Our True Hero’s The American Soldier

The True American Hero’s

Thank you for all you have done/doing for us

We appreciate you!

30388flag-raising-on-iwo-jima-february-23-1945-posterssoldiers

tribute

Visit Debbie at Right Truth for The Undiscovered Citizenry: Honoring your local veteran

Then visit the Achoress for : Rent this movie

excerpt: BUSH, CUBA & THE LIVES OF OTHERS

Jay Nordlinger’s column is one of the few places I’ve seen extensive coverage of President Bush’s little-mentioned, must read speech in which he dares to talk plainly about the much distorted realities of Cuba and communism.

Says Bush:

Cuba’s rulers promised individual liberty. Instead they denied their citizens basic rights that the free world takes for granted. In Cuba it is illegal to change jobs, to change houses, to travel abroad, and to read books or magazines without the express approval of the state. It is against the law for more than three Cubans to meet without permission. Neighborhood Watch programs do not look out for criminals. Instead, they monitor their fellow citizens — keeping track of neighbors’ comings and goings, who visits them, and what radio stations they listen to. The sense of community and the simple trust between human beings is gone.

A huge Thank you to those who have sacrificed so much for our liberty! GOD BLESS YOU!

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Make Mine Freedom

This will take about 10 minutes to watch but well worth it. It is presented in cartoon style. It is nostalgic in many ways.

Make Mine Freedom

Hat tip Always on Watch for the video.

Now we must hold the government to account even more than in the past. It is no time to be so devastated and discouraged that we give up. We must work harder than ever with the information, calls, email, fax, writing to our reps.
Yes, many voted our conscience and I am proud of that!

Some must reads for today:

H/T Lynda: NY Times suddenly discovers “nuance” in Gitmo issues that used to be all about Bushhitler. That didn’t take long. Watch the double-standards begin to fly!

The Daily Show makes a similar discovery: “There’s lots to make fun of other than the White House”. You don’t say! A President Obama will be treated very differently, then, I guess, than Bush?

An oldie from Vanderleun (H/T Larwyn) that you may have missed and shouldn’t: How Beautiful We Were

The First Obama Joke: H/T Dan “Barack Obama won the election because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens.” — New York Times, The Next President. The New York Times is purely bananas.

AJ: Nattering Negativity, looks at the fissures in the GOP and ponders.

Harry Reid: Crowing and unclassy. As ever.

Sorry, Mr. Reid: Yer man has no mandate; he ran on tax-cuts and other “centrist” ideas. But then, so did Bill Clinton. We know. We know.

EJ Dionne: Don’t play to the center-right, Obama! Keep away from the center-right! We’re not a center-right nation!

California: Votes to ban gay marriage. Center-right.

Ruth Marcus: Will the Dems be able to resist overplaying their hand? See Dionne, Ms. Marcus. (Note: Ms. Marcus suggests Obama begin by “reversing President Bush’s order prohibiting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, signing the Bush-vetoed expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and enacting an equal pay law overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Lilly Ledbetter.”). Yeah…don’t overplay.

It is remarkable to note, however, that – finally – someone in the press managed to correctly identify President Bush’s position as “prohibiting FEDERAL FUNDING of EMBRYONIC stem cell research” as opposed to their usual, “he’s against all science! He’s against all stem cell research! He’s a neanderthal” dishonesty. That only took 8 years.

Tom Shales: The Press Behaved Badly last night. Well…they’ve been behaving badly for over a decade, but last night, even my husband – who does not care about this sort of stuff – had to turn them off for all their self-congratulating glee. He found it “infantile.”

Ed Morrissey: Good Analysis.

Instapundit: Showcases the diff between lefties and righties rather succinctly. Note: Also, no one ever thought for even a second that an Obama win would cause the right to “riot.” The same cannot be said for the left. I hope they’ll grow up, now.

The People’s Cube: A fella who survived the Soviet Union dusts off the slogans and says “Comrade” again.

