As I sit and read the announcements from today's first discussions from Annapolis, all I can see is another dismal failure for peace and another year long "negotiation" process that like Oslo, Camp David, the 'road map' all lead to the same place. That place, as so clearly denoted by the late Tanya Rinehart, is nowhere.
Today the leaders -Omert and Abbas -"have agreed to re-start negotiations to reach a comprehensive peace deal by the end of 2008." Bush it was noted in the article "did not stay for the rest of the conference, leaving Annapolis as soon as the speeches were over." He too is obviously quite happy with the status quo in Israel's favor.
In the past, the Israelis have quite willingly agreed to negotiations, going even further at times as with the Gaza "withdrawal" as another smokescreen to continue with their settlement policy of both expanding existing settlements, allowing more illegal outposts, declaring more and more of Palestinian lands as military areas, and continuing with their house demolitions, roadblocks and detention of the Palestinian people. Nothing has changed, still going nowhere.
Bush is quoted a saying, "The time is right because a battle is under way for the future of the Middle East - and we must not cede victory to the extremists." This statement indicates that regardless of what is occurring with the negotiations, which is very little but buying more time for the Israelis, more war is inevitable, either ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as the majority of observers are saying more and more positively, soon to include Iran in the mess. If the war on terror is still ongoing, it is obvious that the Palestinians can only be losers in the process, either by having to be subjugated by their own coterie of leaders, or by having a mini civil war between the Hamas-Fatah factions, or more broadly, as is often the case at the higher political level, simply being used as rhetorical fodder while the same old game continues, or at worst having the war on terror deteriorate through attacks on Iran such that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine can be force fed and hurried up.
As for the ethnic comment, Bush also said, "the United States will keep its commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people." So why is it that a theocratic non-democratic state is encouraged for Israel, but a similar theocratic non-democratic state in Iran -that does not have nearly the nuclear capacity as Israel -is such a big problem? Perhaps because it is modeled more on what has become of the United States, a near theocratic state where democracy is being eroded in small but rapidly encroaching increments?
Abbas' claim that there is "overwhelming Palestinian and Israeli public opinion in support of Annapolis" makes him a believer in his own rhetoric and the Western media rhetoric that does not reflect the alternative and foreign news media that the Palestinians at least are fully 'under-whelmed' by the negotiating process. The Palestinian street do not seem to be fooled by the process, having seen it fail on an ongoing basis, as their territory becomes smaller and more segmented with each passing day.
For his part, Olmert provided the same familiar Israeli line, "We want peace. We demand an end to terror, incitement and hatred. We are willing to make a painful compromise, rife with risks, in order to realize these aspirations." Echoes of Israeli leaders who have walked this path before him come through clearly. If their would truly be "an end to terror, incitement and hatred" the Israelis would pull out of occupied Palestine, remove the wall, and allow Jerusalem to become the global center for the three religions that have much of their history centered in the city.
What the actual outcome of all this is of course an unknown, but my best guess is -not much. Israel is where it has liked to be over the past several decades, allowing itself to be perceived as the victim of terror while at the same time occupying and terrorizing the citizens of Palestine. While negotiations drag on, while more land is settled, while the brutality of the occupation continues, the Palestinians lose, Israel wins.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its co modification by corporate governance and by the American government. Miles' work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.
Jesus, ( Jesus, pbuh ) will advent yes, he will be sent again. Muslims have their own views on the coming of the Messiah, so I hope no Christians will impose their version on the coming of the saviour, to Muslims. The last thing we need is for a Christian to tell us that the " King of Jews will appear on Zion calling us to his favour ".
But be that as it may, in all the versions of the coming, it seems quite common that the belief that Jesus ( a.s. ) will help the weak and the oppressed. My question now is this " Who is the oppressor and the oppressed in today's world ? " Are these not the Muslims, particularly the Palestinians ? Are they, the muslims also not strangled economically in today's world by the west ? Are not the so-perceived " Christendom of today strong " as evidenced by the weaponary that they have, which can destroy the world many times over ?
Why should Jesus ( Jesus pbuh ) help Israel, the oppressor, the zionist are already strong, they have their F-15's or F-16's not to mention bombs and nukes many more than what people generally believe they have ? Why should Jesus help the U.S, the country with the B-52's bombers, they are not the one being oppressed ? And not to mention ten of thousands of nukes, enough to destroy not just the earth, but the other nearby planets as well ? Oh, please Christians, don't flatter yourselves.
