Sunday, May 31, 2009


The Knesset has passed a first reading of a bill that makes it illegal to say that Israel is not a "Jewish State". Kind of tough for the million and a half Israeli Arabs who want to maintain some sort of sense of identity. Kind of tough for freedom of expression too. Israel's new right wing government may become more oppresive than most Israelis are used to. Israel used to be a liberal free-thinking sort of place. Curiously they're also making it illegal to say Israel is not a democracy. For why for goodness sake?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Swiss Role?

King Abdullah has been holding talks with the Swiss President on Mid East Peace Process issues - whgich is interesting given the fact that we are about to have our annual NCF peace process conference in Caux, Switzerland. Maybe we can get the Swiss to open the thing. The Swiss have a unique role because they are not trapped - like the EU - by the "three conditions" nad can speak to Hamas - which they have been doing most effectively.

Talks between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz yesterday focused on the Middle East peace process and security concerns with special reference to the global financial crisis.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hurrying the End Game

Peacenik Tony Klug is an inspirational character if a little naive sometimes. He's come out with the idea that the Israelis should submit their wish list and the Palestinians theirs and the Quartet arbitrate the outcome. Well, that's a rough idea of it - the full thing is on the link below. Point is (in my view) that we are on the long road to peace and there's no longer the same opportunity for a quick fix. We have to deal with the status quo I guess until the next war. Peace, if the State of Israel is to survive in an era of mutually assured destruction, has become inevitable. But not yet. We must now work towards a ten year timescale rather than a ten month timescale.

There is room for quick fixes like the one Tony propounds - but we should no longer depend on them.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

UN accuses Israel of 'negligence or recklessness'

Well, the UN are certainly going to be more unpopular than before in Israel - if that were possible:

A United Nations inquiry today accused the Israeli military of "negligence or recklessness" in its conduct of the January war in Gaza and said the organisation should press claims for reparations for deaths and damage.