, remove the most incendiary issue from the region's agenda, and leave Iran and Hezbollah without a cause in the Arab world.
Paradoxically, only Palestinians can make that happen. By abandoning the Palestinian Authority, ending the ugly Fatah-Hamas rivalry and mounting a struggle for full citizenship rights in the Greater Israel they now live in, Palestinians will challenge not only Israel's public but also the United States and the international community to finally stand up to the most reactionary government in Israel's history. If that struggle does not bring back the two-state option, nothing will. In that case, the struggle that Palestinians will have initiated for citizenship and equal rights in Greater Israel could not have been more timely.

Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a nonresident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

 

 

SOMOS UNA PLATAFORMA DE DIÁLOGO PARA LA PAZ.NO TENEMOS MÁS APOYO QUE EL DE NUESTRAS CONVICCIONES ÉTICAS.DIÁLOGO,EQUIDAD,JUSTICIA.

NUESTRA CAUSA ES LA DE LA LIBERTAD COMO ASPIRACIÓN ÚLTIMA PARA TODOS LOS PUEBLOS,Y TODO AQUELLO QUE LA RODEA Y SIGNIFICA.

SEGUIREMOS ADELANTE.GRACIAS.

 

 

 


The Jerusalem Post the washington post iranian trheat  

 

MENTIRAS Y VERDADES.

 


The Palestine Romney doesn’t knowBy Zahi Khouri, Friday, August 10, 2012

I am a proud American. I am a hardworking businessman and job creator. I am a faithful Christian.
And I am Palestinian.
Much as my multiple identities might drive Mitt Romney to head scratching, it is he who needs a lesson in, to borrow his recent words, “culture and a few other things.”
Were he to spend a day with me in the Holy Land, I could take him to the Jerusalem neighborhood where my family home has stood for five centuries. I could show him the orange trees in Jaffa that my family helped introduce to the world in the 1930s.
That’s right: Jaffa oranges are a Palestinian, not Israeli, trademark. Yet like so many “cultural” markers claimed by the self-professed Jewish state, even the fruit trees my people have tended for centuries have been expropriated.
Romney might be duped into thinking that oranges, falafel and hummus — staples of Palestinian cuisine for generations — are Israeli products. But how dare he claim that a state built at the expense of another people’s history and accomplishments is guided by “the hand of providence”?
Israel did not make the desert bloom. Instead, thanks to a deal struck with the British viceroys of Mandate Palestine, it made away with a land, a set of institutions and, indeed, a culture that was not its own.
It did so at the expense of my people. Like more than three-quarters of Palestine’s population, my family was forced to leave this land after Israel’s creation in 1948. Even though we had to abandon our successful businesses and centuries-old homes, however, we did not become the “uncultured” victims that Romney’s caricature suggests.
Most of us went to other Arab countries, where Palestinians became known for our business acumen and management know-how, and helped to build nascent private and public sectors. Ask our fellow Arabs in Lebanon, Jordan or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region and they will tell you: Palestinian culture, with its premium on education and hard work, has been a force for hope, development and prosperity.
Despite their circumstances, Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal occupation share the same culture and proudly claim the same remarkable achievements. I, for one, returned to Palestine in 1993 to launch the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the West Bank. It was granted a Best Country Bottling Operation award in May by Coca-Cola, a testament to my colleagues’ ingenuity and determination. But these traits alone cannot overcome the stifling effects of Israel’s occupation.
If Romney got one thing right, it’s that Israelis far outdo Palestinians in net wealth. In fact, his estimates of the disparity were too conservative: Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is roughly $32,000 to the Palestinians’ $1,500.
Remarkably, that $1,500 figure is roughly half of what Palestinians claimed in 1993, when the Oslo accords were signed. In other words, the U.S.-sponsored peace process has made us poorer.
How is that possible?
Palestinians have no say in our economic development. Every resource — water, land, soil, minerals, airspace, humans — is controlled and commandeered by Israel, which then deigns to sell us back a small portion.
In the West Bank, for example, Israeli settlers consume on average 4.3 times the amount of water as Palestinians. In the Jordan Valley alone, some 9,000 settlers in Israeli agricultural settlements use one-quarter the amount of water consumed by the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, about 2.5 million people.
Palestinians have no control over our borders. This means we cannot import or export without being subject to discriminatory measures by our occupier. It also means that, without Israeli permission, we cannot hire experts to enhance our employees’ skills or send employees for overseas training.
Worse, we are restricted within the territories ostensibly under our “control.” At any given time, there are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other barriers to movement within the occupied West Bank — an area smaller than Delaware — hindering Palestinians and their goods from moving between their own towns and cities and the outside world.
Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.
All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.

 

The New York Times

August 1, 2012

Why Not in Vegas?

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
I’ll make this quick. I have one question and one observation about Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel. The question is this: Since the whole trip was not about learning anything but about how to satisfy the political whims of the right-wing, super pro-Bibi Netanyahu, American Jewish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, why didn’t they just do the whole thing in Las Vegas? I mean, it was all about money anyway — how much Romney would abase himself by saying whatever the Israeli right wanted to hear and how big a jackpot of donations Adelson would shower on the Romney campaign in return. Really, Vegas would have been so much more appropriate than Jerusalem. They could have constructed a plastic Wailing Wall and saved so much on gas.
The observation is this: Much of what is wrong with the U.S.-Israel relationship today can be found in that Romney trip. In recent years, the Republican Party has decided to make Israel a wedge issue. In order to garner more Jewish (and evangelical) votes and money, the G.O.P. decided to “out-pro-Israel” the Democrats by being even more unquestioning of Israel. This arms race has pulled the Democratic Party to the right on the Middle East and has basically forced the Obama team to shut down the peace process and drop any demands that Israel freeze settlements. This, in turn, has created a culture in Washington where State Department officials, not to mention politicians, are reluctant to even state publicly what is U.S. policy — that settlements are “an obstacle to peace” — for fear of being denounced as anti-Israel.
Add on top of that, the increasing role of money in U.S. politics and the importance of single donors who can write megachecks to “super PACs” — and the fact that the main Israel lobby, Aipac, has made itself the feared arbiter of which lawmakers are “pro” and which are “anti-Israel” and, therefore, who should get donations and who should not — and you have a situation in which there are almost no brakes, no red lights, around Israel coming from America anymore. No wonder settlers now boast on op-ed pages that the game is over, they’ve won, the West Bank will remain with Israel forever — and they don’t care what absorbing all of its Palestinians will mean for Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy.
It is into this environment that Romney wandered to add more pandering and to declare how he will be so much nicer to Israel than big, bad Obama. This is a canard. On what matters to Israel’s survival — advanced weaponry and intelligence — Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN on Monday, “I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”
While Romney had time for a $50,000-a-plate breakfast with American Jewish donors in Jerusalem, with Adelson at his elbow, he did not have two hours to go to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, to meet with its president, Mahmoud Abbas, or to share publicly any ideas on how he would advance the peace process. He did have time, though, to point out to his Jewish hosts that Israelis are clearly more culturally entrepreneurial than Palestinians. Israel todayis an amazing beehive of innovation — thanks, in part, to an influx of Russian brainpower, massive U.S. aid and smart policies. It’s something Jews should be proud of. But had Romney gone to Ramallah he would have seen a Palestinian beehive of entrepreneurship, too, albeit small, but not bad for a people living under occupation. Palestinian business talent also built the Persian Gulf states. In short, Romney didn’t know what he was talking about.
On peace, the Palestinians’ diplomacy has been a fractured mess, and I still don’t know if they can be a partner for a secure two-state deal with even the most liberal Israeli government. But I do know this: It is in Israel’s overwhelming interest to test, test and have the U.S. keep testing creative ideas for a two-state solution. That is what a real U.S. friend would promise to do. Otherwise, Israel could be doomed to become a kind of apartheid South Africa.
And here is what I also know: The three U.S. statesmen who have done the most to make Israel more secure and accepted in the region all told blunt truths to every Israeli or Arab leader: Jimmy Carter, who helped forge a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt; Henry Kissinger, who built the post-1973 war disengagement agreements with Syria, Israel and Egypt; and James Baker, who engineered the Madrid peace conference. All of them knew that to make progress in this region you have to get in the face of both sides. They both need the excuse at times that “the Americans made me do it,” because their own politics are too knotted to move on their own.
So how about all you U.S. politicians — Republicans and Democrats — stop feeding off this conflict for political gain. Stop using this conflict as a backdrop for campaign photo-ops and fund-raisers. Stop making things even worse by telling the most hard-line Israelis everything that they want to hear, just to grovel for Jewish votes and money, while blatantly ignoring the other side. There are real lives at stake out there. If you’re not going to do something constructive, stay away. They can make enough trouble for themselves on their own.
 

 

A la memoria de Gregorio Peces Barba.

 

Nos ha dejado un amigo,una persona comprometida desde siempre con la causa de la libertad y la justicia.

Es firmante de este proyecto,y en nuestros intereses se incluía organizar un encuentro donde poder debatir con claridad los puntos álgidos del diálogo para la paz.

Sus compromisos y delicada salud ,al tiempo que la vida errante que llevo desde hace unos meses a esta fecha,fueron dilatando la puesta en marcha del proyecto.No lo olvidamos,pero se iba retrasando.

Ahora pienso que sería un buen homenaje a su trabajo y dedicación durante tantos años.

Tuve buena amistad con su madre,y en los años difíciles de la Transición hicimos de nuestra asistencia al Congreso de los Diputados,algo así como un ejercicio constante de militancia democrática.Gregorio sonreía y nos decía que éramos muy radicales,cierto,pero la verdad es que ella como yo no teníamos demasiado claro que el proceso democrático fuese tan bien,el 23 -F. nos dió la razón.

Posteriormente,ya como Presidente del Congreso de los Diputados,allí estaba Isabel cada día,orgullosa de ver a su hijo presidiendo,después de la larga travesia del desierto que supuso para su familia su militancia reublicana.Y durante muchos días la acompañé,en solidaridad y amistad.

Gregorio fue una de las personas que más se involucró,desde la dictadura misma,en la defensa de los Derechos Humanos.

Cuadernos para el diálogo,la revista imprescindible del tardofranquismo,tan generosamente financiada por otra gran figura, éticamente hablando,Joaquin Rúiz Jiménez,supuso uno de los escasos respiraderos que tuvimos en la larga noche de la dictadura.No eran personas dadas al protagonismo.Hacían su trabajo con efectividad y discreción.Eran hombres buenos,lo que no excluía una fina ironía y sentido del humor,aún refiriendose a su propia biografia,bastante dramática en algunos aspectos.

Me siento privilegiada por haberles conocido,tratado y seguido.

Permanecerá en mi recuerdo,triste es que haya partido.Que lástima que nos deje en momentos tan difíciles para todos,su saber y experiencia es ahora especialmente necesario.

Descansa en paz,amigo.

