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What are the prospects for a Peace agreement between Israel and her neighbors in 2010?   How important is it to have some resolution to the decades old conflict?   What role will the US take in fostering a solution?  Will establishment of an Independent State of Palestine be good for peace?

Spain, assuming the EU presidency seems to want to continue the momentum for an independent Palestinian State and a quick resumption of negotiations.  

The Spanish Foreign Minister said on Friday that Spain, as the next European Union president, intends on working towards a Palestinian state in 2010.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told a news briefing in Brussels on Friday that his country, which takes over the EU presidency for six months in January, would strive for quick talks.

"My idea and my dream ... is to work for having in 2010, finally, a Palestinian state that could live in peace and security with Israel," Moratinos said.

Spain: We'll strive for a Palestinian state in 2010

The UN, another member of the Quartet, seems to be communicating a sense of urgency

17 December 2009 – Efforts to forge a Middle East peace are “in a race against time” with both sides needing to do more, Israel by fulfilling its commitments, including a settlement freeze, under an internationally endorsed plan for a two-State solution, and the Palestinians by resuming negotiations, a senior United Nations official warned today.
“If we cannot move forward towards a final status agreement, we risk sliding backwards, with both the Palestinian Authority and the two-State solution itself imperilled,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the Security Council in a regular monthly briefing on the situation.

And apparently the US does also

In concluding, he said United States envoy George Mitchell reassured him yesterday of President Barack Obama’s determination to work not only for the early resumption, but also the early conclusion of two-State negotiations, as called for by the so-called Quartet, comprising the UN, European Union (EU), Russia and the US.

“The Secretary-General believes a revitalized Quartet must play its full role in urgently advancing a common agenda in the crucial few months ahead,” he added. “He remains committed to an end to the occupation and an end to the conflict, through the creation of a Palestinian State living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.”

Middle East peace efforts face race against time, UN envoy warns

France and Egypt, also

PARIS (Reuters) - France and Egypt urged Israel and the Palestinians on Monday to reach a peace agreement in 2010, and Egypt's foreign minister said he remained hopeful this could be achieved.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit met French leaders in Paris to discuss prospects for peace in the Middle East and to resolve a controversy over ancient Egyptian murals.

"They should agree on a limited time frame," Aboul Gheit told Reuters on a possible restart of peace talks that have been suspended for a year. "There should be guarantees that we would not negotiate for ever, maybe involving the U.N. Security Council, maybe involving the Quartet."

The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators comprises the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

"(The two presidents) saw the need for a political perspective so that negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians restart and an agreement is reached in 2010," French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

Both leaders are worried about the current impasse, the statement said.

"I am still hopeful that the U.S. will offer the parties a certain American vision, I am hopeful that the Quartet will participate ..." Aboul Gheit said.

U.S. President Barack Obama wanted to restart the peace process in his first year in office

France, Egypt urge Middle East accord in 2010

So there seems to be a consensus for concluding peace discussions in 2010, perhaps with the emergence of an independent state of  Palestine.  What should the role of the US be?  Should negotiations fail to achieve an agreement, and  If the Palestinians declare an independent state based on the '67 Armistice lines,  after midsummer elections, and seek UN and International recognition, what should the US do?  It is likely that that the international community would grant recognition and refer to the UNSC a recommendation for full UN membership.  Israel has appeared to prefer a more gradual approach to Palestinian Sovereignty.  

Originally posted to Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:56 PM PST.

Poll

If a Palestinian State is declared, The US should

84%49 votes
15%9 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Spain says they'll strive for it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron, heineken1717, volleyboy1

    The Spanish Foreign Minister said on Friday that Spain, as the next European Union president, intends on working towards a Palestinian state in 2010.

    Isn't that official stance of almost everyone--that we're working towards a Palestinian state in 2010? I mean, I like the idea too, but Washington, Ramallah/Gaza City, Jerusalem, and Madrid might all have very different ideas of what that exactly means.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." - George Carlin

    by Red Sox on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:03:07 PM PST

  •  Not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

    AIPAC won't allow it.

    President Kumbaya will never support such bold thinking.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:10:11 PM PST

    •  Is AIPAC the organization (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drgrishka1, Red Sox

      telling the Palestinians to not sit at the table?  I didn't realize.

      •  No. (8+ / 0-)

        The organization responsible for that is the State of Israel which refuses to abide by its obligations to actually freeze settlement expansion. But you knew that.

