Quartet Meets in Russia

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 19, 2010

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On the final day of her two-stop visit to Moscow, Secretary Clinton met with with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Quartet Special Representative Tony Blair. Following their talks, the Quartet released a joint statement reaffirming the fundamental principles laid down in Trieste on June 26, 2009, and welcoming the readiness to launch proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The proximity talks are an important step toward the resumption, without pre-conditions, of direct bilateral negotiations that resolve all final status issues as previously agreed by the parties.

Secretary Clinton said, "The goal of the Quartet, like the goal of the United States Government, is to get the proximity talks re-launched. We do not think unilateral actions by either party are helpful and we have made that very clear. And we're hoping to be able to get those talks started because we think it's only through that effort that we can move on to direct negotiations, as the Secretary General made reference to as part of our Quartet statement."

Read the Secretary's remarks with members of the Quartet here.

Comments

Comments

Horace M.
|
New Hampshire, USA
March 20, 2010

Horace M. in New Hampshire writes:

Why must American taxpayers support Israel? Let's let Israel stand on its own two feet. It shames me that my tax dollars support Israel's belief in blood and soil. Israeli Professor Shlomo Sand shows in his outstanding book that Israelis are far less likely to be descended from the Hebrews of the Old Testament than Palestinians are. By backing Israel, Americans are recreating the sort of aggression and discrimination that the Europeans who first came to North America unleashed upon the indigenes. The same goes for how Apartheid prevailed in South Africa till recently. But our representatives in Congress continually besmirch the USA's reputation by refusing to let Israel fend for itself.

Horace M.
|
New Hampshire, USA
March 20, 2010

Horace M. in New Hampshire writes:

Whether or not you post my comment will tell me whether or not an American taxpaying citizen has the right to question our foreign policy concerning Israel.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
March 21, 2010

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. Israel is the only pure Democracy in the Middle East, its ties with Russia are strong and have been for some time; but’ the importance of our ties with Israel is and has been paramount for many reasons. They represent much of the same foundations America was built upon from religious freedom to human rights.

2. US military aid to Israel for 2009: $2.55 billion, of which they spend much of it back on US mfg. support industries as fuel, mfg. support mechanisms, etc.

3. The Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program aids in our National Security.

4. Strategically, who can you replace them with?

It would seem that the further America gets from a Christian based philosophy, the further we get from support to Israel for some unknown reason.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 21, 2010

SNP in Syria writes:

A realistic solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be one that Jerusalem remains undivided and under Israel control. The city needs a face lift to bring it up to a World Capital Standard and be an Icon as the Kabba in Mecca is ( I think it is in Mecca), appropriate to serve as the new Israel eternal capital.

Completing this solution, relocate Jordan sand castle ruler, which the Brits installed over a patch of the Syrian desert into a kingdom after 1916 Ottoman collapse back to his home town in Arabia, let him rule over the Najaf area of Arabia which his grandfathers ruled in the past. Return the western part of Transjordan territory to Palestinians who had inhabited this area for millennia and use the Eastern part bordering Iraq as a U.S./NATO huge base, like Nevada now serve. Further expand Gaza into the underdeveloped and uninhabited coastal area of the Sinai to allow some elbow room for Palestinians to live (hopefully they will not use it to test longer range missiles but to build resorts of sorts). Here you have it, it is really simple.

You can expand this realistic solution further by having the U.S. bring a new campaign of Freedom and Democracy to Arabia, pull troupes out of Iraq (now that you have eastern Transjordan) and transfer them to Eastern Arabia to protect U.S. oil reserves in that region, The House of Saud can live comfortably controlling Central Arabia and Riyadh and living of investment earnings.

How many decades the hundredth quartets being working at failed solution after another, try this one, and if it cannot implement it, get out of the Middle East Conflict Resolution Gimmicks altogether, either leave it to Israeli who managed pretty well in those few decades since they started with desert patch of land in Palestine, or get someone else that will implement it into power. Enough United Nations charades, it got nowhere for 70 years.

Brad B.
|
Canada
March 21, 2010

Brad B. in Canada writes:

The Quartet and the world at large is conveniently overlooking many things. Two glaring examples:

Gaza is controlled by Hamas with their zero-compromise, Jew-hating mentality and the possible capacity to violently overthrow the P.A. after some peace deal is made.

Historical events wherein Jews were kicked out of East Jerusalem and all Jewish sites desecrated. This habit of desecration continues to this day. There was no outcry over this, making it seem as if Judaism and Jews automatically have no rights but Muslims and Arabs do.

This style of thinking is echoed by the comment of Horace M. Examination of aid to Israel is quite in order but it needs to be done in the context of how aid is distributed to others. E.g. Egpt gets about 2/3 of what Israel does but their academics boast about giving nothing in return. Israeli aid saves the U.S. money overall; were Israel not the ally it is, the U.S. would likely feel the need to keep an extra aircraft carrier or two stationed permanently in the region. The US derives many other benefits from the relationship.

