WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bad leadership

What do Palestinians and Israelis have in common?
Bad Leadership!

Just like the Palestinians, the Israelis did not have good leadership either, with one exception; Menachem Begin. Begin took bold steps to bring peace between Egypt and Israel. He did not care about appeasing the extremist elements among Israelis; he cared about the future of Israeli Children, he wanted them to live in peace and he contributed to that process significantly.

Mr. Netanyahu does not seem to be sincere about Peace for the Israelis, or the Israeli Children, his policies will prolong the conflicts. He will put Israel at a higher risk than his predecessors. His supporters are those few who believe peace comes to them if they can wipe out everything around them if they are in conflict; that is downright dumb. A Chinese proverb says “If you go to war, you make more enemies, if you solve the problem, you have no more enemies” says an old Chinese proverb.

Netanyahu just wants to be in power and plays the game of appeasing those ‘few’ extremist, ignoring what is good for the public at large. He believes that if the Palestinians don’t agree with him, they need to be pushed, made to kneel, oppress and make them yield and beg. Such ideas have not worked against any nation or tribes in the history of the world, inlcuding Jewish history, and it will not work now. He is wasting the time and resources of Israeli and those few Jews who are funding his extremism.

I hope the Israelis will learn to call those who prolong the conflicts as villains and those who take the bold step to bring sustainable peace as heroes. That will change the thinking of the leadership and hope, they would then work for peace and security of Israelis.

You cannot have peace when others around you don’t, you cannot be secure when you keep threatening others. I pray Israel to find a leader who believes in peace and takes the bold steps to cause it. Netanyahu will make the Israelis more insecure, although he will fake a scenario that he saved them from another Holocaust.

Mike Ghouse

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The new politics of Israel's foreign policy

A grand bargain?
Apr 23rd 2009 JERUSALEM
From The Economist print edition

New governments in Israel and America could mean new ideas for peace in the Middle East

ASKED about the hardy perennial of Palestinians and peace, officials in Israel’s new government now reply with dire talk about Iran and the threat of nuclear war. “However much progress we might make on peace,” says one, “it would all disintegrate if Iran achieved the ability to make a bomb and proliferate it.”
That could be a diversionary tactic. After all, Binyamin Netanyahu, the new prime minister, spent much of his previous term in the job (1996-99) wriggling out of Israel’s obligations under what was known as the Oslo peace process on various pretexts, to gratify his rightist-religious supporters. But it could also signal a readiness to consider a grand bargain: Iran defanged for Palestine decolonised.

Israelis and Americans, preparing for a first encounter between Mr Netanyahu and President Barack Obama next month, are increasingly focusing on the Iran-Palestine equation. Mr Obama’s policy of trying to talk to Iran worries some Israeli policymakers. But there is also a growing awareness in Israel that the policy’s chance of success, as well as the strength and effectiveness of Sunni Arab opposition to Shia Iran’s nuclear ambitions, may hinge on America’s ability to show progress on Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

That puts modest but unusual pressure on Mr Netanyahu from the Americans. Indeed, the Israelis may have to get used to being treated a little differently by Mr Obama’s administration than they were by the previous one. For example, there had been plenty of indications that Mr Netanyahu might be visiting Mr Obama early in May, but the White House let it be known that the president was not available then. Jordan’s King Abdullah, on the other hand, was hosted at the Obama White House on April 21st.

Peeved, Mr Netanyahu has embarked on a month-long “policy review”. This, his aides say, means he cannot answer for the moment such niggling questions as whether he accepts the very concept of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his campaign for the election in February, he spoke of “economic peace” rather than full political peace between two proper states. While not endorsing the Palestinians’ right to a state, earlier this month Mr Netanyahu told George Mitchell, the new American special envoy to the Middle East, that he would insist on explicit Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state”. Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, has been loth to make this pronouncement. Mr Netanyahu says it is not a precondition for talking, but it is a “fundamental condition” for reaching agreement. His aides explain that recognition of Israel’s Jewishness would imply a final renunciation of the claim to an unrestricted “right of return” for Palestinian refugees. Israelis, left and right alike, insist that any “return” must be severely limited—by Israel—in order to protect the Jewish majority and Jewish national character of their country.

President Obama and Mr Mitchell have carefully woven “Jewish state” into their own recent public statements. But the Americans have reportedly reacted coldly to this early demonstration of Israeli casuistic recalcitrance, finding it reminiscent of the pretext-finding and foot-dragging of Mr Netanyahu’s first administration.

This time, however, unlike then, Mr Netanyahu’s team is not of one ideological stripe. It includes the Labour party, with its leader, Ehud Barak, as minister of defence. Mr Netanyahu was determined to bring Mr Barak in, so as to escape the political and arithmetical thrall of his own hardliners. Mr Barak for his part, say insiders, is determined to vindicate his decision to join, bitterly criticised within his own party, by vigorously pushing for peace. A former prime minister from 1999 to 2001, who offered Israel’s boldest-yet concessions in an abortive negotiation for peace with the Palestinians brokered by President Bill Clinton, Mr Barak now advocates a “regional peace” effort.

Mr Barak does not need the spur of Iranian nuclear pretensions, say these insiders, to promote his peace agenda. But he assured Mr Mitchell that he is available to help persuade Mr Netanyahu of the merit of an Iranian bomb-for-Palestinian peace bargain.

This week, meanwhile, the Iranian connection loomed large and ugly, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tirade against Israel at a UN conference on racism triggering a walkout of delegates (see article).

As bad luck or perverse planning would have it, the incident came just before a ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, on Holocaust Day. “We will not allow Holocaust deniers to carry out another holocaust against the Jewish people,” Mr Netanyahu said.

Mr Netanyahu’s officials say that Iran, because of the drop in oil prices and its consequent economic troubles, is now more than ever susceptible to international pressure to forgo its nuclear ambitions. He himself, more than any other Israeli politician, has harped since the mid-1990s on the threat to Israel of an Iranian bomb. Might that make him especially susceptible, despite his tough talk on the Palestinians, to American-led diplomacy that would seek to wrap Iran and Palestine in a grand regional peace bargain? Mr Obama and his advisers will be wondering as they brace themselves for a bout of Middle East diplomacy.