Politicalmonkey2010

The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Archive for March, 2010

FOX NEWS or the Al Jazeera of the USA or Garbage In Garbage Out

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 31, 2010

I was not going to blog this week – in the interest of trying to focus a bit more on the spiritual side of life…well that whole idea went to hell in a handbasket when I read Fox news had 1.30 million viewers.

Objective news:

According to Nielsen Media Research Fox News network captured its largest average total day audience – 1.30 million total – in its 14-year-history. CNN its competition  saw the largest ratings drop – double digits – from the first quarter a year ago, figures show.

Political Monkey Analysis:

DON’T DRINK THE KOOLAID PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

No wonder we have such a vigilante , obnoxious environment in politics and on the streets of this country.  If you are getting your news source from Fox I have news for you, you aren’t getting news.  You are getting theatrics, you are getting opinion (however misguided), more importantly you are getting opinion that is designed to compete for ratings – entertainment.  Designed to give you buzz phrases, little doses of information wrapped up nicely in a package.  Don’t think, let Fox and Mr. Murdock do all the thinking for you.  The advertising alone should distinguish what the audience mentality is…I won’t even name the company on Fox that advertises survival seeds to plant your own garden in the event of the economic collapse..what do you think that says?  It wasn’t an ad about grow your own garden and save money, or do something about the earth, it was a survivalist promotion.  It is fearmongering, that is what it is.  Just like the Fox news line up, fear sells people, wake up!!!  This has nothing to do with what Mr. and Mrs. America need to hear, it is all about what makes ratings, what makes advertising dollars.  Fear sells.  God forbid that Fox just present the facts, do they think the American public is that stupid that they cannot determine on their own what is going on?  Do they think that we need to be entertained 24/7..and do not have the capability to think?  Is that what the ratings are telling us – that we are idiots?  Unable to discern information?  Unable to form our own opinions?  WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!  Turn off those FOX theatrics known as  newscasts.

It is time for us to grow up and get real news, get the facts, not half truths, not opinion but solid facts.

Political Monkey Solution:

1.  Turn off the Fox Chanel!!!!!

2.  Beware of those publications and media sources owned by Rupert Murdoch…Wall Street Journal(which makes me cry, used to be such a reputable source of objective and solid news, now viewed with suspicion)  Note I will be publishing more on Murdock later)

3.  Turn on NPR or CNN – preferably NPR, don’t forget the PBS News Hour

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Holy Week or The Obscene Irony & Reality in the Occupied Territories

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 29, 2010

This post has been bouncing around in my mind for a few days…the irony, as Christians start the most sacred week of the year, and the Jews observe Passover, the occupied territories of Gaza are sealed by the Israeli government.  Am I the only one who see the irony here?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words….

Passover Table

The people of Gaza ..

John 14.27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do no let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Nobody said life was fair, but we want there to be some kind of justice, my heart grieves this holy week for a land that is sacred to all…Christians, Jews and Muslims.  In the middle of this most holy land people are trapped, literally and symbolically, and the world watches in silence?  I hope it is not in silence, for surely  Heaven must weep.

Peace…Salaam

The Political Monkey

Posted in israel, mid east peace process, palestinian conflict, World News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

UN and Israel or You Don’t Pee in My Pool and I Won’t Sh*t in Your Sandbox Part 5

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 28, 2010

The US has went out of its way to “back” Israel, we have done every type of political and financial gymnastics possible, particularly when it comes to the UN, in short we have made the power of the UN marginal at best, as each time a resolution comes up condemning Israeli actions we veto it.   There is not one country supporting Israel, is there?  If the entire world were to say to me Political Monkey – you are out of line,  I would have to say gee, maybe I need to do something different, rethink my stance.  If this happens it will be in essence the entire world saying shame on you Israel.  The real question is..will Israel have the internal fortitude to come to the table and truly work towards a peaceful solution?

For the first time (somebody correct me if I am wrong) we are considering, this is RUMOR, but a good rumor from a good source …BBC, to actually abstain from voting on a resolution on Jerusalem…here’s the full story from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8591714.stm

The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, sources suggest to the BBC.

The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar’s foreign minister.

The official said the US would “seriously consider abstaining” if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.

US officials in Washington have not confirmed the report.

It is likely that the US is considering how to maintain pressure, and a UN resolution would be one way, says BBC state department correspondent Kim Ghattas.

