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Sanctions

  • How one of Israel's veteran activists came to support (some) sanctions

    Galia Golan supports levying sanctions and international pressure against Israel to hasten the end of the occupation. That does not, however, mean that she supports BDS. Golan, who was one of the founders of Peace Now, served as the chair of Hebrew University’s political science department, and advised several Israeli prime ministers, has come a long way since leaving her job at the CIA to move to Israel 52 years ago. [tmwinpost] Much of that happened relatively early on, when she learned — before most Israelis, she notes — about Israel's expulsion of the Palestinian population in 1948 and its refusal to…

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  • The moment of truth for EU policy on Israel-Palestine

    Whether European states follow through on their threats and warnings over the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar will determine a great deal about the EU's relevance and its ability to influence Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians. European powers are going to have to make a crucial choice in the coming week. Two months after five EU states reportedly warned Israel that the demolition and forced displacement of Khan al-Ahmar would “trigger a reaction” from its allies, the Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its final stamp of approval for the demolition to go ahead. [tmwinpost] Along with the southern West Bank…

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  • Irish senate passes sanctions on Israeli settlements

    The law, which still needs to go through the lower house and be signed by the president, would criminalize the import and sale of goods and services that originate in settlements in occupied territories, targeting Israeli settlements but also other occupations worldwide. The vote had been shelved earlier this year after objections by Israel. The Irish Senate passed a bill on Wednesday to prohibit trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories, including those in the West Bank. In contrast to policies and legislation that differentiate Israeli settlements and excludes them from trade agreements, the Irish bill could be construed as actual…

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  • Europe, wake up and smell the coffee

    Netanyahu's Israel openly mocks the values that Europe claims to hold dear. When will European leaders stand up and reject the unacceptable reality of the past 50 years? By Hagai El-Ad European foreign ministers attending Prime Minister Netanyahu’s breakfast in Brussels this Monday may find their thoughts wandering, as the guest of honor once again speaks of Iran, self-indulgent whining of "double standards," and “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Some breakfasts are more difficult to swallow than others. [tmwinpost] And so, given a recent speech by a certain American president, the attending ministers’ thoughts may drift — perhaps…

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  • UN vote exposes the true face of Israel's settlement policy

    Whatever the passage of a UN resolution criticizing the settlements may bring, the fallout has already made one thing clear: the Israeli government subscribes to a de facto 'Greater Israel' policy. In the summer of 1967, before anyone was aware of just how durable Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory would prove, a movement emerged calling for the newly conquered land to become part of “Greater Israel.” Formed primarily of Labor Zionists, the movement counted such luminaries as SY Agnon and Nathan Alterman among its ranks. It failed to make a dent at the 1969 Knesset elections, however, and was…

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  • Nearly half of Americans support sanctions on Israel, poll finds

    As the Democratic party regroups ahead of the next election cycle, it would be wise for its leadership to examine areas where the Clinton campaign diverged from the party’s base. Israel-Palestine is one of those issues. The number of Americans who support imposing sanctions on Israel over its defiant settlement policies has shot up to 46 percent, the same percentage of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election. [tmwinpost] That number has shot up nearly 10 percentage points over the past year, according to a national poll published by the Brookings Institute on Friday, on the sidelines…

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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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  • The U.S. isn't going to do a damn thing to end the occupation

    As long as Washington views ending the occupation as an Israeli problem instead of a Palestinian problem, it will never even consider using its leverage to do so. The United States issued an unusually sharp rebuke on Wednesday to news that Israel is building a brand new settlement in the West Bank. The State Department sounded mad. The White House sounded mad. Nobody is going to do anything about it. [tmwinpost] It’s not that the United States is powerless in the face of an Israeli government that for nearly four decades has refused to heed Washington’s and the entire international…

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  • Latest boycott victories signify new momentum for BDS

    That people are openly questioning whether policy changes by multinational corporations are the result of BDS is itself already a victory. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have had quite a bit to celebrate in recent months. High profile companies targeted by BDS like SodaStream, Orange, Veolia, and now Ahava and G4S have all moved out of Israeli West Bank settlements or out of the Israeli market altogether. [tmwinpost] Of course, none of those companies, with the partial exception of SodaStream and Orange, will admit the changes have anything to do with the Palestinian-led movement trying to build international pressure…

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  • The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?

    Stricter trade guidelines, harsher rhetoric and corporate responsibility campaigns all send a clear message: Israel's closest allies are no longer willing to passively accept the occupation, and the only consensus on settlements is that they are illegal. The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades. United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”…

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  • How Americans really feel about equality for Palestinians and Israelis

    The Obama administration is only willing to discuss a one-state solution in terms of apartheid and violence. But asked whether Jews and Palestinians should be equal, the vast majority of Americans suddenly become one-state supporters. And then there's sanctions... Thirty-seven percent of Americans think the United States should respond to ongoing Israeli settlement construction with economic sanctions, or harsher measures, according to a public opinion survey published by the Brookings Institute last week. And that’s a relatively consistent position. Thirty-nine percent of Americans gave an identical answer to the same poll a year ago. On the other hand, 61 percent…

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  • Israel is egging the boycott movement on

    In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…

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  • No, BDS does not unfairly 'single out' Israel

    Ironically, the boycott movement actually expresses some level of faith in Israeli democracy by assuming a little pressure might motivate it to change. When the most recent flotilla set sail for Gaza to protest Israel's eight-year blockade, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote an open letter to the activists. In a tone dripping with sarcasm, he suggested they had taken a wrong turn on the way to Syria. It’s part of a theme repeated obsessively: “there are worse violations elsewhere, but no one ever protests them. Therefore, protesting the occupation on behalf of Palestinians is hypocritical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Therefore, it can be…

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