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Old 09-21-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Discussion: The United Nations

MAHMOUD ABBAS WANTS UNITED NATIONS REPRESENTATION FOR PALESTINIANS
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-16/w...ev?_s=PM:WORLD

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Old 09-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

I've been following this for weeks now and I don't understand why the U.S. is going to veto the recognition of Palestine. Why would other countries oppose the formation of Palestine?

Looking back in history there was a U.N. mandate that created the states of Israel and Palestine. For some reason, that I don't know of, Israel became a state but Palestine didn't. If it was okay for the U.N. to recognize Israel and any other country in the world to be recognized then why not recognize Palestine? It doesn't make any sense for the U.S. oppose it.

There should be direct talks to iron out the details but I would think you still need international recognition to be a legitimate state. For decades direct talks have failed and it is quite obvious that the U.S. is not an impartial arbitrator. So why would the Palestinians beat their heads on the same old routine, while Israel keeps gobbling up their land to build more settlements.

Also, why is this predominantly a U.S. issue? Shouldn't it be the world's issue to sort out?

I know I asked a lot of questions but I'm quite confused about them when most of the answers seems like common sense.

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Old 09-21-2011, 11:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

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I've been following this for weeks now and I don't understand why the U.S. is going to veto the recognition of Palestine. Why would other countries oppose the formation of Palestine?
Because Israel is one of our special friends. Besides Britain and maybe, maybe Canada (and that's just because we were born right next to each other) Israel is like our super BFF.

That...and any American politician of either party that actually demands some sort of accountability or something in return for our blind devotion to Israel will be out of office faster than you can say George Herbert Walker Bush.

I think Israel should have the right to protect itself and to (obviously) exist, but Netanyahu has dangerously placed himself into a smaller and smaller box for the last two years despite all the warnings from pretty much every other country in the world. He knows that Republicans, seeking a voting bloc that usually spurns them, will lean on Obama to keep him from using leverage and that he can play the two American parties off of each other, so he can continue to drag his feet on taking steps towards a real peace process.

However, the rest of the world doesn't feel this obligation to Israel (see: France and Russia), so we're now seeing Israel--and America by extension, as we'll stand by Israeli policy no matter whose president here or prime minister there--starting to have their smaller and smaller box pressured on the by the international community. And by extension our global influence (and PR relations in the Arab World) weaken.

It's like an international version of Dr. Strangelove at play!

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Old 09-22-2011, 01:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

The humiliation of Barack Obama
As he prepares to singularly veto Palestine's statehood bid, he must be thinking to himself: 'This isn't right'.


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Early in his administration, he tried to revive negotiations by mandating a complete West Bank settlement freeze, only to be forced embarrassingly by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to back down. When this past May he had the temerity to publicly tell the Israelis that their current policy towards the Palestinians is untenable and unsustainable, and to modestly suggest a negotiating formula to break the impasse, he was publicly chastised by Netanyahu and had to submit to the humiliation of seeing the Congressional leaders of his own party repudiate him in favour of the Israeli prime minister.

In response, though he cannot admit it, Obama has washed his hands of the Palestinian issue. He knows he can do nothing more. And yet, the issue will not go away.

Now, once again, he is being forced to publicly support an Israeli policy position fundamentally opposed to his own. He knows fully well that Netanyahu has no intention of permitting formation of a viable Palestinian state, and that the Palestinians have little choice but to pursue their current course at the UN.

He likewise understands that the US' lonely support for Israel and the inevitable US veto of the Palestinians' bid for full UN membership will undermine, perhaps terminally, the US position in a democratising Middle East, and will expose the US' nominal support for popular Arab rights as a fraud.

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Old 09-22-2011, 01:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

Is this what they were doing tonight when they pretty much shut down 42nd Street? One of the police officers mentioned that it involved the U.N. (which made sense given that the NYPD clearly wasn't in charge of the show).

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

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Originally Posted by Siby View Post
I've been following this for weeks now and I don't understand why the U.S. is going to veto the recognition of Palestine. Why would other countries oppose the formation of Palestine?
I know it's wrong. You know it's wrong. But it's political suicide not to. First this stuff can get touchy, so I want to make clear I'm not talking smack. I'm a Jew, a visitor to Israel and a supporter of the country existing on its '67 borders. Having said that, there is an extremely powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington that gives no inch to compromise with Palestinians and will funnel money to the opposition party and mobilize its activists to beat any politician in office they percieve as not supporting Israel enough. The rightwing is more than happy to capitalize on this (as evidenced by Perry's recent comments) to try and strip away Jewish votes from the Dem column. Considering Obama's already strained relation with the hawkish Netanyahu, he can't afford to damage relations further.

