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What are your hopes for the Middle East peace talks?

22:16 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The first direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly two years have been held in Washington. Can an agreement be reached?

The US Middle East envoy said the talks, between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, had been "constructive".

Both sides have agreed to meet again in the Middle East in two weeks.

The talks had been overshadowed by the killing of four Israeli settlers near Hebron and the shooting of two Israelis in the West Bank. The armed wing of Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and opposes peace talks with Israel, has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

In which areas can a compromise be achieved? Could the recent violence destabilise the talks? How optimistic should we feel about these talks?

The BBC's Paul Reynolds outlines where the parties stand on the core issues.

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    I am past hope. If the Palestinians could be offered justice then there would be hope but the Israelis are intransigent and with American backing they will remain that way and the Zionist lobby in the USA will make sure that the Americans continue to back Israel. It is impossible to turn the clock back two thousand years without massive injustice and bloodshed and this is just what the Israelis are doing. The resulting conflicts will spill out world wide and make 9/11 seem totally inconsequential.

  • Comment number 2.

    "What are your hopes for the Middle East peace talks?"

    none, zero, zilch.

    Israel will not return the occupied territories and the new offer of dividing Jerusalem will probably be unacceptable to both the Israeli and Palestinian populations.

    IMO a single Palestinian state where Jews, Christians and Arabs live and work together and all have the same passport (ie something akin to the situation prior to 1917) would be the only viable long-term solution.

  • Comment number 3.

    The Israelis are not interested in peace or justice with the Palestinians they are only interested in unlimited expansion in the territory and repression of the Palistinean people. US backing has allowed this to occur and until the UN and other independant nations interveen the present status in the area will remain unchanged.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's primarily optimism and hope that brings any warring parties to a negotiating table. It definitely is going to be tough negotiating on the complex issues between Israel and Palestine, yet, slowly but surely, their determination to thrash'em out appears to be well-bound to succeed, and that'll be possible only if the Hamas don't poke their nose and/or if no heed is paid to those who are hell-bent to thwart this great effort; Let's hope that there's no lack of sincerity and honesty in resolving the issues.

  • Comment number 5.

    Four Isrealies are killed and Obama say's outrageous.Israelie soldiers kill 9 innocent people after boarding, illegally in international waters and not even a slap on the wrist.No there will never be piece until all the palestinian's are forced into the sea.And no, I do not condone the killing by either side but I've see one sided support all along.That whole scene is unfair period.

  • Comment number 6.

    A better question to ask is whether the USA is an honest broker for peace. The first rule of a judge, mediator or arbitrator is impartiality. How can the country which has provided money, weapons and diplomatic cover unconditionally for 43 years of Israeli expansionism be regarded as impartial? You may as well have Iran broker peace. Whatever Obama’s private beliefs and good intentions, his hands are tied by Aipac. Netanyahu knows this, which is why he successfully called Obama’s bluff on settlements. Money talks in Washington and more than half the US Congress attended Aipac’s last annual conference. These talks will lead to nothing.

  • Comment number 7.

    These are no talks. All three leaders are different facades of the same devil. The true representative of the Palestinian people are not on the table. The Zionists are negotiating with themselves.

  • Comment number 8.

    Most Peace negotiations start with a token gesture of goodwill in this case the Palestinian's opening hand is the unprovoced murder of 4 Israeli civilians barley noted by the BBC who frequetly ignore the murder of Israelis but carry on endless when Islamic people are killed as in the case of the so called "Peace Flotilla" where armed Activists died after setting upon Isreali soldiers with clubs and knifes and the BBC grieved thier deaths endlessly and condemed Israel.

  • Comment number 9.

    Peace for peace sake is worthless. Peace with justice is worthwhile. Palestinians are negotiating to obtain at best less than 25% of their historical homeland. Is this worthwhile? Consider the words of Israel’s founding father and two-time prime minister David Ben-Gurion:

    “If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. This is natural: we have taken their country.” (from ‘The Jewish Paradox’)

  • Comment number 10.

    With Hamas's hatred & convulsive behaviour towards Israel & it's "couldn't care less" attidude for it's own people. No-hope.

  • Comment number 11.

    Netanyahu is more interested in land than peace. Israel jumped the shark with the conflict in Lebanon and according to the Goldstone Report committed war crimes in Gaza. The flotilla killings show how far Israel’s image of itself is removed from world opinion. There is extremism on both sides, no doubt, but only one country in the world is extending its lawful borders. According to General Petraeus, America's unquestioning support for Israel is costing the lives of Allied troops in Afghanistan. That includes Brits. Do Zionist settlers care about that? Does Netanyahu? They are driven by landlust and care only about facts on the ground.

  • Comment number 12.

    There not a hope in hell for the talks to succeed, mainly because of the Zionist agenda and their attitude. The illegal occupation will finally end when they will pack up and depart. According to some reports more than 3000 of them have settled in Berlin, Germany in the first half of this year.

    Rabbi Yousufi has been spewing death and plague to strike the ARABS, likewise, the Palestinians been begging the Creator to have mercy on their plight and to punish the Zionists. No one likes their land to be usurped and then justified by a propaganda machine that is hiding the realities and aftermath of the Balfour Declaration, from the innocent public in the West.

    The Crusaders stayed for 140 years, most of them left and those who stayed enjoyed a pretty good life as the Muslim world that was not hostile against them, though the Mongol hordes destroyed nearly all the major cities and University towns, the Muslims during their own suffering never ever blamed the Christians and Jews. Do not worry there will be no agreement, its an exercise in futility and the Zionists will depart safely.

  • Comment number 13.

    Both parties have much in common - they let hatred/prejudice override the needs of their children. They are influenced by outsiders who use them for their own political goals and lastly they are disliked by the same people they think are their allies.

