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A Race Against Time in The Mideast
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mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: A Race Against Time in The Mideast Reply with quote

From what I can tell, the author is correct.


Quote:
A Race Against Time in The Mideast

By Dennis Ross

Wednesday, May 25, 2005; Page A27

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is in Washington for a meeting this week with President Bush. As president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas has pursued a strategy that depends on his being able to show that his way -- the way of nonviolence -- will deliver for the Palestinian people. Exit polls at the time of his election in January indicated that Palestinians, weary of daily deprivations and loss of income, wanted a restoration of calm, freedom of movement and their jobs -- and expected that Abbas would deliver.

To be sure, the public also wanted an end to corruption and lawlessness in the Palestinian cities and administration. Here, too, there were expectations that in the aftermath of Yasser Arafat's deliberate strategy of chaos, Abbas would produce change.


Unfortunately, at this point, Abbas has been able to deliver little of what was expected. While he has made some moves against corruption -- treading carefully, given the opposition of the old guard of Fatah -- he has not been able to produce much on employment or freedom of movement. Palestinians still give him the benefit of the doubt, but they are increasingly dissatisfied with the absence of real change. One sign of this is the increasing appeal of Hamas -- an appeal that is growing not because of its Islamic agenda but because, unlike the Palestinian Authority, it is perceived as clean and capable of delivering services. Another sign of the increasing dissatisfaction are polls that indicate that more than 75 percent of Palestinians believe that there has been no change or change for the worse on the economy during Abbas's tenure.

All this should be an alarm bell for the Bush administration and the world. Abbas believes in secular governance, the rule of law, nonviolence and coexistence with Israel. If he cannot make it, if he cannot demonstrate that his way offers a future for the Palestinian people, what message does that send? Who do we think will take his place? The possibility of Hamas's winning elections, tying his hands and eventually supplanting him is not a fantasy.

Photo opportunities will not provide him much help. And while Abbas must press harder against those resisting change, including in the security area, he needs more than rhetorical encouragement -- he needs real help from the outside. Material assistance must be provided -- not just pledged. Last December, donor nations pledged $1.2 billion to the Palestinians. Six months later, less than 10 percent of the money has materialized. And the money that has been provided -- as important as it is -- is not going to meet the urgent needs created by unemployment. Per capita income in the West Bank and Gaza was $1,800 a year in 2000 and is down to $1,000. Jobs are urgently needed; labor-intensive projects must be financed and launched now.

The international community acts as if a business-as-usual approach will suffice in providing the assistance that has been pledged. That could mean that by the time the money begins to appear, it will be Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority, making the calls on how it is spent. It's time for the Bush administration to make a major push to get donors to deliver. The Abbas visit should provide the catalyst for such an initiative.

While the administration's assistance request has almost worked its way through Congress, there is little prospect that money from the United States will flow to labor-intensive projects before the elections. Nonetheless, our request for $350 million for the Palestinians gives us leverage to press the Persian Gulf oil states to do their fair share. To date they have not fulfilled their pledges, let alone pledged the additional funds they should be providing. The Bush administration needs to call publicly, not privately, for the creation of a Gulf Cooperation Council fund of $1 billion for Palestinian development. This money should be available immediately to finance housing projects that are labor-intensive and for which there are existing Palestinian blueprints and contractors; provide the $240 million the Palestinian Authority would like to spend on social programs to compete with Hamas; and underwrite the cost of the pensions Abbas needs to pay to those he has retired from the security organizations.

Oil revenue for the Persian Gulf oil states (excluding Iraq) has increased by $58 billion in the past year. These countries should be more than capable of providing $1 billion for the Palestinians. It is time for the U.S. administration to speak bluntly -- something on which it prides itself -- to the gulf states.

Beyond the money, it is essential to cement the cease-fire between Palestinians and Israelis. In the past week there have been rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli settlements in Gaza and the Israeli city of Sderot. The Israeli defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, has given instructions to "use all necessary" means to strike at those responsible. It would not take much for the current calm -- which has led to a dramatic reduction in Palestinian attacks and IDF targeted killings -- to unravel. Neither Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is already under enormous pressure because of his decision to withdraw from Gaza, nor Abbas can afford for the current period of calm to explode.

Nothing will happen by itself; the cease fire and the security situation will not be shored up on their own nor will donor assistance for labor-intensive projects just materialize. The clock is ticking, and President Bush must seize the opportunity of the Abbas visit to make these things happen before it is too late.

The writer was director for policy planning in the State Department under President George H.W. Bush and special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton. He is counselor of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of "The Missing Peace."
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tommynomad



Joined: 24 Jul 2004
Location: on the move

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: A Race Against Time in The Mideast Reply with quote

mithridates wrote:
From what I can tell, the author is correct.


Quote:
A Race Against Time in The Mideast

By Dennis Ross

Oil revenue for the Persian Gulf oil states (excluding Iraq) has increased by $58 billion in the past year. These countries should be more than capable of providing $1 billion for the Palestinians. It is time for the U.S. administration to speak bluntly -- something on which it prides itself -- to the gulf states.


One of the major tactical contributors to the turmoil is the other Arab nations' keeping the Palestinian people down & out. It keeps them hungry and angry. If the world's Islamic states really cared about the Palestinians (rather than cared about their usefulness), they'd cough up some of their wealth.

It is a major failing of US admins past and present that they haven't played the "bretheren" card.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Tommy. Not a bad article either.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good article.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why should the Europeans cough up the money?

They poured billions into the Palestinian infrastructure only to see it all smashed up by US missiles and a US subsidised IDF.

