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
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
Dozens of civil society, feminist, and anti-occupation groups form the 'Council for the Protection of Freedoms' to fight back against the government's and public's attacks against freedom of expression. Representatives from over 30 civil society organizations gathered on Friday in Nazareth for the founding conference of the "Council for the Protection of Freedoms." The council was established to fight back against the feeling among various organizations that their activities and freedom of expression are at risk. The goal will be to protect these freedoms from both the government as well as various tendencies among both Jewish and Arab society. [tmwinpost] The…Read More... | 8 Comments
The attempt to blame ill Palestinians for the deficiencies of Israel's healthcare system distracts from the fact that there is only one sovereign responsible for the state of medical care in the occupied territories. By Ran Goldstein A recent Israeli media investigation made headlines over the last few weeks after concluding that Israelis in the country's periphery are losing out as a result of Israel's providing medical treatment to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But these conclusions are manipulative. [tmwinpost] Let’s begin with what should be self-evident under international humanitarian law: Israel, as the entity that oversees the conditions that impact health in…Read More... | 10 Comments
The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson. Shortly after the UN Security Council passed its resolution criticizing Israeli settlements on Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a press statement by John Kerry explaining Washington’s decision to abstain from the vote. Kerry said that their goal was to “preserve the possibility of the two state solution,” adding that “We cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that…Read More... | 13 Comments
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank thus far in 2016 than in any other calendar year in the last decade. Israeli authorities destroyed 33 structures, 20 of them homes, across the West Bank since the beginning of August. The demolitions have left 53 people, including 25 minors, homeless, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The demolitions began on August 4th in the Al-Mu’arrajat community in the Jordan Valley, where four homes were destroyed and 14 people were left homeless. On August 8 authorities bulldozed two homes in the village Fasayil in the Jordan Valley,…Read More... | 1 Comment
North American and European activists from the Center for Jewish Non-Violence accompany the Palestinian residents of Susya to the site of their former village, from which they were expelled three decades ago. A group of American and European Jews on Thursday accompanied Palestinian residents of Susya to the former site of their village, from which they were expelled 30 years ago and which today is an Israeli-administered archeological park. Many of the 80 Palestinian residents of Susya who took the trip on Thursday had never been back to the site of their former village, where much of the older generation was born…Read More... | 7 Comments
Despite international criticism, the Knesset passes legislation to single out left-wing NGOs in Israel. Here is everything you need to know about it. Israel’s parliament passed the so-called “NGO Law” Monday night, a piece of legislation meant to stigmatize left-wing and human rights organizations in Israel as agents of foreign powers. [tmwinpost] The law singles out NGOs that receive the majority of their funding from foreign state entities, forcing them to prominently declare their foreign funding in any publication or public engagement such as media appearances or events. Contrary to what right-wing politicians claim, the law is not intended to…Read More... | 6 Comments
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