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…Read More... | 49 Comments
Well-intentioned American Jewish liberals backing this latest U.S.-led peace process appear to be riding for a fall. What is J Street going to say if, after urging American Jews to support the Kerry peace mission, that mission wins the support of the right-wing Netanyahu government – but not that of the Palestinians, who view it as the terms of their surrender? And what will J Street say if Western liberal opinion, and even much of Israeli liberal opinion, decides that the Palestinians are right? This is a question that J Street and all American Jewish liberals supporting U.S. Secretary of…Read More... | 11 Comments
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
According to reports, the secretary of state has accepted Netanyahu’s demand that Israel be recognized as a 'Jewish state.' I added an important update to this post, see below. Haaretz's Barak Ravid reported Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is demanding that Arab leaders pressure the Palestinians to recognize Israel as "a Jewish State,” or at least not protest if he can get Abbas to agree to such terms. This is yet another confirmation that the Obama administration has accepted the new demand posed by Netanyahu, and that it is intended to be a part of its proposal for a…Read More... | 32 Comments
It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint anything resembling a starting point for the latest violence; prior to last week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians since July, compared to four Israelis who were killed. The violence is neither unilateral nor arbitrary. The latest escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has taken lives on both sides over the last week. The Israeli media is now describing the violence as a new “wave of Palestinian terror.” Commentators have said that it’s not clear yet whether this is a third Intifada, indicating an organized uprising, since the attacks appear to have been perpetrated by individuals.…Read More... | 13 Comments
Once again, the Obama administration hangs Abbas and the Palestinian Authority out to dry. Halfway through the scheduled nine-month Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, there's been a break in the action, or rather the inaction: the Obama administration, once again, has sought to end the deadlock by backing Netanyahu's illegitimate demands and hanging the Palestinians out to dry. Last Friday the Americans presented a "security plan" ("security" in the American lexicon means security for Israelis, not Palestinians) that calls for Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley - in the West Bank, in a future Palestine, on the Palestinian side of their…Read More... | 12 Comments
In the last week, things have changed between the U.S. and Israel. Kerry may have the guts to continue refusing to lie for Israel's occupation – which is all that’s needed to shake its foundations. This is no tiff. If it hadn’t happened on the same day, last Thursday, that the breakthrough came in the Geneva talks on Iran’s nuclear program, John Kerry’s joint interview on Israeli and Palestinian TV – and the chain reaction it would have set off – would still be dominating the news from the Middle East. Instead, it was a one-day story, overtaken by the chain…Read More... | 30 Comments
A settler in the Jordan Valley was killed in his yard Thursday night. This is the third such incident in the West Bank in less than a month. A retired Israeli colonel was killed in his home last night (Thursday) in the Brosh Habika settlement in the Jordan Valley. The incident brings the number of Israeli casualties in the West Bank to three in less than a month. According to his wife, Seraiah Ofer was attacked with iron rods and axes in his front yard. She escaped through a hole in the back fence, while her husband was beaten to…Read More... | 34 Comments
Jewish leaders remain unmoved by this year's performance. From the events of the previous week: Prominent Israeli coalition members – including heads of different Knesset committees – published an ad in Haaretz, calling on Netanyahu to oppose any sort of territorial compromise. Netanyahu’s collation chairman, Likud’s Yariv Levin, told Al-Monitor that his boss will cease to be a prime minister should he sign an agreement with the Palestinians. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called for canceling the Oslo Accords (a good idea, although Danon supports doing so for the wrong reasons), and to make the current status quo – Palestinian autonomy under…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners early Wednesday morning - 15 to Gaza and 11 to the West Bank - as part of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, hours before the first official meeting between the two sides. The Palestinian prisoners released to the West Bank arrived at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where their families waited for hours to receive their released relatives.Read More... | 2 Comments
The Left is mobilizing around the process while ignoring troubling signs: the dangerous dynamic of the Oslo/Camp David period is already here. On Wednesday night, as members of the Israeli Knesset were getting ready to vote on a package of amendments that could push the Palestinian parties out of the Israeli parliament, political activists were conducting last-ditch efforts to persuade coalition members who previously opposed the bill to actually vote against it. Only one did, former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, who called the new legislation what it is: not an attempt to improve government procedures, but part of a dangerous…Read More... | 13 Comments
Second thoughts on the 'peace process' resuming tonight. Maybe I’m trying to make something good out of a bad situation – I’ve written (here and here) that the Palestinians were getting screwed in these peace talks – but now I’m thinking that Abbas may have done the right thing by agreeing to negotiate with Netanyahu, even without Netanyahu’s agreement that the baseline be the ’67 borders. Oudeh Basharat wrote a very wise column in Haaretz today, arguing that point: Abbas is conducting his policies with one eye on the national interest and the other on the needs of his population.…Read More... | 24 Comments
The world may continue to circle its favorite conflict with hypotheticals and speculation, but to Palestinians the objective remains the same: to continue to build pressure against the occupation. By Talal Alyan It’s hard to determine what is less interesting: headlines about the potential resumption of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis or the ensuing debates about what a solution should look like. The cynicism on both sides goes without saying. But it doesn’t seem to inhibit the eruption of discourse on the subject. The whole spectacle is tiresome for a number of reasons, the most salient being that the…Read More... | 35 Comments
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
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.
- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
In honor of #WomensDay2014, one Gazan has a message for the women of the world: http://t.co/3u4JNgvAg4
Film review: The unending Nakba - three generations of stateless Palestinians search for home http://t.co/lTh64UG5f3
PHOTOS: Inside Israel's 'Holot' detention center for asylum seekers, by @activestills http://t.co/TXuKTYqVfK http://t.co/kcnnE6G1UE
Is the Israeli media pitting the longtime residents of south Tel Aviv against African asylum seekers? http://t.co/udCHxoLG5r
'I am a proud Palestinian woman who can teach the rest of the world’s women how to live despite all the destruction' http://t.co/3u4JNgvAg4