U.S. ambassador discusses Settlements, Goldstone, Peace process, Iran (plus commentary)

Posted: November 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements, the US and us | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »
ambassador James Cunningham

ambassador Cunningham

U.S. ambassador to Israel, Mr. James B. Cunningham, gave today a short lecture at the Tel Aviv University on “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: One Year into the Obama Presidency”. Mr. Cunningham said that the Administration has “a sense of urgency” in trying to bring the renewal of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and emphasized several times that “time is not on our side” and that “the status quo is not sustainable”.

The ambassador admitted though that the task of bringing the parties back to the negotiating table “has proved to be very difficult”, and that the administrating is currently looking for “new ways”. Among the reasons for the current standstill Mr. Cunningham mentioned the situation created by the Goldstone report. He also noted that with regards to the settlement issue, the response the administration got from the Israeli government “is less than we hoped for”. Read the rest of this entry »

Rabin Square

Posted: November 8th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: The Left | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

On my way back home from a friend’s house, I passed by Rabin square during the annual rally commemorating PM Yitzhak Rabin. Both Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni spoke on stage, and were equally unimpressive. I don’t think I can name a single Israeli politician who can give a decent speech (some say Menachem Begin could, but that was before my time).

There were some 50,000 people there, and the atmosphere was as gloomy as ever. These are the remains of “the Peace Camp”, once a real power in the political arena and now a nostalgic movement which hangs on to the memory of its dead leader. The left is going to crash in the next election, and the only active political force advocating negotiation with Israel’s neighbors is Kadima – a party formed mostly by Likud members. If the historical role of the left was to get Israel to leave the occupied territories on its own will, it failed to fulfill it. Israel has left Gaza and Lebanon, and will leave the West Bank, due to terrorism and international pressure. We lost the debate.