    It's time for these parties to recognize that they need each other to overcome their problems --- until that happens there will be no peace.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nope, this is all just a charade. President Obama has the Martin Luther King quotation on his newly refurbished Oval Office carpet: "The arc of history bends towards justice". Well, not for the American Indian it doesn't, and not for the Carthaginians, and not for the Aborigines, and not for the Palestinians. America is democratic in name alone. Obama is a puppet on an AIPAC string.

  • Comment number 15.

    Whether agreement be reached or not every thing is just on paper only. Both side of leaders and people must change their mind and try to make peaceful holly land in middle east for the future of their innocent children.

  • Comment number 16.

    Enjoy the Photo of Obama and Netanyahu because that is all this so called peace conference is about. After snubbing Netanyahu early in his Presidency, condeming Israel for the killing of armed thugs on the peace flotilla, and coming out in support of a large Mosque next to the ground zero site Obama needs the Photo Op to try and recapture the jewish voters he has lost. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Comment number 17.

    I believe the parties can reach an agreement on real estate, and decide borders, but probably not on the real hurdle , which is the "right of return" Palestinian claim. That would never be acceptable to Israel, because it means a demographic suicide. If that hurdle is somehow overcome, peace between Israel and Palestine would be at hand. Whether such peace would enhance or impair Israel's security is another matter. IMO as long as theocratic Iran lurks in the neighborhood, Israelis would have no security.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    10. At 00:25am on 02 Sep 2010, Jaker wrote:
    With Hamas's hatred & convulsive behaviour towards Israel & it's "couldn't care less" attidude for it's own people. No-hope.

    Unlike the love and compassion to the Palestinians and Arabs shown by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef , member of the elected government of israel.

  • Comment number 20.

    Netanyahu cannot deliver any peace as long as the Palestenians are attacking the Israeli civilians. Rockets, stones, knives and bombings by the Hamas should stop immediately, these are road blocks to trust and peace developments. Abbas sounds simple and sincere, unfortunately his citizens do not share the same views that he has. Hate brings more hate and brings more self destruction.

  • Comment number 21.

    The Palestinians don't want peace; Hamas has made that clear to Abbas and their recent attack on civilians coupled with the find of weapons cache underscore that.. Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are preparing for a larger conflict that will in the end inflict more pain and suffering on both the Palestinian and Israeli people. Then as we've seen before, the Palestinians will resort to violence once the talks fail. If that's the case and another Intifada ensues, then the Israelis should unleash total war on Syria, Iran and their proxies in Lebanon and Gaza; UN and European double standards be damned

    James P
    California

  • Comment number 22.

    However much I would like to see peace come about, and I hope that it can, what chance is there when fanatic groups like Hamas and Jihad Islami go around shooting and killing 4 Israeli civilians (one a pregnant woman) the night before the talks start, and then the next night wound two more in another shooting incident.
    As long as there are groups who believe that peace will only come about in the Middle East after Israel is destroyed, then there is no chance. Hamas has stated even in the last few days that they are against peace talks.
    Let us all remember the inter-Muslem "peace" in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan.
    So it's easy,
    Hamas wants peace as soon as Israel is wiped out, and the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah is destroyed, just like Al-Qaeda which wants peace, as soon as the whole world is Muslem.

  • Comment number 23.

    They are all as worthy of OSCAR Awards as Obama was for Nobel Peace Prize.

    Abbas is US & Israel's INSTALLED 'man' in Palestine.
    Attendees Egypt & Jordan are Not Democracies and owe their Existence to US Aid.
    Israel is so Totally dependent on US Aid & Loan Guarantees the Global Recession had absolutely no impact.
    And Obama opened the FARCE by stressing US & Israel's unshakeable bond. Hardly a NEUTRAL position.

    Point being:- It's more a get-together of Accomplices than anything else.
    'NEGOTIATIONS' are meant for those who 'Matter' to reach a 'COMPROMISE', namely Democratically Elected Hamas & Govt of Lebanon. Plus Syria & Iran.

    Major move from Israeli side is that Intellectuals have decided to REFUSE participating in anything on 'Settlements'. My RESPECT for INTEGRITY of all concerned, standing up to Tyranny does take Courage.


    A few mentioned Bush's Military Service? He's the only person to serve in a unit without being SEEN. Claims he reported and served in Alabama, but couldn't find a single soul to confirm it.
    The original one-man Phantom Squad.

  • Comment number 24.

    Define your boarders else consolidate and per-exist among your selves on any unsure boarder. Can not both people live among each other on those gray lines.

    At one time Palestine was Israel but has been abandoned through the years and most Jewish settlers come from other countries to Israel. But Palestine has been the poor hated step-child of Israel. Jews are a family of families and not a race alone.

    I myself see no logic in religion for I know even why there is a Star worn and promoted and it does not have anything to do with a religion but how the world is perceived and it's structure of existence. It is a object that is used geometrically to define the matrix of creation, a defining understanding of a spherical universe. God is the life in all of us and we are the sons and daughters of no less a being.

    Respect and be benevolent to each other or no one will exist.

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh not again - ask Obama.

  • Comment number 26.

    **** What is Peace ???
    Different definition of peace

    Arabs:
    A temporary agreement that will give them real estate assets lost when they attacked Israel and in return giving only a vague paper with open issues for conflict continuation
    ---- And later to destroy Israel

    Israel:
    A long lasting peace for the Jewish state leaving peacefully along the Arab world forever

    The Arabs refuse to recognize that Jews are entitled to their sovereign country- Israel.

