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Author Topic: John Boloton's first public criticism since appointment.
Daruma28
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It's funny...but I think one of Bolton's most ardent critics here, RickyB, would wholeheartedly agree with Bolton's crtiticism here, no?

quote:
Funding of Palestinian Propaganda By U.N. ‘Unacceptable,’ Bolton Says

By JACOB GERSHMAN Staff Reporter of the Sun

The United Nations’ funding of a Palestinian Arab propaganda campaign timed to coincide with Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip has increased tensions between the U.N. and American officials.

America’s newly installed ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, labeled “inappropriate and unacceptable” the United Nations Development Program financing of materials bearing the slogan “Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Mr. Bolton said yesterday that the UNDP had failed to explain why it funneled money to the Palestinian Authority to back the production of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the provocative slogan as well as UNDP logos.

Responding to angry reactions from Jewish and Israeli leaders, UNDP officials yesterday said financial support from the agency was intended to help the Palestinian Authority communicate with Palestinian Arabs during Israel’s evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza.

In a letter to the American Jewish Congress, which had decried the funding of the propaganda materials, a UNDP administrator, Kemal Dervis, said it was “not at all acceptable” that the agency’s logo was placed on the propaganda.

“We cannot be involved in political messaging,” Mr. Dervis wrote. The UNDP manages nearly $4 billion in donor resources annually, operating in 166 countries.

The response from the UNDP was not sufficient, Mr. Bolton said yesterday. “Funding this kind of activity is inappropriate and unacceptable. We plan to raise the issue with UNDP and with others,” he said in a statement to The New York Sun. In effect, Mr. Bolton expressed to the UNDP that the most serious problem for his office was not the logo, but the fact that the agency supported that message with its checkbook.

William Orme, a spokesman for the UNDP, told the Sun by telephone yesterday evening, “We’ve seen Ambassador Bolton’s comments, and we are taking this matter seriously.”

The slogan, which suggests forthcoming Palestinian Arab triumphs in the disputed territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has become a defining message for the Palestinian Arab government during the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and some areas of the West Bank. The slogan appears to have been adopted not only by senior members of the Palestinian Authority but by Hamas officials as well.

Hamas’s top official,Khaled Meshaal, yesterday echoed the theme of the slogan in comments to reporters, Reuters reported. “Gaza is the first liberation, then comes the West Bank, then every inch of Palestinian land,” Mr. Meshaal said. “We are at the beginning of the road, and we have not and will not give up our weapons.The battle is not over.”

Mr. Meshaal spoke while standing in front of a poster reading “Today Gaza,Tomorrow Jerusalem,” Reuters reported.

Hamas’s embrace of the slogan reinforced the fear of Jewish and Israeli leaders that the message would undermine peace efforts and provoke more violence.

UNDP officials have argued that it isn’t their role to weigh in on the merits of geopolitical claims. Specifically, they have said that the Palestinian Authority had the freedom to develop a campaign without review from the UNDP, which funded the production of the materials through its Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People. The head of the Palestinian program, Timothy Rothermel, was quoted by Fox News as saying that the slogan is “consistent with the relevant U.N. resolutions and Security Council resolutions about the status of Palestine.”

Israeli officials, who argue that the West Bank is disputed territory under international law, strongly disagree with Mr.Rothermel’s analysis.Juda Engelmayer, director of communications for an umbrella organization representing Jewish groups, the American Jewish Congress, said his group was satisfied by Mr.Dervis’s letter.“We believe he is going to be strong and tell them not to use the money for political messages like that,” he said.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, shared Mr. Bolton’s sentiments. In a letter addressed to Mr. Dervis, he wrote, “It is inappropriate for the UNDP, as an impartial global development organization, to fund such a political and provocative message.”

What say you, Ricky? Or do you agree with "Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem?"
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Wayward Son
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Isn't the West Bank and Jerusalem part of the territories that the Palestinians are supposed to get according to the UN mandate that created Israel? If so, what is the controversy? [Confused]
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Pelegius
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They are not suposed to get all of Jerusalem, but other than that, yes. Actualy the Vatican's idea of putting Jerusalem in international hands is a good idea.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Isn't the West Bank and Jerusalem part of the territories that the Palestinians are supposed to get according to the UN mandate that created Israel? If so, what is the controversy? [Confused]

Even if that's the case, I'm not at all comfortable with the UN sponsering the slogan. It helps foster a team centric, or "Us vs. Them" mentality, mentality. The middle east really doesn't need any more of that.
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RickyB
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No, I agree with Bolton on this. This is a criticism no US ambassador to the UN would have failed to make. I don't care what the 1967 borders were in regard to the old city of Jerusalem. I also happen to be in favor of a special status for the old city (though not AT ALL the way the "holy" see envisions), but I would fight to the bloody death against any arrangement that gave the Palestinians sole sovereignty over the Old City.