 

 

17/05/12 El largo camino de Palestina hacia la libertad | Opinión | EL PAÍS
1/2 elpais.com/elpais/2012/05/15/opinion/1337092431_178272.html
OPINIÓN
NABIL SHAATH 15 MAY 2012 - 16:33 CET
El aroma que sentí
en Gaza en 1994
me trajo a la
memoria la vida
de una sociedad
que partió al exilio
en 1948
TRIBUNA
El largo camino de Palestina hacia la libertad
Hace 64 años se produjo la Nakba, la catástrofe que terminó llevando a dos tercios de este pueblo al
exilio

Cada año, el pueblo palestino marca su Nakba o catástrofe con la agonía de su pérdida y la
nostalgia de rememorar. En el mes de mayo celebramos la esperanza que abre la primavera
pero también nos acordamos de la perdida más dolorosa en la historia de nuestro pueblo. La
Nakba marca la expulsión de dos tercios del pueblo palestino de su patria y la perdida, tan
dolorosa, de la identidad nacional y cultural palestina. Es el inicio de la denegación de la
narrativa palestina y de los derechos nacionales del pueblo palestino.
En 1948, con la mayoría de los palestinos transformados en refugiados desterrados, sin
propiedad ni identidad, hubiese parecido imposible que el pueblo palestino pudiese algún día
vencer esas circunstancias e injusticias y levantarse otra vez para lograr sus derechos
nacionales.
Pero el pueblo palestino se liberó de su agonía y pudo reconstruir su identidad nacional y su
memoria colectiva. Esta historia de renacimiento y lucha es nuestra historia como palestinos.
Para nosotros, la Nakba es la memoria de un pasado glorioso así como la injusticia del asalto
sistemático que intentó borrarlo, así como nuestra determinación para que esa injusticia pueda
corregirse y nunca más repetirse.
Yo nací en Safad, cerca de la frontera con Siria. Es un lugar hermoso, y toda su población
palestina, tanto cristiana como musulmana fue entonces expulsada. La recuerdo, sin embargo,
muy bien por los concursos literarios que organizábamos en la escuela donde mi padre era el
director.
Luego, a mi padre se le designó una escuela en el puerto de Jaffa.
Vivíamos allí en una casa cerca del famoso hospital Dajani.
Gozábamos con las tertulias literarias, con los periódicos que
diariamente se imprimían, con las idas al teatro y por supuesto con el
cine Al Hamra, un edificio que hasta el día de hoy se mantiene en pie.
Toda esa fascinación que como un niño conservo de Jaffa se
transformaría en la principal memoria que pude guardar de Palestina
desde que comenzó nuestro exilio hace más de sesenta y cuatro
años.
Mi exilio, mi Nakba, comenzó en Egipto, desde donde pasé como
estudiante a los Estados Unidos. Mi padre quería que fuese banquero por lo que también me
envió durante varias temporadas a trabajar a bancos en Ginebra y en Londres, pero nada podía
hacerme olvidar los aromas de Palestina. Esos mismos que cargué conmigo en el exilio y que,
cuando pude retornar en la década de 1990, pude distinguir como únicos. El aroma del jazmín,
de los almendros, de los olivos, de los naranjos.
Ese aroma tan romántico que sentí entrando a Gaza en 1994 me trajo a la memoria numerosos
momentos de la vida de esa sociedad palestina que fue condenada al exilio en 1948. Ya
habían pasado casi cincuenta años, y el compromiso histórico palestino de 1988,
reconociendo a Israel sobre el 78% de la Palestina histórica, ya se había realizado. El niño que
17/05/12 El largo camino de Palestina hacia la libertad | Opinión | EL PAÍS
2/2 elpais.com/elpais/2012/05/15/opinion/1337092431_178272.html
Es tiempo de que
España proteja
nuestro derecho a
la
autodeterminación,
pisoteado durante
años
se había ido al exilio, volvía como uno de los negociadores jefes de la OLP para un proceso
de paz que en plazo de cinco años debería haber terminado con la ocupación de Cisjordania y
la franja de Gaza, incluyendo a Jerusalén Oriental.
Pero de los sueños de niño y el romanticismo de los aromas palestinos, pasamos a la
depresión de ver in situ como Israel en vez de tomar el proceso de paz como una oportunidad
para lograr la paz, simplemente lo uso como una cortina de humo para cubrir la continuación de
la colonización de nuestra tierra: de los caso 200.000 colonos que había cuando se firmó el
Acuerdo de Oslo en 1993, hoy se han convertido en algo más de medio millón. Cisjordania se
ha plagado de restricciones de movimiento, las demoliciones de hogares y el desplazamiento
de la población son una realidad casi cotidiana, la confiscación de tierras sigue, el ilegal muro
se está por terminar y Jerusalén Oriental se ha cerrado para el resto de la población palestina
cristiana y musulmana. Mientras esto pasa, la franja de Gaza sigue sufriendo un bloqueo ilegal
y a millones de refugiados palestinos se les sigue denegando sus derechos de retorno,
compensación y restitución, en línea con el derecho internacional.
Sesenta y cuatro años después de la Nakba, seguimos la lucha por
nuestros derechos nacionales y la búsqueda de la justicia. Al mismo
tiempo, hacemos todo lo posible para incentivar a la comunidad
internacional para detener la impunidad con la que Israel ha podido
actuar. Con un proceso de paz detenido por los israelíes, que
continúan el saqueo diario de la patria palestina, nos hemos volcado
a la comunidad internacional para lograr nuestro reconocimiento
como Estado y nuestra admisión en Naciones Unidas.
En ese contexto, esperamos que España, siendo un país que ha
invertido en la búsqueda de la paz y la justicia en nuestra región,
reconozca al Estado de Palestina según las fronteras de 1967. Hace 21 años, España se
alineó del lado correcto de la historia con la generosidad de su pueblo, y fue huésped de la
histórica Conferencia de Paz desde donde se lanzó el proceso de negociaciones que hoy se
encuentra estancado por culpa de Israel. El parlamento español ya ha sido claro en cuanto a la
necesidad de reconocer a Palestina como una forma de avanzar hacia la paz. Es tiempo de
que España proteja nuestro derecho a la autodeterminación que ha sido pisoteado durante
años debido a la impunidad que se ha garantizado al Estado de Israel.
Hoy, como desde hace sesenta y cuatro años, los palestinos recordamos esas historias lindas
de una Palestina libre y próspera. Hoy aun seguimos luchando porque Palestina retorne al
mapa. Independiente de las violaciones diarias que se cometen contra de nuestro pueblo y la
incansable construcción de colonias en territorio ocupado, que ha llevado a muchos a señalar
que la solución de los dos estados está a punto de ser ya inviable, nosotros seguimos
creyendo que la libertad es posible. Para que ello suceda, la comunidad internacional debe
asumir su responsabilidad histórica y obligación moral: terminar con la ocupación y lograr una
solución justa a la cuestión de los refugiados palestinos de acuerdo a la resolución 194 de
Naciones Unidas. No se trata de una suerte de "precondiciones palestinas" sino simplemente
de la aplicación del derecho internacional y las resoluciones relevantes de la ONU.
Nakba no es la derrota del pueblo palestino, ya que hemos probado nuestra determinación y
compromiso para poder vencer los obstáculos que se han puesto en nuestro camino. Así
como la Nakba simboliza exilio y destrucción, también es un llamado para lograr la justicia y
hacer todo lo que sea necesario para lograr la paz.
Nabil Shaath, comisionado internacional de Al Fatah, fue Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores durante diez años y primer Comisionado para la Paz.

http://www.haaretz.com/images/logos/logoGrey.gif/Home News

Recognizing Nakba,reaching peace.

Peace is a phase of healing that must be established on truth,justice,transparency and equality.There is no other formula.By Hanam Asrhrawi/May 15,2012/http://www.haaretz.com/images/icons/comment.pag 17.

May is the cruelest month,despite the promise of spring.It carries the bitter memories of ongoing loss and injustice for a nation,my nation.

Every year,Palestinians mark Al-Nakba or the catastrophe of 1948,to remember how our vibrant society was physically and politically crushed by violence and forced expulsion.Was no a natural disaster.Indeed we have no doubt,demonstrating that

Palestine was a land that it was a detailed plan of systematic destructioncovered out with chilling efficienty.It was the biggest assault and threat Palestinian heritage has ever endured and the beginning of a deliberate effort to supress the Palestinian narrative.

For many Israeli reconozing what happened back in 1948 is a painful process.The slogan"your independence is our Nakba"which is on display in many Palestinian cities is indeed correct.Many Israeli historians have reached and written about this dark era.

Palestinian, have a vibrant society and rich culture. These brave historians ended decades of denial about Palestinian society and suffering.

By 1948, Palestine was one of the most developed Arab societies, boasting one of the healthiest economies under the British mandate and a high school enrolment rate, second only to Lebanon. Commerce, the arts, literature, music, and other cultural aspects of life were thriving in Palestine.

We remember that between 1911 and 1948, Palestine had no less than 161 newspapers, magazines and other regular publications, including the pioneer “Falastin” newspaper, published in Jaffa by Issa al-Issa.

Dozens of bookstores across the country selling hundreds of Palestinian and internationally-authored books could hardly keep up with the demand. Books like “The Arab Woman and the Palestine Problem” by Matiel Moghannam, a feminist leader, and George Antonious’ “The Arab Awakening”, were highly popular in Palestine, England, the US, and beyond.

Palestine had a strong women’s movement as early as the 1920’s. Women excelled in many fields, including education, journalism, and political activism. Women activists were among the first to lobby for Palestinian self-determination at the beginning of the British Mandate.

Palestinian dedication to education is deeply rooted in our culture. By 1914, there were 379 private schools in Palestine, including the country’s first girls’ school, Al Moscobiye, in Beit Jala, founded in 1858 as the first school for girls in Palestine, and the Friends School, founded by the Quakers in 1869, which continues to be among the most advanced education institutions in Palestine.

In the area of arts, music, and drama, Palestinian creativity was boundless, inspiring artists around the region. Composers like Yehya Al-Lababidi collaborated with famous Arab singers of the time, like Farid Al-Atrach. Other singers like the legendary Um Kalthoum and Mohamad Abdel Wahab regularly performed to Palestinian audiences in Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem. Our cinemas, from Gaza to Akka, were showing the latest films of the time.

Al-Nakba represents the abrupt and unnatural disruption of these accomplishments and signaled the beginning of a culture of exile and dispossession. In being forcibly expelled from their homes, Palestinians lost their properties, personal history, and cultural assets.

This included thousands of books. In West Jerusalem alone, 30,000 books were “collected” from Palestinian houses, as well as around 50,000 other books from homes in Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias and Nazareth. Khalil Sakakini was one of those people who lost his entire library. A number of his books can be found today in the National Library of Israel, marked ‘AP’, meaning “Abandoned Property.”

Al-Nakba is therefore not merely a historical date to be commemorated. It is the collective memory of Palestinians, which shapes their identity as a people. Al-Nakba is not a distant memory but a painful reality that continues to fester, as the rights of refugees continue to be denied and the inalienable rights of our nation remain unfulfilled.

It is time to recognize that Al-Nakba is as real for Palestinians as it should be for Israelis. It is an inescapable story of loss, dispossession and a great historic injustice that targeted the most precious characteristic of any people: its identity.

