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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:44 AM
Original message
Panetta: Israel must 'get to the damn table'
US defense secretary urges Israel to resume negotiations with Palestinians and mend ties with regional powers.

Last Modified: 03 Dec 2011 13:00

Leon Panetta, US defence secretary, has urged Israel to go back to the negotiating table with Palestinians and to address what he described as the country's growing isolation in the Middle East.

In remarks made at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Friday, Panetta said: "The problem right now is we cant get them to the damn table to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences.

"We understand the concerns of Israel, we understand the concerns of the Palestinians.

"If they sit at a table and work through those concerns and the United States can be of assistance in that process, then I think you have the beginning of what could be a process that could lead to a peace agreement.

"But if they arent there, if they arent at the table, this will never happen. So first and foremost get to the damn table."

in full: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/201112...
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Misleading headline suggesting Israel is the one who won't get to the damn table.
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 08:52 AM by shira
Israel's been calling for that since Netanyahu has been elected. The Palestinians refused to do so, even during a 10 month settlement freeze. Both Israel and the Palestinians can't get to the damn table when one party refuses to tango.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. lol. n/t
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Mosby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. either panetta is an idiot or aljazeera is misquoting him
Edited on Sat Dec-03-11 01:41 PM by Mosby
When he says "them/they" was he just referring to israel or both sides?

If panetta was just referring to israel is he really that stupid to think this is how a member of the us admin goes about persuading israel?

By blaming the deadlock on them?
Great way to build credibility and trust.

Lol indeed.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Panetta: Israel must get to the "damn" peace table
Phil Stewart, Reuters Updated December 3, 2011, 1:56 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to get back to the "damn" negotiating table with Palestinians and take steps to address what he described as the Jewish state's growing isolation in the Middle East.

Panetta, addressing a forum in Washington, also made one of his most extensive arguments to date against any imminent military action against Iran over its nuclear program, saying he was convinced that sanctions and diplomatic pressure were working.

"You always have the last resort ... of military action. But it must be the last resort, not the first," Panetta said.

Militarily strong, Israel is battling a diplomatic storm as Arab uprisings upset once-stable relationships in the Middle East. But Panetta warned Israel against viewing uprisings like the one in Egypt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak as an excuse to enter a defensive crouch.

"I understand the view that this is not the time to pursue peace, and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view," Panetta said.

He said Israel needed to take risks, including by breathing new life into moribund peace talks with Palestinians. When asked by a moderator what steps Israel needed to take to pursue peace, Panetta said: "Just get to the damn table."

"The problem right now is we can't get 'em to the damn table, to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences," Panetta said.

ISOLATION

Panetta said the United States would safeguard Israel's security, ensure regional stability and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon -- a goal Tehran denies having.

"Israel, too, has a responsibility to pursue these shared goals -- to build regional support for Israeli and United States' security objectives," Panetta said.

"I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, we've seen Israel's isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow."

Panetta suggested that Israel reach out and mend fences with countries like Turkey, Egypt and Jordan which "share an interest in regional stability."

Turkey was the first Muslim state to recognize Israel, in 1949, but relations worsened last year when Israeli commandos boarded an aid flotilla challenging a naval blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza and killing nine Turks in ensuing clashes.

"It is in Israel's interest, Turkey's interest, and U.S. interest for Israel to reconcile with Turkey, and both Turkey and Israel need to do more to put their relationship back on track," Panetta said.

Israel is closely watching developments in Egypt, whose new rulers may be more susceptible to widespread anti-Israeli sentiment than under Mubarak.

Egyptians voted on Friday in the opening round of the country's first free election in six decades. The Muslim Brotherhood's party and its ultra-conservative Salafi rivals looked set to top the polls.

But Panetta said the best course for the United States and the international community was to continue to put pressure on Egypt to follow through with transition to democracy and ensure any future government stands by its peace treaty with Israel.

Turning to Iran, Panetta used some of his strongest language yet to explain U.S. concerns about any military strike against Iran over its nuclear program -- which the West believes is aimed at an atomic bomb. Tehran denies this, saying its uranium enrichment is entirely peaceful.

