Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declares major protests across the occupied Palestinian territories next week to coincide with the Bahrain workshop. By Ahmad Al-Bazz Dozens of Palestinian activists and political representatives marched against the U.S. “Deal of the Century” and the upcoming Bahrain workshop in Ramallah city center on Saturday. Protesters held Palestinian flags and signs condemning the American administration and the involvement of Arab countries — especially Bahrain, for hosting the workshop. Scheduled for June 25-26 in Manama City, the event is billed as a gathering to boost the Palestinian economy. “Peace comes by ending the occupation, not by illusions…Read More...
What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. Why the name 'Israel' alone just isn't doing the job. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat touched off a sizable media storm when he asked to remove an Israeli flag hanging above his head as he addressed the Haaretz conference in New York this week. Veteran journalist Dan Margalit from the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom called the conference organizer’s decision to comply a “burning and outrageous mistake.” [tmwinpost] But I can’t get worked up about the flag. In fact, lately I have a hard time saying the name Israel at all. And…Read More... | 39 Comments
Like the Wikileaks documents, the Palestine Papers are interesting not just because of their revelations (some of these scoops were known before), but also, and perhaps even mostly, because of the tone and style of statesmen behind closed doors. This nugget is from the Guardian: PA leaders repeatedly threatened to abandon attempts to negotiate a two-state solution in favour of a one-state option. At the same meeting, Erekat declared that if the settlement of the West Bank continued, "we will announce the one state and the struggle for equality in the state of Israel". But the documents show US officials…Read More... | 6 Comments
Instead of going through the commentary on the recently released "Palestine Papers," I suggest readers start by checking out some of the documents themselves. Even for those suspicious of the "generous Israeli offer vs. Arab rejectionism" narrative of the 2008 talks as I was, some of the documents are quite shocking. Take, for example, this meeting, in which the Palestinian side learns that the Israeli negotiators wouldn't agree to use 1967 borders even as a starting point (h/t Matt Duss): Udi Dekel (Israel): As you know, our guiding principles are UNSC Res. 242, the need for boundaries that can provide…Read More... | 4 Comments
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