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What happens after the cease fire?   Hopefully soon, sanity and humanity will prevail, and there will be a cease fire.   Then what?

Israel's stated aims for the current operation are to restore calm, and degrade Hamas' ability to conduct terror operations.   There are extremists in Israel calling for a reoccupation, but the current Israeli government has consistently rejected the idea of a sustained military presence in Gaza, but has been silent on a vision of what the situation looks like further in the future.

At the Emergency meeting of the UNSC yesterday:

Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said that in the face of terrorist kidnappings, rockets raining down on citizens and jihadists tunneling under its borders Israel was left with no choice but to enter Gaza "to restore a sustained quiet to the people of Israel while degrading Hamas' terror capabilities."

Jeffrey Feltman, at the same meeting:

a cease-fire is "indispensable." But the only way to make it stick is for the international community to "assume its responsibility to urgently help restore a serious prospect for a two-state solution that brings an end to the decades-long conflict and occupation," he said.
Does the cease fire create an opportunity for action on the part of the International community to more forcefully act in search of a strategy for a longer term solution?   The International community is frustrated and alarmed at the idea of returning to the status quo ante, where Gaza is again in need of massive humanitarian assistance to address the massive humanitarian and environmental crisis in the Gaza strip, without addressing the underlying dynamics of statelessness, poverty, and humiliation of the Palestinians.  They don't want to rebuild Gaza, or invest in economic development, only to see it all blown up in 3-4 years again.

The United States policy has been consistently in support of a two state solution, and that that vision can only be achieved by bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority.  

Is this still  the right policy?    If so, why do you think so?  Should we use our UNSC veto to frustrate other options that will emerge when the UN convenes tis fall?  If not, what would be an appropriate policy?  

John Kerry has clearly stated the status quo is untenable, the question is, what should replace the status quo?

According to the news website, Kerry reiterated a warning that failure of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could lead to a resumption of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens; He said he believes a change in the leadership of either the Israelis or Palestinians could help bring about a peace deal; and he heavily criticized Israel for continued building in West Bank settlements.
“There is a fundamental confrontation and it is over settlements. Fourteen thousand new settlement units announced since we began negotiations. It’s very difficult for any leader to deal under that cloud,” Kerry said.
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Is the US Policy the correct one for Peace in the ME?

30%10 votes
36%12 votes
33%11 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Current policy is fine (8+ / 0-)

    Support a two-state solution. Israel's has proven it will dismantle settlements--it did so in the Sinai, it did so in Gaza. Israel has also proven a willingness to live in peace, side-by-side with Muslim neighbors-Egypt and Jordan.

    I think that's what people forget. Israel clearly wants peace--otherwise it wouldn't have given up land for peace with its neighbors. It's the Palestinian side that has never given up their supposed right to blow up buses and fire rockets at schools. Hamas has never made peace with anyone and its stated goal is to drive Israel into the sea.

    •  Bilateral negotiations seem to be at an impasse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irocdk, frostbite

      For years, if not decades, despite extensive US Involvement.   Should the UN step in and propose a partition?   Elements within the existing coalition government are very vocally resistant to relinquishing any settlement.  

      •  There was plenty of vocal resistance (4+ / 0-)

        to giving up the Sinai and Gaza settlements too.

        A UN partition won't be accepted by Hamas because they want all the land of Israel. So there'd be no point, you'd have a partition and then Hamas would keep firing rockets.

        •  That was my point (0+ / 0-)

          On both sides there are rejectionists of any land for peace arrangement.   Hamas did say they would respect any peace deal made by the PA, if it was approved by referendum.  There was a similar sentiment in the Knesset when it looked like a deal might be close.

          The trouble is that bilateral negotiations haven't succeeded.   Neither side trusts each other.  So the model would be to have the UN reaffirm UNSC 181, or a version of the Arab peace Plan, and , enforce it if Hamas or any other party rejects it.  That would take the load of Israel having to deal with the militants alone and breaks through the bilateral negotiations deadlock, and gives leadership on both sides high cover for having to accept difficult compromises.

          •  A basic problem is that the existential need of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            WB palestinians is freedom from the settlements, and the existential need of Gazans is an end to the blockade which Israel with Egypt's help save for the little Arab Spring window is an end to the horrible blockade which essentially kills off any economy, prohibits any Palestinians from leaving, and keeps over a million people in a prison where nobody there controls clean water, electriciity or anything else. WB is NOT working on what is slowly but literally killing Gazans when the rockets are not doing it.

             The end of this blockade, which admitted cinnamon but not cumin as one of many idiotic provisions of it laid on by Israel when they weren't shutting off the electricity and pollluting the water,  is part of what Hamas has asked for as part of a ceasefire, which demand  has been ignored by everyone else but is at the heart of what the people of Gaza are complaining about.

            That demand and everyone else ignoring it is part of what shows the current ceasefire dance is merely Israeli PR hokum aided and abetted by the Egyptians who are trying to hurt Hamas as a proxy for the Muslim Brotherhood, and didn't give twiddle about Gazans when THEY controlled Gaza either.

            Unless the big boys and girls start thinking about the separate needs of the two groups,and not just what Abbas and Bibi want for WB, there is not going to be a cessation of hostilities before all of one group is cleared out or dead. And judging from the number of children dying in Gaza while playing at the beach or on their own rooftops or in their beds, plainly not Hamas terrorists, there is little doublt who is going to continue to do the dying.

