Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Palestinians reject a "compromise" that means surrender

The Washington Report - Rachelle Marshall- Words and catch phrases often have flexible meanings when Israeli leaders use them. Nonviolent protest against land theft is "unlawful incitement"; torture, mass arrests, and collective punishment are "security measures"; and during the 10-month "settlement freeze," construction of more than 2,500 homes for Jewish colonists continued, and plans were laid for thousands more. These figures do not include the numerous trailer camps set up on Palestinian land during the slow-down that are certain to be provided by a friendly government with electricity, water, and roads.

As the partial freeze expired on Sept. 26, the four-week old peace talks initiated by the Obama administration threatened to expire with it. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused to prolong the freeze. President Mahmoud Abbas declared he would walk away from the negotiations unless Israel stopped all new settlement construction. At that point the peace process stalled.

Washington's solution was to propose "a compromise." If Israel resumed the settlement freeze for 60 days, during which the two sides would continue to negotiate, the U.S. would substantially increase the $4 billion-plus worth of advanced military hardware it gives Israel every year, veto all "anti-Israel" resolutions at the U.N. Security Council, and help forge a regional security arrangement to protect Israel from Iran.

An even more generous prize for Netanyahu would be a U.S. agreement to support Israel's long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley, an area the Palestinians regard as part of their future state and where the Israelis have been ousting scores of Palestinians from their homes. If the Israelis accepted the deal, they would be free at the end of two months to resume full-scale settlement construction."It's an extraordinary package for essentially nothing," commented Daniel C. Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel. "Who thinks that a two-month extension is enough?"

Palestinians were offered only Obama's assurance that if they continued to negotiate with Israel, the U.S. would accept the 1967 borders, modified by land swaps, as the baseline for future negotiations. The president did not promise to secure Israel's agreement to such an outcome. If Israel refused to go along, the Palestinians would be left with nothing while Israel continued to swallow up their land.

Abbas was faced with two stark realities: the overwhelming disparity of power between the two sides, and an Israeli government adamantly opposed to true Palestinian independence. He could choose to either give up on negotiations or rely on the word of an American president who has backed off from every demand he has made on Israel. With a go-ahead from the Arab League, the Palestinian leader finally consented to give Obama another month to persuade Israel to stop settlement construction. Read more