Archive for November, 2012


Jewish Voice for Peace put together this outstanding video, explaining the basic elements of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It is the perfect vehicle to explain the conflict to people — young, old and in between — who are not familiar with the basic facts. Please check it, it’s about 6 minutes long. And then, check out JVP and other ways you can help.

 

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This article originally appeared at LobeLog. Please check it out, it’s an outstanding site for analysis of US foreign policy.

The US government has swept into action in the aftermath of the Palestinians’ overwhelming victory at the United Nations on Thursday. No less than three amendments http://www.lobelog.com/wp-content/uploads/Palestinians-Celebrate-PostUNBid-300x199.jpgwere brought in the Senate, to be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — a bill which has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians, but is a high-priority bill that the Senate must pass, and as such is a perfect target for frivolous amendments).

Two of the amendments are purely partisan and with a Republican minority in the Senate, they are unlikely to pass. The third, however, is bipartisan and the leading Democrat sponsoring it is Charles Schumer (D-NY) whose position as the Democrats’ lead fundraiser means he gets his senate colleagues’ attention. The partisan amendments are somewhat more draconian than the bipartisan one, which will make the bipartisan amendment look relatively moderate, thereby increasing the chances of its passage.

Along with Schumer, the amendment is sponsored by Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). It calls for the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in the US unless the Palestinians return to talks with Israel. No timeframe is given for the return to talks, nor is there any mention of anything Israel must do to make that return politically feasible for the Palestinians. This amounts to an attempt to force the Palestinians back into talks on Bibi Netanyahu’s terms, which, as I explain here, would be political suicide for the Palestinian Authority (PA). (more…)

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In this week’s piece for Souciant, a rundown of some of the effects of the surprisingly impactful Palestinian victory at the UN General Assembly.

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My latest for LobeLog examines the machinations by Israel, the US and the UK around the PLO bid for upgraded status at the UN General Assembly, particularly the ridiculous conditions that they tried to get Mahmoud Abbas to accept.

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Australia has long been one of the countries that often, though not always, have voted in the United Nations General Assembly with the United States and Israel in votes

Australian PM Julia Gillard and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

overwhelmingly going against them. It had been made clear by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that this would be the case again. She promised that Australia would oppose the rather tepid resolution the Palestinians are bringing to the general Assembly to upgrade their status to Non-Member Observer.

But her “best” intentions were thwarted by a revolt within her own party, Labor, when her cabinet ministers warned her that Labor’s parliamentary caucus would vote against her decision to support the Israeli position and that this could cause a crisis that might even bring down her government. So, Gillard has decided that Australia will abstain in the UN vote.

The significance of this is not lost on Israel, though the scant global attention being paid to it indicates that it is lost on many others. Australia’s close relationship to Israel is long-standing, and has been consistent through both center-left (which is Labor) and center-right governments. (more…)

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In this week’s column at Souciant, I do a rundown of the winners and losers in the so-called “Operation Pillar of Defense.” I examine a number of different actors, not just Israel and Hamas, as well as some of the regional implications. Hope you find it interesting.

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At LobeLog, on Israel’s upgraded use of social media as cheerleader for its assault on Gaza.

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