The US usually blocks Security Council resolutions criticising Israel.

But relations between the allies have been severely strained by the announcement of plans to build 1,600 homes in an East Jerusalem settlement during a recent visit to Israel by US Vice-President Joe Biden.

The move prompted the Palestinians to pull out of the US-brokered indirect “proximity talks” that had only just been agreed in a bid to revive the peace process, which has been stalled for more than a year.

Nearly half a million Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Guarantee sought

The reported exchange between the US official and Qatar’s foreign minister came to light during a meeting at an Arab League summit in the Libyan town of Sirte.

A diplomatic source told the BBC that Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani – who is also the prime minister – had recently met an official high up in the Obama administration during a visit to France.

During their talks, Sheikh Hamad asked the US official whether Washington would guarantee not to veto a UN Security Council resolution that was critical of Israel’s ongoing settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The diplomat said the US official had replied that the current feeling in Washington was that they would “seriously consider abstention”.

An Egyptian official is said to have confirmed his knowledge of the US position during a meeting at the Arab League summit, which was held behind closed doors.

The US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, was in Paris last week to hold talks with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

The US is one of five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power and has a history of blocking any resolution condemning Israel.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad, in Sirte, says that many people will see the comments as yet another sign of Washington’s recent dispute with Israel.

In November, Israel announced a 10-month suspension of new building in the West Bank. But it considers areas within the Jerusalem municipality as its territory and thus not subject to the restrictions.

What does this mean?  It means that we are not going to veto it, that is a HUGE step.   A step that has been needed for a very, very long time, Obama has some balls!!!

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Sarah Palin on the Stump or Don’t Let Your Mouth Write a Check Your Ass Can’t Cash

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 28, 2010

My daddy used to tell me…Political Monkey..don’t let your mouth write a check your ass can’t cash…and daddy was  right. I am absolutely amazed, she just doesn’t get it.  Her rhetoric just fans the flames, even when she takes a stab (no pun intended) at advocating non violence.  – Speaking at a McCain for Senate campaign rally, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin issued the following warning to the most extreme elements in the Tea Party movement:  “Anyone who uses threats of violence will be in my crosshairs.”  Does nobody else see the irony in that statement? When is she going to take the responsibility for inciting quite a bit of it herself?  Remember during the campaign….”Obama palling around with terrorist…what kind of response do you think that is going to illicit?  Of course it was a lie, but that didn’t stop her. Her map of “targets” after health care passed…what kind of message are you sending?  Her  March 23 Tweet: Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”

You can watch the heckler and hecklee …and see what happened to one heckler here

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/27/palin-heckled-at-mccain-r_n_515863.html

This woman is dangerous, and I don’t mean as in dangerous to Democrats, I mean dangerous to the American public.

One has to wonder who is running for office Sarah or John McCain?  I swear sometimes I think I am looking at a cardboard cut out of McCain standing behind Palin!  Here’s a little secret, and I swear I will deny it….up until McCain chose Palin as VP I was supporting him…the whole thing went downhill from there.  This woman is a polarizing figure and at this point if this is John McCain’s best weapon he deserves to be voted out, one way or another.  It shows poor judgment on his part.

You can check out the video of Sarah responding to a heckler..and she makes the oddest comment…somebody help me here..”John McCain spent 5 years as a prisoner of war defending the Constitution..”  We were defending the Constitution in Vietnam?  Actually I think we were there to try to stop the spread of communism…..and because of a Treaty with the French…..I know Sarah likes to use the word Constitution.   Sarah likes to use alot of words…ahhhh I am remembering those wonderful interviews during the campaign…

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Netanyahu Vs. Obama or Epiphanies on the Treadmill

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 27, 2010

Yesterday I followed my normal routine..which means, coffee, fed the cat, browse the headlines..and with one eye half opened I hit the treadmill for the required 40 minutes…I find this to be the best solution because generally I am half way done before I am even awake – so there I was a minute 12, mulling through my mind the latest news from Israel…(yes I do have a post on that coming, but I am still so inflamed I am having a hard time formulating something besides idiots, arrogant idiot)…but I digress…

All of a sudden it hit me!  I almost fell of the machine.

You are going to have to bear with me a moment and follow the logic, for some it may be new territory, for others you will grasp it immediately.

