Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump, and the Politics of Peace. Donald Trump met Mahmoud Abbas, in Bethlehem today, a twofer for a President intent, as the national-security adviser, H. R. McMaster, put it last week, on visiting “homelands and holy sites” and expressing “his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians.” Reading prepared remarks, in a Presidential palace outfitted with the trappings of sovereignty, Trump told reporters that he’d work with Abbas on “unlocking the potential of the Palestinian economy.” Naftali Bennett, the Israeli education minister and a settlement advocate, probably spoke for most of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government last November, when he declared that, with Trump’s election, “the era of the Palestinian state is over.” Today, in Bethlehem, it was prolonged. Much has been written about the Trump Administration’s growing desire to conceive that state from the region in, rather than from the conflict out. Abbas is eighty-two, with a smoking habit, and he has no designated successor.
Middle East reality check: Israel won, and so can the Palestinians if they give up victim status. Israel won. That sums up the more than half a century conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. They won the wars, they won the peace, and they won the prosperity. So, it’s time for them to act like it, and more importantly it’s time for the Palestinians to accept they lost. We have somehow gotten past the custom in war to fight to a decisive point and then have the losing side submit. Only a few years before the Palestinians began their decades-long losing streak, the Italians, Germans and Japanese surrendered unconditionally to end World War II.
They left behind their failed attempts at conquest and consequently they were treated to the benevolence of the Allies and a rebuilding process that turned them into modern nations. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have maintained belligerence and failure to even accept the existence of Israel in any meaningful way. Hundreds of billions of dollars in aid have flowed into the Palestinian territories.
Don’t let Israel silence the boycott movement. The Israeli government response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been predictable. Being incapable of engaging in any reasonable form of self-criticism, Israeli leaders have turned their wrath on their accusers and their victims. In recent years, several entities have implemented boycotts or are considering other punitive actions in an effort to force a change in Israeli behaviour. European governments are moving to require Israel to label products originating in West Bank settlements so as to distinguish them from exports from Israel.
Some US churches and pension funds have decided to divest from businesses that support the occupation. US and UK student groups have been successful in winning votes calling on their institutions to support BDS. And some academic groups and renowned scholars have indicated that they will not cooperate with events supporting or hosted by Israeli institutions in the occupied lands. It’s an old story. Page 2 of 2. The legacy of the six-day war: Why Israel needs a Palestinian state. THE victory of Israel over the Arab armies that encircled it in 1967 was so swift and absolute that, many Jews thought, the divine hand must have tipped the scales.
Before the six-day war Israel had feared another Holocaust; thereafter it became an empire of sorts. Awestruck, the Jews took the holy sites of Jerusalem and the places of their biblical stories. But the land came with many Palestinians whom Israel could neither expel nor absorb. Was Providence smiling on Israel, or testing it? For the past 50 years, Israel has tried to have it both ways: taking the land by planting Jewish settlements on it; and keeping the Palestinians unenfranchised under military occupation, denied either their own state or political equality within Israel (see our special report in this issue).
Palestinians have damaged their cause through decades of indiscriminate violence. Israel’s “temporary” occupation has endured for half a century. The Trump card The outlines of peace are well known. Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s still no peace | World news. Scattered over the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea lie the remnants of failed peace plans, international summits, secret negotiations, UN resolutions and state-building programmes, most of them designed to partition this long-contested territory into two independent states, Israel and Palestine.
The collapse of these initiatives has been as predictable as the confidence with which US presidents have launched new ones, and the current administration is no exception. In the quarter century since Israelis and Palestinians first started negotiating under US auspices in 1991, there has been no shortage of explanations for why each particular round of talks failed. Among the most common refrains are that extremists were allowed to set the agenda and there was a neglect of bottom-up economic development and state-building. Postmortem accounts vary in their apportioning of blame.
Each of these rounds of diplomacy began with vows to succeed where predecessors had failed. Bloomberg. When it comes to Middle East policy, usually all roads don’t lead to Rome. But President Donald Trump has good reason to visit the pope on the same circuit as his peace mission to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Trump’s plan, which has a small but not trivial chance of success, depends on creating a grand anti-Iran alliance running through Jerusalem and Riyadh. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t involve too many countries or people that the rest of the world likes. If he can get Pope Francis to bless the idea, even obliquely, that would add a moral dimension to the brutal business of dealmaking that is to come.
To begin with, it’s worth sketching the outlines of the only Middle East peace deal that could realistically emerge from Trump’s initiative. I wouldn’t put the odds of success much higher than 5 percent. But remember, if I’m right, that means Trump has a 1 in 20 chance of going down in history as a truly great dealmaker president. But an “offer you can’t refuse” also includes a threat. 'I Belonged Nowhere': 'Salt Houses' Is A Story Of Displacement, From A Novelist Who Knows. Hala Alyan is the author of three poetry collections. Salt Houses is her first novel. Beowulf Sheehan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hide caption toggle caption Beowulf Sheehan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Hala Alyan is the author of three poetry collections.
