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Bush calls for end of ‘occupation’ of Arab lands

Old 01-10-08, 08:03 PM
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Bush calls for end of ‘occupation’ of Arab lands

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22587081/

RAMALLAH, West Bank - President Bush, summing up meetings with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, said Thursday that a peace accord will require “painful political concessions” by each. Resolving the status of Jerusalem will be hard, he said, and he called for the end of the “occupation” of Arab land by the Israeli military.

“Now is the time to make difficult choices,” Bush said after a first-ever visit to the Palestinian territories, which followed separate meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem the day before.

Bush is in the Mideast for eight days, trying to bolster his goal of achieving a long-elusive peace agreement by the end of his presidency in a year. Speaking at his hotel in Jerusalem, he said again that he thinks that is possible.

“I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it,” Bush said. Within minutes, Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley said the president would return to the Middle East “at least once and maybe more” over the next year. He wouldn’t elaborate on possible destinations.

Bush also named Lt. Gen. William Fraser III, assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to monitor steps that both sides are making on the peace process, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

Bush said he’s convinced that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders understand “the importance of democratic states living side by side” in peace, and noted that he has a one-year deadline for progress on his watch.

“I’m on a timetable,” he told reporters. “I’ve got 12 months.”

Bush said he is not sure that the problem of Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in June, can be solved within that time frame. Hamas, he said, was elected to help improve the lot of Palestinians, but “has delivered nothing but misery.”

Action sought 'right now'

Bush gave his most detailed summation yet of what a final peace should include, including U.S. expectations for the resolution of some of the hardest issues in the violent conflict, one of the world’s longest-running and most intractable. He used tough language intended to put both sides on notice that he sees no reason they cannot get down to serious business, “starting right now.”

In his set of U.S. bottom lines were security for Israel, a “contiguous” state for the Palestinians and the expectation that final borders will be negotiated to accommodate territorial changes since Israel’s formation 60 years ago.

He made a point of using a loaded term — occupation — to describe Israeli control over land that would eventually form the bulk of an independent Palestinian state. That he did so in Jerusalem underscored that he is trying not to seem partial to Israel.

On borders, Bush said “any agreement will require adjustments” to the lines drawn for Israel in the late 1940s. He was referring to Israeli neighborhoods on disputed lands that Israel would keep when an independent Palestinian state is formed.

No appetite for 'Swiss cheese'

At the same time, Bush reiterated that Palestinians deserve better than a “Swiss cheese” state, and that a state wouldn’t be viable otherwise.

“The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear,” he said. “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people.”

He offered no specifics to resolve the fact of disputed Jerusalem, but urged both sides to work toward a solution in what he said could be the most difficult issue to settle in a long list of difficult issues.

“I know Jerusalem is a tough issue,” Bush said. “Both sides have deeply felt political and religious concerns.”

“It is vital that each side understands that satisfying the other’s fundamental objectives is key to a successful agreement,” the president said. “Security for Israel and viability for the Palestinian state are in the mutual interests of both parties.”

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Yeah, end the occupation of Arab lands, Israel! Who do you think you are? The United States?

Bush: "Ok, Israel, name your fucking price. I need to go out this year on a positive note. The US Taxpayer will foot the bill, so ask as much as you want."
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Old 01-10-08, 08:11 PM
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“The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear,” he said. “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967."


Riiiighhhhtt.......and the tiny detail that none of the Arab states accepted the 1967 borders in 1967 isn't really even worth mentioning....

This administration is so far removed from reality.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:25 PM
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we're finally leaving iraq?
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Old 01-10-08, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
“The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear,” he said. “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967."


Riiiighhhhtt.......and the tiny detail that none of the Arab states accepted the 1967 borders in 1967 isn't really even worth mentioning....


And not only that whatcha think is gonna happen if Israel does give up some of this land? All that will happen is that the land will be used to lob more missles into the heart of Israel. Just like happened with the Gaza Strip which I said back then giving back was a huge mistake - and it has been.

