When turmoil erupts in the Middle East, it is understandable to ask about the impact of events on Israel, on its treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and on its overall security. Given Israel’s ever-precarious security situation, the changing geopolitics of the region tends to have a magnified impact on Israel’s political and security perspectives. Such is the case today with the fluid situation in Egypt.
The announcement of President Obama's forthcoming visit to Israel and the Palestine Authority in March presents an opportunity to review the status of the Peace Process between Israel and the P.A. Right now the peace process is in a state of repose. Both sides say they seek renewal of negotiations, but only Israel has offered to negotiate face to face on all issues without preconditions.
At a gathering in Rome with Lebanon’s new cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI launched a new appeal for peace in Syria and the Middle East, the Associated Press reported.
“The church encourages all efforts for peace in the world and in the Middle East, a peace that will only be effective if it is based on authentic respect for other people,” Benedict told the gathering, which included several Lebanese pilgrims.
(JNS.org) – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter lamented the “vanishing” prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace during a trip to Jerusalem this week, blaming Israeli construction in the West Bank.
Carter called the current situation “catastrophic” and accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of pursuing a one-state solution, despite Netanyahu’s previous statements committing to a two-state solution, including his 2009 speech at Bar Ilan University.
Will the historic alliance, and the push for Israeli-Palestinian accord, become second-tier priorities?
James D. Besser
Special To The Jewish Week
Israel is — once again — a hot issue in presidential politics, at least in the narrow confines of the Jewish community, but U.S. policy in the region is unlikely to change dramatically no matter what the Nov. 6 outcome. And what changes do occur will be shaped by broader U.S. interests — foreign and domestic — and by an unprecedented environment of upheaval in the region, not by the pro-Israel rhetoric both parties now regard as politically mandatory on the campaign trail.
In central Afghanistan, an 8-year-old girl was killed last week when a package she was given by members of Taliban exploded. She was told to take the parcel to a nearby police checkpoint. She did not know that she was carrying a bomb, which Taliban set off by remote control.
In a little more than three months the United Nations General Assembly may be asked to take up a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence, which Palestinian leaders hope will set the stage for a genuine state. That hope is dangerously misguided; the Palestinian effort to use the international body as an alternative to engaging in direct, bilateral negotiations can only make statehood harder to achieve and increase the likelihood of renewed violence.
Bid to stave off ‘isolation’ would likely contain proposal for borders.
Under pressure from the United States and Europe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working on a peace proposal that would pave the way for a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
But just how far-reaching his proposal will go is anybody’s guess.
“Nothing is finished,” Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu, told The Jewish Week. “Ideas are floating around and some ministers have their own views. He is absorbing them and the final product is not at all clear.”
As new poll shows support for continued
settlement building, Israelis guessing about
Netanyahu’s motives and what’s next.
News this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seriously considering President Barack Obama’s request for an additional 60-day building freeze in return for several guarantees from the U.S. administration came as a surprise to many Israelis who had considered the West Bank building thaw a done deal.
To some, Netanyahu’s move was all the more surprising given the public’s mood since the freeze ended.