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Oslo accords

  • 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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  • Palestinians aren't counting on Trump or Clinton for their liberation

    Americans will still have a long way to go before they can decide what their country represents. Once they do, Palestinians can begin to care again about what happens in Washington. As a Palestinian contributor to +972, I have been struggling these past weeks with how to write about the US presidential election. Part of the problem is that this year’s nominees have hardly touched on our part of the world. Beyond the shock-jock antics of the Republican candidate or the very real resurgence of hate among the American electorate, this election has revealed America’s distinct lack of awareness about…

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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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  • Abbas had to ask the Israeli army for permission to attend Peres's funeral

    While leaders around the world coordinated their visits with the Foreign Ministry, the Palestinian president was forced to ask permission from an occupying army. The irony. As a matter of diplomatic protocol, visits by heads of state are handled by the Foreign Ministry. The issue is so immutable that when the Israeli Foreign Ministry staff went on strike a few years, even a strategically important visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had to be canceled. Therefore, when former Israeli President Shimon Peres died earlier this week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry opened an emergency situation room to handle the expected flood of foreign leaders and…

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  • A Palestinian perspective on the legacy of Shimon Peres

    The distrust with which Palestinians treat the Israeli peace camp frequently appears as something of a surprise, and even affront, to international observers. But the difference between Israeli left and right is all too frequently one of degree, rather than kind. By Nadia Naser-Najjab Even those with only a passing familiarity with Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will undoubtedly have some awareness of Shimon Peres. Peres was an elder of Israeli politics, whose own history has been inextricably interwoven with that of Israel. Older readers will (perhaps wistfully, perhaps not) recall something of Peres’s style of politics, which was almost the…

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