We all have archetypes, if I say to you that woman is a natural mother, you know exactly what I mean, you don’t need a further explanation, or that man is a prince.  Carl Jung would call it an archetype.  One archetype each and every soul on the planet has is the victim archetype.  Everybody has been a victim at one time or another – it is a universal experience, can’t escape it, sooner or later you will be a victim.  Ok, having said that individual archetypes also apply to groups.

We have two men, Netanyahu and Obama, both men have been a victim of horrific history, the holocaust and slavery.  There is no denying the experience of either, it is part of their history, just like you and I have a personal history we also have a “tribal” history.  It is part of who we are, and the holocaust and slavery, while neither man personally experienced it, it is still part of who they are.  This is not a judgment call, it is what it is.. we all have it.

What distinguishes the two is where are they in the victim experience?  I am sure that you know somebody who has been a victim of a horrific situation, for example, an abusive marriage.  They live in their victimization, perhaps they get out of the marriage, but then say things like, I will be in another relationship because I have trust issues from my previous marriage.  Maybe they even go to therapy for years on end..and yet never seem to progress.  They remain as the victim because it is comfortable for them, it actually gives them leverage, almost a currency.  These people will look for the first opportunity to tell somebody new that has entered into their lives how awful their ex was and what a terrible experience they have endured.  Ever met somebody like that?  Then there is the victim who works through their experience, the person who decides I am out of this situation, and I am moving on, while they never forget the experience, they don’t “live” in it, they come out the other side of the experience as empowered.  Maybe it takes 6 months, maybe it takes 10 years, but they come out the other side.

We have the victim Netanyahu – still using the political currency of his victimization, and we have the victim Obama – who has worked through his victimization, from slavery to literally the leader of the free world.  Their victims were talking to each other!

Just food for the mill!  Think about it..get back to me

Sincerely,

The Political Monkey

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David Frum Exposes Fox News – or Meet the Wizard of Oz: Mr. Cheney is that you? No..wait..Mr. Murdock It’s YOU!!!

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 27, 2010

Mark your calendars, I never in a million years would have said that this Political Monkey would agree with the man who wrote Bush’s “axis of evil” speech – BUT I do.   His direct and insightful blog posting and subsequent appearance on Nightline ended up costing him his position at The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), which is a conservative think tank founding in 1943.

Ok, now pick yourself up off the floor and continue reading:

First he published this piece:

Waterloo

March 21st, 2010 at 4:59 pm by

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

Follow David Frum on Twitter: @davidfrum

Then he appeared on Night Line:


Among the comments Frum made to “Nightline” was the assertion that “nobody ever won an election by spitting at his political opponents” and that “anger trapped the [Republican] leadership.”

More to the point, the thing that twisted somebody’s panties was:

Moran: “It sounds like you’re saying that the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, hijacked the Republican party and drove it to a defeat?”

Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox. And this balance here has been completely reversed. The thing that sustains a strong Fox network is the thing that undermines a strong Republican party.”


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$arah Palin Reality TV – or A Shameful Degradation of the Learning Chanel

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 26, 2010

$arah Palin – and no the dollar sign in her name is not a typo on my part…..

CV UPDATE

Former Beauty Queen

Former Governor

Currently a Fox News commentator, best-selling memoirist and Republican campaign machine

and now….drum roll please

– has a deal in the bag with the Discovery Channel,  according to everyone from Variety to The Washington Post, the series $arah Palin’s Alaska has been picked up for a reported $1-million-plus per episode.

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Fanning the Flames or I Told You So

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 26, 2010

It seems that  Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said Thursday that a bullet had been fired through a window at his campaign office in Richmond, Virginia.  Cantor also said that he had received threatening messages but that he would not publicly release the messages out of concern that doing so would only incite further violence.  He also accused Democratic   National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland — a member of the Democratic House leadership — of “fanning the flames” of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members “as political weapons.”

NOW it’s fanning the flames?  But none of the Republican rhetoric is to blame?  None of the Republican Conservative based whipped into a frenzy with right winged talk and news shows takes any responsibility?  This page from Sarah Palin’s Facebook account with the little “cross hairs” is not inciting anger?(http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/dont-get-demoralized-get-organized-take-back-the-20/373854973434 )But now it is a problem because it has crossed into the Republican territory?  It was not quite such a big problem when it was the Democratic politicians being threatened.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse hit back against Cantor’s claims….”We disagree with the charge made by Rep. Cantor today that Democrats are using acts of violence for political gain,” he said. “Let’s be clear: Calling on Republican leaders who have contributed in part to this anger by wildly mischaracterizing the substance and motives of health reform to condemn these acts is entirely appropriate.”

