With ‘Annapolis,’ a Warning to Israel

By bringing up Annapolis, President Obama warned the new Israeli government not to renege on the goals outlined during the 2007 peace conference.

Comments: 37

  1. As I recall, it was in Annapolis that Mr. Mahmoud Abbas refused to come out with a statement, together with Mr. Ehud Olmert, mutually recognizing each other's people right to its own nation-state, future Palestine being the nation-state of the Palestinian Arabs and Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people.

    The true reason for the refusal became clearer the following day when Mr. Saeb Erakat, Abbas high ranking advisor, in a response to a question in a press conference, stated that the Palestinians can't agree to consider Israel's right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people because "there is no such thing as the Jewish people".

    I therefore ask: What is longer term goal of the Palestinian Arabs if the Jewish people as a people does not have the right to have its own nation-state...??

    And a follow-up question would be: Is the setting up of a new and probably non-viable state between the River and the Sea is designed to be the launching pad from which to continue to attack Israel, as has been Yasser Arrafat's goal and as the Gaza Strip has been used since Israel vacated all its living as well as dead bodies from it back in 2005...??

  2. The rockets will continue to rain on Israel until they elect a prime minister who has the will and the courage to drive the Palestinians and Hamas out of Gaza and the West Bank. When George Bush gives back his Crawford,Texas ranch to the Native Americans is when peace will come to Israel. To the victor goes the spoils. Americans killed thousands of Indians during the conquest of the United States. The Indians that survived were placed in concentration camps euphemistically described as reservations where alcoholism and unemployment reigns. Since the Bureau of Indians Affairs has granted gambling casino licenses, some Indian tribes have prospered. Maybe gambling casinos are the solution for the Palestinians

  3. Good for Big O! In Turkey it was a good time to talk turkey, and to send a big signal of significant change on the way, whether the Liebermans of the world necessarily like it or not. If his plans thrive, the two-state would be very, very good for Israel, and the region, over the long, long term.

  4. I guess according to Obama withdrawing from Gaza led to a great, stable relationship with Hamas/ Gaza inhabitants. So now Obama is "telling" Israel to withdraw from more territory including security settlements and E. Jerusalem.

    Just like he "told" Europe earlier in the week that they should bring Turkey and their 71M Muslims into the EU.

    Makes no sense unless Obama has a hidden agenda that we did not know about when we voted for him.

  5. Two points need to be very clear. First, Israel has every right to decide the path it wishes to take with regard to the Palestinian question, Annapolis or not. Second, it has no right whatsoever to expect American support for any position except one American leaders deem in the interests of the United States. If American decision-makers believe it is in our interest to negotiate with Hamas, pursue a two-state solution, no longer veto UN resolutions regarding Israel or seek some other arrangements then they should do so. Contrary to opinion in some quarters we are not a vassal state to Israel even though on many occasions we have acted that way. It is totally within the authority of the Israeli prime minister to name whom he wants in cabinet positions or to choose the policies he wishes to follow. He has no authority whatsoever to pressure the President or any other American to behave in ways inconsistent with our interests.

  6. This is a warning long overdue. Hopefully, the days of a blank check policy supporting Israel's aggressive expansionist policies and colonization of Palestinian land is over. Israel is and has been in the deathgrip of the most conservative, ultra-religious factions in that country for the past two decades --- similar to the hold that the neoconservatives and fundamentalist religious groups have held over the U.S. over the same period of time. Sadly, they do not represent the majority opinions of Israel but have successfully silenced and cowered all reasonable opposition. If a meaningful peace is ever to be established in this region, Pres. Obama and the U.S. must take the lead and play hardball with Israel, insisting that further monetary will be cut off unless Israel ends and begins to reverse the past decade of expansion into Palestine.

