Jordan's King Abdullah II added a gloomy warning that prospects for peace are "sliding into darkness." Obama envoy George Mitchell, visiting Israeli and Palestinian leaders for the second time in three weeks, is trying relentlessly to bring the sides together for talks, but the obstacles he faces are daunting.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested that the two sides come up with a long-term interim arrangement that would ensure stability, while at the same time putting off a final deal. He recommended leaving the toughest issues – such as the status of disputed Jerusalem and a solution for Palestinian refugees who lost homes amid war – "to a much later stage." Lieberman's approach runs counter to U.S. efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal quickly. The Palestinians have said they will not agree to an interim peace deal that would put off a resolution of the conflict indefinitely.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Thursday that restarting negotiations is an urgent matter. "The time has come for both sides to agree to just cut right through all of this and get back to peace talks," he said. On the Palestinian side, Israel's punishing winter offensive in Gaza deepened anger toward Israel and further reduced whatever sentiment there was for concessions to Israel in a peace deal. It also underlined Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' powerless position in Gaza, overrun by Hamas militants in 2007.
Abbas is walking a tightrope, trying not to appear intransigent to the White House while seeking to retain credibility with Palestinians accusing him of appeasing the Israelis.
On Wednesday, Gaza professors threw shoes at his defaced image and West Bank commentators called for his resignation, signs Abbas may have miscalculated in bowing to what Palestinian officials say was intense U.S. pressure to suspend Palestinian diplomatic efforts to get Israeli officials put on trial for war crimes in Gaza.
Nearly 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the war, including hundreds of civilians. Israel, which lost 13 civilians and soldiers in the war.
The Cruel Dilemma Facing the Jews of IsraelMort Zuckerman, 10.08.2009
Editor, U.S. News & World Report
The Jews of Israel are facing a cruel dilemma. They came home to find peace and safety in their homeland of Israel; to find an end to that vulnerable status of a perpetual wandering minority; an end to exile, alienation, and powerlessness; and the beginning of a normal national existence. Instead, they found neighbors who were not reconciled to their living again together in this tiny piece of land the Jews have regarded as home for 4,000 years. How do you share a home with someone who says, "You have no right to be here"? The Arab assault on the Jews that began immediately and has continued for more than half a century made it clear the Jews could not control 2 million Arabs without eroding the moral character of their tiny state and, with that, its support in the world. So leader after leader decided to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and any pretense that Israel could become a binational state in which one people ruled another. After Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres promoted the Oslo agreements, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert, prime ministers all, made dramatic proposals in search of a live-and-let-live relationship with the Palestinians -- and all were rejected. They offered to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza in words and withdrew from them in deeds. Did this bring peace? No, it brought terrorist attacks by suicide bombers who menaced any kind of normal life within Israel. Prime Minister Sharon voluntarily withdrew every last Jewish settler and soldier from Gaza. It meant forcing close to 10,000 Jews out of their homes. Did it bring peace? Did the Gazans say, "Good riddance," and get on with building their own society? No, they hunted the Jews who had left. They turned Gaza into a launching pad for thousands of rockets against the Jewish people. Never even for one day did they cease. This was true even before Hamas seized control. Then, when Hamas did take control, the terrorism escalated.
Since 1948, when Zionists succeeded in carving out a Jewish state from the land of the Palestinians, the question “who is a
Jew” has been endlessly debated. Zionists (both Christian and Jewish) often declare that “God gave the land” of Palestine “to the Jews.” They infer that God deeded territories, in perpetuity, to a biblical tribe of Oriental Middle Eastern people. Since millions of American Christians accept a dogma that God has a Chosen Land and a Chosen People (the Jews), then the question “who is a Jew?” takes on political connotations that impinge on national and international decisions.
In his carefully researched book entitled The Thirteenth Tribe, Arthur Koestler refutes the idea of a Jewish “race.” Moreover, he says that most Jews of the contemporary world did not come from Palestine and are not even of Semitic origin. His research shows that most Jews originated in what today is the Soviet Union. And that a group of people there became Jews through conversion, on the orders of their king. “The bulk of modern Jewry is not of Palestinian, but of Caucasian origin.
The Thirteenth Tribe – The Real Jewish Heritage
|…but that does not alter the fact that the large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of Eastern European — and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar — origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur “ |
This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in the Dark Ages became converted to Judaism. Khazaria was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan, but evidence indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland and formed the cradle of Western Jewry…
The Khazars’ sway extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian, from the Caucasus to the Volga, and they were instrumental in stopping the Muslim onslaught against Byzantium, the eastern jaw of the gigantic pincer movement that in the West swept across northern Africa and into Spain.
In the second part of this book, “The Heritage,” Mr. Koestler speculates about the ultimate faith of the Khazars and their impact on the racial composition and social heritage of modern Jewry. He produces a large body of meticulously detailed research in support of a theory that sounds all the more convincing for the restraint with which it is advanced. Yet should this theory be confirmed, the term “anti-Semitism” would become void of meaning, since, as Mr. Koestler writes, it is based “on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated.”
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