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U.S. and Israel Set Conditions for Palestinian Government

Posted on Feb 18, 2007

The U.S. and Israel have agreed not to recognize or support a new Palestinian unity government unless it first recognizes Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will have to do some political tightrope-walking in the days ahead as he attempts to make peace with Hamas at home and improve relations with Israel and its allies abroad.


The US and Israel will not work with a new Palestinian unity government unless it recognises Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.

He was speaking as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared for talks with Mr Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Olmert said he and US President Bush agreed on their position on Friday.

Hamas, the largest group in the proposed Palestinian unity government, refuses to recognise Israel.

Mr Olmert said a Palestinian government that failed to accept conditions laid down by the quartet of the US, EU, Russia and UN “cannot receive recognition and there will not be co-operation with it,” Reuters news agency reports.

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By it's not about Judaism or Islam, February 19, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

or a homeland. That just makes it sound honourable.
It’s about wealth: the abuse of power by the wealthy, and the resentment of those with wealth by the poor.
I disagree with those who think this conflict is ‘complex’. It couldn’t be any simpler, or uglier.

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By Doug Tarnopol, February 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling in this establishment!”

C’mon, the basic law of US-Israeli-Palestinian relations is: “No Palestinian government is a ‘reliable’ or ‘credible’ partner.” Even Saint Obama gets how the math works in the Democratic Party. Let us say nothing of the Republicans, who have their own reasons for supporting Sparta…I mean, Armageddon…I mean, Israel.

Call your senators and representative and demand that Israel be controlled, to the extent we can do that; that Palestinians be supported, at least by releasing funds (held up by Dems, last I checked); and that a strike on Iran is unacceptable. Especially if you’re Jewish, as I am.

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By Big Al, February 19, 2007 at 5:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Federer so rightly asks:

“Would Americans accept boycotts and sanctions of the U.S. for not recognizing a neighboring state that is, with military force, illegally settling its own ethnic population within walled cities and enclaves on American soil, while carving their national territory into apartheid cantons (into which Americans are being transferred)?”

Indeed. Israel’s sanctimonious demands are ludicrous.

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By Both Israel and Palestine were parcelled out of, February 19, 2007 at 1:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

a British Protectorate within a few years of each other, a British Protectorate that in turn fell out of a fallen Islamic empire, the Ottoman empire. yes, Israel has since abused it’s power badly but get your facts straight, because it irritates the hell out of some of us (me).

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By Federer, February 19, 2007 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Would Americans accept boycotts and sanctions of the U.S. for not recognizing a neighboring state that is, with military force, illegally settling its own ethnic population within walled cities and enclaves on American soil, while carving their national territory into apartheid cantons (into which Americans are being transferred)?

For over 60 years, the US government has not been an honest broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict (an exception: King-Crane Commission of 1919). The 1947 partition resolution would probably not have passed the UN General Assembly vote had it not been for alleged US pressure and intimidation on certain states.

The US continues to support Israel’s agenda of colonizing the desirable parts of Palestine and forcing the Palestinians to accept Israel’s terms and conditions. Thus Bush has again conspired with Israel to boycott, bully and defraud the victims—the Palestinians. The US (and soon the pliant EU and Canada) continues to take orders on the sham made-in-Israel ‘peace process’ from an illegal occupier, instead of remaining neutral and applying international law and precedents.

No conditions are placed on Israel, which has: refused to recognize a fully independent, viable and sovereign Palestine state free from Israeli interference; denied the Palestinians’ international right to self-determination on their ancestral homeland of Palestine; violated the most resolutions in UN history; continued the longest (40 years) military occupation in post-WW2 history; failed to honour key aspects of previous agreements with respect to the occupied Palestinian territories (UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, Oslo Accords, Road Map); and refused to renounce violence, ethnic cleansing, land theft, apartheid, human rights abuses and other crimes of humanity against the Palestinians; etc.

The Palestinians should require firm confirmation of Israel’s exact borders before recognizing it. The Palestinians could lose much of their remaining homeland if they give this predatory state the “right to exist” within whatever borders it unilaterally chooses in future. Indeed, Israeli textbooks show all the occupied territories as part of Israel! For 110 years, every Zionist and Israeli leader has refused to recognize the Palestinians—as a people, nation, or fully-sovereign state in all the occupied territories.

