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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Current status of Mideast Peace

I don't believe this, Pres. Obama goes out of his way to try to end the ongoing dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, and at every step, PM Netanyahu continues to fight him. I don't know how Israel can think that by putting off the peace process and demand that it get recognized not as a state, but a Jewish state, when that was not a part of the initially agreed upon text. I think for the Arabs to complain is more than legitimate, as Israel has been dragging its feet for the past year or so.

As for the Arab side process, I think that Pres. Abbas needs to realize that by daring Israel to annex the areas the Palestinians want for a state is only giving the Israeli radicals and settlers what they want, the right to oppress the Palestinians without any kind of rebuke from the international community. Additionally, it is going to damage Obama's credibility as an even-handed broker, working to bring both sides together. Abbas should not give in or cave, he should continue to fight for Palestinian sovereignty and call for Israel to end the construction of settlements. As long as he continues to work in tandem with the Arab League, and the UN, that should provide him enough political cover to make the hard choices necessary to create a Palestinian state.

As for President Obama, he needs to be more vocal. He really needs to display more disapproval of Israel's severe misbehavior on the international scene. If he doesn't start showing America as being more assertive, it'll only show that America will always turn a blind eye to any of Israel's consistent flouting of international law with its settlements. Not to mention, it will forever damage America's role as an honest peace negotiator in the eyes of the Muslim world. Now is not the time to give in to Israeli demands, Mr. President. Today is the day that, politics aside, someone can actually make a situation a lot easier for a nation with no homeland. The last thing we need to do is treat a humanitarian crisis as a military conflict, and this should be your consistent message to Netanyahu. Where are you now, Mr. President? We need someone of your standing to go out and really create a fuss. We need you to remind Israel that its actions are alienating its one true ally in a world where everyone else remains extremely critical.

One more note to play before concluding. Iran has been causing more hell than Israel, which is something I do recognize off-hand. They still provide support to various militias in the Mideast, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Not to mention, it's this kind of backing that's keeping the Arab states in a constant cycle of fear, more than anything else. I don't see how everyone is blaming the Arabs for all the violence directed towards Israel, or more specifically how there's state funding from the Arabs. Let me be clear on this, outside of possibly Syria, the Arabs are largely content on leaving Israel in peace. Most have become resigned to the fact that Israel is not going anywhere anytime soon, and are still trying to settle old disputes and extend diplomatic recognition. However, they're not venturing anywhere near the final step of recognition, not only because of the settlements, but because of Iran's meddling in their affairs. Most Arab states fear a revolt from Iran, so they largely stay quiet. Which brings me back to my original point, which is that if anyone is causing trouble for Israel these days on a state-based level, it's Iran. The Arabs see the militias largely as an unnecessary hindrance to peace and are making it clear that their aims don't reflect Arab nationalism. Iran doesn't and that's how these groups are still able to operate.

To conclude, this process does not seem to make itself any easier to work with. Now matter how many steps forward are taken, we always have to take about four steps backward to compensate. I don't see how in a world where people can agree on a consensus gap of 95%, can kill each other of the remaing 5%. Oh wait, I remember, it's because of extremism.

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