In recent weeks, an upsurge in violence in Jerusalem has brought the embattled city back into the headlines. According to Danny Seidemann, founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem and one of the leading experts on the city, this violence, boiling at a level unseen in Jerusalem since 1967, actually began over a year ago, and it is not just another spoke in the “cycle of violence.”
“Usually there’s a tendency to overstate the instability of Jerusalem,” Seidemann said at a meeting of journalists and analysts in Washington this week. “But Jerusalem is normally a far more stable city than its reputation. What we are seeing now are significant developments that go well beyond tomorrow’s headlines.”
Seidemann described a dangerous confluence of factors, with the political stalemate creating an atmosphere of despair in which the conflict, which has always been political, will finally become the religious conflict that many have believed, until now incorrectly, that it is. The current conflict centered on the Temple Mount is only the tip of the iceberg. According to Seidemann, “The entire fabric of this conflict has changed.” Read more at FMEP’s site
Posted in Jerusalem | Tagged Abu Khdeir, Ali Dawabsheh, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danny Seidemann, Duma, Haram al-Sharif, intifada, Jerusalem, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Moshe Ya'alon, Occupation, Oslo Accords, Temple Mount | Leave a Comment »
In what has almost become an annual ritual, an upsurge in violence has again put Jerusalem on edge. Originally centered on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount area in Jerusalem’s Old City, the clashes have now spread beyond, into the West Bank. Read more at Facts On the Ground
Posted in Jerusalem | Tagged Amos Harel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Jerusalem, Keith Dayton, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely, West Bank | 1 Comment »
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly today, one day after a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Nothing of substance is going to change as a result of these speeches. But Netanyahu’s in particular offered a good picture of the current state of affairs and why they are what they are.
Netanyahu’s speech was clearly aimed not at the international audience he was addressing, but at constituent
audiences in Israel and the United States. Indeed, his very cadence was rehearsed to allow for bursts of applause of the kind he’s grown accustomed to in Congress. After a few of those silent pauses, a small portion of the audience recognized the need to fill them with polite applause, but for the most part, Netanyahu’s speech was received with stony silence. Read more at the FMEP blog.
Posted in Bibi Netanyahu, United Nations | Tagged Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, General Assembly, Harry Reid, Mahmoud Abbas, UNGA 2015, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
Tzipi Hotovely might not be a great diplomat, but her blunt communication style can be a great help in clarifying matters. This was certainly the case with her interview with the Times of Israel, which was published on September 27. In it, Hotovely, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, openly declares that Israel has no intention of handing any of the West Bank over to Palestinian control.
Hotovely’s interview has gone largely unnoticed by Middle east analysts and reporters, hidden behind the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the deepening conflict in Syria and Russia’s involvement there, as well as the aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement. That lack of notice, however, belies the great significance of Hotovely’s revelations about Israel’s intentions in the West Bank. Continue Reading at Talking Points Memo
Posted in Settlements | Tagged apartheid, BDS, European Union, Settlements, Two-state solution, Tzipi Hotovely | Leave a Comment »
The city of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, modified its position today on a boycott of Israel, deciding instead only to boycott products from the Occupied Territories.
That is a much more politically sensible decision and a smart one for Reykjavík. The initial boycott was going to complicate Iceland’s foreign policy, as it is not the national policy to boycott all of Israel. Indeed, Iceland has no specific policy about how to respond to the occupation, nor does it have one regarding economic actions against Israel.
The outcome, however, does have an unfortunate side effect: it will be perceived as a tacit acknowledgment that a boycott of Israel over the occupation is, indeed, an act of antisemitism. The hysterical reaction of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and the entirely inappropriate call by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (an institution which shames Wiesenthal’s name on a daily basis with their consistent practice of labelling any and all criticism of Israel as antisemitism) for Jews not to go to Reykjavík, will now appear to have been effective. Continue Reading »
Posted in BDS | Tagged antisemitism, Arab Peace Initiative, BDS, Boycott, Clinton Parameters, iceland, Reykjavik, Simon Wiesenthal Center | Leave a Comment »
The Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik has declared a boycott of all Israeli goods. The measure is clearly symbolic, as the
Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, the Reykjavik official who brought the boycott motion
city itself can’t do enough trade with Israel, or any other country, for such an action to have any impact. The responses to the action, however, are worth examining.
A retiring official, Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, of the Social Democratic Alliance, a center-left party, brought the motion for the boycott. The motion compels the city to boycott all Israeli products “as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.” The memo that explains the reasoning behind what it terms a “symbolic” decision states that the city condemns “the Israeli policy of apartheid” in the Occupied Territories. Continue Reading »
Posted in BDS | Tagged Anti-Semitism, apartheid, BDS, Bjork Vilhelmsdottir, iceland, Reykjavik | 3 Comments »
In the latest in a series of Issue Briefs at the FMEP web site, we look at the BDS movement. We examine how it is distinct from other economic actions aimed at the Israeli occupation, the ways it has been used as a mask for very troubling attempts at policy shifts and the misguided responses to it. Check out the Issue Brief at the FMEP web site.
Posted in BDS | Tagged BDS, BDS Movement, Benjamin Netanyahu, East Jerusalem, ECFR, Occupation, Presbyterian Church USA, Settlements, TPA, West Bank | Leave a Comment »