Steven Den Beste: Good news and bad news. Read.

Hamid Karzai: Expects Miracles from Messiahs

A post-election break from hype: it won’t last, though

Boundless energy: Confederate Yankee is already looking at 2010. Not yer girl, here. She’s taking a break. Bumperstickers, even! Capitalism goes on…

Survival Guide: if you feel you need one

Sincere & cautious congrats: I pray that you may acquire wisdom

“… — wisdom beyond your tender years, your thin experience, and your inconsequential legislative achievements — wisdom as a public servant in office, rather, that is at least commensurate with the skill you’ve shown as a campaigner, which has been a genuine marvel.

I pray for your health, because, with due respect, I regard the prospect of your Vice President-elect having to step into your shoes with genuine panic. “

Hope and pray you’re wrong: From an email: “I did not vote for Obama but I am afraid for him. I feel like whoever put him in place is going to try to make a martyr of him to create chaos in the nation.”

The Racial Angle: Still not gone, but reading that makes me think that now perhaps some racial issues will be addressed from “within” the African American community, itself, which might be a healthy thing. Introspection is always a good thing.

The Wheels on the Bus: Go round and round

Today’s Eyeroll: LA Times writer: “The nation is in dire economic straits.”

Yes, yes, yes. I see. Unemployment is 6%. Gasoline prices are a whopping $2 a gallon. The Dow is 9,000. People are actually paying cash for things. Run for your lives.

The 60’s: They’re finally ending About damn time.

Curt: Offers curt congrats

Geraghty: Ball’s in his court

Fears: For the churches

And hope: for life

Meanwhile: Stocks are tumbling

Hat tip: in links and The Achoress

However:

I am ashamed of those that did not seek out the information they needed or voted party over biblical values. I am ashamed of the students who fell for their radical professors and the illusion of youthful wisdom.How many of us when very young were much more liberal than today? As a rule, It is the folly of youth. I am ashamed of both whites and blacks who chose race over biblical values. I am ashamed of the Media’s behavior. I am ashamed of those that voted what they perceive as their pocketbook over their country. I am ashamed that we are putting our precious military into the hands of such as these. I am ashamed that McCain campaign did not fight aggressively with the truth and much earlier that we deserved to know. I am ashamed that so many care more about what the world thinks of us that they would sell out their country. I am ashamed of those that did not exercise their right to vote. I am ashamed of those that did not vote because their values told them they could not vote for Obama but could not bring themselves to vote Republican. Again party over principals..

I will not stop. I will not quit. I will fight on. I know you will join me and many others in this war for our country.

Israel: Front Line of Western Civilization/& Jewish History/ Contributions to the world

There is much controversy today over whether or not Israel has a right to her land..Truly there was a time when a war between peoples constituted who got the land..we have only to remember Alexander the Great or the Napoleonic wars, or in more recent times the British Empire and yes, even the US when our ancestors settled here, the Indian was consigned to reservations.

Many Jews settled in the land called Israel in the early 1900’s. Some tried to farm the land and it was not too cooperative. Some Arabs were there too. The land was hard and difficult..It was a desert. Soon (you can read the history below) they became a Jewish Nation once again. War immediately broke out and the Israelis won. The Culture for what we now call the Palestinians was to walk away from a conquering army. They were not welcomed nor wanted by Egypt or other arab countries from which they had left to settle in Israel.They were going to be used by those nations as a cause..It would not be good for them to get too comfortable somewhere else..Of course remember, that some did not walk away as was the custom..They stayed and took part in the democratic process eventually. The land that was a desert became green…democracy and the economy flourished. Peaceful muslims took part, won elections. Please read below and the history.links further down.

