Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Nov 2, 2010

Netanyahu’s Peace Intentions Being Questioned

In his article, “Crunch Time” (NYT 10/29/2010), Roger Cohen questioned the intention of Prime Minister B. Netanyahu in regard to his plan to achieve peace with the Palestinians. He pointed out that “the Palestinians have stated their position: the 1967 borders plus or minus agreed land swaps, meaning a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital”. Unfortunately, the Israeli prime minister is stalling and refused to extend the freeze on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, despite President Obama’s request to do so. The result was a direct humiliation to the president of the U.S. The president of the U.S. and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, are both stating publicly and on the record that the Palestinians should have their own state before the end of 2011. In a way, President Obama has set a deadline for the prime minister to sober up and stop stalling. The discussion of two states side by side has been going on for more than four decades without getting anywhere. In the meantime, the Israeli government has been building and expanding Jewish settlements during the past four decades. More than 250 Jewish settlements have been built, accommodating more than 500,000 Jewish settlers. During that time, Israel destroyed thousands of Palestinian homes to replace them with new ones accommodating Jewish settlers. The destruction was not only limited to homes but also it was extended to the agricultural sector of Palestinians. More than one million olive trees have been cut by Israel to deprive more than 100,000 Palestinian families of their main source of income.

Such an Israeli policy is not a secret anymore. The whole world is aware of Israel’s savage treatment of the Palestinians. President Obama’s statement of the creation of a Palestinian state is a sincere one. However, his congress has warned him not to pressure the Israelis. What President Obama has failed to do is to appeal to the American public by explaining to them that achieving peace between the Israeli and the Palestinians is in the best interest of America. Those members in the American Congress should stop holding American foreign policy hostage to Israeli interest. The American public will understand the dilemma, and in most cases will support the U.S. president to protect and safeguard the American national interest.

At the same time, Arab states lead by Egypt and Saudi Arabia in particular, have failed to do the least in protecting the Palestinian’s human rights and dignity. There are twenty-two Arab states that are members of the U.N. It is about time that they pushed the implementation of the U.N. resolution of 1948, which called for the creation of an Israeli and a Palestinian state. More than sixty years have passed and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the major cause of international terrorism. Even bin Laden himself stated so publicly before the tragic 9/11 attacks. The U.S. has paid a heavy price while shielding and protecting Israel since its creation in 1948. It is about time for the American congress to sober up and put American national interest ahead of the Israeli one, as it was publicly stated by the late ex-Senator Fullbright more than 3 decades ago.

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