At the very start of Hala Alyan's novel Salt Houses, a woman buys a coffee set — a dozen cups, a coffee pot, a tray. Alyan builds her story on little moments like that — a peek into the lives of several generations, forced to relocate and resettle. The Palestinian-American author writes from experience. "I definitely think there was an intergenerational trauma that went along with losing a homeland that you see trickle down through the different generations," she says.
Interview Highlights On the importance of objects I've always been really interested in the meaning we imbue [in] objects. On not having heirlooms On her own family's story On whether her family discusses their past It sort of depends on who you talk to. Hamas Zaps Some Life Into the Peace Process - Bloomberg View. As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to meet Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, it appears the two-state solution isn’t dead after all.
Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, in a modestly surprising move has said it would accept a Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders. The motives for the announcement, which also came with the group’s distancing from the Muslim Brotherhood, are complex. But the key fact is that the statement is an early win for the Trump administration’s nascent attempt a Middle East peace solution. It’s a sign that Hamas, at least, is taking that potential initiative seriously.
QuickTake Two-State Solution It’s long been assumed that although Hamas wouldn’t act as a spoiler to a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it also wouldn’t give up its rejection of a two-state solution -- a powerful source of its legitimacy with skeptical Palestinians. What’s changed? The odds of success remain low, of course. 'Apartheid' furor comes amid 50 years of Israeli occupation.
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Labeling Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as “apartheid” is like flinging a burning match into spilled gasoline — so combustible are the passions on both sides. Rima Khalaf did just that when a report commissioned by her U.N. agency accused Israel of having established an apartheid regime designed to dominate the Palestinian people as a whole. In a swift outcry, Israel slammed the 65-page document as anti-Semitic. The U.S. demanded its removal and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ordered it quashed, saying it did not reflect his views.
Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned as head of ESCWA, a Beirut-based agency with 18 Arab member states and one of several U.N. regional bodies dealing with economic and social issues. More than a month later, Khalaf has no regrets. “We are not here for defamation,” Khalaf said. “There are no separate bathrooms, there is no apartheid here,” said Oren, a deputy minister of diplomacy.
“This is not a verdict by a court,” she said. Behind bars, a famed Palestinian leads his people in a prison hunger strike. He has long been viewed as a future president of a Palestinian state, even as he is reviled by Israelis as a terrorist who is serving multiple life terms in prison for murder. This week, Marwan Barghouti resurfaced in the public eye in a way that put Israel’s government on the defensive and seems likely to burnish his credentials among Palestinians.
Barghouti began leading more than 1,000 fellow Palestinian inmates in a hunger strike to demand better conditions in Israeli prisons. The hunger strike, an oft-used tool by Palestinian prisoners, is one of the largest in recent memory and marks the first time that Barghouti has served as the figurehead. Thousands took to the streets across the West Bank in solidarity on Sunday, the annual “Prisoners Day.” But the Barghouti-led hunger strike isn’t just about making a statement to Israel and the international community, analysts say. “Marwan is trying to be a leader in the field by organizing this hunger strike. We are lifelong Zionists. Here’s why we’ve chosen to boycott Israel. Steven Levitsky is a professor of government at Harvard University. Glen Weyl is an assistant professor of economics and law at the University of Chicago. We are lifelong Zionists. Like other progressive Jews, our support for Israel has been founded on two convictions: first, that a state was necessary to protect our people from future disaster; and second, that any Jewish state would be democratic, embracing the values of universal human rights that many took as a lesson of the Holocaust.
Undemocratic measures undertaken in pursuit of Israel’s survival, such as the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the denial of basic rights to Palestinians living there, were understood to be temporary. But we must face reality: The occupation has become permanent. This “basic fact” poses an ethical dilemma for American Jews: Can we continue to embrace a state that permanently denies basic rights to another people? Finally, occupation threatens the security it was meant to ensure. The Man Whose Dream Became Israel. Theodor Herzl was a man with an idea that once seen to fruition would change the world dramatically. But his reasons for creating the modern Zionist movement were never as black and white as people made them out to be. History tries correcting the tricks memory plays on us—while respecting memory’s power. Thomas Jefferson is famous for writing the Declaration of Independence during the Revolution—although he served as Virginia’s governor during the war too.
Paul Revere is best known for his Midnight Ride in 1775—although the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow coined the phrase “One if by land, two if by sea” … 85 years later. Similarly, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, is mostly famous for launching his movement in reaction to the anti-Semitism of the Alfred Dreyfus trial. But first, Herzl’s Zionist Aha Moment. Theodor Herzl has his Jewish awakening. It’s a great story, mostly accurate, although not fully true. Herzl himself is more complicated. On Flipboard. Why a Controversial Palestinian History Class at Berkeley Was Canceled, Then Reinstated. US delivers stinging rebuke to Israel over West Bank home plan | News | DW.COM | 05.10.2016. In an unusually strong rebuke, the US accused Israel of breaking its trust over plans for a new West Bank settlement.
