There is great desire and momentum for change in Israel and Palestine, yet a dire lack of leadership to harness it. If given the international support he needs, could Mahmoud Abbas be the one to guide that change? By Abraham Gutman Last week, on my way to listen to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speak at Cooper Union, I was talking to my sister on the phone. I told her that I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel going into the speech. As an Israeli, I tend to automatically get defensive when it comes to issues of Israel and…Read More... | 6 Comments
And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…Read More... | 52 Comments
Who came out of the Gaza war the victors, and who were the losers – or, rather, who lost more and who lost less? By Talal Jabari Another ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza – this time costing more in terms of life and property than the last time. It will probably cost less than the next time; 2016 if the trend stays constant. At the end of any battle, it makes sense to step back and look at the bigger picture. You want to assess who won and who lost – or at least who lost more and who…Read More... | 27 Comments
In a diplomatic surprise, the Palestinians have threatened to turn to the International Criminal Court if no date is set for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders – a move that +972 writers predicted more than a year ago. The PLO will demand that the UN Security Council announce a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, to the 1967 ceasefire lines, reported Haaretz today. Ma’an News Agency writes that Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah figure and veteran negotiator, has said the bid will be submitted on September 15, 2014. If it is not accepted, he told Ma’an…Read More... | 46 Comments
The status quo of the occupation has reached a new level of violence and destruction, but there is no political power in sight that can impose a change on the ground. 1. Israel paid more than it expected for a bit less than it wanted. Israel’s strategic goal in this war was to maintain the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined this notion from the first days of the war, when he presented his ceasefire formula: if Hamas stops shooting, we stop shooting. Israel got most of what it wanted, but at a greater price than expected,…Read More... | 47 Comments
Five members of the Joudah family were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Sunday. Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel's most widely-read papers, dedicated not a single word to the incident. Monday's issue of Yedioth Ahronoth, the "newspaper of the country," includes not a single mention of the fact that the IDF killed a mother, her four children and another two-year old girl on Sunday. Nothing. Doesn't exist. Didn't happen. This morning, Yedioth readers were greeted with plenty of information about what happened in southern Israel. The front page discusses the tragic death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, as well…Read More... | 21 Comments
But equating the two is Netanyahu’s latest way of hypnotizing people into supporting the Gaza war. He gets away with it because people are afraid that if they challenge this idiotic slogan, they’ll be accused of ‘defending Hamas.’ Anybody who isn’t a shill for Israel can see through Netanyahu’s new slogan, “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas.” It’s such a crude attempt to brainwash people, to put the most horrifying image in their minds and associate it with Gaza, thereby cleansing Israel of those images of Gaza’s agony. Like he’s been doing his whole career, Netanyahu is insulting people’s intelligence,…Read More... | 42 Comments
As evidence of Israeli war crimes mounts in Gaza, Netanyahu's latest escalation will only add to his country's increasing international pariah status. Just over 24 hours after reports emerged that Israel and the Palestinians – with American urging – had reached a deal to gradually end the Gaza blockade, Israel began targeting the very people with whom it had been indirectly negotiating. Following a reported assassination attempt on Hamas military wing leader Mohammed Deif, which instead killed his wife and young child, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she would "always support the targeted killings of terror leaders," adding unequivocally: "I do…Read More... | 20 Comments
More than seven years of Israeli siege, a punishment for voting Hamas into power, have led Palestinians to rally around the party. After all, every time they look to Mahmoud Abbas for salvation, they are sorely disappointed. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY - With Operation Protective Edge becoming longer and more violent, questions over the attitude of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza toward Hamas are coming to the fore. Although both the international and Israeli media are concerned about Gazans, they are noticeably more critical of Hamas than they are of Israel. That concern is understood, but needs to…Read More... | 11 Comments
Armed men roam the streets, enlisting people to the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, Fatah officials call for the end to security coordination with Israel and Mahmoud Abbas is seen as the enemy of the people. Is the explosion closer than we think? By Gershon Baskin I have just returned from a work visit to Ramallah. I am very concerned and disturbed by what I heard from friends and colleagues there. The calm appearance of the city hides the sizzling bubbling under the surface. The West Bank is on the verge of explosion. As an illustration of what I've heard from people…Read More... | 15 Comments
Without Hamas, there will be no interim agreement and no long-term solution. The notion of the 'moderates' reaching an agreement between themselves while the 'fundamentalists' are ignored or even dealt with forcefully is a dangerous illusion. For the past week Israel has been negotiating with Hamas in Cairo. While the Palestinian delegation to the talks includes a representative of Mahmoud Abbas, and while the Egyptians are the ones carrying the messages back and forth between the two parties, everyone knows exactly what this is all about. These are no longer talks about prisoner exchanges, but rather a first attempt to touch…Read More... | 27 Comments
The great mystery is: Why? In the Cairo ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is snatching diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military victory. I have no explanation for why he’s doing this and I have yet to hear a convincing one. There must be something Netanyahu knows that no one else does. Otherwise his concessions at the Cairo talks, after blitzing the Gaza Strip for five weeks, leaving Hamas able to do no more than fire short-range rockets over the Israeli border, and being hailed in Israel as a warrior king, make no sense at all. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On gave an…Read More... | 19 Comments
Those who spot an existential threat at every turn, turn their backs on diplomacy and mock peace efforts are now astonished to find that the enemy has sought out their own weapons of attack. The tunnels are a self-fulfilling prophecy; the time has come to look for another way. By Nir Baram It is heartrending and frustrating to see us, citizens of a country full of accomplishment and potential, repeatedly stupefied by a cynical propaganda machine whose real intent is simply inaction. What is meant by “inaction”? To avoid putting forth any solution, to not present any creative initiative or…Read More... | 20 Comments
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Israel's Left forgot what dissent really means http://t.co/LO6EFgrse7 by @dahliasc http://t.co/WuDwuTTGKX
Silencing dissent in Israel - continued http://t.co/6kZZ4tiLE9 by @MairavZ http://t.co/ZBZn4E7JUp
RT @MairavZ: Silencing dissent in Israel - continued. My latest, in @972mag http://t.co/cYB1SxMW7I
RT @APDiploWriter: E Jerusalem plans "contrary to #Israel’s stated goal of negotiating permanent status agreement w/#Palestinians," @stated…
In Silwan, the settlers are winning - big time http://t.co/GLcIjGXtM3