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What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?

16:02 UK time, Thursday, 23 September 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Palestinian leaders to continue peace talks despite the end of Israel's partial freeze on settlement building. What can states do to help the situation?

In a statement moments after the freeze expired at midnight local time on Sunday (2200 GMT), Mr Netanyahu asked his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas to continue seeking a "historic" deal.

US President Barack Obama has urged Israel to extend the moratorium, saying it "made a difference on the ground, and improved the atmosphere for talks".

What would you ask your leaders to do to support peace? Is there anything that countries can do to make a difference in the Middle East? Does Barack Obama's push for peace have any chance of succeeding? Do you live in the Middle East?

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

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Obama needs to rest his voice for a bit!! I am sick of hearing him pontificate about the behaviour of other countries. The Palestinians and Israeli's should be left to sort out their own problems. When America is perfect then maybe they can start to criticise others.

  • Comment number 2.

    What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?

    Nothing! When the Yemeni Prime Minster is prepared to sack the national chess team for playing against israel, it demonstrates the attitude of the leaders in the Middle East.

  • Comment number 3.

    What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?

    Could donate some BIG BIG fridges and freezers, so they can CHILL OUT

  • Comment number 4.

    I feel that the best place to start resolving any dispute is to ignore emotions and propaganda and stick to the facts.
    Israel is illegally occupying territory it has no legitimate claim for.
    What i mean by that is as an English man if i bought land in the united states it does not become part of England it remains American territory likewise with property purchased in Palestine by Israelis.
    The same amount of force should be used to force ISRAEL to comply with all UN Resolutions as was used against Iraq and Saddam Hussain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel

    A quick read of these it is easy to see who are the victims and who the aggressor is. We are constantly witness to illegally imprisoned Palestinians forced to live in large ghetto's with access severely restricted.
    It is not fair or legitimate for Israelis to claim self defence whilst being attacked inside illegally occupied territory that is akin to calling French resistance fighters terrorists for attacking the German occupying forces.

  • Comment number 5.

    Obama isnt exactly an expert on Afganistan so he should stop meddling elsewhere because his idealisms are just that, idealisms, FAR FAR from RATIONAL and WONDERFUL REALITY!!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    So, if USA was attacked, would it cave in in such a way!!

    Oh, I forgot, it already is, it has informed the Taleban & Al Queda that USA forces will be leaving Afganistan in time for tea.

  • Comment number 7.

    What can countries do to help the peace process?

    Maybe pressure can be put on BOTH sides to stop acting in ways that will prolong and endanger the process. It will be hard to come to agreements on so many divisive points but I believe that peace can be achieved.

    Pressure must also be put on Abrabic countries to accept not only reality but the problems that they have caused over the psat 6 decades. Follow the examples of Jordan and Egyt and actually help rather than hinder.

    Oh, and stop Iran from fanning the flames. Iran is only interested in influence within the region and not in the Palestinians acheiving satehood.

  • Comment number 8.

    Obama should pull the plug on all Financial Support that the US gives to Israel and do it now.

    This country on the pretext of defence is a Terrorist State, it murders at will, has no qualms about killing children armed only with stones, ignores the UN and international law.

    It seems to me personally that every time there is an agreement and a hope of peace, it's the Israelis that always ruin it by breaking agreements.

  • Comment number 9.

    Now that President Obama has spoken out on this issue and the folks at HYS deem it critical that what Obama says is golden I predict peace in the middle east in 48 hours.

  • Comment number 10.

    Obama calls a ME peace confrence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without the inclusion of Hamas, after a quick Photo Opportunity he sends them back home and tells them, now go make peace.
    It is all so Laughable and Pathetic.
    As if Obama is blind to the increasing menecing positions of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran all obviously arming and rearming and preparing to make to make war on Israel.

  • Comment number 11.

    Obama just does not have much of a clue about anything.

    He lives in fairy land, a land of make-believe where everything is all hunky dory and everyone sits up and takes notice of when USA speaks via its politicians.

    Obama cant even sort his own nations problems, let alone the middle east.

    He's like a UK business advisor who's NEVER run a business. POINTLESS.

    I think it is HILARIOUS when such people who cant even run and manage their own economys and national debts, and energy and water resources and sustainability, then are expert on how others should behave and run their lives.

    If ONLY Charlie Chaplain were alive, or Laurel and Hardy then the USA would have REAL presidential talent available!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Stop the Isrealis bulldozing Palestinian children in their homes might be a start. To never have created Isreal in 1948 would have been better, then 62 years of bloodshed and many wars might have been avoided.

  • Comment number 13.

    There cannot be any negotiation if you're holding a gun to the other guy's head. Israel is a nuclear power and can therefore behave just like the USA when it comes to choosing who to annihilate. I doubt there’s anything Obama can do about that, any more that Israel could tell him who or who not to make peace with.

  • Comment number 14.

    "4. At 5:12pm on 23 Sep 2010, th3_0r4cl3 wrote:

    I feel that the best place to start resolving any dispute is to ignore emotions and propaganda and stick to the facts.
    Israel is illegally occupying territory it has no legitimate claim for.
    What i mean by that is as an English man if i bought land in the united states it does not become part of England it remains American territory likewise with property purchased in Palestine by Israelis.
    The same amount of force should be used to force ISRAEL to comply with all UN Resolutions as was used against Iraq and Saddam Hussain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel

    A quick read of these it is easy to see who are the victims and who the aggressor is. "
    ----------------------------------
    No legitimate claim for?I guess someone needs to go learn some history.
    If some Chinese would imigrate to Kamchatka peninsula and then they would call themselves 'Kamchatkans" I wouldn't think it means that this area belongs to them.It belongs to Russia.Same is in Israel.

    And about the UN resolutions:There were also lots of laws were legalised in Nazi Germany against Jews.According to your logic it means the Jews are evil and dangerous.Do you understand why its flawed?The UN is biased. Just look what countries there are in UNHRC.