        •  look, the Palestinians can negotiate at the table (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drgrishka1

          or they can stay home and complain.  I don't see how staying home and complaining helps their cause.  Israel is getting along pretty well, it has great universities, great industry, an economy that isn't falling apart, great nightlife, great beaches, rising tourism, etc.  Israel is currently sitting at the table, waiting for the Palestinians to show up.  If the Palestinians don't want to show up, then fine, stay at home and complain.  If the Palestinians would rather have Israel keep with the status quo, then fine.  I'm not sure how it helps them, but it's their right.

          •  Would showing up actually mean anything? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica

            Why would the Palestinians give the Israeli government the appearance that it is seeking peace, when Israel really has no intention of ever compromising on anything?

            "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

            by gjohnsit on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:54:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you have no idea (0+ / 0-)

              what the Israeli government intends or doesn't intend.  The history shows that the Israeli government does intend to make peace.  Israel withdrew settlements from Sinai to make peace with Egypt.  Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan.  Israel withdrew its settlements from the Gaza Strip.

              When did the Hamas sign a peace agreement with anyone?

              •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

                I think you are right heineken, that the Israelis will make peace or at least non-war but I don't think they will do on terms that are even close to fair.

                They are facing civil war if they pull out of the West Bank. I know the crazies said that about Sinai and Gaza but this time they mean it. There are IDF units talking mutiny and that did not happen as publicly or with as much frequency as now.

                Israel is painting itself into the following scenario:

                They will grab the settlement blocs - cut of Jerusalem, maybe evacuate a few illegal outposts and one or two deep settlements and unilateraly declare it over. Now the Palestinians at the point will probably unilaterally declare as well. And the shit is on.....

                Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:11:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Barak offered peace on fair terms (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Drgrishka1

                  and was probably willing to further negotiate, but Arafat wouldn't even consider his offer a basis for negotiations.  It's hard to believe the same fair offer would receive any different treatment today, given that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and Abbas isn't even willing to sit at the table.

                  •  I thought Olmert (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    heineken1717

                    offered an even better deal?

                    90% of everything is crud - Sturgeon
                    90% of blogger time is narcissistic dicking around - grannyhelen

                    by 1918 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:18:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't remember exactly (0+ / 0-)

                      I do remember him endorsing the Saudi Peace Plan, and then Hamas started firing rockets at Israeli schoolchildren.

                      •  You saw this ? (0+ / 0-)

                        90% of everything is crud - Sturgeon
                        90% of blogger time is narcissistic dicking around - grannyhelen

                        by 1918 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:22:06 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no (0+ / 0-)

                          hadn't seen it.  Looks like a good plan, at the minimum surely a good negotiating basis.  Certainly goes against the "Israel never wants peace" crowd.

                          •  Trading wothless desert for accepting Bantustans (0+ / 0-)

                            What a deal!

                            "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

                            by Lefty Coaster on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:36:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Worthless desert eh? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heineken1717

                            I don't support this plan but you are wrong (as usual) on that count.

                            As usual Lefty you are wrong:

                            Olmert rejected suggestions previously raised involving the transfer to the Palestinians of the eastern Lachish hills, deciding instead to establish communities there for evacuees from the Gaza Strip. He also showed a preference for giving the Palestinians agricultural land over the transfer of the Halutza sands near the Egyptian border.

                            From Ha'aretz in my diary yesterday

                            BTW, part of my family is on Kibbutz Be'eri they would lose their fields in this plan. I think it is worth that. But I don't think the plan goes far enough.

                            Learn it, know it, Live it.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:48:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No I missed that map (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Red Sox

                            Is that the fantasy land map you share with the other 15% who want a One State Solution.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:14:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A one state solution (0+ / 0-)

                            is not in the cards, maybe 2-3 generations ahead, it might be discussible.  I can see an economic  federation/tight coalition of some sort in the nearer term, but not right soon

                            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                            by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:22:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't even think in 2-3 generations (0+ / 0-)

                            BUT..... then again, who knows what the world will be like and Chris talks in terms of 20-30 years often. But no... if the world is still divided into nation states... it will be many, many years.

                            That however, is another interesting discussion. With the rate of change in the world today who knows what 50 years ahead will look like. My bet is something like the movie Children of Men (and that is not a good thing - but it was a great movie).

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:26:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Children of Men (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            volleyboy1

                            is an excellent movie.

                          •  Yes it is - I was thinking of watching (0+ / 0-)

                            it yet again (fourth time). It is pretty bleak but I think phenomenal.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:03:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your map is the more reasonable map, Chris. [n/t] (0+ / 0-)

                            Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                            by Celtic Merlin on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:21:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Yep he did and I believe it was current Kadima (0+ / 0-)

                        leader Tzipi Livni who blocked him. She did not think he had the political capital to pull it off.

