Goodbye Hamas UPDATED Message from Robert Naiman

From a New York Times article yesterday, it appears that Israel has lost another barrier or argument to the unwanted two states solution.

DAMASCUS, Syria -- The leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Monday that its fighters had stopped firing rockets at Israel for now. He also reached out in a limited way to the Obama administration and others in the West, saying the movement was seeking a state only in the areas Israel won in 1967.

"I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period," the leader, Khaled Meshal, said during a five-hour interview with The New York Times spread over two days in his home office here in the Syrian capital.

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Obama: Shove your peace plan up your ass

Less than a week after Obama let Israel's right wing Likud Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, know that he would not be available to greet him at the White House during his visit to address AIPAC, there has been a response from Netanyahu. Essentially the message, stripped of diplomacy, is: shove your peace plan up your ass.

I caught this news release over at Huffington Post.

Netanyahu Government Tells Obama What He Can Do With His Peace Plan by MJ Rosenberg, Washington Director of Policy Analysis, Israel Policy Forum.

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Israeli ministers renounce two-state solution

If George Mitchell didn't already know that he is in for the fight of his life in bringing peace to the Middle East, it was recently announced by Israeli ministers that there would be no Palestinian state. The right wing Likud line proclaimed by Bibi Netanyahu has merely repeated the central tenet of the Clean Break document of 1996, authored by American Neocons like Richard Pearle and Douglas Feith during his first stint as PM: "no land for peace. Peace for peace." Clean Break referred to a clean break from the earlier Oslo Accords, the first diplomatic effort to recognize the Palestinian right to an independent state, to land.

This time around, however, Netanyahu seems willing to add some bread to Clean Break in order to acquiesce the Palestinians, euphemistically called "economic justice," or as the Israeli minister below put it, "two economies for two peoples." One can only believe that during the South African Apartheid era, there were also two economies: one for whites and one for Blacks. Their intersection was the cheap labor Black South Africans provided to white owned industries.

As Apartheid is the only possible outcome of continued Israeli colonialism of Palestinian lands, the ascendancy of the Likuds does not bode well for Israel or for the Obama administration.

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Peace (and Jimmy Carter) harmful to Israel

In this article, Republican Jewish Coalition thinks Jimmy Carter is radioactive, Cecilie Surasky of Muzzlewatch draws the conclusion that Republican Jews are anti-peace. In truth, talk of peace for the Jewish right wing here and in Israel is anathema to Likud aspirations as stipulated by Israel's new prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu: no Palestinian state. Peace could only disrupt the unfinished colonization of the Palestinian territories that has been ongoing since 1967.

No Palestinian state means no peace, and no peace is what the right wing Republican Jewish coalition is striving for. And in this matter, Jimmy Carter is a persona non grata.

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Netanyahu: Call the Arab League's Bluff!

It's not going to happen.  But it should, and Obama's Clinton-Mitchell team should be shouting it from the hilltops.  The Israeli center-left daily Haaretz (as well as other western news agencies) is reporting that the Arab League summit has produced an ultimatum based on a compromise between hardline and moderate members in favor of the Saudi initiative for a two state solution.

Arab leaders in Qatar for the Arab League summit sent Israel an ultimatum Sunday: Accept the Saudi Peace Initiative or it will be rescinded.

The draft proposal of the statement states: "The peace initiative being proposed today will not be on offer for a long time. Arab commitment to this initiative is dependent on Israeli acceptance."

The draft proposal was formulated by the Arab foreign ministers, and was presented to the Arab League's leaders Monday for approval.

The wording is a compromise between the hardline Arab countries, mainly Syria and Qatar, and the moderates, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 977.html

The basics of the 2002 Saudi proposal are quite simple: two states based on the 1948 armistice lines for full normalization of relations in the region.  I don't believe that the Saudis are bluffing, nor are most of the gulf states, though the article cites Qatar as a hardliner.  Egypt and Jordan already have treaties with Israel and have clear economic interests in cultivating better relations.  Syria is a wild card.  Bashar al Assad was originally viewed as a moderate.  It's not clear, however, how his ongoing dance with Iran (Assad is the leader of the ruling Allawi minority, a sect most see as significantly closer to Shia than Sunni Islam), his interests in Lebanon, and any regional ambitions (his father was an entrenched pan-Arab nationalist who believed in a concept of Greater Syria, under his rule of course) play out here.  Perhaps an upcoming piece in this week's New Yorker will give us some tea leaves there.  But clearly the Arab League compromise is only possible because the hardliners are banking on the emergent Netanyahu government turning it down flat with their usual excuses.  

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