3 thoughts on “U.S. Congressional Delegation to Gaza – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. A split in AIPAC?

    Ex AIPAC chief calls for detente with Syria.

    Tom Dine writes, “Getting U.S.-Syria Relations Out of the Deep Freeze” for The MidEast Peace Pulse blog of Israel Policy Forum. He is former Executive Director of AIPAC, Advisor to IPF & Search for Common Ground, Posted February 17, 2009
    …..To return to normal bilateral relations, early, mid-course, and long term steps need to be taken. I suggest three early and mid-term ones.

    Reestablish trust. Positive moves are badly needed, including official contacts and exchanges, as well as continued gestures by top officials in both capitals. Syrian negativity should cease; the U.S. should make it very clear that it will not follow any of the previous Administration’s policies aimed at regime change. Both sides can join hands on the issue of 1.5 million Iraqi refugees now living in Syria, starting by acknowledging the hardships Syria is encountering and the fact that it is dealing with its new residents with compassion in the areas of housing, health care, and education.
    Normalize the status of each nation’s embassies in each other’s capital city. A new American ambassador should be nominated, approved by the Senate, and sent to Damascus by June 30th.
    Publicly support and join in mediating a conclusion, with guarantees of troops and early warning systems, to the long-delayed, long-awaited Syria-Israel treaty of peace. This international contract could dramatically change the dynamics of the region, recasting a new environment of peace and stability over the Levant, including with the Palestinians, if not further east. It would also alter the nature of Syria’s relationship with non-state actors such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad.
    The most important long-term challenges:

    Engage the two business communities, ending the Syria Accountability Act, helping Syria with its WTO application, and putting Syria on the road of economic growth, the same road that its neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan are on. Syria wants American trade and investments and foremost technology.
    Engage Syria, engage Iran. A U.S.-Syria rapprochement would provide America with a credible partner in future contact with Tehran. Additionally, Iran’s regional influence could be greatly curtailed by depriving it of unhindered access to Syrian resources.
    It is time for days of warmth in a normal U.S.-Syrian relationship.

  2. Tom Dine lives in a fantasy world. The region will remain in conflict as long as Israel continues to occupy those lands that it invaded on 5 June 1967 and has belligerently occupied since, i.e. the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem (including its illegally extended boundaries), the Palestinian Gaza Strip (still occupied under international law as Israel continues to control its entrances, exits, air space and sea access, imports and exports and reserves the right to invade at will – in short, the Gaza Strip is the world’s largest outdoor prison.) For reasons explained by Richard Silverstein, it is highly unlikely that Israel will withdraw from Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms as it will set a precedent (not that its withdrawal from Egypt’s Sinai did not.) The time is rapidly approaching when the US, understanding fully that Israel is its number one geopolitical liability, will act in its own best interests and sever its “special relationship” with Israel. The zionist enterprise in historic Palestine can no longer be supported by America. There is no return, only ongoing and worsening negative blowback. In 15 years there will be 2.5 billion Muslims in the world, 600-650 million Arabs, including 12-15 million Palestinians between the Jordan River and the Med. These are are the real “facts on the ground” that will determine America’s ME policy. Meanwhile, Jewish Israeli emigration is soaring and predicted to increase greatly, while Jewish immigration is less than a trickle. The handwriting is on the wall.

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