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Commentary on culture, spirituality, politics and art. Joe Martin on Culture and Politics. Yousef Daoud on spirituality.
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The recent application by Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to have Palestine recognized as a state was predictably met with a collective gasp of apprehension and much scurrying about to convince the Palestinians to give up their “unproductive” request, or at least to neutralize the impact of the request. President Obama decided to take a clear cut decision that the application for statehood was unacceptable and lacked rationale, as it would somehow undermine the process of peace talks which has continued for the last quarter century, concerning the occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israeli military forty four years ago. That is, the American President bought the argument of the current Israeli government. Most significantly, after Abbas’ speech Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu bristled at the notion that stopping the burgeoning settlements in Palestinian territory was of any immediate importance. In his UN speech he stated that "settlements are not the issue." Only further negotiations, he said, are the issue. Maintaining such a long tradition of “peace talks” without real action is certainly a hard habit to kick. We have grown used to those bursts of hope in trying to get talks started again so we can ignore how the situation is deteriorating.