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  • Marwan Barghouti is planning a comeback — from behind bars

    He may be serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison but Marwan Barghouti is the only leader who has a chance to succeed Mahmoud Abbas and unite the Palestinian people. This is how he plans on doing it. By Menachem Klein Until recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was considered only a lame duck. Long ago he had promised not to run for president in the next elections. Not a single politician threatened him, he did not appoint a vice president, and elections never took place. But over the past two weeks Abbas has gone from lame duck to…

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  • The unravelling illusion of Palestinian autonomy

    Palestinians have been told for decades that limited autonomy in the West Bank is just a stop along the road to sovereignty. But more than 20 years after Oslo failed to usher in independence, the illusion is unraveling — and fast. The key to the arrangement that keeps Israel’s occupation of Palestinian feasible is the illusion of autonomy. Palestinians have their own government, their own security agencies and forces, consumer service providers, schools, and yes, autonomous areas. But make no mistake, they are all illusions. [tmwinpost] And every once in a while the benevolent occupiers push things a little too…

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  • The Israeli Left needs to step up its game

    Herzog's new diplomatic plan goes against the real interests of all those who live between the river and the sea — Jews and Arabs alike. Now it's up to the Left to come up with a new vision based on real coexistence.  The Labor Party committee decided last week that it was officially parting with the two-state solution. The decision was not preceded by passionate discussions, nor was it extensively covered by the media. Had Prime Minister Netanyahu and Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog not traded barbs a few days later, I highly doubt anyone would have noticed. Even more than…

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  • Nobody is coming to end the occupation

    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…

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  • 'As long as we choose violence Israel will always defeat us'

    Mubarak Awad, one of the main organizers of nonviolent resistance during the First Intifada until Israel exiled him, talks about why only nonviolence can defeat the occupation, how Palestinians must convince Israelis that peace is their own interest, and his fears that without a new nonviolent movement more and more Palestinian youths will be drawn to armed resistance. By Waleed Shahid (First published in 'In These Times') The largest Palestinian uprising in the history of the Israeli occupation is largely forgotten today. In the 1980s, thousands of Palestinians took part in large-scale civil disobedience actions, strikes, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins…

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  • The side of Rabin's legacy Israelis love to forget

    Over 20 years later, the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO teaches us one thing: despite the hatred, we have no choice but to live together. From year to year, the memory of Yitzhak Rabin goes from a political issue to a nostalgic one. Twenty years after his assassination, the Israeli public is inundated with memories of Rabin the IDF chief of staff, Rabin the smoker, Rabin the straight-talker, etc. The films and articles memorializing him usually obscure (and often do not even include) one specific image: Rabin shaking hands with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in…

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  • Abbas' peace project has hit a dead end

    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…

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  • The road to Palestinian statehood runs through Gaza

    Irrespective of who wins in Israel's elections, Palestine will have to deal with the marginalization of its quest for statehood. That process must start by reintegrating Gaza into the Palestinian fold. By Salam Fayyad For Palestinians the quest for statehood begins with Gaza. But wait, is there still active regional or international interest in the cause of Palestinian statehood? I submit that whatever residual interest remains in the possibility of making yet another attempt at reviving the "peace process" finds expression these days largely in the phrase "let's first see what March 17 brings," a reference to the upcoming Israeli elections.…

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  • The first step toward Jewish-Arab cooperation is a knock at the door

    Could the upcoming elections bridge the gap between Israeli Jews and Arabs? Lebanese human rights lawyer Chibli Mallat says that contrary to popular belief, there are more possibilities for cooperation than one might think. By Chibli Mallat The death of Palestinian Authority Settlement Minister Ziad Abu Ein serves as another reminder of the senseless deadlock in Israel-Palestine. We all mourn the loss of an advocate of nonviolence who joined the universal call to breathe. Something must give. History might predict another bout of violence, but the Israeli elections on March 17 might create a different, more positive opportunity. This is…

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  • LISTEN: The rarest records, from India to Palestine

    The members of Tel Aviv's Fortuna Records have spent the last several years collecting some of the rarest records from the Middle East. The music runs the gamut from classical Egyptian to Palestinian folk to Greek-Israeli music. Check out a mixtape of their favorite rarities, accompanied by their stunning (and often strange) album covers. By Fortuna Records 1. Koko - Koko The debut album by Koko, an unknown singer on the Tel Aviv "Kol Dorit" label, and who sings in Greek, is without a doubt one of the best albums recorded in Israel during the 1970s. If you ask us,…

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  • Gaza becomes Syria: Middle East geopolitics 2.0

    The bickering between countries over who has the right to negotiate over the Palestinians is nothing new. We've been here before. By Aziz Abu Sarah and Dr. Marc Gopin There are two main camps involved in negotiating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. However, the players are not within the camp that most would have expected. What started as Israel vs. Hamas is quickly becoming a geopolitical issue involving many new actors. While this might seem good for some, it should be seen as terrible news for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Israel, Egypt and the PLO seem to be…

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  • Why is Mahmoud Abbas negotiating on behalf of Gaza?

    When they emerge from the rubble, as they always do, who among Gaza's Palestinians will look to Abu Mazen as their legitimate leader? The Fatah chief is reportedly in Cairo today to meet with Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, whose "ceasefire proposal" to end the bloodshed in Gaza was promptly rejected as "a joke" by the Hamas leadership on Tuesday. Today's Haaretz affirms why: Senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats said the reason the Egyptian ceasefire initiative was so short-lived is that it was prepared hastily and was not coordinated with all the relevant parties, particularly Hamas. Why, then, had Abbas…

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  • Analysis: The end of the 'cheap occupation' era

    Israel may soon have to say goodbye to its tight-knit cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and the relative calm that comes with it.  The discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens who have been missing for the last 18 days, along with the public calls for vengeance heard in Israel today, could mark the beginning of a new era in the West Bank – one that is considerably less stable. This might not be a third intifada but it is also not the relative calm or the close military coordination Israel enjoyed over the last five to six years.…

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