By giving money to the Palestinians, Europe is in fact subsidising Israel's illegal occupation. Remember, that by international law, an occupier is responsible for the wellfare of the occupied. If Europe and the US refused to cough up all these billions, Israel could not afford this occupation and would have had to retreat long ago (to a collective international sigh of relief).
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There wouldn't be an occupation if Arafat had decided to give up the war.
Israel's settlements are illegal but the occupation isn't. UN resolution 242 says something along the lines of land for peace, not unilateral withdrawal by Israel for nothing.

The Europeans don't have to pay anything however be sure to remember then also that their opinon means less if they don't do anything. Their opinion meaning less is also probably a good thing.
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sundubuman



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:
Why should the Europeans cough up the money?

They poured billions into the Palestinian infrastructure only to see it all smashed up by US missiles and a US subsidised IDF.

By giving money to the Palestinians, Europe is in fact subsidising Israel's illegal occupation. Remember, that by international law, an occupier is responsible for the wellfare of the occupied. If Europe and the US refused to cough up all these billions, Israel could not afford this occupation and would have had to retreat long ago (to a collective international sigh of relief).



Would you stop quoting international law. Palestine was never a nation, it was part of Jordan. It does not deserve the rights of international law any more than Kurdistan or Tibet.

What is it that you lefty loonies DON'T understand about this point?

Just because it is parroted a billion times until it is scorched into the brain waves of every tender hearted western liberal....will never make it true.

These are DISPUTED territories. They are only occupied if Jordan wants them back.

And regarding the missing millions, Big Bird, why not try to figure out what's paying for Suha Arafat's luxurious Parisian lifestyle.

And I sincerely hope that someday you have as much concern for the smashed brains of Israeli busriders and diners as you purport to have for "smashed" Palestinian infrastructure.
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

Quote:
They are only occupied if Jordan wants them back.


BS.

Palestine was to be split into two Jewish and Arab states as of 1947.
http://www.palestinehistory.com/history.htm

Jordan had nothing to do with it.

At no point was Palestine granted exclusively to Jews.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before 1967 the West Bank belonged to Jordan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bank

and Gaza belonged to Egypt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_Strip
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So they're both right.

I think Nowhere Man's point was the UN granted the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians (along with a little more of present-day Israel). Unfortunately the Arabs rejected it and war ensued. As a result, Jordan took over the West Bank and Egypt took over Gaza.

THe palestinians, unfortunately could do nothing about it.
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Summer Wine



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Next to a River

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think Nowhere Man's point was the UN granted the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians (along with a little more of present-day Israel). Unfortunately the Arabs rejected it and war ensued.


Thats the crux of the matter, the original rejection just led to countless acts of violence and Jordan gave up control post 1967. Though if they had truly been interested in Palestinian statehood rather than the destruction of Israel, they could have created a state prior to 1967.

There is a question about whether a 2 state solution will ever really be feasible. Plus if I was a palestinian, I would be trying to make some arrangement with the Israeli's to get a port or airport open and let them do the customs, thus giving them confidence about the nonuse of it for shipping weapons and cutting out your costs. Set up a business that is not reliant on selling to Israel and try to become economically self sufficient. They will have to bite that bullet someday anyway, so better sooner than later.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee wrote:
There wouldn't be an occupation if Arafat had decided to give up the war.
Israel's settlements are illegal but the occupation isn't. UN resolution 242 says something along the lines of land for peace, not unilateral withdrawal by Israel for nothing.


That's a load of BS. Arafat DID give up war, and look what happened. The illegal settlements doubled, Israel got a better grip on the Palestinian resources, and the Palestinians ended up with even worse living conditions than before. This was all after the Oslo accords and before the second intifada. Blaming Arafat is so convenient. Successive Israeli governments have all had Greater Israel as an end goal. Don't think they are going to give up the occupied territories if they can help it.


Joo wrote:
The Europeans don't have to pay anything however be sure to remember then also that their opinon means less if they don't do anything. Their opinion meaning less is also probably a good thing.


Doesn't seem to matter how much the Europeans cough up, they are totally ignored and sidelined anyway. Another good reason not to cough up the dough. Let the yanks and the Israelis pick up the tab.
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bignate



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Location: Hell's Ditch

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:
Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee wrote:
There wouldn't be an occupation if Arafat had decided to give up the war.
Israel's settlements are illegal but the occupation isn't. UN resolution 242 says something along the lines of land for peace, not unilateral withdrawal by Israel for nothing.


That's a load of BS. Arafat DID give up war, and look what happened. The illegal settlements doubled, Israel got a better grip on the Palestinian resources, and the Palestinians ended up with even worse living conditions than before. This was all after the Oslo accords and before the second intifada. Blaming Arafat is so convenient. Successive Israeli governments have all had Greater Israel as an end goal. Don't think they are going to give up the occupied territories if they can help it.


I wouldn't bother arguing with Joo about this one, it just won't be very productive. No matter what evidence you show him, he will just regurgitate all his previous posts and it just gets tiresome. What's next Joo? Taba right?

But to each his/her own have fun kids...
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

subhuman wrote:


And I sincerely hope that someday you have as much concern for the smashed brains of Israeli busriders and diners as you purport to have for "smashed" Palestinian infrastructure.


Perhaps it has never occurred to you, but a smashed Israeli brain looks pretty much the same as a smashed Palestinian one. But maybe that's probably too complicated for your own smashed up little mind to grasp. And I'm (probably right in) guessing that a smashed up Palestinian brain has far less value than a smashed up Israeli one in your humble opinion.

Sadly I don't have enough time to reply to the rest of your drivel.
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sundubuman



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as over 70% of Palestinians dream of blowing up themselves along with Jews, there won't be any peace.





from this site

http://www.teachkidspeace.com/
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