      •  The original document creating Israel (0+ / 0-)

        was a partition. Israel was required to recognize a Palestinian state with certain borders, an international open city in Jerusalem, and to respect the rights of Palestinians living within the newly created Israeli state. None of that happened. What would be the point of a new decree?

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:00:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, Israel "created" Israel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The partition plan enshrined by UN 181, identified the territorial limits of each new state.  

          One difference, this time, is the (mostly) Arab nations who opposed the partition, now have accepted it, and may be willing to enforce it.

          That's a basis for a settlement of this conflict.

          •  So Lebanon, still under attack, Syria, (0+ / 0-)

            Egypt, etc. will keep Israel in line? Riiiiight.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:42:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              They just have to agree not to violate Israel's territorial sovereignty.  And abide by that commitment.  

              •  Did not all the Arab countries all agree (0+ / 0-)

                on approval Israel's sovereignty, and accept all free trade and association if they would agree on a nuclear free Mideast?

                War is costly. Peace is priceless!

                by frostbite on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:40:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right. "We promise (0+ / 0-)

                  not to attempt another invasion of Israel, if it will just put away the weapon it developed to keep us from attempting another invasion of Israel."

                  (Which, to be fair, is similar to the message the U.S. is trying to sell to Iran: "You don't need those nuclear weapons, Iran. We'd never do to you what we did to Iraq or Libya, no matter what John McCain says.)

                  Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

                  by VirginiaJeff on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 11:58:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I'm reminded of the classic children's poem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frostbite, barkworsethanbite

      The Walrus and the Carpenter when I think about Israel's endless 'negotiations' with the Palestinians.

      You know the poem; the walrus and the carpenter are walking on the beach, the walrus entreating the oysters to come and talk....and it ends with all the oysters eaten.

      Year in and year out, Israel's leadership talks about negotiations, all the while Israel keeps gobbling up more Palestinian land, plants more subsidized settlements in the West Bank, taps more Palestinian water resources and further shrinks the size of the Palestinian 'bantustans'.

      Pretty soon it'll be a moot point because millions of Palestinians will be packed shoulder to shoulder unable to even fall down inside their final 25 square mile reservation.

      •  All the more reason (0+ / 0-)

        All the more reason for the Palestinians to drop their maximist demands and get the best deal they can, now. Time is not on their side.

        I don't know how I'm meant to act with all of you lot. Sometimes I don't try, I just na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na

        by Zornorph on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 04:47:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly no. It wouldn't help a bit. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Pilsner

          The Palestinians have been repeatedly screwed after agreeing to previous Israeli demands. It gains them nothing.

          For example, a true story:
          One of my partners' sons is an expert in hydrology and the engineering of water systems. He has worked on projects all over the world. He's also a progressive idealist.

          He and his wife lived in Ramallah for 18 months while he worked on a new water project for the Palestinian Authority in the late 1990s. This was nominally a period of 'peace' after agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians to end the first Intifada. The Palestinians had a desperate need for water resources, as many of the existing systems were falling apart or had been destroyed by the Israelis. Oh, and Israel was tapping into Palestinian aquifers by drilling into them from outside.

          Things went well initially, as plans were drawn up and construction started. Funny thing, though. As the project made progress and looked like it would succeed, the Israeli customs and security services began to actively sabotage it. Initially it was bureaucratic; needed import permits would be delayed or denied arbitrarily. Equipment would be held up in customs or returned to the originating country 'by mistake'. Then it got worse. Imported pumps would arrive fatally damaged. Parts would be missing or destroyed. Then critical Palestinian engineers and laborers working on the project started getting detained and arrested.

          The closer the project came to completion, the more aggressive, destructive and blatant the Israeli sabotage became. After 18 months of hard work, my friend's son and his team abandoned the project and returned home to the U.S.- because it had become abundantly clear that Israel would never permit it to succeed, agreements with the Palestinians be damned.

    •  Irael has proven that it can defy the world with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the exception of the US which has used it's UN veto multiple times to prevent change to an ugly situation.

      While settlers were moved out of Gaza, the entire population is imprisoned by the IDF. There is 40% unemployment, restrictions on water, farming, fishing, contruction, and the impossibility to trade it's product with other countries.

      It's leading political party has been demonized for decades by a very racist media, that is always concerned about the security of Israel, an on the other hand seems to ignore all security needs of the Palestinian people, who I guess are viewed as non humans.

      Gaza's leadership is subject to imprisonments and assassinations, and the UN as does most of the world, considers that Gaza is still the victim of occupation. But everyone is powerless since real change is opposed by US politics.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 01:33:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You asked what will happen. Targeted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Toyotabob7, frostbite, Lepanto

    assassinations, raids, some protests and shootings of protesters, some bulldozing of houses and orchards, and yet more settlements. Why should anything ever be at all different?

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 09:56:55 AM PDT

    •  Prospctively established (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      prohibitions with consequences if either side violates their neighbor's sovreignty.  Just like grown up countries.

      •  Riiiiiiiiiight. Palestine has no sovereignty. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The key players, US and Israel, have refused to recognize its existence since day one.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:34:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Time for that change (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With a sovereign state, Palestinians will have something to lose.   Right now, they have nothing to lose.   Hence the violence.

          Israel can choose to conform to international norms, or become like North Korea.   The ability of the US to prevent third parties from engaging in international sanctions is not unlimited.  

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