  • Comment number 15.

    Countries can help a lot, particularly those countries providing arms to the adversaries and that, Mr. Obama, includes the USA.

    The conflict would have been resolved long ago if countries like Syria and Iran kept their extreme Islamist ambitions out of the equation. The USA could have secretly made its military support for Israel conditional on Israel making significant concessions, like an all-time ban on settlement building.

    I am not optimistic. The USA has a vested interest in supporting Israel because of the Jewish and evangelist vote and because of the arms industry. Iran and Syria put religion and political control of the region above the needs of ordinary Palstinians, Jews and Lebanese, not to mention elsewhere the Iraqiis, Kurds, Afghans, Pakistanis and Kashmiris.

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    They can condemn israel for refusing to stop building settlements and threaten to discontinue arms and aid payments

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    US President Barack Obama has urged fellow world leaders to support Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. What can states do to help?


    They could all sit round a big campfire drinking cocoa and make humming noises-

    hhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm peace hhhhmmmmmmmm peace hhhhmmmmmmm peace.

    OR

    Most nations are religious to some extent, even Obama.

    Maybe they could all pray to their mystery supernatural god, and do a few hhhmmmmms at the same time. Every little helps!!!


    Maybe they could get together and state that if Israel and Palestinians dont behave and sort it out then they will recommend to god via prayer that the Israelis and palestinians get sent to gods punishment zone for naughty epole and non believers!!!

    Maybe, while round a campfire drinking cocoa and making humming noises, they also rubbed four leaf clovers and also had a little wishing well in the centre of the circle and threw in a few pennys/dimes etc and made a few wishes!!!


    Maybe, if the worlds nations leaders got together, Palestinian leader and Israeli leader in the middle, for each issue, they could play one potatoe two potatoe,

    or

    even rock-scissors-paper, paper-rock-scissors, paper-scissors-rock, fargling, cachi-pún, scissors-paper-rock/stone, quartz, parchment, shears, jan-ken-pon, janken kauwi-bauwi-bo, камень-ножницы-бумага and rochambeau!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    15. At 5:40pm on 23 Sep 2010, wind-blown wrote:
    Countries can help a lot, particularly those countries providing arms to the adversaries and that, Mr. Obama, includes the USA.

    ==========================================

    Not worth mentioning such a thing to Obama, got no legs in it!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Easy - Stop the US supporting Israel - send in UN troops to remove Israeli peoples (troops and civilians) illegally occupying the Occupied Territories. Stop Israelis from reoccupying said territories. THEN enforce the cease fire on BOTH sides.

    I am a Jew.

  • Comment number 22.

    There is only one requirement for peace in the middle east.
    Force Israel to abide by the agreements of Camp David.

    For almost 35 years they have lied, coerced, and threatened, all in their continuing efforts to renege on the agreements of CD.

    The Palestinians aren't the "good" guys either, but the whole mess would be nil if they accepted Israel as a nation and that could happen if Israel would accept that the settlements are illegal and pull out.

    Bottom line; The world is too crowded, there will be continual war, famine, and ethnic cleansing until governments educate and advocate voluntary birth control.

    If you disagree with that statement, then you are part of the problem.

    You can cull the population by war or you can limit the population by education and birth control.

    Which is more "humane"?

  • Comment number 23.

    th3_0r4cl3 the reason that Palestinians where force to live in ghetto west bank and gaza with limited access to outside is that they have nasty habit of wearing bombs and setting them off public places. killing innocent civilians.

    the Palestinian need realize this is there last chance to make peace. they mess this up they might as well condemn them self to life as it is for another 100 years. Since the Israelis will not give them another chance for another 30 years. Since they are sick giving Palestinians
    chances which end up with new violence.

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe the CIA should plant mini nano tec speakers on the backs of flys and send them into the bedrooms of Israeli leader & Palestinian leader and then play an updated version of Scrouge.

    I am the ghost of history past, I am the ghost of present, I am the ghost of future yet to be.

    You'll know when it works because the leaders might start running around saying such things like, "I'm an orange, a nice orange, please do not peel me, I will be your friend I will be good, please do not peal me"!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    There is only one state that can help the peace process, America. Sure the US would like us to believe that this is a stale mate between two equally guilty countries and that the US is a neutral player.

    But this couldn't be further from the truth. Okay yes Hamas have done terrible things too but only as a reaction to what the people of that region find themselves in. It is a totally unjust situation.

    If this was a country the US didn't care about and genuinely looked at the situation honestly they would impose sanctions upon israel.

    This situation is aparthied just like in south africa. The entire notion of a two state solution is a none starter and is unjust.

    A one state solution is the only way for peace to happen. Meaning ALL 'palestinians' in the west bank and gaza should be given full israelie citizenship and voting rights. The israelie government should then be immediatley dissolved and a new election held.

    A new government made up of muslims and jews would create peace in a modern multi cultural society just like every other civilised country in the world.

  • Comment number 26.

    When Israel was created the UN mandate was the blue print for that and I believe the US should go according to the UN resolutions regarding the Palestinian borders. if Mr. Obama wants support then he should put the issue on the international level not the US level and especially when we all know the support the US is been giving the Israeli side because of the Israeli lobby in the USA.

  • Comment number 27.

    In my opinion, people should stop bashing Israel and actually think about why they deserve the land. They've been persecuted by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Russians, Germans, Spanish, Turks and many others across several thousand years. It was perfectly legitimate giving them the land in 1948 after all that persecution. Then extreme Islamic fundamentalists throw their toys out of the pram and attack them. What do the Israelis do? They fight back as they should. Israels actions are both legitimate and sound. They should not be stopped by petty international regulations that limit the liberty of nation states.

  • Comment number 28.

    Give every Israeli politician a map of the ME.
    Ask him/her to draw the borders of Israel on the map.

    Then give every man, woman, child in Israel a map of the ME.
    Ask him/her to draw the borders of Israel on the map.

    I bet you every one will come out different.

