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What now for Mid-East peace?

10:54 UK time, Monday, 27 September 2010

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says there will be no quick decision on whether to continue talks with Israel. Can the peace talks survive?

President Abbas said he would respond to Israel's lifting the ban on building in West Bank settlements after next week's meeting of Arab leaders in Cairo.

On Sunday, he had warned talks renewed earlier this month would be a "waste of time" unless the ban continued.

The 10-month moratorium came to an end at midnight (2200 GMT on Sunday). As the moratorium expired, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinians to continue seeking a "historic" deal.

What do you make of the position taken by President Abbas? What would you ask leaders to do to keep peace talks going? Is it still worth pushing for a "historic" peace deal? Are you in the region? If so, what are your thoughts on future progress?

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

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Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    'Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the Palestinians to continue peace talks despite an end to Israel's ban on West Bank settlement-building.'

    Presumably, so they'll be distracted and won't notice all the settlements going up on the same land they are supposed to be negotiating over...

  • Comment number 2.

    "Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the Palestinians to continue peace talks despite an end to Israel's ban on West Bank settlement-building."

    the level of cynicism evident in Mr Netanyahu's request says it all. sick.

  • Comment number 3.

    How predictable. How long are we supposed to be fooled by all of this pantomime? Do the sponsers of the talks actually expect them to continue after building starts?
    Just wait a few days and there will be a report of a Palestinian attack thwarted by Israel. Happens every single time.

  • Comment number 4.

    What you will do when someone evacuate you from your home in US or UK and construct his home after destroying your? Strange double standard of western media and leaders!
    There is impossible peaceful solution if you accept the right of israel self defense but not accepting the right of Palestinian to live at their land. I agree hamas should not be supported but what israel did before hamas was in power. As long as western countries support israel, there will no progress n the talks.

  • Comment number 5.

    There is no hope for Middle East peace until the Israeli government are told to obey international law or face the consequences.

  • Comment number 6.

    Am I the only one that doesn't really understand this story?

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Seems like a real missed opportunity by Israel to show it is willing to take a courageous next step in the peace talks. I appreciate that the issues are complicated, but how can the Israelis expect concessions from the other side when it adopts this sort of a stance? The suicide bombings and missiles launched into Israel have largely stopped, there is no compelling need to build in the West Bank, and the only way peace will ever be achieved is through concessions on both sides.

    Why is Mr. Netanyahu so afraid to take a step forward that could lead to a truly historic outcome?

  • Comment number 9.

    The problem in getting a deal between Israel and the PA is not the 95% who would be happy with a peace deal that would stop the bombing/rockets attacks etc etc etc
    But the 5% who would cheerfully kill their own leaders for daring to sign a peace treaty with the 'enemy'

  • Comment number 10.

    The BBC is asking us again if these or those "peace" talks will succeed, what the prospects are, what the talks would lead to etc. Such quesions seem like a diversion from the real problem. I wish the BBC could find questions which would get the readers to dig deeper into their intellect and soul to answer questions like: what new elements, political, military, economical or demographic, are needed to get out of the two decades long stalemate? Excluding violence, what can/should the Palestinians do to get out of this descending swirl that hit them many decades ago? Why is the world so forgiving of all the harm being done to the Palestinians? What responsibility do the Palestinians carry in that?
    Richard

  • Comment number 11.

    The Israeli settlers will build more houses on disputed land.
    The Palestinians will protest by throwing stones at the settlers.
    The Israeli's will then shoot the Palestinians "in self defence".
    Palestinians will then fire rockets into Israel.
    Israeli Army will then send in helicopter gun ships & fighter/bombers to destroy the rocket bases.
    Palestinian civilians will get killed in the cross fire.
    Everyone will denounce the violence but nothing will change.
    American mid-term elections will give rise to a new round of "Peace Negotiations" that will achieve nothing --> Back to top...

  • Comment number 12.

    6. At 11:47am on 27 Sep 2010, MunichBob wrote:
    Am I the only one that doesn't really understand this story?

    ----

    Its quite simple.

    Israeli sttlers (who, to complicate things, barely accept the authority of their own government) are building settlements on land, which under the proposed 2 state solution would undeniably be part of the new Palestinian nation.

    Benjamin Netanyahu apparently doesn't see why this presents a problem for the Palestinian negotiators vis a vis negotiations about aforementioned 2 state solution.

  • Comment number 13.

    If Israel laid down its arms, the Palestinians and their Arab allies would wipe Israel off the face off the earth!
    If the Palestinians and their Arab allies laid down their arms, then there would be peace!
    Palestine has never existed as an independant country, so by what right are they demanding the creation of a Palestinian state?

  • Comment number 14.

    Netanyahu's lot (and his coalition partners in spades) believe in the notion of "Greater Israel" i.e., that Israel should occupy "Biblical Israel". Google this to find out just how scary this notion is in modern times.

    If I were the Palestinians, I would be taking everything this guy says with a very large pinch of salt.

  • Comment number 15.

    7. At 11:56am on 27 Sep 2010, Dustin83v wrote:
    NATO uses srmed drones and helicopters in Pakistan with no formal agreement with Islamabad. Rebels will shoot down aircraft after aircraft for violating territory. The Americans only understand casualty lists.


    haha what? couldnt be further from the truth there! they will throw as many people for aslong as it takes at it in a war you expect casualties so long as the enemy lose's more then there happy and the enemy will always lose more i mean there was 50+ enemy killed this weekend how many weekends have 50+ nato forces died. eventually there will be to few taliban left simples! i just hope we dont pull out to early and regret it.

    anyhow i dont even get what ur comment has to do with this thread really??
    as for the middle east i say just let them all have a war it is there life after all we can just sit back and watch after that they will all be to weak to cause problems

  • Comment number 16.

    i've always been reasonably sympathetic towards Israel but I'm rapidly losing patience with them. this isnt their land to build on and if the Israeli PM cant manage something as simple as this, then there really is no hope of peace in the region.

  • Comment number 17.

    Where is United Nations in all of this?

    Otherwise, the outcome seems predictable.

  • Comment number 18.

    "What would you ask leaders to do keep peace talks going" is part of the HYS post script and more relevant than the main HYS question?

    Well, ALL these 'leaders' involved in peace talks know exactly what's going on, 365 days of the year, and could have met up much sooner to avoid the usual 'brinkmanship' and 'goading' that is reported by mischevious media right now, and at every other opportunity for that matter?

    The situation, from the outside of any conflict, appears impossible or too easy to resolve. For those ordinary people living within an international 'hot spot', it's always complex trying to live, work, trade and get on with neighbours on a basic day-to-day basis. But, that's what these ordinary people are doing and always will, under extreme difficulties they have not caused, or feel powerless to change?

    The 'leaders' involved in these 'current' peace talks, like others before them, have decades of a history of manipulation, by all sides, to deal with.

    It takes truly brave and determined leaders to ALL turn their backs on a minority of provocative extremists in their own respective camps; who are fighting like tom cats in a bag for their OWN egotistical ends.

  • Comment number 19.

    The West Bank does not belong to Israel.

