Israel-Palestine Archives

Guest Voice  |  May 23, 2007 1:19 PM

Palestinian Camps -- Frontiers of Dreams and Fears

By Rima Fawaz

The brutal murder of Lebanese soldiers by Fateh el-Islam factions near the Nahr-el Bared camp three days ago is not only an attack on Lebanese sovereignty, it is an assault on the hopes and aspirations of a young Palestinian generation desperate to live in dignity and respect on Lebanese soil.

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Guest Analysts  |  June 6, 2007 4:52 PM

Arab and Jewish Americans see Eye-to-Eye, says Poll

By Debra DeLee and James Zogby

Washington, DC - We were a little anxious when we decided to jointly poll Jewish and Arab Americans on Middle East peace this year.

Not that we haven’t done it before. Similar surveys that we commissioned three times in the past six years have shown that American Jews and Arabs largely see eye-to-eye on the importance of efforts to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors and on the vital role that the U.S. must play to promote such efforts.

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Guest Analyst  |  June 18, 2007 8:56 AM

Hamas Now Has to Answer for Itself

By Zaki Chehab

On the brink of civil war, alarm bells ricocheted through the tiny and beleaguered Gaza Strip. Last Thursday, senior Hamas leader Dr. Nazar Rayyan announced that his immediate ambitions were to hold Friday prayers at the beach-side Palestinian Authority headquarters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas -- and convert the city’s Fatah-run Palestinian police headquarters into a Grand Mosque. This provocative statement awakened latent fears that Gaza was about to become a mini Taliban-style Islamic state, something Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was critical of when I interviewed him in the presence of his then adviser, Ismail Hanieh, the newly-deposed Hamas Prime Minister, two years before Yassin’s assassination.

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Guest Voice  |  September 10, 2008 2:15 PM

Enough of the Jerusalem Mantra

By Daniel Seidemann

I was born American. Thirty-five years ago, I chose to become Israeli. My choice in no way reflects a lack of affection for the United States. But patriotism is monogamous: I am an Israeli patriot, and a platonic friend of the land of my birth. I have never voted in a U.S. election and I belong to no U.S. political party. I see myself as an observer of, rather than a participant in, American presidential election politics.

But as a Jerusalemite, I do have a stake in the 2008 Presidential race, like it or not.

Because like in past elections, the candidates and their surrogates are trying to use me - my life, my city - to score points with voters, bolster their pro-Israel credentials, and attack their opponent.

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 |  December 10, 2008 1:17 PM

Responding to Aaron Miller

Dear Aaron Miller:

Back in the 1990s, you were the first senior diplomat I ever met. In the years since, you have been a mentor, friend and an example of American diplomacy at its best. Your book on U.S. Middle East peacemaking ("The Much Too Promised Land") is searingly honest and breathtakingly incisive.

Only in this context can I explain the sadness and alarm I felt upon reading your Washington Post op-ed "Start with Syria". If I believed that your basic thesis - that the U.S. should put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the backburner - was merely mistaken, I would have saved my response for one of our periodic talks. But as an appeal to President Obama, it is more than wrong. It is dangerous.

You base your analysis on the argument that the Israeli and Palestinian body politics are too dysfunctional, and Israelis and Palestinians too divided on the core issues, to warrant making a priority of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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Panelist View  |  January 7, 2009 5:39 PM

Israel's Gaza Gamble

By Mahmoud Sabit

Note: The author has responded to commenters in the thread below.

This has been a particularly brutal two weeks in the tragic saga of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. It's not very clear as to what precisely all this death and destruction is supposed to accomplish from an Israeli perspective. The utter defeat of Hamas? There's no consensus that this can accomplished by military means; Hamas is an ideological organization with strong support in Gaza, and their structure is woven into the very fabric of the refugee camps. To cow the civilian population of Gaza into withdrawing their support of Hamas? This is not very likely, especially after the sheer quantity of explosives showered on Gaza like confetti, and their resultant toll on the civilian population. Civilians tend to harden their determination when subjected to a constant diet of explosives, as the Germans learned during the London Blitz in WWII. As an election 'gimmick' to show how 'tough' Israel's leaders can be? Perhaps Israel's leaders have lost all sense of moral and ethical proportion if they believe that bombing an oppressed civilian population and its choice of leadership into a state of total submission following two years of virtual siege is a measure of toughness or lack of 'squeamishness.' To present President-elect Barack Obama with a fait accompli when he is sworn in later this month? A crisis that will force the new administration's hand upon taking office? It would not be the first time an Israeli government has attempted to impose its narrow agenda on an incoming U.S. administration.

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Guest Voice  |  March 31, 2009 1:54 AM

Draw the Line on Israel's Settlements

By Lara Friedman and Hagit Ofran

From the earliest days of the peace process, it was clear that Israel's settlements would be one of the most contentious issues on the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli domestic agendas. Conventional wisdom has held that serious Israeli action on settlements must be put off until a deal is ready to be signed. This is based on the logic that given the huge amount of political capital it will cost any Israeli government either to freeze settlements or to pursue peace, no Israeli government can do both at the same time. This logic has been advanced in Israel and in Washington since the time of Yitzhak Rabin, and has been largely accepted by every U.S. government since George H.W. Bush.

But such logic is a dangerous trap. Far from smoothing the path to peace, these settlements' continued expansion directly undermines any chance of reaching a peace agreement. We say this with conviction born of experience from 15 years of peace efforts.

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Guest Voice  |  May 29, 2009 12:14 PM

Israel Shouldn't Sign the NPT

By Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman

North Korea's newest nuclear blast raises many questions, but also provides a discomfiting answer to a big one: Is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty working? The answer is no. Over the years, Pyongyang has made a mockery of U.N. and U.S. non-proliferation efforts. Neither then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's charm offensive with Kim Jong-Il nor the subsequent Bush Administration's diplomatic offensive through six-power talks have restrained North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The newest nuclear and missile testing are an unmistakable slap at President Obama's call for broader dialogue. What's also particularly galling to U.S. officials is that Pyongyang signed the Nuclear Treaty and then proceeded to render it virtually meaningless. Meanwhile, treaty non-signatory Pakistan followed non-signatory India in unleashing the nuclear genie on the Subcontinent while doing nothing as Sir Ahmad Khan proliferated nuclear weapons technology from Tehran to Pyongyang. Today, the world is left to hold its collective breath as the Taliban nips at the gates of Islamabad--too close to Pakistan's growing nuclear arsenal.

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Guest Voice  |  June 12, 2009 3:50 PM

The Speech Netanyahu Won't Give

By Ori Nir

Here's what Benyamin Netanyahu should - but most likely won't - say in his much-anticipated policy speech on Sunday.

Bar Illan University President Moshe Kaveh, distinguished faculty, distinguished guests, dear Israelis:

In every nation's history, there are moments that call on its leader to face the truth and tell the truth to his fellow countrymen and women. This is such a moment. It is a moment of peril, but also a moment of great opportunity.

You have heard a lot from me in recent months about the peril. I am terribly concerned about the existential threats to our country. But you have not heard enough from me about the opportunity that we have today to devise a strategic, long-term approach to reduce these threats.

We have an opportunity - one that may not reoccur for generations to come - to reach the kind of regional security that we have been seeking since our parents and grandparents established this astonishing country sixty-one years ago.

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