January 23rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How should the Obama Administration approach Mideast peace?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama proclaimed that the U.S. will actively and aggressively seek lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas at Palestinian stone-throwers during a demonstration by Hamas supporters to celebrate what they called the 'Gaza war victory' following the weekly Friday prayers in the West Bank city of Hebron on January 23, 2009.

Last month Israel launched an attack on Gaza that lasted three weeks destroying buildings and claiming lives. A unilateral cease fire was reached last week, and President Obama has urged Israel to open its borders with Gaza.

The new President also announced that George Mitchell will serve as special envoy for Middle East peace under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mitchell's credentials include negotiating the cease fire in Northern Ireland in 1998.

This is yet another break from the Bush administration that avoided appointing someone to the post.

Now former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated a deal for open border crossings to Gaza back in 2005 but Israel often shut them down because of security concerns.

Israeli officials say they will not open the border if it, in any way, strengthens or legitimizes Hamas.

Here’s my question to you: How should the Obama administration approach achieving peace in the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Trinidad writes:
What is this, a joke now? Every President has said the same thing. What else are they going to say? They can't say the truth, which is that peace in that part of the world is hopeless, so let’s do the next best thing. Make tons of money selling both sides weapons and technology and don't forget about contracts to American firms to rebuild the bombed out neighborhoods. Are you kidding me Jack? You of all people, taking those peace comments seriously?

Rick from Ohio writes:
I think it was a real 'stroke' to create a special position for this purpose, and bring in someone of George Mitchell's stature. My fear is that fanaticism will be a continuing obstruction. But, George Mitchell dealt with this before, and helped solve an 800 year conflict in Northern Ireland. We can all just hope and pray that he can pull it off again.

Bob from Oshawa, Ontario writes:
Jack, the Obama administration has to treat both sides with respect to its legitimate grievances. I believe that Israel has to be told that it simply can't say "No" to any reasonable proposal put forward just because it doesn't like Hamas. It's one of the many reasons why the Palestinians feel frustrated and why they retaliate with rocket launches into Israel. It's time that the U.S. and its allies stop being pro-Israel long enough to put some pressure on them to cooperate.

Kim from Dodge City, Kansas writes:
The Mid-East has been the cradle of violence since the dawn of time and you would think that by now the world would have grown weary of the caveman tribal mentality that permeates the cultures of the region. It's time the United States washed its hands of the whole affair and let these marginal societies eliminate each other without our interference. We have our own problems that deserve immediate attention.

Jayne writes:
The Middle East has been in turmoil since the beginning of time. If I had the answer to your question, I'd be the President of the United States. If President Obama somehow crafts a lasting peace we'll have to rethink the Messiah rumor that flew around the right wing blogs.

soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Scott, Wichita

    He should finish our responsibilities there, and then ignore the region until they all work it out themselves.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    I am sure the Obama Administration will approach bringing peace to the middle east with a lot of thought and common sense just as they seem to be doing with everything else they are working on. The Obama Administration appears to be working as a team and all members seem to be aware of what the entire plan is. It is really nice to see everyone on the same page isn't it? If there is any chance for a lasting peace in the middle east I think this is the team that will be able to have a good measure of achieving that goal. It is really great to watch positive action coming from Washington, it keeps hope alive.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    January 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Jon

    By focusing on domestic issues. We've got plenty of our own issues to deal with. I highly doubt the Middle East is asking "How can we help America with thier economy?"


    January 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Gigi in Alabama

    George Mitchell is good at what he does, so give him a free hand to negotiate between the two warring factions. There are two sides to every conflict and what is right is somewhere in the middle. Mr. Mitchell is good at finding that common ground.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Doris

    Kill em with kindness, Jack.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  6. Jon

    Same thing as above only with city/state.

    By focusing on domestic issues. We’ve got plenty of our own issues to deal with. I highly doubt the Middle East is asking “How can we help America with thier economy?”

    Jon from Richmond, VA

    January 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Kay in WV

    1: Start being an impartial participant.
    2: Insist on concrete, logical boundaries and not the proposed gerrymander-looking ones.
    3: Insist that as part of any final agreement both countries, Israel and the To-Be-Created Palestine must be able to defend those borders from outside incursion.
    4: Stop funding one side better than the other.
    5: Lay out reasonable conditions that will result in all US aid being withdrawn from either/both parties and stick to it.
    6: Either allow for dual citizenship of Palestinian Americans or disallow Israeli Americans from holding dual citizenship.

    That would be a start.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    This Administration needs to take a fresh new approach. We need to go the Middle East with open minds and our only agenda being just that achieving peace. It will be very hard to do but we need to talk to both sides and best case would be with them both in the same place.
    Then this Adminstration needs to only act as mediator to help fine that fine line that is there that both sides can live with and let eachother live in peace. I think with this Administration we will try and if need be over and over until we just find that fine thin line Jack.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Obama is going to have to pursue a different approach on foreign policy. He can start by drawing down combat troops from Iraq, this would change the image and policies of America immediately. Engage Iran in talks that would cover not only the nuclear issue but other aspects of Iran's destabilizing role in the region. This would result in either reach agreements that lowered the dangers from Iran, or he would mobilize a stronger international coalition to isolate Iran.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  10. Tracey Stough

    Mideast? and Peace?
    I would approach it like I approach my niece and son. "You leave her alone and you leave him alone! Do not look at each other, do not touch each other and if I hear any more whining I am going to put you both in the corner!"
    I hate to be cynical, but I don't see peace happening in the mideast.
    I hope our new administration proves me wrong.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    Let Israel go. Stop giving them our tax dollars, stop giving them our weaponry, stop giving them unyeilding support.

    Then, demand that they end the endless array of checkpoints that does nothing except ensure Israeli products are cheaper than Palestinian ones.

    Then, insist that they lift the blockade on Gaza so that the Palestinians can have something that resembles an economy.

    After that everything else should fall into place.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  12. don in naples, florida

    I don't think the middle east has ever been at peace. it seems unlikely that anything will change this. The best we could possibly hope for is maybe a scale down of weapons, or possibly more peace talks among all the middle eastern countries. they have been fighting in the middle east since the dawn of man, let's not pretend that Obama will suddenly be able to end this.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  13. Chris - Ottawa, Canada

    Realize that peace in the Middle East will never be achieved as long as America continues to support dictators in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan...

    He should also tell Israel that although he supports them, the days of the blank cheque are now over. That should be easy considering the US is completely bankrupt.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Katiec Pekin, IL

    They are off to a good start by planning to actually TALK to the parties involved. Rational negotiations have merits and he has chosen qualified, experienced people to institute this.
    The attitudes of these last eight years have accomplished nothing but lose America's respect from other countries. We are on our way back to a great nation who actually cares and wants to help others.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Frank from Peterborough

    First and foremost the U.S. has to accept the fact Hamas is a democratically elected government and deal with them as they would any other government.

    They also have to get over slandering governments they don't like and publicly debasing them if they want to engage in any serious negotiations. Thanks to Bush the U.S. no longer scares any foreign countries and if anything has bolstered their resolve to oppose any ideals the U.S. tries to impose upon them if they choose to govern in a different manner.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  16. Simpliticus

    Diplomatically, of course! Bush either simply gave up on the ROAD MAP or the Mid East problem was a mask for simply allowing the plummeting oil prices to rise again. I would not be surprised to hear that those rockets which were lofted from Gaza strip were actually meant to raise oil prices at the expense of an Israeli retaliation, expected to cause alarm and discord and oil price speculation upsurges because the ongoing problems that have been the center of Middle East discord can be called upon to ratchet up commodity prices when desired. Pawns in the guise of oil speculation just as Iraq was just the same we are finding out now that Bush has left office. Paul O"Neill has been vindicated!

    January 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Terry from North Carolina

    Send our new secretary of state to the middle east with instructions not to return till there is peace. That will keep her busy and out of everyones hair.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  18. Les Oklahoma

    I would tell Israel if anyone jumps on you we will defend you to better end. But if you are proven to be the aggressor will good luck your going have to handle things on your own. Oh by the way I would run what I was going to do by us so there would not be any misunderstandings.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  19. L.M.,Arizona

    The only thing that hasn't been tried is to be fair. We always have given Israel anything they want money,weapons,the right to kill. Let's try saying like we tell Iran you have to come clean on your nukes,your overall agenda,and no more money or weapons.


    January 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Pete, FL

    Make them BOTH stop shooting at each other, Jack. Kind of like our
    parents did in sibling rivalry.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  21. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, Mideast peace is an oxymoron. The best that this generation can do is for them to stop killing each other. If you want substantive peace between Israel and Palestine, threaten to cut foreign aid to both sides, tell Israel that we will no longer sell them discounted weapons, and tell Hamas and Hezbollah that if the continue to lob missiles at Israel, we are going to turn their Israeli armies loose to permanently remove any hint of resistance and that Gaza and the West Bank will permanently revert back to Israeli control.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  22. Tina (Texas

    We need to stay out of their fray. We have a mountain of problems here in our homeland that need fixing. Things will work out over there. They have pitched rocks and now bomb each other and pretty soon they will be on friendly terms again.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  23. karen-phoenix

    Get ALL them to a "retreat", Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afganistan, Saudi Arabia and ANYONE else who want to go. Take at least a week! Let them all get to know each other. Friends DO NOT shot their friends. Get groups of teens from each country to visit (exchange students) every country! Friends DO NOT shot their friends! Set up humanitarian missions from one country to the next. Friends DO NOT shot their friends. Help those who need help!!! Humanitarian actions! Friends DO NOT shot their friends!!!!
    God Bless Obama, his team and the World!!

    January 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  24. Annie Naples FL

    Let the special envoy start talks with both Israel and Palestinians. Both sides should be made to cooperate and the US should then stay out of any further wars. These people do not really want peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  25. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Let it be known we will not support anyone without condition. If your neighbor throws stones at you that does not give you the right to burn down his house.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  26. Asher Bob White

    Through the pursuit of real justice, Jack. Justice must preceed any hope for peace. Without justice there will be no peace. Can the US facilitate a discussion by the parties in dispute about their needs for justice? After such a clarification, airing of grievance and identification of justice by all parties, talks and actions can proceed to accomplish an actual peace effort. Until there is meaningful and enduring justice, there will be no meaningful and enduring peace.

    Hays, KS

    January 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  27. Sandra fromTexas

    I think President Obama is correct in trying to engage in the peace process from the gitgo. However, I am not sure we should take the lead in this. The U.S. can never be considered an honest broker as far as Israel is concerned. Everyone knows this, so just admit it and seek a more honest broker to take the lead. I suggest France. Sarkozy did a pretty good job with the Georgia/Russia dispute. We should participate only to the extent that we try to influence Israel and make it clear that we do and always will stand by Israel. As long as there is a United States there will be an Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  28. Annie, Atlanta

    There's no remedy to this conflict, Jack. If the USA was 1500+ years old and suddenly Native Americans moved us all into two small territories, one of which was cut off without basic supplies, how would we feel. The idea of carving Israel out of Palestine after WWII was obviously not well thought out.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  29. Jackie in Dallas

    George Mitchell has a good rep as being fair and unbiased, has served in the Middle East before, and can be good in bringing both sides to a negotiating table. The first issue is what to negotiate FOR. A good ceasefire is one, access for humanitarian help is another. Our role should strictly be as a moderator.

    The irony is that while Hamas is screaming about Israel blocking humanitarian help, they don't seem to have any problem in getting in more missiles and weapons. Any group who builds their bunker under a hotel, fires off missiles from a school, and uses their women and children as shields is a hard-core group. I don't blame Israel for not wanting to open their borders and allow them in! They have shown, time and again, that they are willing to negotiate, but not willing to give up the security of their own people, which is realistic.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  30. Dave from Orlando

    Very, very carefully.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  31. carson

    Pre. obama should let stands the US as of not their own power but with our human rights and freedom. he should atleast help the innocent civilians who are suffered and rebuild the gaza and then hopefully he could possibly attempt to negotiate as possible as he can to achieve peace between gaza and isreal . but if the unlikely things were happened and then he must immediately decide to protect the isreal for the first priority . i think he can bring it but still tough isn't it ?

    January 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  32. Lois Canada

    It's pretty difficult for the U.S. to achieve any type of peace when they say they are only on the side of Israel! After watching Israel bomb the hell out of so many innocent people I'm disgusted.....It seems that fighting has been so much a part of who they are, they don't even know how to stop! They need a 12 step program.... War Mongers Anonymous!

    January 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  33. Kerry Diehl

    Two steps.....

    1. Get rid of Hamas

    2. Get rid of Hezbollah

    The Palestinians need a legitimate form of government willing to accept Israel as a neighbor without trying to exterminate them in the name of Allah or Mohamed.

    These two factions with the full support of Iran and Syria will never allow a true and lasting peace to occur.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  34. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    It is not America's mess and it certainly is not America's job to handle problems outside of our own borders. The naive bumbling Jimmy Carter meddled in the Middle East and we have yet to extricate ourselves from an area that has been at war with each other for centuries. Our foolish involvement has cost this country untold fortunes and lives. When will Washington ever learn to leave well enough alone? There sure as hell is plenty to fix right here.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  35. Larry D.


    I think Obama's idea of an envoy is an excellent idea lets work with our enemies to stop there aggression, lets also educate them in the process. Secretary of state Clinton should meet with the leaders in Iraq and other middle east countries and put a stop to this blood shed. I think its best if nations sit down with the leaders and there enemies and work out a deal thats suitable for peace. Maybe like a middle eastern summit or something.

    Larry D.

    Albany ny

    January 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  36. Buck J

    Middle East will be fighting in 50 yrs and 95% of American People know that – all the games in the world won't work. Leave it alone as America will have egg on their face again.
    Perhaps there are people who simply "love" to fight.
    Joan B

    January 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  37. Dean in Macungie,PA

    Like they are walking on egg shells.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  38. Rod from Allentown PA

    Simply as observers. This region has been a tinder box of fighting and hostility since 3500 B.C. What makes any of us begin to believe we can change it?

    January 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  39. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    I'd like to see Obama get a little more forceful with Israel. They are acting like a bully in a school yard. I believe if they treated the Palestinian people with a little more respect, things would start to
    get better. As it is, they treat these people like animals. Their response to Hamas terrorists lobbing a few homemade rockets was over the top and killed many innocent people who had nothing to do
    with it. If they had gone in and arrested or detained the actual people
    responsible for the acts, they could have saved thousands of lives.
    I know they have the capability to find the parties responsible without this much violence in return. Obama needs to find a way to get both
    sides to sit down and discuss their differences peacefully.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  40. Jill

    Neutrally, for a change.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  41. Chance Cooper

    I think the President should absorb all the information our goverment has collected on the Middle East. Listen to all advisements and then consider a way out of there without allowing catastrophic results. If all goes wrong pull our troops and send in Timothy F. Geithner. Maybe he could help them with their Taxes.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  42. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    He needs ground rules. Like, we stop telling them how to run their country over there, we don't participate in a coup when they won't play ball with us, and we don't make up things to attack countries that thumb their nose at us. Just being an adult that doesn't want to rule the world will work wonders.

    January 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  43. Maria

    Start by putting on hold all arms exports to Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  44. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Exercise some common sense for a change and quit mixing religion with politics like the Bush administration did at every turn.

    HD from Phoenix, AZ

    January 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  45. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I don't think it is even remotely possible for the Obama Administration to broker a "lasting peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. The best we can hope for is to keep the hostilities contained enough to avoid an all out war in the region. Both sides have drawn hard lines in the sand that will take generations to resolve. We can encourage them, but can't force them to get along together.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  46. Nuwan

    Be tough on Middle East countries and let them know that America would not tolerate violance as a path for peace. Be also tough on Israel to let them know that they are not given a free pass to suppress Palastine too. We can not take sides. We have to be fair and even when necessary we need to warn our friends.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    January 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  47. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    From the West.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  48. Rob , NYC

    It would help if we had someone with half a brain to be working on this. Condi Rice was joke a big joke

    January 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  49. Chris - Savannah GA

    He should approach it from a humanitarian point of view, and show honest concern for the quality of life for all involved. Not who's right or wrong.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  50. mitchell, arkansas

    it should stop choosing sides. we have no standing as an independent arbiter, when we always side with israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  51. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    With an olive branch.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  52. Terry "the hillbilly Hooser"

    Like a fisherman with a frog gig–very slow and carefully. Keeping the light shining in their eyes, til you gig'm

    January 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  53. Jenna Wade

    How should the Obama administration approach achieving peace in the Middle East?

