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settlements

  • The dangerous new myth of 'Palestinian defeat'

    The idea that Israel must 'defeat' the Palestinians by demoralizing them until they accept whatever solution is forced upon them is gaining traction on the Right. By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein The idea that instead of negotiating with the Palestinians Israel must first “defeat” and thoroughly demoralize them until they recognize its permanent presence in the region, has emerged from center-right policy circles in recent months. This broad idea takes many shapes, the most of extreme of which is articulated in Daniel Pipes’ front page essay in Commentary Magazine, and will presumably have some appeal to the incoming Trump administration. But…

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  • It didn't have to be this way in East Jerusalem's Silwan

    The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things weren’t always like this, and they don’t have to be. By Hussam Abed Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same you’d find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid…

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  • U.S. abstention is a message to Europe: End Israel’s impunity

    The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson. Shortly after the UN Security Council passed its resolution criticizing Israeli settlements on Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a press statement by John Kerry explaining Washington’s decision to abstain from the vote. Kerry said that their goal was to “preserve the possibility of the two state solution,” adding that “We cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that…

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  • The world is trying to save Israel from itself. Will we listen?

    As much as the the Right may deny it, the world is sending Israelis a clear message: the settlements are illegal and immoral. The faster we listen, the better off we will be. By Alon Mizrahi Let's talk about the issue itself. The issue is not Israel's reputation, not its legal status, nor the behavior of its right-wing government. The issue is settlements. On this issue one must repeat today what was true yesterday, the day before, and every day since 1967: the idea of settling for the purpose of marking territory — based on a worldview based on belligerence and supremacy — while placing…

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  • Five takeaways: What the UN Security Council resolution means

    In a 14-0 vote and with the U.S. abstaining, the UN Security Council passes a resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements. What does it all mean, and what comes next? The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, reaffirming their illegality, calling on Israel to cease all settlement activity, and rejecting any unilateral Israeli changes to the borders — including the annexation of East Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] The big drama surrounding the vote was that the United States decided not to exercise its Security Council veto. The Obama administration, unlike previous administrations, had for the past eight years…

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  • I'm Israeli, and I want to be blacklisted for boycotting settlement products

    I don't know what sanctions the Israeli government can impose on me for boycotting products made in the settlements, but I'll accept them proudly. By Eitan Kalinski Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, this week recommended to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that a special committee be set up to put together a blacklist of companies, organizations and individuals that call for a boycott of products made in West Bank settlements. [tmwinpost] I, the undersigned, am not a limited company nor an organization; I am a private individual who has personally undertaken not to buy products from the settlements. It’s written…

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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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  • The different ways Israel treats Jewish, Palestinian outposts in the West Bank

    Palestinian activists protest Israeli attempts to ‘legalize’ settlement outposts by erecting one of their own. Unlike two nearby Jewish outposts, however, the Israeli army demolishes the Palestinian camp within hours. Dozens of Palestinian activists erected an “outpost” in the Jordan Valley Thursday, in protest of recent Israeli army demolitions of Palestinian homes in the area, a marked contrast to a de facto military decision to allow the establishment of two new Jewish settlement outposts nearby. The Israeli army has not demolished either of the two Jewish outposts despite the fact that itself says they were illegally built. It only took…

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  • Opposing the occupation means being anti-Israel, to Netanyahu

    The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation — between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do. Since B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israel’s half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ad's very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of…

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  • 'The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action'

    The following is a transcript of the prepared remarks B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council members during a special 'Arria-formula' session on 'Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution' in New York on October 14, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I begin, I would like to express my deep thanks for this unique opportunity of speaking at this distinguished forum and engaging with the members of the UN Security Council. What I’m about to say is not meant to shock you. It is, however, meant to move you. For…

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  • How Obama can salvage his legacy on Israel-Palestine

    Netanyahu knows there will be no price to be paid for bad behavior. But Obama still has a chance to take a harder line, to create consequences for the Israeli leadership’s self-destructive behavior. By James J. Zogby I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama administration's reaction to Israel's announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands last week. It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10-year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama…

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  • The 'NYT' finally realizes: Netanyahu doesn't care what Obama thinks

    For years, liberal American publications have been generally sympathetic to Israel, even when they are criticizing its governments' policies. Now, in light of an unprecedented New York Times editorial, that attitude might be about to change. The New York Times editorial board has realized, about a decade too late, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not care what the Obama administration — or any U.S. administration, for that matter — thinks about his policies regarding the Palestinians. [tmwinpost] According to the editorial published Friday, October 7, headlined At the Boiling Point With Israel, the catalyst for this realization was Netanyahu's decision to approve the…

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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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