    This is the crux of the problem. When every Israeli cannot even agree to it's own borders, what peace are we talking about? And you want to negotiate with the Palestinians and Arabs, with the US as the mediator?

    How long more is the rest of the world going to be fooled?

  • Comment number 29.

    What the peace process needs is a modified DeLorean car, as in back to the future.

    Reverse the polarity, then do its thingy, then all outside the car goes back in time and differences/probs etc get sorted out over a cup of date wine.

    Havent quite worked out how to get back to future bit, but thats incidental to sorting out the probs. Maybe, to get back to the future it could be achieved much more slowly, like one day at a time!!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Lock both partys leaders in a room and just play them Gary Glitter records over and over again until they come to agreement.

    Simples, even a meerkat on angel dust & cocaine cocktail could create a solution.

  • Comment number 31.

    23. At 5:55pm on 23 Sep 2010, beezusquimby wrote:

    th3_0r4cl3 the reason that Palestinians where force to live in ghetto west bank and gaza with limited access to outside is that they have nasty habit of wearing bombs and setting them off public places. killing innocent civilians.
    7
    ___________

    Israel has no moral high ground when it comes to murdering innocent civillians. How many civillian casualties in cast lead recently?

  • Comment number 32.

    Easy! Threaten Israel with cutting off the gravy train of government and private aid that they've had for over 60 years now. Cut military purchasing, technology and intelligence ties. Start voting in the UN with the civilized world, against Israeli atrocities. The change will happen overnight. Only then will the Israelis negotiate in good faith.

  • Comment number 33.

    Israel should get out of Palestine right after Turkey gets out of Byzantium. If Israel would get out of Palestine, then the Shiites and Sunnis could get back to killing each other. With luck Muslims might even invade Europe again. Mid-East peace is an oxymoron.

  • Comment number 34.

    Other countries can do a lot but they won't.

    The USA could pressurise Israel into withdrawing to its 1948 borders but they won't.
    Arab States could accept and formally recognise Israel as a sovereign state within its 1948 border but they won't.
    Israel wants the West Bank to the River Jordan as part of a Greater Israel so they will be very clever at deflecting all peace options so it is blamed on the Arabs so they won't make the necessary compromises needed for peace.
    Some Palestinians may accept Israel within its 1948 borders but some will demand compensation for the property they lost in 1948 and others just want Israel destroyed so they will have problems getting everyone to agree on a compromise peaceful solution..

    As for Israel blaming Arab terrorists for causing all the trouble, they should remember what the local Jews go up to in the 20 years leading up to 1948. Israel was formed by the most successful terrorist organisations of all time and the atrocities that they got up to should not be forgotten - certainly the local Arabs have not forgotten.

  • Comment number 35.

    America should be partitioned and half of it given to the Israelies so that they can relocate from Palestine. If the Israelis want to established colonies in the half of America which is not Israel, they should be allowed to do so. If any Americans oppose this idea the American government should give the Israelis diplomatic and financial support, not to mention any weapons they may need to blow up the Americans who are not happy with this arrangement.

    That would be justice for the Palestinians and the Americans.

  • Comment number 36.

    Ironic or is that "funny" that the leader of the nation which is Israel's great protector and vetoes action against Israel at every opportunity in the UN chooses to portray the US as impartial and an enabler in the peace process.

    The question should be what can America, Britain and the defender's of the Israeli state do.

    They should condemn and sanction Israel as forcefully as they would any nation which has engaged in the activities that Israel has: killing innocent civilians in their thousands, blockading and starving the people of Gaza, destroying the infrastructure of Gaza and Beirut, allowing Jewish settlers to steal Palestinian houses and land, carrying out assasinations in other countries. Just to mention a few and some of the most recent.

    Israel needs to know that it has to be accountable for it's actions and that action will be taken against it. They believe that they are untouchable and it is the Western governments, chiefly the US and Britain who allow them to believe this.

    Until this changes no rational person can believe that the "peace process" is in anyone's interests except the Israeli's and that the intention is to ensure that this recreated entity, created by the terrorism which the US and Britain tell us they hate so much, survives.

    The "peace process" was never intended to be in the interests of the Palestinians.

  • Comment number 37.

    What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?

    The argument is essentially over land and ownership of the land and whats upon it, why not just create some more.

    Maybe Dubai could donate a few engineers and make a few islands, build 2 new Jerusalems off the coast, 1 for the palestinians and one for the Israelis, then they could both also share the original one and live happily ever after!!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    27. At 6:01pm on 23 Sep 2010, Meerkat_14 wrote:

    In my opinion, people should stop bashing Israel and actually think about why they deserve the land. They've been persecuted by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Russians, Germans, Spanish, Turks and many others across several thousand years. It was perfectly legitimate giving them the land in 1948 after all that persecution. Then extreme Islamic fundamentalists throw their toys out of the pram and attack them. What do the Israelis do? They fight back as they should. Israels actions are both legitimate and sound. They should not be stopped by petty international regulations that limit the liberty of nation states.

    ___________________

    If it was down to islamic fundementalism then why has peace never been achieved in the past? Why wasnt peace achieved with the PLO?

  • Comment number 39.

    Stop right out of the way !!its a powder keg about to blow ; King Canute Obama is living in cuckoo land pretending he is interested ahead of the elections

  • Comment number 40.

    The Holy Land...strange name for a place that has so much blood splashed about.
    Israel says that God gave it to them....but they cannot show the receipt for this supernatural act.
    No doubt the Palestinians can invoke a similar 'valid' reason why the Jews should be kicked out.
    And then we have America saying that they will 'always' back Israel....some unbiased 'mediator'
    And then we have Britain....who initiated this whole murderous half century by giving away someone else's country ......as they did when they handed Czechoslovakia to Hitler a few years before.
    And during all this time thousands of innocent children,women and men,on both sides, have been murdered, maimed and driven insane by the insanity of politicians who very rarely pay the price for the results of their decisions.
    I think it would be appropriate to use a Roman method of sorting this out...by leveling the whole area!

