Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jordan king to Netanyahu: Israel must accept Palestinian state

Curt Here...

The amount of pressure by world leaders being applied towards new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasing by the day. So far this week we have had the Pope who has been in the Holy Land these past few days call for a "just and lasting peace" that includes a two state solution.

Today the King of Jordan has told Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel must accept a Palestinian state. He called on Israel to immediately commit to this reality. He also called on Netanyahu to declare his acceptance of the Arab peace plan.

Next stop for Netanyahu will be the US and a meeting with President Barak Obama, where the message will surely be the same. He will meet with President Obama next Monday May 18th in Washington D.C.

At some point Netanyahu will have to respond to all of these demands from leaders from across the globe. I suspect that the world will not like his response.

We shall soon see.

Stay Tuned.



Pope calls for Palestinian state

Pope Benedict XVI has offered his support for the Palestinians' right to a homeland as he continues his Middle East tour in the West Bank.

Speaking in a Bethlehem refugee camp, he said he understood frustrations that their "legitimate aspirations" for a Palestinian state were unfulfilled.

Standing beside him, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to embrace peace.

Earlier, the pontiff said he prayed for a lifting of Israel's embargo on Gaza.

The BBC's Tim Franks said that the Pope used the stark backdrop of a Palestinian refugee camp to deliver one of his strongest expressions of support for the Palestinians.

Standing in the shadow of Israel's separation wall in the Aida refugee camp, which houses refugees from Israel's creation in 1948, the Pope called the barrier a symbol of "stalemate" between Israel and the Palestinians.

"In a world where more and more borders are being opened up - to trade, to travel, to movement of peoples, to cultural exchanges - it is tragic to see walls still being erected," he said.

He told the refugees that his heart went out to families divided by detention and restrictions on freedom of movement, a reference to Israeli military control of the West Bank.

"It is understandable that you often feel frustrated. Your legitimate aspirations for permanent homes, for an independent Palestinian state, remain unfulfilled."

He added: "Although walls can be easily built, we all know that they do not last forever. They can be taken down. First, though, it is necessary to remove the walls that we build around our hearts."

For more click the link.....


Jordan king to Netanyahu: Israel must accept Palestinian state

Jordan's king pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as the monarch pursued a sweeping resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel.

King Abdullah II made the comments during a meeting in the Red Sea city of Aqaba with Netanyahu, who made an unannounced, lightning visit to neighboring Jordan. He urged the Israeli leader to immediately declare his acceptance of the Arab peace initiative and to take necessary steps to move forward toward a solution, according to a royal palace communique.

The statement did not give Netanyahu's response, and a spokesman for the Israeli leader was not immediately available for comment.

The monarch, who has been seeking to lay the groundwork for restarting Israel-Arab peace efforts, called on Netanyahu to halt West Bank settlement building and refrain from actions that would change the facts on the ground. He also urged the prime minister to lift checkpoints in the Palestinian territory and the blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Additionally, Abdullah said an Arab initiative presented a historic opportunity to reach a comprehensive peace deal in the Middle East.

The Arab peace plan would offer Israel relations with the 23 Arab League members in exchange for its withdrawal from land it captured in the 1967 Six Day War, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The king, whose lobbying has been in step with the Obama administration's efforts to link progress on Israel-Arab peacemaking to progress on curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, said there is consensus in the international community that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

Netanyahu will likely hear a similar message when he meets President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday.

The U.S. says moderate Arab states such as Jordan will not join a united front against Tehran unless Israel moves vigorously on peacemaking.

While Netanyahu has been trying to forge cooperation with those nations to counter the threat from Iran and its regional proxies - Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip - he has pointedly refused to endorse Palestinian statehood.

Abdullah has recently warned that delaying a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians would be disastrous for both sides, and criticized Israel's failure to formulate a specific policy regarding West Bank settlements.

For more click the link...


the70thweek said...

Add Tony Blair to the list of leaders that are actively pushing for Peace in the Middle East.

Blair to Congress: No alternative to two-state solution

A self-described optimist, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Congress on Thursday there is no workable alternative to a two-state solution to the long and bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and both sides are in favor of it.

"But in practice, they doubt it can happen," Blair told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The opportunity is there, said Blair," who is the international negotiator for the Mideast on behalf of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia. "But it won't remain if not seized. As President Obama has recognized, this is the right time to seize it."

"The best way to go," he said, "is to try to make it clear to the Palestinians that negotiations will result in genuine statehood and to the Israelis that there can be an agreed program for reform of the Palestinian security sector."

On the Israeli side, he said, "Israel will not agree to a Palestinian state unless it knows its neighbor will be secure, stable and well governed."

Next week, President Barack Obama will immerse himself in trying to point Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

Netanyahu is reluctant, on the grounds Israel cannot be sure of an end to violence. Abbas is reluctant to negotiate for an agreement with the Israeli leader until he agrees to freeze construction of Jewish homes on territory occupied by Palestinians.

But, differences aside, Blair said the time for peacemaking is opportune, with the Arab countries agreeing to recognize Israel, provided it agrees to a Palestinian state that includes all the land captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

Blair urged Obama to push quickly for negotiations, provided it clearly points to genuine Palestinian statehood.

Members of the Senate panel appeared to agree there was no alternative to negotiations.

"We all understand," said the committee chairman, Democratic Sen. John Kerry, "that peace will not come to the Middle East quickly or easily."

"But," Kerry said, "I share Mr. Blair's optimism that this moment presents an opportunity we cannot afford to miss."


the70thweek said...

Mike here.

curt, this certainly doesn't seem to be going away. Can you connect the dots between where this two state solution may be pointing us in the prophecies?

Thanks for staying on this one.