                        During her tenure as foreign minister, Tzipi Livni advised the Palestinian Authority to reject then-prime minister Ehud Olmert's proposals for a peace agreement, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said on Thursday.

                        "The prime minister was about to have an indictment filed against him and the foreign minister herself specifically told both the Americans and the Palestinians: Don't you dare sign the agreement," Indyk said, during a panel discussion at President Shimon Peres' Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.

                        http://www.haaretz.com/...

                        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                        by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:25:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Bullshit (3+ / 0-)

                        Olmert said the Saudi Plan had some good elements (like normalizing trade and diplomatic relations between AL countries and Israel), but other parts, like NOT occupying and oppressing millions of stateless persons was less desirable.

                        Not a frickin' endorsement

                        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                        by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:24:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  True but I think Abbas and Fayyad are not (0+ / 0-)

                    Arafat. I think if that deal were offered again - it would be taken. Honestly.

                    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                    by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:21:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Think again (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      heineken1717

                      90% of everything is crud - Sturgeon
                      90% of blogger time is narcissistic dicking around - grannyhelen

                      by 1918 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:31:55 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Thats true. (0+ / 0-)

                      Unlike Arafat, neither Abbas nor Fayyad have the ability to sell the Palestinian people on the piece of shit that israel is prepared to offer.

                      •  So you be joining the (0+ / 0-)

                        resistance - When?

                        They might not have to sell it... Regardless, this is up to the Palestinian people in the territories.

                        A survey published this week by Khalil Shikaki's Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that 63 percent of West Bank residents feel secure. According to the data, if presidential elections were held today in the West Bank and Gaza, Abbas would get 54 percent of the vote, while a Hamas candidate would get only 38 percent.

                        and:

                        At the same time, Hamas is behind in the polls for both the presidency and the parliament. But for now, no one is worried, for the simple reason that the movement has no intention of allowing elections any time soon. The only development that might affect the impasse is the completion of the Shalit deal, which would give a tremendous boost to Hamas' popularity. Maybe then the organization will agree to talk about elections and reconciliation with Fatah.

                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        Today just keeps getting worse for you - eh Chris?

                        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                        by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:19:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Is that why (0+ / 0-)

                          Netanyahu is not bringing Shalit home?

                          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                          by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:20:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You that is another interesting issue (0+ / 0-)

                            I thought for a long time that was key.... and if my son was captive I would want him brought home. But lately because of Hamas' crowing about what a victory it would be, I am not sure that it would be the right thing right now.

                            But their (Hamas') yapping away might be the undoing. Who knows? Just today I saw they were leaning towards taking the deal after Israel just blew them off.

                            But yep that is a big factor in not bringing Gilad home. I would bet.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:29:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                            posturing and positioning on both sides. You know what a IDF "Hannibal" codeword operation is?

                            This is the reason

                            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                            by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:10:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep I do (0+ / 0-)

                            Right here:

                            http://www.haaretz.com/...

                            But that policy was abolished.

                            Here is something on it:

                            In the summer of 1986, three senior officers met at Northern Command headquarters and drew up one of the most controversial operational orders in the history of the Israel Defense Forces. The three were the head of Northern Command at the time, Major General Yossi Peled, the command's operations officer, Colonel Gabi Ashkenazi (now the deputy chief of staff) and the command's intelligence officer, Colonel Yaakov Amidror, whose last post in the army before retiring was head of the National Defense College. The order they formulated had to do with the rules for opening fire in cases in which soldiers were being abducted: "During an abduction, the major mission is to rescue our soldiers from the abductors even at the price of harming or wounding our soldiers. Light-arms fire is to be used in order to bring the abductors to the ground or to stop them. If the vehicle or the abductors do not stop, single-shot (sniper) fire should be aimed at them, deliberately, in order to hit the abductors, even if this means hitting our soldiers. In any event, everything will be done to stop the vehicle and not allow it to escape."

                            http://www.haaretz.com/...

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:14:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Think Lebanon 2006 (0+ / 0-)

                            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                            by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:34:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Like St Augustine (0+ / 0-)

                "Lord grant me peace", just not right now, while there is still facts on the ground to establish.

                Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:10:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  sometimes they can't stay home (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, Fire bad tree pretty

            because their home was destroyed by the Israeli government.

            Green Zone from Nimrod Zin on Vimeo.

