Last week, I watched President Trump’s and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s White House remarks on television. I also read the transcript[i]. President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke for 47 minutes. During those 47 minutes there were 71 applause, most of them standing. There were no Palestinian leaders present. Even the Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz was not visible. It was all about President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu and their being family. Okumaya devam et →
President Trump has called his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “recognition of the reality”.
His National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking to ABC’s “This Week” on May 13 said, “If you’re not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that’s where the American Embassy should be, then you’re operating on a completely different wavelength. Recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace.”
If recognizing the reality indeed enhances the prospects of peace, then what about the reality of:
Turkish Cypriots having a state of their own for decades;
South Ossetia and Abkhazia being independent states; and,
Crimea being a part of Russia?
At the inauguration ceremony of the new embassy PM Netanyahu said, “Remember this moment, this is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history… The Israeli people thank you for keeping your word, for your courage, for your determination, and for your firm, unwavering stand alongside the State of Israel.”
June 27, 2016
Prime Ministers Yıldırım and Netanyahu personally announced to the world that Turkey and Israel have decided to restore diplomatic relations. This is concrete evidence that even for the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) “precious loneliness” was no longer sustainable. To a certain extent the same goes for Israel, increasingly at odds with the US and the EU over the Palestinian issue. It seems that economic considerations, particularly prospects of cooperation in the energy sector have also played their part. Regardless, Turkish-Israeli reconciliation is a positive development not only for the two countries but also the Middle East in turmoil. During his press conference, PM Yıldırım avoided bravado; he was not triumphant and this too is welcome change.
First, a brief look at what happened six years ago: Okumaya devam et →
Israeli-Palestinian talks sponsored by the US collapsed in April 2014. On July 8, Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza in response to rocket attacks by Hamas. 2,143 Palestinians and 71 Israelis lost their lives with 11,000 wounded. There was great devastation. Almost 100,000 people were left homeless. Israeli authorities and UN officials could not agree on the number of civilian casualties in Gaza. Following the declaration of a ceasefire on August 26, Hamas declared victory and PM Netanyahu stated that Israel had achieved her objectives. The understanding was that talks on substantive issues would start in a month in Cairo. They did and got nowhere. A new wave of Palestinian violence started, this time in the form of stabbings. Yesterday, four Israelis were killed and three injured in a central Tel Aviv shooting terror attack. In response Israel sent more troops to the West Bank and froze 83,000 permits for Palestinians to enter Israel. These had been issued as a goodwill gesture to allow greater freedom of movement for Palestinians during Ramadan. Okumaya devam et →
Palestinians remain deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and in the absence of any progress towards the two-state solution their discontent hits the surface usually in the form of some violence. And whenever there is violence, Israel says that she will not tolerate incitement, terrorism; Palestinian leadership calls for an end to subjugation and occupation; UN Secretary General urges calm; the Quartet issues a statement advising restraint; finally, the US Secretary of State rushes to the region to find a way to put the episode behind because such violence always puts Washington on the spot by virtue of her special relationship with Israel. By and large, the current picture fits the pattern with two differences. Okumaya devam et →
Contrary to initial expectations the Arab Spring brought further chaos to a region already troubled by unresolved conflicts; beset by internal political, economic and social problems. But widening sectarian clashes and the emergence of ISIL have added new dimensions to a tradition of proxy wars, secret dealings and shifting alliances. Okumaya devam et →
July 14 will no longer be remembered only as the French National Day commemorating the storming of the Bastille. It will also be remembered as the day of the nuclear deal with Iran or V-Day for diplomacy.
In an interview he gave in early April 2015, President Obama told Thomas Friedman of The New York Times that “engagement,” combined with meeting core strategic needs, could serve American interests vis-à-vis countries like Burma, Cuba and Iran far better than endless sanctions and isolation. Okumaya devam et →