  • Comment number 41.

    Unfortunately you have the likes of Iran, Turkey, Syria and their proxies that will be doing everything they can to scupper peace.

    Already we've seen an increase in terrorist acts against Israel as soon as peace talks were announced.

  • Comment number 42.

    14. At 5:36pm on 23 Sep 2010, Nesher wrote

    "The UN is biased. Just look what countries there are in UNHRC"

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

    Heard this one before. The UN is biased against Israel when it breaks human rights legislation and international law

  • Comment number 43.

    One of the first things that can be done is to dismantle (again) the UN human rights council which is controlled by the Islamic bloc and their allies. This council spends every working moment focussing on Israel and new resolutions/statements against the state.

    The Islamists have hijacked a UN institution for the second time (the first was disbanded for the reason I stated) and use it in their war against Israel.

    Israel can't be expected to achieve any peace whilst simultaneously being physically attacked by Islamic states and terrorist groups, as well as being diplomatically attacked through the UN by the same entity.

  • Comment number 44.

    In all seriousness, the negativity is even in the title of this comment subject.

    What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?

    Nations are factually morally and ethically IRRELEVENT. Whats more important, PEOPLE or nations.

    People can more easily live together, it is nationhood itself which is the ESSENTIAL problem/issue.

    The MAIN problem with humanity is its insistance of BIAS/DISCRIMINATION via nationhood to the detriment and exclusion of other humans from such an entity.

    In Northern Ireland, Protestants and Catholics marched together for PEACE.

    Peace will not come to Israel and Palestinians just by nations leaders chitting and chatting or with other nations leaders poking their noses in.

    When the people of Israel and Palestinians can march together for peace, as one, then peace will be a realistic prospect.

    Until such an event in which the majority of the people have such a wish and show/demonstrate it, I do not think peace in this area has a chance of succeeding to any serious degree of finality/conclusion.

    The hard part, is that even as in N. Ireland, peace is very precarious due to a TINY number of those who are just so ignorant and stupid and who will continue violence due essentially to their bias ignorance and basically CRIMINAL mentality.

    Such people, should ultimately be turned on by both sides, and either persuaded or forced to change, or for the peace of millions of people, I would even suggest crushing that minority into oblivion, for what they stand for is a direct threat to all and creates yet continuus victims on both the senior sides.

    Such minoritys should not be allowed to exist to continually attempt to destroy.

    Is it morally/ethically justified in allowing such a minority of people to destroy the peace of millions, or is it morally/ethically justified in containing and even destroying such an entity!

    At the end of the day.

    WHAT price is WORTH paying for peace!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    The problem will sort itself as the Israelis will eventually become a miniority in their own country.

  • Comment number 46.

    peter petros wrote:

    When Israel was created the UN mandate was the blue print for that and I believe the US should go according to the UN resolutions regarding the Palestinian borders. if Mr. Obama wants support then he should put the issue on the international level not the US level and especially when we all know the support the US is been giving the Israeli side because of the Israeli lobby in the USA.


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


    I think you're forgetting that Jews agreed to the partition (78% of land going to 'Palestinians') and also agreed with making Jerusalem an international city.

    It's the Arabs that wanted ALL the land and wouldn't let Jews have ANY percentage. Hence they went to war. A war which they were humiliated in by Kibbutznicks and farmers.

  • Comment number 47.

    For all countries OTHER than the US:
    1. No inflammatory speeches
    2. No arms supplies to either side
    3. Take a position on the FACTS and be prepared to criticise (but not condemn or denounce) either side, where evidence clearly shows wrongdoing
    4. Give public praise or support to either side when it's warranted
    5. Publicly support sensible even-handed peace initiatives by either side
    6. Vote in the UN for things that will improve the chances for peace and not play international politics
    7. If you have close relations with either side encourage peace, not local deals.

    For the US:
    1. Remember this quarrel's been going on for several thousand years, and you probably won't devise the solution. But if you can:-
    2.Show the rest of the world that you're prepared to put considerations of US internal politics and party funding aside,
    3.take a demonstrably neutral position, with peace as your ONLY objective,
    4. Show you can abide by points 1to7 above, if other counries will,
    Then you might just get trusted internationally to act as a significant leader in a UN-backed solution
    -------------------------------
    Some Hope!

  • Comment number 48.

    I would do the European and the Arab thing - blame everything on the mad Zionists and the infamous Jewish lobby. I don't expect to hear anything different on this forum.

  • Comment number 49.

    What can states do to help the mid-east peace process ?
    Perhaps a very good start would be an honest appraisal of Islam & it's major prophet (whom its followers should emulate) as somehow being being a "Religion of Peace" !

  • Comment number 50.

    49. At 6:56pm on 23 Sep 2010, zebbs wrote:

    What can states do to help the mid-east peace process ?
    Perhaps a very good start would be an honest appraisal of Islam & it's major prophet (whom its followers should emulate) as somehow being being a "Religion of Peace" !


    _)__________7

    The problem between israel and palestine is over land and rights not religion

  • Comment number 51.

    Dont do anything, I would use the same legal argument that israel used to attack convoy ships to stop arms shipments to Israel though.

  • Comment number 52.

    Maybe the best thing nations could do is to back off. It seems to me that broad international interference merely inflames things.

    If a mediator is necessary maybe Israel and Palestine can find some mutually agreeable country or ogranisation to do it rather than having 'international peace negotiations' more or less forced on them. Certainly the involvement of countries like the US and the UK seems to be counterproductive.

    In the end though it's down to individuals at all levels in Israel and Palestine to simply decide to lay down their weapons and stop the 2000 year habit of killing one another, although I suspect that's unlikely to happen any time soon. Maybe in another 2000 years they'll finally see the futility of it eh?