    He should force an EQUAL 2 STATE SOLUTION, with Jerusalem as a seperate State, like the Vatican.

    Each State should be contiguous and receive equal funding by the US.

    Neither state can tell what the other states can do with their land.

    This should be a priority for the Obama administration.

    It will save our tax dollars and we will gain world respect.

    Roseville CA

    January 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  54. Rose in Az

    For years every President has tried to solve the Middle East problems without success. I don't think that diplomacy will work with Israel or Palestine, they have been at odds for more years than any one can count. I don't think anyone has an answer.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  55. Lisa Casey, Ashford, Alabama

    George Mitchell helped end the horrible war in Northern Ireland that went on for 800 years.

    Mitchell coupled with Hillary should encourage the Israelis and Palestinians to focus on that light at the end of the tunnel instead of living with the deadly bombs falling on them.

    What a waste the past eight years have been for these poor people.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  56. vern-t anaheim,ca

    president obama will have a difficult time i getting the middle east nations to keep the peace with one another but he will not use the threats and bullying tactics of the previous administration

    January 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  57. Terry in Hanover County

    After 2000+ years of fighting, there is no hope for peace in the Middle East. The best Obama can do is broker a temporary truce like his predecessors have done. If the warring factions wanted to get along and live side by side, it would have happened a long, long time ago. The citizens may want an end to violence and bloodshed, but it seems that their governments do not. So, how should Obama approach this? He should solve the problems here in America first. I wish for a lasting peace in that region, but history has proven this is not possible, at least not now. Maybe in the future, the children in Middle Eastern countries will unite, overthrow their tyrannical rulers, and demand better for their children and grandchildren. Let's lead by example here while we extend an open offer of friendship to them when they're ready to come to us.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  58. Jim/NC

    President Obama will not be able to stop this madness in Israel as long as Iran supports terrorists groups. Hamas and others wants to murder jews and seek the obliteration of Israel. Remember, presidents have tried since 1948, none succeeded. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 and removed their citizens and what did they get?...almost six thousand rocket attacks from 2005 through 2007, targeting civilians. Land for peace has not worked and never will. What would we do if Mexico fired rockets day after day into San Diego or other border towns?

    January 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  59. Jeff in Massachusetts

    Maybe we could print some money for them, and distribute it evenly amongst both parties. Then he should insist that since we have universally supported Israel over the years, they should honor us by allowing food, medicine, and other essential supplies to reach the HUMAN BEINGS they have locked behind their borders.
    Ashburnham, Massachusetts

    January 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  60. John

    Jack: Peace in the middle east will never last long, but the United States should alawys condemn terrorist groups like "Homas" when they break the peace. Israel is our allied with America. America has other peace loving nations in the middle east who do not support "Homas." We should work with them to change Gaza and other nations in the area who support terrorist. Third Parties are better at getting the message of peace across to others. The special envoy from the United States is an excellent idea.

    John from Alabama

    January 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  61. Brian - Trinidad

    What is this...a joke now?Every President has said the same thing.What else are they going to say?They can't say the truth,which is that peace in that part of the world is hopeless,so lets do the next best thing.Make tons of money selling both sides weapons and technology and don't forget about contracts to American firms to rebuild the bombed out neighbourhoods!Are you kidding me Jack?you of all people,taking those peace comments seriously?

    January 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  62. Rick Medina,OH


    I think it was a real 'stroke' to create a special position for this purpose, and bring in someone of George Mitchell's stature. Conflict resolution begins with a commitment to resolve the conflict - without that, nothing else really matters. And then an 'honest broker' must seek to understand, (and not opine,) until all the issues are clearly understood. At that point, we can begin to find solutions.

    My fear is that fanaticism will be a continuing obstruction. But, George Mitchell dealt with this before, and helped solve an 800 year conflict in Northern Ireland. We can all just hope and pray that he can pull it off again.

    Rick S

    January 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  63. garrick

    hi jack
    as long as Hamas want to act crazy,we should to,they should understand their not the only crazy people in the world.let freedom ring.like McCain said BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB Hamas

    January 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  64. Thom Richer

    Work out a peace agreement in short order that is lasting or do not look for financial or military aide any longer from the U.S. government (people) until it is achieved. Up to this point in America's foreign policy history, she has been the greatest enabler of war in the Mid-East and now in the world. Anything to make a weapons sale. No peace.....no money. It is time we put our money where our mouth is when we claim democracy and peace as our policy. We must either live up to it and not support military actions that solve nothing, or stop being hypocritical and admit to our Imperialistic policies.

    Negaunee, MI

    January 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  65. Joe in DE

    Guarantee Isreal – place a token force there. Offer the Palistinians a fair deal.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  66. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, the Obama administration has to treat both sides with respect to its legitimate grievances. I believe that Israel has to be told that it simply can't say "No" to any reasonable proposal put forward just because it doesn't like Hamas. It's one of the many reasons why the Palestinians feel frustrated and why they retaliate with rocket launches into Israel. It's time that the U.S. and its allies stop being pro-Israel long enough to put some pressure on them to co-operate.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  67. Al in IA

    Israel is in violation of dozens of UN resolutions; everthing from the illegal settlements, the partition wall, use of excessive military force, collective punishment, and the illegal occupation of Palestinian land taken in the 1967 war and much more. Every time the UN votes on an Israeli issue, it is the US and Israel standing alone against the other 190 nations of the world. At Israel's behest, we have vetoed dozens of Security Council resolutions reprimanding Israel. George Bush thought the rest of the world was wrong on Iraq. They turned out to be right. Perhaps it is time to admit that just maybe, the rest of the world might have a clue. Obama needs to take a hard line to force Israel's withdrawal from its stolen land and give the displaced Palestinians compensation for their lost property as was called for in the 1947 agreement that established the Jewish State.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  68. odessa

    he should make strong recommendations for isreal and palenstine folks because united states can't do everything for them..we are only for peace and using war when it is necessary..isreal and palenstine people have been fighting since 1964 due to land..i am so tired of them fighting all the time and they are using their own people as shields...it is very annoying and discouraging. united states have to end the iraq war and finish afaghanstan too....obama isn't stuipd or nieve; he knows what he is doing unlike bush causing nothing but dispair to our country...

    January 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  69. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    They should start by throwing the two-thousand year peace plan out the window and start from scratch.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  70. S, Michigan

    Leave it alone and let them figure it out for themselves- let them fight it out, hold elections when they feel, and develop their own country rather than us having to force them to do all those things.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  71. Tom from Philly

    keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Involving the muslim moderates throughout the region and involving them in the peace process might be the only way. When muslims are involved in convincing muslims to head toward peace it will be more effective then our pigheaded idea that we can go in and militarily enforce democracy and freedom, isnt that a contradiction?

    January 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  72. Jay-San Antonio

    Simple Jack, diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Make no mistake, they fight primarily for territory and economic resources. They hide behind religious reasons, but ultimately the real elephant in the room is territory and economics. So the US should be diplomatic and help them solve the underlying economic issues, and from there territory, becomes less of an issue. Think of it this way, there are many Muslim Nations with whom Israel has relative peace. Saudi and Jordan to name a few. Why do they have this peace? Because money is not point of controversy.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  73. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    President Obama should keep the status-quo and concentrate on domestic issues and not give involved in the Israeli-Hamas conflict. We cannot continue to be the police of the world, especially now with our economy near the brink of collapse. Global problems should be addressed by the United Nations, not by unilateral decisions of the United States.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  74. Melissa

    Its time the gvt focused on its own country and its own people, not take care of everyone else.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  75. John from collinsville, Illinois

    This has been going on for over 2000 years peace is not in their vocabulary. Revise their dictionary !

    January 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  76. D. Texas

    Very careful

    January 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  77. Daniel, Indiana

    It is time to quit making Israel appear completely correct in their actions and the Palestinians/Arabs entirely wrong. The only way for peace is that both sides agree that there have been mistakes from both sides. Israel won't find peace in attempting to starve out the Palestinians. Even Americans would revolt if they were not allowed to earn a living and forced to starve. All must act like compassionate humans and treat the other side as compassionate humans.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  78. Tom from Philly

    Qadhafi, suggested israstine, a unified country, we have democrats and repbulicans that cant get along or agree on anything, turn them into political parties and get the fighting out of the military and into the government structure.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm |

    Stop treating Israel like our fifty-first state. Be an honest broker between all parties. If we don't find a way to include Hamas, any agreement would be toothless. Our obvious resentment towards Arab nations is understandable, but not productive. Part of the reason for Hamas' appeal in the region is that they stand up against the West. Give them a way to "stand up" without launching rockets.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  80. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Consistent compassionate dialogue with inclusion for all in the region who are stakeholders.

    And we must not choose a side with an imbalance of our aid nor our rhetoric, both are right, both are wrong.

    The only difference between a combat movement and terrorism is a uniform. This is about all people coming together, not ideology or politics.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  81. Maybery, Hatley

    With balance, fairness, resolve and a clear understanding of the legitimate concerns of both sides. Lasting peace in the Middle East will only be possible if Hamas recognizes Israel and renounces violence AND if Israel recognizes Hamas (it has been democratically elected) and renounces violence (Israeli troops have made more innocent victims in 20 days than Hamas has in all its operations combined).

    January 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  82. Susan from Idaho

    Listen, listen listen. Everyone has something of value to say.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  83. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    In the past we've met with Middle East leaders and listened to what they want and we appeased them, not collectively but individually. Obama needs to draw a line in the sand that clearly states to Middle East leaders the U.S. is no longer willing to continue to appease them if they are not willing to work towards peace collectively.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  84. Jay in Texas

    Immediately demand that Israel stop invading other countries and killing innocent citizens of those countries. Stop paying Israel $8 billion every year and refuse to sell them any more military supplies and, for goodness sake, stop calling Israel our "ally" when all they do is stir up hatred for our country. Count the number of Israeli boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan and you will come up with ZERO.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  85. Rich Monk

    Hey Jack,
    With reckless abandon as always! The USA will need to bring Hamas, Abbas, and the Jewish Country to the table and hammer out their needs to co-exist peacefully. It can be done!
    Thomas, Carlsbad by the Sea, San Diego, CA.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  86. George

    I don't believe there is any one party, or government can gaurantee peace in the Middle East. Both sides must want peace first, and that can not be acchieved, by war, or diplomacy until both sides decide to stop fighting, and killing each other. After watching for too many years how the Mid East leaders talk about peace, cease firing agreements,even sign peace treaties, but they lie through their teeth, and as soon as they have enough arms, or power, they attack again, and again. Best to just let them kill each other off until you get down to the ones who want peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  87. Richard Sternagel

    The Obam Administration should adopt an even handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since this conflict involves the entire Middle East region, all parties including Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia , Egypt, Iraq, and Iran should be invited to a Regional conference where all the aspects of peace will be discussed. On ending war hasn't worked maybe getting the participants to talk will.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  88. just me!

    There has been no diplomacy for eight years in addition to Bush's cowboy tactics and his "my way or the highway" mindset. It is now time to use diplomacy, open communication, listening, sharing thoughts and ideas. Obama will do this!

    January 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  89. Doug - Dallas, TX

    As long as Israel exists on Arab soil, I doubt there can be a lasting peace. The arms brokers are making millions selling the munitions to Hamas & Hezbollah.

    In the end the US cannot broker a lasting peace, that has to be done by Israel and the Arabs. Until the Arab countries get involved in the peace process, not much will change.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  90. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He has already reached out to the Muslim world. If he can get the Palestinian PEOPLE on his side, the radical leaders will lose support and peace will be easier to attain. If anyone can do it, Obama can.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  91. Rose

    Inreference to the heightened level of threats on President Obama; I'm curious to know why White Supremist groups and the KKK still exist in the United States and the 21st century? These are 'Hate" groups and should be legally dealt with. If an African American 'Hate' group existed and were as open as the KKK and the White Supremist, they would have been elimated by imprisonment or murdered. Case and Point; Where are the Black Panthers ???
    The above groups are Terrorists as much as the foreign terrorists, but worse because they are not sought out. or prosecuted until they kill someone.
    ' Baffled Rose'

    January 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  92. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    The Mid-East has been the cradle of violence since the dawn of time, and you would think that by now the world would have grown weary of the caveman tribal mentality that permeates the cultures of the region. It's time the United States washed it's hands of the whole affair and let these marginal societies eliminate each other without our interference. We have our own problems that deserve immediate attention.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  93. Lisa

    Dear Jack,

    We should never have invaded the Middle East at all. We should pack our bags, load our planes, and come home. The Middle East will take care of itself.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  94. Jayne

    The Middle East has been in turmoil since the beginning of time. If I had the answer to your question, I'd be the President of the United States. If President Obama somehow crafts a lasting peace we'll have to rethink the Messiah rumor that flew around the right wing blogs.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  95. Patricia

    Excuse me...!!! I think what PRESIDENT OBAMA has said so far is just fine. Those people need a 2 State solution, a Free Palistine & a Free Israel.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  96. Joe in DE

    Guarantte Isreal – station a token force therw.

    Push a fair deal for Palestinians.

    Not a dupicate no reason for lengthy moderation.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  97. JW in Atlanta

    Hands off. Let them fight. Let the winner prevail. There is no peaceful solution. The sooner might makes right, the better. We have our own problems lately. If they want to ruin their own lives, so be it.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  98. Joe in DE

    Guarantee Isreal – station a token force there.

    Push a fair deal for Palestinians.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  99. Billy G in Las Vegas

    flash message from President Obama to Israel and Palistianians......

    "it is YOUR problem, YOU figure it out. the United Staes has neither the TIME or the MONEY to GET INVOLVED. we have our OWN problems to deal with right in our OWN country."

    January 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  100. Al, Lawrence KS

    He must find a way to control Israel. Yes, Hamas and Hezbolla shoot an occasional missile into Israel, but these are homemade rockets, that pose no real threat to Israel's existence. They are an unavoidable condition of life in that region. It would have been far more effective if Israel had laughed at the puny efforts of Hamas and not strengthened them with their over the top invasion of Gaza. Getting Israel to be an honest participant for peace would be a monumental first step.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  101. Danny , Sacramento,Ca

    Jack how about we bring the leaders of Hamas/Palistine to the US for a month or two. This way they can see how a fairly civilized population lives in harmony. No we are not perfect and yes we do have our own small minority of hate groups. But all in all I think we can be a pretty good example of different races and religions working together day to day without harming each other. Also that we can have differing views and opinions. I can't believe that I agree with Ann Coultergiest on something. Will wonders never cease. Them if that does not work, break the very big stick for both sides.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  102. Tony in Michigan

    We should tell Israel and Hamas they can either leave each other alone or we'll come in and pull an Iraq on them.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  103. Dave in Saint Louis

    Since Obama and his new Press Secretary announced today that they will not speak of these matters to the media going forward I guess we should not worry about it. I wonder what would have happen if the Bush Press Secretary would have said the same thing.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  104. Jerry Harris

    Do something the past idiots failed to do and that is try and talk to people, most time it works.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  105. Don M. Fall

    Jacj, I am an Obama supporter. Right now though, i am getting disappointed in how he is handling the Israeli attacks against innocent Palestinian civilians. Saying that "Israel has the right to defend itself" is simply a death sentence for the innocent men, women and especially children. Hamas is a terrorist group, and we all know that; but instead of the usual cowardly air strikes that murders innocent people, why not ground combat troops to target anyone who is armed. Israel is the country that looks at the United States and says "I want to be like you when i grow up!" and if the US is who sets examples for Israel, than we know why they are murdering innocents, including children, without any consequences. The US has murdered innocents for too long without consequences, so Israel thinks they can get away with it because they have US support and money. The Palestinian death toll compared the Israeli death toll clearly shows that it is not fair game; the bottom line is that Palestinians either need a United states on their no matter what (like Russia) or they are doomed. I have no horse in this race, but the truth should be told.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  106. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Although I do not believe that the Middle East will ever see peace, they can certainly have a period of relative peace.

