Israeli bulldozers demolished nine Palestinian structures in the West Bank villages of Al-Hadidiya and Al-Jiftlik late last week. By Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org Israeli bulldozers demolished nine Palestinian structures in two communities in the Jordan Valley last Thursday. The structures belong to three Palestinian families who live in Area C in the West Bank village of Al-Hadidiya in the northern Jordan Valley and the town of Al-Jiftlik in the central West Bank. Palestinian communities living in Area C are under full Israeli military control. The residents were previously notified by the Israeli authorities that their structures lack the necessary building permits, which are often…Read More... | 2 Comments
An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank. By Hagai El-Ad Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions. [tmwinpost] The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Liberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice's ruling, however, actually addressed…Read More... | 10 Comments
The residents of Khan al-Ahmar had hoped the German chancellor would demand Netanyahu back down from the imminent demolition of their hamlet. Instead, she called the matter an 'Israeli decision.' By Oren Ziv Ever since Israel’s High Court of Justice gave its final stamp of approval to the demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar last month, residents and solidarity activists have been hoping that international pressure, especially from Europe, would delay or prevent the demolition. The activists have directed their efforts toward convincing members of the EU Parliament to openly oppose the move. They also hoped that the threat of…Read More... | 80 Comments
The EU has become effectively paralyzed in its ability to react to and meaningfully impact the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A recent visit by Arab members of Knesset represents an opportunity for both the EU and civil society in Israel to engage in new ways. By Nimrod Goren The EU quite frequently expresses criticism over Israeli policies and legislation that damage prospects of achieving the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts or that run counter to the principles of democracy and human rights. Israel’s recent Jewish Nation-State Law ties both aspects together – it contradicts the value of equality that appears in…Read More...
Whether European states follow through on their threats and warnings over the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar will determine a great deal about the EU's relevance and its ability to influence Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians. European powers are going to have to make a crucial choice in the coming week. Two months after five EU states reportedly warned Israel that the demolition and forced displacement of Khan al-Ahmar would “trigger a reaction” from its allies, the Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its final stamp of approval for the demolition to go ahead. [tmwinpost] Along with the southern West Bank…Read More... | 7 Comments
The Palestinian people have become dependent on foreign humanitarian aid to survive, but its adverse effects are strangling their economy. By Liora Sion International aid to the Palestinians is very generous. The United Nations is aiming to raise approximately $540 million per year for the five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. That's a lot of money when compared to sums raised for other countries in crisis. For example, take Afghanistan, where the UN hopes to raise $437 million for the 34 million citizens of the country, despite the enormous difficulties it faces. In Iraq, a country in desperate need…Read More... | 3 Comments
The law would prohibit the import and sale of goods and services that originate in settlements in occupied territories, targeting Israeli settlements but also other occupations worldwide. Previous European laws made do with 'differentiation' measures. Ireland's parliament is set to vote on a bill Tuesday to prohibit trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories, including those in the West Bank. In contrast to policies and legislation that differentiate Israeli settlements and excludes them from trade agreements, the Irish bill could be construed as sanctions targeting settlement products. [Update: After Israel summoned the Irish ambassador over the proposed law, the Irish Senate…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Netanyahu government is celebrating Trump's recent declaration and threats against the Palestinians as victories, but Jerusalem should wait before opening the champagne. The Trump Administration on Tuesday threatened to withhold millions of dollars in aid that it sends to the Palestinians each year, accusing them of not wanting to negotiate a peace deal with Israel. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. would stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — the UN agency responsible for providing aid to Palestinian refugees — if the Palestinian leadership refuses to return to American-led peace talks. Washington…Read More... | 4 Comments
Right-wingers like Miri Regev and BDS activists have come to the same conclusion: that after 50 years of occupation, it is impossible to separate the economy of the settlements from Israel's economy as a whole. The Israeli government is in the midst of an internal debate that mirrors a debate in left-wing and progressive circles worldwide: whether to boycott only the settlements or the Israeli economy as a whole. [tmwinpost] Just last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved yet another economic agreement with the European Union, wherein the Israeli government de-facto agrees to boycott Jewish settlements in the occupied territories…Read More... | 2 Comments
Netanyahu's Israel openly mocks the values that Europe claims to hold dear. When will European leaders stand up and reject the unacceptable reality of the past 50 years? By Hagai El-Ad European foreign ministers attending Prime Minister Netanyahu’s breakfast in Brussels this Monday may find their thoughts wandering, as the guest of honor once again speaks of Iran, self-indulgent whining of "double standards," and “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Some breakfasts are more difficult to swallow than others. [tmwinpost] And so, given a recent speech by a certain American president, the attending ministers’ thoughts may drift — perhaps…Read More... | 6 Comments
Gaza's Rafah border may reopen soon now that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a reconciliation deal. But that doesn't mean that the EU mission, which has been sitting and waiting near Tel Aviv at a cost of millions of euros a year, will be going back to work anytime soon. For the past 10 years, a group of European Union border monitors has been waiting inside Israel for the elusive, far-off moment when they can redeploy to the Gaza Strip, to supervise the border crossing separating Gaza and Egypt. [tmwinpost] If the reconciliation deal between Palestinian factions Fatah and…Read More...
Some in Israel are drawing parallels between the Catalonian demand for national self-determination and Palestinian independence. The two situations are nothing alike. The referendum over Catalonian secession underway in Spain is turning into a serious political crisis, which threatens to become a European crisis that could dwarf even Brexit. The European Union has succeeded at tampering internal conflicts inside member states: the vision of European identity was critical in ending the violence in Northern Ireland, and perhaps even the struggle for Basque independence. [tmwinpost] Now, a declaration of Catalonian independence would put to a test not only Spain, but the European…Read More... | 14 Comments
Netanyahu can bash the EU all he wants. At the end of the day, the future and security of Israel depends on its political and economic ties with the EU, not vice versa. By Eitay Mack (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Last Wednesday, the media leaked a recording of a private conversation between Netanyahu and the heads of state of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In that conversation, Israel's prime minister portrayed the European Union as a madman who puts its own future and security at risk. According to Netanyahu, the EU's madness stems from its refusal to keep silent…Read More... | 11 Comments
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