But Al-Nakba to Palestinians is not about defeat. Stripping the Palestinian people of their national and cultural symbols, as well as stunting the growth of Palestinian cultural life was a merciless crime, no doubt. But our people have persevered, rebuilding, time and again, their heritage of cultural and educational excellence.

There have been many new challenges and setbacks since Al-Nakba, especially the military occupation that began in 1967 and its oppressive policies targeting culture and education. But Palestinians kept marching forward, holding on to the proud memories of excellence and building new ones.

For peace to prevail, for two states to live side by side, for a future of security and prosperity to begin in the region, Israel should not be afraid to recognize Al-Nakba and learn the lessons of its history. Israel must come to recognize its historic accountability in creating Al-Nakba for neither denial nor distortion can serve the cause of peace.

Genuine recognition is a sine qua non for the process of historical redemption. Peace is a phase of healing that must be established on truth, justice, transparency and equality. There is no other formula. By recognizing our historical narrative and suffering, Israel will be embarking on a true journey for a just and comprehensive peace.

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a member of the PLO Executive Committee and head of the PLO’s Department of Culture and Information.

 

ZIONISM IS NOT RACISM, BUT ZIONISTS CAN BE RACIST

By Henry Siegman

In 1975, a combination of malevolent and misguided governments managed to enshrine in a United Nations General Assembly resolution the defamatory accusation that Zionism is racism. That libel was rescinded by the General Assembly in 1991, the only time that one of its resolutions was revoked.

 

In 2012, having neutralized American opposition to its efforts to establish -- through the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank -- irreversible “facts on the ground” that will prevent the emergence of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, while at the same time denying Israeli citizenship to the millions of Palestinian residents of the occupied territories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has succeeded in reviving the calumny that Zionism is racism, something anti-Semites and Israel’s enemies had been unable to do.

 

The founders of Zionism were among the most enlightened and progressive leaders of the Jewish world. They were not racists, and neither were the members of the U.N. General Assembly who voted in 1947 to create a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state. But Netanyahu and his government have proven that although Zionism is not racism, Zionists can indeed be racists. 

 

In the 1980s many in the American Jewish establishment (myself included) participated in demonstrations against South Africa’s apartheid regime. The struggle against apartheid was considered by the Jewish community (not only by liberals) to be a Jewish cause. But that was in the 1980s, and the apartheid was in South Africa. Today it is in Israel -- and not as a future possibility, as many have been warning, but a current reality.  

 

Netanyahu and his government have sought to disguise their de facto apartheid regime by pretending the status quo in the occupied West Bank is temporary, and that it would lead to a two-state agreement if only Palestinians would return to negotiations in a peace process that has been a farce, having served no purpose other than to disguise the enlargement of the settlement project that created the apartheid to begin with. However, when there is even the slightest possibility that negotiations might actually be resumed on the basis of the pre-1967 line, a line Netanyahu has relentlessly been trying to erase from the world’s memory, he and his government revert to the claim that Israel has no partner for peace talks, and therefore negotiations must wait for one or more generations when a more reasonable Palestinian leadership might emerge.  

 

When Palestinians turned to the U.N. last year to confirm their right to statehood, Netanyahu’s Foreign Ministry circulated a confidential document to various governments accusing Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, of encouraging terrorism and the delegitimization of Israel, among many other crimes. The document concluded that “no agreement [with the Palestinians] will ever be possible as long as Mahmoud Abbas leads the Palestinian Authority.” This of the man who Israeli security agencies and the IDF credited only recently with having helped put an end to terrorism in the West Bank.

 

When in 1991 Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir decided to bring into his government the rightwing Moledet party, headed by Rechav’am Ze’evy, Benny Begin, the son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, warned that because Moledet advocates the “transfer” (forceful expulsion) of the West Bank’s Arab residents, its inclusion in Israel’s government “in effect confirms the U.N. resolution that says that Zionism is racism.”

 

Today, the ruling Likud party, in which Benny Begin is one of its most influential ministers, opposes Palestinian statehood and the granting of Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of the West Bank, confining them to enclaves behind checkpoints and barbed wire fences. While Netanyahu claims to oppose transfer, transfer parties are part of his government, and Palestinians are being systematically expelled from Area C territories (so designated by the Oslo accords) that comprise over 60 percent of the West Bank. A recent report from the European Commission notes that hundreds of Palestinian homes in that area have been slated by Israel for demolition.

 

If Shamir’s government deserved to be criticized by Begin as confirming the “Zionism is racism” resolution, what can be said for a government that is actually implementing what Ze’evy and his Moledet party only advocated?   

 

Former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak and others have been warning Israel for years now that the lack of progress towards a two-state solution threatens to lead to a loss of Israel’s democracy and to an apartheid state. But warning of a future threat instead of raising an alarm over a present reality that “looks, walks and quacks” like an apartheid regime has played into the hands of Netanyahu’s government. Netanyahu believes that by invoking the Holocaust and accusing critics of Israel’s de facto apartheid of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing, he can continue to intimidate, discredit, and silence them. The failure of both the U.S. administration and the American Jewish organizational establishment to speak truthfully about Israel’s present reality has only served to reassure Netanyahu that his apartheid regime can be permanently disguised.

 

Nevertheless, Netanyahu is not taking any chances. Naftali Bennett, a close associate of Netanyahu who previously headed his Prime Minister’s office (and also a former head of Yesha, the settlers’ council for Judea and Samaria), recently announced that he presented a plan for the “solution” of the Israel-Palestine conflict to Israel’s political leaders and to its military and defense officials, and that the plan received “high praise.”

 

The key elements of Bennett’s plan, which one might reasonably assume is Netanyahu’s trial balloon,  are: 1) unilaterally imposing full Israeli sovereignty in Area C (as noted above it constitutes 62 percent of the West Bank, leaving Palestinians less than 9 percent of pre-partition Palestine.); 2) “securing” all of Jerusalem; 3) an Israeli “security umbrella” across the entire West Bank, including the territory in which geographically disconnected Palestinian enclaves envisioned in this plan would be located; 4) disconnecting the Gaza strip from the West Bank and “assigning” it to Egypt; 5) rejecting a Palestinian right of return for the refugees even in the enclaves that would constitute a future Palestinian state; and 6) granting Israeli citizenship for the 50,000 Palestinians who, according to Bennett, now reside in Area C that is to be annexed to Israel. This brilliant move, Bennett announced triumphantly, “will pull the rug from under any apartheid argument.”

It should be noted that according to the European Commission report previously referred to, Area C is home to 150,000 Palestinians, which raises the question of whether an unstated aspect of Bennett’s plan is the “transfer” of 100,000 Palestinians out of Area C.

 

So far there has been not even a whisper of criticism of this appalling attempt to “kosher” Israel’s apartheid from America’s Jewish organizational leadership, who continue to confuse support for Netanyahu and his government that includes out-and-out racist parties (including a cabinet housing minister who publicly encouraged the exclusion of Israel’s own Arab citizens from Jewish neighborhoods) with support for the Jewish state envisioned by its Zionist founders.

 

Netanyahu’s policies have turned Israel into an ethnocracy similar to states such as Milosevic and Mladic’s Serbia, whose xenophobic nationalism, land grabs in Bosnia, demonization of Bosnia’s Muslims, and ties to a benighted Serbian Orthodoxy that provided religious support and encouragement for their leaders’ predations, mirror Israel’s present reality.  (It should not surprise that Ariel Sharon was the only leader in the democratic world at the time who condemned NATO’s bombing of Belgrade. Indeed, he warned it might serve as a precedent for similar international measures against Israel.)

 

Netanyahu and his supporters in Israel and in the Diaspora are not only destroying Israel’s democracy but defaming both the Zionism and Judaism they misleadingly invoke to justify the apartheid being entrenched in Zion.

 

Neither Torah, nor justice or peace, will ever come forth from such a Zion.

 

Henry Siegman, president of the U.S./Middle East Project in New York, is a former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America. He serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

 

 

red in Arabic in Al-Ayyam, April 8, 2012]
UNSCOP: A New Strategy for Achieving Independence
Jerome M. Segal
University of Maryland

Palestinians face a very challenging strategic problem.  While one or another tactic might be appropriate at a given moment, decades of struggle have made clear that in the end, without negotiations it will not be possible to create a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital and some measure of justice for Palestinian refugees. Palestinians lack the power to impose this reality and the international community will not do so.  The problem however is that there is no Israeli partner. There is no prospect for meaningful negotiations between the PLO and the Netanyahu government. Further, no new Israeli government is on the horizon.  Netanyahu is enormously popular inside Israel, and is very likely to be re-elected to a second four year term as Prime Minister. And if that weren't enough, the attention of the world is focused elsewhere; President Obama is focused on winning re-election, and even if re-elected, he is deeply frustrated by the conflict and may decide to focus his energies elsewhere.
In response to this impasse a wide variety of policy options have surfaced, including popular resistance, dismantling the Palestinian Authority, abandoning the two-state solution, accepting a state with provisional borders, launching an intensified diplomatic and legal campaign against Israel, expanding international boycott and divestment efforts, and yet other ideas, all of which are inadequate.
In considering this array of options, it is important to not embark on a road that will make things worse by:
- Triggering a downward spiral that leads to an extended violent confrontation.
- Permanently alienating the Obama Administration.
- Strengthening the Israeli right-wing.
- Undermining Palestinian state-building efforts and the Palestinian economy.

Rather, Palestinians need a strategic option which will:
- Safely get us through the next twelve months, giving time for the Americans to elect their President, and for regional uncertainties to attain some clarification.
- Bring international attention back to the Palestinian issue.
- Focus attention and creativity on the key final status issues that have long been neglected, such as Jerusalem and refugees.
-  Strengthen the Israeli left and center-left.
- Connect the Palestinian issue to Israel's concern about how the Arab Spring may affect its relations with neighboring Arab countries.
- Ensure that when negotiations resume, Palestinian will do so from a position of strength, with greater international support, especially in Europe and the United States.