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

Well said. It may not get to the UN Security Council which is probably best for America to save face, but they can probably get observer's status out of the General Assembly.

It is kind of sad that the only superpower in the world uses its power to keep Israel secure but gets absolutely nothing it wants in return in terms of peace with Palestinians. This goes all the way back to Nixon and will continue indefinitely until the issue's status quo collapses, I imagine.

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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Well Abbas did it. I was afraid all the behind the scene scrambling by the US, Israel, and their special interest countries were going to find a way to dissuade him from going to the UN.

It's really too bad the US is going to veto it. I wish they would at least abstain. I would like to see what that region and the world would look like with Israelis and Palestinians living peaceful and productive lives.

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

The Obama Administration can't afford to abstain.

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:14 PM   #10
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Abbas gets standing ovation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15040556

If the US vetoes this, what happens next?

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

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Abbas gets standing ovation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15040556

If the US vetoes this, what happens next?
A continued decline in American influence in the Middle East. With the Obama Administration's inability to know how to deal with the Arab Spring and being put in between a rock and a hard place regarding Israel, we have seen a massive decline American influence in the region in the past couple of years.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

I actually think Obama has done very well in the ME from dialing back from the Bush-era imperialism and avoiding nation building. See how popular the very limited American intervention in Libya has been received over there. His biggest mistake was committing to Bush-era nation building for the first two years in Afghanistan, but at least he refocused the War on Terror which has seen great results in Pakistan. Actually Obama has a lot to campaign on from the ME in terms of foreign policy (something Americans don't really care about right now).

However....his problems with the Israeli-Palestinian situation have been numerous. Attempting to come down hard on Israel and ask them to make substantial overtures for peace, especially during an extremely hawkish administration in which Netanyahu is the moderate, has led to him having to back down twice and now all the good will he earned from the Palestinians in 2009 is about to go out the window. However, on that last part, any American POTUS would be boxed in by Netanyahu's hardline and the pro-Israel interests in the US. Still, what a sad result from so much effort.

Lastly, I'd say the one who has most mishandled the Arab Spring is Netanyahu. He's allowed his country to become boxed in and alienate its Arab allies and does nothing but pretend the status quo hasn't changed, even after being warned about this inevitability from Washington to Brussels. His government is single-handidly isolating Israel and taking the US with them. So disappointing.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:36 PM   #13
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I gotta say, although Netanyahu speaks too much about life or death threats to the Israeli people and too little of the security conditions of Palestinians, he did make a compelling argument on the UN on why not to return to the 67' borders.

I wonder if the whole 67' borders request would have been different will Emanuel still working as WH Chief of Staff. Perhaps Obama would not have suggested the thing in the first place.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

Instead of finding the perfect balance, Obama has taken the extreme of the other side of the spectrum with a Middle East policy that is horrible due to ineffectiveness. Bush would have done a horrible job at the Arab Spring too, but Obama just doesn't know how to respond with it.

And I'll agree with you on Israel and Netanyahu handling the Arab Spring even worse. Like I said, Obama is in between a rock and a hard place on this one. The pro-Israel lobby is just too powerful in the United States for him to be effective. While I think that Bush would have done a better job in controlling Netanyahu, you really can't blame Obama at all for Israel's extremely hawkish government and the pro-Israel lobby not letting him do anything to stop Israel to begin with.

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Old 09-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

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I gotta say, although Netanyahu speaks too much about life or death threats to the Israeli people and too little of the security conditions of Palestinians, he did make a compelling argument on the UN on why not to return to the 67' borders.

I wonder if the whole 67' borders request would have been different will Emanuel still working as WH Chief of Staff. Perhaps Obama would not have suggested the thing in the first place.
The 1967 borders are unobtainable. Some of the Israeli settlements close to the Israeli-West Bank border are just too big to shut down like Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit, and the settlements around Jerusalem. They have to be annexed into Israel while the smaller settlements get shut down.

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:46 PM   #16
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The 1967 borders are unobtainable. Some of the Israeli settlements close to the Israeli-West Bank border are just too big to shut down like Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit, and the settlements around Jerusalem. They have to be annexed into Israel while the smaller settlements get shut down.
That is solved quite easily with targeted land-swaps. Israel takes a couple of the huger settlements outside the borders and in return they hand over East Jerusalem and areas inside the borders that are more Palestinian.

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Old 09-23-2011, 08:11 PM   #17
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That is solved quite easily with targeted land-swaps. Israel takes a couple of the huger settlements outside the borders and in return they hand over East Jerusalem and areas inside the borders that are more Palestinian.

