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Posts Tagged ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’

Obama AIPAC Speech 2011: President Seeks To Smooth Out U.S.-Israel Tensions

BRADLEY KLAPPER   05/22/11 08:41 AM ET   AP via: HuffPost

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is trying to assuage some of America’s fiercest supporters of Israel after he endorsed the Jewish nation’s 1967 boundaries as the basis for a Palestinian state and clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a speech Sunday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama wasn’t expected to outline another significant U.S. policy shift but probably would focus on the deep U.S.-Israeli alliance.

But almost everyone in the room wanted to see how the president addresses his remarks from Thursday, when he said that a future Palestine should be shaped around the border lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, with land swaps to account for Israeli settlements and other changed conditions.

Obama’s endorsement moved the U.S. position from noting the Palestinian goal for a country based on these terms and leaving the outcome to be settled through negotiation. By removing the nuance, he essentially stated what almost every observer assumed would have to be the border lines of a two-state solution, with mutually agreed adjustments.

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Susie Linfield | Truthdig | June 4, 2009

Whenever I hear people—including people I respect, and like, and might even love—talk about a “one-state solution,” my immediate reaction is: To what?

If you think—as do one-staters like Tony Judt and the late Edward Said—that the very existence of a national state for the Jewish people is problematic if not abhorrent, then the one-state solution, which as every schoolchild in both Israel and Palestine knows means the abolition of Israel as a Jewish homeland, holds undeniable appeal. Especially since it cloaks the suggested extermination of an extant country, which would ordinarily be regarded as a fairly unsavory project, in attractive words like democracy, secularism, equality and justice. But if you believe that an end to the decades of horrific bloodshed in Israel-Palestine can’t possibly be accomplished by wiping out an established country—which would result in even more horrific bloodshed and make the “civil” wars in places like Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Iraq look like skirmishes—the one-state strategy is no strategy at all. Indeed, it recklessly inflames, and reproduces, the very conflict it claims, albeit disingenuously, to solve.

one_state_two_cover182Enter the historian Benny Morris and his new book, “One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict.” Morris is a key member of the revisionist Israeli historians who burst on the scene two decades ago (others in this contentious, far-from-unified group include Tom Segev, Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappé). Morris has been called “immensely well informed,” “thoughtful and thought-provoking,” “the most influential and commercially successful of the Israeli ‘new historians,’ ” “the enfant terrible of his discipline” and the man who “revolutionized Israeli historiography.” He has also been accused of racism, of using “Zionist categories of knowledge” (whatever those are) and, by the leading Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, of being “a very sick person” and “a case history in the psychopathology of colonialism.”

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Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza

IBRAHIM BARZAK and AMY TEIBEL | January 15, 2009 10:32 AM EST | AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.

U.N. workers and Palestinian firefighters, some wearing bulletproof jackets, struggled to douse the flames and pull bags of food aid from the debris after the Israeli attack, which was another blow to efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Dense smoke billowed from the compound.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a “grave mistake.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military fired artillery shells at the U.N. compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location. Three people were wounded.

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Osama Bin Laden Challenges Obama In Tape

LEE KEATH | January 14, 2009 10:18 AM EST | AP

CAIRO, Egypt — Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza offensive.

Bin Laden spoke in an audiotape posted Wednesday on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaida usually issues its messages. It was his first tape since May and came nearly three weeks after Israel started its campaign against Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

The al-Qaida leader also vowed that the terror network would open “new fronts” against the United States and its allies beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. He said President-elect Barack Obama has received a “heavy inheritance” from George W. Bush _ two wars and “the collapse of the economy,” which he said will render the United States unable to sustain a long fight against the mujahedeen, or holy warriors.

“There is only one strong way to bring the return of Al-Aqsa and Palestine, and that is jihad in the path of God,” bin Laden said in the 22-minute audiotape, referring to the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “The duty is to urge people to jihad and to enlist the youth into jihad brigades.”

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Iranian Suicide Bombers Seek To Attack Israel

DAREINI | December 31, 2008 09:03 AM EST | AP

TEHRAN, Iran — Hard-line Iranian student groups have asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not responded to the call by Wednesday. Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive on Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.

In an open letter to Ahmadinjead, the students said “volunteer student suicide groups … are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities in order to pave the way for such action.” A copy of the letter was made available to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded to their calls. Some hard-liners have claimed previously they succeeded in secretly sending bombers to Israel, but their claims have never been verified, and there has not been any sign of Iranians carrying out suicide attacks in Israel _ raising the likelihood the groups’ activities are mainly for propaganda purposes.

The hard-liners started signing up volunteers after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious decree Sunday saying anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.

The groups claim that more than than 10,000 people throughout Iran have registered as volunteer suicide bombers in the past three days. At a gathering Tuesday in Tehran, hard-liners were distributing registration forms to volunteers.

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