Thursday, August 02, 2007

Get your blog on...

So this one is being posted a bit later than I thought it would. Don't blame me, I was watching The Marx Brothers on DVD.

I don't think peace talks with Syria will work out. There's no way that Israel will give up the Golan Heights. It forms a natural border between the two countries.
Bashar Assad conditioned new peace talks with Israel on a guaranteed return of the Golan Heights to Syria.

"There must be guarantees to return the whole land," the Syrian president said Tuesday in a speech to parliament. "We cannot enter negotiations without knowing what they're going to be about. They must present a word of trust or something written."
Netanyahu speaks out on the issue.
Israel will keep the Golan Heights forever, Benjamin Netanyahu said.

The Israeli opposition leader made his prediction Tuesday during a pre-recorded address broadcast at 30th anniversary celebrations for Katzrin, a major Golan town.

"I remember the Golan Heights without Katzrin, and suddenly we see a thriving city in the land of Israel, which having been a gem of the Second Temple era has been revived anew," said Netanyahu, who opinion polls predict could win the next general elections. "This place will remain part of the State of Israel forever, but it will be much bigger and will continue to be beautiful."

The Likud Party chairman's comment appeared to be directed, at least in part, at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, given widespread speculation that he could enter peace talks with Syria in which Damascus would demand a return of the Golan.

Israel captured the Golan, which has relics of ancient Jewish communities, in the 1967 Six-Day War, and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. Olmert has cautiously welcomed recent peace overtures by Syrian President Bashar Assad but said any new talks should be without preconditions.
This article, I found of deep interest. It all comes down to this question relating to American Jewry:
What is more important, integration and acceptance by the surroundings, or preservation of Jewish identity?
Establishing an eruv in a northwest London neighborhood was controversial but nonetheless, it was approved.

The UN has not done enough to free the soliders.
We're standing here next to the U.N.," Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of one of the kidnapped soldiers, told the crowd at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. "What have they accomplished? Nothing. Where's the Red Cross and Palestinian leaders?"

Hezbollah militants abducted Ehud Goldwasser, 31, and Eldad Regev, 26, on July 12, 2006, precipitating last summer's 34-day war in Lebanon. Their abduction came just weeks after Hamas grabbed Gilad Shalit, 20, in a raid on Israeli soil.

The energized crowd, which consisted of many campers from Reform, Conservative and Orthodox camps in the region, chanted "Free Them Now" several times. Several Jewish organizational leaders and politicians called on the crowd to chant loud enough that U.N. workers could hear their requests for help from the world body.

The focus on the United Nations comes as Jewish organizations are writing off its Human Rights Commission as hopelessly anti-Israel, while also holding out hope that the world body's new secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, will stake out a more balanced position on Middle East issues. On Monday, several speakers stressed their dissatisfaction with the United Nations.

Michael Miller, executive vice president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, said the United Nations deserved all of the condemnation it received at the rally because it was not exercising its diplomatic influence to free the soldiers.

"We’re thankful that the new secretary-general is aware of the matter," Miller told JTA the day after the rally. "But we know for certain that more can be done and more needs to be done, so we can celebrate their return back home rather than mark their continued captivity."

One speaker at the event, New York City mayoral hopeful U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, drew applause as he called the United Nations "feckless." Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel also denounced the U.N. for not doing enough to release the soldiers.

"Why is the U.N. Commission on Human Rights silent?" Wiesel declared.

The lineup of speakers included several local New York politicians and five members of the House of Representatives. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.), an African American representing parts of Queens, received an ovation when he told the crowd it was important for blacks to show solidarity with the unjust capture of the Israeli men just as Jews historically have contributed so much to the civil rights movement.
Eric Lynn is now Obama's campaign liason to the Jewish community. Obama has found himself in some hot water.

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