“Recognizing Israel”—a state—is a formal legal and diplomatic act by one state to another state. It is unreasonable and inappropriate for an occupied people—not yet a state—to extend diplomatic recognition to an occupying state before it withdraws from all occupied territories and completes final-status peace negotiations. The PLO got nothing tangible from formally recognizing Israel at least twice since 1988, except bad faith from Israel. Palestinian obligations have been voided by Israel’s refusal to offer a reciprocal recognition of the Palestinians’ existence.

Recognizing Israel’s “right to exist” is similar to the difference between asking a Jew to acknowledge that the Holocaust happened and immorally asking him to acknowledge that it was “right” that the Holocaust happened—that the Holocaust (or Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians) was morally justified. Palestinians would be endorsing Israel as an exclusivist Jewish state (i.e., populated and run primarily by Jews, primarily for Jews). Palestinians would be authorizing Israel to take whatever actions are necessary to preserve its Jewish majority (even rejecting the return of Palestinian refugees mandated by international law, corralling the occupied Palestinians into apartheid cantons, etc.). As well, the Palestinians would be legitimizing and morally accepting Israel’s past and future actions to create and preserve its Jewish nature (such as ethnic cleansing over a million Palestinians over the 59 years since 1948, discrimination against the rights of non-Jewish people, etc.).

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 18, 2007 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When it comes to issues of justice, American policies are a hopeless case. It seems to me that these are policies of the medieval savages who always believe that might is right. Given this attitude the U.S. is not part of solving issues related to conflicts and peace; she is, in fact, part of the problem.
In regard to the Palestinian-Israeli situation, the issue should be for Israel to end its terrorist occupation, going now in its fortieth anniversary. It should not be to ask the victimized to recognize that their victimizers exist. Only people of low thinking and crooked concept of right and wrong would insist on having it this way.

Yes, not only America is an obstacle to peace, but with its crooked policies it does poromote wars, insecurity and terrorism in the world. All this so that the merchants of death and the military industrial complex have their bank accounts profits multiply many folds over!

Again, for the one hundred time, wake up America!

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By Rodney Matthews, February 18, 2007 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Palestinians have a election, one which was pushed by the Bush Adminstration and they elected Hamas. Now Israel and the Bush Adminstration refuses to acknowledge or accept the democratically elected government. Be carefull for the democracy that you wished for.

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By dick, February 18, 2007 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Details, please. What does it mean “recognize Israel” ? Thanks to all , in advance. How many folks “recognize _________.? Fill in the blank with any country. What does this mean??

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By trantieungoc, February 18, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These two devils do not have any power to set conditions for Palestinian government.

This authoritarian act had been created by the “blow job” foreign policy which carried out by an expert of “blow job” Rice.

Palestine ought to be cooperated with Lebanese people to fight against all kind of evils.

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By Don Peake, February 18, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have read about the three demands of the U.S., Israel and the EU for the Palestinians—recognize the state of Israel, renounce violence, and accept all former agreements.  These are reasonable demands; so let’s insist on a parallel acceptance by Israel—recognize a Palestinian state, renounce violence, and accept all former agreements.  Here’s my prediction: Israel would never agree.  A final note: Palestinians must wonder exactly which Israel it is they are supposed to recognize—the one contained in the pre-1967 borders?  or the one which includes all the annexed territory and the settlements in the West Bank?  Let’s guess as to what Israel’s answer to this question might be.

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By eric, February 18, 2007 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

how about conditions for the israeli government ? can they go on doing what pleases them most ?

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By Big Al, February 18, 2007 at 10:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is ridiculous. The United States managed to make treaties with, and avoid going to war with, the Soviet Union - in spite of the fact that the US didn’t accept the USSR’s “right to exist” as a communist totalitarian state, nor did the USSR recognize the US’s “right to exist” as a capitalist state.

But both states recognized the FACT of each other’s existence for practical purposes, and that’s all any state can rightfully ask. Israel’s demand that Palestinians accept Israel’s “right to exist” amounts to demanding that the Palestinians prove that they LOVE Israel.

Israel doesn’t recognize the Palestinians’ “right to exist” as a nation, nor does the Hamas government recognize Israel’s “right to exist” as the hideous religious/racial chauvinist, territory-stealing regime that it is.

Hostile regimes just have to get along, even when they thoroughly disapprove of each other. Israel wants some proof of Palestinians’ bone-deep approval of the Jewish state before anything can be done to make life better and more peaceable for all concerned.

The Israelis are the obstructionists here, obviously.

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By Ken Mitchell, February 18, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, Bush is in no position to talk. The US operates on the condition that if it doesn’t like a country’s government that it has a right to remove it. See Iran in 1953 and Iraq in 1963 and aghain in 2003.

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