Hisham Melhem at PostGlobal

Hisham Melhem

Washington, D.C., USA

Hisham Melhem is the Washington-based correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily; Al-Qabas, the Kuwaiti daily; and Radio Monte Carlo in France. He is currently the host of "Across the Ocean", a weekly talk show for Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite station. Close.

Hisham Melhem

Washington, D.C., USA

Hisham Melhem is the Washington-based correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily; Al-Qabas, the Kuwaiti daily; and Radio Monte Carlo in France. He is currently the host of "Across the Ocean", a weekly talk show for Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite station. more »

Main Page | Hisham Melhem Archives | PostGlobal Archives


The Triumph of the 'Process'

The U.S. acts as though the peace talks succeeded just because everyone showed up. That’s not the kind of imaginative solution we need.

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All Comments (12)

bfgmnwotgt:

Wow, cool man, big thanks! http://spcymyrdrimrm.com

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Scanning the newspapers this morning I see that Paris conferees have pledged $7.4 Billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that an infusion of cash would help the peace process begun by the United States last month in Annapolis, Md.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700210.html

“But some delegates said that pumping money into the West Bank and Gaza Strip would not lead to long-term economic growth or political moderation as long as Israel continued expanding Jewish settlements and imposing a regime of checkpoints and closures that was strangling the Palestinian economy...

"Economic development is the best guarantee of lasting peace and long-term security for Israel," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the conference host...

But it was unclear how much of the $7.4 billion pledged Monday would go to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic group whose forces expelled the Palestinian Authority from the strip in June.

Events that followed the Nov. 27 Annapolis conference contributed to Palestinian resentment here and in the territories leading up to the Paris meeting. A week after both sides pledged to adhere to the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace -- a plan launched in 2003 that calls for Israel to stop settlement activities and for Palestinians to disarm militant groups and boost security -- Israel announced the construction of more than 300 homes on occupied land on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"I'll be eager to implement all our commitments under the road map, and I expect the Israeli side to do the same, comprehensively, and without excuses from our side or theirs," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the delegates. "I expect them to stop all settlement activities, without exceptions."

There is a fat chance that the Zionists will let up on their expansionist settlements and strangle hold on the Palestinian economy. They will prefer to keep their West Bank settlements, hog 80% of the water supply to keep their lawns green and swimming pools full, while denying the Palestinian natives the right to drill wells; even though both the UN and USA agree that the Palestinians are being deprived the minimum amount of water to maintain health.

Some people cannot be lived with; they must be expelled once again from the Middle East.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is the 2nd of two articles in the WP this week about the exhumation in Washington D.C. and reburial in Israel of Theodore Herzl’s grandson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502025_pf.html

Here is the link to the 1st.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

This is the tragic story of the Zionists’ greatest hero. The first article mentions in passing what an incredible simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the invading Zionists with open arms.

"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

From the 2nd article:

“Sixty years after jumping off a bridge to his death, the last descendant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery bearing his grandfather's name _ bringing an end to a torturous family saga and finally fulfilling Herzl's century-old will.

Herzl's son also committed suicide. He had a daughter who was mentally ill and another who was killed in the Holocaust. In the past year, three of the founder's four descendants have been buried in Israel_ no easy task because of rabbinical injunctions against Jewish burials for those who have killed themselves or converted to other religions.”...

"His vision was realized, and now there is an exemplary nation," said Liora Herzl, the great-granddaughter of Herzl's cousin. But she noted that Zionism's founder left behind a broken, cash-strapped family. "He was completely consumed with his commitment to the Zionist idea, and his family ultimately paid the price for that."

“Norman was the lone family member committed to Herzl's Zionist cause. He read about his grandfather's work and was active in his movement.”

So here we have the idealist Zionist simpleton who is the principal founder responsible for the incredible mess we have in the Middle East today. The question for us to unravel is: what are we going to do about it?

Clearly, the rightful owners of the land of Palestine are in no mood to welcome the Zionist invaders with open arms and they continue to demand the return of their land. The USA is stuck with the consequences of its incredibly poor judgment in siding with the Zionists on this issue.

We are stuck with only two very unattractive options that I can see:

1. Continue with the present approach of funding (with my tax dollars) the slow genocide of the Palestinian people through the denial of their basic human rights and dignity. This is a fate worse than death as evidenced by the tasteless joke of the occasional exploding Muslim. The Israelis confiscate most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

2. Admit what horrendous mistakes were made by the League of Nations in the 20th century with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 and correct them. How do we correct them? Restore the original pre-1947 boundary of the map of Palestine, go back to the single state solution, recognize the Palestinian Refugee right of return, form a UN mandate to control the allocation of water and enforce the peace. The Israeli planes, tanks, ships and nuclear weapons and all Palestinian arms would be destroyed.

