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John Kerry

  • Trump is just what Netanyahu needs to annex the West Bank

    His ideological proximity to the new U.S. president will allow Netanyahu to advance plans for the de facto annexation of the West Bank. Now all he needs is Trump's approval. By Menachem Klein A slip of the tongue from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month is worthy of attention. In an unprepared response to a Likud Knesset member, Netanyahu said: “What I’m willing to give to the Palestinians is not exactly a state with full authority, but rather a state-minus, which is why the Palestinians don’t agree [to it].” [tmwinpost] This almost never happens to Netanyahu. He is calculated, in contrast to…

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  • The real impact of UN Resolution 2334 has yet to come

    The heart of the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements is territorial, picking up where 242 left off almost 50 years ago. It will also likely serve as the framework for this month's Paris Peace Conference. By Shemuel Meir UN Security Council resolution 2334 caught Prime Minister Netanyahu off guard. Out of the clear blue sky. From a territorial perspective, which is the heart of 2334, the Security Council resolution represents an escalation in the way the international community relates to Israel’s borders and its settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli prime minister read the resolution carefully. Netanyahu’s…

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  • Kerry's parameters force Israel to take a hard look in the mirror

    John Kerry's speech this week clearly and rationally explained why the status quo will not enable Israel to maintain its Jewish and democratic character. Are Israelis paying attention? By Elie Podeh and Nimrod Goren Throughout 2016, analysts were wondering what – if at all – will be President Obama’s final move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The options discussed included a presidential speech (like the Cairo speech in 2009), updating the Clinton parameters of 2000, and the advancement of a resolution at the UN Security Council. Eventually, all answers were somewhat right: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was not initiated by the U.S., but…

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  • Kerry implicitly acknowledges two states is all but a fantasy now

    The Secretary of State asked if they really wanted to live with the moral consequences of a one-state reality. He doesn't understand this isn't an issue that preoccupies the average Jewish citizen of Israel. Over the past three decades Israel has seen seven prime ministers (and several more elections), political assassinations, two intifadas, a peace accord, four wars and the withdrawal of the Jewish settlers from Gaza. But amidst all this upheaval, one essential fact has remained a constant: Israel has maintained complete control over the lives of the Palestinians who live in Gaza and the West Bank. [tmwinpost] On Wednesday,…

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  • After the UN, the EU must lead the way on Israeli settlements

    Resolution 2334 should be seen as a belated step towards mobilizing the international consensus. But to give it any real effect, states will need to build on the resolution with a view to making it operational. The EU is best positioned to do so. By Hugh Lovatt Much of the discussion about the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements over the past week has focused on the U.S. decision to abstain, thus allowing it to pass. But Resolution 2334 also opens the door for practical measures to challenge Israel’s prolonged occupation and disincentives its illegal annexation of Palestinian territory,…

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  • U.S. abstention is a message to Europe: End Israel’s impunity

    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…

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  • How Americans really feel about equality for Palestinians and Israelis

    The Obama administration is only willing to discuss a one-state solution in terms of apartheid and violence. But asked whether Jews and Palestinians should be equal, the vast majority of Americans suddenly become one-state supporters. And then there's sanctions... Thirty-seven percent of Americans think the United States should respond to ongoing Israeli settlement construction with economic sanctions, or harsher measures, according to a public opinion survey published by the Brookings Institute last week. And that’s a relatively consistent position. Thirty-nine percent of Americans gave an identical answer to the same poll a year ago. On the other hand, 61 percent…

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  • Can we call it one state and be done with it?

    The debate over whether we are living in a single state is irrelevant – the answer is a resounding yes. The real problem is that freedom and equality are only extended to some of its subjects. “You’ve just crossed the Green Line.” I say it every time I take a friend or a group from abroad to visit Jerusalem, as we turned left from Jaffa Street down toward Damascus Gate in the Old City. Many of them do a double take, looking around for a sign or marker indicating the line’s existence – but there are none. The roads intersect, the…

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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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  • What's happening in Jerusalem?: A roundup

    Dozens of Palestinians and several Border Police officers wounded in third day of clashes over restrictions to Jerusalem's holiest site. Tensions erupted in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday, as dozens of Palestinians and three Border Police officers were wounded in the third day of clashes over restrictions on Muslim worship in one of Jerusalem's holiest sites. [tmwinpost] According to Ma'an News Agency, dozens Palestinians were wounded during clashes with Israeli security forces throughout the West Bank. Eighteen of them were lightly wounded near the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, while protesting in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid…

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  • The 'anti-Zionist' camp goes mainstream in Israeli elections

    Both Netanyahu and Livni are leveraging their international influence for electoral gain: Netanyahu in Congress and Livni at the United Nations. And, will the real Zionist camp please stand up? Elections are almost always referendums on the incumbent, and an incumbent always has an advantage against any challengers. One of those advantages is the ability to demonstrate leadership and to exploit platforms unavailable to his or her challengers, i.e. speaking before a joint session of Congress. Such advantages tend not to be fair, or even legal in some cases. In Israel, for instance, there are laws that prevent public servants…

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  • Security Council's election message to Israelis: Keep ignoring the occupation

    Israel and Washington together blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for the implementation of a negotiated two-state solution within a year. Abbas's diplomatic efforts have hit a brick wall. The Israeli government came out with the upper hand yesterday at the United Nations Security Council: a joint effort by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry managed to gather enough votes to block a Palestinian resolution calling for a negotiated two-state solution and an end to the occupation within a year (full text here). Jordan submitted the proposed resolution on behalf of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.…

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  • Who says Palestinians don’t have a vote in Israeli elections?

    By warning that a Palestinian UN resolution might strengthen Netanyahu, Kerry is actually suggesting that Palestinians can influence Israeli elections — just not in the direction Washington was hoping for. The United States is trying to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions seeking an end to the occupation under the pretense that it could strengthen right-wing political parties in Israel’s upcoming elections, according to a report in Foreign Policy on Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a gathering of European diplomats that Tzipi Livni — who recently departed the far-right Netanyahu government to join forces with the centrist Labor…

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