Peace process

Peace duo on visit

By James Martin, May 7, 2009

Two prominent speakers in the campaign to bring peaceful dialogue to the Middle East have been touring the country this week.

Former Palestinian resistance fighter Ali Abu Awwad and Israeli Robi Damelin have been speaking on behalf of the UK Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum, a group that supports the work of the Israel-based BFF which campaigns for peaceful dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

The pair spoke to around 200 people at a fundraising dinner in the West End about the efforts of the forum in promoting greater understanding about the conflict to both sides.

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What Shimon Peres told Barak Obama

By Nathan Guttman and Anshel Pfeffer, May 7, 2009

Israel’s new right-wing government made its debut in the American capital his week, with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trying to convince the Obama administration that they are committed to the peace process.

Mr Peres, who met with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday and gave the keynote speech at the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby group, Aipac, assured his audience that Mr Netanyahu’s government will not renege on its roadmap commitments.

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Ron Prosor and Gerry Adams: road to peace

By Marcus Dysch in Belfast, May 7, 2009

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said he “would like to help” advance the Middle East peace process using his experience from Northern Ireland.

His comments came as Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor made a two-day tour of Belfast this week.

When Mr Adams visited the Middle East in March, Israeli officials refused to meet him after he held talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.

But he offered Mr Prosor a warm welcome to Ulster ahead of an hour of private talks on Wednesday afternoon.

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Obama sends ‘let’s talk’ message

By Nathan Guttman, March 26, 2009

True to his campaign promise to reach out diplomatically to Iran, US president Barack Obama issued a public appeal to the Iranian leadership on the occasion of the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.

President Obama’s overture to Tehran marks the beginning of the US effort to engage with Iran, a strategy viewed with skepticism by Israel. The President’s public call for rapprochement comes days after senior administration officials were urged by Israel’s chief of staff not to shelve the military option against Iran.

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No truce with Hamas until Shalit is freed

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 19, 2009

Israel will refuse to agree a new truce with Hamas unless the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit is part of the deal.

The decision, approved unanimously by a cabinet vote on Wednesday, came as both Israel and Hamas appeared to toughen their negotiating positions.

The indirect talks over a ceasefire, mediated by the Egyptian government, reached an apparent impasse this week despite an earlier agreement by the Hamas leadership in Gaza to link a prisoner exchange deal to a two-year truce.

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Shin Bet fears settlers may turn to arms

By Ben Lynfield, November 6, 2008

Amid growing tensions with radical settlers, the head of the Shin Bet security service has warned that extremists can be expected to engage in armed attacks against the IDF in the event of peace moves with the Palestinians.

Yuval Diskin did not explicitly say that he expected attempts at political assassination in the event of a push for removal of settlements and outposts in the West Bank.

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Olmert’s peace plan dismissed

By Simon Griver, August 14, 2008

A peace plan offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that would see 93 per cent of the West Bank handed to the Palestinians was this week dismissed by both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli media.

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Peace debate in London

August 7, 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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Academics dismiss view that Irish peace process is model for Mid-East

By Leon Symons, August 7, 2008

Two British academics have dismissed a growing political view that the settlement of Britain's conflict with the IRA could be a model for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Dr John Bew and Dr Martyn Frampton, historians from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, said that "the notion of talking to one's enemies - no matter how intransigent or unreasonable they may seem - has been fetishised by many from across the political spectrum".

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

By Jenni Frazer, July 17, 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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