            War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

            by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:13:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  whatever dude (0+ / 0-)

              any picture you can come up with of an empty house being bulldozed AFTER an evacuation order was given, I could respond with a picture of a nightclub being blown to bits, along with the people inside, because no evacuation warning was given.

              Which is worse?  Bulldozing the home of a suicide bomber after evacuating the home, or blowing up a nightclub after ensuring the nightclub was still crowded?

              BTW home-bulldozing was a deterrent for suicide bombers, it worked, and the suicide bombings stopped.  Surely you agree that's worth saving the life of a 21-year old dancing in a nightclub?  Could be any of us.

              •  Nope (6+ / 0-)

                Read the IDF position papers, home demolition emphatically did not deter suicide bombings, just the opposite, which is why the IDF recommended punitive demolitions cease.

                When was the last suicide bombing in ISrael anyway?  HAVe there been any since Hamas won elections?  How many have there been?

                Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:22:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you just totally contradicted yourself (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eiron

                  You said the home demolition didn't deter suicide bombings, then you said "when was the last suicide bombing?" because you know there hasn't been one in a long time.

                  Which is it?  Did the suicide bombings stop or not?

                  •  home demolitons have not stopped (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lefty Coaster

                    and they vastly outnumber any acts of destruction or violence by the Palestinians.

                    War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                    by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:39:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Whether a home demolition is justified (0+ / 0-)

                      would have to been seen on a case by case basis, so long as no one is inside, since there will be no injury or physical death.  Certainly, this cannot be compared to firing rockets at schools or blowing up nightclubs filled with young people, acts that can never be justified.  And even if you think neither is justified, surely you see that demolition of an empty home is equal to firing a rocket at a crowded school?

                      •  Wow, an interesting distinction (4+ / 0-)

                        since there will be no injury or physical death

                        No "physical death", a peculiar distinction.  Destruction of someone's home can't be compared to a mortar shell exploding in the desert, because there is no "physical death".

                        It appears that the Palestinian resistance stopped blowing up nightclubs, but Israel hasn't stopped blowing up homes and schools and UN facilities, and bulldozing zoning violators.  

                        And your point again?  "No physical death" means it is OK somehow?  How about organ failure?  IS that on your seriously fucked up yardstick?

                        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                        by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:50:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i meant to say "physical injury or death" (0+ / 0-)

                          good catch, i messed up on the typing.

                          I'm pretty sure home demolition has come far down since the virtual end of suicide bombings.

                          •  YOU WOULD BE WRONG (0+ / 0-)

                            HOME DEMOLITIONS ARE ONGOING AND INCREASING!!  AND IT HAS FUCK-ALL TO DO WITH SUICIDE BOMBINGS OR SECURITY.  IT IS A LAND GRAB AND ETHNIC CLEANSING, AND THAT IS ALL.

                            War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                            by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:14:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  You apology for racist policies won´t fly (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dancewater

                        "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

                        by Lefty Coaster on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:44:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  THE HOMES WERE NOT EMPTY (0+ / 0-)

                        PEOPLE LIVED IN THEM!  POOR PEOPLE, WHO DO NOT HAVE A SAY OR CHANCE TO CHALLENGE THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR HOMES AND THEIR BELONGINGS.

                        IT IS WRONG.

                        IT IS EVIL.

                        IT IS HAPPENING TO THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS AGAIN AND AGAIN.

                        IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE VIOLENCE STOP, THEN WORK TO STOP THIS MASSIVE INJUSTICE!!!

                        War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                        by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:13:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Read my comment (0+ / 0-)

                    read what the IDF concluded about punitive home demolitions.  They make things worse.   They stopped punitive home demolitions, and suicide bombings ceased.  

                    And then tattle your post hoc ergo propter hoc claptrap.

                    You can't really be that stupid.  

                    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                    by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:43:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  they were not bulldozing the home (0+ / 0-)

                of a criminal in this piece, which you failed to watch.  

                And you cannot match a picture of a bombing in Israel with a home demolition in the occupied territories.  There are FAR MORE home demolitions.

                And it would not be me dancing in an Israeli nightclub, because I would never set foot in Israel.

                War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:38:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well i would (0+ / 0-)

                  they have great nightclubs there, some of the best in the world, many open as late 7 or 8am.  It's a party capital. Do i deserve to die for being interested in that?

                •  This.... (0+ / 0-)

                  And it would not be me dancing in an Israeli nightclub, because I would never set foot in Israel.

                  First of all - a model of compassion.

                  Second of all - That is a good thing

                  Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                  by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:01:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  so deciding not to visit a country (0+ / 0-)

                    means a lack of compassion?

                    what idiocy.

