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John Kerry

  • No one left for Bibi to blame – except, of course, Abbas

    Israel is in a crisis – the heaviest Palestinian street violence in a decade, the threat of a full-blown third intifada – and here’s how Netanyahu is managing it: by seizing on the last available scapegoat. Outside of the Netanyahu government and its supporters, does anyone believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is inciting the rioting and terror in East Jerusalem? Does anyone think the gunmen and killer drivers and adolescent stone-throwers are taking their cues from Ramallah’s 79-year-old bureaucrat-in-chief? Conversely, does anyone think that if Abbas were to call publicly and repeatedly for an end to…

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  • In ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is letting Hamas win Gaza war

    The great mystery is: Why? In the Cairo ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is snatching diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military victory. I have no explanation for why he’s doing this and I have yet to hear a convincing one. There must be something Netanyahu knows that no one else does. Otherwise his concessions at the Cairo talks, after blitzing the Gaza Strip for five weeks, leaving Hamas able to do no more than fire short-range rockets over the Israeli border, and being hailed in Israel as a warrior king, make no sense at all. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On gave an…

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  • 'Captive soldier would have been better off if we shot him'

    New testimonies emerge from soldiers who believe that the capture of a soldier is too strategically risky to be allowed, at any price. The real risk that the botched rescue operation was trying to avert, however, could well be more political than strategic.  There has been some controversy during the war about the meaning of the Hannibal Directive, a once-classified order meant to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers by enemy forces - notoriously, by allowing Israeli troops to fire in their direction, even at risk of injury or death to the captive. Some have taken the interpretation of the…

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  • From Iran to the tunnels: Do we really have to live this way?

    Those who spot an existential threat at every turn, turn their backs on diplomacy and mock peace efforts are now astonished to find that the enemy has sought out their own weapons of attack. The tunnels are a self-fulfilling prophecy; the time has come to look for another way. By Nir Baram It is heartrending and frustrating to see us, citizens of a country full of accomplishment and potential, repeatedly stupefied by a cynical propaganda machine whose real intent is simply inaction. What is meant by “inaction”? To avoid putting forth any solution, to not present any creative initiative or…

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  • Israeli air strikes kill 120 Palestinians in single day; Hamas refuses truce without end to blockade

    Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday. as both Israel and Hamas evaluated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire. A top PLO official said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce, a claim that was quickly refuted by Hamas. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed Gaza's only power station Tuesday morning. Amnesty International condemned the strike, saying it amounted to "collective punishment of Palestinians." The strike on the plant is liable worsen severe problems with Gaza's water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities. Meanwhile, the head of Hamas' military wing, Mohammed Deif, stated that…

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  • Why did Israel reject Kerry's ceasefire proposal?

    Is Israel willing to prolong the fighting and to intensify the killing and bereavement on both sides just so that its ally in Cairo gets the credit, rather than the Hamas-allied Turkey and Qatar?  By Elizabeth Tsurkov There is hardly any difference between the draft agreement presented by Kerry and the Egyptian proposal, apart from the question of who will be its sponsor: Cairo, or Turkey and Qatar? On Sunday morning, Haaretz's excellent diplomatic correspondent, Barak Ravid, published a commentary on the new draft proposed by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers…

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  • Gaza becomes Syria: Middle East geopolitics 2.0

    The bickering between countries over who has the right to negotiate over the Palestinians is nothing new. We've been here before. By Aziz Abu Sarah and Dr. Marc Gopin There are two main camps involved in negotiating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. However, the players are not within the camp that most would have expected. What started as Israel vs. Hamas is quickly becoming a geopolitical issue involving many new actors. While this might seem good for some, it should be seen as terrible news for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Israel, Egypt and the PLO seem to be…

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  • Obama calls on Netanyahu to accept unconditional humanitarian ceasefire; 15 killed in Gaza

    In a phone call held Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu that there is a "strategic imperative" to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire based on the one agreed to in November 2012 after the previous round of fighting between Israel and Hamas. According to Obama, the U.S. supports the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, as well as international efforts to bring about an end to hostilities, stressing that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include the disarmament of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The call comes on the heels of a 40-hour humanitarian ceasefire that ended late…

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  • Why Israel won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair

    A fair ceasefire would bring major relief for Gaza, which would mean Hamas wins the war. The ceasefire that the world is now pushing for – one that, as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon put it, not only ends the fighting but also ends Israel’s “chokehold on Gaza” – is one that the Netanyahu government will not accept. It should accept it, because Gazans have the right to be free, but it won’t. Its rejection of John Kerry’s offer on Friday – which reportedly would have allowed the Israeli army to go on destroying Gazan tunnels even during a week-long ceasefire…

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  • Why there is no room for diplomacy in Gaza

    With or without a ceasefire, the brutality of the last week will be revisited upon the Palestinians of Gaza – a fact that, unsurprisingly, leaves no room for diplomacy. It should come as no surprise that Hamas Tuesday de facto rejected what by all accounts was an Israeli diktat – disguised as an Egyptian ceasefire proposal – to end Israel's relentless assault on the organization and its base of operations, Gaza. Following a week of near-constant Israeli bombing, the brunt of which has been borne by Palestinian civilians, the Egyptian proposal featured none of the demands on which Hamas had been most vocal, chief…

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  • First do no harm, J Street

    With nothing left to offer except hollow pep talks about the peace process, the liberal lobby is fighting BDS – together with the pro-Netanyahu, pro-occupation American Zionist right. Next stop: the Presbyterian Church USA's General Assembly. What is J Street doing? Why is it acting in concert with right-wing Zionist organizations like AIPAC and StandWithUs in fighting against boycott, sanctions and divestment, while offering no alternative of its own for ending the occupation? Because the truth is that J Street offers no alternative anymore; now that the Kerry talks have failed, and all the secretary of state has to show…

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  • After Kerry, only BDS may save the two-state solution

    Not even Ben-Gurion would be able to rally the political support necessary to displace masses of settlers as long as there is no price to be paid for the occupation. So how much longer can liberal Zionists sit and watch the status quo remain static? If instead of trying to persuade Israel to change, two-state supporters started holding it responsible for refusing to change, it could have a jarring psychological impact on the country and its leaders. Now that the Kerry peace talks have failed and everyone has given up hoping that Netanyahu will change, what's the new plan for…

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  • Left Jabs: Getting ready for Independence Day, and more

    Short, polarizing comments about the news. ------------- Celebrate Israel  Former heads of Shin Bet and Mossad say Israel could, without question, stop the runaway settler attacks on Palestinians if it wanted to, it just doesn’t want to.   On Tuesday, why shouldn't we celebrate Israeli Independence Day? This is a great country if you're Jewish. --------------- The king’s speech  Bibi: ‘Iran openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel … there will never be another Holocaust.’ Watching Netanyahu’s Yom HaShoah speech, the way he turns Iran into today’s Nazi Germany, making people believe that the Holocaust is still…

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