    America can lead the free world to create the conditions for peace however it will be born only when

    PEACE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE BY LOCAL LEADERS
    PEACE CANOT BE IMPOSED BY FOREIGN POWERS

    The only way peace can happen is if Arab leaders take a real peace stand publically and work to this goal in Arab countries and Arab language

    The Arab leaders will stop using the double language
    1: The lying language to the infidels in the west media masking their Israel destructions narrative
    2; The truth language to the believers in Arabic describing the destroy Israel stage strategy

    Reading Arab leader's statements in Arabic to their people, I think we will continue to be disappointed of not achieving peace

  • Comment number 27.

    Let's hope that they agree to bomb each other off the face of the planet, then we wouldn't need to keep regurgitating the same HYS, month after month!!
    Seriously, who really cares what these two juvenile, idiotic nations agree? Having lived and served in the Middle East, I have no plans to ever holiday there!! Leave 'em to it.

  • Comment number 28.

    Being both Parties are victim of conspiracy of others living elsewhere around the area, both Israel and Palestine must approach the arranged meeting between both the Parties with utmost caution as well as filled with optimism. Let neither the current forcefully created disturbances of killing the Israeli settlers nor doing of some addition settlements by Israel out of the main area, come or play a part into the scene to hijack the Agenda out of our reach which are very temporary in nature but happening either due to secure more protection to oneself or to kill our efforts of securing of a peace out of the discussions and hence can be undone at any time if we are successful in bringing-in a congenial atmosphere into the table to attract durable peace into the entire area.

    Since we all know the aim and Agenda of others is to make such efforts of us as null and void for self gain, we must stand firm on our feet without leaving the aim of striking a deal between each other to avoid or arrest taking of further intense pain by both for such a long period of time most reasonless.

    We must all also know that we are all same and each one of us is a part of the other and with having the knowledge that we are taking much of pain over a very long period of time in the area; the world cannot attain any peace anywhere other than false showing off of one of having so. Accordingly the world wishes both the sides not to become aggressive in their respective approaches while trying to strike a deal between each other on nonexistent considerations; which are well known to both the parties for which we must find ways and means to tackle such complex issues if viewed from surface. Let both become the utmost gainer out of arranged talks between each other.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 29.

    No hope. Israel is surrounded by nations that hate them. The Arabs want Jerusalem and only Jerusalem, they couldn't care less about the Palestinians otherwise they would have resettled them years ago. Palestinians, in general, have became a willing pawn in the game, if they wanted peace, those in Gaza would not have voted in Hamas.
    So no hope of peace and we will have to wait until the Arabs attack Israel again, and get destroyed, before we can finally resolve this problem.
    If your ancestors were forcibly removed from your homeland, your race had been victimised, subjected to genocide on many occasions and you had beaten your enemies, that had attacked you, easily, would you want to give up to a bunch of murderers and terrorists?

  • Comment number 30.

    I can see no reason why Israel would want to change the status quo.
    At present, they effectively control all of Israel and the occupied territories and can continue building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    If a peace settlement is achieved, they will have to give up too much.

    All they need to do is go through the motions and then refuse to offer an agreement that is acceptable to the Palestinians.

    A deal will only succeed if it is imposed on them by the USA and UN.

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hopes waver somewhere between slight and none at all. There's no reason why these talks will succeed where all the others have failed, there are even a few why these have less chance than previous versions.

    The two sides have irreconcilable differences and both are supported by outside powers that share their viewpoints.

  • Comment number 33.

    ZIP
    ZILCH
    NADDA

    A waste of time and effort, why bother?

  • Comment number 34.

    There can be no progress without compromise.

    So which side is going into these talks prepared to make concessions?

    I'd say neither.

  • Comment number 35.

    The talks will achieve nothing.

    The Jews are tired of running around the globe, having been chased out of their home land (Israel) by Romans, Christians and Muslims and rightly so are making a stand to protect what they rightly see as the home land of their culture, faith and identity.

    The Palestinians are so full of hate that they will never be capable of making a lasting peace. Any peace achieved will be momentary until such time that the Palestinians are in a position to exact revenge against the Jews. This much is obvious from a few years ago when Jews were removed from settlements and those settlements were handed over to Palestinians. Did the Palestinians move in and make use of those settlements? No, they destroyed them. Schools, medical centers, homes all destroyed, even the synagogue. These people don't want peace, they want blood.

    Interestingly though, why hasn't Jordan been included in these talks. Jordan is an occupier of a greater proportion of Palestinian land than Israel. Why is there no global outcry over Jordanian occupation?

  • Comment number 36.

    Obama can state all he wants/wishes and use whatever to preasure for peace, but the reality is that while the existance of each religion is in such opposition and while it is so discriminatory against other religions, then peace is an impossible fact/reality.

    Put it this way, 2 different sides/religions, each believes in a varient mystical supernatural being with planet/species forming powers and who has a punishment zone filled with fire to inflict eternal and horrendous pain/torture/punishment upon those who do not believe and also naughty people, apparantly this supernatural being also has a nice zone, again both religions vary with whats available in this nice zone, with one supposidly also providing lots of nice women for those who die for their religion while killing/murdering non believers, people of other religios belief or non-belief.

    In this context of belief, under and by WHAT intelectual reasoning is it presumed that such people who believe in such things, can ultimately sit down and discuss sensibly, practically, reasonably, honestly, and truthfully, PEACE, or attaining it, especially when MOST importantly it is the ULTIMATE AIM/GOAL of each religion to dominate the world, via various means.

    On this planet of ours, from evidence, facts, reality and common sense I personally believe that as long as religion itself exists there will just be ever more and greater violence until one may ultimately dominate everything and every thought and action of our species.

    Religions, are ultimately discriminatory against anything and everything which exists outside of their narrow view of truth and reality, hence trying to obtain peace between such religious factions/extremes as exists in middle east and even the world, is like trying to extinguish the burning atmosphere of the sun with a few fire hoses plumbed into planet Earths seas and oceans.