    The UN, USA (yes, the USA!), EU etc. all consider it to be a Palestinian territory under occupation by Israel.

    The Geneva Convention prohibits "transfers of the population of an occupying power to occupied territories".

    It's high time Israel abided by UN resolutions and by the Geneva convention, but every time the result is the same. They stick two fingers up to the world under the pretext of national security. Then they wonder why nobody likes them.

  • Comment number 20.

    Frankly at this point the USA and Europeans should TELL Israel to stop messing around and keep the freeze on settlements. It really is not conceivable that they can keep on building on land they are really negotiating to hand over. They are either really going to discuss things or they are providing a front to make it look good. Call their bluff!
    I have much sympathy for the Israelis, but this sort of behaviour is NOT going to bring peace.

  • Comment number 21.

    The problem in the middle East has a resonating, reverberating effect, and finding a solution should be in the interests of everybody. Sadly, neither side seems willing to seriously find a solution, to achieve peace. The Israeli government has allowed building work to continue, in spite of its being contentious and likely to earn a reaction. The Palestinians are incensed and angered by this, which is understandable. This vicious circle is going to continue for as long as politicians are involved. I think people need to unite and topple the staid, turgid war-mongerers and live in peace, side by side, like they did until the British government took it upon itself to start dishing out land like smarties. Most people want to lead peaceful, uneventful lives. Residents of the middle East are mature enough to handle ethnic/religious diversity. A secular, multi racial state is the way forward. The Israeli Jews must realise that they aren't the only people on God's earth.

  • Comment number 22.

    Who cares! if the land ends up owned by Palestinians, Israel will withdraw as it did in Gaza leaving behind built properties for them. If it ends up in Israel then whats the problem.
    Abbas is just posturing and it would be a shame if he didn't push past this and announce statehood

  • Comment number 23.

    69zappa wrote
    "If Israel laid down its arms, the Palestinians and their Arab allies would wipe Israel off the face off the earth!"

    Quite probably, but we are NOT TALKING ABOUT LAYING DOWN ARMS, we ARE talking about not building more houses on certain areas of land, no more and no less.

    "If the Palestinians and their Arab allies laid down their arms, then there would be peace!"

    That depends on your definition of peace - this is the same for everyone, if we hadn't maintained armed force, and the determination to use it the second world war would not have cost any lives, yet we would now be speaking German all over Europe.

    "Palestine has never existed as an independant country, so by what right are they demanding the creation of a Palestinian state?"

    Israel didn't exist until we created it riding roughshod over the people that lived there before. Defacto this is an invasion. Now we can justify that, we can come to an accomodation if both sides are willing. Israel was NOT new land created out of the ether, it was someone elses land before we decided to change the ownership.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'v often heard this argument by Israeli apologists: "Israel will negotiate when Palestinian violence ends."

    This argument does not take into account the original sin, that is the occupation itself. The resistance is a natural outcome.

    Stop the occupation and expansion of the settlement now.

  • Comment number 25.

    Once again the Americans find themselves in the situation of paying the Israelis bucket loads of money in order to be made to look like fools. Obama must know that no national leader can accept foreign colonies on their land. The Israelis can get away with these war crimes only by relying on American support. So America is a sponsor of war criminals and thanks to AIPAC's grip on US policy there is nothing that Obama can do about it. No good will come to America because of this and the Americans will once again bleat about how they do not understand why Muslims hate them.

    The resumption of the colonistation of the Fatah ruled West Bank must demolish any credibility that may have remained for Fatah and Abbas. There are no Israeli colonies left in Hamas controlled Gaza. Hamas delivers for the Palestinians in a way that is completely beyond the capabilities of the Fatah quislings. This has to be great news for Hamas.

  • Comment number 26.

    There will never be a comprehensive Middle East Peace treaty, because the Arabs and Iranians aren't even sure what they want .... apart from the dissolution of Israel.

    Whatever deal is on the table will be rejected (like Arafat did), unless they get 100% of their demands met, and even then they will continue to lob bombs over the borders as splinter groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah refuse to accept any deals......

  • Comment number 27.

    A nation in this world ignores all international laws. A nation in this world does not care about popular opinion. A nation in this world persecutes based on religion and race. A nation in this world destroys homes and its military summarily kill with no retribution. A nation in this world has promised citizenship to anyone of a particular religion, and no others, even those born in the country have any rights to land. It is against the law for one man from another race to sleep with a woman of this faith, as it is classed as rape. The world stands by weak and embarrassed about what happened 70 years ago and until that even becomes abstract, these crimes will persist.

  • Comment number 28.

    Israel has no intention for peace. Whenever there appears to be potential progress in peace talks, or whenever peace talks are taken seriously by the Palestinians, Israel always does something to derail the talks and now its becoming more blatant than ever before.

    And the irony is that Israel will turn around and blame the Palestinians if they refuse to talk and convince the world that its not their fault. Nothing is ever the fault of the Israelis....

    The world is finally seeing the real Israel and people are not liking it...

  • Comment number 29.

    69zappa wrote
    "If Israel laid down its arms, the Palestinians and their Arab allies would wipe Israel off the face off the earth!" as is probably a brain washed American of the Jewish whose parents sent him to Tel Aviv on holidays to see his aunts and uncles (who are also American) and thinks by divine right he has land and money and citizenship in a land where people born there and are Arab or Christian have no rights. You are dealing with ancient hatred, but one side now has all the US and Russian money and power to lobby.

    The Arab nations would not destroy Israel if they were disarmed, and their nuclear powers taken away. There would just be fairness for the first time in the Middle East since the unfair theft of a country.

  • Comment number 30.

    There will be no peace until:

    - Palestinians return to all their lands and homes stolen from them by
    violent ethnic cleansing by the Haganah, Irgun, Palmach, the Israel
    Occupation Force and the Zionist settlers on the West Bank since the
    beginning of the Nakba in 1948

    - Israel de-Zionises by removing all racist, apartheid and racially
    discriminating laws and practises thereby becoming a secular, multi-
    ethnic, multi-religious state for both dispossessed Palestinians
    current resident Israelis.

    - These peace talks are useless because the US regime is too biased and
    too weak to have any significant leverage over the Zionist regime
    running Israel.

    - The Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which
    could exercise significant leverage (e.g. by pulling out of the US
    dominated UN en bloc)are also too weak and, as always, easily divided.
    They seem to care not about the fate of the Palestinians; their fellow
    Arab and Muslim brethren.

    - There will be no peace until the power balance is significantly changed
    in order to give the Palestinians much more leverage vis a vis
    US/Israel.

    - China and Russia should use their power of veto much more in favour of
    the Palestinians. Their lack of mettle in this regard is pathetic.

    - I agree with President Ahmedinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly
    last week that the organisation and power structure of the UN should
    significantly changed to represent more the ordinary people in the
    world. e.g. The Security Council should have its wings clipped
    severely and the whole UN focussed much more the General Assembly. (By
    the way, the BBC's reporting of Ahmedinejad's speech was biased and
    dismal and concentrated on the walk out by US, EU and UK over
    uncomfortable, yet alternative possibilities re 911)

  • Comment number 31.