                    And yes, it is a good thing, because flying all around the world to visit other countries to dance in a nightclub (which can be done right here at home) is helping to save the environs and reduce my carbon footprint.

                    War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                    by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:18:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Interesting way to look at it (0+ / 0-)

                      I took your statement far differently.

                      But, visiting other countries and experiencing their culture is bad? Learning that they are human is bad? Okie Dokie.

                      But good for the Israelis that you won't be messing up the environment to visit them.

                      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                      by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 07:37:34 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  flying all over the place (0+ / 0-)

                        and continuing our current lifestyle is VERY BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

                        But I do not have to travel anywhere to 'learn' that people are humans, and that humans sometimes do very bad things.  

                        I have a friend who is going to move to Israel, since he can claim citizenship, with the sole purpose of protesting Israel's policies towards Palestinians.

                        War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                        by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:05:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  BTW what do you think of the killing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lefty Coaster

                of non-violent demonstrators in the West Bank in 2009 by the IDF or settlers?

                War cannot be waged to instill any virtue, including democracy or the liberation of women. - Chris Hedges

                by dancewater on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:40:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Hubris (4+ / 0-)

            Your attitude is precisely why the Palestinians have so little reason to negotiate. why negotiate with someone who doesn't understand the seriousness of the need to negotiate? The truth is that Israel is confronting (or more precisely refusing to to confront) a huge crisis. It rules over a population that is majority Palestinian using extremely repressive methods. If a viable Palestinian state isn't established very soon, that majority will start demanding a "South African solution" of one person, one vote and then it will be a whole new ball game. Many of those apartment complexes, campus buildings, hotels and discoteques that you are so proud of were, of course, built with cheap Palestinian labor. At a certain point the logic of "we are the majority, we built it, why should we settle for a bantustan" becomes irresistible. You think the Palestinians aren't negotiating out of stupid spite and that Israel is sitting pretty. That sort of hubris is gonna bite Israel in the ass. While it is certainly true that the Israelis are living better lives today by pretty much any measure, it is also true that the clock is ticking and that delay favors the Palestinians winning equality in a single state over ersatz independence in a ghetto state.

            •  The problem is that unlike you falsely maintain (0+ / 0-)

              the Palestinians in the occupied territories are not citizens of Israel, and really despite all of your wishes and dreams they will not be.

              I agree with you the clock is ticking but the clock is ticking for both sides not just the Israelis. The delay favors a a One state solution attempt that will just lead to war and death and mass expulsions. Honestly you think it wouldn't?

              BTW, before you get on your high horse of accusations and conflation understand: I DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN THAT IS WHY I SUPPORT TWO STATES

              Anyhow, no matter how many times you state it - Israelis don't see themselves as ruling over certain areas whether they do or don't. That is the problem. Sorry Chris - what are you going to do when they make peace?

              Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

              by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:08:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do not maintain (3+ / 0-)

                that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are citizens of Israel. I never have. They are, rather, subjects of Israel without rights, not unlike Black South Africans were under apartheid. The fight for democracy will be a fight for their recognition as full and equal citizens in their homeland.

                I find it interesting that you claim that an attempt to win a democratic state would lead to "mass expulsions," presumably directed at the palestinians by Israel. This is a refreshingly frank acknowledgement of the ethnocidal logic of the insistence on maintaining a Jewish state.

                Look, I don't think a two-state solution is possible. But were it to occur, I'd eagerly wish everyone the best. But if I'm right and its already dead, what will your stance be towards a state that, as you predict, responds to a demand for democracy with mass expulsions on the basis of ethnicity?

                Finally, the following sentence doesn't make sense:

                Israelis don't see themselves as ruling over certain areas whether they do or don't.

                I suspect that the reason it doesn't make sense is not typographical however, but rather the underlying incoherence of the position. Israel rules over the Occupied Territories. That some Israelis and their sympathizers pretend that this is anomalous or think that they don't rule over Gaza or what not is immaterial to the actual facts which define Palestinian reality.

                •  Chris - (0+ / 0-)

                  I am just giving you the reality of the situation. The most likely scenario if there are no negotiations and both sides go unilateral is that Israel will hold the Jewish populated areas. Militarily shut down the West Bank (as it has) and simply disengage. They will let the Palestinian areas be contiguous because that is a lot easier to manage security wise, and if the Palestinians fight it will look a lot like Gaza.

                  That is a shitty situation.

                  My stance towards that would most likely be to drop my support of Israel. But, I would not support anyone there at that point. I would damn them both for being fools about what could get done. AND I think that would be the opinion of most Americans. I think we would simply give up.