Here’s a great piece from The Objective Standard, “Israel and the Front Line of Civilization,” by John David Lewis:

I just returned from a speaking engagement at Tel Aviv University (pictures from the trip are on my website). My honorarium was four days of sight-seeing in Tel Aviv, Abu Gosh, Jerusalem, En Gediand Masada, and a series of meetings withwriters, policy analysts, academics and writers. I came back with one overriding conclusion, which stands for me stronger than it did before my trip: Israel stands at the front-line of the war between civilization and barbarism. As Eric Hofferwrote over forty years ago, “as it goes withIsrael, so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the holocaust will be upon us all.” (“Israel’s Peculiar Position,” LA Times 5/26/68)

Israel is America’s best friend in the world today. It is Western in every fundamental respect: Its secular government has prevented both civil war and tyranny since its founding; its citizens’ rights are largely protected; its press is free and open; its court system is independent of executive fiat; and its economy is vibrant. It has its share of lunatics, but they have not taken over the culture. It is “middle-eastern” only in location.

While driving through Israel, one cannot help but remember that the area can become a military front at any moment. A sign in the road points left to Ramallah, home of Yasir Arafat—you can drive there (we did not), but an Israeli soldier will soon stop you to warn that the army cannot protect you if you go further. Straight ahead is the road to Jerusalem, which is just a few miles away. It’s all so close.

In less than half hour’s drive, the seacoast climate of Tel Aviv changes to the desert climate of Jordan. Bedouin camps—temporary structures, some with camels in front—squat between towns with high-tech industry. Jerusalem itself is deeply permeated with religious fanaticism of all kinds, and with neighborhoods defined by ethnic identities. The line that divided Israeli tanks from those of Arabs during the numerous attacks on Israel is a street—you can walk down it.
On the highway—a modern road built by the Israelis—I see towns surrounded by trees. The trees were nearly all planted by the Israelis. This is something little known in the U.S.: The Israelis have planted tens of millions of trees in a desert that had never before been planted, and they remain committed to plantingin the Negev Desert, especially near Beer Sheva. Trees did not exist here before 1948. The so-called “Green Line” originally dividing Israel from its neighbors is called such because it literally is a line of green.

At one point we come over a hill, and there are two towns ahead. The one on the left is an Israeli “settlement”—to use the popular phrase in the western press today—and on the right is an Arab town. To the left is a sea of trees among the buildings, and to the right, none. What the press and politicians in America call “illegal settlements” are Israeli towns, with factories, high-tech industries, and homes—built on hills where there was previously nothing but sandbringing economic life and civilization to the desert.

There can be no basis for calling these towns “illegal” because, prior to Israel’s establishment of civilization in the area, no law and no government existed there (so-called “International Law” notwithstanding). It is also little known in the United States that when the Israelis announce their intent to withdraw from these areas, thousands of non-Israeli inhabitants—Muslims and Arabs—pick up and move to Israeli-controlled areas (Daniel Pipeshas recounted some of this). Life under Hamas is hell, life in Israel is good, and most locals know it.

As usual, Israel is blamed for the inability to make peace with a foe that is dedicated to destroying her. American Secretary of State CondoleezzaRice expresses a dominant view in the U.S. State Department when she rants against Israeli towns as an “impediment to peace.” Yet observe the Palestinian leadership’s response to Rice: “With the arrival of that black scorpion with a cobra’s head, Condoleezza, I began to worry that she would use her venomous fangs and hiss to kill this initiative and new spirit that we should protect” said Hamas Minister of Culture ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh,in remarksaired on Al-Aqsa TV on June 15, 2008.

The deepest cause of the conflict between Israel and those purporting to lead the Palestinian people is philosophical: the deep inculcation of jihad into the minds of Palestinian youth, in the form of a violent ideology that has nothing to offer except the destruction of Israel and claims to paradise as a reward for death. Samples of this ideological material have been collected at the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center; follow the link to “Captured Material.”

