Abbas Meets With Obama; UpComing Events
Posted by uscsjp on May 31, 2009
Latest News from Democracy Now!
“Obama Renews Call for Israeli Settlement Freeze
President Obama hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House Thursday for their first formal talks. Obama criticized the Israeli government for rejecting his call to stop expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank, but also expressed tacit support for the Palestinian Authority’s repression of opposition groups in the West Bank through its US-trained security forces.
President Obama: ‘On the Israeli side, those obligations include stopping settlements. They include making sure that there is a viable potential Palestinian state. On the Palestinian side, it’s going to be important and necessary to continue to take the security steps on the West Bank that President Abbas has already begun to take, working with General Dayton. We’ve seen great progress in terms of security in the West Bank.’
The Israeli government has put itself at odds with Obama over its refusal to end settlement growth and accept the principle of Palestinian statehood. Abbas said the key to peace lies in Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab lands.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: ‘Mr. President, I believe that the entire Arab world and the Islamic world, they are all committed to peace. We’ve seen that through the Arab League Peace Initiative, that simply talks about land for peace as a principle. I believe that if the Israelis would withdraw from all occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese land, the Arab world will be ready to have normal relationships with the state of Israel’…”
–Democracy Now!, 29 May, 2009
Netanyahu Goes to Washington
“…THE WORLD wanted, of course, to know what went on between the two when they met alone.
Coming home, Netanyahu strenuously tried to present the meeting as a great success. But after the spotlights turned off and the red carpet rolled up, we can examine what we have really seen and heard.
Among his great achievements, Netanyahu emphasized the Iranian issue. ‘We have reached complete agreement,’ he proudly announced time and again.
Agreement on what? On the need to prevent Iran from getting a ‘military nuclear capability’.
Just a moment. What is that we hear, ‘military’? Where did this word creep up from? Until now, all Israeli governments have insisted that Iran must be prevented from acquiring any nuclear capability at all. The new formula means that the Netanyahu government now accepts Iran having a ‘non-military’– which is never very far from a ‘military’ – nuclear capability.
This is not Netanyahu’s only defeat on the Iranian issue. Before his trip, he demanded that Obama give Iran just three months, ‘until October’, and that after this ‘all the options would be on the table’. An ultimatum that included a military threat.
Nothing of this remains. Obama said that he would conduct a dialogue with Iran until the end of the year, and that he would then assess what had been achieved and consider what to do next. If he came to the conclusion that there had been no progress, he would take further steps, including the imposition of more stringent sanctions. The military option has disappeared. True, before the meeting Obama told a newspaper that ‘all the options are on the table’, but the fact that he did not repeat this in Netanyahu’s presence speaks volumes…”
–CounterPunch, 25 May, 2009
Finally, UpComing Events From A Recent Jewish Voices For Peace Email:
” Sunday afternoon., June 7; 2-4 PM,
Peace Vigil for a Palestinian State Alongside Israel
Third St. Promenade at Santa Monica Blvd.
Join Jews for Peace between Israelis and Palestinians (J- PIP) in a vigil to support President Obama’s goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As American Jews, we recognize that 42 years of occupation and ruling over 4 million Palestinians against their will, Has not given Israelis peace and security, and never will.
Israel and its people’s desire for peace and security can only be achieved, when the Palestinians also have peace and security in their own sovereign and viable state alongside Israel.
We call upon President Obama to do all in his power to ensure that this peace vision will be implemented as soon as possible. First steps include:
- Settlement expansion on the West bank and in East Jerusalem halted.
- Settlement outposts demolished.
- Checkpoints and roadblocks that do not contribute to Israel’s security removed.
- Gaza blockade lifted; and crossings open.
- Harassment of Gaza fishermen ended
- Rockets attack on Israeli civilians from Gaza stopped.
J PIP will supply pro-peace, nonviolent, non-defamatory signs
We welcome everyone who shares J-PIP’s vision of a sovereign and viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Support this important VIGIL.
ACTION – Write to President Obama in support of his pressure on Israel for a full settlement construction freeze with no exceptions.
Use the J-Street website http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=593
and/or the Brit Tzedek website http://ga3.org/campaign/weve_got_your_back_pledge?qp_source=gamessage20090521
ARTICLE 1 Link to Gideon Levy article in Ha’aretz saying that the moderate Israeli are not acting, and the opportunity presented by Obama’s activism will be missed. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1087741.html
ARTICLE 2 Link to a Ha’aretz article reporting on the Israeli government resistance to Obama’s call to end settlement expansion.
ARTICLE 3 Link to Gershorn Baskin article in the Jerusalem Post explaining why 2-states for 2-people is the only resolutuion of the I-P conflict, and for their own good the Isareli people and government should help make it happen.
ARTICLE 4 Link to Yacov Ben Efrat piece arguing that Obama is trapped by a stratigec need to partner with Israel, and no real change will happen.
ARTICLE 5 Link to 30-minute interview with Sherna Berger Gluck about the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
— Sun., June 14, 5 PM
CAN PALESTINIANS HANDLE SELF-DETERMINATION NOW?
Presentation by Nora Murad, PhD, Executive Director Dalia Association;
Food and beverages will be served
St. Anselm’s Episcopal Church, 13091 Galway Street, Garden Grove, CA 92844
For info, call Vicki Tamoush (714) 368-5100; firstname.lastname@example.org
or Fr. Wilfredo Benitez (714) 537-0604; Tears4Gaza@aol.com
Thursday, June 18, 6-9 PM
Israel & Palestine: Is Peace a Dream?
Speakers: Mehnaz Afridi, Professor of Judaism and Islam, Antioch University, Los Angeles.
David Weisberg, Executive Director of Friends of the Arava Institut
Anton Khalilieh, Palestinian graduate Arava Institute
Liza Shtromberg, Israeli graduate of the Arava Institute
Woodbury Community Center, 130 Sanctuary, Irvine, CA 92620
RSVP: prior to June 9th to Sunny.Zia@gmail.com or 949.933.0343; space is limited so guest list will be strictly enforced.”