Blog Archives

Packing for the hospital…

I have to get to my daughter’s house before 10 AM with all my clothes and meds packed to get down to Georgetown to the hotel by the hospital. I’ll bring my laptop and hopefully I can review the news or arts events and have another post for my friends later.

My thoughts are all tied up with this brain surgery and I’m not even exploring the Susan Rice SOS nomination… something I would ordinarily be dwelling on. Or Netanyahu‘s new attack on Gaza which is likely to bring us even farther into Middle East hostilities. You’ll have to trot around to the sites I regularly quote to keep up with everything.

Soooo…Have a nice day and occasionally think of me.    -Bill

 

It looks like the Obama/Netanyahu relationship is not the one the Republicans tried to establish…

Here is Israel‘s Prime minister with the US Ambassador, congratulating Obama and reinforcing the two countries’ “rock solid” relationship:

 

 

Foreign Policy is the debate subject tonight. What will be discussed?

Andrew Sullivan posted this earlier today – tonight’s moderator of the debate, Bob Schieffer‘s list of questions he wants to see covered:

* America’s role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World…

The one that will probably bring out a major Romney/Obama conflict is the Red Lines question since it deals with holding off nuclear weapons and brings the US into a war-support position with Israel. Since it works against Obama’s State Department‘s policy of negotiations over military imposition, I expect this will be Romney’s major moment. He has spent the last couple of months trying to describe Obama as being unfriendly with Benjamin Netanyahu and opposed to Israel’s rights – a major lie by the Republican, btw – and will most likely make this his position.

Since we haven’t really heard a foreign policy plan outlined by Romney, I expect Obama will keep bringing this lack of knowledge up to see if Romney crosses himself up.

Andrew Sullivan also listed the Foreign Policy subjects that most likely won’t be brought up:

1) The eurozone crisis

2) Latin America

3) Russia

4) Africa

5) Foreign economic policy

6) India

7) North Korea

From my point of you, the fact that Romney has publicly stated that Russia was our major enemy, I will be  surprised if Obama doesn’t use this to show Romney’s total lack of foreign policy knowledge.

What is it about Republicans and their need to create wars?

Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.

Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.

Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.

If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.

 

Rabin’s son presents his Israeli Peace Initiative – from Haaretz.com

Yuval Rabin and businessman Koby Huberman propose a response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative: A Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem ‘the home of two capitals’.

By Akiva Eldar

Yuval Rabin

Yuval Rabin, the son of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, has joined forces with businessman and social activist Koby Huberman in order to advocate for the Israeli Peace Initiative, or IPI, a response to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

In an article published in the Web site bitterlemons.org, Rabin and Huberman propose that instead of responding to the APA, the Israeli government should say “yes” by presenting a parallel proposal to end the conflict – the IPI.

The two have spent several months promoting the IPI among political figures, academics, and businessmen in Israel and at the same time tested the reaction of Palestinian and Arab figures to the principles of the initiative in an unofficial manner.

The detailed IPI proposal will be soon published in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, and the principles outlined are the following:

1. A viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps
2. Jerusalem as the home of two capitals and special arrangements in the holy basin
3. An agreed solution for the refugees inside the Palestinian state (with symbolic exceptions)
4. Mutual recognition of the genuine national identities of the two states as the outcome of negotiations and not as a prerequisite
5. Reiteration of the principles underlying Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence regarding civic equality for its Arab citizens
6. Long-term security arrangements with international components.

In regards to the Syrian channel, the IPI suggests that the end-of-conflict scenario include “phased withdrawals from the Golan Heights to finally reach the 1967 borders with one-on-one land swaps, coupled with tight security arrangements to curb terrorists and paramilitary organizations.”

“Regarding Lebanon,” Rabin and Huberman write, “the scenario articulates mainly security arrangements, as international borders have already been established. The other three IPI components present regional security mechanisms addressing common regional threats, a vision for regional economic development, and parallel evolution toward regional recognition and normal ties.”

Concluding the article, Rabin and Huberman say that they “hope the IPI creates an intensified dialogue and some rethinking both in Israeli circles and the region.”

“More importantly, 15 years after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, we hope to see brave regional and international leaders translate the API and IPI visions into practical and synchronized progress.”

Before the previous elections, Yuval Rabin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him that he didn’t rule out voting for him for prime minister, and also supported Netanyahu’s intentions of establishing a unity government.

Rabin’s initiative may indicate his disappointment with Netanyahu’s current policies.

As one who is also disappointed (to say the least) with Netanyahu’s policies, I find this suggestion by Rabin’s son worth looking into. Haven’t we all had enough war…everywhere?

Quote for the Day, After 2 years – renewed talks between Israel and Palestine

“There have been difficulties in the past, there will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere, to keep moving forward even through difficult times, and to continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region.”

– Sec. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

They’re giving themselves one year to accomplish something.

On Sept. 2, Clinton will bring Abbas and Netanyahu together for the first formal round of direct talks since they broke down in December 2008. At that point the parties will decide where and when to hold later rounds as well as lay out the parameters for the talks. U.S. officials have said later rounds are likely to be held in Egypt.

To kick it off, President Barack Obama will hold separate discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sept. 1 and then host a dinner for the pair.

Isn’t that a dinner you’d like to sit in on?