Until the motivations for jihad against Israel are admitted, confronted, and repudiated, the causes of war will remain in place, festering in the minds of each new generation of children. All else—the “settlements,” the check-points that prevent non-Israelis from freely partaking of the Israeli economy, the claims to economic devastation, the “historic connection” to a soil that the Palestinians never planted—is pretense. To see this, all one need ask is why Israel’s return to the 1967 borders would remove a cause of war, given that Israel was attacked when she held those borders. And, of course, for Israel to retreat to those borders now would leave foreign enemies a few miles from Tel Aviv. This would be national suicide for Israel, a new holiday for Hamas, and the end of civilization in the Middle East.

Be sure to read the remainder of the essay, at the link.here.

All I can add is that Lewis captures my sentiments perfectly!

See also, “Israel is the Defining Moral Issue of Our Time.”

Related: “‘Clean Hands’ and the Triumph of Evil?

Hattip to Aurora of Midnight Sun

YOM HA’ATZMAUT

I join Aurora and many others in Congratulations to Israel on her 60th Birthday that she celebrated last month in May. Excellent links, I did not want to change a thing.

Israel flagThe Midnight Sun extends our warmest and most heartfelt congratulations to Israel on her 60th birthday. Your history has been a difficult one, but also one which has exemplified amazing courage and miraculous intervention which could only have been supernatural time and time again.

I highly recommend reading the amazing story of Israel below if you never have:

Findalis has an excellent tribute here.

and more great history links here

Jewish Contributions

The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000, or about 0.02%
of the world population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:

1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:

1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:

1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloc h
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charle s Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

Economics:

1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel

Medicine:

1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jaco b
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis

The Jews are not promoting brain washing the children in military
training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum
deaths of Jews and other non Muslims.

The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics.

The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and
death to all the Infidels.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing more in standard
education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.

Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the
Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more
culpability on Israel’s part, the following two sentences really say it
all:

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more
violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no
more Israel.

Source http://www.speptic.com

Israeli VP Livni letter addressing Democracy,Development & FreeTrade

Israel lives in terror on a daily basis..They are criticised on a daily basis.. When they defend themselves and someone is killed in the process or some other tragedy…that’s usually all we hear every 15 minutes on the Media.

I for one feel Israel exercises extreme patience..they have had the capability for a long time to use stronger methods..they have chosen not to. The Terror organizations that use the Palestinians to further their cause…talk a good talk..they don’t do the walk..Israel has given and given land and more land..will it ever be enough? I for one do not think so. The Terror groups want to drive Israel into the sea..as much as Hitler did..They have said so many times..Peace talks would be meaningful if terrorists could be taken at their word..we have only their history to prove that it is meaningless chatter for them. I imagine they laugh, not only at Israel for trying but for the Western world to dare to imagine that they want peace. Peace is their way or the Highway! Don’t think I want to live under Sharia Law. In fact many of us would lose our heads rather soon for daring to be an ‘infidel.’

I thought I would share this letter with you that are interested in the Peace of Jerusalem..

Address by FM Livni to the 8th Doha Forum

on Democracy, Development, and Free

Trade

 Address by Vice Prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni to the 8th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development, and Freedom
April 14, 2008
 

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to pay tribute to the State of Qatar, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, for hosting this conference on a topic of global concern. I would also like to express our respect and appreciation to His Excellency Shiekh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have come here to Qatar, in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect, as a representative of the Government of Israel to an Arab state, with which we have maintained official relations, even in difficult periods, and with which we hope to strengthen our ties.

The continued dialogue between Israel and Qatar is a living testimony to the importance attached by both sides to this ongoing relationship, which serves the interests, not only of both sides, but of the entire region. We hope that other Arab states will follow the example of Qatar, as a means for promoting co-existence, understanding and peace in the entire region, especially in a period of time in which a genuine peace process is taking place between Israel and the Palestinians. To the Arab states of our region, some represented in this conference, we extend our hand in friendship.

The road to peaceful relations – just like the road to genuine democracy – begins with dialogue, mutual recognition and the free exchange of ideas.

Democracy

We are gathered here to discuss democracy. But what is democracy? It may seem self evident, but it is not always so. 

