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peace process

  • Chuck Schumer thinks there's no peace because Palestinians don't believe in Torah

    Which begs the question, instead of pointless negotiations, should Washington embark on a mass proselytizing program? Senator Chuck Schumer, arguably the top ranking Democrat in the United States right now, believes that there is no peace between Israel and Palestine because — well, because the Palestinians don’t believe in the Torah. Speaking at the AIPAC Policy Conference earlier this week, Senator Schumer shuffled his way through a list of clunky talking points ostensibly exonerating Israel of any blame for — well, anything. [tmwinpost] It’s not about the settlements, he explained, aptly noting that the conflict didn’t end in 2005 after…

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  • Abbas' speech shows he is burning bridges with the U.S.

    Abbas' attack on Trump and top White House officials signals that he no longer wants the U.S. involved in peace negotiations. Gradual recognition of a Palestinian state is now his preferred course of action. By Elhanan Miller Those who survived Mahmoud Abbas' tedious history during his speech to the PLO Central Committee on Monday, and avoided the temptation of focusing on the Palestinian president's style over substance, was able to hear the core of his oration: redefining the Palestinian Authority's relations with the United States under President Trump. [tmwinpost] The speech's central message focused on the utter refusal to return to…

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  • Trump’s threats against the Palestinians should worry Israel

    The Netanyahu government is celebrating Trump's recent declaration and threats against the Palestinians as victories, but Jerusalem should wait before opening the champagne.  The Trump Administration on Tuesday threatened to withhold millions of dollars in aid that it sends to the Palestinians each year, accusing them of not wanting to negotiate a peace deal with Israel. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. would stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — the UN agency responsible for providing aid to Palestinian refugees — if the Palestinian leadership refuses to return to American-led peace talks. Washington…

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  • Welcome to the new American-Israeli consensus

    The peace process, which began ceremoniously on the White House lawn in September 1993, has come to an end. We must find a new way. By Menachem Klein Conferences around the Arab world marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration have just barely come to an end, and along comes a mini-Balfour and hands occupied Jerusalem over to Israel on a silver platter (apologies to Lord Balfour for the comparison). It is almost unnecessary to mention the many political and social differences between today and 100 years ago. But what molds Palestinian and Arab political opinion is not the historical reality,…

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  • On Jerusalem, Trump is proving that the Israeli right was right all along

    By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital the U.S. president is boosting the settlers’ argument that in the long run, 'facts on the ground' are more important than diplomacy, and that Israel will eventually win legitimacy for its actions — even unilateral annexation. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan is said to have hesitated before ordering the IDF to conquer the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967. “What do I need this Vatican for,” he said at one meeting. But even the secular Dayan was swept by the wave of religious euphoria that took Israel after the war. A few…

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  • How can women 'wage peace' without talking about occupation?

    A recent rally organized by ‘Women Wage Peace’ may have looked momentous, yet it ignored 50 years of military occupation, all while recycling the same old tropes about the role of women in violent conflicts. I arrived early and with many reservations to the rally organized by “Women Wage Peace” in Jerusalem’s Independence Park this past week. It was the culmination of a two-week “Journey to Peace,” in which thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women marched through Israel and the West Bank to demand a peaceful resolution to the conflict. I had been following the group since it was formed after the 2014 Gaza…

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  • Everything you think you know about Israeli-Palestinian peace is wrong

    Israelis and Palestinians have grown the furthest apart during periods of quiet; it is in times of violence that the two nations have suddenly become flexible in their positions. That defies everything we tell ourselves about prospects for peace, and everything the world has told Palestinians they must do to achieve it. A review of 'The Only Language They Understand,' by Nathan Thrall. “The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine”, by Nathan Thrall, Metropolitan Books, 2017, 336 pages. The year 2012 was particularly noteworthy in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: for the first time since…

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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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  • Decades of failed peace talks: How Israel negotiates with itself

    Why have Israeli-Palestinian negotiations failed? The most common answer among the Israeli right focuses on “Palestinian rejectionism” or mistakes made by American facilitators. According to the narrative espoused by the center-left, Israel also hasn’t shown up to the negotiating table with clean hands — certainly not in the past decade. And yet, the fact that talks continue to fail without any correlation to the makeup of the leadership on either side (leaders representing different governments with different politics and approaches, operating under different international and regional circumstances), leaves much to be desired. I’d like to propose an alternative framework, focusing…

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  • The Israeli Left's plan to save the settlements

    The thinking behind Isaac Herzog's 10-point peace plan is the inevitable result of the unequal relationship between an occupying power and an occupied people. It is based entirely on Israel’s concerns, not on any notion that Palestinians have inalienable rights and are entitled to the same freedoms as everyone else. By Mitchell Plitnick Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the Labor party, issued a “10-point plan” for a restarted peace process this week. His stated goals in doing so are to stave off the Israeli right’s drive toward annexation of the West Bank, to preserve the settlement blocs, to…

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  • Kerry implicitly acknowledges two states is all but a fantasy now

    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,…

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  • Trump’s victory leaves Obama with only one option on Israel-Palestine

    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…

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  • Ending the occupation is in the interest of Israelis, too

    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…

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