Bush is dead wrong on this and I agree that he's reaching now to have any sort of lasting legacy. Clinton tried this same crap as well in his last year and had no success and Bush isn't a 100th as good at it.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
“The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear,” he said. “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967."


Riiiighhhhtt.......and the tiny detail that none of the Arab states accepted the 1967 borders in 1967 isn't really even worth mentioning....

This administration is so far removed from reality.


What ultimate borders does Israel itself currently propose?
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Old 01-10-08, 08:48 PM
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Bush: "Hey, why don't you Jews just like, uhhh, help me out Dick...oh yeah...uhhh, why can't y'all move to Canada or France. Huh? Oh, Dick says forget the France thing."

Israel:
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Old 01-10-08, 10:04 PM
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election year lip service, sadly some will buy the lies
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Old 01-10-08, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
“The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear,” he said. “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967."

What a wuss. He wants to go back 41 years? I'll one up him and call for going back 2,000 years. Oh wait....wrong occupation. That one didn't count.



Best to just leave it all alone.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:49 PM
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"All we hear about in the Palestinian narrative is the right of return for these descendants to move back to the homes of their parents, grandparents or great grandparents in Israel proper. We hear nothing about the right of Jewish refugees and their descendants to return to their centuries-old Jewish homes in Egypt, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries. Indeed, if we were to apply the UN’s open-ended definition of a Palestinian refugee to the Jews forced out of Arab lands, the descendants of Jews whom Mohammed forcibly expelled from the Saudi peninsula should be allowed the right of return to their ancestral homelands in Mecca and Medina."
http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2...return-to.html
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Old 01-11-08, 07:30 AM
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I guess Bush is using some of his massive political capital to ensure lasting peace in Israel. I find the article title ironic considering the Arab lands we are currently occupying. (I'm sure that's what MSNBC was going for however)
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Old 01-11-08, 08:25 AM
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When I listened to the last update on these talks this morning on NPR, one of the commentator people pointed out how they are leaving out Hamas, since they actually control the Gaza strip? How are you going to get peace if a hunk of the land is controlled by terrorists lobbing missiles?
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Old 01-11-08, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
When I listened to the last update on these talks this morning on NPR, one of the commentator people pointed out how they are leaving out Hamas, since they actually control the Gaza strip? How are you going to get peace if a hunk of the land is controlled by terrorists lobbing missiles?

Exactly. You've got Hamas, whose clear policy is the destruction of the Israeli state (which they would not retract despite huge international political and financial pressure), actually (not just ostensibly)controlling Gaza and armed to the teeth. And by virtue of their having won a reasonably free democratic election, they're a more legitimate representative of the Palestinian people than is the Abbas government in the West Bank. And we're going to have a peace plan in place in a year without factoring Hamas in?
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Old 01-13-08, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Exactly. You've got Hamas, whose clear policy is the destruction of the Israeli state (which they would not retract despite huge international political and financial pressure), actually (not just ostensibly)controlling Gaza and armed to the teeth. And by virtue of their having won a reasonably free democratic election, they're a more legitimate representative of the Palestinian people than is the Abbas government in the West Bank. And we're going to have a peace plan in place in a year without factoring Hamas in?
There is the root of the matter really. A significant number of Palestinians hate Israel. Regardless of what that hate is based on, you have to deal with it if you want to broker any sort of peace. That means you have to include Hamas in any talks. They're not likely to do a magical 180 and agree to any sort of significant treaty in the next 12 months, but you have to get them at the table and start building something. If you leave them out, nothing you do will be worth more than the paper it's written on.

Somebody needs to clue Bush in to the fact that laying a long-term foundation is a better legacy than building a monument on quicksand.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:34 PM
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Privately, I hope he said, "you keep killing these Islamofascist mfers, and in public we'll go through the motions of wringing our hands."

One can hope.
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