    AS it happens, Hamas are NOT even at these "peace" meetings, hence why talk such pretentious RUBBISH about peace etc when one side, the MAIN side in the continuation of violence/terrorism is NOT EVEN involved.

  • Comment number 37.

    'NO' the talks will not achieve a solution. The Palestinians want peace and the Israeli’s do not. Who else would go into an opponent’s supporter’s clubhouse in order to seek justice than a person seeking settlement? What else is open for the Palestinian’s?

    The USA window dresses and actively supports Israel. It’s very brave of the Palestinians to go into this lions den for talks. The problem is NOT the USA’s, it is the problem of the entire world. Obviously it is in Israelis interests to have these talks in the US. What better than to appear to try for a settlement in the armchair of your friendly financial and military supporter.

    Again, NO it is now the worlds problem because all the majority of wars and terrorism are caused by this gross and strong arm miscarriage of justice by Israel. It is NOT the privilege of the USA to back these talks as a world’s policeman! Who ever heard of the police conducting their own trials and disposing justice (except in a police state).

    Being a world problem it’s solution points to the UN or The Hague. Israel will be frightened of these possibilities, as they know what they have done to the Palestinians.

    The sooner Israel realizes they cannot win or get away with what they want, like White Supremacists in South Africa realized, the sooner we shall all have peace!
    Israel was created through terrorism and still advocates it with their death squads murdering opposition.


  • Comment number 38.

    Didn't we have all theis very recently? Its been going on that long without change you might as well just put up the last HYS on the subject.
    Nothing will happen. Israel will say it wants peace and talks. Someone (cant be sure who!) will attack a car full of Israelis. Israel will say buiding in the disputed areas will go ahead anyway and the Palastinians will as hoped react predicatbly and break off talks. Then someone will lob a whiz bomb or two into some area of Israel and Israel will send half a dozen U.S. built fighter bombers to blast someone or other off the earth in retaliation. Then tighten the touniquet to prevent Gaza functioning and further take control of the area.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Oh G_d, not again! You asked pretty much the same thing last week.

    Oh, and Israel destroyed the settlements in Gaza as it left so the Palestinians couldn't use them, Philip of England.

  • Comment number 41.

    Israel was attacked twice by its Arab neighbours BEFORE 1967, so its never been about "occupied territory". Until recently "Palestine" (a Roman name for the province after the expulsion of the Jewish population in the 2nd century)has NEVER been an independent sovereign nation with its own government, currency etc. In fact the British mandate region of Palestine included Jordan, so why are the "Palestinians" not protesting at the occupation of their land by the Jordanian royal family?

    Besides, what wasn't mentioned in the recent row about building in Old Jerusalem was the the Israelis were building in the old Jewish quarter which had been demolished by the Jordanian army, and the real issue was that many muslims living nearby were protesting at the re-dedication of an old synagogue. You don't hear that stuff on the BBC!

  • Comment number 42.

    What are your hopes for the Middle East peace talks?

    What COMPLETE and utter rubbish!

    WHAT peace talks!!!

    HOW can there BE peace talks when the MAIN and CENTRAL party and the party in GOVERNMENT in Gaza which is in opposition to Israel and which seeks Israels destruction is NOT even present at these talks.

    Its like the Russians inviting Sarah Palin to talks on nuclear weapons reductions and excluding Obama and everyone in USA government.

    Pointless, pathetic and a WASTE of time and effort!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Topic of Subject - Yawn!

  • Comment number 44.

    3. At 00:08am on 02 Sep 2010, casual_observation wrote:

    The Israelis are not interested in peace or justice with the Palestinians they are only interested in unlimited expansion in the territory and repression of the Palistinean people. US backing has allowed this to occur and until the UN and other independant nations interveen the present status in the area will remain unchanged.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Imperialistic Islam controls almost all of the middle East, North African, parts of Europe and there empire even extends into south east Asia and now they want all of Israel and you think the Jews are only interested in unlimited expansion?

  • Comment number 45.

    I want Israel to beat the MILITANT Muslims into submission, then behave itself with the peaceful remainder population.

  • Comment number 46.

    Does it really matter? The whole planet is heading for disaster courtesy of human mismanagement. Leave them to it I say. Both sides seem to be breeding out of control - more people = more conflict.

  • Comment number 47.


    In the scheme of things the Israeli-Palestine conflict is not important.

    It is not important to Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas.

    It has lost its symbolism on the world stage. More people die in the Mexican drug wars than do in this part of the world.

    What we are left is empty political rhetoric, diplomatic posturing and media hype. There is no resolution to this now minor conflict.

    People around the world simply don't care anymore - it's time those involved realised this and moved on.

  • Comment number 48.

    I just wish someone would give a decent explanation as to why this subject attracts so much obsessional media coverage.

    Really, people in general JUST DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!

    The whole thing has been going on for decades, and I can't remember any time when it figured as a topic of conversation in the last 20 years or so.

    Really, it doesn't matter to most people here. Obviously, there is a very vocal, jew-obsessed minority, mainly on the left, which has issues with Israel. But really, if your real concern was purely humanitarian, you'd be talking about Darfur and Mexico, for example. Places where much worse things happen than in the Arab/Israeli conflict.

    So why have we got yet another thread about it?

  • Comment number 49.

    I get the impression that the vast majority of those who support Palestine don not want these peace talks to work, which is Ironic considering they are they same people who consider themselves anti-war.

  • Comment number 50.

    There will never be an agreement its not in both their natures.Murder on both sides promotes bitterness which will never mend much that you still see in other coutries in the world where division of the country causes conflict.

  • Comment number 51.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Untill the Palestinians and the Arab Middle East make major concessions including the arrest of all Hamas and Hezbollah leaders there can be no peace.

