Posts Tagged ‘palestine

19
Aug
11

UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality: Betrayal in Palestine and Its Legacy (Middle East) – 2

UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality

 

EGYPT: TWO UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCES AND THREE WARS

In the summer of 1956, as Palestinian raids on Israeli-held territories and Israeli retaliatory attacks became increasingly frequent, the Arab-Israeli conflict took on new dimensions. President Nasser, the charismatic dictator of Egypt, nationalized the Suez Canal and imposed restrictions in the Gulf of Aqaba for Israeli shipping. The conflict threatened to grow into another full scale Arab-Israeli war with a risk of an open East-West confrontation.
Continue reading ‘UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality: Betrayal in Palestine and Its Legacy (Middle East) – 2’

18
Aug
11

UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality: Betrayal in Palestine and Its Legacy (Middle East) – 1

UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality

 

In 1945 the United Nations proudly pronounced itself determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Its Charter equipped it with an arsenal of tools needed to pursue such a lofty, almost utopian, goal. In 1947-1948 the Middle East and Palestine offered the UN the first major opportunity to employ these tools and to test the organization’s credibility. The results were negative: instead of preventing the local conflict from escalating, the UN helped to turn it into a major international conflagration. By introducing for a territory engulfed in a civil war a partition plan without the intention of enforcing it, the UN made an international war for Palestine inevitable. It also failed in bringing this war to an end, despite the deployment of several military missions in the Middle East theatre. The partition of Palestine is an ongoing process, leaving Israel without internationally recognized borders and the Palestinians without a state of their own. The Arabs and Israelis feel the consequences daily and with them the rest of the world.
Continue reading ‘UN Peacekeeping Myth and Reality: Betrayal in Palestine and Its Legacy (Middle East) – 1’

19
Oct
10

How to Handle Hamas (3)

By Daniel Byman
Foreign Affairs. New York: Sep/Oct 2010. Vol. 89, Iss. 5; pg. 45

(Daniel Byman is a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the forthcoming book A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism.)

Cease-Fire Calculus

If Hamas cannot be uprooted, can it be calmed enough to not disrupt peace talks? Maybe-and the chance is worth pursuing. Although often depicted as fanatical, Hamas has shown itself to be pragmatic in practice, although rarely in rhetoric. It cuts deals with rivals, negotiates indirecdy with Israel via the Egyptians, and otherwise demonstrates that unlike, say, al Qaeda, it is capable of compromise. Indeed, al Qaeda often blasts Hamas for selling out. Hamas has at times declared and adhered to cease-fires lasting months, and some leaders have speculated that a truce lasting years is possible. And although Hamas has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, its leaders have also said they would accept the UN-demarcated 1967 borders between Israel and the Palestinian areas as a starting point for a Palestinian state. Perhaps the most important sign of pragmatism has been Hamas’ general adherence to its cease-fire after Operation Cast Lead.
Continue reading ‘How to Handle Hamas (3)’

18
Oct
10

How to Handle Hamas (2)

By Daniel Byman
Foreign Affairs. New York: Sep/Oct 2010. Vol. 89, Iss. 5; pg. 45

(Daniel Byman is a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the forthcoming book A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism.)

The Isolation of Gaza

Israel, Egypt, and the international community have put Gaza under siege to isolate and weaken Hamas. Israel has sealed off Gaza from the sea, and the crossing points into it from Israel and Egypt have usually been closed to normal traffic. Humanitarian aid goes in, but there is a long list of prohibited goods. Ironically, however, Israel’s humanitarian concerns have prevented it from truly pressuring the Gazan people. Israel has tried to coerce Hamas without causing mass starvation, an approach that Israeli officials have described as “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.” Although Israeli policies are pushing Gaza closer to the brink, the threat of even more misery simply is not credible.
Continue reading ‘How to Handle Hamas (2)’

17
Oct
10

How to Handle Hamas (1)

By Daniel Byman
Foreign Affairs. New York: Sep/Oct 2010. Vol. 89, Iss. 5; pg. 45

(Daniel Byman is a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the forthcoming book A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism.)

The Perils of Ignoring Gaza’s Leadership

The biggest obstacle to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not the Palestinians’ demand that Jewish settlements in the West Bank be dismantled, the barrier separating much of the West Bank from Israel, or the recent rightward shift of the Israeli body politic. It is the emergence of Hamas as the de facto government of the Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million Palestinians reside.
Continue reading ‘How to Handle Hamas (1)’

01
Feb
09

Innocence, Morality Ravaged in Gaza

By Howard J. Gale
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 02/02/09

“Every bomb ever made falls on all of us.” (Alice Walker)

Israel has dropped tens of thousands of pounds of U.S.-made and/or U.S.-paid-for munitions on one of the most densely populated regions on Earth. Israel has been firing on known United Nations schools, killing dozens of civilians.
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30
Jan
09

Saudi Patience is Running Out

By Turki al-Faisal
Financial Times, 31/01/09

(Prince Turki is chairman, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh. He has been director of Saudi intelligence, ambassador to the UK and Ireland and ambassador to the US.)

In my decades as a public servant, I have strongly promoted the Arab-Israeli peace process. During recent months, I argued that the peace plan proposed by Saudi Arabia could be implemented under an Obama administration if the Israelis and Palestinians both accepted difficult compromises. I told my audiences this was worth the energies of the incoming administration for, as the late Indian diplomat Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru Pandit said: “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.”
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