A new option is needed, one that can achieve these objectives and can be pursued without American  or Israeli agreement. I call it UNSCOP-2 because the work of UNSCOP, the United Nations Special Committee for Palestine, in 1947, is the closest precedent for what is needed today.
In May of 1947, the General Assembly established UNSCOP and directed it to report back to the General Assembly with recommendations for resolving the Palestine question. UNSCOP was formed from a group of neutral nations, none of which were permanent members of the UN Security Council. The Special Committee came to Palestine to hear from both sides. It held hearings, and David Ben Gurion testified, as did Chaim Weizman, who became Israel's first President. Menachem Begin sought to testify, but  viewed at the time as a terrorist, UNSCOP refused to allow him to do so. UNSCOP also went to Europe where it heard from Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. It then returned to New York, debated, and developed two different reports about how to resolve the Palestinian question. The majority report called for the two-states solution, an Arab and a Jewish state, with an international status for Jerusalem. It detailed the specific boundary line that was to be the border between the two states.  In November of 1947, the UNGA adopted the Majority Report, embedding it in the historic Partition Resolution (UNGA 181).
In 1947 the Palestinian leadership made a fundamental mistake by boycotting UNSCOP, and a further mistake by not accepting the Partition Resolution. Today the tables are turned. UNSCOP-2 can be a Palestinian initiative, one that will promote Palestinian independence. And it can proceed even if, as is likely, it is boycotted by the Israeli government. Here is how it might proceed:
1. At the request of one or more of the Arab states, the United Nations General Assembly will re-establish UNSCOP. It would be composed of countries that are friendly to both Israel and the Palestinian people. It would be headed by an international figure of the highest prestige, possibly a former American statesman or Senator, but acting in his own capacity, not as an American official.
2. Taking the Arab Peace Initiative as its terms of reference, UNSCOP will be directed by the General Assembly to formulate a detailed draft treaty that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Possibly this would be highlighted  as Phase 2 of the Arab Peace Initiative, thus connecting Israel's future relations with Arab states (e.g. Egypt) to the Palestinian issue.
3. Specifically, UNSCOP, in the spirit of the Arab Spring, would be directed towards the two peoples, not the two governments. It would be directed to formulate an agreement which would be acceptable to a majority of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.
4. To carry out its mandate, UNSCOP would come to the region for a high profile process that might take several months. It would listen to the two peoples with participation from across all parts of civil society, including Palestinian refugees  in Palestine and in Diaspora camps, and Israeli groups generally not heard by peace processers. Perhaps it would be televised. It would not only hold hearings, but undertake public opinion research, and study the record of past Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in particular, the progress made at Taba and in the Olmert-Abu Mazen round. It would also hear from negotiators on both sides, should the Israeli government not boycott its work. In particular, it would be open to new ideas for dealing with the most difficult issues, such as refugees.
5.  UNSCOP  would then return to New York, and develop a fully detailed draft treaty, which it would report to the General Assembly for further action.
6. Rather than seeking to imposed this treaty on both sides, the UN would call on Israel and the PLO to renew negotiations taking the UNSCOP proposal as the starting point. The negotiations would last for ninety days, and the two sides would seek to determine if they can agree on any mutually acceptable improvements.
 If Israel agrees to resume such negotiations on this basis then we will have made enormous progress towards finding a just solution to the conflict. This however is unlikely. Rather, we can expect that this time it will be Israel that will boycott UNSCOP, and most likely Israel will refuse to enter negotiations based on the UNSCOP draft treaty. If this happens, then the UN General Assembly will have to decide its next step.
 One possibility is that the UNSCOP proposal will be formally adopted by the General Assembly just as occurred in 1947. This will only be the second time in the history of the conflict that the United Nations would be endorsing a specific detailed solution. Were this to happen, depending on the content of the new resolution, the PLO could reverse what happened in 1947. This time the Palestinians could say "yes" to a specific solution to the conflict, one supported by almost all of the countries of the world. And if UNSCOP does its work properly, even though rejected by the Israeli government, this proposal will be accepted by a majority of the Israeli people as well as a majority of the Palestinian people. Here it is important to note that the most recent survey of the Israeli public shows that 58% supports the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines (with swaps) and with a capital in Jerusalem.
Getting this far, of course, does not bring a new government in Israel, and it does not remove settlers, or end the occupation. However, it will establish an international consensus on how the conflict should be resolved. It will bring to the region an international mission at a time when Israeli settlement activity is largely ignored. It will generate new ideas for resolving the hardest issues. It will replace the vagueness of the Arab Peace Initiative with a detailed UN Plan that can be offered to the Israeli people as the key to making peace with the region. And it will make clear to the Israeli people, that the primary obstacle to ending the conflict is its own government. Whatever happens next, it will leave the Palestinians in a much stronger position than they are now. 
 
Jerome M. Segal is a philosopher at the University of Maryland. He is the author of "Creating the Palestinian State: A Strategy for Peace" written during the first Intifada.

 

Peace has a great deal to do with warm-heartedness and respect for the lives of others, avoiding doing them harm and regarding their lives as being as precious as our own. If, on that basis, we can also be of help to others, such much the better.

 

Dears friens,

this is a fabulous article.

Please read carefully.

With best whises.

Nabeel Shaath

 

FP

Foreign Police
_______________

Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War

Now that the war is officially over and most U.S. forces have withdrawn, what are the most important takeaways?

BY STEPHEN M. WALT | MARCH 20, 2012

 
This month marks the ninth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Regardless of your views on the wisdom of that decision, it's fair to say that the results were not what most Americans expected.  Now that the war is officially over and most U.S. forces have withdrawn, what lessons should Americans (and others) draw from the experience? There are many lessons that one might learn, of course, but here are my Top 10 Lessons from the Iraq War.
 
Lesson #1:  The United States lost. The first and most important lesson of Iraq war is that we didn't win in any meaningful sense of that term. The alleged purpose of the war was eliminating Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, but it turns out he didn't have any. Oops. Then the rationale shifted to creating a pro-American democracy, but Iraq today is at best a quasi-democracy and far from pro-American. The destruction of Iraq improved Iran's position in the Persian Gulf -- which is hardly something the United States intended -- and the costs of the war (easily exceeding $1 trillion dollars) are much larger than U.S. leaders anticipated or promised. The war was also a giant distraction, which diverted the Bush administration from other priorities (e.g., Afghanistan) and made the United States much less popular around the world.
This lesson is important because supporters of the war are already marketing a revisionist version. In this counter narrative, the 2007 surge was a huge success (it wasn't, because it failed to produce political reconciliation) and Iraq is now on the road to stable and prosperous democracy. And the costs weren't really that bad. Another variant of this myth is the idea that President George W. Bush and Gen. David Petraeus had "won" the war by 2008, but President Obama then lost it by getting out early. This view ignores the fact that the Bush administration negotiated the 2008 Status of Forces agreement that set the timetable for U.S. withdrawal, and Obama couldn't stay in Iraq once the Iraqi government made it clear it wanted us out.
The danger of this false narrative is obvious: If Americans come to see the war as a success -- which it clearly wasn't -- they may continue to listen to the advice of its advocates and be more inclined to repeat similar mistakes in the future.
Lesson #2: It's not that hard to hijack the United States into a war. The United States is still a very powerful country, and the short-term costs of military action are relatively low in most cases. As a result, wars of choice (or even "wars of whim") are possible. The Iraq war reminds us that if the executive branch is united around the idea of war, normal checks and balances -- including media scrutiny -- tend to break down.
The remarkable thing about the Iraq war is how few people it took to engineer. It wasn't promoted by the U.S. military, the CIA, the State Department, or oil companies. Instead, the main architects were a group of well-connected neoconservatives, who began openly lobbying for war during the Clinton administration. They failed to persuade President Bill Clinton, and they were unable to convince Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to opt for war until after 9/11. But at that point the stars aligned, and Bush and Cheney became convinced that invading Iraq would launch a far-reaching regional transformation, usher in a wave of pro-American democracies, and solve the terrorism problem.
As the New York Times' Thomas Friedman told Ha'aretz in May 2003: "Iraq was the war neoconservatives wanted... the war the neoconservatives marketed.... I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office [in Washington]) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened."
 
Lesson #3: The United States gets in big trouble when the "marketplace of ideas" breaks down and when the public and our leadership do not have an open debate about what to do.
Given the stakes involved, it is remarkable how little serious debate there actually was about the decision to invade. This was a bipartisan failure, as both conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats all tended to jump onboard the bandwagon to war. And mainstream media organizations became cheerleaders rather than critics. Even within the halls of government, individuals who questioned the wisdom of the invasion or raised doubts about the specific plans were soon marginalized. As a result, not only did the United States make a bone-headed decision, but the Bush administration went into Iraq unprepared for the subsequent occupation. 
 
Lesson #4: The secularism and middle-class character of Iraqi society was overrated. Before the war, advocates argued that democracy would be easy to install in Iraq because it had a highly literate population and a robust middle class, and because sectarianism was minimal. Of course, the people who said things like this apparently knew nothing about Iraq itself and even less about the difficulty of building democracy in a country like Iraq. This failure is especially striking insofar as Iraq's turbulent pre-Saddam history was hardly a secret. But a realistic view of Iraq clashed with the neocons' effort to sell the war, so they sold a fairy tale version instead.
Lesson #5: Don't listen to ambitious exiles. The case for war was strengthened by misleading testimony from various Iraqi exiles, who had an obvious interest in persuading Washington to carry them to power. Unfortunately, U.S. leaders were unaware of Machiavelli's prescient warnings about the danger of trusting the testimony of self-interested foreigners. As he wrote in his Discourses:
"How vain the faith and promises of men who are exiles from their country. Such is their extreme desire to return to their homes that they naturally believe many things that are not true, and add many others on purpose, so that with what they really believe and what they say they believe, they will fill you with hopes to that degree that if you attempt to act upon them, you will incur a fruitless expense or engage in an undertaking that will involve you in ruin."  
Two words: Ahmed Chalabi.
Lesson #6: It's very hard to improvise an occupation.
As the Army's official history of the occupation notes dryly: "conditions in Iraq proved to be wildly out of sync with prewar assumptions." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Co. assumed that standing up a new Iraqi government would be quick work and that the light U.S. force would head home almost immediately. But when conditions deteriorated, U.S. leaders -- both civilian and military -- were extremely slow to realize that they faced a wholly different situation. And, as FP colleague Thomas Ricks has documented, once the U.S. military found itself facing a genuine insurgency, it took years before it began to adjust its tactics and strategy in a serious way. We tend to think of the U.S. military as a highly intelligent fighting force -- after all, we've got all those intelligence services, think tanks, in-house analysis operations, war colleges, etc. -- yet this case reminds us that the defense establishment is also big and unwieldy organization that doesn't improvise quickly.
 