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Old 09-23-2011, 10:04 PM   #18
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That is solved quite easily with targeted land-swaps. Israel takes a couple of the huger settlements outside the borders and in return they hand over East Jerusalem and areas inside the borders that are more Palestinian.
The problem is that Israeli Arabs don't want to be part of a Palestinian state. The vast majority of Israeli Arabs (which includes Muslims, Christians, etc.) want to remain within Israel.

And handing over East Jerusalem is also unobtainable on account that East Jerusalem is where the Wailing Wall is, the holiest site in Judaism and the largest of Jewish settlements surround East Jerusalem.

The only solution IMO is to make Jerusalem an international city that respects both Jewish and Islamic faiths while Israel annexes the largest of settlements along the Israeli-West Bank border.

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Old 09-23-2011, 10:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Discussion: The United Nations

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I gotta say, although Netanyahu speaks too much about life or death threats to the Israeli people and too little of the security conditions of Palestinians, he did make a compelling argument on the UN on why not to return to the 67' borders.

I wonder if the whole 67' borders request would have been different will Emanuel still working as WH Chief of Staff. Perhaps Obama would not have suggested the thing in the first place.
Doubtful as almost every Administration from Nixon (yes that includes especially Clinton and Bush) has operated under the general idea of the 1967 borders with land swaps. It's only become taboo now because Netanyahu with his new, even more hawkish, coalition has become emboldened to draw new lines in the sand around that, West Bank settlements, and just generally around the whole idea of a two-state solution.

All the hand-wringing about the '67 borders in the US is new and either from loyalty to Israel or political opportunism, as this has been American policy for four decades as of now.

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Old 09-24-2011, 04:22 AM   #20
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Care to reply again in a more respectful and substantive way that doesn't make you look like an ass?

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Old 09-24-2011, 04:24 AM   #21
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The only solution IMO is to make Jerusalem an international city that respects both Jewish and Islamic faiths while Israel annexes the largest of settlements along the Israeli-West Bank border.
That really would be an ideal solution. It's unfortunate the current leadership in Israel is so obstinate in their extremism that they're not willing to negotiate in anything approaching good faith.

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Old 09-24-2011, 06:38 AM   #22
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Care to reply again in a more respectful and substantive way that doesn't make you look like an ass?
Sure. The idea of the Israeli government agreeing to hand over East Jerusalem in exchange for some settlements seemed so 'alternate reality' that I actually laughed out loud. So I posted a smiley that conveyed that.

But of course, I thought all that was implied. I may have some problems with synthesis, but you seem to have your own issues with humour.


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Old 09-24-2011, 06:50 AM   #23
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Israel is internationally in a position of overwhelming strength. Their current vulnerability is not nearly as great as they want the world to believe. Since the spring protests, too many Arab states are concerned with domestic stability. Even Ahmadinejad is calmer now since his main goal is to push for the (slow) economic reform he started in January. And even if the new balance of power elevates more radical islamists to power, Israel will have time to prepare a strategy while the new states form themselves. In the meantime, they will hold the territories Palestine is demanding and stall any peace talk.

The problem is no the leadership. They are doing what every government would do when surrounded with mild-to-large threats but having the upper hand. Every territory is leverage and they are not hurried. There's no significant international pressure, from anyone. Even if a considerably moderate government succeeds Netanyahu, they won't budge either. Why yield a territory that can be given in a moment of crisis to appease the Arabs.

To expect anything else, from any leader, is unrealistic.

Meanwhile, Abbas stunt has granted him the reelection and will probably give more power to Hamas. So the more secular candidates can kiss the presidency goodbye. Israel is waiting to see what happens next after the embassies deal in Egypt and Turkey. And Obama will try to put all this behind so it won't be much of an issue during the campaign. So we're back to square one.


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Old 09-24-2011, 06:55 AM   #24
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I don't get America's love for Israel. Americans generally look down their noses at ever other country in the world, yet we a sucidially protective of Israel, and for what reason?

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Old 09-24-2011, 07:16 AM   #25
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1. Democracy is easy to infiltrate. There are few lobbies more powerful than the pro-Israeli.
2. Alliances tend to be double-ended. Israel is the only Western Democracy in a largely anti-American, non-democratic part of the world. Of course, cause and consequence here is not easy to elucidate (for most people), but it is undeniable that Israel is, along with Saudie Ariabia, one of the biggest and most constant centers of US influence in the region.
3. Call me paranoid but, as long as the crisis is maintained, contracts and purchases with American military companies will abound.

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