To my mind the 2nd option is the clear choice. What are the odds of this happening? I would say not so good; it is very difficult to admit when one has made a mistake.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is another interesting site on the Israeli technological marvel.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/2007/12/israel_silicon_valley_entrepreneur.html

Yup, Israel is a technological marvel. That’s why the Israelis need to hog 80% of the Palestinian’s water supply.

http://www.fmep.org/analysis/articles/water_policy_maher.html

…“According to recommended standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), a minimum of 100 liters a day per capita are needed for balanced and healthy domestic consumption in rural households. In contrast, BâeTselem, the Israeli human rights organization, documents that Israeli per capita consumption of water already reaches 350 l/day, about five-times Palestinian consumption. Per capita consumption of water in Israeli settlements, most of which are strategically located directly above main water extraction sources, can reach even higher levels, estimated at seven-fold the Palestinian consumption rate. In contrast, Palestinian consumption rates per capita vary between 35-80 l/d, well below WHO and USAID recommendations, and in some communities, water consumption can dip to as low as 7 l/d under certain conditions…”

So Israel confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians there do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

So you folks go ahead and live well at the expense of your oppressed neighbors on your stolen land. My government will guarantee the continuation of your illegal existence and fund your atrocious behavior with billions of my tax dollars. Live long and prosper, until the world wakes up and puts a stop to your despicable treatment of the rightful owners of your stolen land.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

The Iranians and Israelis can relax. We have no plan to end our dependence on Middle East oil any time soon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/opinion/05friedman.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 5, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which — my guess — would read something like this:

To: President Ahmadinejad

From: The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence

Subject: America

As you’ll recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the U.S. would develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would be the greatest threat to Iranian [and Israeli] national security. In fact, after Bush’s 2006 State of the Union, in which he decried America’s oil addiction, we had “high confidence” that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy policy would emerge. We were wrong.

Our fears that the U.S. was engaged in a covert “Manhattan Project” to achieve energy independence have been “assuaged.” America’s Manhattan Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cell phone intercepts between lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar payoff to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses…

Frederick of Naples, Florida:

And why is the land that Mohammed and his colleagues conquered and stole from others when they swept out of Arabia exempt from your moral calculus?

Frederick of Naples, Florida:

And why is the land that Mohammed and his colleagues conquered and stole from others when they swept out of Arabia exempt from your moral calculus?

SATC:

Again:
Just more of the same...........a play for time.

The theft of Palestine was underwritten by the Brits and midwifed by terrorists who were financed by the US.

Anyone can understand the hatred that the Palestinians.........more than just the Palestinians - the Arabs..... more than just Arabs - the entire Muslim world has for Israel. Much of the rest of the world just wishes it would go away.

Ultimately, the Hebrews - as horrible as it seems - will have no choice but to live as peaceful citizens of Palestine.

Now is not to soon for all good Hebrews to acknowledge the crimes of the past (desperate though Rabin and the others were), beg forgiveness, stop this Zionist madness, and try to live as peaceful citizens of Palestine.

There is no alternative .....

Ultimately:
The footnote will read: Israel was the manifestation of Truman trying to cash Balfour's check with the blood of Palestinians and Hebrews alike.

John Winthrop, Boston, MA:

Rick Jones's comment is an object lesson in the intolerant bigotry that infects the Middle East, and has resulted in 60 years of killing of Arabs and Jews.

It is only after the Arab leaders in the Middle East can transcend such peculiar bigotry and are able to say Israel is a Jewish state that there will be eventual peace in the Middle East.

Rick Jones sounds like he belongs in Gaza with the Hamasniks!

John Winthrop, Boston, MA:

Rick Jones's comment is an object lesson in the intolerant bigotry that infects the Middle East, and has resulted in 60 years of killing of Arabs and Jews.

It is only after the Arab leaders in the Middle East can transcend such peculiar bigotry and are able to say Israel is a Jewish state that there will be eventual peace in the Middle East.

Rick Jones sounds like he belongs in Gaza with the Hamasniks!

John Winthrop, Boston, MA:

Rick Jones's comment is an object lesson in the intolerant bigotry that infects the Middle East, and has resulted in 60 years of killing of Arabs and Jews.

It is only after the Arab leaders in the Middle East can transcend such peculiar bigotry and are able to say Israel is a Jewish state that there will be eventual peace in the Middle East.

Rick Jones sounds like he belongs in Gaza with the Hamasniks!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Hisham Melhem (Washington-based correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily...):

“...the guiding principle was "we met, therefore we succeeded."...”

“...It is true that the collective fear of an ascending, belligerent Iran was the subtext at Annapolis...”

“...Yet this conflict predates Hamas, Islamic Iran and al-Qaeda, and it will continue to fester even if the region becomes more open, absent a resolution that addresses the core issues.”

Amen Brother.

Yup, this peace process will fail because the two-state solution is a nonstarter. The Jews have no right to a piece of Palestine after being absent for almost 2 millennia prior to 1947. The 5 million Israeli Jews should join their 5.7 million brethren in the USA and form a true Jewish homeland with 80% of the Jews on the planet. We can support it; Palestine cannot.

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