One of the first Israeli politicians to champion the two-state solution, Yossi Sarid was also one of the last vestiges of the Israeli Left's old guard. He will be remembered warmly for never turning away a person in need, but also for his contentious attitudes toward religious and Mizrahi Jews. For better or worse, there has never been a more perfect embodiment of the old Israeli left than columnist and politician Yossi Sarid, who passed away from a heart attack age 75 late last week. He was an uncompromising champion of human and civil rights, of free speech, of separation…Read More...
two state solution
The Obama administration is only willing to discuss a one-state solution in terms of apartheid and violence. But asked whether Jews and Palestinians should be equal, the vast majority of Americans suddenly become one-state supporters. And then there's sanctions... Thirty-seven percent of Americans think the United States should respond to ongoing Israeli settlement construction with economic sanctions, or harsher measures, according to a public opinion survey published by the Brookings Institute last week. And that’s a relatively consistent position. Thirty-nine percent of Americans gave an identical answer to the same poll a year ago. On the other hand, 61 percent…Read More... | 5 Comments
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…Read More...
The politicians in Israel's government want nothing more than for Palestinians to simply give up on statehood. They're not so clear on what happens next. The man in charge of educating the next generation of Israelis believes that the driving force behind terrorism is hope. Yes. You read that correctly. “Terrorism is not a result of the Palestinians losing hope but rather because they have hope,” Bennett said earlier this week. “A Palestinian state is their hope … If we stop their hope, the motivation for terrorism will drop.” (Hebrew) The idea is composed half of logic and half of delusion. [tmwinpost] The logical…Read More...
By accepting that the two-state solution will just have to wait until Israel is ready to accept it, the White House has effectively conceded to Netanyahu's strategy: declare support for two states — in theory — while continuing to deny Palestinians their most basic rights and liberties. Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy for defeating the prospect of Palestinian statehood has always been to stall. Sure, he introduced a few tactical roadblocks along the way like “security zones” and demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but the wider strategy has always been to feign engagement until momentum swings back in his favor.…Read More... | 12 Comments
The debate over whether we are living in a single state is irrelevant – the answer is a resounding yes. The real problem is that freedom and equality are only extended to some of its subjects. “You’ve just crossed the Green Line.” I say it every time I take a friend or a group from abroad to visit Jerusalem, as we turned left from Jaffa Street down toward Damascus Gate in the Old City. Many of them do a double take, looking around for a sign or marker indicating the line’s existence – but there are none. The roads intersect, the…Read More... | 13 Comments
Yair Lapid isn't sure which Palestinians he wants to separate from or even how many of them there are, but he knows he needs a bigger wall to do it. Now is the time to get the Palestinians completely out of the lives of Israelis, according to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") party. The self-declared "centrist" politician called for a bigger, stronger wall to separate Palestinians from Israelis — urgently. Lapid made his remarks during an October 3 video interview he gave to Ynet, Israel's most popular online news site. A generous +972 reader volunteered to…Read More... | 1 Comment
After Oslo, Israel made an attempt to institutionalize education toward peace, but it drowned in bloodshed and violence. A look at the situation today. By Gil Gertel Not a single educator has made a single educational declaration regarding the current situation over the past month. Nothing. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett keeps repeating that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is the head of the serpent of incitement.” In 1994, following Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians and with Jordan, the school system, too, addressed the subject. It was called “education toward peace.” To quote the newsletter published by the Curriculum Department…Read More...
For 20 years the Israeli Left has utilized selective memory to reinvent the late prime minister. In reality, Rabin only wanted to grant the Palestinians limited autonomy, a goal he achieved through the Oslo Accords. By Yakir Adelman Ahead of the 1992 elections in Israel there was a televised debate between Yitzhak Rabin and incumbent prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. At the end of the debate Shamir was allowed to ask his opponent a question of his choice: “Do you really want a Palestinian state within the land of Israel?” Rabin answered decisively: “I oppose a Palestinian state between us and the…Read More... | 9 Comments
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…Read More...
By calling the Palestinians Nazis, the Israeli prime minister was saying they can never be negotiated with — that Israel must fight them to the bloody end. Despite the festival of mockery taking place on social media, Benjamin Netanyahu clearly does not believe that Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini is more responsible than Hitler for the Holocaust. (Although that is exactly what the prime minister said in his speech at the World Zionist Conference on Tuesday.) Netanyahu is a smart guy who knows World War II history better than most of his critics. The idea that the mufti is responsible…Read More... | 23 Comments
Both Israelis and Palestinians need to start thinking far beyond what their leaders are offering them. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will never make peace. They will never succeed at stopping the violence, and they will never see eye to eye on anything other than the incompatibility of their respective visions. Don’t get me wrong: both men want peace. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, despite everything you’ve heard, is not a bloodthirsty warmonger who dreams of keeping an entire population under military rule in perpetuity. No. He is a master politician whose worldview dictates that the Jewish people will never be safe…Read More...
No matter what happens next, we must ensure that things do not go back to the way they were. The way things were before this 'wave,' or 'round' of violence was an occupation that is about to turn 50. Israelis have experienced suicide bombings, shootings, tractor attacks, vehicular attacks, and stabbings over the past decade. Palestinians have experienced massive military operations in the West Bank, the violent suppression of legitimate protest everywhere, discriminatory police brutality and societal racism inside Israel, and four wars in Gaza. What’s taking place right now in Israel and Palestine is not new. It has been…Read More... | 5 Comments
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