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    Obama is such a hypocrite when it comes to Israel/Palestine. All he has to do is cut the funds. Well over 3 billion dollars of American tax in foreign aid goes to prop up Israel, more than goes to all of sub-Saharan Africa combined. Not only are pro-Israel lobbyists sucking the U.S. economy dry, Israel has the gall to charge interest on any money they don't immediately need.

  • Comment number 55.

    10. At 5:25pm on 23 Sep 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:

    Obama calls a ME peace confrence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority without the inclusion of Hamas, after a quick Photo Opportunity he sends them back home and tells them, now go make peace.
    It is all so Laughable and Pathetic.
    As if Obama is blind to the increasing menecing positions of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran all obviously arming and rearming and preparing to make to make war on Israel.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yup - what we need is the diplomacy and tact demonstrated by the likes of Bush Cheney and Rumsfeld - man what a dream team......

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    Obama wants to release spy Jonathan Pollard to Isreal in exchange for 3 months of a building moratorium. Why can't Israel get busy building factories, solar companies etc. that can mutually benefit both nations. Try working together for two years then re-evaluate if both can co-exist together. This issue is tearing the world apart.

  • Comment number 58.

    50. At 7:26pm on 23 Sep 2010, Matt wrote:

    49. At 6:56pm on 23 Sep 2010, zebbs wrote:

    What can states do to help the mid-east peace process ?
    Perhaps a very good start would be an honest appraisal of Islam & it's major prophet (whom its followers should emulate) as somehow being being a "Religion of Peace".


    The problem between israel and palestine is over land and rights not religion.

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

    I think that many on the Palestinian side would disagree and state that it is "very much about religion". Hamas, for example has very strong Islamist roots (which continue to this day).

    Perhaps the "honest appraisal" of Islam could include the Qur'an and its exhortations to "kill infidels and Jews wherever they are found".

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    Middle East peace could have been possible, if the UN from the very beginning of the recognition of Israel as a state, in 1948, had declared the former Turkish province of Palestine, to be an unarmed zone.
    Peace could return to the area, by placing sanctions on all countries which provide weapons to Israelis or Palestinians.
    Those providing weapons to either side, endanger not only the Middle East, but also the rest of the world. The provocation by Israel, remind elderly persons of the Polish provocative actions towards Nazi Germany during the 1930s. The result of those are still all too obvious!

  • Comment number 61.

    1. At 5:04pm on 23 Sep 2010, adelaide wrote:
    "Obama needs to rest his voice for a bit!! I am sick of hearing him pontificate about the behaviour of other countries. The Palestinians and Israeli's should be left to sort out their own problems. When America is perfect then maybe they can start to criticise others."
    Whether you like it or not, the fact is that both the Palestinians and Israelis have always relied on the US to be the only honest broker and organizer of peace talks. If not us, who? Hamas? Iran? Anti-Semitic Europe?

  • Comment number 62.

    25. At 5:56pm on 23 Sep 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    But this couldn't be further from the truth. Okay yes Hamas have done terrible things too but only as a reaction to what the people of that region find themselves in. It is a totally unjust situation.
    ..........................

    A new government made up of muslims and jews would create peace in a modern multi cultural society just like every other civilised country in the world.

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

    Would those "reactions" by Hamas possibly be in response to the usual, oft-quoted and nebulous "waging war on Islam and Muslims" excuses?. These, of course, are used to "justify" all manner of "violence".

    In the Muslim/Jewish government, in whose interests would the Muslims act? The nations as a whole or just their co-religionists? If they tried the former, they could be accused of "not being Muslim enough" and hence "no better than infidels". They could then even suffer the collective wrath of the "Religion of Peace".

  • Comment number 63.

    America has proven to be powerless in this.

    I am however heartened by the fact that Israelis are coming out to condemn the actions of the Israeli government. Even soldiers are openly defying their commanders when they are tasked and deployed in Palestine, as can be seen on You tube.

    I believe that change will come from within. At the end of the day, regardless of what religion you believe in, humanity will triumph over religion and ideology. Every atrocity committed by the Israeli government in the guise of security will become more transparent and in the end, Israelis who believe in humanity will stand up and say, "no more, not in my name."

  • Comment number 64.

    Countries in that region can quit supporting terrorism, and stop supplying cash and weapons to the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah for a start. Instead they should share some risk in investing in business for those areas. The reality is the powers that be don't want a state of Palestine, as then future attacks on Israel would be acts of war by another nation, hard to defend against in the UN, instead of so-called isolated terrorist acts by a few. By keeping the Palestinians as pawns in an anti-Israeli facade of caring about them, they can be used as an excuse. Push for a west-bank state, ignoring Gaza for now, and then let the people there see what is possible without Hamas; maybe they will wise up some themselves.

  • Comment number 65.

    Comment one has just about said it alL, A lot of the problem is caused by America.. Perhaps without their one sided interference things might have improved over the fifty year that they have been interfering..

    Advice, to our government keep out of other peoples problems, you can not solve it...
    Mote.. and eye.. come to mind.

  • Comment number 66.


    Oh Dear. It is a few weeks since the BBC last opened its doors to the torrent of anti-Jewish vitriol. Well, here is one response.

    Find some space in Jordan or somewhere and let the Palestinians have a state there. Send all the anti Israel, anti American contributors, who will flood this site with their prejudices, to help with the creation of a new Islamic state. Back Israel, making it clear that the west will not tolerate terrorist attacks on them. Make it clear that if Iran, Pakistan or any Moslem state threatens the world then the US and its allies will retaliate heavily. What is Trident for? If we are going to impose sanctions on Iran, make them work, board the ships, if they carry illegal weapons, sink them. No more pussyfooting around with fanatics who hide behind religion for their political objectives. Tell the Saudis what to do with their oil and tell Obama to open up offshore drilling and Alaskan drilling before he resigns. Become independent of Middle East dictatorships and their blackmail over oil. And for the first time in years let the free world truly represent freedom, starting with our own countries, the USA and UK. No more censorship, open up discussions so that even my so-called crazy ideas can have an airing. Start this by recognizing that the BBC belongs to the licence payers and allow us to speak freely on this site. Big changes are needed.

