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Oslo accords

  • An election between annexationists and pro-occupation generals

    Palestinians have no say over whether they will be ruled by messianic religious zealots or by generals who previously presided over the occupation. On September 17, Israelis will return to the polls for round two of an election cycle that failed to determine an outcome in April, this time hoping for a different result. While there are some substantive differences between incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, when it comes to peace with the Palestinians the outcome matters much less. Neither Netanyahu nor Gantz is inclined or capable of positively altering the reality…

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  • Resource: Choosing annexation over development

    A new report compares and contrasts two of of Israel's largest and most important settlement projects: development towns built before 1967 and the settlements in the occupied West Bank. Text by Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg There are many ways of calculating the “cost” of the occupation. Since 2008, the Adva Center, a leading Israeli progressive think tank that monitors social and economic developments in Israel has for years published annual reports outlining the burden of the occupation on Israeli society. The organization's latest report, "Annexation Trumps Start-up Nation," tell the story of two Israeli settlement projects: the “development towns” established in far-flung areas of the country before the 1967 war,…

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  • From heat waves to 'eco-apartheid': Climate change in Israel-Palestine

    July 2019 was, according to European climate researchers, the hottest month ever recorded. Coming just one year after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its landmark report warning of an impending climate catastrophe, temperatures soared to unprecedented levels in places like Alaska and Sweden, forests incinerated in Siberia, glaciers melted in Greenland, and entire cities in India went without water. Faced with rising temperatures, addressing climate breakdown and its effects on humanity has become a key issue for governments, politicians, and movements for social justice around the world. Israel-Palestine, located in one of the hottest regions of the…

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  • The thousands of undocumented Gazans living in limbo

    By Amjad Yaghni Wafaa Abu Hajjaj has been active in the media industry in Gaza for the past eight years, working as a correspondent for various local and regional television news outlets. But she has also been deprived of dozens of job opportunities abroad because she doesn’t have a Palestinian identification card. Without it, she can’t be officially employed or access government services. [tmwinpost] Abu Hajjaj appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to obtain residency and a passport in 2015, but to no avail. Her 70-year-old father, Abdel Mun’em Abu Hajjaj, suffers from heart disease; he too has been denied…

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  • The Oslo era is finally over, but it only gets worse from here

    In theory, the end of Oslo should be a welcome development. In practice, there is little to celebrate. There is something unsettling about the way the 25-year anniversary since the signing of the Oslo Accords is being marked — neither eulogy nor longing, and without anyone having any clue what lies ahead. There is one thing that is different this year, however. With the exception of Jason Greenblatt, nobody is paying lip service to the illusion of a peace process any more. [tmwinpost] In theory, that should be a welcome development. The Oslo process and the legacy it left on…

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  • How one of Palestine's preeminent journalists lost hope for peace

    Nasser Laham, the editor-in-chief of Palestine's biggest independent media outlet, used to be an ardent supporter Abbas and the peace process. But after decades of failed attempts, something inside him changed. Today he believes Palestinians must stop talking about peace. 'We'll wait a thousand years, the Israelis will be defeated. What's the hurry?' By Meron Rapoport You won’t find a Palestinian journalist who understands Israel and the Israelis like Nasser Laham. He took advantage of the Hebrew he learned while serving time in prison to become the most prominent commentator on Israeli affairs in the Palestinian media, hosting a popular daily television show that…

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  • Beneath the illusion of a temporary occupation lies apartheid

    By claiming that its control over Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is temporary, despite lasting longer than South African Apartheid by any measure, Israel is able to justify a regime that denies one group political and civil rights while privileging another. By Fady Khoury The so-called temporary nature of Israel’s control over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has for too long served as a justification for not extending them full political and civil rights. [tmwinpost] The Oslo peace process entailed a Palestinian acceptance of “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace…

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  • Israel's problem isn't Palestinian nationalism — it's Palestinians themselves

    Most of the circumstances that made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ripe for resolution — or at least made the peace process attractive to both parties — have all but disappeared over the past decade. Many Israelis were likely happy to read The New Yorker article titled "The End of This Road: The Decline of the Palestinian National Movement" earlier this month. The piece is of particular interest due to where it was published — the liberal elite's most prominent magazine, which generally champions the Zionist Left and the American-backed two-state solution. [tmwinpost] The identity of its authors is also noteworthy: Ahmad Samih Khalidi was…

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  • Why it's still important to talk about peace

    Israelis may want peace, but they want it on their terms: without Palestinian resistance to the occupation. By Raef Zreik The rhetoric of "peace" as a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict blurs the problem at hand: the Palestinians don’t want peace. Peace is viewed as the opposite of war, but the Palestinians are not in a state of war with Israel — they are under occupation and are at war with the occupation. As in any occupation, you have those who are occupiers and those who are occupied. And while war presumes some sort of symmetry, there is nothing symmetrical about…

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  • Calling Bibi's bluff: Why Israel depends on a liberal, open Europe

    Netanyahu can bash the EU all he wants. At the end of the day, the future and security of Israel depends on its political and economic ties with the EU, not vice versa. By Eitay Mack (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Last Wednesday, the media leaked a recording of a private conversation between Netanyahu and the heads of state of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In that conversation, Israel's prime minister portrayed the European Union as a madman who puts its own future and security at risk. According to Netanyahu, the EU's madness stems from its refusal to keep silent…

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  • The settlers' goal is not the settlements

    It is the total transformation of Israel. The settlements, the settlers, and the occupation are all entirely associated with one another in the Israeli consciousness. The Left and the Right agree on this, albeit with varying considerations: the Left wants to apportion blame for Israel’s continuing control over the West Bank, while the settlers want to take credit for the settlement project and for thwarting the idea of partitioning the land. [tmwinpost] The image of the settler leadership as ideological extremists suits everyone — even the international community, which has accustomed itself to an artificial distinction between “good” and democratic Israel, which is embraced and…

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  • Living on borrowed time: Palestinian village fights for its existence

    Threatened with their village's destruction, Palestinians in Susiya live in a political and psychological limbo. While working, studying and trying to lead a normal life, the residents are also fighting to stop their home from disappearing.  By Max Schindler When asked what her family will do if the army demolishes her village, Soraya, 16, hesitates: “We’ll go to Yatta,” she says, gesturing towards the nearby West Bank market town. “No,” her mother interrupted. “We’ll stay here. Don’t say that.” It’s a question on the mind of every resident of Susiya, a Palestinian village made up of tarpaulin huts and sheep pens…

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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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