As liberal Zionism finds itself in the middle of its latest battle for survival, J Street reconsiders forbidden alliances and what it means to be ‘pro-Israel.’ By Soleiman Moustafa Sitting on every seat in the massive auditorium hosting the opening session of J Street’s 5th annual conference last month was a bookmark emblazoned with the a map and the motto “know your boundaries.” The "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobbying organization designed a map of Israel with both Palestinian territories partitioned out in green, with Syria's Golan Heights included in Israel’s boundaries without caveat. Looking up, the auditorium was enveloped in a comforting blue-and-white glow, invoking Israel’s national colors, the American and Israeli flags standing proud at center…Read More... | 43 Comments
Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…Read More... | 3 Comments
Wednesday saw a particularly deadly day of violence in the Gaza Strip, while diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire continued with urgency. According to officials at the Palestinian Health Ministry, 129 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in Gaza throughout Wednesday. Israel's Operation Protective Edge has killed a total of 1,400 Palestinians and wounded more than 7,500. The high death toll comes after a bloody day on Tuesday, which saw more than 120 people killed by Israeli airstrikes in the Strip. The Israeli army announced that three of its soldiers were killed on Wednesday afternoon, pushing the military…Read More... | 16 Comments
Knesset Member Zvulun Kalfa, of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, is calling for Israel to annex the West Bank and allow Palestinians to participate in Israeli general elections. "Palestinians should get full citizenship rights, equality, investment in infrastructure [in their] communities and voting rights to the Knesset," Kalfa told the Israel Hayom daily. According to Kalfa, this is the only way to dismiss for good the claim that Israel is discriminating against Palestinians or that it is an Apartheid state. "I am for a single state for everyone." Kalfa estimates that Jews will be able to remain a majority in the…Read More... | 10 Comments
The two parties haven’t met in almost a month, and Israeli politicians are now openly discussing the success of maintaining the status quo. Even the crisis with the European Union is over. Roughly halfway through the current round of negotiations, the talks between Israeli and Palestinians negotiators have hit a new low point. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told A-Shams Radio station that the two teams haven’t met since November 5th. He added that the talks are so futile that Palestinians are better off turning to the UN right away. Erekat also recently submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority President…Read More... | 24 Comments
The sad but true story of chief Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat. Can the hero of the Palestine Papers survive another round of peace talks? By Hakim Bishara There was a time, back in the 1990s, when inveterate Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat was on top of his game. Confident, eloquent and dolled up with an elegant pair of tortoise architect glasses, the capable young diplomat was a rising star. Together with colleagues such as Hanan Ashrawi, Sari Nusseibeh and the more proactive Marwan Barghuti, he emerged out of exile and anonymity as part of the next generation of PLO…Read More... | 3 Comments
If Netanyahu doesn't agree to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 border, the Palestinians' consent to negotiate with him will amount to surrender - which, until he proves differently, is what Bibi wants. The consensus seems to be that any Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are better than none, so Kerry is being congratulated for getting the two sides to agree to meet in Washington to see if they can then agree on a starting point for negotiations. A big step in the right direction, goes the mainstream view. And it will be just that - if Netanyahu agrees to…Read More... | 31 Comments
The eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, planned for today, has been delayed by two months. The Shamasneh family was slated to be evicted from their home at 2:00 p.m. today, December 31, so that the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property could take possession of the house. The Jerusalem District Court ordered the eviction to be postponed until March 1, 2013 after the family's lawyer appealed to Israel's high court. Activists and politicians who support the Shamasnehs in their fight to stay in their East Jerusalem home emphasize that this is just a temporary postponement…Read More... | 7 Comments
Secular, binational, and more: there are plenty of one-state models that can and should be discussed. But what's becoming increasingly clear to figures from both the right and the left is that the feasibility of the two-state solution must be reconsidered. By Yoav Kapshuk It is time to start a public discussion about possible and realistic arrangements for the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The importance of the discussion does not lie in reaching a consensus about a desired arrangement of one state or two states, but rather in creating an opening through which to understand…Read More... | 49 Comments
My initial reaction to the resignation of chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat was sadness. Erekat has been a staple of negotiations for as long as I can remember and his leaving marks the end of an era. Erekat claims he left because he had to assume responsibility for the fact that the leaked Palestine Papers came out of his offices. His leaving underscores that a resolution has been depressingly unattainable - that he had an impossible job, a truly Kafkaesque experience. As his aides told Al Jazeera, when asked about his successor: "there's no point. Why would we have…Read More... | 8 Comments
There are no real surprises in the Palestine Papers. The PA’s stumbling, incoherent responses to the allegedly scandalous revelations are not surprising either. The real lesson to be gleaned from the documents is that the Palestinian negotiators failed to understand the goal of ‘peace’ negotiations By Maath Musleh The revelations in the Palestine Papers, which are currently being published in sections by Al Jazeera and the Guardian, are not shocking. It is common knowledge that the Palestinian Authority was willing to make enormous concessions in order to protect its interests. Actually, if the concessions documented in the Palestine Papers released…Read More... | 8 Comments
Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now (APN), writes in the forward against even talking about the one-state solution: Anti-Zionists and some post-Zionists imagine a Palestinian-majority, secular, democratic state; some Israeli right-wingers envision Israel annexing the West Bank, using ploys to disenfranchise its Palestinian residents and finally getting rid of Gaza. (…) Those of us who care about the future of Israel and the Palestinians should be doing everything we can to capitalize on this realism and to realize the two-state solution, before the opportunity is truly lost. And we should be pushing back…Read More... | 5 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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