From accepting a state on 22 percent of Mandate Palestine to Israel's facts-on-the-ground in the West bank and the loss of rights for refugees, Palestinians have already made significant, historic compromises. By Willem Aldershoff and Jaap Hamburger Despite the U.S.’s optimism, recent comments and statements coming from Israel and Palestine indicate that the U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are not progressing well. This is not only due to the relative complexity of the subject matter at hand, but first and foremost, due to the fact that the Palestinians and Israel differ greatly in power and position: one being the occupied, the other…Read More... | 107 Comments
Trying to satisfy Netanyahu’s political needs might result in the Americans 'missing the moment of opportunity,' says a former Israeli official. The diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is at a crossroads as the American team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, is said to be preparing an outline for a final-status agreement. President Obama will meet Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas in the coming weeks and later in the month, the American proposal will probably be made public. However, there is no official publication date and it is not clear what would such a…Read More... | 39 Comments
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]…Read More... | 15 Comments
Once again, Prime Minister Netanyahu is allowed to avoid Israel's moment of truth. When the new round of direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a solid framework for the process: nine months of dialogue, by the end of which the parties will need to sign a final status agreement -- or at least a framework for one. Since the Israeli government refused to accept the terms of reference agreed upon in previous rounds of negotiations, the time limit was necessary in order to prevent "talks for the sake of talks," i.e.,…Read More... | 9 Comments
Finally recognizing the pressure over the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu seems to be negotiating for 'an agreement with the world.' What does Bibi want? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that question. With so many attempts to decipher him – in interviews with his proxies, accounts by former employees and analyses by pundits - speculation over the Israeli prime minister’s true intentions should have been recognized as an Olympic sport by now. TIME magazine had no problem twice posing the exact same question -- will Netanyahu make peace – on its cover, 16 years apart. The answer is hidden…Read More... | 10 Comments
With his attacks on Kerry, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is positioning himself as the new leader of the Israeli right. I basically agree with those claiming that there is no daylight between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on the issues, only on style and timing. Netanyahu has surrounded himself with opponents of the two-state solution: his political circles are full of settlers, national-religious and other hawks -- and not only in the cabinet, but in his own bureau. As veteran political correspondent Shalom Yerushalmi noted in Maariv on Wednesday, for weeks these people have been running around saying…Read More... | 11 Comments
This post has been updated to add John Kerry's statements. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming that the Palestinian leadership agreed to new settlement construction in exchange for release of Palestinian prisoners during the current bilateral peace negotiations. There have been reports of such an understanding in the Israeli media, but no official confirmation so far. In an interview to the Israeli news channel i24, Netanyahu said: "If they can't even stand up to, or stand behind the agreements that we had that we would release prisoners while we continue building, then how can I assume that they'll actually…Read More... | 1 Comment
A new best-selling novel by Nir Baram takes aim at the Israeli 'peace industry,' globalization and the sense of betrayal a generation of left wing and progressive operatives is leaving behind. I've wanted to write about Nir Baram’s new novel, World Shadow (The book is alternatively titled, "The World is a Rumor" in English), for several weeks. It’s a story of power, the battle for and against it, and the inevitable corruption of all causes in the late-capitalist world. The theme is common to many works of fiction these days, but the context is unique, and especially the novel’s criticism of…Read More... | 25 Comments
Palestinians fear Israelis more than Israelis fear Palestinians, opinion survey finds. Both societies reject the one-state solution, but Israelis also oppose the Arab Peace Initiative. A poll released Tuesday reveals pessimism and mistrust among Israelis and Palestinians. Members of both societies seriously doubt the chances of meaningful negotiations taking place. According to a survey of both societies, conducted by the Harry Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a clear majority in Palestinian society – 57 percent – believe that Israel’s long-term desire is to expand its borders from the Mediterranean…Read More... | 9 Comments
It doesn't seem like the president's visit to Israel is generating much excitement, but even if it did – political changes are unlikely to follow. It’s anyone’s guess why President Obama arrived on an official visit to Israel with no important event attached to it, no major meetings and no issues that require his presence. Obama, Netanyahu and President Abbas could have met anywhere in the world, and since no negotiations are taking place, there is not much for the three leaders to discuss. The same probably goes for the coordination on the Iranian and Syrian issues – those take place on…Read More... | 4 Comments
The U.S. president’s decision to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in the spring is an unexpected political gift to the Israeli prime minister. Yet without confronting Netanyahu on the issues of the settlements and the '67 borders, we could end up with another diplomatic failure and even a renewal of violence in the region. The White House’s confirmation regarding the planned visit by President Barack Obama to Israel and the Palestinian Authority came just at the right time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been facing some difficulties in putting together his next coalition. As was the case…Read More... | 40 Comments
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On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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Palestinians go three days without water in united Jerusalem, by @MairavZ: http://t.co/wVo0X1GhXx
On Int'l Women's Day, meet the Israeli women who have stood up to the occupation for 26 years: http://t.co/6gqhfVUalz http://t.co/BYOMVadhIb
PHOTO: Hebron's settlers declare, 'Palestine never existed,' by @activestills http://t.co/yCAqGMphn1 http://t.co/XQRiY97VoF
Israeli govts have argued for years that settlements are not an obstacle to peace. The data tells a different story: http://t.co/PSfkgirYJr
Israeli prime ministers say 'settlements aren't obstacle to peace' while tightening grip on occupied territory: http://t.co/PSfkgirYJr
Figures show: Peace talks and settlement construction go hand in hand, by @nsheizaf http://t.co/PSfkgirYJr
Why have 50,000 Jerusalem Palestinians gone without water since Tuesday? http://t.co/wVo0X1GhXx