    Israel has major concessions for peace, while the Arab side has made none

  • Comment number 54.

    So here we go again - we'd like to think that Nobel peace prize was awarded in foreboding - but then I'm off to Utopia again (sorry)...

  • Comment number 55.

    ref #5
    Terry wrote:
    Four Isrealies are killed and Obama say's outrageous.Israelie soldiers kill 9 innocent people after boarding, illegally in international waters and not even a slap on the wrist.
    ______________
    The terrorist attack was celebratred in Gaza, so we can see that many Palestinians have no interest in peace.

    In the case of the Hate activists they attacked the israelis who defended themselves.

    You are right no slap on the wrist to Turkey who caused this.

  • Comment number 56.

    President Obama is trying to jump-start peace negotiations between israelis and the Palestinians. But there is a very wide gulf to be bridged. But to add fuel to the fire, there are elements determined to sabotage the talks. There is a history of hatred and the leaders of the two sides know they cannot over-step unwritten rules. The animosity is so deep seated. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas are trying to be cordial at least for the cameras. But unless Hamas is represented in future talks, a stale-mate is the only possible outcome

  • Comment number 57.

    My hopes are that the Israelis get out of the occupied territories - AND the US stops supporting Israel's aggression.

    But I won't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 58.

    israel have all the time in the world to string the americans along and play the game and presidents come and go.If the jews can wait two thousand years to get their biblical homeland back then it`s not going to happen,the giving up of what little land they have,i don`t think so.
    Israel is about race and the protecting of that race and after the death of six million jews in europe in the 40`s and claims that israel has nuclear bombs,then they will just string everyone along.

  • Comment number 59.

    "53. At 09:45am on 02 Sep 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    Untill the Palestinians and the Arab Middle East make major concessions including the arrest of all Hamas and Hezbollah leaders there can be no peace.

    Israel has major concessions for peace, while the Arab side has made none"

    So for those of us not aware of these concessions what are they? where is your source? I would be very interested to see what they are. Thanks

  • Comment number 60.

    For talks to succeed, Hamas has to be included. This is a very complex jig-saw puzzle. In addition there is so much pent-up anger. Trust is no longer there. The Americans are bending themselves backwards to broker a deal but there a huge impasse. No amount of American arm-twisting will work unless there is genuine willingness by the Israelis and Palestinians to let bygones be bygones. So much blood has been spilled and forgiveness is not easy! The Middle East peace talks are groping at straws!

  • Comment number 61.

    ref #5
    Terry wrote:
    Four Isrealies are killed and Obama say's outrageous.Israelie soldiers kill 9 innocent people after boarding, illegally in international waters and not even a slap on the wrist.

    --------------------------

    Strange that there has been no "international" condemnation of Greenpeace doing the same "boarding, illegally" a British drilling rig in Greenland. The guys on this rig are only workers out to make a living for their families and not deluded doo-gooders or apologists for a terrorist controlled country.

  • Comment number 62.

    44. At 09:25am on 02 Sep 2010, Andy wrote:
    Imperialistic Islam controls almost all of the middle East, North African, parts of Europe and there empire even extends into south east Asia and now they want all of Israel and you think the Jews are only interested in unlimited expansion?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How does this "imperialistic control" manifest itself ?
    Who is at the head of this "empire" ?
    Islam is primarily a religion, arguably a political philosophy. Israel is a country. The spreading of an ideology is one thing, the physical land grab of territory quite another.

  • Comment number 63.

    Well true to form, the 'palestinian' terrorist entity once again resorted to killing Israelis on the eve of talks. Time and time again when talks are about to start or are ongoing, the 'palestinians' step up their killings. The Oslo accords were greeted with a string of suicide bombings in Tel-Aviv.

    It's time the international community realised that this entity are not interested in peace. It doesn't matter what land is handed over. It doesn't matter how far back the Jews step towards the sea. The 'palestinians' and their regional allies in terrorism will not stop until every Jew has been removed.

    This has nothing to do with land, which is why the 'palestinians' have been killing Jews since before the so-called 'occupation' and before the reestablishment of Israel.

    Israel is foolish to allow Obama and the Euroabians to trap them in this dialogue with their killers. Every single time Israel has come to the table, they hold talks in the evening and bury their dead in the morning.

  • Comment number 64.

    Dear bbc,this peace talk between the two leaders means alot,i hope the two leaders must understand,this peace talk is an opportunity, so they should not let its slips from them,i hpoe and pray that,justic well prevail after this peace talk,senesie writing from liberia.

  • Comment number 65.

    Palestine is not the key to peace in the Middle East but rather the likes of Syria and Iran. America and Israel are seen by the Arab world as occupying forces in the middle east and if peace is to be acheived with Palestine, then Syria and Iran will be key brokers in any peace deal. Why should Palestinians listen to nations who have contrived to kick them from their land and occupy their homes. I never condone violence but I can sympathise with the actions of Hamas if I was ever kicked from my home and my land handed to somebody else. On the other hand, I believe that Hamas would genuinely consider listening to other Arab countries around the negotiating table therefore America's attitudes to traditionally anti-US arab countries may be the key to brokering peace.

  • Comment number 66.

    Having watched this grim pantomime for several decades I have no hope whatsoever for success while the US is so closely identified with the Israeli cause. It's outrageous that internal US politics should have such an effect on such a critical issue.
    The proper way to solve issues like this is through the body that the US took a leading part in creating after WWII - the UN, (and which the US used to stop joint British/French/ISRAELI aggression against Egypt in the 1956 Suez crisis!)
    But now the US seems to want to throw a spanner in the works of anything constructive that the UN tries to do, if it isn't exactly what the US wants done, and in exactly the way the US wants it done. It's about time Europe used its joint international diplomatic muscle to show that we won't tolerate this running sore in the Middle East any longer, and that we need genuine, impartial, international diplomacy to enable these people settle the quarrels they seem manifestly incapable of settling between themselves

  • Comment number 67.

