Each decade of the occupation has brought changing fortunes to prospects for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and varying levels of opposition to Israel's military rule. After half a century, could there finally be a proposal that stands a chance? Fifty-fever marking the anniversary since the 1967 war has swept both the Israeli Left and the Right. The Right is dreaming up ever more creative ways to celebrate Israel’s triumph — the culture minister recently wore a dress screen-printed with scenes from Jerusalem to the Cannes Film Festival — while the Israeli Left is grasping for ways to remind a…Read More... | 9 Comments
Hamas new 'Document of Principles' ditches Islamism for frank positions on borders, international law, and human rights. But can the movement maintain unity as it inches closer to the ideas held by its rivals in the PLO? By Menachem Klein (translated by Philip Podolsky) Hamas' recently-revised charter, titled "Document of General Principles and Policies" sees the group go down a path that could eventually result in its fracturing. Once it chose to depart from the simplistic and monolithic guidelines of the Islamic Charter, it had no choice but to acknowledge the ideological differences that drive the movement's leadership apart (as do the inevitable power…Read More... | 1 Comment
Despite what the usual media critics may say, Hamas' new charter is evidence of a movement in flux, and one that — when the need arises — allows itself to be guided by pragmatism. By Menachem Klein For a moment, before the familiar flood of mainstream news commentators will completely deny the obvious changes in the new Hamas charter, it’s worth stopping and thinking: If there’s no change at all, why have senior officials been debating the new version for many long months? If everything is empty words, what’s to debate? In reality, what looks like standing water to Israelis…Read More... | 4 Comments
With Hamas' new charter about to confirm the organization's commitment to a two-state solution, the unifying demand from the Palestinian leadership for a resolution to the conflict can no longer be denied. The debate over one state, two states, three states or something in between for Israel-Palestine has once again risen to the fore. At times, the one-state solution has been presented as the best, most likely and most realistic option, by figures as diverse as President Trump, Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett and eminent Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua, along with the radical Left (Palestinian and Jewish alike). [tmwinpost] But…Read More... | 1 Comment
The head of the Palestinian security services is counting on Israeli support. Mohammed Dahlan is trying to rally backers in Egypt. From prison, Marwan Barghouti is writing plans for a nonviolent struggle to will the Palestinian public worldwide. The struggle over Abbas’ succession signals a generational change among the Palestinian leadership. By Menachem Klein When Yassser Arafat's health was slowly fading and the Israeli army put him under siege, there was no war of succession taking place around him. This is not because his rule was petrifying. On the contrary, there were always disagreements, and often his colleagues prevented him from…Read More... | 6 Comments
He may be serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison but Marwan Barghouti is the only leader who has a chance to succeed Mahmoud Abbas and unite the Palestinian people. This is how he plans on doing it. By Menachem Klein Until recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was considered only a lame duck. Long ago he had promised not to run for president in the next elections. Not a single politician threatened him, he did not appoint a vice president, and elections never took place. But over the past two weeks Abbas has gone from lame duck to…Read More... | 2 Comments
Palestinians have been told for decades that limited autonomy in the West Bank is just a stop along the road to sovereignty. But more than 20 years after Oslo failed to usher in independence, the illusion is unraveling — and fast. The key to the arrangement that keeps Israel’s occupation of Palestinian feasible is the illusion of autonomy. Palestinians have their own government, their own security agencies and forces, consumer service providers, schools, and yes, autonomous areas. But make no mistake, they are all illusions. [tmwinpost] And every once in a while the benevolent occupiers push things a little too…Read More... | 2 Comments
Herzog's new diplomatic plan goes against the real interests of all those who live between the river and the sea — Jews and Arabs alike. Now it's up to the Left to come up with a new vision based on real coexistence. The Labor Party committee decided last week that it was officially parting with the two-state solution. The decision was not preceded by passionate discussions, nor was it extensively covered by the media. Had Prime Minister Netanyahu and Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog not traded barbs a few days later, I highly doubt anyone would have noticed. Even more than…Read More... | 7 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...
Mubarak Awad, one of the main organizers of nonviolent resistance during the First Intifada until Israel exiled him, talks about why only nonviolence can defeat the occupation, how Palestinians must convince Israelis that peace is their own interest, and his fears that without a new nonviolent movement more and more Palestinian youths will be drawn to armed resistance. By Waleed Shahid (First published in 'In These Times') The largest Palestinian uprising in the history of the Israeli occupation is largely forgotten today. In the 1980s, thousands of Palestinians took part in large-scale civil disobedience actions, strikes, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins…Read More... | 23 Comments
Over 20 years later, the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO teaches us one thing: despite the hatred, we have no choice but to live together. From year to year, the memory of Yitzhak Rabin goes from a political issue to a nostalgic one. Twenty years after his assassination, the Israeli public is inundated with memories of Rabin the IDF chief of staff, Rabin the smoker, Rabin the straight-talker, etc. The films and articles memorializing him usually obscure (and often do not even include) one specific image: Rabin shaking hands with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in…Read More...
He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series. By Menachem Klein Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004. For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders…Read More... | 13 Comments
Irrespective of who wins in Israel's elections, Palestine will have to deal with the marginalization of its quest for statehood. That process must start by reintegrating Gaza into the Palestinian fold. By Salam Fayyad For Palestinians the quest for statehood begins with Gaza. But wait, is there still active regional or international interest in the cause of Palestinian statehood? I submit that whatever residual interest remains in the possibility of making yet another attempt at reviving the "peace process" finds expression these days largely in the phrase "let's first see what March 17 brings," a reference to the upcoming Israeli elections.…Read More... | 19 Comments
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