  7. This is no surprise. Obama bows to the women hating king of Saudi Arabia, makes his first call the to the Holocaust denying leader of the Fatah terrorist group, appoints a pure Jew hater, Chas Freeman, to a senior intelligence post, goes to Europe and Turkey and basically says he is ashamed of the United States. Obama is not a supporter of liberty and freedom and capitalism and therefore, like scores of other leaders over the years, he reverts to blaming the Jews for all his problems. Good job Democrats in giving this guy to us.

  8. Stellar reviews - but no concrete results except a few more votes towards American Idol. What exactly was accomplished except the - once again - distinction that you are not Bush. Actually, you triggered the North Koreans to act in concert with your speech....not exactly stellar.

    I, for one, am not at all surprised at the dredging up of Carter style solutions. After all, most in the government now are Carter and Clinton retreads. So much for Change and new style politics. Move on and let's hear some of those ideas you campaigned on.

    Please, Mr.President, you are wearing thin in spite of the incessant NYTimes and CNN cheer leading. Did you really think having a Seder in the White House would make Jews sigh at how sweet and inclusive you are, while simultaneously you endanger Israel with your meddling and rhetoric?

    Let's see, before you interfere in Israel, show us your stuff with North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan - oh and let's see you deal with the Somali pirates. Maybe they'd like US aid, or perhaps citizenship and health care and then they wouldn't have to kidnap, kill, rob and terrorize to live.

  9. Certain conflicts need separate state solutions:

    Kashmir problem - sole state(Kashmir) besides India and Pakistan;

    Sri Lanka problem (formerly Ceylon during British presence) - two states Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam;

    Afghanistan problem - three states Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Pakistan;

    Israel/Palestinian problem - one state consisting as Greater Israel and Palestine (GIP) or United States of Israel and Palestine (USIP).

    US and Europe praises current Israel to be shining star of democracy and justice where Jews and Arabs are living together with equal rights since Israel was created by US and Britain influence nearly 60 years ago.
    Israel has been controlling and settling West Bank for past 30 years.
    At this point it will be economical for the world(especially for US and Europe) not to incur future costs on this problem by having one state.

    Two states solution would have been possible 60 years ago.
    But now with Palestinian refugees and Israeli occupation it will be much easier to find a solution as one country's domestic problem.
    Palestinians will be living under a democracy where Jews and Arabs share equally the fruits of democracy, only to be envied by other middle east countries.

    Future economic and social costs prohibit a two state solution.
    US and Europe and UN should seriously compare the cost and benefits of two states vs. one state solution.
    Compare Israeli Arabs' freedom and living to that of West Bank Palestinians for the last 60 years..

  10. Big deal,

    Obama has already shamed himself by sucking up to AIPAC. Obama should use Mearsheimer and Walt as his playbook as far as I am concerned. After two recent wars with the IDF having killed over two thousand civilians, most of them children, the days of unconditional support for the Israeli regime should be over.

  11. It's about time! Continueing oppression of millions of Palestinians is not a guarantee for Israel to live in peace with it's neighbors. Dismissing signed contracts and agreements isn't either. Intifadas and living under threats will be the dismal future for years to come. Let's hope Israel will realize dismantling of all(or most) West Bank settlements and restoration (creation) of a livable and economic viable state for the Palestinians is the way forward. Israeli hardliners and the fundamentalist settlers need to understand that. Hopefully their new right-wing Government will see the light. Israel could i.e. start looking again at the Peace Treaty proposal submitted to them some years ago by the 22 Arabic nations in which peace and economic relations were outlined.
    The Palestinians too will have to come to their senses and realize the necessity to work towards a better relationship and understanding between Hamas and Fatah. It seems possible that Hamas will eventually accept the existence of the state of Israel. Diplomacy works better that war. A peaceful co-existence is possible if the will is there.
    America can help in this proces. The influence of AIPAC in the U.S.Government needs to be curtailed to levels of mutual interests. A Mideast Peace will take away an important reason for Al Queda and other Islamic fundamentalist groups to continue their terrorist acts. A better world in the future? Or just a dream?

