May 26 Headlines

So a couple of days go by and the headlines from the Middle East show signs of the same old problems all over again. At what point does the posturing end and real progress get made?

———– from Watch.org ———–

HEADLINE: Palestinian negotiator: No talks unless Israel accepts ’67 lines, freezes settlements

The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said Sunday that his side would only agree to renew peace talks if Israel ceased all settlement activity and openly declared that a future state of Palestine would be created on the 1967 lines with minor land swaps. He sounded exceedingly skeptical about the prospects of a breakthrough in the stalemate.

“We need to know what are the terms of reference for these negotiations. What are we negotiating about?” Erekat told Israeli reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum here. “If you have an Israeli prime minister who cannot utter the sentences two states on 1967 — come on, guys. Stop being politically blind.”

HEADLINE: Landau: 1967 lines are ‘Auschwitz borders’

Ministers’ reactions to President Shimon Peres’s calls for the resumption of peace talks Sunday showed differences of opinion within the government on how to deal with the Palestinian conflict and border issues.

Peres called for the immediate resumption of peace talks at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, leading Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz to quip ahead of a cabinet meeting: “I didn’t know that Peres became the government spokesman.”

“I think the government has its own spokespeople,” Steinitz continued. “The position of the president of Israel is respected, but the government makes policy decisions, and I think that every declaration of this sort, certainly on the eve of negotiations, does not help Israel’s stance.”

HEADLINE: Tourism Minister Uzi Landau called pre-1967 lines “Auschwitz borders” ahead of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

“What country would start talks that aim to break down its ability to defend itself?” Landau asked. “I hear people talking about a Palestinian state that must be established. There’s a long list of Arab states that are falling apart – Syria, Libya, Yemen. The Palestinian Authority with which we once signed an agreement split into Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Why would we work to create a state with unclear chances of survival?”

HEADLINE: Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut targeted in rocket attack

Two rockets hit a Hezbollah-controlled district in the southern part of the Lebanese capital of Beirut overnight Saturday, residents said, wounding several people in an attack that may have been a response to a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah earlier in the day.

Nasrallah vowed on Saturday to help propel Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to victory in Syria’s bloody civil war, warning that the fall of the Damascus regime would benefit Israel and the West, give rise to extremists and plunge the Middle East into a “dark period.”

It was the first attack to apparently target Hezbollah’s stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital since the outbreak of the two-year conflict in neighboring Syria, which has sharply heightened Lebanon’s own sectarian tensions.

HEADLINE: Nasrallah: If Syria falls, Palestine is lost, we’ll bring victory to Assad

Hezbollah leader says Shiite group will not stand idly by while Syria is under attack; insists Hezbollah will ‘continue to hold responsibility of resistance to Israel’

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a televised speech at the central assembly of the organization Saturday, said that Syria was the back of the “resistance”, and that the Shiite group will not stand idly by while its ally is under attack.

He insisted that his group would stay in the Syrian war “to the end of the road” and bring victory to its ally President Bashar Assad. “We will be the ones who bring it victory, God willing,” he said.

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The more complicated this looks the more it look like Scripture has this thing pegged to the last detail. Peace is beyond human reach. Mean while everybody is choosing sides.

Director, WindowView.org