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international pressure

  • Hiding the occupation doesn't make it go away

    A proposed law, said to be supported by Netanyahu's government, would criminalize videotaping Israeli soldiers doing the dirty work of the occupation. But hiding something from sight doesn't make it go away. Or does it? If an Israeli soldier beats a Palestinian and no one is there to catch it on video, did it really happen? That is the question a group of Israeli lawmakers seems determined to find out. A new bill, proposed by four members of Avigdor Liberman’s far-right Israel Beiteinu party, would make “videotaping, recording, or photographing Israeli soldiers carrying out their duty with the intention of…

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  • Hagai El-Ad talks war crimes, forced displacement, and int'l pressure

    B'Tselem's executive director speaks to +972 Magazine about his organization's decision to describe the demolition and displacement of Palestinian villages as 'war crimes,' and the role of international pressure in changing Israeli policy in the West Bank. By Joshua Leifer and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The international diplomatic and human rights community often couches its criticism of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians in softened, diplomatic terms. For years the U.S. State Department called Israeli settlements “unhelpful.” EU diplomats described the planned forced displacement of entire Palestinian communities as “contrary to Israel’s obligations” under international law. [tmwinpost] There are other words to…

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  • Europe, wake up and smell the coffee

    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…

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  • Sanders stands with Palestinian activist. More politicians must do the same

    On trial in an Israeli military court for nonviolently opposing the occupation, the odds are stacked against Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro. With the support of U.S. progressives like Bernie Sanders, he might just stand a chance. By Maya Garner It is a big deal when high profile American politicians like Bernie Sanders stand up for a Palestinian. After a nearly year-long trial in Israeli military court, and fresh out of PA custody just weeks earlier, Issa Amro traveled to the United States to meet with his supporters in Washington last week. Earlier in 2017, Sanders and dozens of…

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  • Everything you think you know about Israeli-Palestinian peace is wrong

    Israelis and Palestinians have grown the furthest apart during periods of quiet; it is in times of violence that the two nations have suddenly become flexible in their positions. That defies everything we tell ourselves about prospects for peace, and everything the world has told Palestinians they must do to achieve it. A review of 'The Only Language They Understand,' by Nathan Thrall. “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine”, by Nathan Thrall, Metropolitan Books, 2017, 336 pages. The year 2012 was particularly noteworthy in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: for the first time since…

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  • The ‘diplomatic tsunami’ that never came

    Netanyahu blew a lot of hot air in a Trump-like speech to his party loyalists last week. He did speak one truth, however: the international community can end the occupation if it wants. By Hagai El-Ad Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to a cheering crowd of party loyalists last week was not geared towards an international audience: it was meant to rally his political base in the face of several high-profile corruption investigations into him and those closest to him. The prime minister slung myriad false accusations against the media and “the left,” taken right from the scripts followed…

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  • UN vote exposes the true face of Israel's settlement policy

    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…

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  • Trump’s victory leaves Obama with only one option on Israel-Palestine

    When everyone believed Clinton was going to be the next president, Obama was rumored to be considering several last-minute options to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. All that went out the window on Tuesday. The Obama administration is probably trying to figure out how to protect its two signature achievements – Obamacare and the Iranian nuclear deal – for the next two years, when the White House and both chambers of Congress will be under Republican control. But it will also need to revisit other issues, such as a widely discussed final move on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Specifically, the idea of laying…

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  • Israel increasingly defiant as the world loses interest in Palestine

    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…

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  • What Clinton gets so wrong about Israel-Palestine

    The façade of a peace process is an obstacle to achieving a just peace, for which there can be no alternative. Hillary Clinton believes that the façade of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process is preferable to no peace process at all, we learned this week from the presidential candidate’s private emails, hacked by Russia and published by WikiLeaks. It’s hard to imagine a more troubling statement about Israel/Palestine from a politician who will in all likelihood be the next president of the United States, even if it represents only part of her thinking on the region. [tmwinpost] Let’s examine the logic…

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  • 'The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action'

    The following is a transcript of the prepared remarks B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council members during a special 'Arria-formula' session on 'Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution' in New York on October 14, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I begin, I would like to express my deep thanks for this unique opportunity of speaking at this distinguished forum and engaging with the members of the UN Security Council. What I’m about to say is not meant to shock you. It is, however, meant to move you. For…

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  • The road to ending occupation is incremental

    Israel leftists should not sit around and wait for the international community to save Israel from itself. There are no quick fixes. The way to bring about a better future for Israelis and Palestinians is to gradually reduce the ails of occupation. By Yariv Mohar It seems like more and more of my leftist friends feel that the solution to the occupation won’t come from inside Israel, which is increasingly radicalizing, but as a result of something external, some kind of international pressure — a deus ex machina, a tremendous foreign power, a UN resolution, the boycott, isolation or a combination…

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  • Why Herzog's diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheid

    Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…

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