  12. It will be interesting to see how much influence President Obama will have with the new Israeli prime minister. Does Mr. Obama really believe Hamas will ever recognize an Israeli state? This is very hard to imagine.

  13. It is about time that the tail stopped wagging the dog. Israel must honor it’s commitments to not only the Annapolis accord but all other accords that it commits to but then ignores at its convenience. The insanity of the Israeli/Palestinian hatred must come to an end If Israel refuses to adhere to the Annapolis accord America should withhold all financial support until it does.

  14. The United States is not a powerless bystander in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Without American taxpayers' dollars, Israel would not be able to afford the military hardware and the soldiers that allow it to attack at will.

    If the U.S. were to tie continuing American money to an end to colonization of Palestinian land, the colonization would stop. "Brave Little Israel" is a popular concept among certain circles in the United States, but people need to realize that this is a country that engages in espionage within our borders, that owns nuclear weapons and the latest warplanes to deliver them.

    As long as the United States reflexively approves Israel's colonization of Palestinian land, and provides the blank check to finance that colonization, there will be a substantial body of muslims in the world who fear and dislike the United States.

  15. Isn't Hamas reigning down rockets on Israel because they believe that State should be eliminated? Obama should get tough with Hamas and not the victims of their rocket attacks (effectiveness not being the issue). Israel is defending itself from Hamas attacks, would we not do the same.

    Obama seriously needs to rethink patterning his residency after Carter (and stop apologizing for America being a country who enjoys prosperity and liberty-if we have any left when Obama leaves office hopefully in 3.75 years).

  16. Why do us humans think we own this planets surface? This territorial pride and vanity of "ownership" is so full of ego and "we are a chosen people" idiocy that just causes wars and destruction. Mankind is so into this pride of origin & national fervor that it scares me to think we put up these invisible borders and then put up walls and fortresses to protect us from the armies and conquerer's. If no one "owned" or cared about borders and nationality there would be no desire to come and conquer the weaker ones. We are such a surface nuisance and this planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas,, and can you blame it?????? WE DO NOT OWN THIS PLANET AND NEVER WILL and it is of no importance where we were born or this stupid pride of where one just happened to be born. There are no Polish problems, Jewish problems, women problems, Negro problems, white problems,,,E.T.C there are HUMAN problems.. Just as we divide people into ethnic groups and land areas, just as we divide the planet into fake "countries" and then kill and steal the smaller weaker ones,, so un-evolved and sadly stupid.. Man thinks cause he rules the earth, he can do with it as he pleases. And if things don't change soon; He will...

  17. The two state solution was devised and executed 60 years ago with the formation of Israel and Jordan. Israel generously allowed Palestinians to remain as part of their country at that time. Later, Israel pulled out of Gaza to allow the Palestinians to have their own rule there. But, it is never enough is it. The Palestinians and their radical Islamic supporters will only be satisfied by Israel's destruction.

  18. For too long, US has treated Israel with a kid glove - with the mantra "Yes to israel, right or wrong". I have never read or heard any politician sayiing that our support of Israel is not unconditional. Yes, Jews have rights but so do the Palestinian Arabs. If we wonder why the Muslim world thinks that we are anti-Muslim (Obama says we are not at war with Islam), our Palestinian policy has been anti-Muslim although we might label it as pro-Israel. people will negotiate if either they are on a losing side and expect to get something positive or if they are on the winning side, they expect to lose something. Israel has not been given that alternative. It has been all carrots and no stick! As Mrs. Sadat said on Jon Stewart Show, Israel must return to 1967 borders, settlements and all and let East jerusalem be part of Palestine.

    I also believe that a Palestine with West Bank and Gaza totally disconnected is not a viable solution. Pakistan has proved that in 1973 when East Pakistan separated. for Palestine to be viable, it must be a contiguous state and it must have access to sea, unfettered by Israel. MAy be lines can be redrawn by the same European colonial/American forces that drew the original lines and trade Gaza strip by connecting West BAnk in the North with Mediterranean Sea and bordering Lebanon. And Israel must be shown the price it needs to pay if it does not negotiate in good faith.

