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Showing posts from November, 2004

"Measure Palestinian Freedom, not Summits" - Article by Natan Sharansky - THE JERUSALEM Post 26.11.04

Measure Palestinian freedom, not summits

[The peace process will fail again if it is not linked to real democracy and human rights]

By NATAN SHARANSKY – Nov. 25, 2004

The death of Yasser Arafat has once again placed the search for peace at a crossroads. Ten years ago, policymakers took the wrong road, believing that peace could be made with a dictatorship. Today, we must instead embrace a peace process that is anchored in the expansion of freedom within Palestinian society.

The temptation to return to the Oslo formula will be very great. Today, many hope to identify a Palestinian strongman as quickly as possible who can prevent chaos, rein in the extremists, and reach a deal with Israel. Similarly, many view the upcoming Palestinian elections as an opportunity to legitimize a Palestinian leadership that could quickly be "strengthened" by Western and Israeli largesse.

This was exactly the misguided approach to peace that failed so miserably over the last decade. According t…

"In Democracy He Trusts" - Article from the "J" - San Francisco

In democracy he trusts

S.F. native sees opening of Arab society as vital to Israel

by joe eskenazi
staff writer

Natan Sharansky and Aryeh Green bumped into each other at a virtually abandoned Israeli beachside hotel nearly 20 years ago.

The famed Russian dissident loved to swim in the ocean — but he was a weak swimmer. And Green, a San Francisco-born, U.C. Berkeley-educated Israeli, was a former lifeguard.

Fast-forwarding to the present, Sharansky is Israel’s minister for Jerusalem and diaspora affairs. And Green is one of his top advisers and a key figure in Sharansky’s Yisrael B’Aliya political party.

Green, who dropped in on his hometown last week for a series of speeches, finds himself straddling a number of competing beliefs. The kippah-wearing dual citizen and former rabbinical student describes himself as a “lifelong lefty.” And yet, his party caters largely to Russian emigres who, to put it extremely mildly, are not.

What’s more, he and his liberal Berkeley friends are ha…

A note from Katie on Arafat's Death

From my wife Katie (nee Wagerman, originally from London), written to friends and family. Pretty self-explanatory, thought I'd share it here as well.

Sunday, 14 November 2004

To all my dear family and friends abroad,

I have been following the news reports of Arafat's death on Sky news, CNN, and BBC World and all I can say is I'm appalled to watch the world's Western leaders making statements over what an "icon" and a "symbol" Arafat was. This man practically invented modern terrorism - hijackings, the targeting of women and children, bombings of bus-stops and cafes, suicide bombings, the lot.

He did indeed put Palestinian nationalist aspirations on the map, but only so long as Palestinian statehood could be achieved alongside the total annihilation of Israel. He founded the PLO three years before the 1967 war, (a war started by five Aab nations to wipe Israel off the face of the earth) so please don't talk to me about occupation. Arafat'…