A proposed law to 'annex' dozens of settlements to Jerusalem is just one step toward normalizing a reality that has been in the making for decades. There is not a single Israeli politician today calling for the wholesale annexation of the West Bank. The number of politicians working to advance piecemeal annexation, however, is growing by the day. [tmwinpost] Take the proposed Greater Jerusalem law, making its way through Israel’s parliament at the moment. The bill, which would extend Jerusalem’s municipal umbrella over dozens of West Bank settlements along with well over 100,000 settlers, wouldn’t really annex the settlements to…Read More...
It was the state's policies within its 1948 borders that inspired the 1967 occupation, not the other way around. During a Knesset debate in May 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chastised opposition parties for criticizing his government’s lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution. Referring to Palestinian demonstrations held the day before in commemoration of the Nakba, Netanyahu pointed out that the protests “did not take place on June 5, the day the Six Day War erupted,” but on “May 15, the day the State of Israel was established.” He continued: “This is not a conflict about 1967. This is a…Read More... | 4 Comments
The American president shocked many with his willingness to abandon the two-state paradigm. But that wasn't the radical part of his message to Netanyahu and Israelis. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.” Ever since President Donald Trump uttered that surprising sentence at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday, commentators and politicians alike have been trying to analyze and understand what exactly he meant and what it might mean. In Israel, Thursday…Read More... | 21 Comments
His ideological proximity to the new U.S. president will allow Netanyahu to advance plans for the de facto annexation of the West Bank. Now all he needs is Trump's approval. By Menachem Klein A slip of the tongue from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month is worthy of attention. In an unprepared response to a Likud Knesset member, Netanyahu said: “What I’m willing to give to the Palestinians is not exactly a state with full authority, but rather a state-minus, which is why the Palestinians don’t agree [to it].” [tmwinpost] This almost never happens to Netanyahu. He is calculated, in contrast to…Read More... | 14 Comments
Israel has not slowed down its demolition of Palestinian structures in the occupied territories in 2017, after a year which saw a record number of buildings destroyed. Demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2017 have so far continued at much the same rate as in 2016, a year in which Israel destroyed a record number of buildings in the occupied territories. [tmwinpost] In January alone, Israeli forces have demolished 121 structures in the West Bank and 16 structures in East Jerusalem, according to figures from the United Nation’s humanitarian agency that were provided to +972.…Read More... | 3 Comments
An increase in building permits for Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank is not what it seems. It is, in fact, part of the Israeli government's process of concentrating Palestinians in order to make room for settlements to expand. By Alon Cohen-Lifshitz It's the responsibility of anyone who wants to build a house to follow the law. For any type of construction work to be carried out, one must request a permit in accordance with a detailed, approved master plan. In fact, illegal construction goes on in all areas under Israeli control. The majority of these offenses — around…Read More...
The heart of the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements is territorial, picking up where 242 left off almost 50 years ago. It will also likely serve as the framework for this month's Paris Peace Conference. By Shemuel Meir UN Security Council resolution 2334 caught Prime Minister Netanyahu off guard. Out of the clear blue sky. From a territorial perspective, which is the heart of 2334, the Security Council resolution represents an escalation in the way the international community relates to Israel’s borders and its settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli prime minister read the resolution carefully. Netanyahu’s…Read More... | 25 Comments
A perfect storm of domestic Israeli politics combined with the changing of the guard in Washington could create an opportunity for those advocating annexation to finally make their move. Senior Israeli government minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday that he will introduce legislation to effectively annex Israel’s third-largest settlement in the West Bank, Ma’ale Adumim, by the end of January. It is safe to assume, that when Bennett says “by the end of January,” he means after the January 20 inauguration of Donald Trump. [tmwinpost] Bennett’s desire to incrementally annex parts of the West Bank are neither new nor secret.…Read More... | 37 Comments
Whatever the passage of a UN resolution criticizing the settlements may bring, the fallout has already made one thing clear: the Israeli government subscribes to a de facto 'Greater Israel' policy. In the summer of 1967, before anyone was aware of just how durable Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory would prove, a movement emerged calling for the newly conquered land to become part of “Greater Israel.” Formed primarily of Labor Zionists, the movement counted such luminaries as SY Agnon and Nathan Alterman among its ranks. It failed to make a dent at the 1969 Knesset elections, however, and was…Read More... | 11 Comments
In a 14-0 vote and with the U.S. abstaining, the UN Security Council passes a resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements. What does it all mean, and what comes next? The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, reaffirming their illegality, calling on Israel to cease all settlement activity, and rejecting any unilateral Israeli changes to the borders — including the annexation of East Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] The big drama surrounding the vote was that the United States decided not to exercise its Security Council veto. The Obama administration, unlike previous administrations, had for the past eight years…Read More... | 7 Comments
From the prime minister down, the Israeli government has effectively dropped the charade that the occupation is temporary, or that it actually fears consequences for its intransigence. Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period between the November 8 U.S. elections and his successor’s inauguration on January 20. After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework…Read More... | 48 Comments
A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…Read More... | 6 Comments
A new video portrays a 'nightmare scenario' in which Jerusalem residents elect a Palestinian mayor. One would think a group that calls itself "Save Jewish Jerusalem" would hail from the right side of the political spectrum. But when it comes to maintaining Israel's demographic dominance, it seems there isn't much of a difference between the Right and Left. The initiative, which seeks to maintain control over Jerusalem through further disenfranchising its Palestinian residents, released a racist video on Wednesday, portraying a scenario set in 2020 in which an Arab is elected mayor of the city, after its Palestinian residents (nearly…Read More... | 9 Comments
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