Windows have been smashed at Democratic offices in at least three states, and federal agents are investigating whether a cut gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman’s brother was related to the lawmaker’s yes vote, people being spit on,  racial slurs, threatening messages… NOW it’s a problem.

Let me be very clear I do not support or agree with this type of behavior at all, there is no excuse for it, period.  But as I said a few days ago the Republicans have created a monster they cannot control.  Tea Party, Republican, Conservative ignorance has spread like a  cancer, it is out of control.  Own it.

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Can You Smell That? What IS IT?! IT’S FEAR… or Scott Brown – A Case Against Career Politicians

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 25, 2010

VS.   

I have to hand it to  Scott Brown, he hasn’t even warmed the seat as a Senator and he is already worried about an election that is 2012…does that sound like a man that is working for the American public?  Or does it sound like a career politician  working to save his ass?  Evidently a misdirected tweet is what this is all about, putting the fear of God into Sen. Brown that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow  was going to run against him…kneejerk reaction fully kicked in and Sen. Brown sent out the following email:

Friends,

It’s only been a couple of months since I’ve been in office, and before I’ve even settled into my new job, the political machine in Massachusetts is looking for someone to run against me. And you’re not going to believe who they are supposedly trying to recruit  — liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.

Rachel lives in western Massachusetts, and recently it was reported that the chairman of the state Democratic Party had apparently tried to reach out to her in an attempt to coax her into a race against me. You can read about it here.

The political season  never ends, which is why I need your continued support. While my opponents strategize on how to defeat me in 2012, I’m going to continue to speak out against higher taxes, more spending and greater government control in our lives.

I relish being an independent voice in Washington, one that doesn’t march in lockstep with the rest of the Washington crowd. The Democratic Party bosses in Massachusetts disagree. They want a rubberstamp who will vote for their plans to expand government, increase debt and raise taxes. Someone like Rachel Maddow. I’m sure she’s a nice person — I just don’t think America can afford her liberal politics.

Rachel Maddow has a nightly platform to push her far-left agenda. What about you? I’d like to encourage ordinary American citizens concerned about the future of their country to get more involved in our government. I hope you were encouraged by my victory to become more politically active, maybe even become a candidate for office yourself. We can continue to push our movement forward by running for office, joining in rallies and petitions that challenge President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s healthcare legislation, supporting campaigns against the tax-and-spenders or by donating time and money to office-holders and candidates who will restore the principles of our founders.

I’m grateful you are with me. Thanks again for whatever support you can provide me, and I look forward to joining in further victories with you down the line.

Sincerely,

Scott Brown
United States Senator

You can relax Sen. Brown – she has confirmed she is not running…

whhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!

//


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Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu also known as Ahmadinejad Netanyahu or You Don’t Pee in My Pool and I Won’t Sh*t in Your Sandbox Part 4

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 24, 2010

OK, this is a long post, and I beg you to read it fully.  The Palestinian – Israeli conflict is a complicated one, I don’t profess to be an expert, but I do believe that if we educate ourselves we stand a better chance at solving it. For those of you “Tweeters” out there who want news in 140 characters or less, this won’t fit for you, if you want to think…grab a cup of coffee sit down and read…

I think we can all agree that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an idiot.  His rhetoric is obscene and inflammatory, but you know what …I am fully convinced that Netanyahu is just as evil in his rhetoric.  These folks have something else in common…neither of them are based in reality, neither of them have any regard for the UN or any other recognized government’s opinion or sovereignty, nor does the idea of what is the morally right and just course of action apply to either of them.

What will it take for Israel to get the message?  The world is rapidly running out of time to placate Israel and their disregard for reality.   Solving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict will help us get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I want my family members home who serve their country.  (see previous post regarding Gen. Petreaus)  I am tired of American blood being shed.  We are fighting with one hand tied behind our back, if we solve the Palestinian problem, it removes a MAJOR source of tension and feed for those who  want to terrorize the world.  I often wonder if we are fighting the wrong enemy?  Perhaps our biggest enemy is Israel and their refusal to engage in a realistic peace process or implement any of the 60 plus resolution passed by the UN.  Their continual provocation and escalation of the situation as so well illustrated by Benjamin Netanyahu  – the current Israeli Prime Minister and his recent  inflammatory remarks that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.  Israel continually ignores and has no use for the UN, unless of course the UN is going to protect them, when it is  somebody else’s blood being shed on their behalf , like right now there are UN peacekeeping troops on the Israeli – Lebanon border, then the UN is just dandy!