    President Obama should form a diplomatic coalition from several countries to approach the Middle Eastern countries and work towards some sort of peace.

    Israel needs to know that war is not the answer. War never insures security or peace! War against the Palestinians only breeds more terrorists!

    January 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  107. Lori, Denver CO

    It's always interesting to see that very few of your commentators realize why Israel went into Gaza in the first place. The Palestinians have been bombing southern Israel, specifically Sderot and the surrounding cities since the last supposed cease-fire. When they finally hit a kindergarden class, the Israeli's said enough is enough. And, read your history people, Israel isn't the aggresor in the region. The Palestinians need to put down their weapons, recognize Israel's right to exist and learn from what the Israelis have accomplished in the region. It's a very small country, but Israel has made great achievements in business, science, agriculture and technology by being committed to education and peace. Imagine if San Diego started receiving bombs from Tijuana? Don't you think the US would react militarily–I do! It's no different for Israel to be able to defend her borders and her innocent citizens. Just because they have a stronger military, doesn't mean that they shouldn't use it to defend themselves.

    I certainly hope that the Obama administration can help negotiate some kind of lasting peace. However, until the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist, I don't see how it's possible.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  108. Kiran Mandava

    Just leave them to their fate. At the same time stop aid to Israel too. Every single tax dollar that's going as aid to Israel, Pakistan, Hamas is being spent by those governments only on attacking or troubling their neighbor. When we are struggling had with our economy it doesn't make sense to throw tax dollars at these countries. Once the aid stopped Israel will learn a lesson as well as Hamas too.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  109. Jette in Chattanooga, TN

    Lasting peace for anyone will not come until the return of Jesus Christ. In the meantime, why don't the Arab or Muslim countries that surrond Israel, appropriate land for the Palestineans. In either case the current administration cannot legitimize Hamas or Hezbollah.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  110. Pugas-AZ

    If we are really looking for change and new paths to follow, then we should stay out of the way. Talk about beating a dead horse. This problem will go on until the end of time. We must move beyond it and take care of things in our own backyard. It is a no-win situation.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  111. Nabweekly.ca

    With extreme caution

    January 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  112. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    Stop the unconditional support for everthing Israel does. When Israel realizes that they don't always automatically have the power of the USA at their backs, they might think twice before bombing entire neighborhoods, and maybe try to sort out the peace deal on their own instead of waiting for America to do it for them.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  113. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    The peace arrangement has a much better chance with Hillary
    and other new appointees. Condi was a token and not effectual!
    We are finally on the right track after 8 years of nothing but
    bad decisions and ineffectual people.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  114. jm

    the obvious fact is that mid-east peace can only be achived by those who live there and no one else... the primary reason that the US and others keep getting involved is that these entities have some kind of interest... maybe this administration should do what parents would sometimes do when dealing with squabling siblings... let them work it out for themselves...

    January 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  115. Sue -Idaho

    Jack how the hell can we do anything for the Middle East while our own country is going down the toilet, fix the homefront then worry about them. There are pleanty of countries affected by the outcome in the middle east that should be participating in getting things setteled there peacefully.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  116. Linda in Arizona

    VERY carefully.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  117. TK Mukherjee

    Yes. Unless they propose a plan which can make better sense. I think we need to move fast.
    They need to focus on job creation not tax reduction or $500 stimulus. Both did not work earlier.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  118. Tino

    "...claimed lives"? Is that how you say killed children, INNOCENT children, Israel kills innocent children, now show me the innocent children killed my the rockets from Gaza. Go ahead show them to me. Obama needs to take a firmer stance with Israel. No one doubts the rockets from Gaza are a threat to live and have killed a handful of innocent people but Israel HAS TO temper their counterattack. It's way over what's required in spite of what Mayor Bloomberg has to say.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  119. Barbara - NC

    I'm not an expert on this. I doubt any of the commenters are experts on this, but they think they know it all.

    Leave this stuff to the people that understand the regional problems and the players involved in the endless game of war "over there".

    Don't ask these divisive questions again. Wolf Blitzer is awful – don't become like him.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  120. el from Nova Scotia Canada

    Hi Jack

    With a sense of trepidation and optimism. With an open mind and open arms. Peace is possible but only if both sides are willing to let go of conditions. We want to help the Middle East, not make it another enemy of the US.


    January 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  121. Don M. Fall

    People need to stop just talking about Israel and Hamas, all the while forgetting who this should really be about; the innocent Palestinian civilians.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  122. Conor in Chicago

    There should be two broad lines of thinking Obama should consider:

    1) As they say in the Middle East, "No justice, no peace". If you don't do justice to the Palastenian cause this war will never cease.

    2) America doesn't owe Israel anything. Maybe the world of the 1940's did but this generation of Americans owes Israel nothing, nada, ziltch. Let them stand on their own two feet without our help and they'll be more cooperative immediately.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  123. Griff

    which Piece?

    January 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  124. Steven Knoblauch

    The Republicans have clearly demonstrated that they do not understand the complexity of 21st century economics. They have brought the US economy to its knees. Of course, it would be a mistake for them not to act fast. If they continue to act out of the same ignorance that has gotten us from the surplus we had when Bush began to this crisis that Bush and the Republicans have led us into, they will finish the job of damaging this great country in a way no terrorist could come close to, And that would be such an ironic tragedy.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  125. Ron Ouellette

    The Republicans will play the role of obstructionists because that is what they are. They had their way for 12 years and look where we are?
    They ran the show and I guess can't seem to get into their thick skulls
    and can't get used to the idea that THE AMERICAN PEOPLE have
    spoken during the last election and its US that want CHANGE, its US
    that need help and relief, not the rich so SUCK IT UP, GET USED TO
    IT, Obama is the PEOPLE's CHOICE by 53% so as my wife like to say
    "Too Bad, So Sad" the JIG IS UP so quit whining and "DO YOUR JOBS" and represent ALL AMERICANS not just your narrow constituencies.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  126. Katherine Layton UT

    It's all about communication! FDR did it with Stalin, so why not repeat history?

    January 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  127. John in Arizona

    The Obama administration should approach the Middle East situation exactly the way they are – reversing the Bush administration policy of ignoring it, and instead offering vigorous leadership to the peace process.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  128. Artie

    Washington can't fix our problems why do they
    think they can change the Mideast. These people
    will fight until the end of time unless they are willing
    to change themselves.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  129. Troy

    It shouldn't. Those people have been killing each other for forever. Let those nuts destroy each other and we can try to be friends with whomever survives.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  130. affy california

    The obama administration should do exactly what it promised to do, and excactly what obama him self wants to do. Complete diplomacy and constant talks.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  131. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Take an even handed, balanced treatment of the factions involved. For the last 60 years the US has appeared to have blindly supported Israel. True or not, that is it appears to much of the rest of the world. If Israel finds that the US will no longer support them in what ever policy they pursue, perhaps the hardliners on both sides will be more agreeable to negotiations. At least the US will be viewed as less of "the enemy" by the average Muslim.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  132. need4trth San Francisco

    He should approach it as he suggested while campaigning strict diplomacy. Enough with the shoot now and ask questions later strong-arming of the Bush legacy politics. All that's gotten us is 7 years of a fruitless occupation. http://www.need4trth.blogspot.com

    January 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  133. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    With great caution.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  134. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Primarily by being a good example. Get us out of the insane wars we are waging and try to convince Hamas and the Israelis that destroying their country is not a good idea.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  135. Dave From Moorhead, MN

    We should stop all foreign aid to that part of the world. By giving aid we are aiding and abetting the killing and terror from both sides of the antagonists in the middle east.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  136. Katherine Salt Lake City UT

    Communication! FDR did it! Why not let history repeat itself! It seemed o work then, why not now?

    January 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  137. Ray Kinserlow

    How about a little fairness in the way we treat the factions? The Bush credo of always blaming the Palestinians and by implication, Islam, has been disastrous for our interests in the Mid East.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  138. Pat in Salem Ore.

    Well,not by invading any sovereign nation in an attempt to "democratize" them.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  139. BJ

    being fair first. acting like a respectful superpower, not the bully of the class. being fail again

    January 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  140. Ellie New Jersey

    The Obama Administration should suggest a Vatican like city.. no one owns it, it is a religious mecca. In order to get into the area (for example, an area like Jerusalem) you'd have to check your weapons at the gate. Let the Swiss Guard be the guards. Make it that no one can ever own or fight over the land anymore.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  141. Joe in VA

    Very,very, carefully. They have been fighting one another since Cain and Able.

    Joe in VA
    Chatham, VA

    January 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  142. Dee in Florida

    I think Obama needs to do exactly what he says he will do, work with diplomacy to get the two sides to agree on SOMETHING.

    Whether that will help is hard to tell. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the Gaza residents is a religions war. As such, in order to really end the problem Obama would have to be able to make all side accept the beliefs of the others in the region.

    Sorry, but I see little chance of that happening..

    After all, though we basically live in harmony here in our country, bring religion into the picture and the whole scenario changes.

    Maybe that is why our Founding Fathers understood the need for separation of Church and State!

    January 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  143. Nancy, Tennessee

    With kid gloves.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  144. Claude,Calgary Canada

    The President believes and completely understands the Universal Declaration of Human Right, and with that being said, President Obama will engage in Diplomacy that makes sense. Getting the United Nations and all those in the immediate region envolved will be the only way to deal with this situation with Israel. Palistians can't be caged like animals and the Palistianian people have to send a message to there Palistianian Government that terrorism is not the key to engage Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  145. Thomas Bate

    Yes, of coarse they are making ANOTHER big mistake. Clearly something has to be done soon and FAST. Obama made clear that he will make these loans transparent with the necessary "strings", so that businesses and banks cant misappropriate the money. Everyone wants the money to go to the people where its needed. Its pretty clear that Republicans are not exactly coming up with any better ideas. They are grandstanding... because they can.. Like petulant children who dont get their way. We're sinking fast! There is no time for their nonsense. Bring your ideas to the tables Republicans, and if they are any good, Obama will give you credit and thanks. And then you will be doing the things that the people elected you to do.. Tom Bate /Miami

    January 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  146. 2Adirondack

    Is Boehner kidding? After handing GB a $3.7T blank check all these yrs. My question to him is where's the equity for our $3.7T. When Obama's done at least we'll have $825B in roads bridges power grid & schools .

    January 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  147. stephen mial

    I would reommend that the US work with Egypt to legitimately open their borders and at the same time condition future weapons and foreign aid to Israel on that county"s full compliance with border agreement that Rice negotiated with them. Both countries should be required to sit on a Regional sort of UN(Envoys) with the US as the lead to work out differences. The Envoys would be nuetral in their political affiliations in that the Envoys could not come from special interest from either country

    S. Mial
    Clifton, VA

    January 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  148. Melanie in rural IA

    I'm not sure why its our problem??? No one is helping us, we need jobs, lower gas prices, pay increases for the indians and wage cuts and elimination of all bonus's for the chiefs. Focus resources where there needed, at home.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  149. mac from traverse city Michigan

    Our government needs to understand that the issues facing the middle east are older than our own republic and if there still is a middle east after our republic is gone the issues will stilll be unresolved. Our politicians must end this unrealistic fantacy of peace in the middle east and tell all partys that we will help them rebuild whats left after they have reached some kind of resolution

    January 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  150. jim Toronto

    He should make a stop at Home depot and pickup some rubber gloves and approach with caution.....treat the Middle east the same way you would treat hazardous material

    January 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  151. Eugene E. Ratay

    Jack, Nobody in this country wants to find out why there is terrorism. Could it be that our Govt. interferes in other country's way of life. If they don't do what we want them to do, or if they won't give us what we want we attack them and kill a lot of inocent people. They call themselves freedom fighters, we call them terrorist's. God help us all.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  152. Gerry In Toronto

    Exactly the way he is. His outreach to the Palestinian people yesterday resonated throughout the Arab world and will have huge impact on the peace process. Closing the nasty CIA pens and limiting torture to the Army handbook had impact as well..

    He's appointed the right people, so my take is Obama has done more for the Middle East peace process in two days than all last 3 Presidents put together in their collective terms.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  153. Darrell from Arkansas

    I think that the administration is already moving to handle the situation as they should. They need to move aggressively on this matter. As Israel does not need Hamas firing rockets into their neighborhoods, neither do the Palestinians need Israel destroying entire blocks just to get two or three terrorists. The administration needs to express sympathy for both sides in this matter. I also feel that this situation, as well as Iraq, requires a stiff warning to Iran. It has been obviously clear that Iran is assisting in the arming of Hamas terrorists, and the President needs to make it perfectly clear that this will not be tolerated. Iran continuously demonstrates their willingness to remain a threat to peace in the region, and if President Obama wishes to resolve the tension in the area, he is going to have to deal with Iran sternly. I understand that this is a touchy situation, but I feel that it is high time that an administration take this seriously, and not just treat it as a dog and pony show. Peace can be achieved in the area, but it is going to take complete neutrality on the part of the our leaders, as well as swift action against the instigators.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  154. Dru in Augusta GA

    With concert of children singing "We are the World"!

    Other than that, I don't see much being done. This war is B.C. ages old and don't think It will never end. But anything is possible.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  155. Gigi

    Any Country that cannot put peace as its first priority should be boycotted. We in the United states do not do it well, but by the most part we live peacefully with our neighbors of different race, color or religion. If we can do it they can. Obama needs to do this in Peace and if the don't like it. The United States should boycott.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  156. Darren

    Pull our troops out of Iraq and quit selling Israel WMDs.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  157. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    A Mainer like George Mitchell is a good start but you also need the key people who ended the centuries of conflict in Ireland, namely the Dunfey family and John and Ditty Cullinane.

    People to approach in the Mid-east are King Abdullah of Jordan, and Hannan Ashawri, they are honest brokers and will give good leadership in a way forward.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  158. Albert R.Killackey. Los Angeles

    You are lots of funJack. As for President Obama and his approch to Mideast Peace.He should follow Theodore Roosevelt’s lead these kinds of matters - "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick."

    January 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  159. Dan from Alliance, OH

    The only way is to get both sides to talk. The political arm of Hamas has to be able to control the military side or there will be no peace. If they begin attacks again I think Israel has the right to fight back.

    January 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  160. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Obama has done more already than Bush did his entire term. He defined what has to happen and set the limits on each nation. There must be an integrity of borders–if Hamas cannot stop shooting missiles into Israel, there will be no peace. This is an Arab/Muslim extremist problem at the heart. Until they accept the right of Israel to exist, there can be no peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  161. Wyndi

    By studying the spiritual issues of the middle east (In the Christian Bible Gaza is referred to 22 times from Genesis to Acts, most being war related.) as well as politically.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  162. Janny from NJ

    Sending George Mitchell is an excellent move. If anyone can solve this mess, he can. I was very impressed that Prez Obama noted the terrible poverty and unfair restrictions on the Palestinians. We should support Israel when they are in trouble but we do not have to agree with every move they make.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  163. Bob, Sonoma, CA


    January 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  164. Ron Ouellette

    This beef has been going on since the beginning of time and he, along with other President's have been unable to fix it and probably
    will NEVER be able to fix it. We have had many fits and starts but
    nothing has ever held. Let us represent our interests with these
    two parties and if they want to continue to kill and maim each other
    let them, we can't stop them and until and when the combatants
    understand that this will NEVER change that they are the ONLY
    ones that can sove this.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  165. Ralph Nelson

    It's a waste of time. Hamas exists to instutionalize hatred, war, and terrorism...that is their religion. Be fair, be balanced, let Mitchell, Clinton, Clinton, and Carter handle it. President Obama do not get bogged down in this garbage. Job #1 is the economy, leave the rest to the others. Talk the talk, and walk the walk. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  166. Michael Cavalier, Pressath Germany


    The message from Obama must be two-fold, Israel must use restraint; Hamas and the Palestinians must recognize Israel's right to exist and reject violence as a means of acheiving their goal. The Obama administration should hold the line against terrorists. Sure there was a lot of collateral damage from Israel's assault into Gaza, but there would have been no damage had Hamas not fired rockets into Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  167. Bill, Dollar, New York City.

