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Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. Close.

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. more »

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The Annapolis Summit
Israel on Annapolis: Bleak on All Sides

High expectations have dwindled to defeatism – just like every time before.

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All Comments (15)

Jill:

One question I have pondered over is the difference between a bomb attached to a body, via cluster bombs or nuclear weapons dropped from the sky?
Are suicide bombers imoral and government bombers moral???
I would be interested to hear your take on morality and bombs.

mid century historian:

One thing is clear,and we can all agree on it. Surely.

Jews are so obnoxious and greedy, and warmongering that they can't live anywhere in peace. How many times have they proved it, how many centuries in how many countries.

They can't even live in a place expressly set aside for them. Had to start grabbing and killing the first day and talk about sending the Palestinians off their land.

But I take my leave...them boys of the
Roman Empire and others, them vikings, maybe...took the land of my people and me a
few thousand years ago and I'm off to get a pent
house and some paintings that are owed me.

God said so. He specified Vermeer, my favorite artist. And whatever area has the most water an best hill top lands.

Rationalist:

Lisa's solution-
Either two States [Palestine/Israel] or one state [Israel+ Palestine- where Arab> Jews] and later is not an option for Jews - but that will be reality unless they move for ward now.... But not allowed to be continued- current Apartheid arrangement....
...Abbas can not deliver a state but Marwan can...
Israeli Govt. is so weak and may not be able to do what to do now {?}. To make Annapolis relevant... Arab will insist that MARWAN is to be freed.
I ever founded such dumb dodder's solution.
Therefore I like to forward better versioned solusions of such complicated Issue. And Annapolis types of Peace summits will never bring any solution at all in foreseeable furure.
There must be Two states, one for Israel with it's existing boundaries, and West bank will be a New independent Palestinian state under UN blessing.
Gaza is Palestinians' own problem, because Israel unilaterally withdrew from that God- forsaken land. In west bank some illegally constructed Jewish settlements have to be demolished, and Israel will hand over those pockets of land to Abbas to make him Viable.
The emotive Issue of status of Jerusalem. Best option is City to divided and west portion to be governed by Israel and East portion goes to Abbas and His Fatah's Hand.
Another important issue of repatriation of so called displaced Arabs from Israel, will be carried out only with extremely selective way, So that genuine persons can gain Israeli citizenship. These Arabs must have to take Oath of Legion so that these Israeli- Arab citizen must remain and claim as Israeli Citizens. Any attempt to subvert the legal authority, by any person- will face disqualification, and be kicked out automatically.
Next thing- the above procedures might have to carried out unilaterally by Israelis, because above solutions may not very palatable to the End Users.
In the mean time Olmert should continue to support Abbas with all Economic help and His logistic plus military helps to Quash Hamas, so that the people of Gaza strip can reunite with Main stream of Palestinians in west bank.
Regarding Golan Height- This part of land is Vital and strategically important For Israel's Survival. So this Golan height must remain as integral part of Israel.
To consolidate Israel's position on Golan Height, Olmert should allow Drusie community to settle there. These people are peace loving and Loyal to any state who is willing to protect their rights and allow them to practice their own religion and cultural practices.

Spike:

As a jewish man I am horrified at the comments of the extremist people who claim to represent "my side"on this post.

I am one of the majority of jews that shares the view of a majority of palestinians that a two state solution is the only way to move forward and that the final product while unsatisfactory to both sides is what will ultimately be the only way forward.

Peace loving people with a vested interest please join me in challenging our own extremists on both sides. Turning down the volume in this shouting match is the only way forward.

Peace

Joseph:

Patrick Sharabati, how I wish I could agree with your opinion, but I cannot.

Israel does not want peace, at least not any peace that even they would believe the rest of the world might agree to be equitable. They intend to keep all of the water of Palestine for themselves, regardless that Palestinians have to drink, too. And so the slow ethnic cleansing must continue until there are so few Palestinians in the region that of course it makes sense for Israel to just formalize the facts that are already on the ground.

And, while I wish it were the case that the US, Israel's patron, would see the immorality of the situation and impose a more-or-less equitable peace on Israel, this will not happen, either. Most Americans don't care about the situation of the Palestinians, and among those who do, most are messianic Christians who support Israel for religious reasons or Jews who support Israel for nationalistic reasons, and these groups determine our policy. Arabs, and especially Palestinians, have been portrayed so consistently in our media as wicked savages that there is no meaningful sympathy for you here; I have to agree with Osama bin Laden that there is really no point at this time in the Arab World hoping for the West to see reason and recognize injustice, at least as far as the latter affecting the Arab World.

In any case, Patrick, for whatever it may mean to you, please know that I am deeply sorry and depressed for what my country has done to your people. There should be no forgiveness for us, because by and large we still do not admit that we have done wrong. But we have done wrong, Patrick, and I am sorry for the price you and your people have had to pay for it.

