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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

Harvard Students Claim United States Greater world Threat than ISIS

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 6, 2014

A few weeks ago Campus Reform went to Harvard University and asked students who they felt was the greater risk to the world; the United States or ISIS.  Some indicated that the US was the greater threat and claimed that American policies were responsible for the creation of radical Islamic movements such as ISIS.  Some Harvard students then followed up on this “study” creating their own video questionnaire and found similar responses, videos posted below.

Harvard University is renowned as perhaps the most famous and supposedly intellectual colleges in the United States.  The skills exhibited by some of the students in the videos bring into questions these conclusions.

It is remarkable that students from this prestigious University believe the United States responsible for radical Islam and the infighting within its subgroups.  Had these students studied world history instead of the phony academics that make up much of today’s college curriculums they would have been taught that the Sunni–Shia divide that is led to so much conflict within the Islamic world began shortly after the death of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed in 632 with infighting over the secession to the Prophet.  They would also learned that this conflict began over 1100 years before the founding of the United States.



Posted in Education, Islam | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fallacy of Peace in the Middle East

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 16, 2010

All we are saying ….... is give peace a chance. John Lennon’s famous 1969 single became an anthem for America’s anti-war movement.  While noble, Lennon did answer the more difficult question as to what to do when that “chance” fails.

Lennon and his generation did not invent man’s desire for peace above all.  A generation earlier, Neville Chamberlain used this approach with the Nazis with disastrous results for 6 million Jews and about 50 million others.  While the world paid dearly for Chamberlain’s folly, it has not have not learned from it.

The “give peace a chance” cry is often used in the Middle East and especially as it refers to Israel and its supposed intransient positions towards the Palestinians. However, history has shown that peace is only attainable when both sides desire it, or one side imposes its will on the other.

While Israel is not without fault Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Israel, Middle East, Palestinian Authority | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Criticizes Palestinian Leadership

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 4, 2010

President Obama continues the failed Middle East strategy used by his predecessors.  That strategy stresses negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians as the focus for obtaining peace.  The logic is asunderstandable as it is simple: negotiation is typically better than the alternatives.  However, this strategy has been a failure for many years and is unlikely to succeed going forward for the simple fact that they only succeed when both parties are willing to compromise.  Depending on your view of what is a reasonable settlement between the parties, one or both sides have been and are unwilling to accept compromise.  Therefore, pushing negotiations becomes counterproductive as each side uses the process to further their aims instead of considering compromise.  Also, the continued call for negotiations that do not lead to progress builds angst among the citizens due to unfulfilled expectations.

In the current tension between the White House and PLO, Obama expressed his desire for the Israelis and Palestinians to immediately start direct negotiations.  Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not want the talks until the Israelis first agree to preconditions, an example of one side jockeying for position.  Adding more pressure on the Palestinians, last week the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo endorsed the idea of direct negotiations.

Given the time that has passed since the Israelis and Palestinians starting talking in 1994 in Oslo without progress, it is not reasonable to expect progress using the same failed strategies.  Instead of beating around the bush, key issues including borders, Jerusalem and the “right of return” need to be discussed openly.  Expecting progress without direction in advance of negotiations is unrealistic.

Posted in Israel, Palestinian Authority | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joe Biden Lectures Israel

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 11, 2010

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden blasted Israel for “prejudicing the outcome” of peace talks.  This unusually sharp rebuke is in keeping with President Obama’s strange policy of lecturing America’s allies while codling adversaries.

Let see, when Iran was killing protestors in its streets the President made statements like: “It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” and “that we respect Iranian sovereignty.”  But when Israel announces plans to build 1,600 homes in Jerusalem, now that’s a real problem.

Let’s put aside for a moment President Obama’s strange foreign policy approach and dig a into Loss-Lip Joe’s specific comments.  Israel’s actions are “prejudicing the outcome” of peace talks?  What perverted logic.  These two sides have been feuding for six decades and the announcement of a few more homes one side is the problem?  Such logic only matches that of the Palestinian Authority President Abbas who said: “We call on Israel to cancel these decisions.  I call on the Israeli government not to lose a chance to make peace.”  So Mr. Abbas, if the Israeli’s give up the 1,600 homes there will be peace after 60 years of fighting?  History demonstrates that the real issues are much deeper:

  • If there is a start date for the problem it is in 1948 when the United Nations partitioned what was called Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states.  Prior to then the land was under the rule of the British.
  • The Arabs rejected the UN patrician and in 1948 the armies of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon attacked Israel.  The Arabs were unsuccessful and an Armistice was signed in 1949.
  • The Arab countries continued their belligerence toward Israel in a desire to win the war that was put on hold in 1949.  As an example, Egypt intercepted or destroyed Israeli cargo ships attempting to pass through the Suez Canal against a UN Security Council resolution.  This played a role the next Arab-Israeli war of 1956 that also involved the French and the British, which again resulted in an armistice.
  • In 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded the removal of the UN troops that had served as a buffer between Egypt and Israel since the 1956 war.  He amassed 1,000 tanks and nearly 100,000 soldiers on the Israeli border and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.  This lead to Israel’s preemptive strike and the winning of the Six Day War in which they occupied the Sinai Desert, West bank and Golan Heights.
  • The third Arab-Israeli war was in 1973 when the Arab countries attacked Israel in what became known as the Yom Kipper War.  While the Arab armies had initial success in this war, they were ultimately routed and another armistice was made.
  • In 1979, a peace was made between Israel and Egypt with Egypt getting back all of its territory in the Sinai Desert captured by Israel in previous wars.  Since then there has been no fighting between these countries.
  • In 1994, peace was made between Israel and Jordan.  Jordan had captured the West Bank in the 1948 war and annexed it in 1950.  However, when it became clear that the people in the West Bank wanted the PLO to govern them, Jordan acceded and renounced claims to the West Bank.
  • On September 12, 2005, Israel made a total withdrawal from Gaza, turning over control over to the Palestinian Authority.  In June 2007, the terrorist group Hamas was elected to lead Gaza and forcibly kicked out the corrupt Palestinian AuthorityHamas the started sending rockets into Israel proper leading to another war with Israel.

The last real peace effort between the Israelis and Palestinians was at Camp David-II in 2000 under President Clinton.  According to the Clinton Administration, significant compromises were made to the Palestinian, but in the end Yasser Arafat rejected an agreement for two key reasons.  1) He wanted full control for the PLO over East Jerusalem, and 2) he wanted the “right of return” for Palestinians.  These are the two issues hindering an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, i.e. peace, not a few more Israeli houses being built in Jerusalem.

Given Hamas’s actions in Gaza since Israel unilaterally withdrew from there it is little wonder the Israelis would be uncomfortable giving up control of East Jerusalem to a corrupt government.  The right or return is an even greater divisive issue.  Under this claim, Palestinians and their decedents that left Israel proper since 1949 would have the right to return to the Jewish portions of Israel.  No Israeli government can or will agree to this demand as it would result in the end of Israel being a Jewish State.

The Israelis are not blameless in the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.  At the same time for the Obama Administration to focus on trivial issue like a few new buildings that can always be knocked down is naive.  The President should instead start by taking clear positions on the real issues that divide the parties.  But this would be the type of bold leadership missing from this Administration.  Sending a hack like Biden to talk nonsense will not result in any progress in the Middle East.

Posted in Israel, Palestinian Authority, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »