Social. Political. Economic. Career| Seyed Ibrahim

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Hard Mideast Truths – Op Ed from NYT

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…President Barack Obama came to office more than a year ago promising new thinking, outreach to the Muslim world, and relentless focus on Israel-Palestine. But nice speeches have given way to sullen stalemate….

Domestic U.S. politics constrain innovative thought — even open debate — on the process without end that is the peace search. As Aaron David Miller, who long labored in the trenches of that process, once observed, the United States ends up as “Israel’s lawyer” rather than an honest broker. The upside for an American congressman in speaking out for Palestine is nonexistent.

past persecution of the Jews cannot be a license to subjugate another people, the Palestinians. Nor can the solemn U.S. promise to stand by Israel be a blank check to the Jewish state when its policies undermine stated American aims.

One such Israeli policy is the relentless settlement of the West Bank. Two decades ago, James Baker, then secretary of state, declared, “Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity.” Fast-forward 20 years to Barack Obama in Cairo: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” In the interim the number of settlers almost quadrupled from about 78,000 in 1990 to around 300,000 last year.

The U.S. objective is a two-state peace. But day by day, square meter by square meter, the physical space for the second state, Palestine, is disappearing…

…It does not make sense for America to bankroll Israeli policies that undermine U.S. strategic objectives

And this: the “existential threat” to Israel is overplayed. It is no feeble David facing an Arab (or Arab-Persian) Goliath. Armed with a formidable nuclear deterrent, Israel is by far the strongest state in the region…

NY Times Opinion piece By ROGER COHEN

A comment from a Reader: Please don’t call it a “stalemate,” “sullen” or otherwise.

The U.S. doesn’t do stalemate. As your stats show, it only recognizes the joy of pumping $3 billion every year to military heft of one side – most constant intervention that force always foreclose on any adults who might seek peace. Thus the settlements go on. Walls encroach on more stolen land. Sufferings worsen.

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Written by S Ibrahim

Feb 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm

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