    It is clear that Israel is not serious about these talks, and until the US speaks in words of one syllable to Israel they will not stop the settlements and will not pursue a serious peace settle. Obama is the key and NOW is the time for him to step up to the plate!

  • Comment number 32.

    What's the point to negotiate with PM BN, who has ZERO authority in his own country? One can't built peace with every and each Israeli individually...

  • Comment number 33.

    I've long been a supporter of Israel's right to exist. But, Israel you must get off other people's land. If not then every building on the West Bank must revert- without damage - to Palestine when they also get their right to exist in their land - hopefully soon. Israel could easily show Hamas in Gaza what peaceful negotiation gets you - your homeland back in your control & peace for your people. Come on Israel - now's the chance to make life so much better for everyone.

  • Comment number 34.

    Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the Palestinians to continue peace talks despite an end to Israel's ban on West Bank settlement-building. Can the peace talks survive?

    Let's just imagine for one moment that the boot was on the other foot. Just imagine if the Palestinians had moved into Israel and were building houses on the outskirts of Tel Aviv with a total disregard to the views or opinions of the Israelis. The Palestinian leaders then urge the Israelis to continue with peace talks whilst their land is being built on. How long would it be before the Palestinians were forcibly 'removed' (assuming of course that they could outrun tanks and armoured personnel carriers).

    If there has been a 10 month freeze and Netanyahu was actually serious about seeking a peaceful solution he could, at the stroke of a pen continue this freeze until either there was a successful conclusion to the talks or the talks broke down.
    I don't claim to know the answer to the problem but I'm pretty sure that what is currently happening will not produce it.

  • Comment number 35.

    The israelie occupation upon palestinian land in the form of settlements is illegal under international law.

    Therfore until the US officially sanctions israel to force it to abide by international law there will be no peace.

    Israel is a rogue facist state hell bent on a ethnically pure nation. Its really quite disturbing how much israel has in common with a certain country around in the 1940's ....

  • Comment number 36.

    I think the Israel people have been through some terrible times (WW2). Why do they dish out the same to the Palestinians?
    There can only be a joint Palestinian/Jewish state. They must live side by side.
    Israel will continue to stall for time whilst they build more homes. I believe they will continue to do this forever. The appearance of Iran as a regional power may be the deciding factor and may force their hand in the end.

  • Comment number 37.

    'Rex Kisam wrote: I'v often heard this argument by Israeli apologists: "Israel will negotiate when Palestinian violence ends."

    This argument does not take into account the original sin, that is the occupation itself. The resistance is a natural outcome. Stop the occupation and expansion of the settlement now.'

    Do you mean, no state of Israel i.e. The pre-1948 borders, or the 1948 borders, or the 1967 borders, or even the 1973 borders (Yom Kippur).... which 'occupation' are you referring to?

    Usually when you lose wars you don't dictate the settlement terms ... but Arab apologists seem to think that what the Arabs couldn't achieve by naked aggression they should be given by a 'peace' process ... strange.

  • Comment number 38.

    The diplomatic game has completely failed to give recognition to the real perennial issues of land, water, and food. It is inevitable that if one neighbour state takes the best, the other will seek to take it back, and failing that will blight the crops, trying to take back the means to life. That day is surely coming, and Palestine will more than wish the plagues upon Israel, if the world community fails to assist Palestine, inclusive of Gaza, to self sustenance as the minimum level requisite for any possibility of any real peace for the future. There is the starting point, and there is where the geography lessons and diplomacy have both failed to find any truth, endangering the entire future, to confrontation of Biblical proportions. If the world wants its apocalypse, it could achieve that, by failing in Palestine.

  • Comment number 39.

    Mr Netanyahu has repeatedly bragged about his part in castrating the Oslo Agreement. Will he be bragging about the number of arabs that die in Palestinian ghettos?

  • Comment number 40.

    "23. At 12:27pm on 27 Sep 2010, anotherfakename wrote:

    Quite probably, but we are NOT TALKING ABOUT LAYING DOWN ARMS, we ARE talking about not building more houses on certain areas of land, no more and no less."

    We are talking about laying down arms. This is the whole point. Israel backs them into a corner because they cannot be trusted. If they quit the war they waged (as the others did) the fighting would stop and proper boundries established.

    When you lose a war you dont get to dictate what land is yours. As the arabs proved when they forced the jews out in the first place.

    "That depends on your definition of peace - this is the same for everyone, if we hadn't maintained armed force, and the determination to use it the second world war would not have cost any lives, yet we would now be speaking German all over Europe."

    Would the gemans still be fighting us and the rest of us having to enclose them because of terrorist attacks? No. The germans surrendered and there hasnt been war between us since.

    "Israel didn't exist until we created it riding roughshod over the people that lived there before. Defacto this is an invasion. Now we can justify that, we can come to an accomodation if both sides are willing. Israel was NOT new land created out of the ether, it was someone elses land before we decided to change the ownership."

    And so in the first place when the jews were kicked out it was the arabs running roughshod over them. Now israel is a state and is legit. Since the other arabs accept it so should the palestinians.

  • Comment number 41.

    Trust Israel not to follow through on good faith and put building Settlements on hold.

    I used to blame the Palastinains for the troubles but recently I see Israel as the bully, actively tyring to destroy the palestian nation. Most recently with the aid convoys attacked in international waters.

    Israel doesnt seem to want peace.

    The US, and UN need to tell Israel to abide by international law.


  • Comment number 42.

    There has been no concession from the "Palestinians". They still do not want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and still talk about the return of the so-called "Palestinian" refugees. Not to speak about Gilat Shalit...

    Until and unless they change their mind, I would say build on Bibi.

  • Comment number 43.

    29. At 12:45pm on 27 Sep 2010, Darren Smith wrote:

    The Arab nations would not destroy Israel if they were disarmed, and their nuclear powers taken away. There would just be fairness for the first time in the Middle East since the unfair theft of a country.

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

    Maybe they should not shout that they would destroy israel then. And stop terrorism. Just surrender and join the world again.

  • Comment number 44.

    Just level the whole area and erect a few shopping malls and toss in a McDonald's or two. There, peace has been achieved.

  • Comment number 45.

    "12. At 12:13pm on 27 Sep 2010, Nok wrote:

    6. At 11:47am on 27 Sep 2010, MunichBob wrote:
    Am I the only one that doesn't really understand this story?

    ----

    Its quite simple.

    Israeli sttlers (who, to complicate things, barely accept the authority of their own government) are building settlements on land, which under the proposed 2 state solution would undeniably be part of the new Palestinian nation.

    Benjamin Netanyahu apparently doesn't see why this presents a problem for the Palestinian negotiators vis a vis negotiations about aforementioned 2 state solution."
    -------------------------------------

    Well,the Palestinians are spreading anti-Semitic propaganda and thats against the people whom they are supposed to live side by side in peace.

    Israel must stop building in the settlements and the Palestinians must stop spreading their propaganda.Otherwise,any effort made to do peac by foreign powers(US,EU etc) will do nothing.

  • Comment number 46.