    My hopes based on what's on the table right now are non-existent. Isn't it obvious what's needed? A one-state solution...one SECULAR state, where freedom of (and from) religion is absolute and protected for everyone, but religion is kept at arms' length from the political process. Those are the first steps to building a nation where security and freedom of movement can be afforded to all citizens. This would stick in the throats of the hardliners on both sides but hey, they'd be free to leave. The lives of ordinary people on both sides are worth more than to just give in to the men of hate and violence.

    OK. I know it's all very naïve and the chances are virtually zero...but any solution to a conflict like this is going to require something that radical.

  • Comment number 68.

    35. At 08:47am on 02 Sep 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    The Palestinians are so full of hate that they will never be capable of making a lasting peace. Any peace achieved will be momentary until such time that the Palestinians are in a position to exact revenge against the Jews. This much is obvious from a few years ago when Jews were removed from settlements and those settlements were handed over to Palestinians. Did the Palestinians move in and make use of those settlements? No, they destroyed them. Schools, medical centers, homes all destroyed, even the synagogue. These people don't want peace, they want blood.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So Jews are innocent victims, while Palestinians are "full of hate".
    All of them ?
    I assume this is what you mean when you refer to "socially acceptable racism".
    And how does the destruction of buildings equate to "wanting blood" ?


  • Comment number 69.

    What you have to realise is, this is just a so called initiative conjured up by gobby Obama to make the world think he's doing something other than playing noughts and crosses to kill time in the White House.
    Nothing will happen in the way of peace until the Palestinian people see Hamas for what they are a bunch of gangsters, who in all probability cheated their way in to office probably by intimidating and threatening the people of Palestine. Throughout the world, ordinary people want to live their lives in peace and harmony amongst themselves and with people of other nations. It's the greedy, the religious zealots, the people who want to make a name for themselves that won't allow others to live their lives in peace. Wherever there's conflict in the world, there's either religion or a dictator with ambitions of being the big 'I'm it' who's only concern is their owen agenda. Wherever these scum bags appear, it's up to the masses of ordinary people to put them to flight, if they don't, the world will never see peace.

  • Comment number 70.

    49. At 09:31am on 02 Sep 2010, Andy wrote:
    I get the impression that the vast majority of those who support Palestine don not want these peace talks to work, which is Ironic considering they are they same people who consider themselves anti-war.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And I get the impression that your virulent hatred of those who are "anti-war" severely distorts your vision, Funny things, impressions.

  • Comment number 71.

    The Bible says that peace is where people make it. The Middle East militarized on thermo-nuclear levels. Israelis have submarines and missiles. Iran developed missiles and armed drones. Atomic warheads are easily delivered by satellites. Palestinians and Israelis must negotiate a good pact for harmony and tolerance.

  • Comment number 72.

    44. At 09:25am on 02 Sep 2010, Andy wrote:
    3. At 00:08am on 02 Sep 2010, casual_observation wrote:

    The Israelis are not interested in peace or justice with the Palestinians they are only interested in unlimited expansion in the territory and repression of the Palistinean people. US backing has allowed this to occur and until the UN and other independant nations interveen the present status in the area will remain unchanged.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Imperialistic Islam controls almost all of the middle East, North African, parts of Europe


    -----

    Sorry?

    Which 'parts of Europe' are controlled by 'militant' islam, or any other branch of that faith for that matter?

    Be specific or I'll have to conclude that your'e just parroting black propagnda from a far right source and have no actual understanding of world politics at all.

  • Comment number 73.

    The thugs in Hamas are exactly the same as the IRA. Even after the UK and Eire joined the European union, and civil rights were firmly established they continued, and are still, waging war on innocent people for no apparent reason. Hamas are just as bad. Their leaders and "soldiers" are living luxurious lifestyles whilst their people starve. If there was peace these people would have nothing to do and would probably put their services up to al Qaeda and then we would have them bombing here. The Gaza people voted them in so the only innocents in Gaza are those that did not vote for them and children. The rest are fair game and I would rather deal with them over there than here.

  • Comment number 74.

    What won't help is people calling each other names and dragging up quotes from Ben Hecht.

    It's an impossible situation where there is no real solution. I would be miffed if I was a Palestinian, who had homeland until 48, but at the same time when it's considered what the Jewish people had endured just prior to that, well, that needs no elaboration.

    The UK has achieved a peace in Northern Ireland, whilst tender in places is, I believe, a lasting and real peace that could never have been imagined 20 years ago. It took guts and patience, but it was done. With the same approach, similar results can be achieved in the Isreal/Palestine region and it will take the same guts and patience and time, but it must start somewhere, even with talks that wouldn't appear to be going far.

    Any dialogue is good dialogue. Even if you talk only about your differences, you will at least learn what they are.

  • Comment number 75.

    66. At 10:20am on 02 Sep 2010, deanarabin wrote:
    Having watched this grim pantomime for several decades

    Well said!
    While Israel has the unconditional support of the US nothing will change - they will continue their expansion of settlements and seek to solve the problem through military and oppressive means.

    Both sides need to realize this conflict is not winnable.

    Pressure must be applied to get both governments to act in the interests on the respective peoples.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well so far the Israelis have attended peace talks, whilst the Arabs have committed two terrorist attacks as talks begin.


    It's pretty clear who wants peace and who doesn't.

  • Comment number 77.

    ref #59
    , Dave1506 wrote:
    "53. At 09:45am on 02 Sep 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    Untill the Palestinians and the Arab Middle East make major concessions including the arrest of all Hamas and Hezbollah leaders there can be no peace.

