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
two state solution
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
Israelis deserve a leadership that is capable of interrupting the cycle of violence; they deserve more than juvenile assurances of retaliation. By Nathan Hersh Last month MKs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Jewish Home) submitted a series of bills seeking to annex Area C of the West Bank to Israel. What would things look like today had the government agreed? Such a vote would have been a victory for the Jewish Home party and the rest of the Greater Israel crowd, but it would result in a security nightmare. The kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel…Read More... | 36 Comments
A former J Street leader explains why he became a supporter of BDS. By Seth Morrison Many of us have friends or family who suffer from addiction, and all too often it is only when we cut them off and stop enabling their negative behavior that things can actually change. It is that model of tough love that led me to become a BDS supporter. Unfortunately the Middle East peace talks started with the best of intentions by President Obama and Secretary Kerry are dead – a victim of Israel’s unfettered development of illegal settlements and Netanyahu’s decision to go…Read More... | 30 Comments
By using settlements as a punitive response to Palestinian political actions, Israel proves they come at the direct expense of Palestinian statehood, and that it holds all the power in this conflict. Here we go again. Palestinians do something Israel doesn't approve of, and Israel retaliates by using its unchecked power and leverage to block the possibility of a Palestinian state ever becoming a reality. By announcing the advancement of about 3,300 settlement units on Thursday, as a retaliatory measure that it unabashedly admits is punishment for the formation of the temporary Palestinian unity government, Israel is proving that settlements…Read More... | 38 Comments
What is it that is making Israeli leaders (Netanyahu and Barak among them), think tanks and pundits talk more about a 'unilateral solution,' and what would such a plan look like? Details below. I published the following post on my Hebrew blog earlier this week. Yesterday, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “it’s true that the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center-right. Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense.” While don't I think that Netanyahu is planning such a move…Read More... | 62 Comments
By Eli Valley More from Eli Valley: A Passover lesson: 'And then we were free' Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. He is currently finishing his first novel. Eli's website is www.EVComics.com and he tweets at @elivalley.Read More... | 39 Comments
Neither Israeli nor Palestinian leaders prepared their constituencies for the eventual historic change should Kerry have been successful. On the contrary, Netanyahu applied every trick up his sleeve to play the blame game, diverting maximum blame onto the Palestinians. By Ilan Baruch In his speech in Jerusalem a year ago, President Obama told us peace in the Middle East is an American interest. He also called us to generate political pressure which will motivate our government to take serious strides toward peace. Secretary Kerry launched his peace initiative, exceedingly invested time and political currency in it and tightly sealed it from…Read More... | 14 Comments
With the collapse of the peace talks and the Oslo process, prominent settlers and right-wing Israelis are once again mulling the idea of a one-state solution. What will it look like, and what are the chances of it being implemented? Uri Elitzur, who was Netanyahu’s chief of staff during his first term as prime minister, wrote a nice article discussing the necessary steps Israel should take to end the occupation. Elitzur is an important figure – he has written a few speeches for the Prime Minister's Office in recent years, and this week he was appointed editor-in-chief of Makor Rishon…Read More... | 10 Comments
Raviv Drucker, a prominent journalist who co-hosts a well-known television magazine program on Channel 10, wrote a tough blog post in which he takes some of Israel's best known journalists to task for presenting a completely erroneous interpretation of the Palestinian position regarding a negotiated agreement for a two-state solution. I have translated his post with permission. By Raviv Drucker Ari Shavit has written another one of his fabulous treatises in his exemplary prose style that is, as his articles often are, completely detached from the facts. According to Shavit, Mahmoud Abbas is an intransigent negotiator who fails every time he…Read More... | 17 Comments
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,…Read More... | 12 Comments
From accepting a state on 22 percent of Mandate Palestine to Israel's facts-on-the-ground in the West bank and the loss of rights for refugees, Palestinians have already made significant, historic compromises. By Willem Aldershoff and Jaap Hamburger Despite the U.S.’s optimism, recent comments and statements coming from Israel and Palestine indicate that the U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are not progressing well. This is not only due to the relative complexity of the subject matter at hand, but first and foremost, due to the fact that the Palestinians and Israel differ greatly in power and position: one being the occupied, the other…Read More... | 210 Comments
The two-state solution, imperfect as a final-status agreement, could still be a crucial stepping stone toward achieving a more comprehensive formula for equality and just peace that everyone can live with. It has been a long time since I’ve heard someone make an optimistic case for the current round of peace talks. Insiders, observers and outliers on every which side of the political spectrum in both Israeli and Palestinian society have every reason to smell failure in the air. History alone makes the strongest case for why the current American-led peace process is doomed. Add the on-the-ground reality into the…Read More... | 11 Comments
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