This week: more holes in the separation wall, protests against the Prawer-Begin Plan, tear gas in Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian passport for a Palestinian citizen, soldier protect settler activists, solidarity with Palestine at the UN, marching against violence against women, Greenpeace targets GMOs in Israeli supermarkets, and clashes after Israeli forces kill three Palestinian militants.Read More... | 2 Comments
Tuesday's New York Times editorial about Netanyahu's "pushback" on Iran at the United Nations General Assembly doesn't say much, except for implying that diplomacy is preferable to military force when it comes to Iran's nuclear program. But what is noteworthy (and irksome) is the way in which the editorial board of the paper refers to the Israeli prime minister: Mr. Netanyahu has legitimate reasons to be wary of any Iranian overtures, as do the United States and the four other major powers involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But it could be disastrous if Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters…Read More... | 19 Comments
While the Israeli public and media failed to take any significant notice of a recent UN report criticizing Israel’s policy on children’s arrests and detention, some European officials and NGOs are speaking out about the abuses. By Galit Saporta (Edited by Ami Asher) It seems that yet another report, this time from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), regarding abuses that occur during arrest, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army, has failed to generate any public attention in Israel. Only one article in Haaretz (“It’s only Palestinian children,” June 27, 2013) has…Read More... | 18 Comments
By comparing the deteriorating security situation along Israel's northern border with security arrangements in any future Palestinian peace deal, was Netanyahu making declarations to thwart the success of Kerry's planned peace talks? Prime Minister Netanyahu said a few interesting (and politically genius) things at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. Various media outlets construed his statement in different ways, which was apparent in the different headlines with which they led. Many English-language news sites chose some variation of the headline: "Israel won't intervene in Syria unless fired upon." The Times of Israel, however, led with, "Netanyahu alludes to military action at Syrian border,"…Read More... | 12 Comments
Given the likely options, I'm glad Obama is coming here tomorrow to do nothing rather than to try to revive the peace process. Today, reviving the peace process, Obama-style, would mean coercing Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations with Netanyahu in return for nothing, or next to nothing, such as a token prisoner release, some musical chairs with a few checkpoints and a vague statement of good intentions. And for that, Netanyahu would get what he very much wants: "peace negotiations" with no end, which would provide diplomatic cover for his terribly right-wing, settlement-crazy new government. At the same time, Abbas…Read More... | 23 Comments
Protest against prisoner conditions in Israeli jails will not prevent anger and delegitimization of PA law enforcement system for its own violations. A Palestinian prisoner being held on charges connected to a stabbing died in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho on Friday, according to a Jerusalem Post and Ma’an News Agency. The articles report that the Palestinian attorney general ordered and launched an investigation into the death and an autopsy. Palestinian officials have said that Ayman Samarah, 40, was not tortured, but suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure and was taken to a hospital on Friday after being…Read More... | 2 Comments
Following the United Nations vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state, Israel quickly announced it would reignite construction in the E1 area of the West Bank, long considered by the U.S. as the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. The move is not only Israel's affront to the two-state solution, but to its existence as a Jewish state. In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made his commitment to a two-state solution explicitly clear: Palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum, representative and protector of international legitimacy,…Read More... | 58 Comments
While commentators say the vote is merely symbolic, at least for Palestinians and the international community, the vote could be a game-changing kind of symbol. One week ago, the request to the UN General Assembly to grant Palestine status as a non-member observer state looked like a poor stepchild of the highly anticipated first “UN route” just over one year ago. The buildup to September 2011 was long; yet until about a week ago, it wasn’t even clear whether the current vote would really happen. The 2011 application for UN membership turned into an anticlimax. This year, the dark-horse diplomacy…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israel accepts or rejects the UN refugee agency's positions as it sees fit. In addition to indicating a general disregard for the United Nations, its approach toward UNHCR, whose establishment Israel once enthusiastically supported, demonstrates a serious need for additional refugee law expertise. By Dr. Yuval Livnat R. told Interior Ministry representatives that he is an Eritrean citizen and eligible for protection from deportation to his country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which interviewed R., gave his lawyer from the Hotline for Migrant Workers a letter supporting his position. The Interior Ministry determined that R. is Ethiopian. A…Read More... | 5 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or should I say Bib E. Coyote?) had a lot of people worldwide holding their stomachs with laughter as he held his Looney Tune ACME bomb above the UNGA podium. The Israeli meme artists, as usual, were quick to respond. Here are a few (I may update as the creativity surges):Read More... | 34 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the International Conference on Jerusalem in Doha on Saturday set off the most proverbial alarm bells in Israel. Caveat: Without actually seeing the full text of the speech, or being at the conference, I am dependent on excerpts in news reports that seem designed to reinforce auto-pilot rallying cries of each side. Abbas' general theme seemed to be raising awareness of the grave injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem, such as Israel's attempt to build walls to keep them in or out, Judaize the eastern part, and use archeological/historical research to…Read More... | 30 Comments
Palestinians attempted to set out in a motorcade of about 50 cars from Jericho en route to Ramallah this morning, to protest and challenge the system of Israeli-only roads throughout the West Bank, according to Twitter updates over the last few hours with the hashtag #carprotest. According to an Israeli Ta'ayush activist I spoke to who was there and who prefers not to be named, dozens of cars manned by Palestinians from the West Bank tried to leave Jericho this morning in a non-violent protest action, but were stopped by Israeli forces, who blocked the four lanes entering and exiting…Read More... | 18 Comments
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On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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