Good Luck Everyone:

Peace? No. Two reasons:

1) Israel was formed illegally (do you really want to get into that?).

No justice - no peace.

Justice is long beyond the pale.

Ergo, no peace - ever.

2) Nationalism.

So extraordinarily and tragically sad.

The heart of this horrible tragedy?

1) the immorality, stupidity, and immorality of the US and the UK governments with the support of their immoral, stupid, and ignorant christian citizens.

Why didn't they take in the Hebrews?

Any moron would have seen this coming - would have known that they were mid-wife to a slaughter.

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

Rick:

Maryanne,

As you say, the Jews were absent from the land of Palestine for almost two millennia. Then they return (with the aid of the world’s superpowers) to retake the land by force over the past 100 years, from the families whose ancestors have tended their flocks and orchards, and farmed the land for millennia. You want to force these people out of their homes and off their land at the point of gun. Is that your idea of justice? Shame!

The only solution is the single-state solution in pre-1947 borders with Palestinian right of return.

Rationalist,

You are certifiable. Stand by, you are about to get what you ask for. 95% of the world considers US and Israel to be the true terrorist states and will side with the Palestinians.

Rationalist:

Mr. Melman, You are absolutely Correct and spot on. Current Annapolis will be another Flop.
I am sure that what I am thinking, you are also thinking on same line? I suppose so.
Lets get to the points-
1. There was no Palestine or any kind of remotely conceived nation hood called PALESTINE was in existence. So called palestine was under Jordan and the Gaza strip was under Egyptian control.
2. So called displaced Arabs from Israel in the period of pre- Arab Israel War, was quite small, and they could be accommodated easily in side Israel. Unfortunately the number of Displaced Arabs were Fictitiously increased like a tidal wave, and today it is impossible to count who were Real displaced Israeli-Arabs and who were fake [Opportunistic Arab migrants from other Arab states]. Therefore it will be most idiotic to allow these So called *displaced Arabs* to enter in Israeli territories.
3. Arab Muslims do not understand the meaning of peaceful Coexistence. These People only understand **Carrot and Stick** dictum. So Israel must prepare for another round of **Arab-Israel** war, and believe me this time such war won't be fought on conventional weaponry, but on real *Mccoy*- Thermonuclear in nature. I personally believe that Arab terrorists are now have their **so called Dirty Bombs**, by courtesy of *Iranian Ayatollahs*. These Fanatics will use such Dirty things, because they possess the Neanderthal Brains and have no power to understand the consequence of their acts.
4. Muslim societies of whole world, are united on only one Agenda- *Destroy Israel*. So any logic for or any attempt to negotiate peace on just cause through bilateral beneficial talks and summits are bound to fail. Bush/condi both acting on self deceiving rain-Bow cloud of hopes. Annapolis will bring nothing. These types of gathering is waste of time and waste of Tax-payer's money.
5. We have two choices- A. Either accept defeat and allow Islam to engulf whole World civilization, or B. Destroy and annihilate this menace from mother Earth for Good. 95% of world population will prefer the second option.

Time has come to unite all Non- Islamic democratic nations, and make grand coalition to counter attack and kill this growing Islamic Fundamentalist *Demon-Dragon*. III WW is Inevitable, so prepare for this.

JBE:

YOU, Sir, are EXACTLY RIGHT!

Loser Bush will drag the hopes for peace into a collossal failure as everything he touches turns to failure.

The ONLY good sign is that the murderers of hamas and Iran are in a fit over the prospect of peace no matter how slim... it must mean that their hold on the psyche of the population is slipping as people begin to reject their hatred and false religous claims that violence is acceptable across the middle east.

Philistine:

Maryanne, you post so many lies. The Jews were not the first inhabitants of the land of Canaan. The first inhabitants, who named the city of Jerusalem after their God, were the Canaanites and Philistines. Your own holy book details how the Jews committed genocide against the original inhabitants to grab the land. The same thing that current Israelis are doing. European Jews are not descendants of the ancient Jews. They are European.

Maryanne:

Unfortunately, there can be no lasting peace until the Arab peoples--and the rest of the world--recognize the Land of Israel as the ancient and historic homeland of the Jewish People.

How, truly, can Israel be colonialist or illegitimate??

The Jews were the original inhabitants of the Holy Land.

The earliest reference to Israel is from the Funerary Stela of the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah in 1209 B.C.! (And its sitting in museum in Cairo, by the way)

Indeed, ironic perhaps, but Jews' closest genetic cousins are Syrian. (The fact that most of these tests were done at Oxford is maybe even more ironic...)

After all, Jesus was a Jew--as was Isaac and Jacob, Jeremiah and Isaiah, all the Prophets, Kings David and Solomon, Mary, Josheph, John the Baptist, all the Disciples, etc....