                  Fire bad tree is right below when she says this is an inter-Israeli discussion. It is the people I support (who you have so much contempt for) vs. the Wingers. If we win, the future looks decent. If they win - see above - that is the real choice.

                  So you can look at me and the movements that I support with all the derision in the world but that is the best that can happen. And really, it is not that bad for anyone.

                  Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                  by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:43:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Disengagement (0+ / 0-)

                    is not a serious option. Even less in the West Bank than it has proven in Gaza, which as you may recall, Israel felt compelled to reinvade. Nobody in the world will recognize it and the festering human rights catastrophe that it would become would only fuel Israeli isolation in the world.

                    Would Israel abandon control of the West Bank border crossings with Jordan so that the Palestinians could freely import whatever they please? If not, the result would be nothing less than a giant prison camp, no less under Israeli sovereignty than it is today.

                    The simple fact is that after a century of people insisting that partition is the solution it has proven impossible to actually divide. Disengagement of the sort you suggest is a fantasy.

                    •  Oh I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      I think it is a serious option. It would be a catastrophe for both people not just Israel.

                      You ask:

                      Would Israel abandon control of the West Bank border crossings with Jordan so that the Palestinians could freely import whatever they please?

                      That is an interesting question. I would say it would depend on the Palestinian leadership. If it were Hamas or a radical faction - I think Jordan would cooperate with Israel in shutting it down. If it was the P.A. with Abbas and Fayyad - I think it would not be shut down. If they started shooting though - Sorry Charlie it would get shut down.

                      Partition is the only thing that will work. Insisting on anything else won't and has not.

                      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                      by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:59:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  The way I see the problem is that this is really (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eiron, Terra Mystica

              an intra-Jewish or intra-Israeli discussion. The reason is that Israelis have a state, Palestinians don't. Israeli is either occupying or blockading the land that will make up the future Palestinian state and therefore must be the the side that gives up land. Israelis really have to decide what they are prepared to let go off in terms of land and resources and if the resulting reduction in violence and financial and emotional costs of occupation is enough. So far, they have not shown that they are prepared to give up much at all, certainly not a viable and sovereign state. If the Europeans have the political will and are prepared to oppose Israel and the US in support of the Palestinians, more power to them. But even with the will of most of the world's countries behind such a plan, if Israelis choose not to let go, there won't be a Palestinian state. I guess the Europeans are counting on the US blinking. Here's hoping they're right.

              I really don't see much hope in the possibility that the world will wake up to the unequal treatment of Palestinians under occupation. The information has been out there for decades and most of the world knows it and most of the world is sympathetic to the Palestinian plight, as shown in many UN resolutions. But unless public opinion in the US and the policies of the US government start to shift in recognition of the separate and unequal status of Israeli citizens and Palestinian subjects of occupation in Palestine, there won't be movement. And unless Israelis themselves decide they don't want to do this anymore, then nothing will change.

          •  Stop Settlement Expansion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica

            Why should we believe a damn word out of any Israeli cabinet minister's mouth until the state of Israel lives up to its commitments and freezes all settlement expansion (and no, it doesn't matter whether the building is occurring outside Hebron or in East Jerusalem - Israel has to stop ALL settlement building).

            Abolish the Senate.

            by turthlover on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:28:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Chris this story has to bum you out (0+ / 0-)

          Not even at DKos does the One State solution get majority support.... You think in the real world it could happen?

          It is time for Two States buddy. Everyone see's how serious that is. Don't be mad....

          If the world forces Benny Net. and Co. into this it is best for Israel and the Palestinians.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:54:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terra Mystica

            it really isn't about me. I'm not standing in the way of anything. I'm just a dude on a blog who has an analysis of the situation. I'm not oblivious to the fact that most people still think a two-state solution is the best way forward. I just think that in actual fact it is a political impossibility, that hidden within the vagueness of the general idea are insurmountable political obstacles. So if I'm wrong and we see a real two state solution this year or next I'll dance in the streets with everybody else.

            But if I'm right, I'm not clear what you will do when the Palestinians demand what you insist they can't have: full and equal citizenship in the state that rules them. Elsewhere in this thread you acknowledge that this is likely to bring an ethnocidal response of attempted mass expulsions. How will you respond to those? Will you treat them like you treat the other crimes of the occupation, as anomalous to Israel's real character? Or will you face the deeper implications of such a course?