Never, since the end of the British mandate, has there been a single instance where the Arabs have controlled a holy site and lived up to their obligation to either protect it or afford passage to it. That was also part of the UN partition deal - that Jews be allowed access to the wailing wall in Jerusalem and the cave of patriarchs in Hebron. Not a single Jew from Israel was allowed to go to either site between 1949-1967. When the Palestinians were granted (under the Oslo agreements) control of a site, sacred to many religious Jews and purported to be the tomb of Joseph (the guy with the technicolor dreamcoat? Son of Hebrew Patriarch Jacob? You've probably heard of him...) - the place was desecrated and burned down within a few months if not less.

By contrast, not only are pilgrims from Jordan allowed to come to the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, we allow the Muslim religious trust to basically run the Temple Mount. Can you imagine Jordanian or Palestian authorities giving a Jewish religious organization official sway there? 'tis to laugh.

I can live - though not happily - without access to Hebron, which though it is the literal cradle of my nation, is not something my grandfather ever prayed to reinhabit. Jerusalem is. We can have our capital in the new neighborhoods west of the old city, they can have theirs in the nabes east of the walls, and we can share what's inside the walls. I'm being very generous here.

If the shirts had just said "west bank" I wouldn't be so opposed, although I really don't see why the UN needs to finance utterly partisan cheerleading. I don't see it financing "stop suicide bombings" T-shirts...

But Jerusalem? Fock that.

So good for Bolton for calling it, but again: any US ambassador, from Adelai Stevenson, through Jeanne Kirkpatrick to John Danforth, would have raised the exact same objection. We didn't need a berserker for that.

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Daruma28
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Well I guess we'll have to wait until "the beserker" goes "beserk" before we revisit this topic, eh Ricky? [Wink]
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RickyB
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Yup. [Smile]

Hey, be glad, the man gets good marks from ME for something he did as UN ambassador. Savor it, I dunno how often this will recur [Smile]

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Pete at Home
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Good hell, Wayward and Pelegius, do you really not get that this is claiming a victory for TERRORISM using UN money that should be used for funding jobs and schools.

Not to mention a parallel to Hitler's Today France and Tomorrow the World from a PLO regime that already publishes Nazi propaganda in schools.

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Pete at Home
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Points to Ricky for usage of common sense across party lines.
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TS Elliot
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Until bolton and the us pay up their UN fees, long overdue, they have exactly nothing to say.
Put up or shut up.

This is the case of the molester (bolton) perverting a good cause (moderation on both the palestinian and israeli side, and nice moderates on both sides) for his own purposes. His own purposes which include but are by no means limited to: neo-feudal control over the M-E, and in general piss of social-democrats, and thwarth Palestinians/Arabs and others he considers 2nd class citizens).

Pretty cynical move.

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RickyB
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TS, how exactly are these T shirts a "good cause"? How is insisting on something that will never happen peacefully "moderation"? What business does the UN have in financing cheerleading? Hasa the UN financed similar cheerleading on my side? My ambassador went to the UN and I didn't even get a lousy T shirt!

Oh and Pete - since I assert that the UN amabassador of president Clinton, Gore or Kerry would have done the exact same thing, there's not that is partisan here.

[ August 20, 2005, 06:32 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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TS Elliot
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Okay, I must humbly admit that other than the "boloton is against it, so it MUST be good" defense i can come up with nothing.
Okay maybe, it's rather nitpicking to get excited over such a thing which will boost morale in the P. camp, but prolly not more than that. I mean, they are already down, and now Gaza will be even more of an open air prison, now that the fellow inmates are gone.
Seriously, my beef is more with bolton than anything else, it seems so f-ing hypocritical for the strongest mil. power in the world to get all excited over t-shirts:
Imagine the following white house/pentagon conversation:
CIA-guy: "Eeeh, the Russians can destroy the world 5 times over!"
US general: "Yes, but we can destroy the world 24 times over!"
US colonel: "WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE! WE'RE NUMBER ONE!"
CIA-guy: "But watch it, the Palestinians got T-Shirts!!"
US general: "Maybe we should get MORE atomic bombs? After all, they got very menacing T-Shirts"

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RickyB
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Just because something isn't the most important thing in the world doesn't mean it doesn't merit a response. Nobody is suggesting any forceful reaction to the damn t-shirts. But it's wrong for the UN to finance them (wanna boost morale? plant flowers, fix the sewage, feed the hungry), and it's the job of the US ambassador to the UN to protest when the UN does things that are wrong.
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The Drake
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Maybe if the T-shirt said "Terrorism stands in the way of our freedom." [Big Grin]

But then who would wear it?