    37. At 12:54pm on 27 Sep 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:

    Do you mean, no state of Israel i.e. The pre-1948 borders, or the 1948 borders, or the 1967 borders, or even the 1973 borders (Yom Kippur).... which 'occupation' are you referring to?

    Usually when you lose wars you don't dictate the settlement terms ... but Arab apologists seem to think that what the Arabs couldn't achieve by naked aggression they should be given by a 'peace' process ... strange.

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

    The palestinians didnt lose. They still fight and refuse to surrender. Somehow israel has restrained themselves not to bomb the entire population away but then they accept that civilians exist (as meat shields) around the terrorists.

    They should be treated as at war until the palestinians surrender. Would we have settled for less against germany?

  • Comment number 47.

    Netanyahu is effectively asking the Palestinians to divide up a cake while the Israelis are still eating it.

  • Comment number 48.

    Seem like Israel is firmly rejecting any notion of peace other than on their terms and with continued occupation and settlement! What a complete joke - as I predicted a few weeks ago when these 'peace talks' were hailed as an historic event!

    Are the Israeli government gripped with some kind of insanity? They keep saying they want peace, and want to talk even as they build on Palestinian occupied land and basically stick their collective tongue out at the Palestinian negotiators - What's to negotiate under such a reality? its ridiculous.

    Israel must constitute one of the most stupid ideas ever dreamed up - what is the matter with people? Can they not see that Palestine is Palestine and no people have a right to build on another peoples land (especially when you evict them in order to steal the land of their ancestors) - its just wrong.

  • Comment number 49.

    post 7 - Dustin83v - ref 'NATO' drones in Pakistan

    though off topic i will reply

    the drones are highly effective in targeting terrorists

    the Talebs etc CANNOT shoot them down - hell, they cannot even see them!

    as to agreements with the Pakistan Govt - you don't know what secret agreements are in place - next you will tell us your CIA - LOL!!

  • Comment number 50.

    It needs more than a freeze to the building of these settlements to ensure peace in this region. It needs a total withdrawal of Israel to its 1948 borders and it needs all Arabs in the region to accept Israel within that border.

    Modern Israel had to happen post WW2 as a home for the survivors of the Nazi murders. The survivors got their new homeland although it took several wars with surrounding States who claimed this land as their own (with very good reasons) plus a horrendous terrorist campaign, supported by the USA, by some exceptionally nasty individuals against the local Arabs, the British and the UN for it to happen.

    However, expansion of Israel to the River Jordan has always been on the political agenda of the Zionists since the days of the Stern Gang and nothing has changed. Jews are no longer an oppressed minority needing a secure homeland to survive so why is that those settlers on the West Bank seem to talk with an American accent and one of the biggest property developers on this land speak with an Australian accent?

    Those settlers on the West Bank are breaking International Law and it is shameful that the West does not do more to force a total Israeli evacuation of this land and force all surrounding Arab states and Palestinians to accept Israel.

    Unfortunatley, although President Obama has the right idea and seems to understand the complexities in this region, the Zionist Lobby that has far too much power in Washington will be too powerful even for USA presidents.

    It is no wonder Arabs do not trust the West.

  • Comment number 51.

    as others have said - the minute Israel removes its nukes it will be attacked by hostile nations

    only a fool takes a knife to a gun fight!

    and its amazing that the usual Palestinian 'lobby' complain about the US supplying Israel with arms but keep silent about Iran supplying Hamas etc?

    typical dual standards

  • Comment number 52.

    I expect this HYS to descend to the usual hate fest and finger ppointing. However to try and address the question itself and how things can possibly move forward....
    Both sides have difficult people on their own side to deal with. I do not think resuming building is helpful yet the building moratorium has been in place for a year and no obvious progress has been seen on the surface (what happens behind closed doors may be something else).
    If it could be demonstrated that real progress has been made and a deal is possible then Netanyahu can reconfigure his coaltion to include the centre left parties and shut out the nationalist, religious and right wing parties. To do this he needs a concession from the Arabs and Palestinians or a positive statement which would make extending the freeze easier to 'sell'. I'm afraid this is ME politics, expect a lot of horse trading, I'm sure both Abbas and Netanyahu are aware of this.

  • Comment number 53.

    Israel's no compromise on their illegal and immoral settlements is a major roadblock to any progress.

  • Comment number 54.

    Netanyahu has not done the right thing. He knows it, we all know it. Because of domestic political expediency, he has taken the petty, cowardly and ultimately murderous decision to allow further settlement building. If he had any credibility left, it's gone now. What a crying shame, for Palestine and for Israel.

  • Comment number 55.

    Typical Israel.

    It will be very interesting to see whether Obama has the guts to tell them that if they don't extend their building embargo sine die, then he will withdraw all US support for their regime.

    I hope he sincerely does, because Israel is nowhere near being in the right here. As anyone who's ever looked at a map of the region made prior to 1948 will know.

  • Comment number 56.

    Israel will continue it's march toward a "Greater Israel" because they can. My own hypocritical US government "pressures" the Israelis to stop building the illegal settlements while the money train keeps rolling in. Why don't we just be honest and let AIPAC replace our State Department?

  • Comment number 57.

    I expect the same illegal activities by Israel, and the same support for them by the US.I feel for the innocent people on both sides of the border.They all don't hate each other.Governments divide and conquer.Been like that forever and no end in sight from my observations.

  • Comment number 58.

    Forget all previous agreements or contracts and cut a new deal on land and everything else. A deal based on realistic appraisal of what is there on the ground.

    Then implement it together backed by the full weight of the world. Use that unity and weight to crush the opposition you will receive from various organisations and states that are incapable of valuing peace over their bigotry.

    First step- cut the deal. You have to be at the table to do that.

  • Comment number 59.

    I would hope that world leaders come to their senses and abandon any notions of peace between two factions whose hatred of each other is so ingrained that no amount of negotiations will heal the divide.

    The best scenario would be for the world's press, always desperate for a story to bore us all to death, to leave the Middle East altogether and let it sort itself out away from the spotlight.

    There is nothing these people like to do more than ranting in front of the cameras for attention. Without media coverage, they might just grow up and learn to live in peace for a change.

  • Comment number 60.

    The conflict shows that Jerusalem is built in the right place.
    It shows the world that peace can only be reached if there is a real will to obtain it.
    It becomes an invitation to show how to sidestep the labyrinth of reasons not to obtain that peace

  • Comment number 61.

    Then you wonder why Hamas won the election democratically and why they launch harmless rockets. I have said this before, I will say it again. The only solution is to ARM Palestinians. Let Israel have a taste of there own crude violence. They will be at the peace table as if there is no tomorrow.

  • Comment number 62.

    A good start would be if President Obama stopped listening to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and witheld all of the ~$7bn annual donation to the Israeli Government until it complied with at least some of the 100+ UN resolutions concerning Israel, starting with the one about building Jewish Settlments on Palestinian land. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel

    What is the point of Peace talks, when Israel so blatantly does something so contrary to any genuine intention of Peace?

    The US has been attempting to make peace for decades, but simultaneously turns a blind eye to the serious misdemeanours of Israel.

    I do not take these latest efforts for Peace seriously by either the US or Israel. If Israel wanted Peace it wouldn’t have chased out the Palestinians from there own land in the first place. If the US wanted Peace, it would withhold its $7bn.

  • Comment number 63.

    The hypocrisy of the USA and ourselves in claiming that most of the actions of their foreign policy are aimed at fairness, democracy, peace and freedom is truly breathtaking.....
    Until the west is willing to use military force against the present occupiers of the land of Palestine, in order to enforce UN resolutions (like they were all too eager to do with Iraq... remember?), there will be no solution. I'm not holding my breath....

  • Comment number 64.

    The identity of Israel is defined by its conflict with the Arabs. Without a common enemy they would fight each other to extinction. Therefore Israel has no real intention of solving this problem.

    Also the unconditional support provided by US does not help either. There is no incentive for peace.

  • Comment number 65.

    46. At 1:17pm on 27 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    37. At 12:54pm on 27 Sep 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:

    Do you mean, no state of Israel i.e. The pre-1948 borders, or the 1948 borders, or the 1967 borders, or even the 1973 borders (Yom Kippur).... which 'occupation' are you referring to?

    Usually when you lose wars you don't dictate the settlement terms ... but Arab apologists seem to think that what the Arabs couldn't achieve by naked aggression they should be given by a 'peace' process ... strange.

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

    The palestinians didnt lose. They still fight and refuse to surrender. Somehow israel has restrained themselves not to bomb the entire population away but then they accept that civilians exist (as meat shields) around the terrorists.

    They should be treated as at war until the palestinians surrender. Would we have settled for less against germany?
    ---------------------

    This comment is simply hilarious. Firstly I dont know how the BBC moderators have printed this because it has no relevance to the debate but equally you should print my response.

    People talk as though the Palestinians are the occupiers and draw parallels with Nazi Germany. hahahah.. I cant contain my laughter.

    Saddam invaded Kuwait in the first Gulf War and claimed that it was the rightful terroritory of Iraq. We all saw what happened to him. The Jewish people under the banner of Zionism, aided by the Americans and British, invaded the land of the palestinians (I dont remember the palestinians inviting them to take over their land) claiming it was their rightful terroritory from Biblical times and yet this seems perfectly fine.

    And when the Palestinians resist occupation to an invading force as is their right under UN law they are called terrorists?

    Amazing how the "pro-semetic" propaganda has completely warped people's thinking...

    The world RESISTED Nazi Germany occupation. The Jewish people violently resisted Nazi Germany occupation and persecution so why do you object to Palestinian resistance?? Why should the Palestinians surrender?



  • Comment number 66.

    Stand by my post #18 on 27 Sept.

    Furthermore, watched a BBC news report last night of Israelis demonstrating and taunting with 'significant' concrete lumps in an orchastrated event while peace talks are in progress?

    Curiously, at this same event, the only interviews broadcasted by the BBC were from a few Jewish New Yorkers saying this land was available and should be occupied by Jewish buyers?

    I assume then, that if you sell your home in New York you can absolutely afford to leave the rat race and buy land for a new life - but it's not like buying a new life and land in the Algarve, or the Bahamas, or Greece or anywhere else in the world, is it?

    Making this an 'event' perhaps funded by land/property agents should be looked at and investigated by ALL media on both sides in collaboration with each other and find somehting in common to expose those who have their own agenda and not one of peace.

    What are BBC doing? This is in extreme contrast to the usual Jeremy Bowan single minded reports on Palestine views? Ah, yes, as write, I get it - just too subtle for simple me, caught out by my own complaint and happy to post?

  • Comment number 67.

    regarding settlements - Israel is building houses not bombing people!

    if the Palestinians could agree they will find that israel will build them houses as well - better than the hovels they build for themselves with underground munitions factories

    i ask those with civil engineering experience why a Palestinian house has to be built of reinforced concrete?

    answer - its a firing position/weapons store

    throughout the middle east traditional construction has stood the test of time without concrete or steel reinforcement - so why the change?

  • Comment number 68.

    Israelis actions are a little like offering someone a chair, then pulling it away as they go to sit down! Palestinians just fell on the floor and Israel are laughing at them! Its all very silly and childish!

  • Comment number 69.

    • At 11:47am on 27 Sep 2010, MunichBob wrote:
    Am I the only one that doesn't really understand this story?
    ============
    Good point Bob. I will have a go, but beware, some people don’t like the story being told. To get a feel for what I mean, look up GIYUS on the internet.

    Israel has been playing this game for over 60 years. Let us try and set the context.

    As recently as 1948 Israel did not exist at all, and the land known as Israel was 100% Palestine and the predominant population were Palestinian Arab.

    Then, after WW2 and the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews understandably fled Europe. Despite many Countries offering refuge, and many went to the USA and the UK, for some, the Zionists, they wished to go to what they considered to be their spiritual homeland.

    The Balfour declaration of 1916, is often misinterpreted to mean the British gave the go ahead for modern Israel. This is not true. The declaration is as follows:
    "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
    The statement is clear, ‘nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." In fact much has been done that prejudices the non-Jewish communities of Palestine. That is why we have a problem! It would also be a wrong to assume that all Jews support Israel. They don’t. Try the internet. Many are concerned that Israel’s actions may prejudice opinion against Jews across the world.

    The founders of Israel were terrorists. The State came about through terrorism and acts of brutal force using weapons supplied by US funding that the Palestinians did not have. The most well know incident was the massacre at Deir Yassin in April 1948. Over 100 Palestinian civilians were killed. This attack was perpetrated by the zionist terrorist organisations Irgun, and Lehi, and Hagganah played a part. This incident did what it was supposed to do, and struck so much terror into the Palestinian population, that most of them fled, (so far yet to return), mostly to the West Bank of Jordan. Most Israeli Prime Ministers up until the 1990’s were members of these Zionist terrorist organisations. The British Government labelled them as terrorists organisations. In fact the first modern act of terrorism was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, carried out by Irgun, and organised by an Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.

    David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister was clear that he wanted Israel to be a majority Jewish State. This is why contrary to the Balfour declaration, the Palestinians were effectively ethnically cleansed from the land. A sad situation given what the Nazi’s did to the Jews.

    I could go on. In 1967 there was the 6 day war. Israel’s justification was that the Arab’s posed a threat. Israel wiped out the entire Egyptian Air Force on the ground. In just 6 days, Israel took control of Sovereign territory from 3 of its neighbours; Sinai from Egypt, The West Bank & Jerusalem from Jordan, and The Golan Heights from Syria. Some achievement when these 3 States had been a threat!

    Israel has since made incursions into Lebanon, and of course currently is the siege of Gaza.

    Israel has repeatedly used disproportionate force. The attack on Gaza in 2009 left about 1300 Palestinians dead, for about 13 Israeli’s, 9 of whom were killed by their own guns in friendly-fire incidents.

    There are well in excess of 100 UN resolutions concerning Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel This is a number unequalled by any other modern democracy. They include a ‘right to return’ for the Palestinians which has been ignored for over 60 years. It also includes a ban on building on Palestinian land in Jerusalem, something Israel does to this day.

    The USA donates ~$7bn p/a to Israel. Nobody is Israel is poor or starving. This money isn’t needed for any normal humanitarian purpose.

    There were elections in Gaza and they voted for Hamas. Israel doesn’t like Hamas because it is a terrorist organisation. So were Irgun, Lehi and Hagganah, and the USA happily dealt with them.

    I have made a small attempt to explain that there is a lot more to this issue than we ever see in the news. I think there is an assumption that everyone knows. Bob didn’t, and I doubt he is alone!

    If the USA was really serious about Peace, why doesn’t it start by with-holding some or all of the $7bn annual donation, until at least some of the long list of UN Resolutions are complied with?

    Do I think these Peace talks are genuine? No. Israel just continues to play for time, and is so militarily powerful, it can eliminate any threat at the push of a button. The USA is the glove puppet to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has so much money, power and influence, that no American President or Politician has the nerve to stand up to it in any meaningful way.

    There is almost no chance of peace.

  • Comment number 70.

    Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic ?

    For three decades, the writer and journalist Gideon Levy has been a lone voice, telling his readers the truth about what goes on in the Occupied Territories.

    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/is-gideon-levy-the-most-hated-man-in-israel-or-just-the-most-heroic-2087909.html

  • Comment number 71.

    Bash their heads together.

  • Comment number 72.

    B'Tselem
    The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

    http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

  • Comment number 73.

    *NOW TIME HAS COME TO USE FORCE AGAINST ISRAEL .WORLD SHOULD FORCE ISRAEL TO VACATE OCCUPIED TERRITORY ,WITHOUT ANY NEGOTIATION FURTHER .

    *UN SHOULD DERECOGNISE ISRAEL

    * WORLD SHOULD BOYCOTT ISRAELI PRODUCTS.


  • Comment number 74.

    When Mr Netanyahoo says he wants peace, he really means that he wants to wipe what's left of Palastine off the map. All he speaks is empty words.

  • Comment number 75.

    "Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the Palestinians to continue peace talks despite an end to Israel's ban on West Bank settlement-building. Can the peace talks survive?"

    Not a chance and now is the time for the
    UN/Coalition to teach Israeli Zionists how to be democratic and just the same as they did with Iraq. Iraq behaved in a very similar was to the way Israel is now behaving . So the following actions are need against Israel as they were against Saddam Hussein:-

    1. Create world led sanctions against Israel.

    2. If sanctions don’t work, a UN/Coalition invade and take over Gaza and the West Bank to restore freedom. Just as they did after Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein

    3. if Israel continues to occupy Arab lands in Israel and illegally hold WMD just as Saddam Hussein is supposed to have done then Invade Israel to restore order and fairness for the Palestinians adIsraelis . At the same time remove WMD’s which are illegally held and produced by this fast developing Rogue State

    It is not in Israel’s interest to resist a settlement they can play around with the UN and Western governments, to continue to murder and steal what they want through armed force.
    The UN must act now, forget appeasement and give the Palestinians justice. Peasce settlements just aint goin to work.
    A purpose of the UN is to prevent further world wars and give protect small countries from invasion so prevent them and allow small countries to be safe.

  • Comment number 76.

    Addendum: a lot of posters mention Irananian Government's hatred of Israel, and other countries too? Yes, most people, globally, are fed-up with the spoiled children that are the leaders of both sides of Israel and Palestine.

    Questions: I hope can be answered:

    1) Is this because of Iranian Government hatred of Israel?
    2) Is this because of Iranian Government hatred of America?
    3) Is this because of Iranian Government hatred of support of Israel by America?
    4) Is Iranian Government actually representative of her people?
    5) Is Iranian Government actually interested in peace while provided with nuclear power capability/expertise by it's ex-colonial master - France who have maintained strong commerical links?

    Business is business in Iran; just like any other country - so, rising to the bait of provocation of a mere 'front of house man' during a UN tirade is never the answer.

    When any so-called leader, existing by fear and suppression of his people causing distress for ordinary people on the ground is recognised by those people?

    In many countries polictics are used by religion and religion used by politicians - that's not news for anyone of a broad education - indeed brainwashing via government/religious education has taken many forms
    throughout human history?

  • Comment number 77.

    61 - Old Chap - you certainly are!

    Iran etc have armed the palstinians for years - just a shame from your point of view that its the usual ex-soviet junk!

    if 'you' push israel too far you will get a bucket of instant sunshine!

    and syria/iran will be a glass topped car park for the next twenty thousand years!

  • Comment number 78.

    What now for Mid-East peace?
    One state.
    Israel has put herself in this position. It is the end to a two state solution.
    Benjamin Netanyahu is urging the Palestinians to continue peace talks while Israel conmtinues settlement building.
    The peace talks are a hopeless, time-buying methodology for creating facts on the ground. It is the Palestinians who never had a "partner in peace".
    Netanyahu must be absolutely sure of American backing that he dare ask Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to continue seeking a "historic" deal. Historic for what - being the man who completely sold out the possibility for a Palestinian State?
    Bulldozers, settlements - these are the "answers" of the Israelis. The The Palestinian People never had a "partner in peace".
    Mr Abbas had already warned that peace talks would be a "waste of time" unless the freeze was extended; so, Mr. Abbas get on with your Arab consultations. There is no one to talk to in either Israel or the United States.

  • Comment number 79.

    Unless I'm mistaken, Isreal's Jewish population isn't increasing, so why build 'settlements'? Looks like nothing less than a good, old-fashioned land grab to me.

  • Comment number 80.

    Both sides need help to recognise the legitimacy of the other and start to understand the pain and history of the other. Something De Klerk and Mandela were able to do with the help and support of the global community.Netanyahu is scared of his own electorate. All polls indicate they would support a plan to withdraw from most of West Bank. Hamas and Hizbollah will become largely irrelavent when the Iranian regime eventually collapses from within. I suspect Israel will exist as Jewish State long after Ahmadinejad departed.

  • Comment number 81.

    67. At 2:00pm on 27 Sep 2010, locust wrote:
    "i ask those with civil engineering experience why a Palestinian house has to be built of reinforced concrete?

    answer - its a firing position/weapons store"


    They may well be used for military purposes, but the primary reason for using rebar construction is that the houses are concrete-moulded. Basically a mould is built with rebar as a kind-of internal cage, and then concrete in it's fluid form is poured into the mould. Without the rebar, the concrete structure is far less robust and is likely to completely collapse (rather than just crack and deform) under an excessive force.

    Brick-built constructions do not suffer from the same problem, one reason being that they are more flexible and able to absorb and deflect applied forces.

    Compared with brick-laying, concrete moulding requires far less skill, plus it is cheaper in material costs, therefore it is typically more suited to the requirements of the Middle East (there are also benefits relating to the ambient temperature ranges which I won't go into). For example, pretty much every office and residential building in Dubai is concrete moulded with rebar. Unless there is something that the authorities are not mentioning, I suspect that this is not an urban combat strategy.

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    With that much of instability and disturbances put-in or infused into the discussions from within us while talks were going-on in full flow and it was going very much into our favor, it become suddenly uncertain in view of, not only absence of backing of rightful forces existing within the area but many outburst of lies to indirectly challenging our common efforts of bringing-in peace into Palestine being the main feed of one to retain Power through various incitements of the innocent General Public of respective Countries in the form of self made derivation of meaning of happening of events around us; shall vanish to nowhere which shall force one to struggle to meet one’s thirst of seeing bloodshed of common us though doing of infighting within ourselves most reasonless. This is what we did to the dialogue under excellent progress.

    We accordingly call upon the most respectful Supreme Commander of Hamas to see reason to act and not to fall prey to the dictate and desire of others living around the area to unnecessarily become violent on Subjects which are unavailable. Such acts shall only cause more pain to the General Public of Palestine and others most reasonless.

    With some risk undertaken by us, the entire Globe is making a fervent appeal to Israel to show restrain and refrain from doing any construction works in the occupied area, not to allow the other side become aggressive in its behavior towards the discussions through infusion of doubt in their minds too.

    After travelling such a big distance alone or together, we also appeal to the Most Noble Leadership of Palestine not to get provoked by such Statement done elsewhere for one’s self benefits but carry on with the dialogue to arrive at an amicable solution on the Subject being we are the utmost suffers out of the said action.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD)

  • Comment number 84.

    #73
    When will you understand that every time that you use your computer or mobile phone, Israel receives royalties from the phone manufacturer as the components were originally designed in Israel.
    Will you kindly start your boycott NOW and try to put your money where your mouth is!!!
    You have been told this before.
    A boycott should mean a TOTAL boycott and not just what suits you.
    I really hope that you do not smoke as most cancer drugs are now also manufactured in Israel.
    If your medicine states the name TEVA, it is Israeli and should not be used.
    As they manufacture the most efficient drugs against cancer, you might have to give up and die quietly knowing that you did your bit for the boycott.
    I will happily supply a complete list of what should noy be used if requested.
    PLEASE follow your own advice and stop being a hypocrite!!!
    This does not mean just not buying a few citrus fruits but going the whole way and boycotting everything.
    And can the Queen dismantle her security system in Buckingham Palace as this was supplied and maintained by Israel.
    At her age it is exceedingly unlikely that any intruder would wish to enter her bedroom now.
    And could the Palestinians hurry up and create their own currency as by using the Israeli shekel in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank they actually help strengthen their enemy.
    Great!!!
    Start the total boycott now!!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    "42. At 1:07pm on 27 Sep 2010, PatriciaBeauvais wrote:
    There has been no concession from the "Palestinians". They still do not want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and still talk about the return of the so-called "Palestinian" refugees. Not to speak about Gilat Shalit...

    Until and unless they change their mind, I would say build on Bibi."

    The Palestinians have been making concession since 1947. They have lost their homes, their lands, their children and their dignity.

    And you ask Palestinians to make MORE concessions? The Palestinians have nothing left to give. Everything they had has been stolen by israel.

    And you speak of Gilad Shalit? He was taken by Hamas and Hamas are not even involved in this discussion.

    It is time israel did the decent thing, the only morally justifable thing.

    Give FULL israelie citzenship to ALL regardless of skin colour or reliegon. Then dissolve the israelie governent and hold a new election.

    A new government will come in representing muslims and jews, arabs and europeans (the vast majority of 'israelies' are european in origin).

    Then there can be peace.

  • Comment number 86.

    The Arab League produced a Peace Plan in 2002, which was re-confirmed in 2006, to provide for a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Based on UN resolutions it would provide for a two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian States's capital. It provided for recognition of Israel and a normalisation of relations between Israel and it's Middle Eastern neighbours, together with international guarantees on security.
    Even Hamas admitted there was a basis for negotiations. Likud rejected it out of hand, as a 'threat to Israel's existence', needless to say AIPAC rubberstamped Likud's position.
    It provides a basis for meaningful negotiations to an equitable settlement.

  • Comment number 87.

    I hate being negative but it is about time political correctness was binned.Then we could have the unpalatable truth out and that truth is Israel and the majority of the rest of the middle east will never get over the sins of the past and like all peoples who believe their neighbour to be their worst enemy.They want their enemy whiped off the face of the Earth.So now we have a starting position each wants the other dead and long gone.Even the moderates would be hard pushed to argue that their lives wouldn't be improved if the other suffered genocide.Now we are there the only way is up.Now all we need is true leaders on both sides who are prepared to compromise.DOH!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    I really though the BBC had broaden it horizion last week by putting a HYS on Kashmir.

    Sadly after 200 comments the debate was shut and now a week later we gone back to the ME conflict with two HYS in succession.

    After all these HYS on this conflict people are using the same arguments and counter arguments.

    Its getting boring.

  • Comment number 89.

    No change. The Arabs and the Israelis hate each other, always have and always will. The only chance for peace is that Israel hands over all territory, including Jerusalem, to the Palestinians, which is as likely as Labour winning the next election.

  • Comment number 90.

    #73
    And please invest a little of your time and learn English.
    Your grammatical errors earn you no points at all!!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Ending the moratorium on the settlement activities is slap on the face of Palestines perhaps as a measure to send signals from the position strength that they have no option but to continue the dialogue.Whether it's postive step towars ME peace is debatable.

  • Comment number 92.

    Although a significant portion of Israelis who support settlement building may think they are helping to form a Jewish state, in fact they are increasing the chance of an eventual One State solution by eradicating any hope of two states. Unless Israelis plan on genocide (?), then even without the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, the Palestinians will simply completely outnumber Israelis in 25-50 years and the South African model will, of course, come into play. The Apartheid tag is already sticking uncomfortably. And as hostility with more and more regional states increases as a result, so will Israel's brain drain and outward migration. Smart Israelis aren't settling in occupied territories. They're going back to New York etc. As Jeffery Goldberg recently put it his article in The Atlantic on Israel and Iran, if the PhD candidate son of a Tel Aviv couple asks his parents whether he should come home when he finishes his Ivy League degree, they'll probably hedge their bets and suggest he stay for that post-doc/job/US suburban dream.

    So keep building those settlements.......

  • Comment number 93.

    29. At 12:45pm on 27 Sep 2010, Darren Smith wrote:

    The Arab nations would not destroy Israel if they were disarmed, and their nuclear powers taken away. There would just be fairness for the first time in the Middle East since the unfair theft of a country.

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

    Are you really, really sure on the "non-destruction of Israel" and "fairness" points? Most, (if not all) Arab nations have been dreaming about precisely that for years. It still features widely in public statements.

    Those of their citizens that are adherents of the "Religion of Peace" will probably open their copies of the Qur'an and Hadiths, re-read the following and think "now could be the time".

    8:39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.

    Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177; Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour {of the Last Judgment} will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."


    As an Islamist organisation, the Hamas members probably have these documents permanently to hand (with page markers).

  • Comment number 94.

    As a Jew - I'm appalled at Israel's continued occupation - The US must withdraw it's support from Israel.

    It is of interest to note that the US support of the IRA only ceased after the 9/11 incident - THEN the IRA 'decided' to negotiate a peace after 30 years of conflict.

    The US must join the Rest of the UN in completely condemning Israel - and impose sanctions on Israel. Until the US does Israel will continue to shrug it's shoulders and ignore the rest of the World.

  • Comment number 95.

    Here is the main solution method I propose, for the foreseeable future.
    Try to ignore all news from the region.
    This key point will help ensure that my time and energy is not wasted, as it has been wasted ever since I first learned of this situation some 25 years ago when I was younger.
    There is pretty much zero use about hearing about anything that occurs in this part of the world.
    If you're a Palestinian, you figure out how to fix the problem.
    If you're an Israeli, you figure it out.
    The neighboring states should be concerned about apartheid.
    But on the other hand, Islam is keeping people down in the neighboring states and in the Palestinian territories.
    There's a number of complex tribal and natural dynamics going on.
    Religion is a natural phenomenon (as per Dan Dennett), and so is all of what is happening there.
    Israelis live in a bubble, and they learn to be constantly at-war and to hate.
    Palestinians live in a virtual sewer, and they grasp onto oppresive-Islam for succor.
    But I've come to realize that there's pretty much zero that can be done.
    If you're a Palestinian, your destiny must be in your hands. Do as you feel best.
    If you're an Israeli, perhaps the best hope is for you to figure out how to convert the Palestinains either to Judaism or to Christianity.
    This is a meme-set problem, a problem of conflicting meme-sets.
    But living my middle class life in the USA - I know that what happens in my life won't change much of what happens in yours.
    If you feel oppressed, find a way to not be oppressed.
    If you need to change your meme-set so that you can join the 21st century rather than being stick in the 12th, so be it - maybe it's time to change your meme set, reject the veil and the burqa, and join the rest of us in the light of modernity.
    But my hearing about this or that negotiation from your area, it pretty much is a waste of my time. It's up to you to solve your problems.
    I want you to live in freedom, but true freedom: Freedom from religion. Freedom to grow up without gender aparetheid. Freedom to raise a family and be happy. Freedom to choose your own destiny, as a man or woman. But to pretend that the religion you’re currently in isn’t part of the problem, that's not right.
    So, in my view, this problem which I am very tired of hearing out, won’t be solved in my view until the meme set differentials work themselves out, one way or another.
    The whole Arab world, and Palestine, needs to be brought into the 21st century. The religious meme sets they have are holding them back - because of things like gender apartheid.
    And this little problem in the Middle East won't be solved until we deal with the overall meme-set problem - the problem of the meme sets there that are abusive to the mentality of boys & girls. There's abusive elements to the meme sets both in Israel and in Palestine (Islam).
    Ending circumcision would help.
    Ending the veil and the burqa would help also, and also ending gender separation in Palestine/Islam.
    It's not just a matter of rights & democracy. It's a matter of religion - of meme sets and the impacts those meme sets have on children and how they grow up.

  • Comment number 96.

    #79
    Of course it's a land grab!!!
    But it is a legitimate one based on the fact that the Arabs invaded Israel in 1967 with the sole aim of destroying her and ended up being soundly defeated and losing land in the process.
    If the Palestinians are so keen to establish a state on the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, why didn't they do so in 1948 when all this disputed land was firmly under Arab control?
    Or is it acceptable to lose the poker game and then whine to the world that your land has been illegally occupied.
    If illegal occupation is the name of the game, then I eagerly await the British government's announcement of the immediate return of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands to its rightful owners instead of sending illegal settlers to inhabit these places and then to claim that the will of the majority of the population of these territories is to remain British.
    What utter hypocracy!!!
    And kindly listen to President Karsai of Afghanistan when he begs the NATO forces illegally stationed there to refrain from bombing and killing thousands of innocent civilians each month.
    These are actions that the British army are also responsible for as they constitute a sizeable part of the forces responsible for these attrocities.

  • Comment number 97.

    The building of settlements on occupied terroritory is a bltant provacation designed to rile the Palestinians and incite elements such as Hamas to respond violently.... Israel will then turn around, blame the Palestinians for the current problems and launch attacks in Palestine while pro-Israeli media (Fox news, Sky etc) convince everyone that the whole problem started because of the Palestinians attacks...

    A simple yet masterful strategy which has worked for decades!

    There will never be peace unfortunately as the Zionist Agenda has yet to be fulfilled.

  • Comment number 98.

    65. At 1:52pm on 27 Sep 2010, GreatWhitePathan wrote:

    "This comment is simply hilarious. Firstly I dont know how the BBC moderators have printed this because it has no relevance to the debate but equally you should print my response."

    They allowed it because it is relevent. Obviously hit a nerve with you too.

    "People talk as though the Palestinians are the occupiers and draw parallels with Nazi Germany. hahahah.. I cant contain my laughter."

    They are not the occupiers. They waged war on israel. Failed. And instead of surrendering and looking after their civilians they want to make demands against israel. The loser does not dictate.

    "Saddam invaded Kuwait in the first Gulf War and claimed that it was the rightful terroritory of Iraq. We all saw what happened to him. The Jewish people under the banner of Zionism, aided by the Americans and British, invaded the land of the palestinians (I dont remember the palestinians inviting them to take over their land) claiming it was their rightful terroritory from Biblical times and yet this seems perfectly fine."

    If israel backs off their civilians are attacked by palestinians. So they must protect their people. Any israeli leader who would release the palestinians would have to explain why his people are being killed constantly by terrorists. There is no choice because the palestinian terrorists leave no choice. And unfortunately the palestinian civilians suffer. Nothing the israeli can do about it though.

    "And when the Palestinians resist occupation to an invading force as is their right under UN law they are called terrorists?"

    Palestinians waged war. They lost. How do you find this difficult? They should surrender and then they can join the world again.

    "Amazing how the "pro-semetic" propaganda has completely warped people's thinking..."

    As the pro arab propaganda warps yours?

    "The world RESISTED Nazi Germany occupation. The Jewish people violently resisted Nazi Germany occupation and persecution so why do you object to Palestinian resistance?? Why should the Palestinians surrender?"

    And the israeli resisted the attack of the arab countries. Now there is a peace where the arabs accept israels existence. Do the palestinians? No. So if the palestinians dont want to surrender its no skin of israeli noses.

  • Comment number 99.

    84. At 2:57pm on 27 Sep 2010, kashlam wrote:

    Start the total boycott now!!!!!

    ---

    Okey dokey ,Kashlam, your'e the boss.

  • Comment number 100.

    ref #73
    abraham wrote:
    *NOW TIME HAS COME TO USE FORCE AGAINST ISRAEL .WORLD SHOULD FORCE ISRAEL TO VACATE OCCUPIED TERRITORY ,WITHOUT ANY NEGOTIATION FURTHER .

    *UN SHOULD DERECOGNISE ISRAEL

    * WORLD SHOULD BOYCOTT ISRAELI PRODUCTS.


    ___________

    You need toread the Israeli PM speech. Your ignorance shows when you absolve the Palestinians for leaving the table.

    The U.N has no moral authority to dictate anything when the former gen sec gave tacist support to Islamic terrorism.

    Buy Israeli, boycott Palestinian and Lebanese products!

 

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