Israel is a rogue state, just like Iran.  And no, I am not being anti-semantic here, it is just a fact.  Given the recent events linking Mossad the Israeli intelligence agency to the Dubai Murder of a Hamas member, using cloned passports from all over the world and the expansion and inflammatory language from Netanyahu I ask a simple question:  What is the difference between Iran and Israel?

The US should own up to what we have created, we continually blocked binding resolutions and resolutions condemning Israel because of our “special ties” with Israel.  Does “special ties” mean their Political Action Committees and Funds?  It is time for the US and the US politicians to quit prostituting themselves out for  Israeli PAC money and do the right thing for America.   Here is an organization – the UN -delegated  with keeping the peace of the world, and guess who has consistently ignored resolutions with regard to the Palestinian Israeli conflict?  Israel.

In January Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon made the following statement at the opening of the 2010 session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in New York, 21 January:

I congratulate you and your distinguished colleagues on your re-election to the leadership of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

As we open this year’s session, intensive efforts are under way by the international community to restart the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.  I support the United States-led efforts to bring about a resumption of meaningful negotiations on all final status issues, including the security of Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and Jerusalem.

In the absence of talks, confidence between the parties has diminished.  Tensions have risen in East Jerusalem.  People in Gaza and southern Israel continue to suffer from violence.  If we do not move forward on the political process soon, we risk sliding backwards.

Notwithstanding the Government of Israel’s decision to restrain settlement construction in the West Bank, I am concerned that settlement activity and financial support for settlement expansion continues in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The international community has repeatedly appealed to Israel to halt settlement construction throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Settlement construction violates international law and contravenes the Road Map, under which Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement activity, including the so-called “natural growth”.

This is in no one’s interest, least of all Israel’s.  Settlement activity undermines trust between the two parties, seems to pre-judge the outcome of the future permanent status negotiations, and imperils the basis for the two-State solution.

In East Jerusalem, a series of worrisome events has not only stoked tensions in the city but also has the potential to endanger stability in the region.  The Israeli authorities have continued to discriminate against Palestinian residents, including by ordering house demolitions and evictions and revoking identity cards.  Local authorities have also announced plans to consolidate and expand settlement infrastructure.

It bears repeating that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, which remains part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The question of Jerusalem is a central and highly sensitive issue to be addressed by the parties in permanent status negotiations. A way must be found, through negotiations, for Jerusalem to emerge as the capital of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all.  This is the road to fulfilling the vision of Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

In Gaza, one year after the end of the most recent round of hostilities, neither the issues that led to the conflict nor its aftermath have been fully addressed.  Very few of the key measures for stability, as identified in Security Council resolution 1860, have been implemented.  Moreover, and regrettably, accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law has not been adequately addressed.  I call on Israel and the relevant Palestinian authorities to conduct, without delay, credible domestic investigations into the many reported allegations of serious human rights violations.

The grave humanitarian situation in Gaza remains of special concern to me.  The amount of humanitarian and other supplies allowed in is insufficient to meet the needs of the population or to enable urgently needed reconstruction.  I deeply regret that the United Nations proposal to kick-start civilian reconstruction activity has not been approved.  I repeat my call on Israel to end its unacceptable and counterproductive blockade and to fully respect international law.

I am also greatly concerned about those in southern Israel who have to live in fear of continuing Palestinian rocket and mortar fire from Gaza.  I call for a complete end to violence and the targeting of Israeli civilians.

For 42 long years, the Palestinian people have been living under occupation.  I reiterate my firm commitment to putting an end to the occupation, and to the conflict, through the creation of a State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security, and through the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

We shall pursue this objective in keeping with Security Council resolutions, previous agreements, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.

If we are to advance this common agenda in the crucial period ahead, a revitalized Quartet must step up its engagement.  This Committee has also a contribution to make.

I look forward to continuing our work together to end a tragic situation that has persisted for far too long, to the detriment of far too many men, women and children.

Today Ban Ki-moon made the following statement:

New York, 24 March 2010 – Secretary-General’s press encounter following security council briefing on the Middle East

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to see you.

I have just briefed the Security Council on last Friday’s Quartet meeting and my own visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Tomorrow I am heading to Sirte, Libya, to participate in the League of Arab States Summit meeting.

