Like all refugees, Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub left the world unmoored, his memories rent from the land that made them. But his story, like Palestine’s itself, will matter well beyond the next negotiation. No empire, no flag, or sovereign can change that. The Government of Palestine’s Directorate of Education, from its Samaria branch in Nablus, informed Ahmad Badawi Mustafa Ayoub that his teaching duties had been re-assigned on December 8, 1936. The 35-year-old had 11 days to report to a new school in Deir el-Ghusoun, a village that, according to a 1931 British census, was home to some 450 households, all of…Read More... | 8 Comments
For all the talk of intervention or lack of intervention, there's one strategic error the U.S. made in Syria that nobody's discussing — President Bill Clinton's failure to give full American backing to an Israel-Syria peace deal when it was still possible. By Gilad Halpern The headline "A president is born" is probably being written at this very moment, if it hasn’t been yet. Donald Trump's order to strike Syria's al-Shayrat airbase in response to Damascus' use of chemical weapons against civilians received bipartisan praise, even among his most devout detractors on both sides of the aisle. For the first…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel's Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he's seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill's wife, you guys know Bill. Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title of the great white hope of Israeli moderates, way back when in 2013), attended the Saban Forum at Brookings last night. As in the rest of his political career, Lapid's contribution to proceedings was somewhat difficult to place, but he didn't pass entirely unnoticed. At the end of the summit's third day, Lapid got…Read More...
For 19 years Israelis have been gathering in the spot where the prime minister, who championed the peace process, was gunned down. Today, many are questioning what his legacy really is. Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Tens of thousands of Israeli marked 20 years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Saturday night in the Tel Aviv square where he was murdered, which now bears his name. Memorial rallies have been held in Rabin Square every year for the past 19 year, although participation has shrunk in recent years, reflecting waning confidence in the peace…Read More...
Netanyahu can backpedal all he wants, but now it is clear even to his biggest champions that he is no longer interested in the two-state solution. Now it's up to the White House to take a stand. Prime Minister Netanyahu's landslide election victory on Tuesday stunned even the biggest pessimists. What looked like a possible upset turned very quickly into an easy win for the incumbent, giving his Likud party 30 seats in the upcoming Knesset. Isaac Herzog's Zionist Camp, Netanyahu's main opposition, won only 24 seats. Like most other major political figures, Netanyahu said nothing about the occupation or the…Read More... | 25 Comments
The U.S. Jewish establishment is starting to say publicly that anti-Semitism is the reason Jonathan Pollard is still in prison. This is sickening slander that reflects a deep-seated psychological problem. Abraham Foxman, long-time leader of the Anti-Defamation League, capo di tutti capi of the Israel lobby, scourge of all scourges of anti-Semitism (real or imagined), the U.S. Jewish establishment’s chief of language police, the J. Edgar Hoover of American Jewish macherdom, has flipped out completely this time. Earlier this month he said publicly that Jonathan Pollard’s continued incarceration for spying, now going on 29 years, is a “vendetta” against…Read More... | 60 Comments
Israeli President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday was the central show aired on all three Israeli TV channels Tuesday night. A look into who paid for the extravagant bash? It was an 11-million shekel production dubbed by many as a "North Korea-style event" for the man who brought 'The Bomb' to Israel, tried to offer it to Apartheid South Africa when the rest of the world was already boycotting it, was an active partner in promoting some of Israel's more aggressive wars and one of the architects of the Israeli neo-liberal economy of privatization. In a film made in honor of…Read More... | 17 Comments
Former Israeli finance minister reveals how the former American president tried to influence Knesset legislation and committee hearings on behalf of U.S. energy corporations. Former Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed that former U.S. President Bill Clinton tried to have the Sheshinski Committee for natural gas revenues dismantled. According to Steinitz, Clinton, along with several members of congress whose names weren’t revealed, tried to stop the Israeli government’s attempt to increase the tax burden on American corporations. Yair Lapid replaced Mr. Steinitz at the Finance Ministry when the new Netanyahu government was formed. Several years ago, the unexpected discovery of huge…Read More... | 3 Comments
Do a politician’s musical talents - or lack thereof - say anything about his political capabilities? I remember the first time I heard Bill Clinton play sax. I mean, I don’t remember exactly where I was, I just remember I was astonished. Pretty much like everybody else, I thought it was pretty cool the Prez was playing sax on Arsenio - with dark Ray Bans. I mean, you watch that video from Arsenio and you know back then there’s no way the Oval Office is going to steer clear of any funny business. No way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTkUeb6zQFA Last night I found…Read More... | 2 Comments
Twenty-five years ago this past weekend, a large-scale popular uprising by Palestinians began against Israel's then 20-year-old military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Sparked by an incident in which four Palestinians were hit and killed by an Israeli driving in Gaza on December 8, 1987, Palestinian frustration at living under repressive Israeli military rule and Israel's growing colonial settlement enterprise erupted, grabbing international headlines and drawing attention to the plight of Palestinians living in the occupied territories. On this 25th anniversary, the IMEU offers the following fact sheet on the First Intifada. By The Institute for…Read More... | 14 Comments
Bill Clinton is known to pretty much say whatever he wants to, whenever he wants to. He's not a Joe Biden, but he's out there. Today he allowed himself to show off his expert knowledge of Israeli demographics and voting habits and claimed that the Russian sector was an obstacle to peace. As reported on Foreign Policy: "An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton said. "It's a different Israel. 16 percent of Israelis speak Russian."…Read More... | 2 Comments
The positive reports coming out of the Israeli-American-Palestinian summit in Sharm el Sheikh– like those which came from Washington a week earlier – shouldn't surprise anyone. There is a strange dynamic to these talks: both sides present an optimistic smile to the world and a hawkish, pessimistic face at home. As both recent polls and the relative indifference of the Hebrew media reveal, the Israeli public finds it hard to believe that these talks would actually lead to the establishing of a Palestinian state. Even more telling is the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister hasn't engaged yet in a…Read More... | 2 Comments
Last week, the Arab League authorized Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to engage in direct negotiations with Israel. Abbas is still refusing the talks, but estimates are it's only a matter of weeks before negotiations will be launched. So it seems that the US administration finally got its first achievement: Palestinians and Israelis will be talking again. In recent months, the US administration abandoned its initial policy, of applying pressure on the Israeli government, and instead put the heat on the Palestinians. Whether the change of course was taken due to the political price the president was paying at home for…Read More...
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