The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
There is no question that in the aftermath of the IDF’s operation in Beit Hanoun, the Bush Administration has stepped up its involvement in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. President Bush is reportedly making telephone calls to Prime Minister Sharon and others are apparently in regular contact with Israeli and Palestinian officials. This, together with the intense focus on the so-called Jordan-Egypt Plan, which publicly has Arafat’s only tentative blessing, strongly suggests to some that things are starting to move. Indeed, some argue that these developments, and Arafat’s arrest of some mortar-shell shooters and call for the resumption of security talks, are signs that Arafat may have finally gotten the message that violence will not get him anything further. We, on the other hand, see this more as a test of President Bush’s commitment to facilitate negotiations rather than apply pressure for a certain outcome.
Israel’s clearly stated position is that substantive negotiations cannot begin until there is a total and sustained cessation of Palestinian violence. In addition, Prime Minister Sharon is on record saying that the focus of discussions, when they are resumed, must be on achievable interim agreements rather than on a final status pact which he thinks is unachievable at this time. Sharon is also adamant that there be no restrictions on the expansion of settlements. And as a procedural matter, he insists that the rule of reciprocity be strictly applied.
On the other hand, the Jordan-Egyptian proposals essentially incorporate the Palestinian position. Thus, as outlined recently in The Jerusalem Post, they treat the issue of violence as part of a package together with other substantive issues and even then, speak of both sides taking steps to ‘reduce’ the fighting. Other issues on the list are that Israel is to immediately generally abandon military and economic policies adopted vis-a-vis the Palestinians since the start of the Intifada; the IDF is to withdraw to positions it held before the outbreak of the Intifada; Israel is to transfer revenues it has held up to the Palestinian Authority; there is to be a total and immediate freeze on settlement activities; the negotiations are to pick up where they left off at Camp David; there is to be a deadline set for the reaching of a final status agreement; and the European Union, UN Security Council, Jordan and Egypt are to supervise implementation of the entire process.
Plainly, the plan is just a rehash of the Palestinian agenda and not a serious basis for discussion. We trust that President Bush will see it for what it is: simply a trial balloon to entice the U.S. to resume the Clintonian pressure on Israel to make concessions in return for unfulfilled, recycled Palestinian promises.
President Bush can make an important contribution to achieving peace in the Middle East if he makes it plain to Arafat & Co. that as far as America is concerned, the cessation of violence is a precondition to any consideration of substantive issues; reciprocity will be the rule rather than the exception; and that the US really has no intention of playing the role of driving force in any future negotiations or agreeing to any other outside force playing that role.
The only road to peace is through Yassir Arafat’s recognition that there will be no possibility of an end run around Israel on President Bush’s watch.
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For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem
As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.
What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.
The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.
The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.
Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.
Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion
Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry
Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”
On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor
After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process
Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
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