These missions take place amid continuing efforts to start Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, as well as a crisis of confidence surrounding Israel’s plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.

I am aware of the latest news concerning yet another 20 dwellings to be constructed in East Jerusalem, this time in the heart of an Arab neighborhood.

I say again, here, what I have been repeatedly saying: that settlements are illegal under international law. This must stop.

From my discussions with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership and the Quartet members, as well as what I saw for myself in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, I would draw four main points:

First, there is no alternative to negotiations for a two-state solution. As the Quartet stressed, proximity talks should move ahead, evolving into direct negotiations between the parties as soon as possible. The goal should be to resolve all final status issues within 24 months.

Second, we must not let those negotiations be disrupted by provocations. No doubt there will be tests. However, you should know that extremists must know that the parties are determined to stay at the table.

Third, there have been too many negative facts on the ground. We need more positive facts — a settlement freeze, a lifting of the blockade of Gaza, an end to rocket fire from Gaza, an easing of the constraints that stifle Palestinian life, prisoner exchanges, Palestinian unity, further security and economic progress by the Palestinian Authority.

The list is long, and time is very short. Israelis and Palestinians should do much more to build trust and meet their obligations under international law and the Roadmap.

Fourth, while peace is primarily in the hands of the parties themselves, the international community will continue to play a crucial role. At this important juncture, the Quartet is determined to push the parties and monitor the situation. That is one of the reasons why I am going to Sirte to meet with Arab leaders to encourage and facilitate and support these proximity talks. The parameters of a solution are well known. Our challenge is to get from here to there.

Thank you very much.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you spoke of how the indirect talks should not be interrupted or delayed by provocations. What about pre-conditions? Would you say that the Palestinian side should not allow the building going on as a pre-condition for beginning these indirect talks and moving to direct talks?

SG: Most ideally speaking, there should be no pre-conditions in talks. There should be negotiations going on. The process for these proximity talks has been agreed upon. It has been quite difficult. However, I am pleased these parties have agreed to engage in proximity talks. Therefore, any unilateral actions, which would undermine or prejudice the final outcome of this negotiation will have to be refrained.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you’re going to Sirte to tell the Arab leaders there’s no alternative but a negotiated two-state solution. Many Arab countries including Saudi Arabia have come and said that the statements of the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. [Binyamin] Netanyahu in Washington about East Jerusalem have torpedoed the talks, and they want clarifications from the Quartet and the United Nations on their position on such statements. What do you say to these Arab countries who are very worried that this is not a pre-condition, that this is already undermining the final status talks by declaring a position on a very important subject for the Arabs and for the world: East Jerusalem. What do you say to that?

SG: That is exactly what and why I have been saying that not only the parties concerned, the whole international community, particularly the countries in the region should do their best to encourage these talks. I know that the Arab countries are frustrated, and they express their concerns and even reluctance in supporting these proximity talks. I have been engaging in bilateral talks with many Arab leaders, advising an opinion to them to support this dialogue process, and I’m grateful for their flexibility, even though they have given some conditional support. This support should continue so that Israeli and Palestinians will continue their bilateral negotiations. These proximity talks eventually should lead to direct negotiations. I will talk first of all with President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and engage a group of Arab leaders collectively and individually, and I’m going to discuss this matter with them.

Q: A follow-up, sir. It seems like all the talking has been done with Arab leaders, while many feel that the Israelis should be told to refrain from making such statements on a very important topic, East Jerusalem, in a very definite way, which Binyamin Netanyahu did!

SG: The Quartet and the United Nations and the whole international community have been vocal and clear and loud that Jerusalem is an issue that should be negotiated and discussed as a result of a final negotiation.

Q: I wanted to ask in the run-up to this meeting with the Group of Friends of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has said that her party, the NLD [National League for Democracy], and other opposition parties, shouldn’t even register for the poll, that the election laws are flawed. I’m wondering; you convened the meeting, what’s your thinking of what the UN can do, given that the main opponent now wants to boycott it? And just one other thing, a week ago you’d said on the Sri Lanka panel or board on accountability that there’d be no delay. So a week’s gone by, I want to know if anything’s been done in that regard in that week?

SG: For your first question, let me answer tomorrow afternoon after I have convened the meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar. I need to discuss this matter with the ambassadors participating in that meeting. I will have a clearer answer, if you excuse me.