We all share the same understanding that:
• Democracy is not just a word.
• Democracy is a way of life.
• Democracy is a value system.
• Democracy does not belong to any specific faith or national identity. There is no contradiction between democracy and religion, or between democracy and patriotism.
• Democracy is the natural birth-right of every human being.

At its heart, democracy is a system and a set of universal values, that promotes diversity, freedom of worship and freedom of speech. In so doing, it creates the space and the opportunity for each faith, for each identity and for each individual, while reflecting local cultures, traditions and values. 

Moderates and Extremists

But there are those who do not share our perception of democracy. I am referring to the extremists, who not only reject the genuine values of democracy, but also fight to deprive others of their rights and use violence as a legitimate tool in their battle.

On the other hand there are the moderates, who accept the principles of democracy, recognize the legitimacy of others and renounce violence.

This is the greatest conflict today – between the moderates and the extremists. This is also the new challenge of the entire region. We, the moderates of the region, are all members of the same camp, facing the same challenges posed by the extremists.

It is true that even amongst us, within the pragmatic camp, there may be differences of opinion and conflicts. Israel and the moderate Palestinian leadership are in the midst of a process in order to resolve such a conflict. It is this vision of peace that binds together Israelis, pragmatic Palestinians and moderates throughout our region. The extremists have, unfortunately, the ability to block or prevent our vision of peace.

Therefore, it is quite clear now that Israel poses no threat to the stability and the peace of the region. It is equally clear now that the threat comes from the radicals, who refuse to recognize our democratic rights.

When I say “our”, I mean the rights of Israelis, moderate Palestinians, moderate Arab and pragmatic Moslem regimes alike. We must cast aside the outdated perception that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the cause for the extremists, and understand that our ability to come to terms depends on the extremists’ capability to prevent it.  

The threat of the extremists to the peace process and regional stability, is also via their abuse of democracy.
 
Democracy and Elections

Democracy is not just a technical process. Today, in different parts of the world, extremists are entering the democratic process via elections – not to abandon their violent agenda – but to advance it. It is the full right of democracies to defend themselves from those who wish to exploit the system in order to reach a position of power, and then abuse that power to enforce their radical ideology and disregard the values of democracy.

This is true for both Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, in which the political process has been infiltrated. In both these cases, Lebanon and the PA, the outcome is a lack of stability.

We witness another breach of democracy, while three abducted Israeli soldiers  are still held in captivity, for no reason, denied access of the Red Cross or a sign of life. I would like to take this opportunity to call for their release. This is a matter of human rights, not politics.

No true democracy on earth allows armed militia, or groups with racist or violent agendas, to participate in elections. I have checked this matter, and in various constitutions around the world, it is prohibited. Also in Israel, a racist party cannot run for elections. 

I have called on the international community to adopt a universal set of standards for participation in democratic elections. This universal democratic code requires that all those seeking the legitimacy of the democratic process, earn it by respecting such principles as state monopoly over the lawful use of force, the rejection of racism and violence, and the protection of the rights of others.

The choice should be made before elections take place – terror or politics – but not “political terrorism”. The goal of such a universal code is to protect core democratic values from those determined to destroy them. The democratic process is not just a right – it is also a responsibility.

The Peace Process

According to the understanding of our new regional challenges, Israel left the Gaza Strip, dismantled all settlements, and gave an opportunity for Palestinian self rule, as a first step on the path towards a Palestinian state. For this reason, we launched the Annapolis process, to reach a peace agreement, implementation of which is subject to the Road Map. .
 
Peace talks are taking place with the pragmatic Palestinians, who recognize Israel’s right to exist, who seek to realize their national rights but choose the path of peace over terrorism. With such partners, who support the two-state solution, peace can be attained. The conflict is solvable.

There is no hope for peace with the extremists, who reject the two state solution, refuse to even recognize the existence of Israel and choose the path of violence. 

