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Barack Obama

  • Israel takes a page from the Guantanamo playbook

    Netanyahu is pushing a new bill to allow the force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers. The prime minister is in good company. American practices at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are giving Benjamin Netanyahu ideas. Earlier this week, a draft bill authorizing the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners passed the first of three readings in the Knesset. Of the roughly 300 prisoners presently fasting in protest of Israeli administrative detention, at least 70 are hospitalized around the country, shackled to their beds. If the bill becomes law, dozens of them may be forced to undergo the procedure. Netanyahu is personally pressing…

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  • By taking a step back, U.S. gives hope to Israel-Palestine

    President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s statements on Thursday are the most important - and positive - development to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades. Now we’ll have to see if they leave the stage for good. After we all dealt with the surprising Hamas-Fatah unity deal for the past few days (is it good, is it bad?), the U.S. on Thursday gave the most important statement in President Barack Obama’s presidency concerning Israel/Palestine. Not only is it the most important, it’s probably the most positive development this region has seen since the Oslo Accords were signed. It is the beginning of…

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  • Carpe diem, America! Your chance to ditch the Is/Pal conflict is here!

    Sometimes you just have to wait for the right opportunity. It could be a sports game, where you wait for your rival to make a mistake. It could be a blind date gone bad, where you wait for that phone call you planned earlier with your best friend. It could be that windfall you needed to finally buy that house. It’s always about a set of conditions that finally, at the right time, converge to make an opportunity. That opportunity has come for the United States. John Kerry has blamed the Israelis (or did he?) for the recent impasse. The…

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  • Standing up to AIPAC means supporting Israeli dissidents

    The voice of 'pro-Israel' militarism has been ringing through the halls of Washington D.C. since the 1970s. Now, to end the occupation, American citizens must couple their opposition to AIPAC with support for anti-occupation groups in Israel. By Philip Farah In the 1970s, Israeli TV had a great program, Nikui Rosh, that was something like the country's version of Saturday Night Live. Its most famous skit was one in which Israeli leaders would start beating the drums of war, warning against threats from across the Lebanese or Syrian borders, whenever the Israeli economy was in crisis. This is an old trick everywhere:…

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  • Good news: Obama gives the Palestinians an insurance policy

    The president's high-profile interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it extremely hard for the administration to blame the Palestinians for the expected failure of Kerry's peace initiative.   Obama’s interview with the Bloomberg news agency on Sunday, in which he basically blamed Netanyahu and exonerated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the intractability of the occupation, is a very important event, and very good news. With Netanyahu and Abbas jockeying to avoid the blame for the likely impending failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative, the Obama interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it very hard for the administration…

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  • Why the two-state solution needn't stay that way

    The two-state solution, imperfect as a final-status agreement, could still be a crucial stepping stone toward achieving a more comprehensive formula for equality and just peace that everyone can live with. It has been a long time since I’ve heard someone make an optimistic case for the current round of peace talks. Insiders, observers and outliers on every which side of the political spectrum in both Israeli and Palestinian society have every reason to smell failure in the air. History alone makes the strongest case for why the current American-led peace process is doomed. Add the on-the-ground reality into the…

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  • What Kerry whispered to Biden about Bibi meetings is more telling than any public statement

    The diplomatic correspondent for IBA (Israeli public radio), Chico Menashe, stood next to Secretary of State John Kerry during the public part of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting at the White House on Monday. Check out his tweet: Obama in WH: "Kerry had productive meetings with BB". Kerry, standing in the back, told Biden : "Productive!?״ pic.twitter.com/w9bWCvUYH7 — chico menashe (@chicomenashe) March 3, 2014 Click here for +972 Magazine's full coverage of the diplomatic process

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  • Channel 10: Obama refused to confront Netanyahu; Kerry proposal emptied of content

    Israeli media reports that Kerry's peace framework is being watered down. The White House pushes back. In its Sunday evening news broadcast, Israel's Channel 10 reported on one reason for the diminishing ambitiousness of an American final-status framework proposal, which Washington expects to present to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the coming weeks. According to senior reported Raviv Druker, President Obama decided not to let Kerry confront Jerusalem, thus forcing his secretary of state to present a vague paper that both parties can live with, and to even allow them to submit their reservations to the American proposal. "The [Kerry]…

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  • No, Abe Foxman, America is not out to get the Jews

    The U.S. Jewish establishment is starting to say publicly that anti-Semitism is the reason Jonathan Pollard is still in prison. This is sickening slander that reflects a deep-seated psychological problem.   Abraham Foxman, long-time leader of the Anti-Defamation League, capo di tutti capi of the Israel lobby, scourge of all scourges of anti-Semitism (real or imagined), the U.S. Jewish establishment’s chief of language police, the J. Edgar Hoover of American Jewish macherdom, has flipped out completely this time. Earlier this month he said publicly that Jonathan Pollard’s continued incarceration for spying, now going on 29 years, is a “vendetta” against…

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  • After years of false promises, time to close Guantanamo

    It has been five years since President Barack Obama promised to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention center - and yet 155 prisoners remain imprisoned under harsh conditions. By Chen Liraz Five years ago yesterday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The facility has not closed, and as of today, 155 detainees are still imprisoned there. So what's the story? Established in January 2002 following the September 11th attacks, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has become a large holding facility for hundreds of people. Detainees there were captured as part of the notorious "War on…

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  • The writing on the wall: Boycott is top story in Israel's No. 1 paper

    Following Channel 2 News’ remarkable Saturday night prime-time feature on the boycott of Israel, 'Yedioth Ahronoth' delivers same warning in big, bold letters on Monday’s front page. “100 leaders of the economy warn of boycott on Israel,” reads the lead headline in Monday’s Yedioth Ahronoth. The sub-headline includes the quote, “The world is losing its patience and the threat of sanctions is increasing. We must reach an agreement with the Palestinians.” The commentary next to it by star columnist Sever Plocker is titled, “It’s the economy, Bibi.” Yedioth is almost as popular and influential an Israeli newspaper as Channel 2…

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  • The Palestinians should thank Ya'alon

    He's dealt a blow to Israel's prospects in the all-important blame game.   By making Israel look like the rejectionist side in the peace process, and by doing so in a spectacularly galling way, Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon’s verbal attack on John Kerry has helped the cause of ending the occupation. It’s no mystery that the overriding goal of both Israel and the Palestinians in Kerry’s peace talks has been to avoid getting blamed for their inevitable failure. Now, after Ya’alon dissed Kerry and his diplomatic baby so thoroughly and contemptuously – and, even more to the point, without…

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  • The world's blatant double standard - in Israel's favor

    The American Studies Association may be singling out Israel for boycott, but if you look at the serious, painful punishments the world metes out to oppressor nations, Israel is not being singled out, it’s being let off the hook. As of Friday at noon, a Google search of “human rights sanctions” turns up over 40 million results. There are human rights sanctions and other punishments against China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Yemen, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and lots of other countries. And these sanctions weren’t put in place by some minor academic group like the American Studies Association, but…

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