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View Diary: Ask Senators For Balance In MidEast "Dear Colleague" Letter (Updated) (235 comments)

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  •  yes precisely. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish

    i agree that the settlements must stop - but they haven't in the past. in the tenuous situation that we have got here, absolute preconditions from either side seem like just another way to undermine this process.

    and wouldn't you agree that any final plan will include dealing with both the settlements and their inhabitants? so if that's the case then let's get started in an undoubtedly long and difficult process.

    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

    by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:20:41 AM PDT

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    •  Nor will settlement stop now. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Aunt Martha, Conure

      So what's this "final plan" business?  There's nothing to negotiate.  The only final plan possible now is the one Israel has been implementing: that is, doing what it wants.

    •  Given that Israel has in the past (5+ / 0-)

      negotiated and continued to build settlements, the status quo of negotiations clearly does not work (and that, I would argue, is true for all sides).

      •  but... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, capelza, volleyboy1

        its not the status quo for the fact that obama/clinton/mitchell are managing this process. wouldn't you agree that for the first time in eight years the US has a smart, politically astute and motivated representation in this regard?

        my position mostly is that the parties need to get to the table - stat!

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:37:55 AM PDT

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        •  Yes they do need to get to the table. (5+ / 0-)

          But the settlement freeze will need to be enforced, and it has not been in the past.  I agree that there is the possibility of change, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.

          •  And nobody will be allowed to enforce that freeze (4+ / 0-)

            except Israel . . . which lands us back at Square Zero.

          •  no disagreement from me. (5+ / 0-)

            although perhaps i am slightly more optimistic?

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:53:29 AM PDT

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            •  Yes, I think you are. (6+ / 0-)

              But I think no less of you anyway...:)

            •  I am of three minds here and I keep (5+ / 0-)

              bouncing around on this -

              1. I think get this thing started now and negotiate into the settlement freeze and so forth. I think time is "a'wastin" and people need to be setting up the end of teh occupation.

              However, I can see corvo's point of "well what's the point - the settlements are still going up - what are we finally negotiating for?"

              There is validity to that - I don't believe Likud is going to go two state - I think they are going from a power perspective right now and that they are planning on building a new reality on the West Bank. Really, I just don't believe he is making a meaningful attempt and is going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it.

              But in the final place - realistically time is against the Israelis UNLESS they decide to clear the WB of residents. The demographics and budget issues are simply not sustainable for them, and we all know that most minority run governments eventually fail particularly when the majority do not enjoy equal participation.

              On the other hand - Israel can simply change the dynamics on the ground - if they had a superpower behind them - it could be done. It shouldn't be done and it would be long term bad but, it could happen. I doubt it will but, if the settlements continue and there is no agreement - that becomes more likely.

              Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

              by volleyboy1 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:15:02 AM PDT

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              •  as i said... (3+ / 0-)

                above - the status quo is no longer for the mere fact that there is engaged US leadership on this issue. the majority of people want peace - honestly time is up for those who would oppose this. and if hamas and likud want to instead impede this process it will only serve to make them more irrelevant.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:20:59 AM PDT

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                •  While I like the idea of Hamas and Likud (5+ / 0-)

                  becoming irrelevant - I think I disagree with this. The longer this drags out the more relevant they become - both have a stake in maintaining the conflict.

                  Think of it this way - the longer this drags out benefits Hamas this way: Hamas keeps up it's "fight the power rhetoric" - the Palestinians see that compromise gets them nowhere so they figure: "fuck it - at least we go down fighting". AND as the compromises don't stop the settlements or anything else - they become seen as the only legit resitance group around.

                  For Likud: The more extreme Hamas gets the more Israel can say - "look at these crazies - you need us to keep the peace. Only we can stand up to them and fight them to win." Thus, every suicide bomb or rocket gets more Likud voters because one thing Israel doesn't do is back down from a fight.

                  It is getting to be "time is up" as you say for long term solutions where there is an Israel and a Palestine 100 years from now. The only thing that can stop this is superpower intervention and some severe re-thinking. I think that can happen with the Obama plan. I think it needs to happen before this goes critical.