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Pete at Home
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So if threatening a 17 year old girl's family if she doesn't turn herself into a human bomb and murder Israeli women at a mall, raises Morale in the Palestinian camp, then TS Elliot says that it's nitpicking to get excited over it. Let them sabotage the peace process by turning a generous unilateral move by the Israelis into a victory for terrorism.
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Pelegius
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Pete, the surport of an occupied Nation-State is well within the bounds of the U.N. I am wrong in thinking that all this does is to acknowladge the existence of an independent Nation-State? They don't encourage sucide bombers. Israel and Palestine need to get along as separate Nation-States. The U.N. should help them do that. Is Mr Bolton so rabid a Zionist that he does not see the fact of two separate countries? I surport a peaceful divide between the two countries wherin both promise relegious tolerence, and I must say my opinion of Israel skyrocketed when the started withdrawing.
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RickyB
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Pelegius, are you insisting on not reading things that don't fit your argument. I'll spell it out for you:

The deal breaker is Jerusalem.

Get it now?

If the UN wants to align itself unequivocabvly with the Palestinian demand that things go back to the 1967 borders in Jerusalem, then it's aligning itself with a position at least 90% of Jews in Israel utterly reject.

Highly unconducive for peace, wouldn't you say?

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Pelegius
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Ricky, I have already expressed my view on the matter of Jerusulam, as has the U.N. neither I nor the U.N. belive that either side should have complete control over the city.
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RickyB
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As has the UN? When has the UN said this? And how is that compatible with these T shirts?
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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
as has the U.N. neither I nor the U.N. belive that either side should have complete control over the city.
And yet you support the UN saying "Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem", which definetely does not encompass a joint-control plan, unless I am misunderstanding.

Obviously the UN doesn't believe in the same thing you believe in, or am I just being a rabid Zionist?

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Pelegius
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The t-shirts are not idealy worded, I asume that they mean, based on prior U.N. statements, that Jerusulem should be split between the two nations, and both nations should gurantee access to holy sites. Those are the conditions of the ideal peace plan.
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RickyB
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You assume with absolutely zero evidence and contrary to the implications of the evidence you do have. "First Gaza", right? Gaza is not split or shared. We left it unconditionally.
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The Drake
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Can't you guys just build a perfect replica of Jerusalem about 50 miles East of the existing one?
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Pelegius
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Ricky, evidence is from prior U.N. statements on the issue. Is this really about the t-shirts, or is it more about the fact that Israel wants sole control over the city, and therefore is offended by the implication of even sharing it? Actualy, the Vatican's purposal is pretty reasonable, as neither country will allow the other to hold even part of the city.
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RickyB
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"Ricky, evidence is from prior U.N. statements on the issue."

To which you have neglected to link. I don't recall unequivocal UN statemments on the subject. And in any case, we're NOT talking about previous statements. We're talking about this statement, which clearly implies that the Palestinians want all of Jerusalem, the way they're getting all of Gaza, and which the UN has wrongly chosen to sign on to.

As for what Israel wants - I just told you what I want, and that's all I'm responsible for. Obviously many in Israel abhor the idea of relinquishing any amount of control, but that's largely due to the fact that what I'm suggesting doesn't really exist anywhere this important, and that, as I've said, the Palestinians suck when it comes to respecting our holy places.

So I'm in favor of a novel compromise, and I believe Israelis can eventually be sold on it too. But if it comes down to either us or the Palestinians, then it really is no contest. I for one will never agree to the Palestinians having sole control of the old city. Never.

As for the Vatican - you're either ignorant or naive. All the Vatican wants is to increase it's influence in Jerusalem and in the holy land in general, which is currently marginalized by the fact that the Greek Orthodox church is much stronger here and always has been. I object to the @#$% Vatican controlling things or having any say as much as I do to the Plaestinians controlling things. Joe Ratzinger can mind his own damn business and take care of the old city he already has.

The only solution that will work is the Old City as a special, ex-national territory, managed by a joint Israeli-Palestinian commission. Put that on a T shirt and I won't object at all.

Drake - 50 miles east would be in the middle of the Moab desert, in Jordan. Israel is a tiny focking place [Smile]

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WarrsawPact
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Benedict said nothing about the Vatican controlling Jerusalem, did he, Ricky?
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Pelegius
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I think that we are making a mistake in equating a t-shirt with philosophy. Gaza was a triumph for Israel, rather it will become one for Palestine is up to Mr Abbas and the PLO.
http://www.fmep.org/documents/Geneva_Accord.html

This is the official U.N. policy on the area, as signed by both sides. It can hardly be called anti-Israeli.

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RickyB
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No, he didn't, but the Vatican does want a foot in the door - to be one of the "international" amalgam that is to run Jerusalem. To which I say: Over my dead body.

