Peace process

Peace debate in London

August 8, 2008

The prospect of a lasting peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be debated in London this September before an audience of 2,000 people, the day before Israel chooses a successor to Ehud Olmert as Prime Minister.

Speakers include Palestinian negotiator and legislator Dr Hanan Ashwari, Dr Mustafa Barghouti of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Yael Dayan, daughter of Moshe Dayan and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv.

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Miliband tells UJIA that Britain ‘won’t duck’ Iran’s nuclear threat

By Jenni Frazer, July 18, 2008

Foreign Secretary David Miliband paid a warm and emotional tribute to the Anglo-Jewish community on Wednesday, along with a trenchant warning that Iran’s nuclear ambitions were “a challenge that Britain will not duck” for the sake of stability for Israel and the whole of the Middle East.

The Foreign Secretary was the guest of honour at UJIA’s annual patrons’ dinner, held in the Foreign Office’s Locarno Rooms, where, he reminded guests, the seven Locarno Treaties had been signed in December 1925.

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Analysis: Why the senator is really in the MidEast

July 18, 2008

Senator Barack Obama will be travelling to Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, and President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. He will be well received by both sides, but the parties will be confused by the comments he made regarding the fate of Jerusalem and his overall approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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Israel will swap land for peace, Livni tells Berlin

By Shelly Paz, June 27, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told a Berlin conference this week that Israel was willing to accept territorial compromise in return for peace.

But Israel would not accept another “extremist Islamic state which is unable to fulfil its commitments and control its own territory”, said Ms Livni. She was one of 20 foreign ministers — including US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — at the Conference in Support of Palestinian Civil Security and the Rule of Law hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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Israel and Syria keep talking…

By Sami Kohen, June 20, 2008

Israeli and Syrian representatives held the second round of “proximity’’ talks in Istanbul this week through Turkey’s mediation.

Israeli sources described the atmosphere of the two-day talks as positive and constructive. There are indications that these indirect talks will continue in the coming weeks, although officials refrained from giving any clue as to the date of the next round.

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Gaza is no-go for Blair

By Shelly Paz, June 13, 2008

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair has told the Commons foreign-affairs select committee that he would not visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip for fear of disrupting peace efforts.

The former prime minister, addressing MPs last Thursday, said: “We need to get a ceasefire in Gaza, progressively to start reopening the crossings, start to get proper humanitarian help through, and then build our way back out of this situation where the people of Gaza can be helped.”

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MP warns of Middle East ‘disaster’

By Simon Rocker, June 13, 2008

Mike Gapes MP, the chairman of the Commons’ foreign-affairs committee, this week said that he was “very pessimistic” about the prospect of a breakthrough towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement this year.

“There are two reasons for that,” he told a Jewish Labour Movement event in London on Sunday to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary.

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David Sye believes that yoga can lift the Middle East out of conflict

By Candice Krieger, June 13, 2008

Yoga instructor David Sye is hoping that its power can bring peace to the Middle East. Mr Sye, the founder of Yogabeats — his own brand of yoga, driven by music and rhythms — has recently launched a Yogabeats conflict project (www.yogabeats.com).

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No Gaza incursion — for now

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2008

A further round of bloodshed in Israel and the Gaza Strip and stalled  ceasefire talks has not given the Israeli leadership a renewed appetite for a large-scale military incursion into Gaza.

Amnon Rosenberg, a 51-year-old worker at a paint factory at Kibbutz Nir Oz, was killed in a mortar attack last Thursday morning and five others wounded. Hamas took responsibility for the attack. In retaliation, the Israeli Air Force attacked a Hamas position in Beit Lahiya.

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Peace talks no comfort for jaded Golan Druze

By Paula Slier, May 30, 2008

As Israel and Syria start talks, a community mulls its divided loyalties

In the central square of Majdal Shams, the largest of the four Druze villages in the Golan Heights, towers a large statue of Sultan Basha El-Atrash.

Engraved below the Syrian resistance hero who fought French colonialism are two lines in Arabic by the Tunisian poet Abu El-Qassem El-Shabi: “If one day the people desire freedom and life, then inevitably destiny will comply — and inevitably darkness will melt away, and inevitably the chains will be broken.”

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