With the legitimate Palestinian government, representatives like Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Ala and Salam Fayyad, we share the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security. We recognize the fact that the Palestinian people have legitimate rights and aspirations. We have no interest in ruling their lives. Israel is committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, as a nation state for the Palestinian people and a peaceful neighbor to Israel.

Equally, the people of Israel are entitled to those same rights. There is no place for terrorism, and no justification for terrorism. Just as a Palestinian state is an Israeli interest, so Israeli security must be a Palestinian interest.

Israel is deeply engaged in a peace process. The attainment of peace is an Israeli strategic objective, and it is clear that it entails further territorial concessions. Stagnation is not our policy. We have no interest in wasting time, or establishing facts on the ground that will impede the creation of a Palestinian state.

As the Israeli chief negotiator, the responsibility lies heavy on my shoulders, as this concerns our future. The talks are based on trust, and some principles: 
 
• The talks are bilateral only.
• Everything is on the table, yet nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
• We do not share information with the media, or the public. There is a price that we pay. Lack of information leads to an incorrect image that nothing is happening. But the right thing to do is to continue to work seriously and discreetly. 
• Any future agreement is subject to full implementation of the first stage of the Road Map, for we cannot afford an additional terror state in our region. We are in need of a legitimate Palestinian government, like the one in the West Bank, which has effective control of both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This is evidently clear with the violent takeover by the Hamas of the Gaza Strip. Although Israel fully withdrew all its forces from the Gaza Strip, dismantled all settlements and allowed for self Palestinian rule in this territory, instead of coexistence, we have received terror in return.
.
Gaza is not just an Israeli problem. It has become an obstacle to the formation of a Palestinian state.

In parallel to the negotiations, we must make changes on the ground. We must advance on the issue of security for Israel (terror attacks continue), and capacity building and economic promotion for the Palestinians.

We have also decided not to allow the daily frustrations to stop the talks. Although It is not easy for Israel to negotiate peace in days of terror, and  not easy for the Palestinians while Israel acts against terror in Gaza. But we must continue – for stopping the talks serves the interests of those who do not want peace.  

The role of the Arab and Moslem world
           
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Peace requires historical reconciliation. We are ready and willing to walk this path. But, all sides must choose to walk with us. The hearts and minds of the entire region must be prepared for this historical process.   

Some of the states in the region, including Qatar, have taken important steps forward in this effort. By encouraging dialogue and acceptance of each other we can teach our children the blessings of coexistence. We can create the environment in which a genuine, dignified and lasting peace is possible.

We can promote mutual understanding by removing incitement and hatred material, and replacing it with messages of hope and mutual acceptance. This is the only way. To create public support for the decisions the leaders need to make. 

I would like the public to understand that the region is changing – as is evident and demonstrated in this wonderful gathering. To succeed in these efforts, all peoples of our region must have the courage to recognize the fact that we, Israelis and Arabs alike, face common challenges. We must together take responsibility for our region’s destiny, engage in dialogue, promote mutual projects and deny the extremists the ability to dictate the agenda.

In conclusion, democracy is a choice and an ongoing responsibility. From its founding, Israel made a choice to be a genuine democracy. We are both a Jewish state and a democratic one, and there is no contradiction between the two. We respect the equal rights of the Arab citizens, who are also represented in our parliament. There is much for us to do – we do not deny that Israel is still a young democracy, and we do not claim to be a perfect one.        

This International Conference on Democracy, Development and Free Trade is an ideal venue and surrounding for a rich and creative exchange of ideas and experiences. I wish you all a successful and enriching conference. The countries of the world and of the region can only benefit from this distinguished gathering.

Thank you. 

 

Articles of interest from the past 2 weeks: International fellowship of Christians and Jews

  • Israeli vacationers urged to leave Sinai
  • Jimmy Carter’s world
  • Israel will connect to U.S. early warning system
  • Sbarro terrorist unrepentant
  • Israel to Arab states: “We extend our hand in friendship”