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peace talks

  • 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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  • 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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  • Israelis, Palestinians are ready to accept international consensus

    For the first time since 1967, both the Israeli public and the Palestinians are likely to accept an outline for a final-status agreement based on international law. By Shmuel Lederman A recent poll conducted by the The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion on an outline for a final-status agreement. The poll presented a "permanent agreement package" based on previous rounds of negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, based on mutual recognition between Israel and Palestine, establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state within 1967 borders, annexing a number of settlement blocs to Israel in exchange…

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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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  • Don't call it a comeback: Really, please don't come back

    Ehud Barak isn't the 'only hope' to defeat Netanyahu. He is, however, the most dangerous prime minister Israel has ever had. It seems Ehud Barak is planning a return to politics: posters have appeared calling on him to “run” (where exactly is unclear), and now even Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy reluctantly voiced the opinion that for all his faults, Barak is “the only hope” to defeat Netanyahu because he is “so much more brilliant than his politician peers." But before the buildup of yet another great white hope commences, a reminder might be in order. [tmwinpost] Barak was arguably the…

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  • Why the Abbas KGB ‘revelation’ came out now

    Israeli academic who fed the story to the press tells the 'NY Times' he wanted to undercut the Kremlin's efforts to host Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israel’s Channel 1 News broadcast a story Wednesday night alleging that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was a KGB agent in Damascus 33 years ago. The story, for obvious reasons, was picked up by local and international outlets within minutes of airing. (Watch the full Hebrew report here.) [tmwinpost] In every good spy story, however, there’s always a hidden agenda to be uncovered. Or in this case, a not-so-hidden one. Speaking in the Channel 1 report, the two…

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  • Violence is the strongest imperative to keep fighting for peace

    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…

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  • Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism — it's time to let go

    The Oslo Accords have been manipulated for the unspoken goal of Jewish annexation of West Bank land. So long as both governments adhere to this failed system, they will be unable to pursue a real peace agreement. By Nathan Hersh The Oslo Accords are the banner accomplishment of the Israeli peace movement. But their impact on the West Bank is no longer to orchestrate a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces, which they intended to do. Instead, the leadership in Israel has become increasingly populated by settlers and their sympathizers, and it has used the Oslo Accords for its own ideological pursuits.…

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  • Why EU recognition of Palestine isn't enough

    If the European Union wants to play a more active role in Israel-Palestine peacemaking it should first articulate a common policy and decide whether it can continue playing second fiddle to Washington. By Charalampos Tsitsopoulos Much has been made of recent European initiatives to symbolically recognize a Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders. On December 17, 2014, a European Parliament resolution supported “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood.” The move followed similar resolutions in individual European parliaments in previous months. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of commendation for European recognitions, welcomed by the Arab League as a measure that will “undoubtedly…

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  • A most determined occupation and its cursed victory

    It is not momentum or errors or personality quirks which have sustained the occupation, but a clear determination by Israel’s elite to maintain control of the West Bank and Gaza. Those who are willing to openly examine how Israel – and the pre-state Zionist Jewish community in the Holy Land – conducted itself prior to 1967, can only view the occupation as part of a natural continuum. Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories. By Ahron Bregman. Allen Lane; 416 pages; £25. I received my copy of Cursed Victory – Ahron Bregman's history of the occupation – on the…

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  • Everything Elliott Abrams knows about Israeli settlements is wrong

    The Israeli government uses the pretext of the two-state solution’s inevitability to justify building settlements on Palestinian land, all without ever earnestly seeking a two-state solution. Imagine that the Palestinian Authority announced that based on an offer made by Israel in past peace negotiations — and irrespective of the result of those negotiations — it was launching a program to send Palestinian refugees to resettle inside Israel proper. Indeed, there is documentation that former prime minister Ehud Olmert made a concrete offer to absorb 10,000 Palestinian refugees as part of a two-state agreement. The only problem, Israel points out, is that…

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  • Netanyahu explains how he stood up to the U.S., kept building settlements

    'Peace talks? What peace talks,' the Israeli prime minister jokes with supporters from his party. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted of his settlement building achievements in a recent meeting with young Likud supporters. Responding to a question from the audience, Netanyahu said: “I was threatened in Washington: ‘not one brick’ [of settlement construction] … after five years, we built a little more than one brick…” Asked "about peace talks with the Palestinians," Netanyahu reportedly replied, "about the - what?" to which the audience responded by breaking out into laughter. Last year was a record year in settlement construction in…

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