  19. This article should really be tagged as "analysis." Only after backtracking and seeing the label, "On the White House," did I suspect it was more commentary than chronology.

    That said, Ms. Cooper's article is entirely too definitive for such preliminary international discourse. Aside from a lack of the credential "mays" and "mights," the writer unabashedly makes several inferences with regard to President Obama's thought process without any support to confirm them (save a vague quote from an administration official; sourced information that is probably, at best, speculative; and the opinion of one Palestinian cohort).

    Stop pretending to know the strategic mindset of a man so politically adept he has been ahead of everyone by leaps and bounds (on most issues). Get back to investigating. Get back to reporting.

  20. Support for a two state solution when the leadership of one of those states has vowed to destroy the other is a foolish stance.

    Supporting a two state solution, without destroying Hamas is tantamount to antisemitism. If we think about the events in Bosnia, Darfur, and Rwanda we must conclude the humans have not outgrown the potential for genocide. Israel's continued existence is the best assurance that Jews will always have a haven from atrocity and annihilation. Anything that threatens Israel's existence must not be tolerated.

    This does not mean that Palestinians should be indiscriminately killed and and persecuted. It does mean, however, that their coreligionists have a responsibility to lift them out of poverty and a belief system that perpetuates terrorism. The United States and Israel should support a two state solution, but only after the Palestinians have disavowed violence, elected a government that is not run by terrorists or Holocaust deniers, and commit themselves to living in peace rather than retaking "The Holyland" in the name of their Prophet."

  21. Is isreal real?? "Isreal" is a myth, or Is-it-Real?? Is anything mankind does "real" or maybe we just think it is? Every weapon mankind has invented has been used and sooner or later be it mistake, accidental or "purposeful" we will finally live out our true destiny and destroy us all before mother nature even has to bother with this task. Be proud of your country and kill and steal other ones. This is fun!

  22. Change has indeed come to American Middle East policy. Thank God! Right-wing Jewish donors had been so successful in controlling American politics since they threw in with Reagan after Camp David, that the neocons got so blind to consequences, a la Madoff, that they created the most catastrophic debacle in the history of American foreign policy in Iraq, thinking they were "helping" Israel. With friends like the neocons, and their ventriloquist's dummy Bush, Israel needs no enemies. As Hillary told AIPAC, Obama will be a true best friend to Israel, not least by limiting the damage to Israel American neocons and their sponsors on the right in Israel itself are able to perpetrate on this tragic land. Not just the Palestinians, but Israelis of good will too, have suffered enough from the unholy alliance of conservative Jewish money and right-wing American politics. Thank God, during Passover week, that change to this situation has now come in the form of Obama-Mitchell-Hillary. Change you can believe in in Israel.

  23. Obama has surrounded himself with advisers who are leading this country down a most dangerous path. He, like Carter, will come to regret appointments made to make up for his own inexperience in global affairs.

  24. The "two-state solution" could have been achieved many times over a course of many decades.

    The British proposed it in 1937, but the Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel / Palestine) rejected it.

    The UN voted to set it up in 1947, but the Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel / Palestine), rejected that vote as well.

    Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton offered it in 2000, but the Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel / Palestine) walked away from the table.

    Each and every one of these rejections, incidentally, was followed by a new wave of war of attrition-by-terror against the Jewish community of the Land.

    Anwar Saadat of Egypt and Menahem Begin proposed in 1978 an autonmy that in time could turn into an independent state, but the leadership of the local Arabs refused to hear of it.

    And finally, between the years 1948 and 1967, when the entire western bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip were under full, total Arab rule, the leadership of the local Arabs did nothing, absolutely nothing to bring about independence for themselves and their people. Instead, they continued during this time to aim their gun and explosive laden operatives into small agricultural Israeli villages hoping to extract as many lives as possible of the civilians there, inside the Green Line.

