Palestinian Unity Government

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and David Makovsky, senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process, The Washington Institute, discuss the formation of a Palestinian Unity government and the implications for Israel and Palestine, as well as the role Egypt played in brokering the deal.


Rami Khouri and David Makovsky

Comments [21]

jgarbuz from Queens

Note, in his parting 20 second words, Khoury refers to an "Israeli state" not a Jewish state. Again, we are propagandized into believing in a Palestinian nationality, while again denying Jewish NATIONAL rights in their ancient, historical homeland!

May. 05 2011 11:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

In 1948 there were 1.2 million Palestinian Arabs living west of the Jordan river. Today there are 5.5 million, as well as 5.8 million Jews.

Overall, in the world today there are nearly 12 million who claim Palestinian origins, ten times as many as existed in 1948 versus 13.5 million Jews, or 3 million LESS than existed before WWII.

May. 05 2011 11:29 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

HAHAHA! Never tested Hama? Has Rami ever heard of Gaza?

May. 05 2011 11:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

But what does "ending the refugeehood" of Palestinians mean? Is it the same as right of return? If not, what would it consist of?

May. 05 2011 11:26 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

never tested Hama? Has Rami heard of Gaza?

May. 05 2011 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Israel today is only 74% Jewish, and 26% of all ISraelis are NOT Jews. About 21% are Muslims and 4% are Christians, and roughly 1% Other.

May. 05 2011 11:26 AM

As the great Bob Marley said " every man has a right to decide his own destiny" Let the Palestinians determine their own future. Stop the colonial, military occupation of 6 million people. Freedom

May. 05 2011 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Note, Khoury stated that the Palestinian strategy now is to AVOID recognizing the Jewish state, but to rather get world (and Russian) support, even MILITARY support, for a Palestinian state without Israel's permission.

The Lakotah Sioux declared independence from the United State back in December 2008, but I wonder if the US will oppose Lakotah Sioux independence in the UN. Will the US government with the Lakotah Sioux and and finally negotiate an independent Sioux state?

May. 05 2011 11:19 AM
Benny from LES

Brian's show like Leonard's show spend an inordinate amount of time with shows talking about Israel and Jewish-related subject matter. Its crazy considering how small the population is.

May. 05 2011 11:18 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

To further jgarbuz point:
Re the question of minorities in the framework of the “two state solution.”

Why should there be an Arab minority in the Jewish state and no Jewish minority in the Arab state? There are Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India. About 20% of Israel’s citizens are Arabs, but the Palestinians will not tolerate a Jewish minority. Indeed, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared to journalists in Ramallah on December 25, 2010, that there will be no room for Israelis in a Palestinian state.

May. 05 2011 11:11 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Isn't it too early to use the term "Arab Spring?"

We have yet to see the season that will follow the current events in the Arab world.

May. 05 2011 11:09 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why should Jews recognize a Palestinian state, when Arabs will not recognize a Jewish state? Judea (from which the label "Jew" originates) was what the country was called before the Romans changed it to "Syria-Palestina" after they crushed the THIRD Judean revolt in 135 AD.

As long as Jewish national rights are not recognized, Israel should not even sit down with the enemy much less negotiate with them.

May. 05 2011 11:08 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

I remember quit clearly images of Palestinians dancing and handing out candy when the first images of 9/11 were coming through. That is, until Hanan Ashrawi implored them to stop because it was bad for PR.

How long will it take for us to forget Hamas' condemnation of Bin Laden's demise?

Make peace?

May. 05 2011 10:51 AM
Donna Franklin from NYC

Bravo to the Palestinians. Hopefully this will be the first step in ending Israeli apartheid.

May. 05 2011 10:43 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

On borders, the conventional wisdom is that Israel must “return to the 1967 borders.” Indeed, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is asking the world to recognize a Palestinian state “within the 1967 borders.” But such “borders” never existed. The 1949 Rhodes Agreements established an armistice line between Israel and Jordan, a line that was defined as “temporary” upon Jordan’s insistence, and that had no political or legal significance so as not to prejudice future negotiations on final borders. The armistice demarcation line represented nothing more than the lines of deployment of the forces involved in the conflict on the day a ceasefire was declared. The line was demarcated on the map attached to the Rhodes Agreements with a green marker pen and hence received the name “Green Line.”

May. 05 2011 10:43 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

The Palestinians are trying to obliterate these facts by arguing that their territorial claims are backed by international law. They are not.

The true purpose of the September vote is not to declare and recognize a state.

Its purpose is to obtain three things from the international community:

1. To abandon the demand that the Palestinians renounce their claim about the “right of return” as a condition for statehood;
2. To grant legitimacy to Hamas;
3. To de-legitimize any Jewish presence beyond the “green line” (including in Jerusalem’s Old City).

While the September vote at the UN General Assembly will be legally meaningless, it will implicitly recognize the “right of return” and whitewash Hamas’ hideous ideology and crimes.


May. 05 2011 10:41 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

The “Palestinian territory” is not defined. It is disputed. Hamas openly claims all of Palestine, while Fatah will officially do with the entirety of the West Bank, of Gaza, and of East Jerusalem (a review of PA schoolbooks, TV programs, and public speeches in Arabic suggests otherwise). Mahmud Abbas’ claim that the entire West Bank “belongs” to the Palestinians lacks both historical and legal basis. The 1949 “Green Line” was a temporary armistice line between Israel and its Arab aggressors. UN Security Council Resolution 242 does not require an Israeli withdrawal to those lines. The West Bank was ruled (and annexed) by Jordan between 1949 and 1967; there never was a Palestinian state there in the past.

May. 05 2011 10:39 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

Until last week, the Palestinians had two governments: a Fatah government in the West Bank and a Hamas government in Gaza. While the recent Hamas-Fatah deal officially puts an end to this duality, the new Palestinian government is made up of a terrorist organization recognized as such by the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Israel. The Palestinians will try to obtain the “moral laundering” of Hamas (they can count on the support of countries such as Russia, Turkey, Norway, and Switzerland), while Israel will try and convince the EU not to remove Hamas from its black list.

May. 05 2011 10:38 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

UN General Assembly resolutions are not binding (as opposed to Security Council resolutions). They are mere recommendations. The General Assembly does not and cannot establish states. Contrary to a widespread misconception, the UN did not establish the State of Israel. On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly only approved the recommendation of UNSCOP (the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) to divide the British Mandate between a Jewish state and an Arab state. This approval was a non-binding opinion. What established the State of Israel were seven decades of labor and a war of Independence in which the Jews fought by themselves without any help from the UN.

May. 05 2011 10:37 AM

Why don’t u ever have Israelis on to talk about Israel?
it's always the same americans

May. 05 2011 10:02 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

The two state solution is unacceptable, not to Israel (as the NYT would have you believe)....but to the Palestinians. NYT front page today, Meshal of Hamas says "we will not give up right of return."
So, let's review what he is really saying ....Yes, sure,we want two separate countries, our Palestinian country and YOUR Palestinian country.

Brian......also ask Rami Khouri why, when discussing the "two state solution" for the two respective peoples, Palestinians still refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland for the Jewish people. That is very revealing.

It's because it is all a sham on the part of the Arabs, and that their only ultimate goal is to dance on the graves of Israelis after they have destroyed the "Zionist entity."

As Makovsky is sure to say (he always does) "Israel has "read the book" in Gaza with Hamas, they don't need to "see the movie" in the West Bank.

May. 05 2011 08:42 AM

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