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  • Asylum seekers to Israel's president: 'Look us in the eyes'

    Israel plans to begin deporting tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in the coming months. Hundreds gather outside the President's Residence in Jerusalem, hoping to tell him their stories. By Yael Marom Several hundred asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan demonstrated in front of Israeli President Rivlin’s official residence in Jerusalem Monday night, calling on him to stop planned mass deportations. The asylum seekers, including many women and children, were joined by dozens of Jewish Israelis, among them several Holocaust survivors. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators chanted “we are refugees,” “refugees don’t deport refugees,” and “the deportations are a…

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  • There is no status quo, only Greater Israel

    Netanyahu's party and government are finally making explicit what has long been implied: rejecting the premise that the Palestinians will ever have a state of their own. Over the past few years, analysts have been using the term “creeping annexation” to describe Israel’s land grabbing, segregationist policies in the West Bank. But over the past few days, the country’s leaders have been openly signaling that annexation need no longer creep. It is the new game in town. [tmwinpost] On Sunday night, Likud’s Central Committee, the body responsible for updating the party’s constitution, unanimously passed a resolution to extend Israeli sovereignty…

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  • Jerusalem isn't only Jewish, and that's what makes it beautiful

    Jerusalem is Jewish and Israeli, but there is an uncomfortable truth Israelis must come to terms with: the city is equally Arab — inherently, inescapably, and wonderfully Arab. By David Sarna Galdi President Donald Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, leaving out mention of Palestinian ties to the place - implying that the city is Jewish and belongs to the Jews. However, Jerusalem has never been exclusively Jewish. In Judaism’s earliest mythological moments, it was Semitic; throughout history, multicultural; and today, its most compelling parts are undeniably Arab. Scripturally, the Land of Israel is not the…

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  • How Trump energizes deniers of Palestinian independence

    Taking their cues from the American president, right-wingers like Bret Stephens argue that the Palestinians don't deserve a state. Here's why they're wrong. President Trump could have made a tremendous statement last week had he recognized the claims of both Israel and the Palestinians to a capital in Jerusalem. Instead, he reinforced Israel’s already disproportionate advantage in the conflict. Right-wing hawks then took it further, seizing on his statement to revive the dusty arguments rejecting of Palestinian statehood altogether. [tmwinpost] Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens provides Exhibit A, with his decree that Palestinians have not proved sufficiently worthy of…

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  • The new Balfour Declaration

    Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital echoes Lord Balfour's denial of Palestinian rights a century ago. Today, however, Palestinians are more empowered to challenge it. During a debate in the British Cabinet regarding its policy toward Palestine in 1919, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour informed Lord George Curzon, another senior statesman, that the government was not interested in "consulting the wishes of the present [Arab] inhabitants of the country" to help formulate its decisions. The great powers were "committed to Zionism," he said, and Zionism was "of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now…

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  • Welcome to the new American-Israeli consensus

    The peace process, which began ceremoniously on the White House lawn in September 1993, has come to an end. We must find a new way. By Menachem Klein Conferences around the Arab world marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration have just barely come to an end, and along comes a mini-Balfour and hands occupied Jerusalem over to Israel on a silver platter (apologies to Lord Balfour for the comparison). It is almost unnecessary to mention the many political and social differences between today and 100 years ago. But what molds Palestinian and Arab political opinion is not the historical reality,…

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  • Is Jerusalem forcing a new direction for the Palestinian struggle?

    'This is the least expensive occupation in history,' says one Palestinian resident. What he wants in return are equal rights in a democratic state. Could this be the future of the Palestinian national movement?    When I first met Osama Essawi in the summer of 2014, Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" had claimed its 500th Palestinian child, displaced a quarter of Gaza's population, and sparked demonstrations across the globe. I asked Essawi then why he thought Jerusalem had erupted in protest while the West Bank — with one notable exception — remained largely quiet. [tmwinpost] “Easy,” he said. “We don’t have a Palestinian Authority to stop us.”…

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  • Jerusalemites will be the ones to pay the price for Trump's decision

    Trump’s declaration will not change the fact that two nations live and will continue to live in Jerusalem, and that any solution will need to take into consideration the interests of both peoples. By Yehudit Oppenheimer A few hours before word got out that Trump was poised to announce he would move the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, I was on the city's light rail train during rush hour. Crowded alongside me and the other passengers were several young Palestinians speaking among themselves rather loudly in Arabic. Their body language was relaxed and they…

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  • Trump confirms what Israelis and Palestinians already know

    All those living in this country live under a single Israeli sovereign, and the U.S. is an avid supporter of that regime. Now that the veil has been officially lifted, maybe something can actually start to change. By Mairav Zonszein and Aziz Abu Sarah Headlines and experts have warned that President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually move the American embassy there is a catastrophe that upends decades of American policy. That it will kill the peace process. From the ground, though, it doesn’t look like Trump is breaking with U.S. policy, but rather authenticating it. And he can’t kill the peace…

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  • Three takeaways: Trump's Jerusalem declaration and Palestinian reactions

    Let's not pretend that there was a peace process for Donald Trump to obstruct. 1. To those who are worried that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will create an insurmountable roadblock to achieving the two-state solution, I remind you that on at least four separate occasions in recent years (one, two, three, four) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to never withdraw Israeli troops from the West Bank. That’s surmountable? [tmwinpost] Let’s be real. There has been no two-state option on the table at least since the late spring of 2014, before the Gaza war…

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  • Explained: What Trump's Jerusalem declaration will and won't do

    Jerusalem expert, activist, and attorney Daniel Seidemann talks to +972 about the short- and long-term ramifications of Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, from prospects of violence to the void left behind as Washington disqualifies itself as broker in the Israel-Palestine political process. Daniel Seidemann is a leading expert on the politics of Jerusalem, an attorney, and founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli NGO that tracks Israeli policies and settlement growth in the city. He served in an informal advisory capacity to the final status negotiations about Jerusalem in 2000-2001, under Prime Minister Ehud Barak. [tmwinpost] I met Seidemann in his Jerusalem…

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  • On Jerusalem, Trump is proving that the Israeli right was right all along

    By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital the U.S. president is boosting the settlers’ argument that in the long run, 'facts on the ground' are more important than diplomacy, and that Israel will eventually win legitimacy for its actions — even unilateral annexation. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan is said to have hesitated before ordering the IDF to conquer the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967. “What do I need this Vatican for,” he said at one meeting. But even the secular Dayan was swept by the wave of religious euphoria that took Israel after the war. A few…

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  • Is Sheldon Adelson behind Trump's decision on Jerusalem?

    The Jewish-American casino mogul, also a major supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu, has reportedly grown impatient with Trump's delays to follow through on his campaign promise to move the American embassy. By Eli Clifton President Donald Trump is expected to announce U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, and possibly his intention to move the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The move is a step toward fulfilling his campaign promise, during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to move the embassy to Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] It’s still uncertain if Trump will go…

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