                  Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                  by volleyboy1 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:38:55 AM PDT

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                  •  "severe rethinking" (0+ / 0-)

                    is the key here.

                    and you're right in that there are groups that thrive and flourish with conflict. and i believe that obama referenced them in his cairo speech.

                    but the whole point here is that this will be a negotiation which will require compromise and hair-pulling amongst all parties.

                    put differently, when one makes an opening offer on the purchase of a house it requires both parties engaged in the process. for those who would oppose this negotiations to begin with - that includes both sides i'm afraid -  they are effectively making themselves irrelevant.

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:46:49 AM PDT

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                    •  how do you think hamas is impedeing the process? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      capelza

                      for those who would oppose this negotiations to begin with - that includes both sides i'm afraid -  they are effectively making themselves irrelevant.

                      are you talking about likud and hamas?

                      btw British MPs want gov't to engage Hamas

                      Only around 30 MPs and peers attended the meeting, which was set up to support the position that there can be no peace in the Middle East without talking to the Islamist movement. Mashaal was unable to address the meeting when the video link failed.

                      The decision to allow a representative of Hamas, considered a terrorist organization in the UK, to speak in Parliament was condemned by Israel's ambassador to Britain as well as by the Foreign Office and an array of politicians.

                      hamas has expressed it wants to be part of the process , rbguy presented supporting evidence of this in his last diary.

                      •  a complicated question. (0+ / 0-)

                        hamas' charter and actions for the better part of their existence has largely been one big bit of incitement and moral gaps.

                        honestly - im not sure how i feel about engaging hamas. i read and rec'd rbguy's last diary as i think he made some interesting points.... but now i think before anything like this can happen, hamas must prove to all who want such proof that they are interested in peace, international opinion or even palestinian opinion.

                        and yes - the onus is on them to do so.

                        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                        by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 02:01:15 PM PDT

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                        •  i understand (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          canadian gal

                          the issues w/their charter and history and how that might be a concern for anyone.

                          hamas must prove to all who want such proof that they are interested in peace, international opinion or even palestinian opinion.

                          well.... the proof is in the pudding and lately there are positive signs. frankly the 'prove it' thing complicates matters because then it becomes a question of 'by whose standards'. it also begs the question why? because i don't see anyone asking israel to prove they are interested in peace and all signs point to the suggestion many factions have no interest if it means relinquishing hopes and dreams of a greater israel. so far many people think this delay of decades is by design. if what is good to for the goose is good for the gander neither of them has proved anything. by the standard of no place at the table without proof no one deserves a place at the table and then we are back at square one with israel holding all the cards and the palestinian taking the day to day brunt of the occupation.

                          anyway thank you for your response. ultimately i am interested in all parties having a say because i think it will bode better for a lasting enduring solution.

                •  I don't know if time is up, (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zannie, corvo, Terra Mystica, canadian gal

                  but then again you're more optimistic than I am.  I do like to think that something is changing.  But realistically, I don't think anything will change in I/P until the US completely and unequivocally commits itself to a fair and equitable end to the Occupation.

                  •  i do. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zannie, volleyboy1

                    its like the chicken/egg analogy. how can we negotiate until the occupation ends? but how can the occupation change without negotiations?

                    all these terms and complexities of the situation only serve to make people more entrenched on their position and as history has shown not proven fruitful. go and start the negotiations i say and all will be dealt with full stop.

                    and i'll add that i am not that naive to think that both sides will come out of the final plan happy campers - but at least we'll see some progress.

                    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                    by canadian gal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:53:40 AM PDT

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              •  I barely recognize you. (5+ / 0-)

                I've been saying similar things and getting raked over the coals by some here, including you in past life!  But I basically agree with you, as you well know.  Perhaps a difference is that I think Israel can change the dynamics on the ground without a superpower behind them, if Israel truly decided that it wants a fair and equitable peace.  Sadly, I don't think it does.  At least not yet.

                And that statement does not mean that I think the onus is all on Israel, just so everyone is clear.

                •  Well yah - I thought for a long time even (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zannie, Aunt Martha

                  Bibi would negotiate - but, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what he is doing. BUT - I am optimistic because of President Obama - he gets it.

                  The thing is that I still believe in the good of Israel and I still believe that one state is not an option either way - but - I see what Bibi is doing with Lieberman and his xenophobic beliefs and it is pretty clear what his intentions are.

                  Bibi is selling the Jewish people down the river for the future and I am not too happy about it.

                  Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                  by volleyboy1 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:08:14 AM PDT

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