Once the ascendant elite, the settler movement’s political power is on the decline. By Meron Rapoport While political analysts wonder if we have come to the end of the Netanyahu era, little attention is being paid to another major outcome of this election — that is, the decline of the national religious movement’s political power. Once, these self-described lords of the land believed they were well on their way to becoming Israel’s new political and cultural elite. But the numbers show that their political influence is waning. [tmwinpost] The Likud has always been at the center of the right wing…Read More... | 8 Comments
As the latest round of fighting in Gaza and southern Israel died down, it became clear that keeping Hamas in power has become a central tenet of the Israeli right. By Meron Rapoport The idea that Hamas is an Israeli creation is nearly as old as Hamas itself. Researchers, journalists, high-ranking Israeli military and government officials — even Americans — have found substantial evidence to that effect. And yet the Israeli narrative presents Hamas as a zealous, murderous terrorist group — the sworn enemy of every Israeli and Jew around the world. [tmwinpost] Official Israel has never admitted to supporting Hamas and…Read More... | 23 Comments
Israel claims the new road, which separates Israelis and Palestinians by an eight-meter wall, alleviates traffic for settlers while helping Palestinians travel around the West Bank. Human rights activists say it will help create Israeli-only enclaves free of any Palestinian presence. Israel unveiled a new segregated highway in the occupied West Bank last week, with a giant eight-meter concrete wall separating Palestinian and Israeli drivers on either side. Labeled the apartheid road by critics, Route 4370’s official reasoning is to alleviate traffic for Israeli settlers commuting to Jerusalem, as well as creating a new way for Palestinians to travel between the northern and…Read More... | 10 Comments
The right had a decade to annex the West Bank, quash Palestinian aspirations, and thwart Hamas in Gaza. Yet today, more than ever, its invincibility is anything but certain. By Meron Rapoport The past decade belonged to the Israeli right. Since 2009, the right-wing bloc easily defeated its opponents and won elections, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became its undisputed leader and the most important political figure in Israel. In the past six years, the Jewish Home party — the rightmost mainstream political party — has held key posts in the government. [tmwinpost] Political commentators are in near-total agreement that a…Read More... | 11 Comments
According to Haaretz, all Israel has to do to maintain the relevance of the two-state solution is evacuate 9,800 Jewish families from the West Bank. How do the Palestinians factor into this vision? They do not. By Meron Rapoport The headline on the front page of last weekend’s Haaretz weekend magazine was a short one: ‘You Lost.’ The “you” in this case referred to the settlers. According to the subhead, a decade into Netanyahu’s rule, it turns out the settlement enterprise has failed to thwart the creation of a Palestinian state. Evacuating 9,800 Israeli families in the West Bank, according…Read More... | 6 Comments
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…Read More... | 1 Comment
Twenty years after the Palestinian leadership declared partition 'entirely illegal,' they reversed course and recognized that accepting the division of the homeland could lay the groundwork for an independent state. By Jerome M. Segal A few days ago, Israel and its supporters worldwide marked the 70th Anniversary of the 1947 Partition Resolution, which was passed by the UN and called for the division of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. [tmwinpost] Why did the Palestinians say "no" to partition? The answer is simple. They believed that it was unjust, that all of the land was rightfully theirs, and, more to…Read More... | 3 Comments
The current Palestinian reconciliation agreement looks like it could actually hold, largely due to regional and internal changes over the past few years. What does this bode for the peace process? A former minister in the Palestinian government explains. By Ashraf al-Ajrami This is not the first time the two large Palestinian political movements, Fatah and Hamas, have come to a reconciliation agreement. There is a great deal of skepticism about whether it will succeed, particularly following the failure of previous reconciliation agreements. However, many feel that this time the two parties are serious, and success is possible. [tmwinpost] This is based…Read More... | 7 Comments
With Russian involvement, American support, and Israel's tacit agreement, the Palestinians are taking active steps toward national reconciliation. By Menachem Klein While all eyes were on the horrific massacre in Las Vegas on Monday, an interesting development took place in the Gaza, whose magnitude goes beyond reconciliation between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions. [tmwinpost] As opposed to previous attempts at national reconciliation, this time the Russians are involved. A Russian representative is taking part in reconciliation talks in Gaza. Not long ago, a Hamas delegation visited Moscow, and it is likely that what we are currently seeing was spoken about in Russia's…Read More... | 3 Comments
It’s as if the entire international community administered itself a potent dose of willful suspension of disbelief, enabling its leaders to ignore Bibi's declarations that he will never take the requisite steps for peace — that he will do everything in his power to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. For years, decades actually, the world has inexplicably given Benjamin Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt that, despite endless declarations to the contrary, he is interested and willing to end the occupation and enter into a peace accord that results in the creation of a Palestinian state. [tmwinpost] This week, at…Read More... | 17 Comments
Netanyahu's proposal to revoke citizenship from tens of thousands of Arab citizens is yet another calculated move meant to absolve Israel of responsibility for the fate of its native population. By Marzuq Al-Halabi The idea of territorial or population swaps as part of a final-status agreement with the Palestinians is not new. Many have previously propounded it, whether as part of an honest effort at resolving the conflict, or as a way to whitewash population transfer. A new proposal put forth by Prime Minister Netanyahu would transfer the Arab villages of Wadi Ara — adjacent to the northern West Bank — to…Read More...
France's far right may gain ground in the upcoming elections. French parliamentarians are hoping President Hollande acts before he must leave office in May. The French Newspaper Le Journal Du Dimanche published a letter Monday signed by over 150 French parliamentarians, in which they called on President Francois Hollande to recognize a Palestinian state. [tmwinpost] The letter comes on the heels of January's international summit in Paris, attended by representatives of some 70 countries, which sought to restart the peace process. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians attended the conference. According to the letter, "the summit provided the international community with an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the…Read More...
Those who want the occupation to end should make every effort to push their governments to express the illegitimacy of Israeli policy and demand the establishment of a Palestinian state. By Yuval Halperin Following the establishment of Israel in 1948, more than 100 new states were created around the world. In fact most of the sovereign states now in existence have been established in recent decades, most of them on the ruins of global empires on the basis of the principle of self-determination for all people. [tmwinpost] Israel is virtually the only country to continue maintaining colonial rule in the form of a military government over 4.7 million people who…Read More... | 8 Comments
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