Jesus will strive and fight for the weak and oppressed, yes, the Muslims of today. And no weapons or ordnance or human technology can stop him, GOD willing.
Yes, Israel is always the victim, never the offender, and yes Israel is always the retaliator, never the aggressor!
Listen, every single adult Jewish person that moved into Israel is a criminal. Because of their moving in, some Palestinian family lost their home, their beautiful grape orchards, their prosperous olive garden and ended up in the slum with no drinking water, no education, no 3 meals a day like you have. They were forced to leave the place they called home for so many generations. It is easy for you to sit in your cushy chair and give out verdicts on the Palestinian. Well, it is not easy for those Palestinians. You and the media constantly portray Israel as the victim. But where are you when Israel demolishes home and bury Palestinian children alive? Where are you when the kill 20 people by bombing a wedding party? You are righteous only when it is convenient for you? Terrorrism, either state sponsored(like Israel) or any public group sponsored(Hamas), should not be supported. Palestinian does not have a military backed by 90 billion dollar annual support from the US like Israel does. So, their body is their weapon. Also, what made the Palestinians behave the way they do? Shouldn't you think about that?
If someone comes to your house and say,"This ain't your home anymore, I am taking it over", you will be the first one to pick up a gun and shoot the culprit. And you will be acting in self defense. If that is true and justifiable for you, why isn't that justifiable for Palestinians? Oh, I forgot, they are just Palestinian (and not humans) just like the millions of Japanese men, women, and children we killed in WWII. When Israel kills Palestinian children, they are acting in self defense, but when Hamas retaliates, we they are just being terrorist! I am tired of this hypocrisy of ours, this double-standard!
Jerusalem historically is the place of worship for Jewish people. I as a Christian not being assigned any particular place of worship but taught the principles of worship do not advocate any claim on Jerusalem although the apostles received heavenly power and began preaching from this place. However we have claim on the King of the Jews whom we believe have decided what is best for us and wait anticipating His coming. All belong to His Authority.
My suggestion to the Muslims is that they relinquish any physical claim on Jerusalem as well. Mecca and Medina should serve as holy place/ places of worship for the Muslims turning towards Jerusalem till the King of the Jews in appearing on Zion call them to His favor. If any one is not willing to this simple formula which even a child can understand, then there are enough causes for unrest and conflicts, to the extent of destruction. Not allowing certain people to 'Worship God' in the place appointed for them for so long isn't a simple cause to ignore.
For peace and edification in the World, let the Jews get chance to Worship the God of their ancestors again in their Free State capital at Jerusalem. They will not worship any god whom their ancestors did not profess, however cute and sweet it may look! Hopefully they will not swallow the whole world from there to flush underground!!
Is there any fear for mankind when Jews settle on their own land following their own Religion?
While the Israelis have been doing terrible things to the Palestinians, there is no other way for a state to respond to terror tactics. Israel sees itself in an endless state of danger--it is surrounded by powerful countries that don't want it to exist any longer. It is a dog that has been backed into a corner by aggressors, and while it is arguable that perhaps it never should have been in the corner to begin with, it is there and there is nothing that can be done about it.
The United States supports Israel over Iran because Israel has many more signs of being a stable ally than Iran. Even our greatest Islamic ally in the middle east, Saudi Arabia, has nationals who attack us. How are we supposed to ally with a country that has weekly protests against us?
Finally the problem with Palestine is that it is too torn by its own differences and hatred to get anything done. If Palestine could establish a peaceful relationship with Israel, its workers would have more jobs. If Palestine could be lead by those who do not lead from a tirade of hatred, perhaps it would get the international support it needs, especially from the United States, which would be instrumental in it's gaining of statehood from Israel. And if the rest of the Arab world would support Palestine by economic relationships, it could boost its own status to being more stable and viable as an independent state. If it continues to be mostly supported by groups that make the world their enemy, such as Hamas, than it will never succeed. And the Palestinians will never get the liberty and livelihood that they so deserve.
People need to wake up and understand that Isreali's label Palistinians who are fighting back for their land as "terrorist", as a form of propaganda to have the Unites States on their side.
It is a time waste and waste of our tax money for such meetings and security arrangements.