    Israel has major concessions for peace, while the Arab side has made none"

    So for those of us not aware of these concessions what are they? where is your source? I would be very interested to see what they are. Thanks

    _____________-

    Since Isreal was attacked in 48,67,73 and won those wars.

    Returning the sinai to Egypt
    withdrawing from Gaza and parts of the west Bank

    Now you tell me what concessions the other side has made and why Israel should trust people who support international terrorists groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?

  • Comment number 78.

    If Jewish and Palestinian school children were allowed to negotiate a peace settlement the matter would be resolved immeadiately as they don't have the hate and bitterness of their adult counterparts / parents.

  • Comment number 79.

    There will never be Peace while religious fanatics continue to use Judaism, Christianity and Islam to justify hatred, theft and persecution.

    The Zionist, Christian and Islamic extremists are all one and the same and there will never be Peace while they are allowed to spread their messages of hate.

  • Comment number 80.

    This time round hopes are quite high for some conclusive results for some sound reasons.First, for the first time, the US administration has prepared the ground well for the final agreement and seems to be determined to steer the negotiation to reach the planned target.Second, it is rational for the US to take care of this festering problem before it can hope to stabilise the rest of the region.
    Finally,so far the present administration has delivered its stated promises.
    So, I am quite optimistic about positive results.

  • Comment number 81.

    Hopes?
    Well Obama hopes that the thorny and eternal problem in Palestine will not sink his chances for re-election. Netanyahu hopes these talks will give him even more time to pursue the policy of the past. Abbas, the least astute of the band, finds immediate satisfaction in playing (as he thinks he is) with the big guys. Abdallah, Mubarak and company hope for a bigger fig leaf.

    I don't even dare hope I am wrong.
    Cheers

  • Comment number 82.

    My hope for the middle East peace talks is that they succeed.
    I also hope that Steve Herrman puts this website back the way it was when I enjoyed using it.

  • Comment number 83.

    I have no hopes whatsoever of anything useful coming from this.

    Middle-East 'Peace Talks' have been going on intermittently for my entire life, they'll STILL be going on when I'm dead and turned to dust and there will STILL be no consensus or agreement.

    A nice photo op, but ultimately pointless.

  • Comment number 84.

    "Peace will only come to that part of the world, When Hamas stops killing innocent Israelies !!! and start talking peace, and Fatah is in power, again? Islamic Jihad is outlawed by all the Palestinian groups, and The Gaza based P.R.C. are all in jail. All Israel wants is to be left in Peace, in They very small homeland. By all the world- wide terrorist groups, who support The Palestinian intifada. The Jewish people would live in peace if they could.

  • Comment number 85.

    Can someone remind me of any concessions the 'palestinians' or their terrorist allies have made?

    Israel gave back Southern Lebanon, only to be attacked by Hezbollah.

    Israel handed over Gaza, only to be attacked by 'palestinians'

    Israel gave autonomy to 'palestinians' in their part of the West Bank, only to be attacked by 'palestinians.


    So much for expansion, Israel has handed over the Sinai, Southern Lebanon, Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Israel was 4 times larger than it is now.

    Yet the blood thirst continues for their neighbours.

    What concessions have the surrounding Islamists made over the years? a cold peace by Egypt and Jordan is about as much as Israel got. It turned out to be very handy for Egypt and Jordan to wash their hands of the troublesome 'palestinians'.

    It is under Israel that the 'palestinians' got some autonomy and formed a government. Under Egyptian and Jordanian control they weren't afforded rights.

    The whole 'palestine' issue is one of the biggest lies ever told. perpetuated by left wing European media like the BBC.

  • Comment number 86.

    "What are your hopes for the Middle East peace talks?"

    I don't have any, - certainly not whilst Likud is in power in Israel. There are a lot of people in Israel who believe in the concept of "Eretz Israel" - the Land of Israel. That's the Biblical Land of Israel - not the area covered by the current State of Israel. Try Googling Eretz Israel for the maps. The territory covered by the Biblical Land of Israel should make you quake at the thought of Israel attempting to recover it.

    That's what these illegal settlements are all about (IMO) - so don't expect Israel to give up on them any time soon.

  • Comment number 87.

    Can only assume these two leaders are meeting with President Obama in Washington due to a necessary squeeze on funds and subsidies from the US and Europe?

    The US and Europe can no longer afford to subsidise bad behaviour of these spoilt children on both sides. The world has little idea of the deadly dance that these two sides appear to propogate for their own ends?

    Money is invariably made from conflict, by the few, at the expense of the many?





  • Comment number 88.

    BEWARE-ISRAEL HAS BEEN USING INTERNET/WIKIPEDIA TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION. INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD FIGHT BACK.
    PEACE AND JUSTICE HAS TO PREVAIL

  • Comment number 89.

    Peace will not come from the top. It will come from the people. People like Rabbi Menacham Froman, who should partake in any peace talks.

    This guy is a settler. He's Rabbi of Tekoa settlement in the West Bank, and regularly talks to Hamas leaders, and was good friends with Yasser Arafat.

    He has formulated a just and workable peace plan which has been accepted by Hamas but the Israeli government and the American government won't give it the time of day.

    Look it up.

  • Comment number 90.

    Now you tell me what concessions the other side has made and why Israel should trust people who support international terrorists groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?
    -----------------------

    At Oslo the Palestinian side signed away any claim to 78% of their historic homeland forever.

  • Comment number 91.

