Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The long weekend news roundup

After a long weekend, I'm left (mainly) with various unrelated news articles that although disjointed, were interesting enough to post here. Holy Land Peace is also attempting to fully embrace social networking in all its many forms so more content has been added to the right sidebar of the page, including the blogroll which includes links to many of the best blogs detailing the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a Twitter widget, showing HLP's latest tweets. As for Twitter, it is going to be an experiment and I intend to tweet interesting articles I find during the day that I do not have time to immediately place in a blog post. You can follow Holy Land Peace on Twitter here. I have also added a search bar to the bottom of the left sidebar which allows users to search past posts on the site. Let me know what you think of the new features and if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or send an e-mail via the "Contact Me" tab at the top of the page. Now, onto the news roundup:

Robert Fisk has certainly been busy recently gracing us with three articles in the past week. He profiles the smugglers operating tunnels, "the lung through which Gaza breathes," and why Egypt's wall has absolutely no chance to stop a population under heavy siege from smuggling in needed goods any way they can. Fisk also, as he so often does, exposes the joint Israeli-Egyptian siege as counterproductive; it hurts Gaza's civilian population (all 1.5 million) and helps Hamas maintain power through high taxation on smuggled goods.

Next Fisk talks to a seasoned Israeli negotiator and map expert regarding where he one would best draw the line between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Fisk is certainly not convinced that a "best fit line" even exists and neither am I, but the article is well worth the read.

Third, Fisk writes an article in the style he is best known for. It's gritty, skeptical, dark, and intriguing. Fisk profiles the search for peace in Israel from Ben-Gurion to Gaza in an article that will leave a pit in your stomach.

Akiva Eldar, writing in Haaretz, profiles a day in the life of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who wizzes around the West Bank (apparently in a black Mercedes) overseeing his plan to build an indisputable Palestinian state in the absence of productive peace talks. Yousef Munayyer warns that Fayyad is being prepped to replace Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Israel and the Americans for his "stubborn" refusal to simply lay down and accept Israeli "peace" offers. Refusing to accept Israeli settlement building that steals Palestinian land, the internationally unrecognized annexation of Jerusalem, and the separation barrier that steals even more Palestinian land is practically a death wish for Palestinian leaders. Munayyer argues that Israel only wants "partners for peace" that will not make a sound when Israel tramples all over any real hope for a Palestinian state in any meaning of the word.

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