Analysis News

peace process

  • Israel suspends talks, and Washington’s hypocrisy on Hamas

    By suspending talks over Hamas’s inclusion in the Palestinian leadership, Netanyahu is proving that he was never seeking either a legitimate partner, or a legitimate peace. The Israeli government announced that it is suspending peace talks with the Palestinians on Thursday as a response to the reconciliation deal signed a day earlier by Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PLO. In choosing to disconnect from the already flailing peacemaking process, Israel is demonstrating that it never intended to make peace with the Palestinians, but rather with the “good Palestinians.” Refusing to conduct peace talks with Hamas is one thing, but Netanyahu has decided…

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  • An updated list of Israeli demands from Mahmoud Abbas

    By Nir Baram The following is an updated list of Israeli demands from Mahmoud Abbas: Don’t resign. Fight terrorism. Speak about the Holocaust in a sad tone. Don’t speak about the Nakba. Don’t speak about 1948. Don’t support one state and “the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State.” Recognize Israel. Recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Seek the two-state solution. Join negotiations that lead nowhere. Support the two-state solution. Don’t promote a Palestinian state. Don’t start an intifada. Don’t turn to the international community on behalf of the two-state solution. Fight terror. Denounce terror. Don’t get offended when we…

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  • Peace process: Only four options left

    Resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached either by agreement or evolution. As the peace talks stumble toward their formal end point, there are essentially four scenarios for political developments between the river and the sea, excluding resurgent violence: two states by agreement, two states by evolution, one state by agreement, or one sovereign entity by evolution. Policymakers should acknowledge these scenarios openly to assess what each one will mean for the future of the region. I recently proposed using basic values as a guideline to assess the desirability of such scenarios: reducing violence, realizing human and civil rights,…

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  • When the 'Times' calls for Kerry to move on, what does it 'really' mean?

    If the Grey Lady is calling for Washington to reconsider its role as enabler of the occupation, then it is indeed a new approach -- perhaps even a revolutionary one. A couple of days ago, a New York Times editorial called on the Obama administration to divert its attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process, which is failing to bring results, and onto other global issues. While congratulating Secretary Kerry and President Obama for the energy and time they have put into the process, the Times concludes that “after nine months, it is apparent that the two sides are still unwilling…

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  • The diplomatic process is not real until this government falls

    If Netanyahu was serious about talks, he would have used the first opportunity to rid the government of the settlers, before moving on to isolate the radicals in his own party. Until we see such a change, the peace process will remain mostly fake. Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth's released a poll on Passover evening examining the option that former Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon run on his own ticket in the coming elections. According to the poll results, Kahlon could win up to 10 seats, most of them from voters of Yesh Atid and Likud. This is the second election poll published…

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  • What progressive Jews can do for Mideast peace

    The Middle East peace process is very much a partisan issue in American politics. Until J Street figures out how to solve the problem of Likud penetration of the Republican Party, there is no American solution for the Middle East. By Thomas G. Mitchell It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has come to an end as Israel refuses to release the last group of security prisoners that it previously promised to release. This is because Jerusalem has no confidence in the peace process, partly based on expectations of the Palestinians and partly based…

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  • The peace process needs a whole new outlook

    Instead of using the talks as a replacement for progress, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would do well to define guiding values that should be the basis of both process and solutions. One of the problems with the flagging Kerry negotiations is that they are heavy on ‘process,’ and not much about ‘peace.’ That could be due to the fairly accurate cliché that the outlines of the two-state solution are “largely known.” Negotiations and civil initiatives from 2000 onwards – Camp David to the Arab Peace Initiative –  overlap on the core issues, with differences of details. On the other hand,…

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  • Oslo Accord architect Ron Pundak dies at 59

    Ron Pundak, one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, died Friday at the age of 59. In 1993, Pundak, an expert on Middle East history, was working under Yossi Beilin, who was then the Israeli deputy foreign minister. At the time, Israel was holding formal negotiations in Washington with a Palestinian team, but the talks were heading nowhere and the promise of the Rabin government seemed to be fading away. Along with Yair Hirschfeld, Pundak initiated a secret back channel between Israeli and PLO officials (contact with PLO members was still illegal when Rabin took office), first in London…

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  • Carpe diem, America! Your chance to ditch the Is/Pal conflict is here!

    Sometimes you just have to wait for the right opportunity. It could be a sports game, where you wait for your rival to make a mistake. It could be a blind date gone bad, where you wait for that phone call you planned earlier with your best friend. It could be that windfall you needed to finally buy that house. It’s always about a set of conditions that finally, at the right time, converge to make an opportunity. That opportunity has come for the United States. John Kerry has blamed the Israelis (or did he?) for the recent impasse. The…

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  • Israel grasps at a crumbling narrative

    Blaming the peace talks' failure on Palestinian 'rejectionism' is nothing more than a flimsy attempt at flipping reality on its head. With commentators now referring to the peace process as a “corpse,” Israeli talking heads and politicians are scrambling to manage the narrative of the dying animal. The first task today is to finesse the blame laid squarely on Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. One radio commentator spoke quite factually about “Kerry’s mistake.” But it’s hard to finesse an unprecedented shift of tone from an American administration. It isn’t exactly like America suddenly supported a negative UN…

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  • Headlines say ‘Kerry blames Israel’ – who would have dreamt it?

    If the road to the UN was open to the Palestinians before, now there may as well be a red carpet on it. It goes without saying that Kerry’s blaming of Israel for the blow-up in the peace talks is a great thing, a bigger win for the fight against the occupation than anyone could have expected to come out of this process. From the time about a year ago that these negotiations were a twinkle in Kerry’s eye, the name of the game for Israel and the Palestinians was to avoid being held responsible for their inevitable failure. The…

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  • 'PLO to join 48 int'l organizations, treaties if talks fail'

    The current round of peace talks can only continue if the U.S. changes its approach, a senior Fatah official says.   The PLO will seek membership in an additional 48 international organizations, treaties and conventions if peace talks are not salvaged by the end of this month, Ma’an news agency quoted senior Palestinian official and Fatah Executive Committee member Nabil Shaath as saying on Monday. PLO Chairman -- and PA President -- Mahmoud Abbas began the process of acceding to 15 international treaties and conventions last week after Israel failed to follow through with the release of a fourth group of…

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  • The rejectionist: Netanyahu and the peace talks

    The Palestinian leadership changed, the political circumstances shifted, administrations came and went, but every round of talks involving Netanyahu follows the same dynamic, and ends the same way. When talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed last summer, a couple of pollsters asked Israelis whether they think Prime Minister Netanyahu actually supports the two-state solution – which, at least in theory, was the agreed-upon goal of the process. The results didn’t receive enough attention at the time: one poll, published on Channel 2’s website, found that 50 percent of the public didn’t think Netanyahu genuinely adopted the two-state solution, as…

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