header image
Home arrow Not a peace process
Not a peace process
Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Secretary of State Kerry’s Announcement of Peace Talks PDF Print E-mail
Jul 19, 2013 at 04:56 AM

http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/blog/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-secretary-of-state-kerry-s-announc

Today Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have “established a basis” for resuming formal peace talks, and may meet in Washington D.C. as early as next week.

We understand why Secretary of State Kerry and others caution against cynicism. Yet it is impossible to ignore the reality that conditions for productive talks are far from ideal.  In fact, none of the conditions that have doomed peace talks over the last twenty years have fundamentally changed.

The Israeli government is extremely right-wing, with several Ministers that lead powerful factions declaring their satisfaction with the status quo or outright opposition to talks.  The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, has a credibility problem, given that it represents only a portion of the Palestinian people, and faces tremendous economic pressure from donor nations to return to negotiations.

Read more...
Bush Peace Hallucinations Continue PDF Print E-mail
Jan 10, 2008 at 12:46 PM

U.S. President George Bush landed in Israel yesterday on his first Presidential trip to the country. He participated in a press conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in what both men termed a “historic” and “monumental” occasion. After listening to both so-called leaders make their opening comments and fielding questions from journalists, the only groundbreaking revelation I could register was that the naiveté of President Bush, either real or a charade, only served the agenda of one party in the region – Hamas. The radical Islamists at Hamas could not have recruited a better cheerleader for their movement if they tried.

My opinion may be extreme, but then again, I live in an extremely violent limbo under Israeli military occupation, shaped by a policy both men continuously refuse to call by its true name – state terror.

Read more...
Time to Choose: Two States or One? PDF Print E-mail
Dec 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM

www.counterpunch.org/whitbeck12052007.html

December 5, 2007
By JOHN V. WHITBECK

Almost immediately after the hollow show in Annapolis, a ray of hope has appeared from an unexpected source — Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

In an interview published on November 29 in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, he declared, “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.”

This Ha‘aretz article helpfully referred readers to a prior Ha‘aretz article, published on March 13, 2003, in which Olmert had expressed the same concern in the following terms: “More and more Palestinians are uninterested in a negotiated, two-state solution, because they want to change the essence of the conflict from an Algerian paradigm to a South African one. From a struggle against ‘occupation’, in their parlance, to a struggle for one-man-one-vote. That is, of course, a much cleaner struggle, a much more popular struggle — and ultimately a much more powerful one. For us, it would mean the end of the Jewish state.”

Read full article...

The Palestine that we are struggling for PDF Print E-mail
Nov 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

November 30th, 2007
Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign — www.stopthewall.org

Last Tuesday’s demonstrations, which brought thousands onto the streets of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Nablus and Gaza in defiance of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to silence the people’s voice, represented a crucial moment for Palestine.

Our demonstration, which was supported by the Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps and over one hundred and fifty civil society organisations and representatives, called for the upholding of the fundamental principles of our struggle: the right of the refugees to return, the right to Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the right to our land. We were refusing the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as this would legitimize the Zionist ideology of colonialism, racism and ethnic cleansing, and effectively exonerate Israel from the crimes of the Nakba, waiving the right of return. Such recognition would justify and reinforce the Israeli system of apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The Palestine that we are fighting for is one which upholds the fundamental principles of our national rights and equality, and which respects the democratic right of the people to express their views in protest on the streets. The Authority has shown that they do not share this vision. On Tuesday they attempted to prevent the people from asserting their rights, first by banning demonstrations and then by attacking us with tear gas, batons and military jeeps.

Read more...
The 12 Myths of Annapolis PDF Print E-mail
Nov 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

by Phyllis Bennis

Institute for Policy Studies

29 November 2007

Myth #1)  The Annapolis meeting was designed to launch serious new negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that aimed at ending the occupation and producing a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region based on a two-state solution.

In fact, the two main reasons for the conference had virtually nothing to do with Israel or Palestine. The real reasons for convening the conference were 1) to strengthen Arab government support for U.S. strategies in the Middle East, including the war in Iraq and particularly the escalation of pressure aimed at Iran.  2) To provide a photo-op to reframe Condoleezza Rice’s legacy, now largely shaped by her embrace of Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon in 2006, to the legacy of a would-be peacemaker.

