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Pointless and depressing

"The Quartet seemingly remains oblivious to all these facts, insights and lessons of recent history, even when they are elucidated and explained to the relevant Quartet officials by their own analysts. Understandably, it is difficult after 18 years of institutional and ideological investment in the Oslo process to contemplate the need for a new peace model. Here we need only look at the Israeli peace camp, which seemingly misreads the situation just as badly. The only difference is that the Quartet appears to have a life of its own, while the peace camp's legions are dwindling rapidly, thereby assuring the ongoing survival and stability of the Netanyahu government."

Only by prioritizing the issues

"In recent years, this deadlock has been compounded by Israeli archeological digs and development of sites near the Mount and in the City of David, or Silwan. In Palestinian eyes, these projects are geared to uncover and display the remains of biblical Jerusalem at the expense of layer upon layer of non-Hebrew Jerusalem culture, including a millennium and a half of Arab and Muslim civilization. They also threaten to dislodge the current Palestinian Arab residents of Silwan."

Why we are going to the UN

"n negotiating with Israel, Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat have always insisted that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". An agreement on borders is meaningless until and unless Israel accepts the right of return and full Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount/Harem al-Sharif and the rest of the holy basin in Jerusalem."

Why more pathetic attempts to revive a dead process?

"Netanyahu appears to have concluded that Israel's growing international isolation, which could worsen after September, is both inevitable and tolerable as long as he nourishes his coalition with settlement activity and maintains a strong support base in the US Congress, key Israeli and American constituencies and a few important European countries. He cites the chaos in the surrounding Arab world as justification for taking no initiative for peace. By concentrating on the demand that Israel be recognized by the PLO as a Jewish state, which he knows to be a non-starter, he believes he can weather whatever storms are brewing at the UN, in the West Bank and in the surrounding Arab world."

Nowruz, the feast of peace and purity

"On February 23, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized March 21st as the International Day of Nowruz and called for increased international attention to this ancient Persian tradition which is now encompassing the whole Middle East, Central Asia, Caucasus and Black Sea Basin."



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