    A very large hurricane has been sent by God, hitting America. States are in emergency. It is 5 years ago since Hurricane Katrina hit, when Sharon, Abbas and Bush´s Disengagement rid Israeli covenanted land of Israeli sovereinty. Now when Netanyahu and Abbas are in US with Obama, this other huge hurricane hits. I don´t think it is a coincidence. Because US are interfering in God´s covenanted land, God is sending them hurricanes.

  • Comment number 92.

    Having studied the positions of the three parties, I am confident that a peace deal is feasible within the planned time period. It seems that all parties want it.

    I like the idea of land swaps to compensate the Palestinians for lands lost owing to Israeli settlements. However, the moratorium on settlements must be sustained indefinitely or its termination will rightfully bring the talks to an end. It is bad faith to continue to build settlements at this time, when all attention should be focused on peace.

    However, there are two issues that may stall the peace deal:

    1. Security. I believe the solution is to let Palestine have its own security forces. The state of Palestine must operate like any other state in the world. Then the Israeli and Palestinian security forces must work together to keep Hamas away. To help build or develop this relationship, Israel should help train the Palestinian security forces. It should also go as far as helping to train the Palestinian military. Don't forget that there is still the issue of Gaza, which must be taken out of Hamas and given to the Palestinians. Without this, Israel can be sure to always hear from Hamas. Israel and Palestine must enter an agreement on security and military, as part of the peace deal.

    2. The second key issue that may stall the peace process is Jerusalem. I really think that the issue of Jerusalem should be left out at this stage and thrashed out in special talks arranged in forthcoming years. When Israel and Palestine begin to collaborate and work together the tensions between the two states will disappear as they get to know each other better. This mutual understanding will set the stage for a more empathetic agreement on Jerusalem. Personally, I'd like to see Jerusalem undivided. It should belong to neither state yet belong to both. Jerusalem is a historical city that's important not just to Israel or Palestine, but to the entire world. Why can't both nations share this city without dividing it? Why can't their citizens live side-by-side in this city and share it, like we have Jews and Arabs living in London and sharing the city with other races? A city belonging to two nations? Well, that's a first perhaps. But Jerusalem is a city of history, so why not let it make another history?

  • Comment number 93.

    The solution to the whole situation is simple.

    Both sides want Jerusalem so let neither have it. Make Jerusalem a city state like Vatican City, even have it protected by the Swiss Guard if necessary. Make the ruling council a equal split of Muslims and Jews with a rotating presidency that alternates between each religion. No one with a history of preaching hatred will be eligible to sit on the council.

    As for the rest of the issues between the remainder of the Israel/Palestine region they should be negotiated without partial interference from associated countries such as the USA, UK and Arab neighbours. A truly neutral facilitator would be preferred, but where could you find one of these? A Buddhist perhaps?

    Finally once the Jerusalem situation is resolved and the USA (and UK) step back from the situation a little, maybe the UN resolutions applying to Palestinians and Israelis can actually be enforced. With the USA constantly threatening to veto anything that harms their interests (for that read Israeli interests) in the region, it's hardly a surprise that the situation has dragged on for decades.

  • Comment number 94.

    Presumably the best brains on the planet have been engaged on this issue - but obviously not acceptable by either side?

    'Palestinians' work for 'Israeli' companies and vis versa?

    What do the world know, apart from, reported military/terrorist actions, how Israelis and Palestinians earn a living or trade with each other? Most, people, I would have thought, would like to know about positive interactions between these two sides?

    Trading, inter-marriage, business connections, agriculture, medicine, innovation, charities, etc., etc? Why do news agencies never, ever report on what's happening 'on the ground' for everyday people in their everyday lives on both sides? Just a thought.

  • Comment number 95.

    85. At 11:24am on 02 Sep 2010, SystemF wrote:


    You were doing well, right up 'til the last line.

    Don't you think you should hear both sides?

  • Comment number 96.

    "77. At 10:57am on 02 Sep 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #59
    , Dave1506 wrote:
    "53. At 09:45am on 02 Sep 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    Untill the Palestinians and the Arab Middle East make major concessions including the arrest of all Hamas and Hezbollah leaders there can be no peace.

    Israel has major concessions for peace, while the Arab side has made none"

    So for those of us not aware of these concessions what are they? where is your source? I would be very interested to see what they are. Thanks

    _____________-

    Since Isreal was attacked in 48,67,73 and won those wars.

    Returning the sinai to Egypt
    withdrawing from Gaza and parts of the west Bank

    Now you tell me what concessions the other side has made and why Israel should trust people who support international terrorists groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?"

    I was asking what the concessions were and you have given me your opinion of that which is what I wanted to know for those of us who are not avid followers of every perception of things in the region I welcome your interpretation it is appreciated.

  • Comment number 97.

    None at all they're all daft (i.e. beyond reason).

  • Comment number 98.

    I have no hopes whatsoever.

    The inbuilt hatred between both factions is far too deep routed. There will never be peace between them.

    Isn't religion a wonderful thing?

  • Comment number 99.

    88. At 11:38am on 02 Sep 2010, abraham wrote:
    BEWARE-ISRAEL HAS BEEN USING INTERNET/WIKIPEDIA TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION. INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD FIGHT BACK.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IF WE ALL USE BLOCK CAPITALS, VICTORY WILL BE OURS !

  • Comment number 100.

    I have very little hope. Benjamin Netanyahu clearly continues the policy of Ariel Sharon, pretending to support Palestinian independence while undermining it every day through trade restrictions and the expansion of illegal settlements on the Western Bank. As for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, his presidental term expired in January 2009. He, thus, technically represents only himself. He also appointed the loser of the 2006 election, Salam Fayyad from Fatah, prime minster.

    Hamas won that election, which was the last in Palestine. Abbas simply does not have the legitimacy to make any deal on behalf of the Palestinians. Netanyahu does not have the will.

    A solution must include Hamas.

 

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