Oznia, a blog of Israel things


~US Intervention in the Middle Eastern Governments by elan
June 22, 2009, 5:24 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , , , ,

This is going to be short and sweet, since I’m dealing with finals right now. Almost done though!

President Obama made a short statement today about the controversial Iranian presidential election. Obama was careful to say that US will not consider, and thinks it innappropriate, to intervene in or even weigh in on, the disputed results. As the Volokh Conspiracy points out this policy stands in direct opposition to Obama’s blatant attempts to change Israeli policy regarding West Bank settlements. Some even accuse Obama of trying to topple the Netanyahu government.

What do you think? Is US putting too much pressure on Israel? (Oznia writer Ron Shapiro thinks so.) What should Obama do and say about the Iranian election incident? Is it right for Obama to apply different methods and philosophies to his diplomatic interactions with Israel and Iran?

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~Unconditional Support? by ronshapiro
June 8, 2009, 6:24 am
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

At least Clinton is being reasonable.

The world was very excited when the White House changed hands from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. I was one of those, but am no longer in that state of ecstasy, as some of his approaches have been a little questionable, especially in the Middle East.

I do not remember where I heard this, and do not know who to credit the idea, but I love it. President Obama, while dealing with Middle East, is holding diplomats with a higher degree of respect than one would in the United States.

I understand that President Obama wants to give everyone a chance, but does he really believe that EVEN IF Hamas renounced terror, they would stick to their word? Or if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to shut down the Iranian Nuclear Program, would he follow through?  We don’t even expect our OWN politicians to deliver everything they promise!

Hamas, for those who don’t know, translates to Islamic Resistance Movement; speaking Obama’s language will never matter, especially when their name implies violence.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the person who wants to “wipe Israel off the map” and uses rhetoric to deny the Holocaust constantly, will he suddenly claim he has no intention to stop funding Hezbollah, the Islamic Brotherhood, Hamas, and other terrorist groups? And if he does, how should someone believe him?

President Obama also takes a different stance on how to advise Israel. Unlike President Bush who supported Israel nearly unconditionally, President Obama is trying to force his beliefs onto Prime Minister Netanyahu.

By no means do I believe that the American President should support everything Israel does, many times it is important to disagree. However, to take a way a nation’s sovereign right to rule is in no way acceptable.

On one side, I understand President Obama’s reasoning that communities in the West Bank are detrimental to feelings toward peace. And I agree that no new settlements should be built, it obviously is counter productive. And every ‘illegal outpost’ should be eliminated as well. But can President Obama say that natural growth is not allowed? Who’s right is it to tell parents that they may not have children. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being free and having the ability to make our own decisions. Should we become like China and limit childbirth to one per couple?

I am also not ready to just give over the West Bank entire to the Palestinian Authority. Eventually, it is almost impossible to conceive a region where the Palestinians will not have full control over that area, but at the current moment, are they ready? Are WE ready right now? Can we allow the West Bank to become another Gaza Strip and be taken over by Radical Islam?

I know that while President Obama will do great things in his presidency, I am worried by what he may force onto Prime Minister Netanyahu by using the media and speeches like his recent one in Cairo.

At least Secretary of State Clinton is right next to him. When asked if the United States would attack Iran if they were to drop a nuclear bomb on Israel, she replied with, “I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation.”

No matter whether Prime Minister Netanyahu decides to employ President Obama’s plan word for word, at least we know that they highest ranking official in the United States Foreign Affairs will protect our homeland.



~Election Followup by aklionsky

There I sat on February 10, the night of the Israeli election, repeatedly clicking the “refresh” button every few minutes on the Yediot Achronot website. Each time, percentage of seats won by Kadima and those won by Likud seemed insignificantly different. This raised an important question: What happens if the margin of victory by one party over another is tiny.

The way Israel dealt with that question was, in a sense, to disregard the results of the election. When the results are as close as they were this year, Israel brings the final decision to the President. So it was, that on February 20, President Shimon Peres announced that he has the most confidence in Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability—not the ability of Kadima’s Tzipi Livni, the candidate who won the most votes—to form a stable coalition, and thus a stable government.

To us, this seems ludicrous. For a country to go through all motions of an election—making campaign promises, ordering ballots, setting up voting booths, tallying the preferences—and then throw away the votes because it can’t be sure that the selected person will make a good leader: what was the point of voting?

February’s election showed something important about Israeli society today. The election showed the division amongst Israelis over what to do about the current situation, and displayed the appeal to large camps of Israelis of both major candidates and their platforms. But what the election failed to do was precisely what it was supposed to: decisively deliver a new Prime Minister to the Israeli people. Continue reading



~Gaza Stimulus Package: When Will This End? by joshman91

On February 10, 2009, the Israeli public made it abundantly clear that they are fed up with the status quo. Although most would like to see peace, they have grown tired of this past administration’s efforts to appease their enemies. Before I continue, I would like to make it clear that I am for peace. Having said that, I have come to the realization that territorial concessions and terror are mutually exclusive. Since the famous handshake between Yassir Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, instead of “Land for Peace” we have seen “Land for Terror.”

Perhaps the greatest example of why “Land for Peace” is a failed philosophy is Gaza. After the results of Sharon’s “Unilateral Disengagement,” I challenge anyone on this blog to argue why doing the same in Judea and Samaria would be effective. Before I discuss the security disasters that have resulted from the disengagement, I would like to make note of how inhumane our fellow Jews have been treated by the Israeli government. Many of the Gush Katif (region in Gaza) refugees are unemployed, homeless, and have experienced psychological damage. The government subsidized them to go on a “mission” and then evicted them from their homes.

Settlers aside, the disengagement has brought about a new age of terror. Since 2005, when Israel withdrew all settlers and security forces from every last inch of Gaza, thousands of rockets have been launched into southern Israel. While the media likes to make note of the fact that the rockets have caused few deaths, they ignore the fact that the Israelis cannot go to the mall. Residents of Beer Sheva have to worry about sending their kids to Kindergarden; the psychological damage that has resulted is disturbing.

Continue reading



~Is Livni the next Golda Meir, or is Israel in for another disappointment? by joshman91
September 18, 2008, 9:44 pm
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: , , , , , ,

 

The first point to be made is one that people on both sides of the spectrum can agree with: Israel is in desperate need of new leadership (more so than the United States).

However, does Israel, like America, need “change,” or more of the same? Some on this blog would argue that the issue is not so black and white. They would say that although Livni is a member of Olmert’s disastrous Kadima Party, she is a promising, pragmatic leader that can unite Israel once and for all.

When people get excited about Livni, as I have on certain occasions, they are oblivious to the fact that she is not in touch with the majority of the country. She only won the nomination by 431 votes, and received around 20,000 votes, which is, according to the Jerusalem Post, only 1.1% of the general electorate. According to the New York Times, the Kadima Party is only made up of about 70,000 voters, and only half or so made it to the polls. All of these statistics mentioned above have caused Likud leaders (the right-wing party) to call for general elections. They argue that it is undemocratic for a small party like that to be determining the path Israel shall follow.

Continue reading