    Let's America take over the entry points of Gaza.
    Let's America administer, or supervise at least, Palestines lifeblood.

    It is not possible that Israel hold Palestines' life in their hands because being so Israelis feel the right to continue killing every year some thousand or so Palestines because make too much noise for them.

    And the worst is the destruction left and the lasting damage to the Palestines' economy and well being in general.

    In what world we live in? In what world we'll leave our children in?
    Obama's policy to Middle East is linked to his performance here; If he'll be unfair in the ME, he will be unfair in this area and to my children as well. His mind will pervade and Obama will feel dirty and criminal and act accordingly. Obama should treat Israel more sternly.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  168. torrance little

    jack religion and state aren't supposed to be used in the same arena but the conflict has stemmed from religion so i hope that george and his crew keep that in mind. I think Obama andf is crew has finally got some thinkers on his side propagating right and when your acting with right as your prime motivater your going in the right direction

    January 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  169. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    How many thousands of years have these people been fighting over property or whatever? Let them fight it out once and for all and if none of them survive then so be it.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  170. Richard

    President Obama and The United States needs to start worrig about themself and leave all other countries alone. Until we fix are problems we cannot fix no one else.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  171. Jim, MA

    According to the Constitution we should not even get involved. Doing so wastes trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, But when's the last time we listened to that silly piece of paper anyway?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  172. paul

    Send them a stimulus plan and more money for weapons.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  173. Chet

    He is doing exactly what he needs to do – Diplomacy first and earning confidence of all concerned parties .

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  174. Matt M. (Chicago, IL)

    I think the administration should create a new foreign policy plan...do not get involved in any conflict older than the age of our nation. If the conflict has been going on longer than our own nation's existence, then there is little chance it will ever get resolved.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  175. Tejun Fowler

    Obama should treat all "radical religious elements" the same, Jewish and Islamic.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  176. Christopher Loubriel

    Very Simple Cafferty.
    All Obama needs is a sling shot, a mix tape of Michael Jackson and a pack of wolves.

    Nuff Said


    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  177. elias nicolas m.d.

    by being fair and not showing the usual bias towards israel

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  178. Wayne Stewart

    When you have a rouge nation that doesn't care about peace, you allow Israel all the time it needs to finish the job. Then, and only then, will there be peace in the Middle East.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  179. Matt Zoma

    Go back to the pre 1967 boundaries for Israel. Develop and viable and
    secure Palestinian State. Secure Israeli borders. Very simple, Right???

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  180. Zeenath Jahan

    First of all, President Obama has to be SEEN to have a fair and just attitude towards the Palestinians and Israelis... many words have been spoken to impute that, but very few Presidents have actually done anything for the Palestinians to believe their words

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  181. Julian Sanchez

    Quite simple really, there are a few ways to do it.
    A. We can all turn Muslim.
    B.. easiest of all, we can just get Ala's cellphone number, and tell him to contact all radical extremists, that he as god did not actually ment, kill all non "believers".

    2 very simple choices dont you think?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  182. Belal Ahmad

    Hamas is here to stay. The Palestinians don't see it as a terrorist organization, but rather a symbol for freedom and respect. It has become an ideology. Keep in mind that the Hamas party won the election in the Palestinian territories.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  183. Monica

    Through mixed schools and daycares...throught the future generation. There was a film documentary done and it was the Palestinian children who were more interested in being friends with the Jewish children. But later the Jewish parents weren't really interested in their children maintaining relationships with the other children. It was sad....because children see no differences.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  184. Larry in Texas

    Jack – They've been fighting for 2000 + years...Do you think they will stop now ?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  185. Omar

    It is interesting that the cease-fire is still called unilateral although Hamas announced its agreement only few hours after Israel.
    It is also interesting that Mr. Obama made it clear that there is only one president when Gaza was burning but he was lobbying to pass his economic plans.
    Ans lastly its interesting that no Muslim or Arab was chosen for any position in Obama's cabinet but his first appointment was for Mr. Emanuel whose zionist background is well-known.
    So am I hopeful? I am at best highly skeptical.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  186. Alex

    Obama needs to realize that reaching middle grounds with terrorists will not happen, and should realize the death toll America's allegience to Israel has caused. Then, he may be able to rightly support and defend the innocent islamic victims of Israel's 'religious mandate' of land.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  187. Jon

    Why not give some true justice to the region? Take Isreal out of the middle East and put it in the middle of Germany like it was supposed to be. The USA never had any problems until we put Isreal there. You religious nutjobs can get over yourselves.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  188. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    The new administration needs to take a pro-active role in the Middle East by making it clear to Israel that they need to be willing to give up the occupied territories, establish the two state solution and show restraint in Gaza. He needs to make it clear to the Arab states that they must respect Israel's right to exist and they need to help stem poverty and militancy in their countries.
    We need to keep from seeming biased toward israel while remaining a close ally. Tricky huh?
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  189. Mary

    It is time that US takes an upper hand with Israel. UN can guard the border if necessary. Israel cannot put sanctions against the people in Gaza. The Palestinians cannot trade therefore unable to make a living, don't have enough gas for power, only have bare necessities for food and aid. They cannot fish in the Mediterranean Sea due to restrictions from Israel. they are like prisoners on their own land. Israel does not have the right to put such sanctions on the Palestinians. The US should not be supplying ammuntion to Israel. US should put restrictions on money given to Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  190. Albert Colone

    Israel cannot be both a party in a peace negotiations and a fair broker of an agreement at the same time. That role will have to be that of either the US or Russia or maybe even China. If I were advising Obama, I'd urge him to offer to assemble a US/UN peacekeeping force to police matters there while diplomatic efforts are advanced
    towards bringing about an agreed-to Israeli/Palestinian Peace Agreement. I'd put peacekeeper boots on Israel's common borders [even inside of Gaza] to promote and monitor a de-escalation of hostilities. This new and pro active leadership approach could also provide the impetus to NATO and others to shoulder expanded support for peace efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Let's always remember, the Cheney/bush Israeli policy, like their overall foreign policy, has done nothing but promote more death. Death is in the Cheney/bush MO. It is clearly evident now that "Shock and Awe," like torture, doesn't work. A 3rd party leader is going to be needed to provide the right environment for peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  191. Gerald Lusk

    There will be no lasting peace until Christ returns to reign.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Jess from MA

    The only approach that has a chance is through education. As long as the middle east has a desperate poor population for terrorist groups to prey on there is no chance of moving forward. Money and emphasis should be on educating the population.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  193. Jamil

    Obama policies must be fair not one sided like previous regimes,
    if We treat both sides equal there would be a peace in the middle east

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  194. Mitul Patel

    The Obama Administration should very carefully approach Mideast peace and it's affairs. Implementing US influence and neutralization of eastern conflicts will once again affect our interests and we've all seen the effect by how the Bush Administration handled it.

    Newark, Delaware

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  195. Jeff Crocket

    Bomb Iran

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  196. Leon M

    The Obama administration needs to get serious about negotiating a Palestinian state. The American media and politicians on both sides of the aisle have become so staunchly pro-Israel that the idea of creating a Palestinian state has been forgotten. If the Palestinian people thought there was a serious chance of obtaining a homeland, they would stop supporting Hamas and drift back to the moderates.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  197. Ed

    Stop selling guns there?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  198. Khalid Osman


    Obama will not have any success establishing peace in the middle-east. His credibility with the Muslims world has vanished after his appointment Hillary and saying nothing about the victims of Gaza- another waste of tax-payers money

    January 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  199. Monica

    Children assimilating in schools is the way it has always been done in different countries just like Canada and the United States.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  200. over9000

    Stop being so biased towards Israel. Trying to find a solution while keeping a bias towards Israel is like splitting up a fight between your kids(one of which you are biased towards). The solution will be biased towards the child you like more, and the more vulnerable of the children will retaliate.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  201. Waqas Ahmad

    "Give me liberty or give me death"...this has been Hamas' motto for the past few years. When you are trapped and starved, you have the right to dig tunnels and fend for yourself and your family. You also have the right to defend yourself from abuse. Israel was the country that broke the ceasefire by attacking Hamas in November. Pres. Obama needs to make it clear to Israel that it will not be allowed to carry out mass murder in the Palestinian territories. As Hamas was legitimately elected by the Palestinian people, Obama needs to accept their choice and invite Hamas to negotiations with Israel and other Arab countries.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  202. Robert

    Obama should pick up where Clinton left off–Arafat is dead, close the deal!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  203. Tom Jackson**

    Obama wont get involved enough in this issue, his forign policy is not as exclusive and strict, Obama is not a war president. He pushes for peace but the middle east is a conflict that cant and will not be solved by lesser action than at least the Bush Administration.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  204. Matt Morrison

    When the U.S. government stops attempting to cure the symptoms of this conflict, while failing to consider its deep-seeded roots, will peace finally begin to take form.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  205. Mike Todd

    Stop the occupation of Israel on Palestinian land and displacement of Palestinians, then the rockets will stop. Also stop killing innocent people and children by aiming weapons at schools. The freedoms fighters will stop when they are free. The Israeli Expansion and Occupation must END for the sake of Israel's and AMERICA's SAFETY.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  206. Lee MN

    Withhold the the $8 million a day of USA taxpayer dollars that goes to Israel until they agree to peace. In fact, send the money to Gaza to help the innocent people rebuild their houses and infrastructure. In the case you Israel, you broke it, you fix it just as we have done in Iraq. The sad part is, we cannot renew life of the innocent dead victims.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  207. TonyD

    The U.S. needs to go back to its old role in the middle east which is being the peace broker and let the people and the politicians of that region do the rest, the U.S. simply does not understand the politics of the middle east so they might as well just throw money at these problems if it helps keep the region stable. this is how they managed to keep Iraq stable after all . . . .

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  208. James Goss

    Take some advice from Jimmy Carter

    January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  209. ajay

    Mr obama needs to approach this serious global problem with an open mind and should not allow the zionists to influence his decision.the problem is that our foriegn policy in the middle east is heavily influenced by zionists.mr obama has promised this country and the rest of the world a new direction and "change".it is time for mr president to curtail the influence of zionism on our foriegn policy.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  210. Sharon Shaw

    Obama needs to remind the Israelis that their home came at the expense of the Palestinians. Israel should be shooting the Brits and the Yanks for their problems, not the Palestinians who–not remarkably–realize that they have been screwed out of their own land.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  211. Karim Canada

    Pure and Simple. JUSTICE

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  212. Monica

    Children assimilating in schools is the way it has always been done in different countries just like Canada and the United States. Put the kids together in the same schools and wait 15 years and I am sure it will be a much more peaceful place.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  213. Mellie

    Maybe Obama and Mitchell can offer aid and support to the Palestinian people and in helping them to become a seperate state if they actively work to get Hamas out of their country. The people who are being used by them as human shields need to be telling the right people who they are. The Palestinians deserve to have to have a peaceful state and can't until Hamas is removed-Perhaps a fly over with propaganda flyers like was done in WWII to help the Palestinian people know that we all want to help them and work with them-Offer hope and people will listen.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  214. Nicholas obioha

    As much as the United states and the world would want to achieve lasting mideast peace we also have to consider the fact that there are some who do not want the same. for years even the best of presidents and the countless envoys have never achieved lasting peace. what it comes down to is the fact that thoes who refuse to accept peace and embrace democracy and freedom but instead chose tyranny and intimidation and use it to stand in the path of those who want peace must either be contained or destroyed. Jack this is the truth and the earlier we realise the type of enemy we are dealing with and what it takes to make peace in the middleeast the better for us.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  215. David

    Head on but, it's not much we can do until they want peace

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  216. Val

    Middle East conflicts have been going on for decades. All outside forces (US, NATO, etc.) should pull out of the region to the borders and let the various tribes fight to the death. Then we can "support" who is left. Why? Look at history.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  217. Nigel

    I don't want to sound like an anarchist, here, but why, exactly is it our responsibility to acheive peace in an environment that clearly isn't prepared to sustain peace on its' own.

    Why is our country more concerned with foreign affairs than those of domestic? Why does the President not name a special envoy to South Central LA?

    We have so many problems that remain ignored by administration after administration.

    Let the Middle East fix itself.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  218. Elizabeth

    Peace is only obtained or even discussed when parity is established. At this time Israel's demands produces a parental paradigm where Israel is the head of the household–the household in this instance being the Middle East. By demanding that factions or certain political parties be ignored or treated as invisible only fuels the fires of antagonism.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  219. Alan A from Norcal

    If Pres Obama wants peace, then we should either let Israal deal with it by eliminating or nuking Hamas. A terrorist organization will NEVER admit to mistakes or listen to compromise. We've been listening to this issue for decades and nothing has happened.

    I hope Pres Obama doesnt waste his time with this issue. Help us americans first by fixing the economy, providing the necessary health care, securing our borders, and finding bin laden or crushing Al Qaeda.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  220. Ali M

    Having a middle eastern background my self I beleive that it is crucial for the Obama administration to acknoledge some of the inhuman actions committed by the Israelis while also denouncing Hamas. Moreover, I think attacking Hamas will only make them stronger in the future and it is required for Obama to get down to the root of the problem and win the support of the people on his side and not that of the Hamas.

    Vancouver, BC

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  221. David

    How should the Obama Administration approach Mideast peace?
    Oh for Pete's sake! Not another lame attempt to get peace among these people...
    The Obama administration should just give up and twiddle their fingers.
    Why does everybody always try to get peace here? It ain't never gonna happen.
    Geoge Mitchell would be better off working at a 7-11 store. He's wasting his time with this whole Mideast crap.

    Pittsburgh, PA.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  222. Wes Synpes

    Drop the 2 state solution & return to the 1 state solution: Israel annext both e west back & gaza making all of their occupant citizens. If they commit crimes, arrest them. Allow all Arab/Palestine politican parties to participate in elections.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  223. Farnaz

    The only way the Obama administration can approach peace differently is to stop treating Israel differently. You want a different approach, then you need to value Palestinian lives as much as you value Israeli lives. Until that day comes there will be no difference in Obama policy or Bush policy. Lets be honest Jack, US politicians value Israeli lives more than Palestinian lives for reasons known to all. How can you gain the trust of the Palestinian people and facilitate peace if they know you dont value there lives??

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  224. JMBarrett, Rhode Island

    I know very little about the politics of the Middle East, but from what I have read, in Israel, if you are not an Orthodox Jew, you have no voice in their politics, you have no influence in policies governing the people of Israel. Israel claims to be a democracy. As an American, I say this is not a democracy in its broadest sense. The Obama Administration should pressure Israel to treat all of its citizens equally, whether Israeli, Palestinian or Arab. Until all people in Israel and Gaza, regardless of their religious affiliations, are granted equal status, there can be no peace in the area.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  225. Bruce Webber

    All of the parties involved in the Middle East strife need to be invited to the table. Israel must move beyond it's stance that it will not negotiate with "terrorists". It's not about terrorism; it is about the futures of millions of people.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  226. Jerry

    Jack, simple, we should stop being bias towards Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  227. barry

    They have to stop this bush attitude of not talking to one's enemies. peace will never be achieved with only Israel at the table, so it is about time they they accept the fact that Hamas was democratically elected and bring them to the negotiations.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  228. Lyn from NYC

    How about suggesting to all sides that they grow up and stop re-fighting thousand-year-old disputes over and over?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  229. Ze'ev Blitzer

    Nothing will be fixed until the Arabs have a lobby strong enough to rival that of the Zionist's.