            •  I answered this above,,,, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terra Mystica

              but I should add that if Israel unilaterally disengaged to Taba borders or something like that I would support it. Jerusalem would be tough because in Taba it is shared.

              Honestly though, at some point the occupation has to end in some way. I supported the Gaza withdrawal, I would support a uni. withdrawal to Taba lines.

              Nice dig btw, on my "treatment of other crimes in the occupation" I almost let that go. Since my time goes to supporting Peace Now and so does my money I feel pretty good about the work they do at Settlement Watch.

              You have my honest opinion there. It might not be good enough for some and it probably isn't on the table even but if the Palestinians think they can get a better deal they should go for it. They  can't, and they won't. If this were a sales negotion that would be my final take it or leave it offer. But I am not an Israeli / Palestinian negotiator so what the hell do I know - really.

              Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

              by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:09:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Israel has no such obligations. nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          heineken1717
        •  That 2003 roadmap thingie? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terra Mystica

          Appears to be binding for the Palestinians and optional for Israel.

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:13:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, But it is an organization that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terra Mystica

        strives to have some influence on foreign policy issues in the United States. Is it so unreasonable to think that they would have a view and do their best to ensure that their view is heard in as many levels of  the political process? Isn't that what lobbyists do, with varying levels of success?

    •  AIPAC won't allow it???? Darn those pesky (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Sox, heineken1717

      Jooz.... I didn't know that AIPAC or the Jewish Community wrote our foreign policy.

      How come those bastards didn't call me for my input - after all I help run Washington and the world - (put on dramatic music - cue laugh - MUAHAHAHAHA)

      Hey MakeChess. Since we run the world and you know this: can you perhaps ask "President Kumbaya" where my Avatar tix are. I believe I am owed that for my share.

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:42:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Jews control everything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Red Sox, volleyboy1

        and I still pissed that they allowed the Yankees to win the World Series.

        90% of everything is crud - Sturgeon
        90% of blogger time is narcissistic dicking around - grannyhelen

        by 1918 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:56:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know being a Giant/Met fan (0+ / 0-)

          I put in my request but since I was busy controlling the media they didn't listen AND they didn't give my my Avatar tix (mentioned above). What the hell is a guy to do. What good is ruling world if we let the Yankees win AND don't give out goodies. I'm pissed.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:02:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, me too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          And your username is outdated. :-)

          "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." - George Carlin

          by Red Sox on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:14:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  not to be flip, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Eiron, Terra Mystica

    but at this point I'm wondering whether we'll have an American state in 2010.

    Glibness aside, it all depends on whether the US consensus changes, and I see no sign of that happening.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:13:00 PM PST

  •  Lets see if the Palestinians (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heineken1717

    will finally sit down and negotiate.  If they won't, upon the expiration of the 10 month settlement freeze that Prime Minister Netanyahu unilaterally declared, there won't be another freeze--and we'll end up taking a big step backwards.

    "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

    by oldskooldem on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:21:08 PM PST

  •  Don't Think It Will Happen (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Eiron, Terra Mystica, volleyboy1

    But I appreciate the sudden renewal of urgency here.  Regardless, I hope that Israelis and Palestinians all enjoy a more peaceful 2010.

    I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

    by bink on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:28:02 PM PST

    •  Back at ya man - I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      1000% in that wish.

      I think it could happen though. It would be difficult but if the U.S. and the E.U. helped AND Benny Net. gets to stay PM (not as far fetched as it seems if he redoes his coalition) - it will be a done deal.  

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:47:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't get your hopes up (0+ / 0-)

    Every few years, someone other than the Israelis and Palestinians decides now is the time for a settlement. Hasn't led to much. If the two sides aren't both ready to negotiate (as opposed to ready to make unilateral declarations, which both sides are always ready to do), there won't be a negotiated settlement. If there is a Palestinian state declared without a settlement, even with EU endorsement, it won't look any different than the status quo.

    Europe isn't a big player in this. Global politics involving Arab and Muslim countries, and to some extent the US will make more difference. Not to mention internal Israeli and Palestinian political dynamics. Not to say there couldn't be some movement, but if there's a real peace by the end of Obama's presidency, even that would be quite an achievement.

    •  I don't see it that way (3+ / 0-)

      this is what I see.

      Israel and the PA given a finite time to resolve territorial boundary and security issues.

      An inability to reach agreement

      a unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence based on the '67 lines, and no restrictions of sovereignty.

      International acceptance except by ISrael and perhaps the US

      It goes to the UNSC.  

      It is in Israel's interest to negotiate now.