Panetta said a strike could disrupt the already fragile economies of Europe and the United States, trigger Iranian retaliation against U.S. forces, and ultimately spark a popular backlash in Iran that would bolster its rulers.

It also may not be effective. Panetta cited estimates from Israelis that a strike might set back Iran's nuclear program by one to two years "at best."

He finally warned about engulfing the region in war.

"Lastly I think the consequence could be that we would have an escalation that would take place that would not only involve many lives, but I think could consume the Middle East in confrontation and conflict that we would regret," he said.

(Editing by Christopher Wilson)

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/12236593/panet... /


Israel blames Palestinians for peace stalemate
AFP 3 hrs ago

Related ContentIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev, seen here in 2008, has
Israel on Saturday blamed the Palestinians for stalled peace talks, in a rebuttal to US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta who said the Jewish state must take concrete steps to revive the process.

"To our regret the Palestinians are the ones who decided to boycott the negotiations," Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told AFP.

"We would like to see direct negotiations with no preconditions, and we stand ready to resume them. But the Palestinians must renounce their attitude of rejection," Regev said.

His comments come a day after Panetta urged Israel to try and end its increasing regional "isolation" by repairing diplomatic ties with Egypt and Turkey and renewing peace efforts with the Palestinians.

"Unfortunately, over the past year, we've seen Israel's isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow, and the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace has effectively been put on hold," he said.

Israel needed "to lean forward on efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians," Panetta said on Friday at an event organised by the Brookings Institution's Saban Centre for the Middle East, a Washington think tank.

"Just get to the damn table," he said, when asked what concrete steps Israel needed to promote peace with the Palestinians.

Regev insisted that Israel had accepted to resume peace talks without preconditions following a bid in September by the Middle East Quartet to revive negotiations.

The Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States -- has been working to relaunch direct peace talks, which ground to a halt shortly after they began over the issue of Israeli settlement construction.

But the efforts have so far failed and the Palestinians have said they will not resume talks before Israel freezes settlements and accepts the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations.

Israeli-Palestinian talks came to a halt in September 2010 when Israel ended a moratorium on construction in the occupied territories.

http://news.yahoo.com/israel-blames-palestinians-peace-...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. AP version from LBN:
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. I was wrong. Panetta is an idiot. n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. Besides. it looks bad. like you don't really want to. nt
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Indeed. n/t
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. and Israel asks............
why, what's in it for us?

as I see it nothing peace? Israel already has that as far as the West Bank goes, with an election year in the US looming and 'support' of Israel being an issue more than ever, all Israel need do is ask and it's theirs, the US will sit firmly on its hands and keep the blind fold tight for the next 11 months at least
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. The concerns of Israel being that it wants to continue building settlements?
If that's the case, I don't see how he can understand that concern. All the Israeli govt has to do to get it happening is to stop the settlement construction. When it flat out refuses to do that, it makes it very clear that it has no interest in any peace that doesn't involve Israel being left in peace to continue settlement construction in the West Bank. Expansion, expansion, expansion. That's the most important thing for the current Israeli government...
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Dick Dastardly Donating Member (741 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. All that needs to be done to get it happening is for the Palestinians to come to the table.
Israel is not the one who refuses to sit down it is the Palestinians who refuse to sit down. Israel has not put preconditions on starting talks, the Palestinians have. Even during the moratorium on settlement building the Palestinians refused to come to the table.
In any case the settlement construction is within current municipal boundries of settlements that will become part of Israel in any peace deal. It is not "Expansion, expansion, expansion" as you try to make out as the area is less than 2% of the WB.

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. All that needs to happen is for Israel to stop settlement construction...
It's like someone who took up residence in someone else's home and who's moved in their extended family against the will of the people already living there being told they should turn up at the local pub to talk about it, but that they're going to keep on moving in their family, kicking everyone else out of their rooms, and carrying out massive renovations while they talk about talking....