  • Comment number 67.

    66. At 9:11pm on 23 Sep 2010, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    Oh Dear. It is a few weeks since the BBC last opened its doors to the torrent of anti-Jewish vitriol. Well, here is one response.



    Why is it that those who defend Israel, without fail, resort to bringing religion into the debate? The neutral and those who support the rights of the Palestinians to self-governance in their own land use the terms "Palestinian" and "Israeli", not "Muslims" and "Jews".

    It says far more about someone when they use religion as their defence,( when religion has nothing to do with the matter at hand), than the person who debates the actual issue.

    It is interesting to note that the Bush administration sought to demonise all Muslims by using the term "Islamofascist". Using religion to put your "point" across seems to be a peculiarly right-wing thing to do.

  • Comment number 68.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 69.

    Israel likes money and Palestinians need money. Why can't that fact be turned into a money making corporation? Solar panels on every home, business traffic light, irrrigation pump and building in the Middle East. When people, mostly men are busy making money they're not killing each other.

  • Comment number 70.

    "What can nations do to support Mid-East peace?"

    the US of A could (should!!) stop its $3bn+ annual contributions to Israel.

    the EU member states could boycott Israeli produce/trade on humanitarian grounds.

    Israel should accept that a single state, called Palestine and somewhat akin to the situation prior to 1917, presents the only workable solution to this disgraceful stand-off.

    (and all of us, as individuals, should make sure that our shopping basket reflects our ethical/moral position, ie no Israeli goods until the situation is resolved)

  • Comment number 71.

    Can't stand Obama. But I liked the speech. It's about time an American President says to the world, "right, the rest of you lot step up to the plate and do something, anything but carp and whinge about what the U.S. does." The silence will be deafening of course and we can get back to to important stuff like how rotten and useless the USA was in World War Two or something. The UN is just like HYS only it costs more.

  • Comment number 72.

    Barack Obama orders killings of innocent Afghani and Pakistani villagers on a daily basis. He doesn't need to talk about peace. His ultimate weapon, the armed drone, should be banned by international agreement.

  • Comment number 73.

    21. At 5:52pm on 23 Sep 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    Easy - Stop the US supporting Israel - send in UN troops to remove Israeli peoples (troops and civilians) illegally occupying the Occupied Territories.
    ==============================
    You talk about occupied territories, just how many thousands of square kilometers have changed hands in Europe since the beginning of the 20th Century as a result wars. If you need a geography lesson I'll be willing to give you one.
    Yet you don't complain about these occupied territories!
    The occupied territories you are so hung up on were occupied after wars with Jordan and Egypt, not with the Palestinians who now claim them.
    They should put their demands to the countries that lost them these territories not the Israelis.
    Also remember one other matter. On 29th November 1947 the UN General Assembly voted to establish an Arab State in part of Palestine, it wasn't Israel which didn't accept this resolution, but every single one of the Arab States. They could have had an independent Palestinian State from May 1948.

  • Comment number 74.

    57. At 8:05pm on 23 Sep 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:
    Obama wants to release spy Jonathan Pollard to Isreal in exchange for 3 months of a building moratorium. Why can't Israel get busy building factories, solar companies etc. that can mutually benefit both nations. Try working together for two years then re-evaluate if both can co-exist together. This issue is tearing the world apart.

    =================================================
    The truth is that there plenty of industrial zones built by Israel in the West Bank, where until not too long ago many thousands of Palestinian workers were engaged. They weren't working together for two years, but for twenty.
    It wasn't Israel which told these workers to boycott these zones, but the Palestinian Authority.

  • Comment number 75.

    63. At 8:41pm on 23 Sep 2010, Jeff Phua wrote:
    I am however heartened by the fact that Israelis are coming out to condemn the actions of the Israeli government.
    =========================================
    Have you seen what happens to Palestinians who try to come out to condemn the actions of the Palestinian Authoity, or worse still of the Hamas junta in Gaza?

  • Comment number 76.

    Not a lot


    Not when Muslims still think 9/11 was a conspiracy or an inside job, Until the Muslim world accept that 9/11 was caused by hijackers, mostly of Saudi national trained in Afghanistan by Osama bin laden then this will never be solved. Why don’t they want to see the truth? It is because it would give the USA good reason to invaded Afghanistan? So how dare they invaded a Muslim country so any reason wouldn't be good enough so it had to be a conspiracy.


    It's like saying the Israelis never attacked Gaza in 2008 that was just an Islamic media conspiracy so they can pick on the Jew. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 77.

    67. At 9:27pm on 23 Sep 2010, Brian M wrote:
    66. At 9:11pm on 23 Sep 2010, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    Oh Dear. It is a few weeks since the BBC last opened its doors to the torrent of anti-Jewish vitriol. Well, here is one response.



    Why is it that those who defend Israel, without fail, resort to bringing religion into the debate? The neutral and those who support the rights of the Palestinians to self-governance in their own land use the terms "Palestinian" and "Israeli", not "Muslims" and "Jews".

    It says far more about someone when they use religion as their defence,( when religion has nothing to do with the matter at hand), than the person who debates the actual issue.

    It is interesting to note that the Bush administration sought to demonise all Muslims by using the term "Islamofascist". Using religion to put your "point" across seems to be a peculiarly right-wing thing to do.

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

    Dear Brian,
    I am quite happy to talk about Israel and Palestine and pretend that the latter are not motivated by religious doctrines, if that suits your politically correct mind. In which case the people of Palestine who simply want a secular state, governance of their own lands, with no objectives based on religious teachings, should be told that they will suffer heavy retaliation if they spread terror to justify their purely secular objectives. Call them what you want, a terrorist is a terrorist, and those who danced in the streets two weeks ago after Israeli settlers were murdered, might not have any religious beliefs. Nice idea to take religion out of the Middle East, I guess you must be a Lib Dem supporter.

