A nearly averted shootout outside Abbas's house in Ramallah has led to renewed talks about restoring Palestinian autonomy in parts of the West Bank. But outside the framework of a peace process, such steps only help the occupation endure. Israeli and Palestinian security forces came dangerously close to a direct, armed confrontation in late December 2015. An Israeli army unit was on a routine nighttime incursion into Ramallah, deep into Palestinian-controlled territory, when it found itself face to face with armed members of the American-trained Palestinian Presidential Guard. Either the Israeli military’s mapping software didn’t include the security cordon around…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Americans are disengaging from the conflict, the EU won't go beyond half-measures, and the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of implosion. So what happens next? In meetings between top-ranking Israeli and American officials over the past few weeks, the United States reportedly demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu outline steps he is willing to take to ensure the window for a two-state solution doesn’t slam shut. Netanyahu’s answer has more or less been: nothing. Asked to make goodwill or humanitarian gestures to the Palestinians to keep a two-state vision alive, Netanyahu reportedly conditioned any step on the United States endorsing…Read More...
By accepting that the two-state solution will just have to wait until Israel is ready to accept it, the White House has effectively conceded to Netanyahu's strategy: declare support for two states — in theory — while continuing to deny Palestinians their most basic rights and liberties. Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy for defeating the prospect of Palestinian statehood has always been to stall. Sure, he introduced a few tactical roadblocks along the way like “security zones” and demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but the wider strategy has always been to feign engagement until momentum swings back in his favor.…Read More... | 12 Comments
The debate over whether we are living in a single state is irrelevant – the answer is a resounding yes. The real problem is that freedom and equality are only extended to some of its subjects. “You’ve just crossed the Green Line.” I say it every time I take a friend or a group from abroad to visit Jerusalem, as we turned left from Jaffa Street down toward Damascus Gate in the Old City. Many of them do a double take, looking around for a sign or marker indicating the line’s existence – but there are none. The roads intersect, the…Read More... | 13 Comments
Both Israelis and Palestinians need to start thinking far beyond what their leaders are offering them. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will never make peace. They will never succeed at stopping the violence, and they will never see eye to eye on anything other than the incompatibility of their respective visions. Don’t get me wrong: both men want peace. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, despite everything you’ve heard, is not a bloodthirsty warmonger who dreams of keeping an entire population under military rule in perpetuity. No. He is a master politician whose worldview dictates that the Jewish people will never be safe…Read More...
The relative quiet on the ground in recent years, enforced by the Palestinian Authority on Israel’s behalf, led Israelis to believe they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation. Thirteen years passed between the First Intifada, which broke out in December 1987, and the start of the second in October 2000. Both intifadas lasted for roughly five years. It has been 15 years since the start of the Second Intifada, and 10 years since it ended. [tmwinpost] If history and experience teach us anything, the timeframe is exactly right for the arrival of a new generation of young…Read More... | 75 Comments
The Oslo Accords have been manipulated for the unspoken goal of Jewish annexation of West Bank land. So long as both governments adhere to this failed system, they will be unable to pursue a real peace agreement. By Nathan Hersh The Oslo Accords are the banner accomplishment of the Israeli peace movement. But their impact on the West Bank is no longer to orchestrate a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces, which they intended to do. Instead, the leadership in Israel has become increasingly populated by settlers and their sympathizers, and it has used the Oslo Accords for its own ideological pursuits.…Read More... | 3 Comments
He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series. By Menachem Klein Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004. For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders…Read More... | 13 Comments
In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…Read More... | 12 Comments
For 20 years the Israeli prime minister has been demanding the U.S. and the world put a stop to Iran's nuclear ambitions, and that's exactly what Obama delivered. And no, there won't be any consequences for the public fight with the American president. It has become somewhat of a trope in recent months to warn of the damage Benjamin Netanyahu has done by so openly and directly working to oppose the Iran deal, the flagship foreign policy achievement Barak Obama’s legacy. Most of those warnings, however, can be attributed to either wishful thinking or veiled politicking surrounding the deal itself.…Read More... | 3 Comments
Both Israel and Hamas are preparing for the next round of fighting. So how does one prevent the inevitable? Hamas is preparing for the next round of fighting. That has been the messaging the Israeli security establishment has dispatched throughout the media in recent days, part of widespread coverage marking one year since the start of last summer’s war in Gaza. [tmwinpost] “Since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas is rebuilding its terror infrastructure and its capabilities, which were severely damaged during the operation,” Deputy Gaza Division Commander Col. Nochi Mandel told Israel Radio on Tuesday. “The organization is…Read More... | 21 Comments
Nobody ever thought the window for a two-state solution would ever truly close — or be closed. Benjamin Netanyahu just declared it so in a last-ditched attempt to rally his base ahead of elections. Forget whatever temporary crisis Benjamin Netanyahu created with the United States in his campaign speech on the Hill. If Netanyahu is re-elected on Tuesday, Israel is going to have a much more serious problem with Europe. In an interview with Israeli news site NRG one day before elections, the prime minister made clear what he has only hinted at and skirted around for years. [tmwinpost] The…Read More... | 7 Comments
Six days before Israelis head to the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his challengers, Herzog-Livni, are closer than ever. According to a new survey, most Israelis support a continued peace process, but don't think it will succeed — regardless of who is at the helm. The past two-and-a-half months of campaigning leading up to next week's elections have been cast as a choice between “us and them,” between the stability of an incumbent and the change offered by his challenger. While the latest polls show Israelis almost evenly split — both among so-called Left and Right blocs, but also among…Read More... | 2 Comments
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