The Jews were kicked out of their land by the Roman Empire and forced into Exile for nearly two thousand years.

One would think that this tiny group (there are 13.2 Million Jews in the world, compared to 2 Billion Christians and 1.6 Billion Muslims), expelled by Empire, exiled, and then returned to their original homeland after mass destruction in Europe and final expulsion from the Arab world would elicit sympathy and support among "Liberals."

Unfortunately, for those who believe in supersessionist philosophy--that Christianity and Islam superseded or replaced their mother faith community, the Jewish People--its rather a problem that the Jews returned to Jerusalem.

That means all the tenets that have been taught over the centuries--that Jews are no longer Chosen but in fact cursed and destined to live in exile, that all the promises of the Hebrew Scriptures relating to Israel and Judah now belong to the Church or, as stated in the Koran, the followers of Mohammad---might ring false.

Thus, most of the world can't stand the idea of Jews controlling their own country in their own ancestral homeland and returning to power in the city of their ancient Kings, Jerusalem.

Lebanon can shell Palestinian camps all day long--No one cares.

Jordan killed more Palestinians in Black September then Israel in all her history--No one said a word.

Iran persecutes more then a million Sunni Arabs within their borders, Syria forces its Kurds into abject poverty, etc., etc.....There are no protests.

As a Palestinian in East Jerusalem once told me, "the truth is, if we were to admit it to ourselves, is that people only pay attention to us because they hate the Jews."

Lisa:

Nope, you are wrong ... the Arabs have a gameplan...Saudis already signaled Hamas to revise tactics, and some have … Emir of Qatar has close relationship with Hamas opposition in Syria…Hamas has been split for sometime between radicals and pragmatists…pragmatists will win and Abbas/Abu Mazen will meet with them post Annapolis…this is already a done deal, or Saudis & Qatar would not be attending. Palestinians will unite and demand end to settlement both new and expansion of present, borders land exchange…Israel needs to play ball…pragmatists in Israel will dominate also…they understand there will be either a 2 state (Palestinian/Israel) OR a one state Israel/Palestine (Arabs in majority) state solution …the latter is not an option accaptable to most Jews or Israelis but will be a reality unless they move forward NOW …the only thing that will not be allowed to continue is the current aparthied arrangement…Arabs did Bush Admin & Abbas (and themselves for that matter in a post 9/11 world) a big favor by attending…they need to demand Marwan Barghouti’s release in exchange for showing up for literally nothing from Israelis…Abbas can’t deliver a state but Marwan can. GCC next week will be more important meeting than Annapolis … Israel’s government is so weak it may not be able to do what it needs to do now, to make Annapolis relevant…that is the BIG problem and those settlers…well, they will start their own intra- Israeli conflict IF they think Isaeli government is serious about a 2-state solution …their quietness shows they do not take this seriously yet…so we should not either...the Arabs will insist that Marwan is freed...historians looking back will then decide that Annapolis was important...

brian mcc, the arctic:

Yossi, my friend, your shades are black and outlook bleak by analysis. Reality is, you live an air-conditioned concrete structure, and every now and then a barrage of short range rocket attacks crack the foundation. Reality is, Gaza lives in poverty surrounded by the navy, IDF, walls and fences and checkpoints.

Reality is, you live in luxury @ the expense of the US, and Gaza, starved and thirsty, survives in the dust.

patrick sharabati:

This time is different, yes it is. and yes I am a Palestinian trying to be practical.

If it were for Israel, Peace will never be acheived ,Palestinians do not EXIST! not in PALESTINE, not in history and not even in conscious.
If it were for Hamas, idealogy to STOP peace is no less than the extremist LIKUD.

PEACE is going to happen THIS TIME, becasue the whole world is affected by its results. The whole world is done with it. They can not handle it no more, THE WHOLE WORLD NOW WANTS THE STATUS QU TO change.

Hamas, Likud and AIPAC have to live with the reality. TIME FOR PEACE NOW.

Index_on_censorship:

---Had Israel been truly interested in Peace....
It could have done more "gestures" than pay the PA [=Abbas] with 440 Fatah prisoners.
---Had Israel been truly interested in Peace....
It would have spoken about the "Grand Operation against Gaza
which is due to start as soon as Annapolis is over" {that was another Ehud... Barak].
---Had Israel been truly interested in Peace.... with the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel [1/5 of its population] it would have asked Abbas to recognize Israel as "A Jewish State", but have declared that ISRAEL IS THE STATE OF ALL ITS CITIZENS, WHO SHARE IT EQUALLY...
---Had Israel been truly interested in Peace....
It would not have engaged in SPINS and PROVOCATIONS, but in giving EVERYBODY in the region "A reason for a celebration" --
SIBA LE MESIBA [in Hebrew}.


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