Ari Shavit, one of Haaret'z most renowned columnists, has been warning Israelis of the coming apocalypse from time immemorial. But whether he is talking about the Iranian nuclear program or a future Palestinian state, not one of Shavit's nightmare scenario's come true. Perhaps it is time we stop taking him seriously. By False Prophet Blog (translated by Jordan Michaeli) Should Ari Shavit be taken seriously? We are, after all, talking about a senior commentator from Haaretz here. When a significant event takes place, the newspaper's editors almost always decide to publish his commentary. Apparently, serious people see Shavit as an…Read More... | 9 Comments
Noted right-wingers call to demolish the separation wall. True, they are driven by a desire for annexation, but the Left finds itself in an unseemly position - defending one of the great injustices of the occupation in the name of the distant prospect of two states. Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens yesterday told Ma'ariv he thinks the separation wall - which snakes its way around the West Bank and has been responsible for cutting tens of thousands of people from their livelihoods and from each other - should be torn down. "The wall is no longer of any use and it's only…Read More... | 45 Comments
The prime minister's Likud-Beitenu party has yet to present a platform for the upcoming elections, and if one is to be published, it most likely won't include any reference to a future Palestinian state. Education Minister Sa'ar: 'it is time to sober up from the idea.' Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not intend to ever carry out the evacuation of West Bank settlements, and that the Bar Ilan speech, in which he accepted in principle the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state, was meant to please the world and corner the Palestinian…Read More... | 9 Comments
After a diplomatic disaster following the 2011 Security Council vote on Libya, and with popular opinion in Germany against him, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle realized he could not isolate Germany again. By Anselm Kiersch "... and, what a surprise, Germany!" So said Moussa Ibrahim, Muammar Gaddafis spokesman, when he listed the countries that had abstained from the vote for Resolution 1973, which legitimized the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. Even South Africa voted for the resolution, though it bitterly regretted doing so when it saw how the operation was unfolding. In abstaining, however, Germany broke out of the Western alliance and appeared…Read More... | 6 Comments
The decision to promote construction plans for the E1 area and build 3,000 housing units in the West Bank has European diplomats making a last-ditch effort to save the two-state solution. Israeli ambassadors in several European capitals have been summoned to receive angry responses to Jerusalem's recent decision to construct 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank settlements and promote the zoning plan for E1 area, northeast of Jerusalem. E1 is the only remaining corridor between the large Palestinian cities in the West Bank. It is the final brick in the great project Likud and Kadima prime ministers have…Read More... | 26 Comments
The Palestinian leadership's silence regarding the plight of national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak and other Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike derives from the fear that the more empowered Palestinians become in their opposition to Israeli occupation, the more likely they are to overthrow the Palestinian Authority. By Mosab Qashoo Anyone following the Palestinian struggle will have heard about Mahmoud Sarsak, the imprisoned Palestinian footballer who this week ended a hunger strike of over three months. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have been publicizing their upcoming meeting with the head of the Israeli Kadima party, Shaul…Read More... | 9 Comments
Palestinian politician on his version of events from Land Day, the ineffectiveness of the United States and why Israelis themselves will not be free until the Palestinians are free. By Elsa Rassbach On March 20th, I interviewed Dr. Mustafa Barghouti about the plans for a new international initiative for Land Day, March 30th: a Global March to Jerusalem, to bring together in one nonviolent action all of the Palestinian political parties and civil society organizations in historic Palestine as well as in the diaspora, with supporting actions around the world. Then on March 27, Mustafa's distant cousin, Fatah leader Marwan…Read More... | 60 Comments
The demonstration today in Jerusalem in support of Palestinian independence was attended by anywhere from 2000 to 4500 people (according to a Facebook post), who marched from the Old City's Jaffa Gate to Sheikh Jarrah. I was there and organizers announced 3,000 attendees at the end, but Channel 2's evening news reported "over 1000." I suppose they're playing it safe, but after tramping through burning sun on a winding walk through Jerusalem's famous Friday crush, with people singing, drumming, cheering, dancing and laughing, that conservative estimate has a cynical ring. Here are a few photos. The goal of this demonstration…Read More... | 33 Comments
In an expected but nonetheless unbelievable move, the US Senate passed resolution 185 late Tuesday, which states that if the Palestinian Authority goes ahead with its plan to seek unilateral recognition as a state, the US would suspend its financial aid. The resolution, backed by 87 senators, reasons that US policy is committed to a two-state solution through negotiations and thus any unilateral action by the Palestinians is counterproductive. As the resolution states: Reaffirming the commitment of the United States to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, reaffirming opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity government…Read More... | 13 Comments
By Hagai El-Ad The two-state solution? Instead of an end to the occupation, September might bring us not just more of the same, but worse: an occupied pseudo-State of Palestine, alongside a deteriorating pseudo-democracy in Israel The expected UN General Assembly decision on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state was perhaps supposed to usher in a new spirit of optimism among advocates of human rights and democracy. Self-determination for Palestinians and an end to the Occupation ought not only to have heralded a dramatic improvement in the human rights situation in the territories; it could also shift resources previously…Read More... | 17 Comments
Netanyahu’s speech is not about peace; it is about enlisting Israelis for another Palestinian war A few days back I participated in a Rubinger Forum event, which hosted UN special envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, who spoke about what might actually happen when September comes around. Serry, a professional diplomat, is someone it is a pleasure listening to, even when he’s glum; and he was rather glum. He gave a brief description of the situation on the ground, noting that only after the Annapolis meeting did Israel officially start talking about a two-state solution (contrary to common myth, the…Read More... | 22 Comments
I published this article last year at the Jerusalem post; I thought today is an appropriate occasion to repost it. It might be hard to believe that a Palestinian would wish an Israeli Jew a happy Independence Day, but I am only following in the footsteps of another Palestinian I know, Ibrahim from Hebron. Three years ago, I was cohosting a bilingual (Arabic and Hebrew) radio show at Radio All for Peace in Jerusalem with my Israeli cohost, Sharon Misheiker. Our weekly show happened to air on Israeli Independence Day, and on that day we invited Ibrahim, a peace activist,…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Arab revolutions have been a key reason for the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. This was apparent in the change of tone by both sides following the uprising in Egypt. President Abbas and Prime Minster Fayyad surprised everyone with the their proposals for unity. Abbas offered to visit Gaza to reconcile with Hamas and Fayyad went even further suggesting a joint government without Hamas having to relinquish its control over Gaza. These two offers were considered red lines for Fatah just few months ago. Hamas has also been following the changes in the Middle East with growing interest and…Read More... | 17 Comments
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