Lesson #7:  Don't be surprised when adversaries act to defend their own interests, and in ways we won't like. 
This lesson seems obvious: Adversaries will pursue their own interests. But the architects of the Iraq war seem to have blindly assumed that other interested parties would simply roll over and cooperate with us after a little bit of "shock and awe." Instead, various actors took steps to defend their own interests or to take advantage of the evolving situation, often in ways that confounded U.S. efforts. Thus, Sunnis in Iraq took up arms to resist the loss of power, wealth, and status that the collapse of the Ba'thist regime entailed. Syria and Iran took various measures to strengthen anti-U.S. forces inside Iraq, in order to bog us down and bleed us. Al Qaeda also tried to exploit the post-invasion power-vacuum to go after U.S. forces and advance its own agenda. 
Americans had every reason to be upset by these various responses, because they helped thwart our aims. But we should hardly have been surprised when these various forces did what they could to resist us. What else would you expect? 
Lesson #8: Counterinsurgency warfare is ugly and inevitably leads to war crimes, atrocities, or other forms of abuse.
Another lesson from Iraq (and Afghanistan) is that local identities remain quite powerful and foreign occupations almost always trigger resistance, especially in cultures with a history of heavy-handed foreign interference. Accordingly, occupying powers are likely to face armed insurgencies, which in turn means organizing a counterinsurgency campaign. Unfortunately, such campaigns are extremely hard to control, because decisive victories will be elusive, progress is usually slow, and the occupation force will have distinguishing friend from foe within the local population. And that means that sometimes our forces will go over the line, as they did in Haditha or Abu Ghraib. No matter how much we emphasize "hearts and minds," there will inevitably be abuses that undermine our efforts. So when you order up an invasion or decide to occupy another country, be aware that you are opening Pandora's Box.
Lesson #9: Better "planning" may not be the answer.
There is little question that the invasion of Iraq was abysmally planned, and the post-war occupation was badly bungled. It is therefore unsurprising that U.S. leaders (and academics) want to learn from these mistakes so as to perform better in the future. This goal is understandable and even laudable, but it does not necessarily follow that better pre-war planning would have produced a better result.
For starters, there were extensive pre-war plans for occupying and rebuilding Iraq; the problem was that key decision makers (e.g., Rumsfeld) simply ignored them. So planning alone isn't the answer if politicians ignore the plans. It's also worth noting that had Americans been told about the real price tag of the invasion -- i.e., that we would have to send a lot more troops and stay there longer -- they would never have supported the invasion in the first place.
But more importantly, better plans don't guarantee success, because trying to do "statebuilding" in a deeply divided society is an immense challenge, and opportunities to screw it up are legion. As Minxin Pei and Sara Kasper of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace concluded from their study of past attempts of "nation-building," "few national undertakings are as complex, costly, and time-consuming as reconstructing the governing institutions of foreign societies."
For example, having more troops on the ground might have prevented the collapse of order, but the U.S. army could not have kept a sufficiently large force (350,000 or more) in Iraq for very long. Moreover, an even larger U.S. presence might have increased Iraqi resentment and produced an insurgency anyway. Similarly, critics now believe the decision to disband the Iraqi army and launch an extensive de-Bathification process was a mistake, but trying to keep the army intact and leaving former Bathists in charge might easily have triggered a Shi'ite uprising instead. Lastly, state-building in countries that we don't understand is inherently uncertain, because it is impossible to know ex ante which potential leaders are reliable or competent or how politics will evolve once the population starts participating directly. We won't know enough to play "kingmaker," and we are likely to end up having to prop up leaders whose agendas are different from ours. Which leads to Lesson #10.
Lesson #10: Rethink U.S. grand strategy, not just tactics or methods.
Because it is not clear if any U.S. approach would have succeeded at an acceptable cost, the real lesson of Iraq is not to do stupid things like this again.         
The U.S. military has many virtues, but it is not good at running other countries. And it is not likely to get much better at it with practice. We have a capital-intensive army that places a premium on firepower, and we are a country whose own unusual, melting-pot history has made us less sensitive to the enduring power of nationalism, ethnicity, and other local forces. 
Furthermore, because the United States is basically incredibly secure, it is impossible to sustain public support for long and grinding wars of occupation. Once it becomes clear that we face a lengthy and messy struggle, the American people quite properly begin to ask why we are pouring billions of dollars and thousands of lives into some strategic backwater. And they are right. 

So my last lesson is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out how to do this sort of thing better, because we're never going to do it well and it will rarely be vital to our overall security. Instead, we ought to work harder on developing an approach to the world that minimizes

 

MATANZAS

 

HACE ESCASAS SEMANAS AL QAEDA MANIFESTÓ SU APOYO A LOS REBELDES SIRIOS,FORMA PERFECTA DE JUSTIFICAR LAS MUERTES DE TANTOS INOCENTES CIVILES,TORTURADOS,DESTROZADOS,QUE DESDE ENTONCES HAN DADO SU VIDA POR LA CAUSA DE LA LIBERTAD EN SU PAÍS,ESTUVIESEN O NO DIRECTAMENTE INVOLUCRADOS.

SE PRODUCE UNA ESPIRAL,CORTA,PERO EFECTIVA,DE LA TENSIÓN ENTRE ISRAEL Y PALESTINA.UNA DE ESAS "OPORTUNAS" SITUACIONES QUE JUSTIFICAN ESCALADAS DE VIOLENCIA POR AMBAS PARTES.QUE LEGITIMAN LAS MUERTES DIRECTAS E INDIRECTAS DE INOCENTES.ES EL TRUCO MÁS VIEJO,DESDE QUE SALIMOS DE LAS CAVERNAS,QUE UTILIZAN LOS TIRANOS PARA JUSTIFICARSE ANTE SUS PUEBLOS,PARA LEGITIMAR SU VESANIA.QUE SE DE POR ALUDIDO EL QUE QUIERA,ESTE DONDE ESTE.

REPITO MUCHO LA PALABRA JUSTIFICAR,ES LA DENOMINACIÓN APROPIADA,ES LO QUE BUSCAN ESTOS REPTILES,CONTINUAR HACIENDO LO QUE REALMENTE QUIEREN APOYANDOSE EN MANIOBRAS SINIESTRAS.

AYER HA MUERTO UN CHICO,HIJO DEL SUBMUNDO DEL COLONIALISMO FRANCÉS,HABRÍA MUCHO QUE ESCRIBIR ACERCA DEL CINTURÓN EXTERNO DE PARÍS DESPUÉS DE ARGEL.

SEGUÍ LOS HECHOS,MATANZA DE INOCENTES,ESCALADA DE TERROR.

HE VISTO TAMBIÉN SUS VIDEOS,LO QUE DE ÉL HAN DICHO.JÓVEN, SOLO,INADAPTADO,AGRESIVO,PATÉTICO.VÍCTIMA PERFECTA DE LOS EXTREMISMOS,SEAN DEL SIGNO QUE SEAN.

SIEMPRE TERMINAN UNIENDOSE LOS FANATISMOS,PODEMOS ESCRIBIR EL MISMO TEXTO,DE TAL FORMA QUE SI QUISIESEMOS HABLAR SOBRE LOS DIFERENTES "ISMOS",POLÍTICOS O RELIGIOSOS DE CUALQUIER PAÍS,EN DIFERENTES TIEMPOS DE LA HISTORIA,SOLO HAY QUE CAMBIAR,FECHAS,LUGAR E IDIOMAS.EL MONSTRUO DE LA MALDAD,DE LA INTOLERANCIA,EL ENEMIGO DE LA PAZ,DE LA CONCORDIA, ES SIEMPRE EL MISMO.

SE BUSCA,INDUDABLEMENTE,DEGENERAR LA PAZ,HACERLA IMPOSIBLE.SE APROVECHA CUALQUIER CIRCUNSTANCIA,PARA PROLONGAR LA INJUSTICIA,LA MUERTE Y EL EXTERMINIO.TODO VALE.LOS REPTILES Y SABANDIJAS SE MUEVEN MEJOR EN ESTOS AMBIENTES.

QUE CADA GOBIERNO,QUE NO PAÍS,MIRE HACIA ADENTRO Y DESCUBRA SUS VERGÜENZAS.NOS SALPICAN A TODOS,MATAN LA ESPERANZA,DEJAN SIN FUTURO A NIÑOS INOCENTES.Y ASÍ CASI HASTA EL INFINITO.

¿HASTA CUANDO?

TERESA DE ANGULO

23-03-2012

 

POR SU GRAN INTERÉS INFORMATIVO PUBLICAMOS TAMBIÉN LA CARTA ENVIADA A NABEEL SHAATH,AMIGO,UNO DE LOS FUNDADORES DE ESTA WEB,QUE ACOMPAÑA AL ARTÍCULO DE DANIEL LEVY.

ESTA ES UNA DEMOSTRACIÓN MÁS DE QUE EL DIÁLOGO ES POSIBLE, Y DE QUE EL ACTUAL GOBIERNO ISRAELÍ NO REPRESENTA LOS INTERESES DE LA MAYORÍA DE SU PUEBLO.

 

Dear Nabil,

 
After a week with a lot of focus on Israel and Iran, I wanted to share with you a curtain-raiser essay that I wrote for foreignpolicy.com prior to Netanyahu’s visit (the full article is pasted at the bottom of this note). Having followed developments this week closely, and now having had a chance to review the weekend Israeli press, I’m still sticking with my assessment from that essay entitled “Netanyahu Won’t Attack Iran (Probably.)
 
On Wednesday morning, we held a post-mortem panel at NAF looking at the visit, how this is playing out in America and Israel, and also in Iran, bearing in mind Iranian parliamentary elections. That panel discussion can be viewed here in its entirety, and featured Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network, Ali Nader of the RAND Corporation, in addition to myself. It was moderated by Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress. A transcript of the event will also be available shortly on the NAF website.
 
Just a heads up that I will be discussing some of these issues on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show this Sunday on CNN (airing at 10am and 1pm EST and at various times on CNN International on Sunday and Monday). Also, look out for Chris Hayes’ show UP this Sunday morning at 8am EST, devoted to this topic and featuring my NAF colleague Leila Hilal and J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami, and for the CBS’s 60 Minutes interview with ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
Finally, to bring to your attention to what Israel’s leading columnist Nahum Barnea had to say today in the Yedioth Aharonoth  Newspaper (his column has not appeared in English translation yet online at Ynetnews.com). “Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems to me that more than the Israelis who pushed for action were thinking about Iran, they were thinking about the US administration. Israel was in a similar situation in the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein’s Scuds were launched at Israel, and the director of IDF Intelligence, Ehud Barak, was sent to Washington to explain to Secretary of Defense Cheney that there would be an Israeli military strike, that this was the government’s obligation to its citizens. Israel cannot place its security in the hands of others. The Americans sweated: they knew that an Israeli operation was liable to dismantle the coalition and to turn Saddam Hussein into the darling of the Arab nations. They asked for a 48-hour extension, and then sent a commando to attack the launchers that were troubling Israel…Netanyahu knows that he cannot force Obama to act, not before the elections in America and not afterwards. He can only try to persuade. That is what he tried to do at the White House. Then he went outside, to his friends on the Republican Right, and waved his papers from the Holocaust.”
 
It is an assessment that quite closely tracks my own analysis from the aforementioned scene-setting piece: “perhaps this has been the Israeli intention all along: to checkmate the United States by locking it into a logic of confrontation down the road. Israel's position has, after all, been relatively clear in preferring a "stars and stripes" rather than a "blue and white" label on the military taming of Iran.” Barnea then unleashes on Netanyahu’s Holocaust-centric speech from Monday night in DC. “His audience got up and cheered. Any speech about the poor, lost, attacked Israel reminds them of how well off they are: their ancestors immigrated to the right place. There, in the Middle East, oh my God, Auschwitz is lurking around every corner; here in America, we can live safely. They sat down and cheered Netanyahu: he was one of them.” It is a theme that has been repeated elsewhere in the Israeli media.
Last word, Paul Pillar, makes a very compelling case against any military action, Israeli or American, and for a different approach on Iran in a long article in The Washington Monthly magazine.It can be read here.

I welcome any thoughts or feedback.

