January 2008 Archives
Olmert? One wants to believe his passion for peace, often stated in elegant and even eloquent terms. The motive doesn't much matter. Maybe it's his Peace Now wife and kids, maybe it's a genuine conviction that time is working against Israel, maybe it's his way of redeeming a reputation so badly tattered by the Lebanon war. Whatever the motive, the words are encouraging.
Ranking very high in value, Bitter Lemons is a periodic exchange of views on Israel/Palestine. It is co-edited by Yossi Alpher, a veteran commentator on these matters with an extensive background on Israeli security and Ghassan Khatib, vice-president of Birzeit University and a former Palestinian Authority minister of planning.
The lengthy exchange that follows, from the January 14 on-line edition of Bitter Lemons, is particularly interesting. As is the tradition at Bitter Lemons - indeed, its purpose - it presents very divergent views. I thank Yossi Alpher for granting us permission to reprint the exchange in full.
Information regarding subscriptions to Bitter Lemons is available at www.bitterlemons.org.
The following report on illegal Israeli outposts is based on several editions of "Settlements in Focus", a semi-monthly publication co-produced by Peace Now and Americans for Peace Now.
This week, a significant departure from our usual format. I've recently read a piece by Ron Kraybill, who is Quaker International Affairs Representative in the Middle East and Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding and Diplomacy of the American Friends Service Committee. He blogs at http://www.riverhouseepress.com/WordPress (link has expired) www.RiverhouseEpress.com/WordPress.
I've had mixed feelings over the years regarding "second track" peacemaking. But the Kraybill account of the South African experience is, in my view, riveting - and, just maybe, a precedent?
I thank Dr. Kraybill for permitting us to publish his essay here.