    The question must therefore be asked: What is really the long term goal of the leadership of the Muslim-Arabs of Eretz Israel (Land of Israel / Palestine)...??

    Is it perhaps to bring about that which appears so clearly in all their Charters: To wipe Israel off the face of earth and with it its people and civilization...??

    Is it not that Arafat proposed the "two-state solution" as a way to set up a launching pad from which to continue to attack Israel, just as happened in 2005 when Israel vacated every single Jewish body from Gaza, dead and alive alike...??

    And if so, why should Obama advance this goal against the nation-state of the Jewish people...??

  25. re: #2 I thought Slobodan Milosovic was dead. Apparently he lives in Boston.

  26. If Obama's foreign policy all over the world go Jimmy Carter style. Troubles will occure everywhere and very soon. Israel will not buy Annapolis and just thanks the arabs states for the good gesture of finally officially recognizing Israel.

  27. I simply don't understand the train of thought that blames Israel (and through our support, the U.S.) for the problems in the area. Or blaming Israeli "Hawks" for sustaining the crisis.

    I suppose that I'm naive but it's a very simple issue to me. Each side has demands...the Israelis ask that they be recognized as a sovereign nation and that they not be attacked. The Palestinians demand that Israel cease to exist. This is not a balanced negotiation.

    I think that we've been on the right side of this issue from the start and that we should not take any Palestinian requests seriously until they at a minimum accept Israel's existance.

  28. Arguably, one of the most pragmatic resolutions ever reached by the UN Security Council has been 242 that came to resolve the Arab Israeli dispute.

    UN Security Council Resolution 242 has been the basis for the peace agreements between Egypt and Israel and between Jordan and Israel, and there is no reason what-so-ever why it should not be the basis, as is, for inviting Egypt and Jordan once again to the table to resolve the future of the rest of the disputed territories, captured by Israel in the defensive Six-Day War from these two countries.

    In essence, 242 calls upon Israel to withdraw its troops from most of the territories captured in 1967 to agreed secure and recognized boundaries so as to enable each of the states of the region to live in peace. The vacated territories of course will be demilitarized and be taken over by the warring states, Gaza by Egypt and most of the western bank by Jordan.

    This Resolution does not propose, and rightly so, the setting up of yet another non-viable state in the thin sliver of land between the River and the Sea. Nor does the resolution propose the "ethnic cleansing" of Jews residing in those territories as demanded by the Muslim-Arabs, refusing to permit legally any Jew to acquire land in their midst as is the present law in Jordan and the PA, just because the person is Jewish.

    The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews have and will continue to stand behind the idea of continuing withdrawing of Israeli troops from territories so long as the their safety and the security of Israel are maintained. Yet, after the years of experience to which I have alluded in my previous post, few Israeli Jews would accept the setting up of a political entity on Israel's borders the only goal of which is to use it, probably with Iran or other Muslim or Arab states, to continue launching attacks at Israel with the aim of wiping it off the face of earth.

    This we shall never permit, NEVER AGAIN!

  29. according to this article, Mr. Lieberman is correct in saying Israel is not bound by annapolis.Obama does not run Israel,like he thinks he does the US. Obama has barely been in office and he's acting like a dictator to Israel.As far as I'm concerned Obama is moving way too fast. Not only do I think he's wrong about his views on the failed path to peace which is really a path for Israel to give up their PIECE/land Inheritance and peace as they know it(look to gaza hell)I think Mr. Obama is wrong about how he is trying to treat US economy by thinking and doing:borrowing and spending his way out of debt;it won't happen! Also, he points his finger at the past,bush and blames his way of doing things because of what "he inherited" He is a finger pointing who will ruin the US economy. I do not look for the $ bill to be around much longer as a world currency thanks to Obama. Take responsibility and stop pointing your finger Obama!
    You are taking the US down the path of destruction and I'm hoping Bibi does not go along with you on it!