With best whises,

Daniel

 
 
(Probably.)
BY DANIEL L EVY| MARCH 2, 2012
The intensity of background spin emanating from Washington and Jerusalem threatens to leave very little to the imagination in advance of the March 5 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Various U.S. officials, current and former, named and anonymous, have shared their skepticism regarding Israel's ability to inflict decisive damage on Iran's nuclear-enrichment program, as well as their trepidation at the costs, consequences, and retaliatory attacks that might follow from an Israeli strike. These same officials have intelligence-driven doubts as to whether Iran even has any intention of crossing a nuclear threshold to weaponization. Their Israeli counterparts, meanwhile, push home the need for the United States to draw red lines beyond which there will be an American commitment to military action (with former Israeli intel chief Amos Yadlin taking the case to the New York Times' op-ed pages) and suggest that Obama would be to blame in the event of an Israeli strike. Subtle it isn't.
Meanwhile, most of the rest of the world is holding its breath, convinced that yet another military confrontation in the Middle East will have disastrous consequences, especially during such a tumultuous period in the region, including for the global economy, with energy prices already hitting new and unexpected highs. Even those regional leaders who might privately welcome a military poke in the eye for Tehran do so against the wishes of their own publics and with uncertainty as to what else might unravel in the wake of a strike.
Curiously missing in this flurry of coverage has been a more considered assessment of the internal dynamics in play for Israeli decision-makers and how those might be most effectively influenced. Too often, the calculations of Israel's leaders are depicted as if this were a collection of think-tankers and trauma victims given a very big and high-tech army to play with. Netanyahu represents the latter, guided by his "existentialist mindset" and his 101-year-old historian father. (The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg drew heavily on the father-son relationship in his assessment 18 months ago that an Israeli strike on Iran was imminent.) Peter Beinart has written, "Benjamin Netanyahu has only one mode: apocalyptic." And the prime minister often depicts contemporary realities as akin to 1938.
In Shalom Auslander's new novel, Hope: A Tragedy, the lead protagonist, Solomon Kugel, discovers a living and elderly Anne Frank in his attic, at one level seemingly a metaphor for the identity politics of contemporary American Jewry -- we all carry Anne Frank around with us in our heads. Bibi Netanyahu can sometimes sound like an Israeli version of Solomon Kugel, the difference being that in the Israeli "attic" we keep both Anne Frank and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the two apparently merging when it comes to the prime minister's depiction of the threat posed by Iran and how it should be handled.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, by contrast, is portrayed as the rational, calculating calibrator of the "zone of immunity" when it comes to Iranian technical progress on the nuclear front and the precision of Israeli bombing thereof. When Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, in a lengthy and splashy New York Times Magazine essay, answered in the affirmative his own question of whether Israel would attack Iran, his assessment relied overwhelmingly on conversations with Barak.
The case for the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran largely rests on these twin pillars: Bibi's sense of existential danger and Barak's calculating military mind. But though it is not unreasonable to suggest that historically driven angst and national security considerations will factor significantly in Israeli decision-making, it is wholly misleading to ignore and factor out of the equation Israeli politics, as is consistently the case in media coverage.
Netanyahu operates in a highly political environment. Israel is a rambunctious (though certainly imperfect) democracy, in which reelection is a matter of more than passing interest for any prime minister. While Defense Minister Barak may be a serial risk-taker whose days of electoral viability are behind him, those things are certainly not true of Netanyahu. Bibi has served twice so far as Israel's prime minister and is close to becoming the second-longest-serving PM in Israel's history.
A tendency characterizing Netanyahu's long term in office, and a counterintuitive one at that, is the degree to which he has been risk-averse, not only in matters of peace, but also in matters of war. No Operation Cast Leads, Lebanon wars, or Syria Deir ez-Zor attack missions under his watch. In fact, he has no record of military adventurism. What's more, Netanyahu hardly appears to be in need of a Hail Mary pass, military or otherwise, to salvage his political fortunes. Polls consistently show that he is a shoo-in for reelection. The right-wing block in Israel currently has a hegemonic grip on Israeli politics, something that seems unlikely to change. Netanyahu secured his own continued leadership of the Likud party in Jan. 31's primary. His primacy on the right faces few challenges from either within the Likud or beyond it. Despite never winning favor with much of the mainstream media, the messy management in his own office, and the challenges of coalition balancing (particularly over issues of religion and state), Netanyahu maintains solid approval ratings with a relatively strong economy and can even now bask in Israel's lowest unemployment numbers in 32 years.
Although it is fair to speculate that a successful, daring mission to the heart of Iranian airspace would be domestically popular and a boost to the prime minister, such a mission is anything but risk-free. Not only would the specific military action be fraught with uncertainty and potential hiccups, but the fallout from a strike, even one successful in immediate terms, could have far-reaching repercussions and consequences for Israel in the security and diplomatic arenas and by extension, of course, in the domestic political domain. The Hebrew expression she'yorim shotkim ("silence when shooting") is used to describe the phenomenon whereby domestic criticism of the government is suspended when military action is under way. The problem for Netanyahu is that all signs point to that rule not applying in this case. Former security establishment figures at the highest levels have mounted an unprecedented campaign warning Israel's leader and its public of the follies of launching a solo and premature Israeli military action against Iran. Most outspoken has been recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who has described a strike on Iran as "the stupidest thing I have ever heard." But he has not been alone. Other former IDF chiefs of staff, as well as Shin Bet and intel leaders, have joined the cautioning chorus. Many are unlikely to shut up if Bibi defies their counsel. And in the public arena, these voices cannot be dismissed as just so many self-serving chickenhawk politicians. The fallout from an attack on Iran is possibly the biggest threat to Bibi serving a third term.
Another oft-overlooked aspect is the absence of public pressure in Israel for military intervention or of a supposed Iranian threat featuring as a priority issue for Israelis. The pressure to act is top-down, not bottom-up. And to the extent to which there is trepidation among the public, that is a function of fear at the blowback from Israeli military action, rather than fear of Iranian-initiated conflagration. Also to be factored in is the possibility of 2012 being an election year in Israel (though technically the current parliament could serve until October 2013). If Netanyahu does pursue early elections, as many pundits expect, then the political risk associated with an attack increases, heightened by the likelihood of a strike being depicted as an election ploy. What's more, prices at the pump are an issue for Israeli voters, just as they are in the United States.
Especially noteworthy is the extent to which the elements of Netanyahu's coalition further to his right have not embraced or promoted military action against Iran. In fact, they tend to demonstrate a lack of enthusiasm at the prospect. This applies to both the ultra-Orthodox and the greater Israel settler-nationalists. One reason is that they view the Iran issue as peripheral when compared with, say, the pursuit of settlements and an irreversible presence in all of greater Israel. In fact, a strike on Iran is sometimes depicted as presenting a threat to the settlement enterprise, in as much as there is an expectation that part of the fallout would be enhanced pressure on Israel to tamp down resulting regional anger by displaying more give on the Palestinian front. With so many in the settler movement convinced that the irreversibility of 40-plus years of occupation is within touching distance, the last thing they want now is to rock the boat by creating new and unpredictable challenges to their cause. From the outside, that may seem a stretch, given the American and international timidity with which every new settlement expansion is greeted. Yet concern is voiced in settlement circles when the likes of Haaretz Editor in Chief Aluf Benn makes the case for an Itamar (a hard-core ideological settlement) in exchange for Natanz (an Iranian nuclear facility) -- an idea that has led some errant Israeli peaceniks to flirt with joining the pro-war camp on Iran.
The more settler-centric right is also cognizant of the distraction value served by the Iranian nuclear issue in deflecting attention from its land grabs and entrenchment in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Chances are, settlements won't be making any headlines in next week's Obama-Netanyahu meeting. Thus, removal of Iran from the agenda is a losing proposition for the settler lobby. Netanyahu himself surely appreciates the extent to which this comes in handy, in that focusing on Iran (although not attacking Iran) allows Israel to line up together with the West in the camp of the "good guys" for once, as opposed to in the doghouse on the Palestinian issue. Want a sense of just how well this distraction serves the greater Israel cause? Take a look at Goldberg's latest interview with Obama for the Atlantic -- 4,561 words and not one of them mentions the Palestinians or settlements.
Finally, in the "maybe Netanyahu won't attack after all" column, Israel's leadership is aware that its nonmembership in various nuclear accords and its assumed weapons-of-mass-destruction capacity will be dragged more harshly into the spotlight following an Israeli strike -- not something that is likely to lead to precipitous Israeli disarmament, but unwanted, unpleasant, and unpredictable, nonetheless.
So, an Israeli strike is far from inevitable. But let's go a step further. A more granular appreciation of the Israeli scene may help identify points of influence to focus on if war opponents are to diminish the prospect of precipitous Israeli action.
First there is the role of Barak. The above political considerations do not apply to him. He is the antidote to Netanyahu's risk-aversion and, in this instance, strengthens all of Netanyahu's worse tendencies. Alongside Barak, Israel's three security agencies (the IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet) have undergone changes at the top over the past year. The previous chiefs were (according to reports) outspoken in their opposition to a strike on Iran. The new chiefs are apparently less robust in asserting that position. Israel might consider that not acting in the current circumstances will lead to a sense of "crying wolf" and that Israeli threats down the line would begin to lose credibility. And to take military action now would be in keeping with Israel's response posture to date toward the Arab Spring -- a porcupine-like hunkering down and displaying of quills and, in this case, a reaffirmation of what Israel likes to call its power of deterrence.
Obama might opt for developing a strategy that confronts all this head-on. He should begin by focusing his political calculations and risk-avoidance instincts laser-like on March 5's guest -- Netanyahu. Even the most junior politician in Israel knows that Netanyahu is a character who can be pressured, especially when he is anyway uncertain, as in this instance. So, keep making the case for the downsides associated with military action, how dicey and perilous the consequences could be, especially in the context of regional turbulence. Drive that message home in the military-to-military dialogue (as seems to be happening), thereby strengthening the collective spines and anti-solo-strike predilections of Israel's new security chiefs, and pursue a carefully calibrated freezing out of the troublemaker Barak.
At the same time, work Netanyahu's coalition allies by encouraging all their pre-existing neuroses about where a strike might lead on other fronts, notably in the Palestinian arena. Given the intensity of traffic between Jerusalem and Washington, have those U.S. senior officials, especially the uniformed ones, briefing the other members of Israel's security cabinet and, if necessary, their rabbinical sages. Finally give maximum impetus to renewed nuclear talks, following Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili's recent letter to EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton. (Israel is already trying to sabotage renewed negotiations via enrichment-suspension preconditions.) If a diplomatic avenue is shown to have some traction, then this will be an additional factor complicating any immediate Israeli move to action. Ultimately, the U.S. narrative on Iran should shift gears more comprehensively by right-sizing the Iran threat, de-emphasizing the nuclear issue, and acknowledging Iran's diminished status post-Arab Spring -- but that is a project for after Nov. 6.
The other alternative is for the president to give the Israeli leader what he is apparently clamoring for -- a deeper U.S. commitment to act militarily if Iran crosses certain red lines. That might look like a win-win at first glance. Obama avoids the prospect of another war or cleaning up after an Israeli strike during this reelection season, gets Congress and Republican candidates off his back on Iran, and can even wrap his newfound belligerence in the claim that he has consistently promised that all options are on the table. Netanyahu, meanwhile, stays within his comfort zone -- no hard choices, no risks, and a smooth reelection, while driving U.S. policy further in his direction and claiming a win in Washington (again). Obama appears to have set off on this path in that new interview with Goldberg, emphasizing that U.S. policy on Iran "includes a military component," adding for good measure "I don't bluff."
If indeed Netanyahu is less keen on a strike than his posturing would have us believe, and if 2012 for Israel's leadership is in fact less about "zones of immunity" that Iranian facilities may acquire and more about "zones of impunity" that a U.S. election year confers on Israeli policy toward Iran, then perhaps this has been the Israeli intention all along: to checkmate the United States by locking it into a logic of confrontation down the road. Israel's position has, after all, been relatively clear in preferring a "stars and stripes" rather than a "blue and white" label on the military taming of Iran.
If Obama pursues such a formula and this helps avoid war in the tricky months ahead, it is not to be sneezed at. But at the same time, there is a very real downside to this approach. It carries the promise of greater problems and escalation ahead -- making a negotiated solution ultimately less likely, possibly provoking Iran, and placing Israel in the very unwise position of cheerleading America into a war.

