The façade of a peace process is an obstacle to achieving a just peace, for which there can be no alternative. Hillary Clinton believes that the façade of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process is preferable to no peace process at all, we learned this week from the presidential candidate’s private emails, hacked by Russia and published by WikiLeaks. It’s hard to imagine a more troubling statement about Israel/Palestine from a politician who will in all likelihood be the next president of the United States, even if it represents only part of her thinking on the region. [tmwinpost] Let’s examine the logic…Read More... | 8 Comments
Netanyahu knows there will be no price to be paid for bad behavior. But Obama still has a chance to take a harder line, to create consequences for the Israeli leadership’s self-destructive behavior. By James J. Zogby I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama administration's reaction to Israel's announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands last week. It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10-year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama…Read More... | 3 Comments
One day Mahmoud Abbas, who suppresses his own people to protect Israelis, will also pass away. That's when the Palestinian pressure cooker will explode. Arabs and Jews in Israel, Palestine, and the Arab world at large, I promise you that next time Shimon Peres dies, Joint List head Ayman Odeh and the rest of the Joint List will attend the funeral. Okay? Next. But until then, let's shed some light on the man who actually attended the funeral, the man who will, sometime soon, pass away himself. Let's talk about Mahmoud Abbas, who came to pay his final respects, grieved with…Read More... | 3 Comments
The distrust with which Palestinians treat the Israeli peace camp frequently appears as something of a surprise, and even affront, to international observers. But the difference between Israeli left and right is all too frequently one of degree, rather than kind. By Nadia Naser-Najjab Even those with only a passing familiarity with Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will undoubtedly have some awareness of Shimon Peres. Peres was an elder of Israeli politics, whose own history has been inextricably interwoven with that of Israel. Older readers will (perhaps wistfully, perhaps not) recall something of Peres’s style of politics, which was almost the…Read More... | 3 Comments
With no peace process on the horizon, the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv this week is a reminder that we don't have the luxury of giving up on a future in which Palestinians and Israelis alike can feel secure in their own homes, streets and cafes. Almost six years ago, Hillary Clinton was getting ready to oversee the first face-to-face between Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in the Obama administration’s initial foray into Middle East peacemaking. Secretary of State Clinton’s road to just getting the two sides to sit down together had been long and hard, including extracting a nine-month…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Prime Minister's Office spared no time in declaring the multilateral conference on advancing Mideast peace a failure. He may have missed a few things. By Shemuel Meir It is difficult to ignore the unbridled joy that took over the Prime Minister's Office as its spokespeople went out of their way to declare the Paris peace summit, which took place this past weekend, a failure. Their proof? A "shallow" final statement that included neither a defined time table (for further international involvement? For Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank?) and did not mention "1967 lines." The spokespeople patted themselves on…Read More...
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
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