  30. Here is the real question: "Does Israel recognize the right of Palestine to exist?" Apparantly, acc. to Lieberman, IAPAC, the Settler movement, the militant right and the fundamentalist Jewish movement, the answer is a resounding "no."

  31. Post number #24 makes perfect sense. Very hard to argue with! But in my opinion, the past has little to do with the future. The borders of the State of Israel should be drawn by Israel, with defendable borders that guarantee Israel's future security. I would like to see the area of Gaza depopulated of Arabs. That should go back to Israel in exchange for some settlements built on the West Bank. There is more than enough money in the Arab world to build as many desirable abodes on the West Bank for resettlement, not to mention the infrastructure for a viable state. And that should be the end of it!

  32. Dispatch From Dreamland

    Today, in a move we've come to expect from the country that claims to be "A Nation Bound By the Rule of Law", the U.S. - astoundingly - did NOT stand in the way of the latest U.N. resolution condemning Israel for war crimes. The vote was 99-1 with only Israel voting in its defense.

    As you read these words global economic sanctions toward Israel are being organized and put in to place. Meanwhile, all travel in and out of Israel is being scrutinized as the search continues for several members of the Israeli government and military wanted for crimes against humanity.

    As all of you dear readers remember well the horrendous results of the IDF's recent use of white phosphorous and cluster bombs in civilian areas, I will not rehash the ugly details here. Suffice to say, while the world community has long been abhorred by Israel's behavior, it is of great comfort that the same opinion is now shared by the U.S.

    Today a brave new world stands before us. Today the "Nation of Laws" decided NOT to place herself or her allies above the law. Today, the largest military supplier to a nation known the world over as a criminal nation has pledged to cease their support. Innocent men, women and children the world over can sleep a little more soundly this night.

    End Dispatch.

  33. To a very large extent Israel manipulates the American foreign policy agenda.

    The amount of interference by Israel in U.S. policies is the same as U.S. interference on government afairs of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    When it comes foreign policy, United States is a puppet government of Israel.

  34. It's time the world seriously considered a ONE STATE SOLUTION. Shared power, equal representation...true democracy. It wouldn't be the first ethnically diverse country to unify, work out differences and live in peace.

  35. Israel/Palestine/Arab dispute is over land. At the time of the Balfour declaration--Mandate Palestine (i.e. British run area of the defeated Ottoman administrated by Britain) was 90% Arab, 10% Jewish. Miraculously, the mandate called for the land to be "shared." That never happened--land is now 80% Israeli/Jewish and 20% Palestinian/Arab. The Arabs were/and continue to be pushed out of their ever shrinking part of the Mandate. Stronger forces push out weaker forces--an old story (told many times over in the Bible). This should be end of story--but it's not--Israel lives in a sea of Arabs who want to see a decent outcome. The US sends money and arms to the Israelis--disturbing the Arabs even more. The big question is: Can Obama (already comprised by his support of AIPAC and having a dual Israeli citizen as his chief-of-staff) square the circle and reach a deal?

  36. It is fully time to stop supporting the biggest cause of terrorism in the Middle East [and the originator of it ... as in King David Hotel, USS Liberty... ad nauseam! 'Enough already!' QED

  37. The US government said they will boycott Hamas until Hamas:
    1) Recognizes the State of Israel.
    2) Commits to using only peaceful means.
    3) Recognizes past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

    If the US government is going to be evenhanded it should also boycott Israel (including the $3Bn. per year funding) until Isreal:
    1) Recognizes the State of Palestine (and helps see its creation).
    2) Commits to using only peaceful means (e.g. not using weapons paid for and supplied by the US to bomb a hostage civilian population, and its infrastructure).
    3) Recognizes past Israeli-Palestinian agreements (Annapolis, the roadmap, e.g., stops expanding illegal settlements in the WB, ends the Gaza blockade).