    However, thanks to the world wide net, we have been able to see for the first time the horrors of large scale destruction upon the Palestinian people inflicted by American made weapons via the IDF. I believe that the pictures of children's broken bodies being pulled from rubble will help give our current administration incentive to broker peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  230. Candice, Augusta-GA

    Drastic political change rarely comes from outside intervention, therefore I doubt that Pres. Obama can do anything to bring about substantive "peace" in the Middle East. The people within the region must bring out political change and settle longstanding disputes. Not only between the Palestinian and the Israelis, but people throughout the region must participate in a change in policy.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  231. mike kommer

    hi jack stop paying isreal 3 billion every year and rest a sure the conflict will end all the pressure on hamas not one on isreal thank you

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  232. Mike T. from AB, Florida

    **Stop the occupation of Israel on Palestinian land and displacement of Palestinians, then the rockets will stop. Also stop killing innocent people and children by aiming weapons at schools. The freedom fighters that the media call terrorists will stop fighting when they are free. The Israeli Expansion and Occupation must END for the sake of Israel’s and AMERICA’s SAFETY.**

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  233. Bill tucker

    There will never be peace in the Mid East until we send Madoff, Frum, Abramoff, Shecky the Lawyers, Kristol, Podhoretz, Goldbergs, Greensteins, to Israel and then wipe it off the face of the earth

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  234. Lyon Carter

    Obama should approach the the middle east peace process by entering into it with a purely objective standpoint and none of the previous "israeli POV". He needs to give respect to all sides and factions and create a solution that doesnt only make israel content. We must confront israel on what they do wrong and hope we can then gain respect from all other players, our commitment to Israel has prevented us from ever truly trying to gain peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  235. Ernesto Loynaz

    "All we need is a little energon and a lotta luck"!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  236. Eron.V

    Peace in the mid east. How about peace in AMERICA!!!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  237. Lois, Minneapolis, MN

    Peace between Isreal and the Palestinians will only be achieved when both sides have the perception that the US wants peace in that area on EQUAL terms. The mediator will have to put himself/herself in the shoes of both parties and convince each side that they will get (in the end) much more than they give.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  238. Jean Clelland-Morin

    When I was a kid (I'm 71), we were told in Suday school that the church supported the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. I was confused because my parents were Jew-bashers. I saw the religion-based state rudely imposed in the Middle-East. It seemed like a suicide action to me. There will never be peace in the area if the Palestinians are not given back their land and dignity. / Jean / San Antonio

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  239. Raj

    I think there is only one solution: Integrate Israel and Palestinian similar to what happened in South Africa, this will require a similar process as South Africa, that is, the whole world needs to pressure Israel.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  240. Jasmin Cape Coral Florida

    Use Bosnia as example !!!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  241. Bob_in_ATL

    The US must show itself as a fair peace broker in order to succeed. We have not done this in the past and certainly the last 8 years have been a disaster.

    A two state solution with pre-1967 borders and a shared Jerusalem is the only solution that will promote peace for both Israel and Palestine, and take the wind out of the terrorist's sails.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  242. Jalal Tariq

    I honestly believe that there will never be a effective Mideast peace solution until the U.S. abandones its blind loyalty to Isreal. Isreal would be a lot more willing to listen to the real concerns of its neighbors if it realized that the U.S. is not going to come running to its aid every time is oversteps. The Isrealies behave like the school bully who knows that its big brother will back them up if they ever get in a real fight.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  243. Luka Difilosofa

    Political realities, a second term run and influence of powerful lobbyists, means Obama WILL NOT do anything drastically different from others before him. President Carter – not beholden to such influences – is the only American President to get the Arabs and Israelis to sign any peace deal.

    Macon, GA

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  244. joe

    Ask the Chinese to deal with it. It seems like they have no real enemy's over there. Give them a 2 mile strip on the border of Isreal and Gaza to watch, and destroy anoyone shooting from either side. If they are going to be a real palyer in the world, it's time the Chinese step up to the big boy's table.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  245. floyd berry

    Jack, UN Peace keepers. There should be an independent military force that will ensure the rockets are fired by Hamas and Isreal will not be permitted to close access to Gaza for the Palastines. The enitity that objects to Peace Keepers really doesn't want peace. Let the British furnish the lead since they created this mess in 1947.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  246. Sherri

    I don't believe there ever will be peace in the Middle-east just as there is no peace in any country on this great earth. We just tolerate each other's countries and try to keep the tension at a minimal. I think America has to take care of her own mess with this economic sinkhole she is in, thanks to the Bush/Cheney Administration. For now, lets fix the economy at home AND Madam Secretary Clinton will be doing her job as it relates to more OPEN communication with our so-called friends and Foes, President Obama made a wise choice in Hillary for the Secretary of State!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  247. George Pospisil

    Jack, The first thing he should do is take off the Jewish beanie he wore while visiting Israel. He should respect the dignity of the Palestinian people, realizing that their homes and businesses have been stolen from them, beginning in 1948. In his inauguration speech Obama said "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents...we will defeat you." This should have been said to the Israeli terrorists who slaughtered the innocent children of the Gazan patriots, using white phosphorus, cluster bombs– all of which were made in the US– and close shooting while laughing, patriots who are similar to those in Massachusetts to fought the oppression of England in 1776. CNN has been such a disappointment in reporting the truth of this.


    Carlisle, PA

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  248. debbie white

    as to what Israel has said regarding keeping border from Israil to Gaze closed, then we should be as strong in stating we no longer support Israel until they can become part of a world wide peace process and work with other countries such as Egypt in getting the vital aid that Gaza's people need now especially after being bombarded for more than 20 days.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  249. terry baren

    Former UN ambassador John Bolton brought forward a plan previously mentioned a three state solution with Gaza under control of Egypt, the West bank would become Palestine and would be monitered by Jordan and of course Israel. With Egypt and Jordan actively involved this would isolate Hamas and Iran.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  250. AJ

    Jack, contrary to popular opinion, this conflict has not been "going on since the beginning of time." Rather it started when European Jewry forcefully migrated to and settled in what was then Palestine under Ottoman then British rule. There was already an existing society of indigenous Muslims, Jews, Christians and adherents of other faiths all living in relative harmony. Obama must understand the history of the conflict first and then proceed to draw up plans to debate key points, such as pre-1947 boundaries, right of return, etc. Hamas already agreed to the boundaries of the pre-1947 period, Israel does not because it continues to build settlements in hopes of acquiring more land without having to cede much in return. How fair can negotiations be if the Palestinians are consistantly pressured to accept treaties on Israeli/U.S. terms. First understand the origins/causes of the conflict, the rest depends upon good judgment.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  251. Edward Murray

    I think we should require restraint by the Israelis. They have put the people of Gaza in a concentration camp which we have supported. We should dissolve that situation just as we are doing in Gitmo. Then there might be a reasonable expectation for solving the situation peacefully. However it would seem that Israel does not want to solve the issue and would rather continue their policy of oppressing any who disagree with their position.
    The same has been true in this country. Any dissent from the Israeli stance is considered by most to be anti-semitic. We have to stop letting them run our foreign policy.
    Thank you

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  252. RobBob

    The U.S., EU, and others in the industrialized world must show active and substantive support, in generous deed as well as word, for the legitimately elected Palestinian Authority leaders. Then we must convince Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, once Palestinian public opinion turns its back on hostile Hamas and Hezbollah activity. Removing Jewish settlements and other insults such as the dual-road networks in Palestine will be essential. Both sides must give to get peace. Only the U.S. can be the honest broker, and with Obama in charge, we can be.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  253. Jim Rush

    If President Obama wants to assure Real Long Lasting Peace in the Middle East then both sides, Israel and the Palestinians need to be armed equally. The United States has for years given Israel all sorts of gadgets for waging war on their neighbors. If the thought of Mutually Assured Destruction or M.A.D. was real on both sides, they would sit down at the table, settle their arguments and all of them would put their stones & shoes away for good. As it is right now, there will never be any peace of anykind, unless Israel decides it would be in their better interests.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  254. Ray

    President Obama should start by building the US credibility in the Mideast; and this will not be achieved by ignoring Gaza’s 9/11 and moving forward as if all the killing and injuring of thousands of Palestinians and crushing their homes didn’t take place.



    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  255. Chris

    Give the guy some time he just got into office 3 days ago, and he's done more in 3 days than Bush 43 did in 3 years, I'm sure president Obama will take some time to asses the mid-east drama, oh yeah don't forget we do have a new secretary of state, she has a big role in this also jack.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  256. Jerry of Lenoir, NC

    The US should always take an objective stance on the Middle East situation – not favoring Israel all the time.

    Iran is part of the situation. To start the change in US attitude in the Middle East Obama should renounce Bush's statement that Iran is part of "an axis of evil". The US needs to insist that Israel keep humanitarian aid flowing to all parts of the occupied territories including Gaza. The US needs to insist that Israel sign the Nucelar Non-Proliferation Pact and reveal its nuclear arsenal.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  257. Henry Irving

    How should the Obama administration approach achieving peace in the Middle East?

    We should cancel the $10,000,000,000 per year given to Israel for military aid and use half of it to build schools, housing, and an economy system in the West Bank. We should make those people live so high on the hog that everyone in Gaza will plead to have the same treatment. Only then can there be two states living in peace. War begets war. Living high on the hog begets wanting to stay living high on the hog!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  258. chuck

    Jack: The Obama administration needs to seriously address the creation of the State of Israel in the late 1940's and the PANDORA'S BOX that it opened in regards to Arab and Israel relations. chuck

    January 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  259. Jesse

    The Obama Administration will not change the United States policy in the Middle East. Israel is America's greatest ally in the region by far; it is the only legitimate, fully-functional, western-style democracy in the region. Obama will try and create a Palestinian state, but it is unrealistic as long as some Palestinians continue to want to destroy Israel. Obama will back Israel just as much as Bush did, and he should.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  260. Lisa Leighton, Dublin, Ohio

    Jack, as an Israeli and as a mother I wish for peace as much as all Palestinian mothers do. But that's all it is, a wish. Our region will never find peace or rest so long as groups like Hamas exist. Hamas and it's ilk have the fantasy that they CAN destroy Israel as long as they just keep attacking.
    Obama can send the smartest people he likes into Gaza and Israel. There is no negotiating with a body that is so convinced their mission is of God that it is acceptable to use the Palestinian people as human shields. Cease fires in our part of the world are only that: cease fires. Not an end forever to violence. Wipe out the Hamas' of the world, you just might have a chance. And that's just a wish, too.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  261. Nacer

    Very simple. return the land occupied before
    1967. Have international forces enforce the peace and the holy place should be under the U.N.


    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  262. Tamsin Crozier

    The US should endorse the Arab Peace Plan which is in accordance with UN resolutions and has been accepted by all 22 Arab states and all Muslim countries. This is the only way to end anti-American terrorism like 9/11. And we should not involve Bill Clinton's blatantly pro-Israel negotiating team members like Dennis Ross whose incrementalist approach perpetuates the status quo.

    Tamsin Crozier

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  263. Kevin

    First by sympathizing with the struggle of the Palestinians and the whole middle east at large. Second show clear signs of wishing to negotiate and create a channel of productive communications with Arab and Muslim countries. Then replace our military installations with economic advancement. Last we should hold true to our ally's in Israel while also acknowledging that the peace process comes from both sides, we should not be afraid to threaten ending aid that is sent to Israel if they do not work with the Obama administration on a lasting middle east peace.

    Kevin Bond
    Portland, OR

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  264. CS in Indiana

    Without taking sides and strong-arming somebody? Even that is doomed to failure. The Middle east has been a source of turmoil for centuries. What makes us think that we can change anything?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  265. Roy - Chicago IL

    Unfortunately Israel is the sticking point on ALL these issues....we are their staunch ally, and sell them arms, yet they act without our approval unilaterally against groups they perceive as a threat. They seem to ignore how these actions affect the U.S. and our credibility in the world at large. Israel cannot pretend it wants peace and then say "they will not open the border if it, in any way, strengthens or legitimizes Hamas."
    If you want your neighbor to have independence and peace, you need to step back and let them determine their own destiny. No more complaining about rockets being shot at you, when you shoot TEN TIMES as many rockets the other way. You cannot walk both sides of this line and expect the world to regard you as credible.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  266. Sean in Vancouver

    Pres.Obama and his administration need to be equal in their dealings to both sides. They have to stop favouring Israel at every turn as this shows their lack of impartiality and tarnishes their supposed role as an honest broker.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  267. Aaron from Chicago

    The complexity of this question is so overwhelming; even scratching the surface of it would require pages of both historical background, intelligence and careful analysis. However, the administration so far seems to show more willingness to participate in real process and not just political rhetoric in the first few days than the Bush administration did in 8 years.

    Both sides will have to compromise. Obama needs to bring the moderates of both sides to the table. Discussions among the the extremists will go nowhere.

    Importantly, if the core demands of both sides don't change in some way, the prospect of peace seems impossible.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  268. David

    I think US has been underestimating the huge role Turkey can play in the region. US cannot and should not handle this crisis alone but rather it should seek and encourage the countries such as Turkey to take bigger part solving this never ending problem. Let's not forget, Turkey is one biggest and strongest allies of United States in the region and rule the area for centuries. Turkey certainly have positive influence over Muslim countries in the world and this can help solving the problem.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  269. Tyone Lewistown

    Jack... there is nothing Obama or any other President can do. Hamas fighters are a "diseased" entity and we should have never asked Israel to "cease-fire". With terrorism running as rampant as it is in this world, Darwin would be ashamed of us for stopping "natural-selection" and kill all the mad dogs that Hamas represents.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  270. Bob from New Brighton, PA

    Nothing will be done unless the other middle eastern countries get involved also. We can be middlemen but we must have thier support to negotiate and they must enforce any agreement made. They must recognize Israel and all must respect and with each other.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  271. ron


    he cant,no one can physically speaking. this is a spiritual matter,president should focus on getting his house in order before
    trying to clean others.our country is on the verge colaspe,we have so much to do here at home,please president obama please take care of things at home first and then if you have spare time left then try to take on the problems of others.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  272. Phyllis

    Start by talking to both sides. It's never going to be any peace by just dealing with one side. You have to talk to both side.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  273. kevin

    seems like a never ending conflict to me, both sides are so intrenched in their beliefs that compromise seems impossible,good luck to the obama administration tring to achieve peace in the region

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  274. AJ HARMON

    The Obama administration s/insist that Israel treat the Palestinians as they want to be treated. That means giving them room to live by removing encroaching Jewish settlements into Palestinian territory,, stop killing civilians, and stop eyeing the Gaza territory as an area into which Israel wants to expand. Israel s/also stop uing weapons that are meant to disfigure humans by burning their skin off, like phosphorus weapons. Those are inhumane and have only one purpose to mame and disfure as many inoocent people as possible.
    If Israel was treated like they treat the Palestinians as a whole for the past 50 plus years, they would be screaming bloody murder and the world would rightfully be demanding an immediate stop. However, Israel is irgnoring all calls to stop this massacre. They think only Israel has a right to live in a part of the world that was taken from the Palestinians by force.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  275. Sammy, Conroe, TX

    I think Zionists have a lack of respect for human life but that should not influence our integrity and principles of better judgment, not only for the quality of human life but also to establish peace an order that does not in the end destroy itself. Its not protecting Israel to make a beast out of a man or woman in Gaza. No human life should be expendable, to think human life is expendable in the grand design of things slows our advancement. We feed our primitive impulses of hate and anger, and before we know it we become the beasts. Society goes to fascism, genocide, and progress that only leads to its own destruction.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  276. Sanaz Ebriani

    We need to help the people of Palestine in establishing a viable state, by investing, and helping them build infrastructure, hospitals, roads, schools, military etc. like the way the UK and US helped As long as people are poor, and do not have a representative democracy, there will continue to be a conflict. We also need to apply pressure on Israel, by way of sanctions, or divestment, for it's treatment of Palestinians,it's continued occupation, disproportionate military force esponses.