.

Saturday, March 3 2012|Dahlia Scheindlin 

The following op ed in Haaretz [Hebrew only] revisits the theme of how unpleasant it can be for an Arab citizen, native-born in Israel, to use his or her national airport to travel freely. Many people have heard this theme before; my colleague Aziz Abu Sarah has written about it  thoughtfully, and I reported on a potentially positive Supreme Court  ruling a year ago.  At the time, I quoted my friend Adeeb Awad and a few others about their experiences. In his op ed this week, Adeeb expands his thoughts about an experience not often discussed: That of an Arab citizen who lives his life as the model integrated Israeli, a picture of excellent relations based on multiple identities that cut across the traditional, tired divisions of Israeli life.

 

…I live in the heart of Tel Aviv, on the lovely Mazeh Street. The municipality collects the garbage in my building just like it does for all the other buildings nearby, and without checking I know that I pay the same municipal taxes as my neighbors, I buy the same products in the same supermarket for the same prices, because we are all equal members of one more unnecessary price club. The chef at the Brasserie [trendy Tel Aviv eatery - ds] doesn’t purposely mess up my food and at Arcaffe [trendy Tel Aviv café - ds] they don’t add cardamom to my espresso. At my bank they deal with me according to the balance in my daily checking account. The specialty shop never refuses to sell me the occasional chopped liver or fish balls.

Yes, I’m a proud Tel Avivian. Just as I am a proud Arab. Just as I am a proud Palestinian. Just as I am a proud Israeli. I feel the same sense of belonging in Tel Aviv, where I live, as I do in Haifa where I was born, or in Sakhnin where I sometimes work.  That’s my blend of identities and I’ve even learned to enjoy it. In the modern world I like to think I live in, multiple identities doesn’t have to mean an identity crisis; I’ve even encountered cases more complicated cases than mine.

 

“Proud” in Hebrew connotes gay – especially when paired with “Tel Aviv.” Adeeb’s cross-cutting identities run in many directions. But it’s as if the tired, traditional divisions can’t stand being neglected, and reach out to wrench him back into their jaws, which probably creates a feeling that any semblance of the good life for Arab citizens, of which the bourgeois Israeli dream is perhaps one example, is just a mirage.

 

…I’m used to being judged by my taste in clothing or art, by my culinary sophistication or by the sort of wine I like, the brands I wear, and on occasion, by my level of intelligence. But to find myself judged based on one thing only – being Arab – and to dare to call it “profiling” – is truly insulting.

 

In my university course, I teach students that grouping a person according to a characteristic that you choose, but which may not be the characteristic that individual views as his or her primary identity, is an element of racism. In the airport, not only has Adeeb been reduced to one single identity that ignores all the other parts of who he is, but he’s been turned into something else altogether: a lump.

 

…only at Ben Gurion airport, a full human being with a well-rounded personality with a rich array of identities, suddenly becomes a “kilo” – the code word for Arab citizens used by security people at the airport security checkpoints. If you’re a “kilo” they take your passport, and demonstratively take you aside behind a partition screen, and examine you and your belongings, item after item, with the methodical determination Israel Beitenu uses to pass its racist laws.

 

I’ve been in Israel for fourteen years and I hold no illusions about the good, bad and the ugly of Israeli life, including the difficulties of its most marginalized citizens. But I never knew that one in five of our citizens is called “kilo” at the airport. In my mind, a vision of formless flesh weighing one kilo floats up. It’s pinkish-colored, for some reason, and of course it has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth, no limbs at all and probably no nervous system either.

 

…I tried to wise up: one time I was an indifferent kilo, another time an impatient kilo. I also tried to be an irreverent kilo, an offended kilo, or a resigned kilo. Nothing helped. The feeling was and remains that of being a humiliated kilo, blended with one kilo of sadness, and two more kilos of despair.

 

Many of the readers’ comments were too awful to repeat here (and this is on the Haaretz website). But the immediate argument that has and always will appear is security, which is not to be trivialized. The logic is that Arabs are the group with the greatest interest in committing an attack, and sure it’s unpleasant for poor espresso-drinking Adeeb, but all things considered his life isn’t so bad and it’s a small price to pay. Which is intolerably outdated and generally unacceptable thinking. Surely the great scientific minds of this country can fathom that some people just have other things on their minds than playing Achmed the Dead Terrorist , and are capable of devising appropriate security

rch 3 2012|Dahlia Scheindlin 

The following op ed in Haaretz [Hebrew only] revisits the theme of how unpleasant it can be for an Arab citizen, native-born in Israel, to use his or her national airport to travel freely. Many people have heard this theme before; my colleague Aziz Abu Sarah has written about it  thoughtfully, and I reported on a potentially positive Supreme Court  ruling a year ago.  At the time, I quoted my friend Adeeb Awad and a few others about their experiences. In his op ed this week, Adeeb expands his thoughts about an experience not often discussed: That of an Arab citizen who lives his life as the model integrated Israeli, a picture of excellent relations based on multiple identities that cut across the traditional, tired divisions of Israeli life.

www.youtube.com

  on Feb 26, 2012

 

Gaza en crisis,

Noam Chomsky e Ilan Pappé reflexionan sobre las distintas formas de violencia que, desde hace más de sesenta años, Israel emplea con los palestinos.

Sus voces, de las más autorizadas, poseen registros distintos: en Chomsky, Israel/Palestina es un epítome de la visión imperial del capitalismo estadounidense; para Pappé, historiador israelí, es materia de estudio y de supervivencia moral.

Según Chomsky, somos cándidos: siempre tendemos a "infravalorar la eficacia de la violencia", lo útil que es para el que la ejerce. Conforme a su análisis, el Estado de Israel se ha construido apostando una y otra vez por el expansionismo y la colonización frente a la seguridad. En los momentos decisivos (partición de 1947, guerra de 1967, invasión del Líbano en 1982, masacres de Gaza de 2008-2009) la brutalidad ha sido la estrategia israelí contra la "amenaza" de un acuerdo político. Los réditos de esta violencia han sido múltiples: confiscación imparable de territorios, limpieza étnica sostenida, política de hechos consumados, alienación de la ciudadanía israelí, militarización de la vida pública. Incluso en el plano de las relaciones internacionales Israel ha conseguido legalizar de facto su ejecutoria, gracias al apoyo de Estados Unidos.

El libro, que va alternando capítulos de cada autor, no es precisamente monocorde. La apuesta ilusionada de Pappé por un Estado único, multiconfesional y multiétnico, de resonancias binacionales, que parta de la reparación histórica, moral y legal de la Nakba (la limpieza étnica de Palestina de 1948), no casa con el escepticismo general de Chomsky. Para Pappé, el problema no es sólo la negación de la Nakba histórica, sino su continua actualización, hoy manifiesta en la guetización de Cisjordania y en la mera idea del desplazamiento forzoso de los palestinos israelíes. Ante esta situación, Pappé se transforma en activista que explica y defiende los beneficios del boicot académico y económico a Israel. Chomsky, si acaso, confía en Gaza, en su historia de resistencia agónica, para que no se produzca el politicidio, el asesinato de Palestina como nación, que él, siguiendo al sociólogo israelí Baruch Kimmerling, pronostica.

Category:News & Politic

A VECES SE TIENE LA SENSACIÓN DE ESTAR PREDICANDO EN EL DESIERTO.Y ES ASÍ.PERO SI NOS CALLAMOS,SI NOS RENDIMOS,ENTONCES ESTAREMOS PERDIDOS PARA SIEMPRE.

NO ACEPTAMOS LA IMPOSICIÓN DE LOS MÁS FUERTES A LOS MÁS DÉBILES.NI LA INJUSTICIA,NI EL ABUSO,NI LA INDIFERENCIA ANTE LA MUERTE DE INOCENTES.POR ESO CONTINUAMOS ACTUANDO,ESCRIBIENDO.NO NOS VAMOS A DEJAR VENCER POR LA DESESPERANZA.ESTE ES NUESTRO CAMINO.INVITAMOS A TODOS A SEGUIR POR ESTA SENDA,A LO MEJOR NO LA MÁS FÁCIL,PERO SI LA QUE MÁS NOS JUSTIFICA COMO SERES HUMANOS.

GRACIAS.

TERESA DE ANGULO

!Salvaguardar la democracia!

FEDERICO MAYOR ZARAGOZA

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:13 AM PST

FFEEDERICO MAYOR ZARAGOZA FEDERICO

“No vamos a permitir que la época del post-neoliberalismo sea la época de la post-democracia” (Presidenta Dilma Rousseff, enero de 2012).

La solución, a escala local y mundial, es perfeccionar la democracia de tal modo que refleje en todo momento la voluntad popular. Hoy es posible, por primera vez en la historia, la participación no presencial gracias a la moderna tecnología de comunicación. Utilicémosla, unamos voces, miles, millones de voces, para que logremos que las democracias “formales” vayan perdiendo lastre y se fortalezca la democracia genuina, la que tiene en cuenta permanentemente a los ciudadanos que representa.

La situación es especialmente alarmante, sobre todo en la vieja Europa, donde han sido los mercados los que han condicionado la acción política hasta el punto de llegar, en “países-símbolo” como Grecia e Italia, a designar a los gobiernos sin comicios electorales.

En otros casos, el poder absoluto de las mayorías parlamentarias desluce, a veces gravemente, el comportamiento democrático.

La democracia está en peligro. ¡Sigamos el consejo de la Presidenta Dilma Rousseff!

 

Siria,única salida:Interlocutor único de Naciones Unidas.

 

Hace tiempo que apremia,y con otro ejemplo sangriento,la necesidad de refundar el Sistema multilateral que marginaron los “globalizadores” en la década de los ochenta, sustituyéndolo por los grupos plutocráticos… que nos han llevado al desastre. ¿Cómo pretenden mandar ocho o veinte países al conjunto de los habitantes de la Tierra pertenecientes a 196?

Debacle social, económica, democrática, medioambiental… Incapacidad, sobre todo, de gobernanza planetaria: las invasiones de Kosovo, de Irak… la forma brutal y cruenta con que Occidente “resolvió” la primavera árabe en Libia… la carencia de normas y vigilancia mundial de los procesos de cambio –y de radical resistencia al mismo– que muestran la arbitrariedad de un mundo sin brújula, falto de asideros y referencias democráticas y éticas a escala global.