Pelegius - you're gonna teach me about the Geneva Accord? This is really funny. I almost certainly know more about this agreement, and aboput every single major player who created it, than you do.

Where on earth did you get the idea that the UN has adopted this agreement or considers any article thereof its official policy on the relevant subject? Seriously, where do you get this idea?

Ed. to add: Where on earth, further, did you get the idea that the Israelis who signed this document were, at the time, authorized to do ANYTHING in the name of Israel?

[ August 21, 2005, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
(..) a generous unilateral move (...)

don't make me laugh, they're keeping full military control over Gaza, it IS a prison, and that you can say such things with a straight face, means you're either very dumb or cynically evil. just stay at home where you're needed.

Pelegius is right, it's an OCCUPATION!! UN support for this is totally correct. It's not as if the t-shirts promote violence. This is akin to situation of the amerikkkans stating that the Indians (all right, First Americans) are a threat since they still own 0,001 percent of the land. Don't expect anything NOT viciously mean conservative from bolton.
And with regard to Jerusalem:
1. wouldn't it be the recognization of a present situation to give the palestines control over east-jerusalem?
2. where on the t-shirts does it say "we won't allow you at the wailing wall"?

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RickyB
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First of all, our military will be leaving Gaza, so I don't know how you can call it full military control (although I admit that there are unresolved issues regarding the harbor and the airport, but that's not full military control). Second, If you equate Jerusalem with Gaza, you're saying you want the one the way you got the other. Don't go twisting things. That's what the T shirts say. Is it ok for the Palestinians to want that? Sure. Not very conducive for peace, but wishful thinking ain't no crime. The problem is when the UN, which is supposed to be an impartial arbiter, sides so blatantly with the extreme aspirations of one side.

The point is that the UN has no real business financing ANY damn T shirts, and definitely not the kind that can bring its fairness into any kind of doubt, because that doubt will hinder it from doing serious work.

It doesn't have to say "we won't allow you at the wailing wall". If the Palestinians control it, there will be no access, there will be no protection. This is the verdict of History.

Now, if you want to insist on positions that alienate even someone like me, who is in the leftmost 10% of Jewish Israeli society (probably even 5%), then you go right ahead. But when you realize that another chance for peace has been blown, don't go blaming anyone else. Just look in the mirror and spit.

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Pelegius
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Ricky, Israel has a massive army and air force, any neighbor of Israel is under its full military, not political, control. I do not pretend to know more about the Geneva Accord than you do, I do however know that it represents the basic international agreement on the issue (by international, I do not mean Mr Sharon or Hammas), I was wrong in labeling it "official," it is unofficial.
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RickyB
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It is not the basic anything. It is not endorsed by the elected leadership of EITHER side, and has NOT been endorsed by the UN. Not only were you wrong in labeling it "official", you were wrong in associating it in any way with the UN. This is not the first time you have offered falsehoods as facts. It doesn't help your credibility.

And as for this: "Israel has a massive army and air force, any neighbor of Israel is under its full military, not political, control."

So by this logic, the occupation will never end unless we unilaterally disarm. Well, guess what, Bubba: Ain't gonna happen. Fortunately, this logic is utterly detatched from any commonly accepted definition of "full military control".

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Pelegius
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I never mad a moral judgement of Israel possesing so much military force, nor do I belive it should disarm. I do belive that it should stop assualts on civilians, which they are doing better about, and not arrest and imprison concetious objectors.

As for the Geneva Accord, the reason your elected representives didn't sign it is becouse they are stupid, so are the Palastinians. It is remarkable that any war ravished area would chose someone like Mr Sharon or Mr Abbas, neither of whom have shown much commitment to the peace prossess. Well Mr Sharon has shown a new level of commitment recently, but his previous record was not great.

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RickyB
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First of all, you are shifting the debate to new ground without conceding the old. We weren't talking about assaulting civilians, nor about arresting conscientious objectors. You said that because we have the stronger military, any of our neighbors is under our full military control. Do you concede that this was a false and illogical statement? Yes or No, please.

Second, "As for the Geneva Accord, the reason your elected representives didn't sign it is becouse they are stupid, so are the Palastinians."

That's not the point. I may agree with you to some extent on the merits of the Geneva Accord, although I find its wording on both Jerusalem and refugees vague and unsatisfactory. THAT'S IMMATERIAL.

You presented it as something that represents the official position of the UN. It is no such thing. It is the platform of people who are nowhere near power in their respective camps. It's as though I took the words of Howard Dean and presented them as the position of the US.

Then you continue to insist that it represents "the basic international agreement". By whom? I find your attitude towards factual truth cavalier at best.

As for Abbas - you show your ignorance. He has in fact shown a commitment to the peace process. What he has yet to show is an ability to get results on his end.

Ed. to amend "direct control" to "full military control"

[ August 22, 2005, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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