    This is coming from an American of Jewish & Iranian descent.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  277. gary rudkis

    Peace CANNOT be reached in the middle east, there problems go all the way back to the time when abu bakr became the caliph of islam leading to the seperation of islam. this along with the mandate system has lead to the problems in the middle east and we can't fix this so we just need to keep our nose out of their business, we are not the "principal" of the world and even President washington warned against foriegn involvement and this kind that has no solution is just the kind we shouldn't be involved in!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  278. Marc Corvington

    Look here man. Obama needs to send a special envoy to the region. I'm thinking Johnny Utah. Only he can capture Patrick Swayze on a tidal wave.

    Vaya con Dios!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  279. Frank

    Jack, i dont think obama is gonna do anything if he keeps listening to Aipac. He is just going to be another puppet just like Bush. If he does his own choices, and doesn't respect Aipac, maybe he will fix it. Also, giving 3 billion of our tax dollars to israel yearly, is even just going to mess it up more

    January 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  280. Faheem Schroeder - Ontario, Canada

    Dear Jack,
    I always enjoy your segment of The Situation Room and the "unique" humour you sometimes bring to it. My suggestion is that all President Obama needs to do to succeed in resolving the Israel/ Palestine problem, is to treat the value of a Palestinian life equal to that of an Israeli life, something no other US President has done. This will automatically result in equal treatment of both parties and equal consideration for their need for a safe environment, a better life and a lasting peace. My prayer is that he succeeds!!!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  281. patti Fountain Hills, AZ

    By listening to both sides of the issue. For far too long this country has supported Rogue leaders in the middle east and elsewhere in the name of "America's interests" Sadam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, etc., etc This resulted I believe the problems we have today with Iraq and Iran. Although I do support the right for Israel to exist and to protect themselves, the madness will not stop if there is not a buy-in from the Palestinians. After all, they are human beings too–not aliens. We should learn from our mistakes and get on with it! Otherwise, the gift will keep on giving–disinfranchisement-anger–terrorism.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  282. demi

    The only way Obama can bring peace to the middle east is to relocate all the Jews from Israel to somewhere else.So I ask you,'Is it possible'?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  283. Larry Thacker Ky.

    Obama should concentrate totally on the economy. Let God take care of the Israel Palestine conflict. It is generations old religious strife that does not allow for logic or reason to solve.

    The next situation will be the capital in Jerusalem it would take a fool to keep spending time and money on a situation that is not solvable.

    Religious fanatics defy diplomacy and common sense, why bother?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  284. Rick

    get the muslims enjoying the west lifestyle to speak up and out to the younger muslins not to get brain washed into lies. They will listen to them speaking passionately of a respectful life style, not us against them.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  285. Frank Nardo

    I don't beieve that the problem in the region can be solved, if the problem with Hamas is not addressed first, then Obama may have a chance in bringing somewhat of a lasting peace with Israel and Palestine.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  286. Jay S

    In terms of modern conflict the middle east conflict is very intense and complicated. I would say the very beginning of a resolution would be to pay the reperations to the people that lost their lands. These reperations were outlined in the U. N. resolution that created the state of Israel. However no reperations or concessions of any kind were given to the palestinian people. Anyone that believes that the october war and Israel's victory allows these reperations to be pardoned is in the wrong. The october war was not fought to defend the palestinian people it was more or less a war fought out of arab greed.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  287. Zoe Deol

    He should start by prohibiting Wolf Blitzer from doing anymore interviews with Pres. Musharraf. Obama and Richard Holbrooke both took great pains to make it clear that, even though one envoy would cover both Pakistan and Afghanistan, they were two very distinct countries with different histories and different cultures. Wolf trashed that by repeatedly saying that both countries were essentially the same. Wolf basically accused Musharraf of being responsible for the terrorists in Pakistan; and, then clearly also misunderstood Musharraf when Musharraf tried to explain that he agreed that terrorists were in Pakistan, and they need US help to eliminate them. Wolf kept up the interview in this disrespectful, accusatory tone which the Obama administration is trying to avoid. It was a disgraceful interview, and I, as a loyal CNN watcher, changed the channel to MSNBC.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  288. Mac

    So you know I agree with Israel, because we would do the same. The people would demand it.

    1.) Make Israel take hold of the Gaza strip and be responsible for the security of those people AND their way of life.
    2.) Shut off the borders with U.N. Coalition troops while you build a peace minded Palestinian security force.
    3.) Shut down the black market weapon runs and hidden tunnels and make the countries they are coming from responsible, maybe by putting them on the terror list or economic embargos.
    4.) Make the region responsible either by coalition or confrence for the updates on progress or delays or setbacks.
    5.) And most important, keep pressure on terror groups either by war or by special operations to reduce the capabilities of those groups to undermind the progress.
    6.) Elect me into a position serving the public cause I just solved your mideast problem of Israel versus the rest of the middle east.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  289. Colleen M. Driscoll

    The only hope for a Middle East peace is for the countries in that region to be involved in a dialogue and to work together to solve their own problems. The United States can act as a broker of the peace in that area, but cannot solve their problems. THere will be no peace in the Middle East until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is settled and it will not be settled until the Palestinian people have a homeland.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  290. Ryter in NJ

    Perhaps if Israel were held accountable for their own atrocities things would change.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  291. Marc J. Mancini

    Inflating the military budget even further by creating weapons of mass destruction that are eventually sold to Israel to continue its military apartheid against the Palestinian people is complete and utter nonsense and just another example of how the American empire is trying to create and maintain its power hold over the Middle East for its resources. Hamas has been competely on the resistant end of all of this. Hardly any Israeli people have been killed, yet thus far over 4,000 Palestinians have been killed, over 290 of them being innocent children. And people wonder why so many people hate the U.S. Obama needs to declare peace in the middle east favoring a one state solution for all and quit selling military weapons to Israel and support the Zionist policies. The only way Obama is going to bring peace, however, is by having the masses demanding it through protests, rallies, agitation, and disruption of the military-industrial-corporate complex. PEACE NOT WAR!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  292. Koi


    I think we saw the best way forward in the President's comments on the Israeli/ Hamas conflict. He not only thinks that a nation has the right to defend itself from incoming rockets but to also acknowledge the hurt that innocent Palestinians are experiencing based on the actions of a few. Too long has it been that America has blindly backed the Israeli's actions and not comment on the harm caused to the people who are in the middle of two warring factions. Hamas was democratically elected as the governing party a few years ago which in my humble opinion means that they have a seat at the peace talks. Hamas may be a militant movement with the Palestinian community but they do have a voice within the people. You take that voice away and you continue with the same old problems where after negotiations rockets continue. Give them a seat and there's a CHANCE to solve the conflict.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  293. Joe Cognetti

    My father always told me that you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. I think that the United States should push the Israelis to promote economic prosperity in the Palesinian areas. If people are working and prospering, I don't think that they will be thinking of overthrowing Israel. And this could also marginalize Hamas.
    Thank you

    January 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  294. Moleek

    Peace in Mid-East? I can't wait to see that happen. Jack, the people of the Mid-East are constantly in the hunt for blood-spilling catastrophies. The Obama's administration could try and keep things a little quiet up there and that will be the ulmost milestone for us here.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  295. Richard Fabiano

    Israel has never negotiated in good faith with Palestinians. They have continued building settlements in the West Bank, refused to give freedom, food and water to Gaza, refused to return to the 1967 borders and has used disproportionate force against Gaza. All of the above are in violation of International Humanitarian Law, {Accepted rules that govern countries in their relations with other countries according to the Geneva conventions and the Hague conventions}. The US should immediately cut off financial aid and military aid until Israel abides by these accepted standards.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  296. Ken (Glendale, AZ)

    Fairly, that would bring peace to the middle east, Palestine would flurious than Israel would do to them what they did to Sourthern Leabon.

    Israel will never be in peace is long as they build hatered with their neighorbors. Might be time for them to leave the ME.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  297. William McClintock

    Communication, communication, communication. If we don't start an ongoing dialogue then peace will never happen. During these talks the two parties should realize that military aggression will not be tolerated. Someone is going to have to give in on the issues one way or the other. Determine what all of the issues are in writing and solve them through binding agreements. A little give and take on both sides and the problems can be solved. Hamas should know that any rocket fire fired upon one of our allies will be returned by the U.S. Yes, if Hamas fires upon Israel we should bomb Hamas into oblivion.

    William McClintock
    Denver, CO

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  298. Mark Bazor

    The United States has alienated the Palestinian people to a point of no return. The only sensible thing for the Obama Administration to do is show some good faith to the people of Palestine and show support for the suffering that they have endured in this past 1 month. Bring much needed water and food and medical equipment because these bare essentials have been cut off to them for far too long by the Israelies.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  299. William /Sunrise Fl

    Im sick of all this Jack...Get it?..Anyway Palestinians are living in the worse conditions since the "concentration camps".. While Israel takes there homes from them they have to live in horrible conditions.. While Israel have pools in there mansions, luxurious food, and great life style the Palestinians are locked up in a prison.. I say end the racism... give Palestine back to the Palestinians... THIS IS WHY TERROR IS ALIVE... Hamas wont stop until the savage(Ehud Barak) stops the ethnic cleansing...

    January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  300. Roy Shima

    Under the current circumstances, peace seems to be impossible. Hamas does not want peace. Hamas' charter is to destroy Israel. Israel must continue to defend against its destruction. It doesn't seem that Hamas is willing to change its charter and accept the existence of Israel. Underlying this whole mess is that the Palastinians want their land back...all of it. I think that is true of both Hamas and the Palatinian Authority. The Israelis will not allow the right of return for Palastinians. Is there a two state solution? Not with Hamas as a major player.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  301. Adam

    To begin with, we could stop giving a non-secular, violent, racist country a blank check. I agree with the opinion that Apartheid style politics towards Israel is the way to go. Asking them to "knock it off" isn't working, it's time for trade restrictions and real tough diplomacy. We'll see if they're so eager to invade another country when daddy takes the credit card away.

    ~Adam from Portland, Oregon

    January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  302. Sammy

    Just like Michael Moore says,

    Let America distribute the same amount to palestine as they do to israel, and let each other fight against themselves, without jewish/American control of the United States.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  303. Roger Lawson

    I am an agricultural scientist who has worked on a project in Gaza. In my three trips to Gaza I witnessed the problems regarding the closed borders. Food and medicine have been restricted in deliveries to Gaza and agricultural products produced in Gaza have often not reached markets because of Israel border closures. The deal made by Secretary Rice for an open border in 2005 was nor realized. The solution is international inspections of material moving into and out of Gaza to remove the current stranglehold on the movement of goods an services both into and out of Gaza.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  304. Michael

    He needs to create a fellowship. I'm thinking 9 members. It would be best if there were three hobbits, one dwarf, an elf, a wizard, and two humans who must realize their destiny at the gates of Mordor!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  305. Gary Gaggiani

    We can start by not being so one-sided toward Israel, standing by and endorsing any hard-lined repressive policy the Israeli govenrment puts forth. Our last hope was Rabin, who unfortunately was assasinated by a right-wing Israeli lunatic. Then came Sharon, Netanyahoo and the rest who had no intention of negotiating anything. We focus only on the Palistinian terrorists and forget about the normal Palistinian people who are suffering.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  306. Hayley

    How do we do such things? There is no concrete answer but I thinks it takes years and years of commitment of education to the people in that region. I am a Jewish American but I sympathesize with both sides. I understand Israel's precautions for the safety of its people and I understand the outrage of the Palenstians. These people have been living in a culture in some ways ancient and a lot of them have no means of real education nor have the experienced other cultures, they have no understanding all they see all they know is that their children die from bombs, their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers die by the sword and it creates outrage and hate and causes future generations to take up some cause they feel is justified for the blood shed. So you ask what is the answer? It is education and it is going to take treading on unchartered terrorities as far as Jews and Muslims but it is achieveable. Listen there are always going to be evil people and angry people and hateful people in the world who have no regard for human life the danger if if those people are allowed to rule a population to get others reved up enough in their grievances to join in. This is what groups like Hamas do they use innocent people even their own people to promote their just causes. We have to somehow convince this culture these causes are not just and we cannot be hippocrites in it we must set an example and show compassion to both sides or we will never be able to help there. We will always be seen as protectors of Israel and nothing more.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  307. Tim

    Any conflict that draws power from long-held ideological positions requires isolating extremist views from the rest of society and slowly diminishing the number of people who hold those views. In other words, the Palistinian people, and other regional players, need convincing that Hamas and the views held by Hamas are erroneous and are not in their best interest. As long as the majority is even somewhat concilitory to the views of Hamas, peace will be hard to come by.
    Tim in Texas

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  308. Bryan Saario DDS MD

    I have spent time in the occupied territories providing surgical services for children on medical missions. Have you ever been there?Oppression against the Palestinians on an every day basis is overwhelming. There have been violations of civil or human rights against Palestinians for 60+ years, and we (the U.S.) have supported this.
    If we are to bring permanent peace to this region we must act with a fair and honest hand and negotiate on a basis of JUSTICE for both people. Our negotiators must take note from an organization like Jewish Voice of Peace, and dismiss AIPAC which supports ethnic cleansing, collective punishment, non judicial executions....

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  309. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Mr. Mitchell is an excellent choice for starters to help get the Israel/Palestinian problem under control, but we must use diplomacy whenever warranted. I believe many of the middle eastern extremists would not have been elected to power if we had been more diplomatic in the past. Respect for the beliefs and customs of those in these countries will help to establish a more lasting peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  310. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Move cautiously optimistic with Palestinians and Israel and have open mind; let both the sides work it out such a way that they both buy into whatever terms they agree on. Push for ratification by the people of both States.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  311. Ryter in NJ

    Perhaps if Israel were held accountable or their own atrocities things might change.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  312. Mitchell from California

    Hey Jack,

    The only way President Obama can achieve peace in the Middle East, is by putting his foot down and telling Israel to open up the crossings and give the people of Gaza a little freedom. You will never achieve peace if there is no freedom for the people of Palestine.

    The people are living like animals.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  313. Jonathan

    Peace in the Middle east will only happen, when the muslims accept the land of israel!!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  314. rick

    This religious blood stain on the map will forever be just that until a bold leader takes actions beyond the ugly box. Being that "The Holy Land" should be just that – I suggest that It should be a global neutral zone that belongs to no one group, but rather be a place where anyone can visit to be, holy.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  315. carl

    The administration should support the Israelies on all fronts.
    He should work for peace however stand firm behind the Israelies
    They people have been victimized their entire history I for one
    believe in this instance they should never let their freedom become jepordized in any manner. I believe they should continue their aggrssive defense of their ancenstral homeland no matter what any says.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  316. jauhar

    I think he should work for mid-east peace. He has a better chance than Bush did. We created a unique situation in Gaza. We wanted elections there and they had an election. We did not like the outcome of that election. The bombing of Gaza did not wipe out Hammas. Any further blockade of those crossing will lead to more tunnels, more rockets and more senseless bombings. In light of so much hatred on both sides, how can their children grow to look each other in the eye and live in peace?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  317. luis

    dear jack ive missed you,I have an idea why dont we put our 5th fleet off the shores of gaza put our embassy in jerusalem and open up christian chuches all over the middle east!Oh thats right these guys {muslims}hate jews ,christians ,and any other people who arent {muslim}.Its a sad situation there jack the only real thing left to do now is pray israel dosent launch against syria and iran because if you think the 22 day war was bad you cant even imagine the destruction that will occur if hamas continues it hatried agains innocent god {jesus}fearing people ..lets all pray jack

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  318. Stan in Boston

    The Obama administration needs to be realistic. And so does Europe. The Bush administration left out the hardest issues from its roadmap. For example, the Palistinians say they want a two state solution, but they also want the right of return, which would make both the states Moslem. If the Palistinians stopped their quest to destroy Israel, there would be peace. However, if the Israelis stopped fighting the Palistinains there still would not be peace, because the Palistinians want to destroy Israel more than they want peace. The Palistinians provoke the Israeli violence, and then they hide behind civilians, and they exagerate the effects of the violence (remember when they fooled the world into thinking there had been a massacur in Janin?) to bring world opinon against Israel. When the rest of the world finally sees through the Plistinian lies and recognises who really wants peace, then, and only then, can there be peace. Before that day comes, the rest of the world can rebuild Palistine and build its economy and show them how good life could be if they spent their money and energy of peace, instead of war, but it would do no good because the Palistinians would throw it all away for a chance to hurt Israel. The Obama adminsitration must change the attitudes of the Palistinians before it can bring peace to the area.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  319. pamela rose

    The new administration should publicly recognize that the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and for it to be replaced by an Islamic nation of Palestine– why– because this is a religious war between Islamic radicals and Jews. This is not about land or territory since Israel offered 96% of all the territories to Arafat, withdrew from both Gaza and Lebanon and instead of peace was attacked by suicide bombers, missiles and rockets. Therefore, until the Arabs (22 nations) become nation builders and productive non-violent civilians, Israel deserves to be supported in their war against terror by all freedom loving nations. The solution is for moderate Arab states to say enough is enough and become nation builders as well.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  320. j/NJ

    How should the Obama administration approach achieving peace in the Middle East?