No, the area taken up by the settlements is far more than a mere 2%. It's also roads connecting them to each other and to Israel, land around them that's been taken for use by the settlements, and the buildings themselves. I think B'Tselem had something with detail about the breakup of those things percentagewise, so when I've got more time today I'll try to track it down for you...
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. That's what the PA said before the 10 month moratorium, so why didn't they negotiate then? NT
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 04:16 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Because Israel didn't stop the settlement construction, that's why...
There were three main issues, which was the extreme RWers of Nutty's govt refused to commit to a freeze for even a second when it came to construction in East Jerusalem, that in the West Bank, construction continued during that time, because the freeze was on building approvals. After the freeze (which was imposed by US pressure and which Israel bowed to grudgingly) was over building approvals that had backed up over that time were rushed through and it was back to business as usual. The other was that the PA wanted Israel to dismantle the outposts which are considered illegal even under Israeli law. Israel wouldn't do that. I don't know about you, but I sure as hell wouldn't be interested in idle chit-chat with someone while they're kicking me in the teeth and stealing out of my purse...
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. That is completely false - Israel has five preconditions
that they want satisfied prior to final status negotiations:-

1. The Palestinians must recognise Israel as a Jewish state
2. Israel must be allowed to keep a military presence in the Jordan valley
3. Jerusalem must remain united
4. Palestine must be a demilitarised state
5. No Arab right of return

Most of these preconditions are of very recent origin - in fact Netanyahu cooked most of them up in an explicit attempt to stymie the peace talks.

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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. oh but your wrong for Israel they are not 'pre-conditions'
only a continuation of present conditions it's only preconditions when those Palestin Arabs ask for them
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Mosby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. not true - bibi only stated one precondition
Edited on Mon Dec-05-11 03:25 PM by Mosby
Which is listed by you as number 1.

The rest are part of the camp david 2 negotiations though slightly different.

Number 2 is temporary, which is a reasonable request.

Number 3 is negotiable.

Number 4 is not negotiable.

Number 5 is negotiable to the extent that living deed holders would be allowed to reclaim their property.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. Nothing written here is true
Israeli leaders are willing to meet with Palestinian leaders without any preconditions.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. Kristol accuses Obama of wanting the Jewish state to disappear
<snip>

"Right after sundown this evening, the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel issued a strident attack on DefSec Leon Panetta for his statement at the Saban Forum yesterday that Israel has to "get to the damn table." Bill Kristol said that Obama blames Israel for all the problems of the Middle East:

"The Obama message is loud and clear: the world would be a safer, simpler, and more peaceful place if not for the troublesome Jewish state."


The attack was also aimed at Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, for comments he made this week that Muslim hatred of Jews stems from the Palestinian situation.

Kristol's statement is remarkable for its brittle petulance and is another sign that the ground is shifting and the neocons are under assault. They're flailing. This feels like it's aimed at conservative Jewish donors. Kristol strikes a poor-little-Israel tone when it comes to the Arab spring and Turkey; and he is unconsciously grandiose when he says that Gutman's comments will prompt his recall as ambassador. Do you really think the lobby has that kind of power? Maybe it does..."

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/obama-wishes-the-jewish-s...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. "neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel"
That's very funny, Panetta being outside the fold now. You have to wonder who these clowns like Kristol think they are? This whole thing reminds me of the European leftist witch hunts; you say the wrong thing and all of a sudden you are a "useful idiot", "capitalist tool", or "running dog of capitalism" or something, instead of a "loyal vanguard of the people's revolution".

Panettta is from where I live. I don't care for him much, he has always been the obedient bureaucrat, and an effective one too, loyal to the bone, conservative with liberal sentiments on social issues, not particularly an attention whore, and totally on board with the rightness of US global hegemony and the superiority of US culture, he ran the CIA, etc. very old school. He is not someone I would want to annoy, He is not saying these things on his own, and there is nobody on the planet who is likely to be better informed than he is about the political facts of life and the geopolitical facts on the ground.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Panetta
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