Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Syria: US to invite Qatar, Syria for Nov meet

Syria: US to invite Qatar, Syria for Nov meet

Thank God for small mercies. See also this - sent in by Rafi Dajani of ATFP:

A New York Times editorial welcomes the Bush administration's invitation of Syria to the Fall Mideast meeting and urges Secretary Rice to work towards the signing of a formal document by Israelis and Palestinians that lays out in as much details as possible the contours of a final peace settlement.

Published: September 25, 2007
We welcome President Bush’s decision to include Syria on the list of countries invited to a November Middle East peace meeting. The president’s distaste for such efforts — aides still balk at the term “peace conference” — is only slightly less visceral than his distaste for Syria. We hope this means that Mr. Bush and his aides are finally ready to push all sides to make the compromises essential for moving toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Kuwait urges immediate protection of Palestinians

Are we to see such a time of great hope destroyed because of Israel's desire to wreak revenge? The consequent polarisation has started and the dreams ofpeace are turning to ashes:

Kuwait News Agency - 21 September, 2007
Kuwait on Thursday called for providing immediate protection for the Palestinian civilians in occupied Palestinian territories in line with global human rights and international law.Najeeb Al-Bader, Advisor at Kuwait's mission to the UN here, addressing the Human Rights Council's (HRC) session over article VII, called on HRC and the international community to live up to their legal and moral responsibilities to provide immediate protection for Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Israel Pressures Hamas

So Israel, oh Israel. You have declared war on Gaza, an area of land that falls entirely under your hegemony. It's like shooting yourself in the leg. You think it helps?

This piece in which the New York Times takes a close look at the designation of Gaza as an 'enemy entity' by Israel on the eve of the visit of Secretary Rice to the area, has been sent us by Rafi Dajani of ATFP

JERUSALEM, Sept. 19 — Hours before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived here for talks on resolving the Middle East conflict, Israel increased the pressure Wednesday on Hamas, the militant Islamic group in control of the Gaza Strip, by declaring Gaza “hostile territory.” The move opened the way for further restrictions on the supply of crucial goods like electricity and gasoline to Gaza.
Israeli officials said the purpose of the declaration, by Israel’s security cabinet, was to hold Hamas accountable for any further rocketing or other attacks on Israel from Gaza, which Hamas took over when it routed Fatah forces in June.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Khalifa, Putin discuss ties, Mideast and Iraq

Russia has a key role in bringing elements like the Syrians to the Washington conference - if that conference has even the remotest hope of success.

Emirates News Agency-WAM - 11 September, 2007
The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, held official talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin here at Al Mushrif Palace yesterday. Putin, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation, is on an official visit to the UAE. Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Shaikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, attended the meeting. Sergei Prikhodko, Russian Presidential Aide, and other high-ranking Russian officials attended the meeting. Shaikh Khalifa welcomed Putin and expressed his hope that the Russian president’s visit would further consolidate bilateral relations in various fields — political, economic, commercial, cultural as well as scientific.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

UAE, Jordan push for Mideast peace

The Arab World is really scrabbling for peace fro the first time in history. Question is - is Israel listening?

Khaleej Times - 06 September, 2007
The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, held talks here with Jordan's King Abdullah yesterday afternoon at Al Mushrif Palace. Shaikh Khalifa welcomed King Abdullah and stressed the deep brotherly relations between the two countries. They exchanged views on the latest events in the Arab and international arenas.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Searching for a Palestinian Mandela

This article was sent in by Rafi Dajani of ATFP. What the author, who is not Palestinian, ignores is that the Palestinians already have their Nelson Mandela - and his name is Marwan Barghouti:

Searching for a Palestinian Mandela. By Byron Bland The Daily Star, Opinion (Lebanon) September 4, 2007
Several years ago, a high-level Israeli official asked me to tell him everything I could about how the Israelis might find their Palestinian Nelson Mandela. His question was interesting and appropriate but also troubling because the Afrikaners didn't really "find" Mandela. It took several months before the answer came to me. Show me the Palestinian to whom you Israelis are willing to lose, and I will to show you your Palestinian Mandela.

My friend had overlooked the fact that Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) had won in South Africa. The decisive element in the so-called miracle was that white South Africans had, in one way or another and to varying degrees, accepted this outcome and had made it, if not their victory, then certainly something other than their defeat.