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obama administration

  • Trump is the president settlers could only dream of

    Although U.S. policy toward Israeli settlements has fluctuated over time, successive American officials have consistently taken a dim view of the settlement movement. Trump and his advisors may change all that very soon. By Derek Davison Although President-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy team are only beginning to develop their agenda for his coming administration, his surprising election on Tuesday may already be having an impact on Israel’s West Bank settlement policy. On Thursday, Jason Greenblatt, co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee, told Israel’s Army Radio that “it is certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activities should…

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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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  • Has the IDF found a way to climb down the Susya tree?

    Up against extraordinarily harsh diplomatic pressure from its closest allies, Israel seems to have found a way to save face without creating too much of a fuss — at least temporarily. With more or less the entire Western world warning Israel not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya and forcefully displace its residents, it is no surprise that the Israeli army might be seeking a way to climb down the tree it is stuck on. So how does one announce that it might not demolish that village which it has been claiming for years has no right to exist?…

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  • Michael Oren's diplomatic psychobabble

    Does the former Israeli ambassador really think that an imaginative psychoanalysis of Obama can explain away Netanyahu's annexationist policies? By Aviad Kleinberg Michael Oren blames President Barack Obama for ruining relations with Israel, after the latter broke two sacrosanct rules that Oren himself came up with: that the United States and Israel should not have public disagreements, and that no steps should be taken to publicly embarrass the other side. [tmwinpost] Oren is aware, of course, of the fact that successive Israeli governments (read: Netanyahu's governments) have openly opposed U.S. policy (for instance vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear deal), that every so often those…

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  • There is no reason to trust Benjamin Netanyahu

    Netanyahu can backpedal all he wants, but now it is clear even to his biggest champions that he is no longer interested in the two-state solution. Now it's up to the White House to take a stand. Prime Minister Netanyahu's landslide election victory on Tuesday stunned even the biggest pessimists. What looked like a possible upset turned very quickly into an easy win for the incumbent, giving his Likud party 30 seats in the upcoming Knesset. Isaac Herzog's Zionist Camp, Netanyahu's main opposition, won only 24 seats. Like most other major political figures, Netanyahu said nothing about the occupation or the…

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  • The world is letting Israel get away with it again

    The assault on Gaza has hurt this country’s image, and it doesn’t care. There’s no doubt that this past month of heavily televised overkill in Gaza – well, heavily televised everywhere but here – has hurt Israel’s standing in the world. The IDF has killed too many civilians, wiped out too many families, bombed too many UN shelters. Even Washington has used words like “indefensible” and “disgraceful” to describe some of Israel’s acts. And while the world’s powers-that-be don’t like Hamas, they do like the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and they know very well that the Netanyahu government…

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  • U.S. post-mortem on peace talks: Israel killed them

    Americans involved in Kerry initiative give interview indicting Netanyahu government and exonerating Palestinian leader Abbas. Yedioth Ahronoth’s Nahum Barnea, Israel’s No. 1 print journalist, has a long interview on Friday with unnamed U.S. officials involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, giving their view of why they failed. The interview is quite a bombshell, as well as a historic document. (Hours after this post went online, Yediot translated the interview and put it up on its English-language website.)  The quote from the Americans that’s likely to make the most news is this: It seems we’re in need of another intifada to…

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  • On Iran, Netanyahu chooses politics over strategy

    Netanyahu did not take Israel's strategic interests into account in his latest confrontation with the United States. Will his decision cost him when it comes to the ballot box? Only time will tell.  By Ilan Baruch Over the last several days, Prime Minister Netanyahu's sour face has peered over at us through the screen. While his mouth was busy berating the six powers and President Obama, his eyes betrayed exhaustion. Ever since Iranian President Rouhani appeared before the UN General Assembly on his "charm offensive" directed toward the West, Netanyahu has been leading a losing battle. Netanyahu's paradigm, which was based…

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  • Halfway through timeframe, Palestinian-Israeli talks are going nowhere

    The two parties haven’t met in almost a month, and Israeli politicians are now openly discussing the success of maintaining the status quo. Even the crisis with the European Union is over. Roughly halfway through the current round of negotiations, the talks between Israeli and Palestinians negotiators have hit a new low point. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told A-Shams Radio station that the two teams haven’t met since November 5th. He added that the talks are so futile that Palestinians are better off turning to the UN right away. Erekat also recently submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority President…

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  • Why a strike on Iran could amount to a suicide mission

    By Jalal Nali The failure of diplomatic efforts aimed at providing Tehran with incentives to suspend its uranium enrichment in exchange for a transparent civilian nuclear program under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supervision has the international community worried that Tehran can no longer be engaged in meaningful negotiations. Suspicions are multiplying exponentially about Iran’s secret agenda of building nuclear weapons, suspicions that were confirmed back in May 2011 after UN inspectors found traces of highly enriched uranium on equipment from research centers linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Pragmatically-minded Sunni monarchies belonging to the Cooperation…

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