  • Comment number 78.

    If the 30+ Arab and Moslem States want to assist in bringing about peace in the Middle East, there is no simpler way than coming out and announcing that they recognise the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, establish diplomatic relations and immediately send ambassadors.
    This will prove to the whole world, not just to Israel, that the terrorist groups of Hamas and Hizballah are on the sideline, and also that they abhore the diabolical anti-Israel attacks by the war-mongers in Iran.

  • Comment number 79.

    66. At 9:11pm on 23 Sep 2010, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    Oh Dear. It is a few weeks since the BBC last opened its doors to the torrent of anti-Jewish vitriol

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    I would have you note that not many people have said anything about "jews" but refer to the Israeli state this is not anti-semetic and can never be construed this way for a simple fact, not all Israelis are Jews the peoples of Israel are a diverse bunch, Jewish Christian Muslim and even some Buddhists.

    Because we have a position based on reason and logic and the rule of law it appears the only bastion of refuge your able to argue is that we are "anti Jew" this is nonsense and as transparent as 0.00000001 mm clear glass.

  • Comment number 80.

    There is a lot of scepticism and lack of trust on both sides, and it seems that there is a complete lack of understanding as to the importance of certain issues to the other side. Netanyahu should understand the sensitivity of the issue of the "settlements" issue to the Palestinians and offer to extend the voluntary freeze on a number of conditions - the most important of which is that Abbas has to announce that the purpose of the negotiations is to end up with two states for two peoples, one each - if he cannot do that then the Palestinian desire for peace will be exposed for all time as a sham and Netanyahu can then proceed to make decisions to end the occupation of the Palestinian people as he sees fit and on the assumption that there is an enemy state on the other side of the border.

  • Comment number 81.

    73. At 9:52pm on 23 Sep 2010, ralphinrishon wrote:
    "You talk about occupied territories, just how many thousands of square kilometers have changed hands in Europe since the beginning of the 20th Century as a result wars. If you need a geography lesson I'll be willing to give you one."

    Precisely. Considering that it was only 60 odd years ago that Europe was quite happy to occupy a quarter of the earth's surface with its empires. And quite content to ethnically cleanse middle Europe of ancient German minority populations after WW2. Palestine? What of East Prussia then? Or Silesia? Given it was Europe that created, on its own, the very need for a Jewish Homeland, the idea of it being a sage honest broker in any of this or dare criticise others is beyond the pale.

  • Comment number 82.

    We need people of woodwill to fix this mess. For so long USA help and sided towards one side with no results, on the contrary continuos aggresion and injustice prevailing. Obama can be sincere , but it is so difficult to make understand (specially to the stronger party ) that peace in that part of the world will have enormous positive impact to the whole world! and of course to themselves. Egotism , stupidity, manipulating fear, monopolizing God . Hope in a near future stop this nonsense , and peace will bring harmony and happiness to this part of the world

  • Comment number 83.

    Isn't it a well known fact that given the chance everybody would elect for world peace?
    If that is the case then leave Obama alone, he is only trying to promote what we have been wanting for years.
    As for letting the palastinians and israelies sort it out for themselves then that is a waste of breath as that has been the case for years. Sometimes if the uneducated cannot sort it out for themselves the educated need to (and should through a sence of duty) step in and bang their heads together.
    However, if people decide to , through a belief or faith, starve themselves of food and water, upsetting the body's metabolism, then assume it is perfectly rational to kick off with anybody that looks at them the wrong way, we have to accept that the cultural differences between our societies are so vast that regardless of what input we have, financially or otherwise we are wasting our time.
    Tighten up the immigration laws and leave them to murder each other, while we live in a state of denial.

  • Comment number 84.

    you can take a horse to water........these two opposites just can't see the trees for the wood. Their religiousness is the major obstacle. Nothing is going to happen until this crazy adherence to who's god is best goes outta window and those idiot politicians get the idea that it's people's lives that matter most. I mean the ira, unionists and uk saw sense in the end. Killing doesn't work.We all know that.It's so stupid.Remember politicians are not brave ,clever or useful - so result will be more death.. the only chance is for the people on both sides to just give it up and start enjoying each other's company. oh, there's a lot of money at stake, so peolple will be repressed further..

  • Comment number 85.

    a face to face serious and rational meeting or dialouge between both sides are needed and each side must put their demands on the table before each other, i.e. the first party: what do you want?. the second party: what do you want?. and discuss together with open minds what can be achieved and both must reach to a compromise and stop fighting since violence can reach no where except more casualtis on each side. and whereever there is violence there will be no development or progress. towards this approach all nations can help the middle east conflict.

  • Comment number 86.

    One vital component for long term peace is that all nations and communities involved need to implement effective - if sensitive and compassionate - policies to reduce their population (as, on this small planet, should we all). The main issue in the area, quite above religious, racial or political differences is overcrowding. The more space people have, the less tension.

  • Comment number 87.

    Ralph Inrishon,
    Money is a universal language. As long as both sides are profiting equitably and the factories shared co-ownership and responsibilities I don't see why this can't be achieved. Start with producing solar panels and get them installed on every Gazan and Israeli rooftop then spread into Egypt and all over the Middle East. Use the Palestinian's portion for road construction, schools and infrastructure projects. For any business savvy Israeli this would be a no brainer. They need Israeli expertise and money to get the ball rolling. Once built they won't want things destroyed by war.

  • Comment number 88.

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

  • Comment number 89.

    There will never be world peace. There may be for a short while, but then humans will get bored and pull out their guns again. Why even bother, just let China conquer us all with their monster army so we at least have one world government.

  • Comment number 90.

    America can never represent the interest of both Jews and Arabs/ Muslims. And since sunni Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia and Eqypt are effectively puppets of the US then the only country who can realistically represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people is Iran. Like it or not, that's the reality. Appealing to the rest of the world is just a waste of time because the rest of the world is largely subservient to the US.

