The Americans got it wrong. By seemingly doing nothing but trying to preserve his seat in power, the Israeli prime minister is in fact advancing a process that makes a Palestinian state an impossibility. By David Zonsheine In his Atlantic article on the growing crisis between Jerusalem and Washington, Jeffrey Goldberg quoted American officials slamming Netanyahu, one now-famously called him “chickenshit.” The substance of the criticism was that he lacks the “guts” to strike Iran and is only interested in “protecting himself from political defeat.” Beyond the damage Netanyahu and his government are causing Israel in the international community –…Read More... | 48 Comments
two state solution
In an appeal that demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the peace camp, the Israeli Labor Party is calling on its British counterparts to oppose the motion on Palestinian statehood Monday, 'in the name of peace.' Netanyahu couldn't have put it better. The British Parliament will vote Monday on a motion supporting the Palestinian Authority’s request to recognize it as a state. The vote is mostly symbolic, and the British government will still be able to take any form of action it wants. The big drama is taking place within the ranks of Labour. The opposition party is supporting the motion,…Read More... | 86 Comments
From its origins until today, liberal Zionism has been unable to reconcile Israeli policies of dispossession and military control with the image of a democratic state. Is it merely a matter of semantics, or inherent to the ideology? Part two of Ran Greenstein's analysis. By Ran Greenstein As discussed in the previous part of this article, liberal Zionists like Arthur Ruppin and Hans Kohn responded in divergent ways to the challenge of reconciling broad universal values with narrow Zionist aims. What they shared with other activists and intellectuals, though, was full realization of the costs involved in their choices. This…Read More... | 44 Comments
What were you thinking? Everyone in the family noticed that anti-war status you posted this summer, and the hasbara video they sent that you didn’t ‘like.’ Tonight they are going to air it all. The Rosh Hashanah holiday dinner is a dangerous event for Israeli leftists — especially after this past summer. Remember that angry post you uploaded to Facebook about Shujaiya, or the settlement budget, or about people who put Israeli flag badges on their profile pictures? Present at your holiday dinner will be at least two cousins who noticed and have been waiting two months to take it…Read More... | 83 Comments
Honesty is needed to wake Israelis from their delusions. Continuing to view Israel as a normal state will only prolong this bloody conflict and create yet more suffering for both sides. By Awad Abdelfattah Israel’s ruling elite continues to mislead Israeli society into believing that the Palestinians will one day submit to their enslavement. Israel’s colonization of the land and people is unceasing, suppressing and killing the indigenous Palestinian population in a quest for an illusionary individual and collective security. The recent onslaught on Gaza – the third major offensive in seven years – and the continuing escalation in official…Read More... | 16 Comments
What would happen if Israeli progressives and their supporters demanded an end to the military court system, or called for freedom of movement for Palestinians? The answer: a lot. The two-state solution has long been transformed from a means (to solving the problem of the occupation) to an end. As I wrote here in the past, this change has had severe consequences as far as the Israeli political opposition is concerned. Those range from a de-facto acceptance of the status quo to a political alliance with the Right and support for all the latest rounds of violence. The excuses are always…Read More... | 37 Comments
The Israeli government uses the pretext of the two-state solution’s inevitability to justify building settlements on Palestinian land, all without ever earnestly seeking a two-state solution. Imagine that the Palestinian Authority announced that based on an offer made by Israel in past peace negotiations — and irrespective of the result of those negotiations — it was launching a program to send Palestinian refugees to resettle inside Israel proper. Indeed, there is documentation that former prime minister Ehud Olmert made a concrete offer to absorb 10,000 Palestinian refugees as part of a two-state agreement. The only problem, Israel points out, is that…Read More... | 41 Comments
The two-state solution is not a progressive cause and neither is a single-state solution -- they are just possible means to an end. The only possible goal for progressive politics in Israel/Palestine can be full human, civil and political rights for everyone living on this land. Every now and then a comment on this blog attributes a position to me -- one I thought I had been very careful to avoid taking. A misunderstood writer should blame only himself and not the readers. However, there is a specific point I always have trouble getting across, maybe because of the way…Read More... | 51 Comments
The status quo of the occupation has reached a new level of violence and destruction, but there is no political power in sight that can impose a change on the ground. 1. Israel paid more than it expected for a bit less than it wanted. Israel’s strategic goal in this war was to maintain the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined this notion from the first days of the war, when he presented his ceasefire formula: if Hamas stops shooting, we stop shooting. Israel got most of what it wanted, but at a greater price than expected,…Read More... | 47 Comments
The Zionist left doesn't oppose Zoabi because of her controversial comments or her participation in the Gaza flotilla. It opposes her because she calls for full equality. (Translated by Sol Salbe) Last week Haaretz columnist Ravit Hecht wrote that any true leftist ought to oppose Haneen Zoabi. True, Hecht did concede that the question "is not a legal question but a moral one"; that is, she recognizes Zoabi's right to continue serving in the Knesset (truly magnanimous of you, Ravit!). However, later on in the piece she falls squarely in line with all the right-wing accusations against Zoabi, from support for terrorism…Read More... | 28 Comments
The Gaza war should be seen as part of Israel's overall strategy, which aims to maintain the current status quo in the Palestinian Territories. One of the Israeli Right’s greatest political achievements was convincing the public that “we tried the Left’s ideas, and they failed.” Some even say that the current reality is the outcome of “the Left’s ideas.” Naturally, this claim comfortably avoids the responsibility that the Right had in torpedoing any attempt for peaceful reconciliation, from 1987’s London Accord to Netanyahu’s unilateral decision in 1996 to stop implementing Oslo. (For some reason, the video in which Netanyahu boasted…Read More... | 36 Comments
Turns out most Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state - until they read the fine print. There is a natural obsession with short-term, immediate details of the situation in Israel and Palestine: where is the siren or rocket or bomb? How many bodies are piling up in Gaza? Israelis’ memory at present seems to go back only a few weeks, to the murder of three teens that they believe set off this cycle. But for Palestinians, there was life before the Israeli kids were murdered, and it wasn’t good. Many are seething under a reality of no prospects,…Read More... | 4 Comments
When Abbas joins the next UN body and signs the next international treaty or makes his next move aimed at advancing statehood, remember why he is doing so. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday put to rest any lingering speculation or hopes that the long-comatose two-state solution might ever be revived. All of a sudden, the prime minister’s refusal to discuss borders or maps in negotiations with the Palestinians makes sense. After all, why negotiate over a map you have no intention of ever compromising on? “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there…Read More... | 32 Comments
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