Publica hoy la prensa: “Homs se desangra a la vista del mundo…La oposición busca apoyo exterior… El Consejo Nacional Sirio se debate entre la guerra civil y la petición de una intervención militar internacional…”

Fortalecer el Sistema de Naciones Unidas en lugar de seguir ignorándolo, en dos etapas: i) la primera, de emergencia, inmediata, por la que todos los países designarían a un interlocutor del Presidente Sirio y para las cuestiones que requieren inaplazables soluciones; ii) proceder a la refundación del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas, con una Asamblea General integrada por el 50% de Estados y el 50% de representantes institucionales o electos de la sociedad civil, añadiendo al actual Consejo de Seguridad un Consejo de Seguridad Socioeconómica y un Consejo de Seguridad Medioambiental.

UNAMOS NUESTRAS VOCES A FAVOR DEL MULTILATERALISMO.

Señores del G20, G8… ¡sean valientes y responsables! Dejen por un momento de prestar atención a las primas de riesgo y valores bursátiles, y actúen. Unas Naciones Unidas fuertes son la única solución

¿Siria? Unas Naciones Unidas unánimemente respaldadas, la única solución

lunes 13 de febrero de 2012

Se veía venir, a qué precio de vidas y sufrimientos. Al final, el G8, el G20, los buenos oficios de la Liga Árabe, un Consejo de Seguridad con derecho a veto... no han podido remediar uno de los conflictos más sangrientos e innecesarios de los últimos años.

Quieran o no quieran reconocerlo los que siguen teniendo ambiciones hegemónicas, la única solución es, como tantas veces he insistido en los últimos años, refundar las Naciones Unidas, dando plena validez a la Carta de 1945: "Nosotros, los pueblos"...

Podría hacerse en dos fases: una, inmediata, -ya sugerida en estos últimos días- en que la Asamblea General designara unánimemente a un interlocutor para establecer los contactos oportunos con el Gobierno de Al Assad, y llegar a los acuerdos pertinentes gracias a la inmensa autoridad que representaría.

En una segunda fase, proceder a la refundación anteriormente citada, que se basaría en una Asamblea General en la que hubiera una representación de Estados equivalente al 50% de sus miembros y el otro 50% integrado por representantes de la sociedad civil (instituciones, ONG, miembros expresamente elegidos a este fin). Por otra parte, al Consejo de Seguridad actual, sin derecho a veto pero con voto ponderado, se añadiría un Consejo de Seguridad socioeconómico y un Consejo de Seguridad medioambiental.

Está claro, pues, que la solución no vendrá de la deriva actual y de la marginación del multilateralismo sino de la plena puesta en práctica de unas Naciones realmente Unidas.

 

Publicado por Federico Mayor Zaragoza

LA LIGA ÁRABE

ME RESULTA ENCOMIABLE LA DECISIÓN DE LA LIGA ÁRABE DE TOMAR INICIATIVAS Y PEDIR ACCIONES CONTRA LA ACTUACIÓN DEL GOBIERNO SIRIO.
CONOCIENDO LA DIVERSIDAD DE PAÍSES QUE ENGLOBAN LA LIGA,ES AÚN MÁS DIGNO DE ELOGIO EL ACUERDO AL QUE SE HA LLEGADO.
CONTRA LA ACTITUD VERGONZANTE DE OTROS PAÍSES.

BUENO ES QUE POR FIN SE DE UN PASO AL FRENTE PARA DEFENDER A LAS VÍCTIMAS DE LA MASACRE.
EL QUE AL QAEDA HAYA TOMADO PARTIDO POR LOS REBELDES,REBELA HASTA QUE PUNTO EXISTEN INTERESES OCULTOS EN PERPETUAR ESTA MATANZA Y DEVIRTUAR LA TOMA DE POSTURA DE LA LIGA..
QUE CADA UNO MIRE PARA SU CASAY SAQUE CONCLUSIONES.

Teresa de Angulo

 

http://www.huffington post.com/henry-siegman/preventing politicide-in-_b_1224262

 

Preventing the" Politicide" in the Middle East

By Henry Siegman.January 23,2012

The bilateral peace process that the U.S. has doggedly sought to insulate from outside “interference” is not only an empty exercise but has served to provide Israel with cover for its settlement project. From its outset the goal of this project has been to subvert Palestinian statehood, a goal from which Israel is but a hair’s breadth away. By insisting that Palestinians return to this empty exercise, and by continuing to block attempted interventions by other parties, including the UN and its various agencies, the U.S. has in effect been collaborating with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s goal of “politicide”--the violent termination of Palestinian national political existence.

The only remaining hope for the achievement of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict now depends entirely on the international community’s readiness to sweep aside America’s claim to a monopoly over Middle East peace making--a claim that has lost all credibility with President Obama’s humiliating capitulation to Netanyahu in his September speech before the UN General Assembly--and to intervene vigorously in order to seek to alter the peace process’ disastrous trajectory.

The UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s recent public condemnation of Israel’s settlements as “vandalism” was but the latest in a growing chorus of challenges to Netanyahu’s credibility, to Israel’s predatory activities in the West Bank, and to America’s hegemonic Middle East peacemaker’s role. Last February, when Netanyahu called Chancellor Angela Merkel to express his “disappointment” over Germany’s support of a UN resolution condemning Israel’s continued construction in the settlements, she responded angrily “You are the one who disappointed us. You haven’t made a single step to advance peace.” And she made a point of “leaking” the private exchange.

More recently (January 12), the UK’s The Independent reported that the EU issued its starkest critique yet of “how a combination of [Israeli] house and farm building demolitions; a prohibitive planning regime; relentless settlement expansion; the military’s separation barrier; obstacles to free movement; and denial of access to vital natural resources, including land and water, is eroding Palestinian tenure of the large tract of the West Bank on which hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state depend.” According to the report, Palestinians are being systematically dispossessed from 70% of the West Bank.

The mounting international criticism indicates a welcome, if much-belated, refusal by major European, Latin American and Asian countries to defer any longer to the U.S. on this issue, and their readiness to expose what they long knew but were reluctant to express: that Netanyahu’s declared commitment to a two-state solution has been a lie.

If these interventions are to have a chance of success, their first goal must be halting the erosion of an existing international consensus about parameters that must frame negotiations for a permanent status agreement. Such an effort must focus primarily on the requirement that negotiations over territory and borders begin at the June 1967 line, for the erosion of that line has been critical to Israel’s politicide.

The U.S. may well decide to veto a Security Council resolution that seeks to formalize these parameters. But its ambassador would not only have to acknowledge America’s longstanding support for such a framework, most recently reconfirmed in President Obama’s speech of May 19, but insist on America’s continued commitment to it. She would undoubtedly argue that the U.S. opposes the resolution not for its substance, which the U.S. continues to support, but for “procedural” reasons.

The importance of such international reiterations of these parameters and of their insistence that unilateral changes in the pre-June 1967 line will not receive international recognition cannot be exaggerated. For the elimination of the 1967 line is crucial to Netanyahu and his government’s campaign to gain support from at least some countries for his government’s outrageous claim that the West Bank is not occupied territory but contested territory, the pretext they invoke to justify Israel’s “vandalism” in the West Bank.

That is the reason Netanyahu reacted with near hysteria when he was alerted to the fact that Obama would confirm in his speech of May 19 America’s support for the 1967 border as the starting point for resumed negotiations. It is also why Netanyahu has resisted to this day every effort to get him to say where Israel proposes to draw the new border that would replace the 1967 line. Were he to do so, he would undoubtedly provoke condemnation even from countries that have until now pretended to believe his proclaimed support of a two-state solution.

In the period between now and the coming U.S. presidential elections, during which the U.S. is likely to veto any repeated effort to obtain Palestinian membership in the UN and to oppose any international intervention in the peace process, such interventions should have two goals.

First, as indicated, is obtaining a Security Council resolution nailing down clear parameters for permanent status negotiations. A short version of those parameters was formally presented last February at the UN by the E3 (UK, France and Germany), all members of the Security Council, when they called on the parties to return to direct negotiations “on the basis of clear parameters”:

An agreement on the borders of the two states, based on 4 June 1967 lines with equivalent land swaps as may be agreed between the parties;

Security arrangements that, for Palestinians, respect their sovereignty and show that the occupation is over; and, for Israelis, protect their security, prevent the resurgence of terrorism and deal effectively with new and emerging threats;

A just, fair and agreed solution to the refugee question;

Fulfillment of the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.

The second goal is obtaining an unambiguous UN affirmation of the Palestinian right to national self-determination. That right is considered a “peremptory norm” in international law, which means that it takes precedence over conflicting obligations, treaties and bilateral agreements. If challenged by Israel or the U.S., it is a challenge that European and other countries should join Palestinians in bringing to the International Court of Justice.

Having been found by relevant international agencies (the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the UN Secretary General’s representative), to be “well positioned for the establishment of a state at any point in the near future,” Palestinian national self-determination is subject neither to Israel’s approval nor to a prior conclusion of a peace agreement between the parties. In fact, not only does Palestinian self-determination not conflict with bilateral negotiations of the permanent status issues called for by the Oslo agreement, it improves prospects for their success. The just demands of a sovereign nation that has recourse to international institutions and the ICJ are taken far more seriously than the pleadings of a subject people deprived by its occupier of all rights.

Recognition of the Palestinian peremptory right to self-determination would lead to recognition of Palestinian statehood by nearly all of even those countries that have so far withheld it. In those circumstances, Israel’s continued defiance of the world’s rejection of its claims to the West Bank may well trigger a global campaign of isolation and de-legitimization that no Israeli government is likely to survive.

Those circumstances may also induce the Security Council to invoke the “default setting” of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which clearly is not the permanent retention by Israel of the occupied territories and the permanent disenfranchisement and dispossession of the Palestinian people, for resolutions 242 and 338 explicitly rule out the acquisition of territory as a result of war, no matter which side started the war. Instead, the default setting is a return of the conflict’s resolution to the Security Council. The next U.S. administration is not likely to join such an initiative, but Israeli governments cannot count on a U.S. veto to protect their colonial project. The cost to the U.S. of casting such a veto--in its standing in the world and to its interests in a post-Arab Spring region--may be much too high.

Bottom line, any effort to reconfigure peace strategies without first delinking the search for a peace agreement from the Palestinian right to statehood is doomed. Obama’s assertion in his speech at the UN that Palestinians can obtain their state only as a consequence of a peace accord with Israel reached in bilateral negotiations in effect assigned to Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman the exclusive right to grant or deny Palestinians their independence. Given Israel’s determination to complete its settlement project, no conceivable diplomacy, short of the prospect of broad international and UN intervention, can halt Israel’s nearly-achieved goal of denying Palestinians anything other than one or more Bantustans.

The new outspokenness on this issue of key European countries, Turkey, Brazil and other countries part of the BRICS regional grouping, as well as other Asian countries, has created a last opportunity to alter the current hopeless trajectory of U.S. controlled Middle East peace diplomacy to a more promising one--provided these countries and regional groupings will now follow-up their brave new rhetoric with brave new action.

Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

 

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