  • Comment number 91.

    Mr Trainee Anarchist, do get your facts right. Britain did not give away someone elses country- they might have pinched it in the first placed but it was the Americans who were approached for the international acceptance of Israel. Mr Balfour was dead against it, but ever since our Mr Churchill won the war- you may have noticed that America took over. As for what can be done to support the issue, well for one thing can we stop the shooting, can America please tell Israel that if they don't comply they will pull the plug, allow Yasser to be buried where he wanted to be- it won't anyone. Tell them to knock down that wall, its a typically communist ploy.And as for Hammas- stop blowing up kibbutzes and weddings. You know they don't like it and it spoils their fun.

  • Comment number 92.

    Stay out of the way and don't interfere.

  • Comment number 93.

    Islamic countries that fund the Palestenians whether humanitarian or other wise, will have to make demands of concessions from the Hamas and factions. The last forty to fifty years of negotiations, promises, treaties etc have led to no where, there is distrust against the peace makers and problem makers. Muslims will have to make peace with Israel, they will have to respect the rights of the Jews to live in Israel, they will have to respect the lives and properties of the Jewish state. Palestenians deserve to live in dignity, out of fear, out of poverty, able to conduct business that is safe and profitable to all the neighbors. America can only suggest, withhold money, promise to support causes that are dear to the Palestenians at international bodies, they cannot supply peace to the Palestenians as long as they are spurting vile and hatred against their neighbors. There are enough domestic problems in America which will over shadow any Middle-east peace initiatives, soon people will loose interest reading about the violent nature of the warring factions. "Love Thy Country, Love thy Neighbors, Love others like you want to be loved, be happy, helpful and give your hand willingly towards peace and peaceful gestures".

  • Comment number 94.

    4. At 5:12pm on 23 Sep 2010, th3_0r4cl3 wrote:

    I feel that the best place to start resolving any dispute is to ignore emotions and propaganda and stick to the facts.
    Israel is illegally occupying territory it has no legitimate claim for.

    ----------------------
    Ok lets stick to the facts - there was never a country called Palestine - as there was never a country called Pakistan until the UN legally declared these 2 terrorities countries in 1947. Millions moved out of Pakistan & India as thousands moved out of the terrority known as Palestine.

    In 1937 a local Arab leader reported to the Peel Commision,'There is no such land as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented.'

    In 1946, Arab historian Philip Hitti stated to the Anglo-American committee of inquiry, 'There is no such thing as Palestine in history- absolutely not!'

    To the UN Security Council on May 31, 1956, Ahmed Shukairy stated, 'It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.' He helped found the PLO in 1964!

  • Comment number 95.

    At 8:34pm on 23 Sep 2010, MilwaukeeRay wrote:
    Whether you like it or not, the fact is that both the Palestinians and Israelis have always relied on the US to be the only honest broker and organizer of peace talks. If not us, who? Hamas? Iran? Anti-Semitic Europe?
    ----------------------------
    If you believe that you'll believe anything
    To call your country's most steadfast allies 'Anti Semitic Europe'and likened to Hamas and Iran could be taken as an unforgivable insult, were it not that one understands Milwaukee is a long way from anywhere important, and therefore that news of the continent that gave birth to your great nation travels slowly.

  • Comment number 96.

    Where is the UN's Ban Key Moon and why do we keep electing UN Secretary Generals who are pathetically weak and timid. We need a UN leader willing to "crack some heads" so to speak and make something happen in this God forsaken region.

  • Comment number 97.

    88. At 11:15pm on 23 Sep 2010, Ariely wrote:

    """"The peace talks with Israel are part of Arab strategy to isolate Israel and threaten its legitimacy.""
    (Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah last week in Lebanon)""

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

    Take note of this declaration by Al Qaeda’s no 2, Ayman al Zawahri. On Al-Jazeera TV, Mr al Zawahri declared that Al Qaeda now considers “all the world a battlefield open in front of us”, the fighting between Israel & Hezbollah & the Palestinian militants will not end with “ceasefires or agreements”. “It is a Jihad for the sake of God and will last until our religion prevails

    How on earth does anyone feel optimistic about peace between Israel & the Arab countries when statements like these are made & who will have the courage to oppose them?

  • Comment number 98.

    Ever since the Philistines (now called Palestinians) invaded Canon from pre-Hellenistic Greece via Egypt, they have been making problems. President Obama should insist that they be deported to their ancient homelands in Greece and Crete, and allow the Jews to live quiet lives of contemplation and bliss in Israel. Alternatively: talk hasn't worked with the Israelis and Palestinians for sixty years. Only serious threats from the U.S. could work today...As Vishnu said: "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

  • Comment number 99.

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

  • Comment number 100.

    It could be said that if third parties help set up a state for others (especially under terrorist duress) on territory almost exclusively dwelt on by people of a different culture and religion at the inhabitants expense it will be unsustainable without external support (and still is). That is the problem for Israel. The first requirement should be that the UN and Israel should accept Israel has no genuine legitimacy. Once done the situation on the ground should hold, and one secular state created that is Palestine covering the whole of the region. Genuine reparartion and restitution should be made to Palestinian arabs who had land taken and ALL immigration and settlement by Jewish people from around the world should cease. This should expose those on either side that want to just to persist in confrontation out of hatred for each other.
    The biggest problem then to overcome is the root of the whole issue anyway. Israel wants a homeland for Jews because once they lost their land, history and many other nations and peoples, gave them a very hard time. This is also where it gets very sticky for the other ME states too. Few modern countries are as intolerant of other religions within their borders as the Islamic feudal countries such as Saudi Arabia, for example. It is perfectly sane to expect that no state should be set up in the modern era (Post WW2) that operates on racial or religious preference. But it is difficult for Israel to be condemned on those grounds (which it should) when those around them are as repressive, unprogressive, intolerant and undemocratic as are many of the arab states in the region.

 

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