A new position paper, which echoes previous statements by EU negotiators and leaders, urges the EU to adopt a more confrontational approach toward Jerusalem. A top European think tank is urging the European Union to take concrete measures to keep open a window for the two-state solution. The report, published two weeks ago, urges European countries to exempt settlements goods from Israeli-European trade agreements, to refrain from contacts with the West Bank’s new university in Ariel and even impose visa requirements on settlers. The report (PDF), published by the Middle East-North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations and written…Read More... | 9 Comments
An unprecedented letter by former European leaders and peace process veterans recognizes Western support for the occupation and calls for immediate steps that will bring an end to it. 13 European states support labeling products from Israeli settlements. A group of senior former European officials, including former prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats, is urging the European Union to abandon the Oslo process and come up with new urgent measures that will put an end to the occupation, Ali Gharib reports for Open Zion. In a letter addressed to the Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy…Read More... | 110 Comments
Written in between the lines of the EU heads of mission report on Israeli settlements is a sense of frustration with the EU's inaction against Israel. The EU makes regular statements against Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, but takes no action despite the existing tools it has at its disposal. At face value, the European Union heads of mission report on the Israeli settlement enterprise is a scathing indictment and call to action against Israel’s illegal settlement activities. In between the lines, however, the report reflects a frustration by European diplomats and bureaucrats at their own governments’ inaction. They are not…Read More... | 12 Comments
European diplomatic heads of mission in Jerusalem submit report to Brussels calling on the EU and its member states to take economic measures to stop Israel's settlement enterprise, and to prevent European companies from supporting the settlements. European diplomats in the Palestinian Authority called on Brussels and their respective European states to take concrete measures to stop Israel’s “systematic, deliberate and provocative” settlement enterprise, including preventing economic and financial support for settlements – actions that could described as sanctions. The report, obtained by +972, describes Israeli settlements as “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution,” and recommends specific measures…Read More... | 91 Comments
Prepared by the European Union heads of mission to the Palestinian Authority, the report is a strongly-worded and very critical of Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The draft, obtained by +972 Magazine and published here in full, is to be presented to the EU's Political Security Committee (PSC/COPPS). Among its recommendations are preventing financial transactions that support settlements and informing EU companies of the legal and financial risks of doing business with and in Israeli settlements. The report was prepared in January 2013 and covers 2012. Read a news report based on the document here and…Read More...
Madrid, Spain - Thousands of demonstrators took the streets of nearly a dozen Spanish cities on Wednesday, protesting against government plans to cut spending in ways they say unfairly target the poor and working classes. WATCH Roee Ruttenberg reporting from Madrid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTNsDQ3ATGk&feature=youtu.beRead More...
Voters in Ukraine are casting their ballots on Sunday in the country's parliamentary elections. As of Sunday morning, there were already complaints of bribery near some polling stations. KIEV, UKRAINE - The ruling "Party of Regions" is likely to keep its majority, thanks to a revised election system that will allow single-mandate district winners to caucus with the party-in-power. The means that even though opposition groups, including the United Opposition (lead by the jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshchenko) and UDAR (led for the world boxing champion Vitali Klitshchko) will likely do better in the proportional representation part of the race,…Read More... | 1 Comment
The international community is highly unlikely to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Both the U.S. and Europe are expanding cooperation and aid, and refuse to use bilateral ties as leverage to change Israeli policy. A solution must come from Israelis or Palestinians or both; the outside world has an auxiliary role, at best One of the growing signs of pessimism regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the belief of many activists that only external pressure on Israel can lead to a just solution. This is the premise of a wide spectrum of efforts, from those calling for mild pressure and…Read More... | 7 Comments
BDS is a legitimate and peaceful course of action, and it certainly does not harm efforts to end the occupation. But does it help? If there is any consensus regarding the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign to end the occupation of Palestine, it is that BDS is important. It is not surprising to hear this from supporters of the campaign, but if anything, its opponents are even more fervent in this belief. In order to stop BDS, they are willing to further erode the limited protections for freedom of speech, and contribute to the very isolation of Israel they…Read More... | 12 Comments
The fierce backlash against attacks on Israeli human rights NGOs has pushed to the front an old argument against foreign funding for these groups. Various right wing columnists and politicians have been parroting it, but now you hear it from Netanyahu's office as well: As for questioning the legitimacy of foreign government funding of Israeli NGOs, mentioning America's Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) may have presented a more balanced picture… It is hard to imagine any democratic country accepting foreign governments intervening in its domestic affairs by funding domestic groups engaged not merely in criticism of a particular government's policy but…Read More... | 1 Comment
When I was growing up, my father served as one of Yitzhak Rabin's chief advisers. This being the case, I learned to think of the two-state-solution to the question of this country as unquestionable. In the early 1980's the discourse common around the house involved "returning the territories" to Jordan and Egypt, of which Israel conquered them in 1967. With time, however, my parents' consciousness of Palestinian realities grew, as well as their understanding that Jordan and Egypt didn't necessarily want the territories back. The idea of giving the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians themselves was accepted and…Read More... | 16 Comments
EU foreign ministers issue a statement regarded by most in the media as weak and good for Israel. I beg to differ The EU yesterday stopped short of recognising a Palestinian state, saying it would do so at “the appropriate time”. At a meeting in Brussels, the ministers reiterated that negotiations are still the way to go. Israeli officials in Jerusalem must have been extremely happy with this, despite the little slap on the wrist the statement gave concerning the “illegal settlements”. More importantly, the statement didn’t call for sanctions on Israel, even though former EU officials, such as former…Read More... | 1 Comment
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'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
Israel officially drank the Kool Aid on the al-Dura affair http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4
On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1