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If we are looking at a way of ending violence between Israel and the Palestinians, then we can say go back to the original proposal of 1947 of dividing Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state.  President Mahmoud Abbas said it was a mistake, not to accept the United Nations vote.  So now it is trying to go back and correct past mistakes.  In order to do so, now we have to look at how to make the West Bank and Gaza into realistic candidates for a nation-state.  First of all, the West Bank is going to have to be a contiguous entity.  It cannot be a patch quilt of an Israeli settlement here, and a Palestinian village over the hill, both flying their own flags, and having their own municipal services.  So it breaks down to either have the Israeli settlers return to the pre-1967 borders, or stay and become citizens of Palestine.  Now this leads to the next issue, an economy for Gaza.  Israel no longer has a presence in Gaza, except for the airstrikes.  But the problems in Gaza are manifold.  Despite what the press portrays, Hamas does not have absolute control over Gaza.  Hamas has to deal with other factions such as Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, Salafists, and uncontrolled drug dealing. You can blame it on the Israeli blockade, but it seems to go beyond just that.  Palestinian elections are scheduled in May, and it is hoped that Al Fatah can take over administering Gaza.  But does that means that Gaza's problems will disappear?  Factious vying for power, 98% of its businesses not operating, and 45% unemployment seems like great obstacles to overcome.  When Yasir Arafat was alive a lot went into international assistance for developing a Palestinian economy, but many allegations were made that Arafat handed this aid over to his cronies, who were expatriates living in Western Europe, like his wife.  It did go into building an airport in Gaza, which was destroyed during the second intifada in 2002.  But there is the ability to rebuild, and have the airport be a location where Israeli farmers can bring fresh fruit and flowers to be flown to markets in Europe, as oppose to going all the way up to Ben-Gurion Airport.  Thus creating a service sector within Gaza.  It seems grandiose, but so is the probability of peace between Israel and Jordan, to jointly work on environmental problems affecting the Dead Sea.  Israel and Jordan are now at peace, and they can work on environmental problems and economic development of the region.  But back to Gaza, the 1.5 million citizens deserve something better, and to take it a step at a time, to address the political instability, and more important of all, economic viability of the region.  Peace is not impossible, it just takes hard work.

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Let me go in and research on this.  Because Mahmoud Abbas said that when there is an independent Palestine, that Israeli settlers can stay there, and become citizens of Palestine.  Unless this position just changed.  If so, it maybe that Al Fatah is trying to appeal to voters before the elections held in May.  Many times erroneous information can be released to the public.  I once saw a press release stating that Hamas recognized the State of Israel.  When I went in to find more sources, is was that Hamas recognized the pre-1967 borders.  Period.  This what is so difficult about finding information on the Middle East, is verifying that it is correct.  Let us hope that people's thinking is in 2012, and not in 1929.

Let me go in, and research this a little bit better.  The Palestinian Authority said that if there was an independent Palestine, that Israeli settlers would be allowed to stay and become citizens of Palestine.  So unless that position was just changed.  If it did, then Al Fatah is thinking to it will appeal better to voters, before the elections in May.  But many times you have to get numerous sources that are saying the same thing.  Because I saw press release that said the Hamas recognized the State of Israel, and when I went to look at it a little bit better, is was that Hamas recognized the pre-1967 borders.  Period.  Which means that rumors can fly very easily in the Middle East.  But I will check on it.

Being Lebanese then you will clearly understand that the conflict in the Middle East, is not just confined to just the Israelis and Palestinians.  As far back as the 1840s when it too was a part of the Ottoman Empire,  France was sending troops to halt the Druzes from massacring the Maronite Christians, which led to France to getting control of that area after World War I.  After independence, its government was to be divided up with a Christian President and a Muslim Prime Minister, and this type of power sharing still did not prevent sectarian violence.  Eisenhower sent American troops there, just like when he greatly pressured Israel to withdrawal from the Sinai, after it was taken in 1956.  Then of course, the terrible civil war from 1975-1990.  So what goes on in Lebanon very much affects the Israeli-Palestinian issue.  I am just as much as committed to the on-going peace in Lebanon, as much as I am to finding peace between Israelis and Palestinians.  I once went to a festival at a Maronite Church, and when I paid my admission I mentioned that they were Catholic.  They bolted out "We are not Catholic!"  But I said you are in communion with the Pope of Rome. They said yes, but we are not Catholic.  This let me know how intricate issues pertaining the Middle East are.  That is what we pay attention to intricate issues.  Discussing them, analyzing them, and most important of all, trying to find solutions.  We are a think tank, just like Shimon Peres' Center for Peace.  So everything needs to be laid out on the table, no matter how ridiculous it make sound to somebody.  The reason why I am so hard on finding an israeli-Palestinian peace, because I have seen both sides weeping over the bodies of someone who was killed, and realize that this simply cannot go on.  I hope others will join me.

Here is a serious incident that Israel is responsible for in Lebanon:

Thanks for that insightful news story FOR 6 YEARS ago... Hey Sussan, over a hundren Syrians were brutially murdered in teh streets LAST WEEK....Stop tryingto incite with information that is irrelevant.

Tim,

  Whats is your point?  You go on and on about history, and your wishes for a good future... Do you have anything practical to say? Somethingtaht would actually push a peaceful solution?

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