    First and foremost by establishing a balanced policy in the region, unfortunately America's unconditional support for Israel has, since 1948, exacerbated a seemingly endless political conflict or worse...indeed for the sake of the international community, this elitist policy much change and the American people's perception must change in the years ahead...we hope President Obama follows the lead and prudent advice of former President Jimmy Carter who did everything he could in 4 years to establish a comprehensive peace in that troubled part of the world...

    January 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  321. Harry from NY

    To establish peace in the Middle East the Obama administration needs to tackle the issue of land. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing do with religion. It's all about the land and about the Palestinians being kicked out of their homes by the British to make way for Jewish settlers. This continues today.

    My suggestion to the Obama Administration to establish peace would be to give the Israeli’s Texas and leave Palestine the way it was before the British decided to divide it.

    Texas has the same climate, has a coastline, they can be close to Bush plus with their experience in border security they can prevent all the illegal Mexicans from coming in via Texas.

    See all the benefits? World peace, no illegal immigrants, no drug trafficking.

    Oh wait, maybe it will only last until the Israeli’s decide to take over New Mexico and lay claim to the land. Then we'll have New Mexican terrorists launching rockets into Texas.

    Never mind. Maybe it’s not such a good idea.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  322. Roy De Selms

    It would be very easy for the Obabama administration to deal with the Middle East. Simply cut off all U.S. funding to Israel until they withdraw to the 1967 borders, allow for nuclear arms and facilities inspections and be good neighbors. Transfer those same funds to the Palestinians for rebuilding and humanitarian aid as long as they don't fire missiles at Israel or allow suicide bombings. Eeeeeasy!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  323. David Scottsdale, AZ

    My opinion about this issue is to focus on the economy first, than rather focusing on giving israel billions, and letting them kill innocent palestinians. If america is focusing on letting Jews control the world, then we might as well forget about this question

    January 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  324. Samid Al-Khatib

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The issues in Palestine needs to be addressed at the economic level. Specifically, 86% of the Palestinian people now live below the poverty line. The current level of unemployment in Palestine exceeds 50%. However, just across the border, Israel enjoyes the largest sum of aid by the United States. As a result, with a per capita income of about $14,000, Israel ranks as the sixteenth wealthiest country in the world. How can we expect peace when the largest portion of the inhabitants wake each and every morning wondering how they will eat, or support their families? How can we expect peace when the things that most of take for granted would be considered luxuries to those that live in camps that equal those found in Sub-Sahara Africa?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  325. James W. Blevins

    Insist on a permanent agreement and assist the resolution in a fair and even handed manner. What has stopped a permanent agreement has been the USA coming into the problem strongly on the side of Israel. An Israeli is equal to a Palestinian, the needs of the Israeli's are as important as the needs of the Palestinian's and the religion of the Palestinians has all the rights of the religion of the Israelis. Our constitution and other documents that define this country demand this.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  326. Mark in Savannah

    The faceitious way would be to build a boxing ring somewhere invite the leaders of the two sides into the ring and have them duke it out and then we deal with the winner.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  327. r.michael hakim

    For starters Prsident Obama has to intiate an even handed policy that recognizes both sides of the problem. This problem cannot be resolved through military force but through a plotical settlement. The Palestinians do not have a strong negotiating position versus Israel and the US mediation, if applied with fairness would provide the necessary balance to achieve a just settlement. The occupation and settlement activity by Israel is at the core of the problem, that needs to be addressed at the outset. It appears that the occupied are constantly pressured to make concessions, while activities on the ground as demonstrated by the continuing settlement activites, do not enforce the belief that Israel intends to evacuate and offer the Palestinians their political and human rights. Israel did not really end the occupation in Gaza but simply made a unilateral evacuation but maintining a total control over the territory, Gaza is similar to a prison camp. The West Bank is still under full occupation eventhough the PLO is in negotiations with Israel without any tangible outcome.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  328. heather

    2 state solution will not work for either party. solution is 1 county, 1 person, 1 vote with the right of return. this is the democracy at it's best.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  329. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    Personally, I think it's too early for President Obama to do much in the area of achieving Peace. He needs to get OUR nation's problems on the road to recovery, before he intercedes in any Peace-making with the Middle East. Those people (and my step-son is one of them!) have been warring with each other for centuries! Every President in my lifetime has tried to get them to achieve Peace, and you see where we STILL are...

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  330. James in Kamiah Idaho

    His administration should approach it as an influential guest, and rememeber to emphasize guest over influential in his mind.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  331. Jeff - Voorhees, NJ


    Obama's approach should be to tell the leaders of the Palestinian National Authority that before any road to peace can be mapped out, they need to ditch Hamas at the side of the road. Then tell Olmert and Peres that if they team up with the PNA to put an end to Hamas, then Israel would gain some minor advantages in land negotiating, such as getting back Gaza or East Jerusalem. Israel and the PNA have quarreled in the past, but now they both see a common enemy keeping peace from happening: Hamas. As the old adage goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    If the PNA wants their own independent state, they need to do what Lincoln did to hold the Union together: contain the rebellion.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  332. Even Brandt

    The Obama Administration must choose an approach that is condusive to the peace of all nations in the region. Favoritism is not the correct approach to secure the safety of the united states. That being said, the Obama Administration must condemn any hostile action in the region that is not justified or in self defense.
    -Even Brandt, Oceanside, Ca

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  333. N. Manetavat

    Palestenians fight for their home lands. If I were the President, I will tell the Israeli Govt. to move out to 1967 or 1948 as UN mandate. Israel can not say that she won the war. This is 21st century. Look at England, she won the war and occupied half of the world and had to give it back to the native country. So far Israel wants lands and peace. It almost a peace but they killed Mr. Rabin

    January 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  334. Lois

    It's a long-term solution where the Palestinian's need to be educated (without the hate) and taught skills so they can build their own economy. They rely on the Israelis for their livelihood, blame them for their own lack of opportunity, and then bomb them. Re-education is the only solution. They need to get over their hate for the Israelis and just concentrate on building their own state to support it's citizens if they want to be recognized as legitimate.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  335. Mamadou

    In order for the two state solution to exist, Israel must be the leader in this effor by not continuing to destroy its image in the arab and the muslim world by killing numerous Palestinians. what is "O" administration to do to chalenge both parties to compromise instead of insisting on peace process to move as they want it to. therefore Israel must be willing to give up some land that the palestinians are demanding. eliminating Hamas is not a goal that could be met, they can suppress their ability to fire rockets to Israel. The "O" Administration also needs to involve Hamas in the talks since they can not wipe them out, even though Hamas does not recognize Israels existance.stop the killings, i promise you it won't solve anything. Thank you.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  336. Basim Shaath

    Maybe for a change President Obama, should pressure the Israeli terrorist government, backed by our money and political support, and hold it accountable for its 40+ years of illegal occupation and the many barbaric massacres it has inflected on the Palestinians.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  337. C. Kelly

    President Obama should bring all parties concerned together: Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt to decide on a course of action. Obstacles to peace should be eliminated. In particular, Israel's illegal settlements must be removed. The West Bank has been sliced and diced by Israel. This must stop.. Also, If the US is serious about peace, it should stop letting dual citizen American/Israeli's participate in Israeli military attacks on Palestinians. How can Americans be part of a foreign army? And by the way, Israel should stop using cluster bombs, bulldozing houses of "suspected" militants and planting millions of land mines.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  338. joe

    Give the Palestinians equal rights as the Isrealis, all should be treated equal, split the 9 billion American Tax Dollars thats givin to Isreal every year between the Isrealis and Palestinians, make Isreal pay for the constructional damage that was done in Gaza and trust me they will think twice before destroying it again, I can go on for days but the most important thing is to treat both sides equally, like the constitution All men are created equal. The Obama administration have to be Just and fair in dealing with both sides.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  339. Jamil

    The answer is obvious but it requires courageous leaders in both Israel and the US to settle the issue based on existing UN resolutions that call on Israel to return to the 1967 borders. Israel has demonstrated on many occasions that it wants to keep most of the west bank and continues the confiscation of Palestinians’ land and settlement building even as it pretends to negotiate peace. The Arab nations have proposed a comprehensive peace and normal relations with Israel based on the 1967 borders. The majority of the world population and governments understand the Palestinian plight and would support a 1967 solution….However they don’t count.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  340. Priscilla Banks

    Why do you critisize the ISREALIES, and not a word on the ROCKETS
    fired by HAMAS !

    January 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  341. Olusegun Owolabi

    If Obama wants real peace he should just jet off quickly to Isreal and Syria with Hillary and the nice special envoy. Meet with Palestinian leaders led by Abass and the Israeli leader He should bend backwards by meeting the Syria leader in the presence of Hamas leader and letting him know why USA will support all Palestinians including Hamas when Hamas let peace to reign by recognizing Isreal and permanently stop hostilities. The Arabs are proud people and to get them, you need to speak with them directly; they prefer to die to retain integrity wrongly or rightly. If Obama can do this the whole Arab world will not finance Hamas thereby giving Hamas safe face. The Arabs also want to save taking cognizance of the USA looking inward for energy alternative which will be done successfully. No more free money to fling around if we deflate their ego.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  342. John Cohn

    Pres. Obama should stop giving Israel cash and arms. How could they continue aggression without the U.S. handouts. Step back and let parties fight it out. THEN SUPPORT THE WINNER.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  343. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    Palestine's Arab neighbours can exert much more pressure than the U.S. can. It appears that the new president has already arrayed an army of career diplomats to see that they do.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  344. Kelvin

    The US needs to stop funding/ giving trillions to IRAQ,Israel, the Palestinians,Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is why were in this mess at this time and the GOP won't even try to take care of their own.
    Throw those BUMS out.


    January 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  345. Hoda Pospisil


    Obama needs to visit Ghaza and find out for himself the atrusities that was conducted by the vicious Israeli Army who had no respect for human life, Mr Obama should not determine who represents the Palestinian people, since he was elected by the people of the USA.
    the Palestinian people should have the right to elect the Leader who will represent them. Mr Obama should have condemend the killing of the innocent civilians by US Cluster and Phosphorus bombs.
    Mr. Obama should reach out to Hamas and talk with them, they are the fathers, the brothers, the husbands and the sons of the Palestinian people who are under seige for six months, they are not terrorist, they are the freedom fighters who want to have a normal life in their own home land.

    Hoda Pospisil

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  346. Belhimer Mahmoud

    To do what, Aaron David Miller, former adviser for 6 department of state said recently in an article on the News week “If Obama Is Serious, he should get tough with Israel”. That’s the change if we are really want it happened in US foreign policy.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  347. Tomasz residing in NY


    Every mess in the Middle East has basis in what goes on between the Israelis and the Palestinians. You solve that, you will remove the major rallying cry of both the Zionist and the Arab Militant.
    The way to solve the matter is for the US to, for the first time in history, scold Israel. Be scathing in rebuke and in holding them to account for what they do. For much too many years the US has given UNCONDITIONAL support to Israel. While it builds settlements which the UN and International Courts say are illegal, the US gives Israel support; mostly by vetoing any resolution that demands Israel to make major concessions.
    As well, what is the problem in the US talking to Hamas, even if it never gives up arms. The PLO was a militant organization and still the US talked to them.
    It's always the case that Israel points to what the Palestinians are not doing, and don't look at what they have been negligent in doing.

    With regard to Iraq, Afghanistan etc... The US must stop trying to impose Capitalism and Consumerism disguised as Democracy. If true Democracy were to be applied in the Middle East, parties like Hamas would win with 'overwhelming' margins.
    The Taliban and etc... don't want girls to live ignorant. They don't want you, the US and the secularist, to do the teaching. They are afraid that you will turn Afghan girls into Britney Spears.

    Thank you

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  348. Sam, CA

    It is very simple Jack, He should not take sides. Stop pouring our tax dollars into Israel and accept the fact that Palestinians have the right to elect whom ever they like as there leaders. Believe me if we stay away from both Israel and Palestine they will resolve there problems. As long as we support Israel we will not resolve the conflict in the region.........

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  349. Tarek Abou-Ghazala

    President Obama should approach the mideast peace not by calling Mahmoud Abbas whose term as Palestinian president had ended early January.
    Thus, the phone call between President Obama and Abbas was between the president of the USA and no body.
    However, if the call took place before Obama retook the oath of office then maybe the call between President Obama and Abbas was between no body and no body.

    Tarek Abou-Ghazala, MD
    American Palestinian

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  350. Rev. Catherine Alder

    President Obama should meet with representatives from all parties in the Palestinian and Israeli conflict from the least represented to the most represented including Hamas and other smaller groups to forge a peace. Lasting peace never happens top down without including the little groups involved in the conflict. Bring in the Reconciliation Team from South Africa and Ireland to work a reconciliation process. Stop aid to Israel until they promise not to use it against trapped neighbors in the open-air prison of Gaza or the West Bank. Tell Israel it must withdraw all settlements from the West Bank, open all apartheid roads leading to and from them, and dismantle the 100 check points within the borders of the West Bank that block daily movement for the Palestinians to jobs, schools, hospitals, and home. Peace cannot happen without these issues of justice being served. Agreement needs to be reached giving the Palestinians a state that includes Gaza and the West Bank and that both sides will stop killing the other.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  351. Steve Myers

    Regarding peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians: I propose that a military force from an Arab country such as Saudi Arabia and/or Jordan, under the auspice of the United Nations, be installed in Gaza (and eleswhere as necessary) with the responsibility to control the flow of weapons into the area and shut down the launch of rockets from the area. Those same troops could eventually be given responsibility for controlling the border crossings and security checkpoints based on successful termination of rocket launches and suicide bombings. Finally a firm timetable with a set of necessary conditions be established for the formation of a Palestanian state.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  352. Tony Olonode

    The same way other former presidents did because the people did not accepted our Lord and saviour and the cause is still leaving with them. America should stay away from Isreal and Palestinan problems. May be we will be better off. We have our own problems. Therefore, we should stick to the way we behave after the first world war. America enough is enough of the world problems.

    T. Olonode

    January 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  353. Sohail K

    Israel needs to be sanctioned for their actions. It was Israel not Hamas who violated the cease fire in October, as they first fired missiles into Gaza. Stop blaming Hamas when Israel is the aggressor.

    In the latest devastation Israel caused, they dropped incendiary weapons on heavily populated areas including marked UN buildings, schools and hospitals. They herded women and children into a house which they then proceeded to destroy with multiple missile strikes. How much more does Israel need to do for us to drop our collective blinders.