No peace is possible without a balanced approach by the Quartet. I shall assume that the latest anti-Israel escalation by this administration is a sign that they have adopted the pro-Arab biases of Russia, the UN and the EU.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 22, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Joe in Tenn.

The concept of "Karma" is simply put, reaping what you sow. It goes way beyond this, and forms the basis of living in peace with your actions in the world.

People who bring trouble between them to your door, are asking you to engage in their karma and feed it. They often blame you when it's still unresolved opon leaving. If you've taken sides, one blames the consequences of the other's action opon you.

You have just incurred karma and have done so by allowing the dispute to continue in your home first and in siding with a disputant, and the attachment to the conflict that it represents, secondly. I'm speaking as if it were individuals involved, not nations.

The basis for any U.S. withdrawal of support (loan guarantees, for instance) to Israel, would not be to appease the Arab world, but to rid the Karma of attachment to that conflict that America has been burdened with.

While we may encourage them to engage in peace, it may be that aid becomes a conditional and nessesary leverage to be clear to the Israeli gov. they must find peace in their own best interests, and work toward that end.

Any way we approach the situation, our efforts have been consistently sabotaged by taking sides and when we don't step in to stop the slaughter, we are blamed for it as a nation. The Palestinian on the receiving end of a bomb dropped by an American built F-16 flown by an Israeli, is not going to differentiate between who killed him nor will his surviving family.

To be fair about this, other than humanitarian assistance, we might just as well condition other aid to Abass and Co. on their ability to take back political control of Gaza before Hamas starts another round of insanity by firing more rockets into Israel.

If we use the leverage and they want support in the future, a ratified peace treaty must be in place on the street.

The goal of a Palestinian State as supported, gives hope to the stateless, and is worthy in that regard.

The thought of a Palestinian state without terrorism is today unthinkable without the change in attitude necessary from both parties to find peace and eventual trust in that peace, face to face, up-front and in person.

Right about now Joe, even you would probably agree that the American public could use 3 billion in loan guarantees from US banks to prop up our own infrastructure.

I'd rather we invest it in our own housing market and micro-lending here than on Israeli settlements.

That's the price our friends may have to pay for intentionally making us look bad.

As far as security partners go, a good one doesn't bring questionable ethical standards to your door and ask you for unconditional support for them, that's why Congress has strings attached, IE; "defensive use only".

So whether you think my Buddhist perspective has something to do with my questioning the basis for support or not, you have an opportunity to explain to me why I should have a different viewpoint.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed."

-Sec Clinton, AIPAC

---
P.S. My remarks below written with the same intent above.

Sen Biden has it right, "there can be no space between our security."

I would start closing the gap with common rules of engagement, and using phosphorous munitions in densly civilian areas is part of why I questioned Israel's ethical standards previosly. I've never bothered to read the "Goldstone report" because I don't need their opinion to make up my mind that the conditions Israel creates is not helping the peace it wants to create.

"Clear and hold" they have down with overkill added, it's the building condfidence part about making friends of your enemies that could use a lot of work.

Madam Secretary said everything that needed to be said, and put the status quo on notice.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 23, 2010

SNP in Syria writes:

Phosphorous bombs on Civilian or military personnel alike is a crime. But before someone get outraged at these, he should check out the effect of DU from U.S. bombardment of Civilians in Iraq. In Fairness sake, Israeli wars, all of them, are the most civilized ever in comparison to what U.S. did in Vietnam and South East Asia, Iraq and other places.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ SNP,

I know a fellow who has some shrapnel in his leg from a DU round that came too close for comfort in gulf war 1, and he asked me some years ago if I thought it was safe for him to have sex with his wife, let alone have kids...being that he set off radiation detectors in airports.

I'm not a VA doc. Nor could I give him a medical evaluation, so all I said was, "Given the fact that all the time I was growing up, there was this chunk of trinitite (fused sand from the first atomic bomb test) sitting on the shelf in my house that was presented to my granddad for his work on the Manhattan Project and my kids came out just fine. I think you shouldn't worry too much about it... nor should your wife."

I think the perspective helped since he's had no issues since.

War is a terrible thing SnP, but America does it's best to avoid civilian casualties.

You can just look at the "total war" mindset WW2 was fought with and thank your lucky stars that our war-fighting has evolved away from carpet bombing cities into utter ruin to deny the enemy the capacity to make war.

On the other hand, we see terrorists trying to target civilians with car bombs and clorine gas, and ultimately WMD if they could ever get their hands on them.

Ultimately Hamas must be forced out of power in Gaza for a viable Palestinian state to be formed.

They won't go quietly into the night or become the PA's partner in peace, and the next time Israel takes action I don't want them to embarras themselves or us by going at it in a way that causes questions of ethics to arise from the use of force.

I think that's a pretty reasonable thing to insist upon, given the amount of military assistance we provide Israel.

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