Read more...
Spectacle at Annapolis Spurs Nuclear Danger PDF Print E-mail
Nov 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Ira Chernus

By sobering coincidence, I finished reading Jonathan Schell’s new book, The Seventh Decade, just as George W. Bush, Ehud Olmert, and Mahmous Abbas were getting ready to go onstage for their starring roles in the U.S. - produced theatrical spectacle, “Peace Talks at Annapolis.” Schell thinks that the new phase of the nuclear age we are in now may be the most dangerous of all. “Peace Talks” gives us one more good reason to believe he may be right.

Read full article...

Is Washington the Big Loser in the Mecca Deal? PDF Print E-mail
Feb 09, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Friday, Feb. 09, 2007 [TIME magazine]

By Elaine Shannon/Washington

Palestinians may still be celebrating the Mecca accord reached between rival factions of Hamas and Fatah to form a national unity government, but there is no such sentiment coming out of Washington. "Peace is not at hand," a senior US official said today. But while the Bush Administration may view the deal as a setback for the prospects of Middle East peace, many observers think it is really a setback for U.S. influence in the region — especially its goal of isolating Hamas.

On its face, the agreement signed in Mecca between Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party and Khaled Meshal of Hamas, falls far short of the principles of the international mediating group known as the Quartet, comprised of the US, United Nations, European Union and Russia, that a unity government must recognize Israel, reject violence and commit itself to the peace process. The Mecca talks, convened by Saudi King Abdullah, resulted in a Hamas pledge to "respect" previous Palestinian agreements to engage in peace talks with Israel. But Hamas leaders pointedly did not embrace Quartet demands that they concede Israel's right to exist and move toward a two-state solution.

And US officials make clear that so long as Hamas doesn't embrace and act on the Quartet's demands, the stalemate will continue. Early this morning, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke with other Quartet representatives — UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, EU security policy chief Javier Solana, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner via secure telephone conference call. In a statement issued later in the day, the group reaffirmed its principles, adopted a wait-and-see stance on the unity government plan and called a Quartet strategy session for Feb. 21 in Berlin.

Read full article...

U.S. moving ahead with plans to train Palestinian security forces PDF Print E-mail
Feb 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM

McClatchy Newspapers          February 5, 2007 
By Dion Nissenbaum and Warren P. Strobel
 
Ramallah, West Bank - The United States is planning to spend millions of dollars to train Palestinian security forces as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  American, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Monday that they're fine-tuning a proposal that would send thousands of Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas to neighboring Jordan and Egypt for advanced training.    

The initiative is intended to provide Abbas with critical support in his political and military confrontation with the well-armed Hamas hard-liners who've controlled the Palestinian Authority since elections early last year.

The militant Islamist Hamas and Abbas' Fatah faction have fought in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.

But there's disagreement over whether to provide Abbas' forces with arms. Critics have charged that military aid could end up fueling, not containing, the street fighting, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives in the last two months.

A senior Bush administration official said late last week that the $86 million in security assistance for the Palestinians that the White House is requesting from Congress would be confined to non-lethal items, such as training.

But Brig. Gen. Majed Faraj, the head of military intelligence for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, said, "If they want to train the forces but not equip them, then there's no point in training them." ... 

Read full article...

In the enlightened world it's called robbery

Benny Ziffer, Ha'aretz
May 11, 2007

The discovery of Herod's tomb, or to be more precise a few fragments of dressed stone that one archaeology professor has concluded are the remains of Herod's sarcophagus, have preoccupied television news and magazine programs since Tuesday. Amid the general zeal of the Londons and the Kirschenbaums and their talking-heads colleagues for demonstrating their mastery of the history of the Second Temple period, and to revive debates from their youth movement days over whether Herod was good or bad for the Jews, one important detail was forgotten, or almost forgotten: that the excavation of this tomb of Herod was carried out in occupied territory, where Israel has no moral right to dig and certainly not to remove archaeological artifacts. In the enlightened world, what Israel is doing is called robbery.

Read full article...