And second, I’m in the process of identifying persons who can work in the panel of experts. My chef de cabinet has been meeting with the Sri Lankan ambassador here and they are now in the process of making a move on this, and I expect that Mr. Lynn Pascoe will be able to visit Sri Lanka in the near future to discuss all the matters.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, in the past week you’ve seen Prime Minister Netanyahu, and you met yesterday with the opposition leader [of Israel] Tzipi Livni. Do you sense at all that there’s any room for movement in these proximity talks? It seems that, particularly in his speech in Washington, the Prime Minister took a very, very hard line defending the settlements and everything else, so I wonder if whether in your private talks you got any sense that there was any room for movement or flexibility?

SG: First of all, you should know the positions of both Israelis and Palestinians on proximity talks. These proximity, talks facilitated by the United States with a lot of political difficulty, have now been agreed. This is an encouraging point. How much progress can they make? I think they need to discuss all substantive core issues in the proximity talks. If you remember, there is a conditional restraint on settlements, freeze by the Israeli Government, and again some conditional support by the League of Arab States on these proximity talks. Time is very short so we must make progress so that they can move further toward direct negotiations. I can only urge the parties concerned to engage in dialogue with sincerity, sense of flexibility and also political will with longer perspective, visions.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, while you were talking in Moscow and here in Washington and other places, while talks are for talks and may take a very long time, what did you sense from the leaders and the ministers regarding the situation in Gaza? Are the people of Gaza going to wait many years until this blockade will be lifted?

SG: My second visit to Gaza was very much sobering. I went there with a sense of a heavy mind, knowing that the people in Gaza have been living under such very difficult circumstances. I have seen many houses and ruins still lying without being cleared. All these things need to be accelerated, for reconstruction, which will last one year after the end of this conflict. Nothing has been done, and I was relieved that the Israeli Government had finally approved the United Nations humanitarian projects. But as I said it is just less than one per cent of all the requirements which are needed to reconstruct all the Gazan economy. I have made this case very strongly to the Israeli authorities that the longer this closure continues, the more the people, Palestinians in Gaza, will suffer and may end up in undermining and disrupting the normal economic life of Palestinian people and also empowering these extremist militants there in Gaza. That is not in the interest of Israel, it is not in the interest of people in the region and it’s not in the interest of anybody in the international community.

Q: But they don’t care. Are you going to take any further steps like recommending to the Security Council to come forward – any new resolution in this regard?

SG: The Quartet in its statement said that they will monitor the situation and will take into consideration any additional steps if necessary, and we will continue to monitor the situation. And I have very sincerely and strongly urged the Israeli Government to take urgent measures to ease such closures and open crossings, and urge them to have longer perspectives for the future.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, do you think that lifting the blockade in Gaza can be played with this, with some tolerance from the Palestinians for the new settlement?

SG: I’m not sure about all this. However, easing the sanctions that they are [placing], the closures, and opening crossings — that should be done without any preconditions on humanitarian grounds.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, it was remarkable that you added Iran in the Middle East context, that you addressed the issue of Iran. Do you believe that the issue of Iran should be addressed in the Middle East context, the whole Arab-Israeli conflict?

SG: There are many regional dynamics in the Middle East. The Iranian issue is one of them. It has become international consensus that this is the one which must be addressed now. All the Member States of the international community have deep concern on the nuclear development programme. The Iranian authorities, according to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], have not been able to verify the true nature and scope of their nuclear development programme, that it is genuinely for peaceful purposes. That should be verified and proven by international community, and the burden is on them. At the same time, the negotiations should continue. Iranians should return to negotiations with the EU 3 + 3 and IAEA has made a good proposal and EU 3 + 3 also, their proposal is now something which needs to be given serious consideration by the Iranian authorities. I again urge that this issue should be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, as soon as possible.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

It is time for America to play hard ball with the Israeli’s, there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.  Perhaps it is the stain of the holocaust and the atrocities that occurred that makes us feel protective of Israel, but I think we have created a spoiled child, we have raised this child with no boundaries, never told this child no, always held their hand and assured them they were “special”.  The fact is a Jewish soul is no more special, than an American soul, than a Palestinian soul, than a Muslim soul, a Buddhist soul, Christian soul… or any other living being’s soul.  It is time for Israel to either grow up and come to the table prepared to do what is right, or it is time for the US to break those “special ties”, including the purse strings.

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