Adi Koll, a relatively unknown Knesset member from Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, posted this picture along with an uncharacteristically long and emotional status on Facebook, the day after she paid a visit to the home of a Palestinian friend in Ramallah. (Translated in full below) Warning! This post will be long, controversial and without color photos, even though I have plenty of photos. I made sure to take pictures throughout the day with the intention posting them to Facebook so I can show what we would all rather forget. But now it feels pointless. No picture can describe…Read More... | 43 Comments
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry estimates that the two-state solution will be "over" in a year and a half. Kerry spoke at the House Foreign Affair Committee hearing on U.S. interests abroad. While many analysts have been discussing the closing of a window of opportunity for the two-state solution for several years, setting such a short time frame by the secretary of state is unprecedented. Hannah Allam of the McClatchy Newspapers tweeted: The window for a 2-state solution is shutting, we have a year, year and a half before it's over [...] For Israel, for us, for world, not to strengthen the Palestinian Authority amounts…Read More... | 8 Comments
The resignation of the Palestinian Authority's relatively popular but unsupported Prime Minister Salam Fayyad ends a story of frustration, progress and hope. Who killed the prime minister of Palestine? Well, no one killed Salam Fayyad, of course. But the idea of a prime minister of Palestine, the political leader of a someday-democratic state-coming-into being who would lead with cosmopolitan pragmatism, international credibility, and state-building savvy, seems now officially dead. After warnings and false starts, Fayyad has turned in his resignation and it has apparently been accepted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – according to reports. The resignation was precipitated…Read More... | 14 Comments
A way out of the diplomatic dead end. By Dahlia Scheindlin and Noam Sheizaf The Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process has reached a dead end. The two-state paradigm has been deemed unrealistic so many times, that mentioning it creates cynicism and bitterness in both societies. But a generally agreed alternative to the principle of partition has not yet emerged. We therefore suggest a new framework for diplomatic engagement, one that carries with it a clear deadline. Without diminishing the many facets, layers and problems in the conflict (refugees, land, control over resources, holy sites, sovereignty and national self-determination), one issue is the most urgent…Read More... | 57 Comments
Critics often say that Palestinians should concentrate on state-building rather than fighting the occupation. But the prolonged closure of a Palestinian university is a reminder that Palestine can’t get on its feet when it’s under Israel’s boot. It’s been 10 days since I’ve seen my students at the Palestinian university in the West Bank. A week and a half ago, I was in the middle of teaching one of my afternoon classes when a number of my male students got up to leave. “Sorry, Miss Mya,” one said. “But there’s a fight outside.” It was the latest flare-up in a…Read More... | 17 Comments
Protest against prisoner conditions in Israeli jails will not prevent anger and delegitimization of PA law enforcement system for its own violations. A Palestinian prisoner being held on charges connected to a stabbing died in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho on Friday, according to a Jerusalem Post and Ma’an News Agency. The articles report that the Palestinian attorney general ordered and launched an investigation into the death and an autopsy. Palestinian officials have said that Ayman Samarah, 40, was not tortured, but suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure and was taken to a hospital on Friday after being…Read More... | 2 Comments
Threat of Palestinian Authority's collapse forces Netanyahu, who has humiliated Abbas and his people as often as possible, to try to placate them. At the beginning of this week, when Palestinian riots threatened to get out of hand, especially if one of the hunger-striking prisoners died, what did Netanyahu do? He gave in. He announced on Sunday he was giving the Palestinian Authority its customs taxes for January, which he'd held back to punish Mahmoud Abbas for winning recognition for Palestinian statehood at the UN last November. Palestinians throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, PA security troops do…Read More... | 7 Comments
With Tzipi Livni joining Netanyahu’s government and President Obama heading to the region, we might be in for another round of a pseudo-'peace process,' which has become a code name for an attempt to impose 'a deal' on a Palestinian pseudo-leadership. Hatnuah – Tzipi Livni’s new party that won six seats in the last Israeli elections – was the first Knesset party to sign a coalition agreement with Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu needs another 24 Knesset members to have the minimum majority for a ruling coalition. It is very unlikely that he will fail to get them. Livni was appointed as…Read More... | 23 Comments
This week's publication of a U.S.-funded study cleared the Palestinians of charges that their schoolbooks 'demonize' Israel. This was not, however, the first hoop they've been made to jump through, and it won't be the last. The Israeli and U.S. Jewish establishment reaction to the terrible news that the Palestinians don't demonize Jews in their textbooks reminded me of the long-forgotten uproar over the Palestinian Covenant. Same bullshit. The stout-hearted nationalist Jews in the U.S. and Israel were saying in unison, "How can we ever trust the Palestinians to make peace when their covenant talks about ''liberating all of Palestine'?"…Read More... | 10 Comments
Despite her direct responsibility for two wars which took the lives of 2,000 civilians, and her uncompromising, hawkish positions during negotiations with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni is still considered an acceptable choice for the Israeli 'peace camp.' It is time for the public to stop believing the lies. By Idan Landau On November 27, 2012, Tzipi Livni announced that she will be running for the upcoming elections as part of the newly-foundd Hatnua party, which presents itself as a diplomatic alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party seeks to promote the peace processs wth Palestinian Authority and supports two…Read More... | 26 Comments
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement turned out for an anniversary rally in the Gaza Strip. It is the first such celebration that Hamas officials in Gaza have allowed since the two factions split nearly six years ago. It was a sea of yellow in the streets of Gaza City, as thousands upon thousands of Palestinian supporters of Fatah came out to mark the organization's 48th anniversary. And, for the first time in more than half a decade, were allowed to display that support publicly. Fatah's yellow flags are a rarity in Gaza nowadays.…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which regulates the movement of goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, flaunts having allowed limited export of goods from Gaza to Europe. While there is certainly value in the move, Gaza's economy would be far better served were the ban on similar exports to the West Bank lifted. By Gisha So what exactly are “dolavim?” A type of crate. (In its translation from Hebrew to English, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, inexplicably referred to the containers or crates as “plane trees.” Huh?) Has Gaza started exporting crates?…Read More... | 1 Comment
While commentators say the vote is merely symbolic, at least for Palestinians and the international community, the vote could be a game-changing kind of symbol. One week ago, the request to the UN General Assembly to grant Palestine status as a non-member observer state looked like a poor stepchild of the highly anticipated first “UN route” just over one year ago. The buildup to September 2011 was long; yet until about a week ago, it wasn’t even clear whether the current vote would really happen. The 2011 application for UN membership turned into an anticlimax. This year, the dark-horse diplomacy…Read More... | 11 Comments
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