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:02:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that were the case (0+ / 0-)

        And the Palestinians also believed it. Why would they negotiate anything at all? Why show up at the table when staying away gives them everything they want in the long run?

        90% of everything is crud - Sturgeon
        90% of blogger time is narcissistic dicking around - grannyhelen

        by 1918 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:07:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What they want (3+ / 0-)

          and what they can expect to get are different things.  I am sure many Palestinians want to return to a one state model, which the international community does not support, and won't happen.

          What they can get, is a state based on the '67 armistice lines, and that might be enough.  ISrael has a narrow window to negotiate adjustments to the green line and bilateral security arrangements.  That window closes as soon as independence is declared

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:16:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes and No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terra Mystica

            Yes in terms of Paragraph two - and whether it might be enough doesn't matter - it will have to be enough. But you right about a window to negotiate security and adjustments.

            No in terms that most Palestinians are realistic to know they will not get a One State solution and want a Two State - at least that is what recent polling data shows - despite what folks at DKos or Mondoweiss says.

            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

            by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:20:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  What would that look like on the ground (0+ / 0-)

        Say, for example, Palestinians unilaterally declare independence and announce that Israeli settlements must be evacuated, and declare that they will not be allowed any supplies. Such a move would lead to a war, and then it's just crap all around. If the Palestinians would declare independence, but Israel would continue to operate as it has been in the West Bank, then it would be kind of meaningless. In the end, there'll have to be some negotiated settlement.

        I guess if the US on its own and with its position on the UNSC decided to embargo Israel, Israeli policy would shift quickly. That's not going to happen, though.

        •  Pretty much but... (0+ / 0-)

          I think the U.S. might do things like not use it's veto to get Israel to start negotiating. I could see that happening. I don't think we would support BDS or any sanctions but the veto block is a powerful tool to get the Israelis to the table in good faith. Right now they are willing to go to the table - but even I don't believe it is in particularly good faith. Their actions (or inactions as it were) on the freeze back that up.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 04:34:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  But they could also declare a state and still (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eiron, Terra Mystica

          allow the settlements to be supplied. After all, whatever forces the Palestinians have are just a few thousand of Dayton's men and they won't be able to hold back the might of the IDF.

          If the Palestinians don't figh back, what happens then could be something quite different. If Israel decided to try to maintain the repressive occupation measures, other states in the UN would have to decide what to do with it. I could see the US still continuting to maintain its support for Israel even if all the other members of the security council voted in support of a Palestinian state.

          However, I also think it likely that the US and Israel might blink. It might be more difficult for the US to maintain its support for Israel in light of a declaration of Palestinian statehood supported and actively fostered by the EU. I don't think its the most probable scenario but I do think its a possible one.

          Which is why I rec'd Eiron's original comment. I don't think his scenario is the most likely but it's possible and I quite like it.

          •  And this leads to ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1

            Israel abandoning the smaller settlements so it doesn't have to be doing those occupation things, while holding on to Ariel, existing Jewish areas near Jerusalem, and maybe one or two other points, with coordination around J'lem. Basically the outlines of a peace accord are pretty clear and have been for a long time. There are more risks getting there without sitting down at the negotiating table.

            •  I agree that there are more risks getting there (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terra Mystica, The Narrative

              via a unilateral declaration than a negotiated one. I also think that the Palestinians may get a better deal via the unilateral path since Israel is not prepared to let go of land any time soon.

              As for the settlements, I think that they will be on precarious legal ground in a future Palestinian sovereign state. Since much of the land many of those settlements are built on (and some of them quite close to Jerusalem) have been taken from Palestinians, I'm sure their actual owners may wish to reclaim their land. It's unlikely that Palestinians in Israel (and those parts of the occupied territores including East Jerusalem) will see their land back.

              All the more reason for Israel to negotiate. They'll get a far better deal on land than a unilateral declaration.

              But I still feel really sorry for those Palestinians whose land was taken to build those settlements. If they don't get their land back, then they will have no reason to have faith in the Geneva Conventions or international law.

  •  It won't happen (0+ / 0-)

    Neither the leadership of the Palestinians, nor the leadership of Israel want peace.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by gjohnsit on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 02:52:07 PM PST

  •  Freeing Marwan Barghouti Would be a Good Start (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Lefty Coaster, Terra Mystica
    •  Only if you assume that the Israelis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, turthlover, Terra Mystica

      really do want to strengthen their opponents on the other side of the negotiating table. It seems to me that the Israelis want their partner for peace to be as weak as possible so they can extract significant concessions from them. Israel has shown it is not prepared to make the concessions required by several UNSC resolutions.

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