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  • As Palestinian divisions deepen, Arab actors seek two-state alternative

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is worried that ‘regional peace’ would prompt normalization between Arab states and Israel, while sidelining the two-state solution. Yet increasingly, Palestinian and Arab actors are pursuing a number of alternative solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By Ella Aphek During Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s last visit to Washington, President Trump introduced a new formula for peace: “One state or two states, whatever both sides like.” Since then, Arab and Palestinian media coverage has acknowledged that not only Israeli policy, but also the failures of Palestinian leadership and ongoing conflicts between Fatah and Hamas, are to blame for the…

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  • The Palestinian leadership's wish for two states cannot be ignored

    With Hamas' new charter about to confirm the organization's commitment to a two-state solution, the unifying demand from the Palestinian leadership for a resolution to the conflict can no longer be denied. The debate over one state, two states, three states or something in between for Israel-Palestine has once again risen to the fore. At times, the one-state solution has been presented as the best, most likely and most realistic option, by figures as diverse as President Trump, Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett and eminent Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua, along with the radical Left (Palestinian and Jewish alike). [tmwinpost] But…

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  • Israel and Hamas need each other — now more than ever

    The fact that Israel has no desire to destroy Hamas and re-occupy Gaza means the next round of fighting will end much like the previous ones: a 'strategic tie' with enormous human suffering in both Israel and the Strip. By Doron Matza It is impossible to understand what is happening in the Gaza Strip without understanding the following paradox: the relationship between Israel and Hamas appears as a "zero-sum game," yet both sides cooperate with one another. [tmwinpost] For over a decade, Israel and Hamas have maintained a relationship of both confrontation and reconciliation. From the Israeli point of view, Hamas' presence in Gaza…

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  • Palestinians deserve more than Mahmoud Abbas

    At the Fatah Congress this week, Abbas’s followers seem to have affirmed a choice Oslo’s signatories made more than two decades ago: that livelihoods matter more than liberation. Palestinians deserve an alternative to this status quo. In Hisham Sharabi’s 1988 book, Neopatriarchy, the late Palestinian intellectual posits “a theory of distorted change in the Arab world,” one in which “the paternal will is the absolute will.” When it comes to politics, this paternalism is easy to miss, Sharabi argued, because it uses “external trappings,” like elections, to give the illusion of consensus—all while relying on familiar patterns of “ritual and…

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  • The war of succession brewing in Palestine

    The head of the Palestinian security services is counting on Israeli support. Mohammed Dahlan is trying to rally backers in Egypt. From prison, Marwan Barghouti is writing plans for a nonviolent struggle to will the Palestinian public worldwide. The struggle over Abbas’ succession signals a generational change among the Palestinian leadership. By Menachem Klein When Yassser Arafat's health was slowly fading and the Israeli army put him under siege, there was no war of succession taking place around him. This is not because his rule was petrifying. On the contrary, there were always disagreements, and often his colleagues prevented him from…

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  • Marwan Barghouti is planning a comeback — from behind bars

    He may be serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison but Marwan Barghouti is the only leader who has a chance to succeed Mahmoud Abbas and unite the Palestinian people. This is how he plans on doing it. By Menachem Klein Until recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was considered only a lame duck. Long ago he had promised not to run for president in the next elections. Not a single politician threatened him, he did not appoint a vice president, and elections never took place. But over the past two weeks Abbas has gone from lame duck to…

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  • The only people planning for the day after Abbas

    Mahmoud Abbas’s sudden departure from the political stage could throw Palestine into complete chaos. And the only two sides preparing for such an eventuality are the Israeli Right and Hamas. By Menachem Klein It could happen tonight or tomorrow morning. Out of nowhere, just like Ariel Sharon, Mahmoud Abbas could have a stroke and fall into a vegetative state. Unlike the case in Israel, however, Abbas has no designated successor or deputy like Ehud Olmert was for Sharon. The Palestinian Authority’s Basic Law says that such a vacancy would be automatically and temporarily filled by the speaker of the Palestinian…

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  • Fleeing the world's largest prison: A journey from Gaza to Israel

    When Shefaa was granted permission to leave Gaza for a four-day visit to Israel to meet with a group of Jewish and Palestinian women, it was nothing short of a miracle. There she could tell her story and dispel the myths about life in Gaza. All at once the activities marking International Women's Day came to an end. Conferences, lectures, and ceremonies alongside commercials for spas, malls, and Botox — which were supposed to cause women joy for one day, while making the credit card companies extremely happy. [tmwinpost] But before I allow capitalism to take over this article the…

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  • Why do we only listen to violence?

    Two intifadas increased Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals. Wars in Lebanon and Egypt led Israel to withdrawals from those territories. Despite all that, the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain quiet and security for Israelis but receives nothing in return. If I were Palestinian I might come to a disturbing conclusion. One axiom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Palestinian violence pushes the Jewish public rightward. Due to violence, common wisdom goes, the willingness of Israeli Jews to make concessions or compromise decreases, and Palestinian independence or equality becomes more of a pipe dream. Only refraining from violence will…

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  • Abbas' peace project has hit a dead end

    He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series. By Menachem Klein Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004. For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders…

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  • 12 Palestinian members of parliament are in Israeli prison

    While we often hear Palestinian prisoners in the news, little is said about the lawmakers currently sitting in Israeli prisons. Many of them have spent years in jail, often as political prisoners in administrative detention, suffering beatings, interrogations and imprisonment in difficult conditions. Yet many of them still see a chance of living side-by-side with Israel, whether in one or two states. By Noam Rotem An Israeli military court decided last week to continue detaining Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament, who has been imprisoned by Israel for the past two months. Jarrar was first arrested and put in administrative…

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  • Do Israelis have any idea how bad it is in Gaza?

    Nearly two million Gazans are living in a state of poverty and shortages, with few options of leaving and even fewer options for work. Nearly two million people who live in a giant prison, and Israelis cannot even begin to fathom how terrible their situation is. "I'm extremely concerned that if you leave Gaza in the state it's currently in, you'll have another eruption, and violence, and then we're back in a further catastrophe, so we've got to stop that," warned Quartet envoy Tony Blair during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. It was his first trip to the…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli forces damage youth centers in Nablus raid

    A youth sports club and center for children with disabilities in Nablus sustain serious damage after Israeli forces raid a multi-story building in search of wanted Palestinians. Text and photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As happens almost every night in Palestinian cities, towns and villages throughout the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Nablus neighborhoods at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Military jeeps spread out to different areas of the city, especially to refugee camps. The biggest military operation took place in the southern part of the city, where Israeli forces targeted six Palestinians who were sleeping in a local youth sports club. Their…

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