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,…Read More... | 66 Comments
When everyone believed Clinton was going to be the next president, Obama was rumored to be considering several last-minute options to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. All that went out the window on Tuesday. The Obama administration is probably trying to figure out how to protect its two signature achievements – Obamacare and the Iranian nuclear deal – for the next two years, when the White House and both chambers of Congress will be under Republican control. But it will also need to revisit other issues, such as a widely discussed final move on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Specifically, the idea of laying…Read More... | 6 Comments
The occupation is disastrous first and foremost for Palestinians, but it is also disastrous for the Jewish people in Israel. Left-wing politics cannot be based solely on solidarity with the Other. By Uri Weltmann There are left-wing voices in Israel who believe that the very foundation of Israeliness has become inextricably intertwined with the country’s occupation of the Palestinians. One such view, expressed by Inna Michaeli in an oped in these pages, goes so far as to argue that “the end of the occupation will bring about the end of Israel.” Such voices are effectively abandoning the worldview according to which the…Read More... | 13 Comments
From the prime minister down, the Israeli government has effectively dropped the charade that the occupation is temporary, or that it actually fears consequences for its intransigence. Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period between the November 8 U.S. elections and his successor’s inauguration on January 20. After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework…Read More... | 48 Comments
Is conflict management sustainable? A closer look at a similar conflict should serve as a stark reminder for all Israelis who care about peace. Living the Israeli-Palestinian conflict day in, day out, one often feels suffocated by a thicket of obstacles to peace. Wherever one looks for solutions, the doors seem to slam shut. It is easy to conclude that no conflict has ever been so stubbornly intractable, and that no one faces so many layers of complexity. What I've noticed from years of international work and close observation of other protracted conflicts is that the people in those other…Read More... | 14 Comments
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…Read More... | 9 Comments
Netanyahu knows there will be no price to be paid for bad behavior. But Obama still has a chance to take a harder line, to create consequences for the Israeli leadership’s self-destructive behavior. By James J. Zogby I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama administration's reaction to Israel's announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands last week. It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10-year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama…Read More... | 3 Comments
One day Mahmoud Abbas, who suppresses his own people to protect Israelis, will also pass away. That's when the Palestinian pressure cooker will explode. Arabs and Jews in Israel, Palestine, and the Arab world at large, I promise you that next time Shimon Peres dies, Joint List head Ayman Odeh and the rest of the Joint List will attend the funeral. Okay? Next. But until then, let's shed some light on the man who actually attended the funeral, the man who will, sometime soon, pass away himself. Let's talk about Mahmoud Abbas, who came to pay his final respects, grieved with…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
With no peace process on the horizon, the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv this week is a reminder that we don't have the luxury of giving up on a future in which Palestinians and Israelis alike can feel secure in their own homes, streets and cafes. Almost six years ago, Hillary Clinton was getting ready to oversee the first face-to-face between Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in the Obama administration’s initial foray into Middle East peacemaking. Secretary of State Clinton’s road to just getting the two sides to sit down together had been long and hard, including extracting a nine-month…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Prime Minister's Office spared no time in declaring the multilateral conference on advancing Mideast peace a failure. He may have missed a few things. By Shemuel Meir It is difficult to ignore the unbridled joy that took over the Prime Minister's Office as its spokespeople went out of their way to declare the Paris peace summit, which took place this past weekend, a failure. Their proof? A "shallow" final statement that included neither a defined time table (for further international involvement? For Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank?) and did not mention "1967 lines." The spokespeople patted themselves on…Read More...
A nearly averted shootout outside Abbas's house in Ramallah has led to renewed talks about restoring Palestinian autonomy in parts of the West Bank. But outside the framework of a peace process, such steps only help the occupation endure. Israeli and Palestinian security forces came dangerously close to a direct, armed confrontation in late December 2015. An Israeli army unit was on a routine nighttime incursion into Ramallah, deep into Palestinian-controlled territory, when it found itself face to face with armed members of the American-trained Palestinian Presidential Guard. Either the Israeli military’s mapping software didn’t include the security cordon around…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Americans are disengaging from the conflict, the EU won't go beyond half-measures, and the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of implosion. So what happens next? In meetings between top-ranking Israeli and American officials over the past few weeks, the United States reportedly demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu outline steps he is willing to take to ensure the window for a two-state solution doesn’t slam shut. Netanyahu’s answer has more or less been: nothing. Asked to make goodwill or humanitarian gestures to the Palestinians to keep a two-state vision alive, Netanyahu reportedly conditioned any step on the United States endorsing…Read More...
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