The White House on Wednesday condemned Israel as plans to construct new settlement homes deep into the West Bank emerged. In its notably forthright response, the Obama administration lashed out at the proposal for some 300 housing units. Spokesman Mark Toner said that the plan undermined hopes for peace, and that it was "another step towards cementing a one-state reality of perpetual occupation. " "Such moves will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from many of its partners, and further call into question Israel's commitment to achieving a negotiated peace," Toner said in a statement. Toner said the plan would see homes built on land "far closer to Jordan than Israel ... and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.
" Question of friendship Airstrikes in Gaza. Yasser Arafat Museum Focuses On Palestinian Leader : Parallels. A photograph of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat hangs outside a door leading to the small bedroom where he spent his final years, a display at the new Arafat Museum in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images A photograph of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat hangs outside a door leading to the small bedroom where he spent his final years, a display at the new Arafat Museum in the West Bank city of Ramallah. There's a new museum in the West Bank dedicated to an iconic and controversial world figure: the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Visitors can get a peek at Arafat memorabilia and walk through the small compound in Ramallah where he was kept confined, surrounded by Israeli tanks, in the final years of his life.
Tour guides have been leading groups of Palestinian high school students through the museum, which opened Nov. 10, the eve of the anniversary of Arafat's death. "We lost it. We are lifelong Zionists. Here’s why we’ve chosen to boycott Israel. Without two-state solution, Middle East faces 'perpetual violence' - U.N. Daily Life in the West Bank Is More Than Just Protests and Tear Gas. Ben Ehrenreich. Photo by Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos Identical twins who swap identities to keep their double out of jail; an Israeli settler caught in his own razor wire, too proud to allow himself to be helped down by a Palestinian; a little blond girl who defiantly raises her fist at soldiers twice her size—Ben Ehrenreich brings a novelist's touch to anecdotes that are often stranger than fiction in his new book The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.
His carefully curated stories, gleaned from years of reporting, provide a symbolic window into the West Bank. The book takes place in the land Ehrenreich unapologetically calls Palestine—he spends time in different towns and cities in the West Bank, orbiting the village of Nabi Saleh to follow a family-led campaign of nonviolent protest that intermittently spans the entire book. Many of the scenes Ehrenreich narrates happen far from the frenzied media ritual of tear gas and press photographers.
The port of Acre. Andrew Cuomo Would Have Blacklisted Muhammad Ali. Israel wants a peace process – but only if it's doomed to fail. NPR in Gaza, A Photographer's Journal. Discussing—and Combating—BDS at the U.N. General Assembly. Copy BDS tactics, pro-Israel activists told at UN conference. The war of succession brewing in Palestine. Netanyahu reportedly agrees to Arab peace push, wants it to supplant France’s. Palestinian reality show underscores democracy woes. Israel, Palestinians Court Egypt’s Sisi as Broker in Peace Talks.
Jewish Home 'killing hope' of a Palestinian state - Inside Israel. Why History Matters: The 1967 Six-Day War. South African Nobel Laureate John Coetzee on Israel and apartheid, 'Draw your own conclusions' DC meeting between Israel and Saudi Arabia marks end of Arab Peace Initiative and two-state solution. Steven Van Zandt’s Israel gaffe: Musician gets basic facts wrong in Twitter rant. It is apartheid — South African activists agree. How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East. U.S. acknowledges Israel’s unlawful killings, excessive force, torture, discrimination against Palestinians. The Democratic Debate: A Surprising Exchange on Israel. Ignore the smears: Bernie Sanders is right about Israel’s heinous atrocities in Gaza — he just got the numbers wrong. Before Zionism: The shared life of Jews and Palestinians. Can Israelis And Palestinians Change Their Minds? : Parallels.
A Palestinian Takes A Different Road In His Fight : Parallels. “Israel is occupation-addicted”: Israeli journalist Gideon Levy blasts U.S. support for “apartheid” & rise of fascism. Are we seeing Palestine’s spring at long last? Israel’s Other Existential Threat Comes From Within. In The West Bank, A Rough Start Doesn't Deter New Arab TV Channel : Parallels.
Israel, Palestine, and the End of the Two-State Solution. UN resolution to impose 18-month deadline on Palestinian state talks. When occupation becomes apartheid. The United States should recognize the state of Palestine. Israeli court approves demolition of Palestinian village. Cultivating Peace in Palestine. In Israel, the silence is broken but many abroad are still deaf. World soccer faces brutal fight as Palestinians ask Israel suspension from FIFA. For Israel, Soccer Becomes A Geopolitical Football : Parallels. Netanyahu cancels controversial 'apartheid' buses plan, but there have been segregated West Bank buses for years.