Rami G. Khouri at PostGlobal

Rami G Khouri

Beirut, Lebanon

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune. An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he is also the first director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University and the Dubai School of Government. He was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006. He teaches annually at American University of Beirut, University of Chicago and Northeastern University. He has been a fellow and visiting scholar at Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Syracuse University and Stanford University, and is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Jerusalem), and a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard University Divinity School. He also serves on the board of the East-West Institute, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University (USA), and the Jordan National Museum. He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years he was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, Jordan, where he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archeology, history and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan, and often comments on Mideast issues in the international media. He has BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University, NY, USA. Close.

Rami G Khouri

Beirut, Lebanon

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper. more »

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The Annapolis Summit
An Unimpressive Showing

Nothing I heard from the conference convinced me that anything is different this time around.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (13)

mgunbgplep:

Wow, cool man, big thanks! http://djbsmccrugo.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…

A palestinian in USA:

THIS TIME, the peace process will overcome. yes and i have lived the despair and desperation of the palestinian people throughout their struggle.

This TIME is different also.

Remember Madrid.Ok, Remember Oslo, both did not have a light at the end of the tunnle!
Now the whole world is telling us:"There is a LIGHT at the end. PALESTINE along with ISRAEL is the light. I say it is coming

Israel did not want to talk to or about the Palestinians as "Palestinian People". Remember Saeb Erakat coming to Madrid with KOFEYE on his shoulder along with other jordanina palestinian delgation.

Oslo, although failled, but it took the palestinians one step forward. At that time, Israel considered US as "People with Aspirations"

Now, is the TIME for the palestininas to create their OWN STATE. The STATE of PALSTINE is almost here.
Trust me.

The whole WORLD can not afford another generation living in desperation. The whole WORLD wants to put an end to this tragedy.


Robert of Los Angeles:

On Russia's Decembrist meetings, I might agree that the second negotiations that follows on from the first should be more fruitful, but how could it more important, as effect rises from cause, which as you say this all important party, Russia, dare I say, man, the Vladster, was also involved in.

I love you relativists but you really should have paid attention in LOGIC class, the University made it mandatory for a reason!

But I do have a reason to aid your argument. December in Putin's Russia is important because talks in an authoritarian state where there is always only one RIGHT answer is always better to FOCUS your mind than negotiating in a country where open debate and a million attorneys will fritter away your time with trivia of freedoms and rights.

Victor:

Some say the Palestinian Authority was created to sign away Palestine to Israel legally, would you agree?

A:

Well said, the crux of the matter is whether Israel is going to be a truly democratic nation or just the last living member of the apartheid club with the false religious identity.
As for good faith, well...it is worth recalling that the day of the conference was started by Israeli fighters bombing targets in Gaza. Hell of a start at a peace negotiations table.....
or are they "bad" Palestinians and they deserve it? You are a Palestinian. What do you think?

Sanjay:

We already have 50 plus exclusive and intolerant Islamic nations. We don't need one more.

Adios:

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

Lisa:

"This is a dangerous attempt to substitute American will for U.N. resolutions and international law as the basis for a negotiated resolution of the conflict."

I agree. It very distressing. Who is advising Abbass? He needs you or someone like you. If the rest of the Arabs do not insist that the UN/Quartet remain involved in this process, then that is a big mistake. There may be a "west bank- only federation" with Jordan but there will never be a Palestinian state. Further, the Palestinians will never see any benefit or have any control over that natural gas field off Gaza.

The next round of talks are in Russia. There is opportunity here, as Russia will be a more honest broker and has always kept the door open to Hamas. The Palestinians need to be a united front at these next set of negotiations or at least holding a Hamas/Fatah dialogue. In any event, the crucial issue now is clarification over that statement, Abbas needs to assert that the UN Quartete and the entire region will be part of the process. Good Grief, does Abbas really want Elliot Abrams, Stephen Hadley and VP Cheney with a little help from David Addington leading this process, crafting polices for the West Bank and Gaza?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Rami G Khouri:

“The words and diplomatic procedures that emanated from Annapolis only reinforce my sense of skepticism and concern for the period ahead.”

I agree, your skepticism is well founded.

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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