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status quo

  • Decades of failed peace talks: How Israel negotiates with itself

    Why have Israeli-Palestinian negotiations failed? The most common answer among the Israeli right focuses on “Palestinian rejectionism” or mistakes made by American facilitators. According to the narrative espoused by the center-left, Israel also hasn’t shown up to the negotiating table with clean hands — certainly not in the past decade. And yet, the fact that talks continue to fail without any correlation to the makeup of the leadership on either side (leaders representing different governments with different politics and approaches, operating under different international and regional circumstances), leaves much to be desired. I’d like to propose an alternative framework, focusing…

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  • Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

    If Israel is not willing to relinquish military control over the West Bank, then it is saying that there can be no two-state solution. Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever. [tmwinpost] “[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said at an event marking 50 years since Israel conquered the West…

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  • 'Centrist' politician's plan for total separation from Palestinians

    Yair Lapid isn't sure which Palestinians he wants to separate from or even how many of them there are, but he knows he needs a bigger wall to do it. Now is the time to get the Palestinians completely out of the lives of Israelis, according to Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") party. The self-declared "centrist" politician called for a bigger, stronger wall to separate Palestinians from Israelis — urgently. Lapid made his remarks during an October 3 video interview he gave to Ynet, Israel's most popular online news site. A generous +972 reader volunteered to…

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  • Why does Netanyahu think he can stop rock throwing?

    If live ammunition hasn't stopped stone throwing in the West Bank, what makes the prime minister think it will work in Jerusalem? The one thing we can be sure the change in policy will do is kill more Palestinians.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants security forces to start shooting Palestinian stone throwers. During the First Intifada, which included a lot of rock throwing, then defense minister Yitzhak Rabin also tried to stop the phenomenon. The future Nobel laureate’s answer was an order to “break their bones.” [tmwinpost] There were a few problems with that tactic. Firstly, it didn’t work.…

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  • A Palestinian state is in Israel's best interest

    Forget the Right's fear-mongering: by disarming Hamas and establishing a joint force in the Jordan Valley, a Palestinian state will only serve as a security asset to Israel. By Ilan Baruch When it comes to its enemies, Israel has always had a tendency to define threats against its security according to military and terrorist capabilities. The motivation to harm us is viewed as axiomatic, and there is no point in thinking twice: every military or terror capability can be put down with our own military actions or deterrence. Israel will always prefer the military solution when possible, while ignoring the…

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  • Beyond Gaza: Runners-up for 2014's 'Story of the Year'

    The Gaza war was a clear choice for +972's selection as story of the year (read it here). But the other nominated stories need to be told, too. +972 bloggers explain why they made their nominations. From the kidnappings to a new paradigm for Jewish-Arab relations to a growing opposition among U.S. Jews. The kidnap-murder of three Israeli teenagers By Larry Derfner As of June 12, Hamas had not fired a rocket into Israel for more than a year-and-a-half. Since the start of 2014, one Israeli had been killed in a Palestinian attack in the West Bank, while 22 Palestinian…

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  • Israelis know status quo is untenable, but there’s no alternative vision

    With three-quarters of Israelis saying they worry about international isolation and only 10 percent supporting the status quo, logic would hold that they might seek change. But don't expect it to happen anytime soon. The success of the Zionist project — from the pre-state era to Startup Nation — is often attributed to some combination of stubbornness and improvisation in the face of adversity. Those characteristics form the nexus of how Israelis see themselves. Another way of describing those same traits, however, is a lucky combination of recklessness and desperation. Israelis know how much they stand to lose by not…

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  • +972 poll: Israelis reject the status quo, fear int'l isolation

    Over 70 percent of Israelis are worried about international isolation. Half believe settlements strengthen Israeli security and over half support a breakthrough vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – roughly the same rate of support for the traditional two-state paradigm. But one-quarter support an apartheid vision for the future. Half the population supports anchoring Jewish identity in law – but over half either oppose doing so or have no opinion. Fully three-quarters support President Rivlin’s conciliatory approach and criticism of the government. The contradictions and convictions of Israelis at the end of 2014, and the beginning of the election cycle,…

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  • Bennett is not the problem

    American administrations have a tendency to blame the 'radical' settlers for torpedoing peace missions. The real problem, however, is with the 'moderates' who are complicit in maintaining the status quo.  There is a lot of talk in some circles about Naftali Bennett’s appearance at the Saban Forum last weekend (video below). Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home party and is the star of the Israeli Right, took to the stage with former special envoy to the peace process Martin Indyk. Bennett essentially declared that Israeli will never accept the two-state solution, that there will be no more “land for peace”…

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  • Israel’s UN ambassador puts another nail in the two-state coffin

    'Imagine the type of state [Palestinian] society would produce. Does the Middle East really need another terror-ocracy?' Prosor said in a speech on Monday. In recent years Israeli government officials have learned that rejecting the rights of Palestinians should always go hand-in-hand with a verbal commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state. But the consensus in Israel is moving toward the right, and Israeli officials are more explicit than ever in their rejection of Palestinian statehood or any form of equal rights for Palestinians, for that matter. Since his appointment, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has made it clear that…

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  • Welcome to Netanyahu's 'resolution' to the conflict

    Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman all promised Israelis quiet and prosperity without having to end the occupation. This is what we got instead. Following this morning’s horrifying terror attack, it's not so difficult to imagine how Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman or Benjamin Netanyahu might describe the current government if they weren’t its leaders. You can almost see them showing up at the scene of the attack and screaming into the microphones denouncing the “wicked government,” recalling every last pogrom in Jewish history. But no dice. Netanyahu has been prime minister for five years now and Liberman and the settlers, his partners…

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  • A siege of inertia: Israel's non-policy on Gaza

    One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia. By Itamar Sha’altiel There is something tempting about trying to connect all the dots, which show that every decision made by successive Israeli governments have just been part of one giant, logical process. It doesn't matter whether the final outcome is cold and cruel — at least we can find solace knowing that all the pain and…

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  • There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo'

    Israel is already carrying out Bennett’s annexation plan, only without the formal annexation part. The West Bank is a very different place than it was 10 years ago. It will be even more different five or 10 years from now. The indispensable Amira Hass reported this morning about an Israeli plan to push thousands of Palestinian-Bedouin into a new town it plans to build in the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is one of three areas in which Israel is trying to relocate Bedouin into designated areas or towns; the others are south of Hebron and east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government treats…

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