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Saeb Erekat

  • 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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  • 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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  • Three takeaways: Trump's Jerusalem declaration and Palestinian reactions

    Let's not pretend that there was a peace process for Donald Trump to obstruct. 1. To those who are worried that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will create an insurmountable roadblock to achieving the two-state solution, I remind you that on at least four separate occasions in recent years (one, two, three, four) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to never withdraw Israeli troops from the West Bank. That’s surmountable? [tmwinpost] Let’s be real. There has been no two-state option on the table at least since the late spring of 2014, before the Gaza war…

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  • Marwan Barghouti is planning a comeback — from behind bars

    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…

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  • Is J Street trying to rebrand Palestinian liberation?

    As liberal Zionism finds itself in the middle of its latest battle for survival, J Street reconsiders forbidden alliances and what it means to be ‘pro-Israel.’ By Soleiman Moustafa Sitting on every seat in the massive auditorium hosting the opening session of J Street’s 5th annual conference last month was a bookmark emblazoned with the a map and the motto “know your boundaries.” The "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobbying organization designed a map of Israel with both Palestinian territories partitioned out in green, with Syria's Golan Heights included in Israel’s boundaries without caveat. Looking up, the auditorium was enveloped in a comforting blue-and-white glow, invoking Israel’s national colors, the American and Israeli flags standing proud at center…

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  • The Israeli government's election gift to West Bank settlers

    Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…

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  • 129 Palestinians, 3 Israeli soldiers killed; U.S. approves Israeli request for ammunition

    Wednesday saw a particularly deadly day of violence in the Gaza Strip, while diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire continued with urgency.  According to officials at the Palestinian Health Ministry, 129 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in Gaza throughout Wednesday. Israel's Operation Protective Edge has killed a total of 1,400 Palestinians and wounded more than 7,500. The high death toll comes after a bloody day on Tuesday, which saw more than 120 people killed by Israeli airstrikes in the Strip. The Israeli army announced that three of its soldiers were killed on Wednesday afternoon, pushing the military…

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  • Right-wing MK: Let Palestinians vote for Israeli parliament

    Knesset Member Zvulun Kalfa, of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, is calling for Israel to annex the West Bank and allow Palestinians to participate in Israeli general elections. "Palestinians should get full citizenship rights, equality, investment in infrastructure [in their] communities and voting rights to the Knesset," Kalfa told the Israel Hayom daily. According to Kalfa, this is the only way to dismiss for good the claim that Israel is discriminating against Palestinians or that it is an Apartheid state. "I am for a single state for everyone." Kalfa estimates that Jews will be able to remain a majority in the…

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  • Halfway through timeframe, Palestinian-Israeli talks are going nowhere

    The two parties haven’t met in almost a month, and Israeli politicians are now openly discussing the success of maintaining the status quo. Even the crisis with the European Union is over. Roughly halfway through the current round of negotiations, the talks between Israeli and Palestinians negotiators have hit a new low point. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told A-Shams Radio station that the two teams haven’t met since November 5th. He added that the talks are so futile that Palestinians are better off turning to the UN right away. Erekat also recently submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority President…

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  • The man who sold the world: Dr. Erekat is back

    The sad but true story of chief Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat. Can the hero of the Palestine Papers survive another round of peace talks?  By Hakim Bishara There was a time, back in the 1990s, when inveterate Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat was on top of his game. Confident, eloquent and dolled up with an elegant pair of tortoise architect glasses, the capable young diplomat was a rising star. Together with colleagues such as Hanan Ashrawi, Sari Nusseibeh and the more proactive Marwan Barghuti, he emerged out of exile and anonymity as part of the next generation of PLO…

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  • Barring a miracle, Kerry's breakthrough is bad news

    If Netanyahu doesn't agree to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 border, the Palestinians' consent to negotiate with him will amount to surrender - which, until he proves differently, is what Bibi wants.   The consensus seems to be that any Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are better than none, so Kerry is being congratulated for getting the two sides to agree to meet in Washington to see if they can then agree on a starting point for negotiations. A big step in the right direction, goes the mainstream view. And it will be just that - if Netanyahu agrees to…

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  • Eviction of Palestinian family in East Jerusalem temporarily postponed

    The eviction of  a Palestinian family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, planned for today, has been delayed by two months.  The Shamasneh family was slated to be evicted from their home at 2:00 p.m. today, December 31, so that the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property could take possession of the house. The Jerusalem District Court ordered the eviction to be postponed until March 1, 2013 after the family's lawyer appealed to Israel's high court. Activists and politicians who support the Shamasnehs in their fight to stay in their East Jerusalem home emphasize that this is just a temporary postponement…

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  • Why it’s time to discuss the one-state solution

    Secular, binational, and more: there are plenty of one-state models that can and should be discussed. But what's becoming increasingly clear to figures from both the right and the left is that the feasibility of the two-state solution must be reconsidered.  By Yoav Kapshuk It is time to start a public discussion about possible and realistic arrangements for the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The importance of the discussion does not lie in reaching a consensus about a desired arrangement of one state or two states, but rather in creating an opening through which to understand…

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