Though it is the establishment opinion that two states will happen, those opposing it are literally executing a plan to kill it. By Joel Braunold NEW YORK -- With President Obama visiting Israel, many groups are trying to get his attention so they can let the president know what they think he should do. Included within the pleas from the peace camp and the ‘Free Pollard’ camp is a document prepared by the Yesha Council titled, “Judea and Samaria – It’s Jewish, It’s Vital, It’s Realistic.” Questions answered within this Kafkaesque document include: why the demographics are on the settlers’ side,…Read More... | 3 Comments
The appointment of Senator John Kerry as the next U.S. Secretary of State could represent a new opportunity for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. But for efforts to be successful, the U.S. will have to reconsider its message that settlement construction is a matter of negotiation. By Lorenzo Kamel The day after the UN voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state, the Israeli government approved construction of approximately 3,000 new residential units in the occupied territories, a decision that was met with strong opposition by various European leaders. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on the contrary, delivered a speech at the…Read More... | 66 Comments
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced yesterday his intention to legalize dozens of tiny settlement outposts in the West Bank, which were built over the last decade, without formal authorization by the Israeli government, reports Haaretz. At the same time, he declared his intention to dismantle “immediately” all the outposts built on private Palestinian land. According to the report, only three outposts with several hundred families will be affected, even though the number of outposts built on private land is much higher. It should surprise few that the announcement is just another smokescreen – a fraud, really – that is meant…Read More... | 11 Comments
Now that negotiations have officially failed, it's time for the U.S. to join three South American countries and endorse Palestinian unilateralism. True, a viable Palestinian state will not be ready by August 2011, but that's besides the point. This declaration is only a means to an end As expected, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are now officially dead. Last night, Israeli and U.S. officials confirmed that the Obama administration is abandoning its effort to renew the freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. As the NY Times reports: After three weeks of fruitless haggling with the Israeli…Read More... | 7 Comments
Netanyahu’s habit of being economical with the truth was never more evident than in the building-freeze “deal”. Binyamin Netanyahu has a, shall we say, complex relationship with reality. For starters, he is given to bouts of often embarrassing fantasy, trying to attach himself to famous events. In the past, speaking to supporters of the assassinated racist Rehav’am Zeevi, he said Zeevi was one of the most important ministers of his cabinet, who used to give him private advice; problem was, Zeevi never served in Netanyahu’s cabinet. In a bizarre outburst in 2005, he claimed that Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi,…Read More... | 2 Comments
Some dailies believe Netanyahu supports the American deal on another settlement "freeze", while others are skeptical; a witch hunt to silence settlement boycotters, that would make McCarthy proud; and creative suggestions in East Jerusalem The Headlines: The American Deal and its Prospects > The US has proposed a deal to Netanyahu, that requires Israel to "freeze" settlement construction (excluding Jerusalem) for three months, including a halt to building that began since the end of the previous freeze, six weeks ago (in those six weeks settlers have managed to begin construction of more housing units than in all of 2009, when…Read More...
This is one of the rare days when all four of the Israeli dailies lead with completely different headlines. Haaretz leads with Netanyahu's trip to the United States; the PM is "set to discuss a package of benefits in exchange for extending the temporary settlement freeze." Senior administration officials slovenly remind his highness that the benefits are still on the table. This, in a nutshell, is Obama's "tough love" for Israel: When the carrot doesn't work, try... more carrots. Haaretz notes in passing the PM's flight will cost us taxpayer one million dollars. Other headlines of interest include the police…Read More...
The Headlines: Jim Crow > The Knesset’s constitution committee voted today to proceed with a final vote on a bill, which would allow small localities to establish “acceptance committees” to screen people who wish to live in that locality. Despite the law’s insistence that discrimination would not be allowed, the vague and broad criteria it permits (lack of suitability to the social and cultural fabric, or social life in the community) make its intention clear. Acceptance committees in Israel are a tool for discrimination, mainly against Arabs who wish to reside in Jewish localities. The few Arabs who have tried…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Headlines: Freeze the Settlements, or Freeze the Peace Process? > According to reports, Netanyahu is planning [Heb] a comprehensive settlement freeze for three months, to be followed by nine months of restrained construction. This will take place while negotiations with the Palestinians move forward, and might require adding opposition party Kadima to the current coalition. Senior government ministers will discuss tomorrow the outlook for the Obama administration’s policy after the mid-term elections next week. Foreign Minister Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) is already preparing for the day negotiations fail, and the Palestinians will make a unilateral declaration of independence. He…Read More...
The Headlines: Most Palestinian are (still) Willing to Recognize a Jewish State >Surveys continue to show that a (diminishing) plurality of Palestinians is willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state if all other outstanding issues are resolved (Yedioth). > Defense Minister Barak (Labor) criticized Netanyahu, for not pushing forward the negotiations with the Palestinians (Yedioth). Barak is quoted on the front page of Yedioth claiming Israeli shouldn't insist that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state now. "We don't need an aggressive Churchill now, we need De-Gaulle," said Baak, refering to the French president who ended the war…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Headlines: Hedgehog Day > The headlines today are practically identical to yesterday’s headlines. The rescue of miners in Chile is still the lead story. And here are the results of today’s hyperbole contest: last place – Ha’aretz (“World Celebrates”); third place – Ma’ariv (“Victory of Hope”); runner up – Yisrael Hayom (“Victory of Man”). First prize goes to Yedioth, which compares the event to the creation of the universe – “Let there be Light”. On the margins, Netanyahu (who once claimed his father foresaw 9/11) bragged he predicted the Chile story in a book he wrote 23 years ago.…Read More...
The Headlines: The "Jewish state" demand strikes back > Netanyahu offered the Palestinians an extension of the settlement freeze in return for recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Didn’t he offer them citizenship in return for the same thing, just the other day? It seems like yesterday’s bargain was better. The newspapers cover this as a cheap stunt, but give more weight to Netanyahu’s comments emphasizing that the settlements are important, but also that "there are other interests to consider". > Opposition party Kadima, in a counter-stunt, wants [Heb] to enshrine the Declaration of Independence in…Read More...
Headlines: Disloyalty to Judaism and Democracy Netanyahu has decided to support a proposed bill, which would require new citizens to proclaim their allegiance not just to Israel, as they are required to do right now, but specifically to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”. The law would apply only to non-Jews, and all outlets agree that it was specifically tailored to deny citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs, and wish to become citizens. The coverage is largely neutral, though, focusing on coalition intrigue and the impact on the peace talks. Nobody referred to the irony of this proposal:…Read More...
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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Is a binational identity possible in Israel? http://t.co/yFmq5vBPGV
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VID: Former female Israeli soldiers break their silence http://t.co/2H7V47Cj9I by @MairavZ
Israeli MK's 'sexy' pose goes viral on Facebook http://t.co/vktM2Rk4OH by @AmiKaufman
The soldiers' stories that Israel lacks the courage to hear http://t.co/rlleFPDVVq By Larry Derfner, cc @ShovrimShtika