    Historically, Israel seized Palestinian homes and land when Israel was given nation status; land and homes in which Palestinians welcomed them after WW2. They do not allow non-Jew residents or non-white Jews equal status.

    They now squat on illegally seized land since 1967. They treat all Palestinians like animals. And we give more money to Israel than all other countries combined. In essence we are supporting an Apartheid government.

    It's time for us to stop turning a blind eye to the atrocities and war crimes that Israel commits on a daily basis. Just like we impose restrictions on other countries we give money to, lets hold Israel to the standards of humanity, law and decency we purport to hold sacred.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  354. Gia Brooks

    Israel has got to step it up if they want peace. Their plate has not been totally clean as some of the evidence is clear with Kucinich complaint to our government.

    Israel's actions need to monitored PERIOD. Let's get REAL here. Their noses haven't been clean in their dealings with Gaza and we need to start there by fairly acknowledging all wrong actions so that peace and anger can recede and be relieved.
    Hamas's actions need to monitored as well – but Gaza needs assistance. They need their food deliveries, their supplies for their hospitals delievered through the borders of Israel etc. Israel has to allow these deliveries through.
    -Gaza should have help developing their ports so the interaction with Israel is minimalized – anyone truly interested in
    Both need to agree to submit all complaints and breaches of contract in writing and the US/France/The UK and a few other "more neutral" Government have to monitor the actions.

    Gaza is overcrowded and in my understanding of my research is completely dependent on Israel for it's water, electricity and resource deliveries. Which Isreal shuts off ALL including sewage consequenses as well.
    -The Arab nations need to collectively step in as well and help develop ports on Gaza.
    -Gaza needs to become an official nation immediately. No complication.
    -Settlements need to come out of the West Bank if they have not already (Excuse if Israel has pulled out of here)
    -Israel has a PR campaign and it's unfair that we dont get the true stories of what's going on. We have to go to Al Jezeera English, BBC and other news sources to get a more accurate POV.
    -Giving $3 Billion dollars to Israel every year with no peace, and passively aggressive behavior by the Israel such as blocking all the borders and not allowing auto-part supplies, medicine etc to flow into Gaza is ridiculous.
    Peace depends on Israel.
    Like two children a group of Nations should monitor both parties and enforce keeping promises (which was not the case for Israel in 2005 with allowing deliveries into Gaza).
    We need to babysit these two nations for awhile. Question to Israel, why seize Golan in Syria, land problems with Egypt. Disputes with Lebanon – we have to have Israel held to a contingency plan for the money we give to it but they should also know, that at this point, they have a right to be safe and should be open to a fair monitoring system.
    If Israel starts acting right, things will take time to get to total peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  355. Pierre Dunn

    The US should propose a complete rethinking of the Gaza situation. Israel can provide the Palestinians with an area twice as big as Gaza, but extending from the Mediterranean south along the Egyptian border. The northeastern two-thirds of what is now Gaza, and which consists mainly of rubble, will revert to Israel, providing a buffer between the new Gaza and Israeli population centers. Israel and the US should both provide support for the construction of new cities, towns and farms in the new Gaza area.

    This approach will accomplish several goals: 1) it will force renegade combatants firing rockets toward Israel out of easy range of populated targets; 2) it will provide significant employment to currently unemployed Palestinians as they build new cities and new infrastructure; 3) it will thereby improve the standard of living in Gaza and reduce popular agitation for change and conflict; and 4) it will provide greater living room to the currently overcrowded Gazans without interfering significantly with present Israeli population centers.

    Properly handled, such a project could be designed to develop improved capacity for Palestinians in Gaza to become a self-sufficient and productive group, no longer dependent on outside assistance. Trying to hold populations down in order to control them never works. Economic development is the true route to peace.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  356. Loretta

    The Bush and prior U. S. administrations blatant partiality towards Israel has contributed to the escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. Our government continues to ignore gross human rights violations by Israel while never losing an opportunity to criticize the government of the Palestinians. May President Barack Obama in all his wisdom begin the healing between these people who can once again make the middle east truly "the land of milk and honey."

    January 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  357. Chris B

    This has been a religous war for the past 2000+ years.
    That said.
    First you have to take religion OUT of the equation. (Applies here in America too).
    People have to be educated that life itself is sacred, no religion needed. Think about this, There are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe, each galaxy contains over 100 billion stars and out of all that and maybe more, there's only ONE of YOU. This applies to EVERYBODY. So think just how amazingly incredible that is and THEN maybe people will stop killing and hurting each other.
    Teach them (us and the world too) when someone dies something TRULY irreplaceable has been taken away.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  358. Javier Hernandez

    US gov does not learn the lessons. The way the violence stopped in Iraq was by winning the Iraqui factions. We need to do the same here, win the Palestinians so they themselves start preventing Hammas from lauching the missiles. We could beguin wining the Palestinians by not being so bias in favor of Israel. Yes we must support Israel right to defend but we should be fair enough to condemm Israel when they become abusive and send Gaza some serious, truthfull hands on help. That way the Palestinians would began to understand we take them seriously and maybe they will began to turn the tide. In the end they are the only ones who are really in a position to stop Hammas. I say something as simple as an Hospital ship to attend their civilians would say a lot.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  359. Ignored in GA

    Jack, peace in the Middle East (or between Israel and it's enemies) should be a priority for acheiving the protection of Isreal, and that is how the situation should be approached.
    As far as I know, Israel has not attacked any of it's neighbors without being provoked first. Being surrounded by peaceful enemies would not be an ideal situation, but it would be more acceptable than what Israel has now. Pressure has to be brought on the major Arab/Muslim countries in the area to get them on board, or peace will never be achieved.
    Hartwell, GA

    January 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  360. Lee

    Jack. Divorse Israel!!! The only answer for peas anywhere in the world.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  361. Roy in CA

    Jack – It would be so simple to solve the Mideast crisis. First cut off all U.S. funding to Israel until they withdraw to the 1967 borders, allow for nuclear arms and facilities inspections, and open their borders. Then distribute those same funds to the Palestinians for rebuilding and humanitarian aid as long as they do not allow missile attacks on Israel and suicide bombings. Eeeeeeeasy!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  362. Lyle Silversmith

    Peace in the Middle East can be achieved only by a regional solution,
    not merely by an Israeli-Palestinian one.

    Concisely, I suggest:

    1) Extend Gaza's borders to east of El-Arish in Egypt's Sinai peninsula and let Gaza be it's own independent state, creating commmercial opportunities for both Gaza and Egypt.

    2) Divide up the West Bank between Israel and Fatah's Palestine.

    3. Transfer a small part of Jordan north of Amman and heavily
    populated by Palestinian descendants to Fatah Palestine.

    4. Transfer a strip of land along the Gulf of Aqaba in Saudi Arabia
    from north of the town of Mapneh to Jordan, thus greatly enhancing
    Jordan's economic viability with land that constitute's far less than 1%
    of Saudi territory. This would also create a new economic center for Saudi Arabia on it's west coast.

    5. Return the Golan Heights to Syria if Syria agrees to permit
    troops from the United States and Europe to be permanently stationed there to prevent the Golan from being used as a base for attacking Israel.

    5. From those Arab countries who participated during the 1948
    war for Israel's independence in murdering Jews, seizing their property, thus forcing them to flee (Morrocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq) , let them pay the fair value of compensation for the lost property into an escrow fund which would be used to compensate descendants of Arab refugees who fled Palestine. If any money is left over after the Palestinians are compensated, the remainder shall be paid to the descendants of the Jews who fled the Arab countries. Lyle Silversmith

    January 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  363. Mahmoud Hussein

    Hello, Jack. This is the million dollar question. I beleive it is time for the US to step up and tell both sides that they need to abide by the UN resolutions. Israel withdraws to 1967 border with the xchange of Hama's approval of Israel's right to exist. As long Plaestinians living under oppression and without a palestinian state, sadly there will never be peace.
    Thank you
    Troy, Michigan

    January 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  364. Christian Djimra Koumtog

    In order for peace to be a reality in the Middle East, one has to be able the past history that brought Israel and Palestine to this current stage.

    My father, having represented a country like Chad at the U.N. for four years, taught me that the ultimate cause, as to why wars cease not, is rooted in the past... Thus, in order for the Obama administration to achieve what seems unachievable, even by former President for decades; it has to consider those past failures, be realistic as to theories and practicality and assess each and every decisions meticulously. Every death in that region results in more deaths... Peace is only attainable through peaceful diplomatic means.
    Recognizing one's sovereignty as a democratic nation is the next step.
    The human race can coexist.
    The Hamas was elected, although considered a terrorist "group", by Palestinians... That is for the sole reason that they needed immediate results; a voice.
    In order also for peace to become reality, nobody can ignore the root of all evil: money. In the name of democracy, let the People's interest be the epicenter of a true resolution.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  365. Rania Shawa Houston TX

    By stopping the 3.8+ Billion dollars in aids to Israel, as it is clear to the novice, Israel is # threat to world peace and Israel is also compromising our moral standing around the world.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  366. Zak

    The U.S. needs to stop giving Israel a free pass. Why should all of Gaza pay for Hamas' actions? Why are we allowing Israel to commit terrorism? It is absolutely despicable to support such a fascist regime. I wonder what the victims of the holocaust think of their descendants? I'm Jewish and I am ashamed of Israel, and I bet G-d is too. Tell me how is what Israel is doing to Palestinians any more justifiable than what Saddam did to the Kurds? America needs to stop this diplomatic hypocrisy NOW.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  367. TT

    We (America) so much like to meddle in other people's affairs, and that is why in some parts of the world we're known to be bullies.
    Let's just leave them to battle it out because apparently, both the Israelis Palestinians have very little respect for human life, and can't be reasonable enough to know that we can co-exist without having to kill ourselves.(Sounds like the animal kingdom).
    Let's see who they will kill after they've finished killing themselves.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  368. Hamid Rizvi

    I am not quite sure what the real intent is behind such questions. This sounds very much like a "trick question". Doesn't this qualify for the proverbial "million dollar question?. If only it was as simple as to ask folks on Jack Cafferty's blog "how to achieve peace in the middle east. Well, since I do not particularly regard myself as the one in possession of an "ace up the sleeve" or the diamond in the rough. I would suggest inviting both sides over for a barbecue and says C'mon fellas let bygones be bygones why can;t we all just get along. Lets all have a beer. The beer BTW is on Obama.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  369. Munna O'dea

    The only just solution to the Middle East problem is for the UN/US to enforce a single, democratic and secular state/country with a new name. This new country will comprise Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The citizens of this new country will include indigenous people (Palestinians), and European immigrants (Zionists).

    January 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  370. Doug

    First thing is to avaid hypocrisy. If it's bad to send bottle rockets into Isreal that kill a few people, then it is REALLY not OK to send Cruse missles into Pakistan that kill ten times more.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  371. Scott Rohnert Park, Ca

    I'm not sure what will work for peace in the Middle-East. If they find something that works, maybe they can apply the same techniques to have our warring gangs in this country stop killing on-another.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  372. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    The U.S. should cut off all monetary aid to both sides until they start behaving like responsible human beings, and stress that talking is better than fighting like schoolyard bullies. I doubt it will work as this region has not changed its stripes in almost 100 years.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  373. Teri from slc

    Start taking care of our children who live with no health care, no real parental suppport and live in poverty and or a violent home daily. Until then let the middle east alone. Let's handle our own "stuff" before showing others how it's done!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  374. Jonathan

    I don't understand why everyone is blaming Israel!! Why is it only on israel to provide them with food , electricity , work ... ? Why was egypt's border closed ? Why lebanon , Iran , Egypt , Jordan .. surronding the only jewish state, aren't helping?
    Those countries are funding Gaza with arms , rockets, mortar shells..
    They made Gaza into what it is today !!

    January 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  375. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Peace in the Middle East cannot be imposed, nor even believed to be imposed, by any outside player or force. Most outsiders have no idea how complex the play of interests and grievances really is, and one set of parties are Arabs, who are ever suspicious of and reject outside interference. There is an underlying basis for compromise in religious law, in international law, and in politics, but all must reject the Maoist view that power only comes from the barrel of a gun. Had Palestinian Arabs followed the way of Ghandi instead, they would already have won Statehood for themselves, and would have been enjoying the kind of prosperity known in Israel for more than forty years. Golda Meir said that there is no compromise with one who wants you dead. That is what the US has to work on.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  376. Lee from Winnipeg

    Jack. Divorse Israel!!! The only answer for peace anywhere in the world.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  377. Huda Key

    Terrorism start with occupation, land confiscation, bombing of civilians as Israel just did in Gaza, not in Hamas crude made Rockets. Hence Obama should know what to do if he wants to solve the root of the problem.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  378. John (Hartford, Connecticut)

    US should stop unconditional support to Israel. No doubt Israel is our strongest ally in Middle East, we cannot support atrocities down by Israel in Palestine. Israel hammering UN facilities and considering them unaccountable is what is bothering others in Middle East. US should distance itself from atrocities committed by Israel and should hold Israel accountable.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  379. Alan Galowitz

    The loss of life in this confflict was tragic. Your coverage of the conflict is difficult to understand. It is not even handed.

    Hamas should be focused upon. Their object is the murder of all Israelis. Their rocket sites were placed in populated areas to avoid destruction. Their rockets were aimed at civilians.

    Israel's object is survival.

    Moderate Moslems who oppose Hamas tactics are the only heroes in this conflict. What happened to the CNN truth squad?

    January 23, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  380. stephen mial

    When I suggested that the US work with Egypt to legitimately open their borders I mesnt to open their borders to GAZA so that the palentine folks would not have to dig tunnels to obtain critical supplies like ffod and medicine they should not have to hide in tunnels to obtain supplies from the Egyptian side of the border, they should be able to obtain sullies openly since Israel has shut the borders down on their side

    S Mial

    January 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  381. mike

    Quit being the backbone of foreign policy. let them fight it out! When we get to involved with their affairs and it just enables them. If and only when they bring the fight to us we put them down with extreme force! Get it done and get out.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  382. Emad Shawa

    Stop appeasing the Israelis at the expense of the Palestinias.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  383. Laura

    He need to go to the origin ,the root of the problem created in 1947. Give justice and be fair with the Palestinian people who has been oppress and suffering for the last fifty years and no body listen to them.. Israel completely withdraw from Palestine, no more Israel occupation of Palestine. Israel to open the borders and return the land given to the Palestine by the United Nation. His position can't be unilateral with Israel. He need to be neutral , treat both equally and listen to both equally. Respect both countries culture, religion and politics.

    January 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  384. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Frankly, we ought to try something REALLY new – like taking every dime, dollar, warm body and military weapon out of the entire Middle East and Northern Africa.

    Maybe then, their neighbors will step in and take care of their own part of the world.

    Then the USA should get busy creating alternative energy sources so our economy *isn't* tied to this region's oil. They've been at each other for thousands of years...

    January 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  385. Ali From New Haven Connecticut

    Take ethic session for Israel politician. You cannot kill innocent to gain power

    January 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  386. TT

    Chris B (above) said it right. It is a religious war. However, I disagree with Chris on taking religion out of the equation. A religious war can only be settled in light of religion, when we accept each other's views. In the Middle East, political views are almost non-existent; there are only religious views. Even governments are run on religion, which makes it difficult if not impossible for anyone to meddle in their affairs. I believe that for Prez Obama to make any impact, he should be a central figuer who does not take any sides.
    Maybe he can then get their attention and get them to stop killing each other for Abraham's sake.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  387. James Reed

    start off by asking the isralie government if they can see the parallel between Warsaw, Poland in the 1930's and the present day palistanian gettos.

    January 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  388. Bob

    first step is to mind our own business. Why do we always seem to think it is our place to get involved? A little respect and honor of the other person will go a long way. Do you think if left to their own skills and probleming solving skills, they may resolve the issues once and for all??

    January 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm |