Jewish Journal


May 31, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

May 31, 2012 | 1:45 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

Why Syria feels abandoned

The international community must come up with a plan for ‎United Nations to monitor the abuses inside Syria, writes ‎Donatella Rovera in the Washington Post. ‎
More than a year after the Syrian uprising started, world leaders have failed to ‎agree on an effective course of action to bring tangible relief and protection to ‎Syrian civilians who continue to be mercilessly targeted by government forces for ‎having dared to call for the removal of Bashar al-Assad and his repressive ‎regime. Hundreds of nonviolent, pro-reform protesters have been fatally shot; ‎thousands have been injured, arrested and tortured.‎

A Worst-Case Scenario in Egypt?‎

Zack Gold of the National Interest sees a lose-lose situation in Egypt’s presidential ‎election run-off. ‎

The SCAF has shown over and over that it has no interest in giving up ‎military prerogatives. As such, a contest between the military and the ‎Brotherhood will continue to simmer. Egyptian voters must decide if they ‎prefer that conflict out in the open or behind the scenes. A Shafik ‎presidency could block the independent parliament’s ambitions on behalf of ‎the military, and a President Morsi would always have the possibility of a ‎coup in the back of his mind. Neither scenario is particularly democratic.‎

Going Directly to Israelis and Palestinians

Writing in the New York Times, Shlomo Ben-Ami, Thomas Schelling, Jerome Segal, and ‎Javier Solana put forward their own proposal in the New York Times for a new peace ‎plan for Israel and the Palestinians. ‎

With no prospect of meaningful negotiations between the Palestinians and the ‎Netanyahu government, a new approach to peace is needed, one that focuses on the ‎Israeli and Palestinian people themselves. Though not a perfect analogy, let’s call it ‎UNSCOP-2 because the work of UNSCOP, the United Nations Special Committee on ‎Palestine, in 1947, is the closest precedent for what is needed today.‎

Going Directly To The Wastebasket: Another Plan For The “Peace Process”‎

Writing for the Council on Foreign Relations, Elliott Abrams presents his rebuttal of the ‎peace plan by Ben-Ami, Solana et al. ‎

The confidence of these four authors in getting “majorities on both sides” to support ‎such a plan is bizarre. It has been tried. The “Geneva Initiative” of 2003, a lengthy, ‎detailed peace plan developed by Israelis and Palestinians who know a lot more ‎about the issues than these four gentlemen, went nowhere. The “People’s Voice ‎Initiative” sponsored by one Israeli and one Palestinian leader, who offered some ‎central principles for a peace deal and asked citizens on both sides to sign up, got ‎‎400,000 signatures in a combined population of 11.5 million.  ‎

The Curious Case of Benjamin Netanyahu

Aaron David Miller of Foreign Policy takes a critical look at whether Israel’s prime ‎minister can meet the challenges facing his country. ‎

For Netanyahu, the Jewish people are at risk. It’s deeply ingrained in his approach to ‎the world. To be sure, Jews worry for a living - their dark history compels them do to ‎so. But Bibi worries about everything, including the Americans, whom he believes ‎‎(perhaps rightly at times) don’t understand Israel’s situation. You live in Chevy Chase, ‎he once told me - we don’t have any margin for error in our neighborhood. Ehud ‎Olmert used to say that Israeli prime ministers sleep with one eye open. Bibi sleeps ‎with two open. He’s constantly on guard.‎

Support Israel and Attend the June 3rd Israel Day Parade

Writing in Algemeiner, Ronn Torossian and Matthew Hiltzik urge New York’s Jewish ‎community to put aside political differences and come together for the city’s annual Israel Day ‎Parade.‎

We fear many American Jews are losing sight of our sense of community, allowing ‎differences of opinion that are extensions of the larger left vs. right, “religious” vs. ‎‎“non-religious,” to polarize the Jewish community. It’s true that not everyone who ‎supports Israel has the same way of expressing their support. We can’t agree on ‎everything, but June 3rd is a day to put differences aside and focus on what unites us: ‎our appreciation for Israel and our fellow Jews. This day is about Israel, what Israel ‎means to us, and how we send that message to the world. It’s a day to celebrate the ‎strength from the diversity of Am Yisrael.

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