My report for IPS on the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the J Street conference.
Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’
Posted in J Street, Peace Plans, tagged Americans for Peace Now, Daniel Levy, Israel, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Jerusalem, Joe Biden, Martin Indyk, Ori Nir, Palestine, Refugees, Right of Return, Settlements, Yousef Munayyer on October 3, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Settlements, United States, tagged AP, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Carter administration, Gaza, Geneva Conventions, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Green Line, international law, Israeli Settlements, Jen Psaki, Jerusalem, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Matt Lee, Matthew Lee, Netanyahu, Ronald Reagan, State Department, US Policy on Israeli Settlements, West Bank, White House on August 18, 2013 | 4 Comments »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog. There is an indispensable wealth of material there on recent events in Israel/Palestine, Iran, Egypt and others. I urge you to check it out.
Some days, it must be really difficult to be the State Department’s spokesperson. It doesn’t seem like a bad job to have at all, but on certain questions it’s impossible to not look like an idiot. A lot of those questions are connected to de facto policies which differ from de jure ones.
And there is no better example of that than US policy on Israeli settlements.
Back in the early years after the 1967 war, the United States made it clear that the settlements were illegal according to international law. As recently as 1978, the State Department legal adviser confirmed that all Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line are illegal, and through the Carter administration, this was explicit US policy. That policy has never been explicitly revoked, but beginning with the Reagan administration, de facto policy has been ambiguous. Reagan began the trend when he stated that while the settlements were ill-advised, provocative and that further settlement was not necessary for Israel’s security “I disagreed when, the previous Administration refereed to them as illegal, they’re not illegal. Not under the U.N. resolution that leaves the West Bank open to all people—Arab and Israeli alike, Christian alike.”
The problematic nature of Reagan’s statement — implying that “Arab” equals “Muslim” and “Israeli” equals “Jew”, and more importantly, citing the “U.N. Resolution”, which is not the basis for the illegality of the settlements (the Fourth Geneva Convention is) — notwithstanding, this was the beginning of the US’ refusal to label settlements illegal, terming them instead, at most, “illegitimate.” (more…)
Posted in Israel, Palestine, United States, tagged Benjamin Netanyahu, European Union, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Israel-Palestine Talks, Jerusalem, Jewish Home, John Kerry, Jordan Valley, Labor Party, Mahmoud Abbas, Oslo Accords, Oslo Peace Process, Palestine, Refugees, Two-state solution, West Bank on July 20, 2013 | 3 Comments »
This piece originally appeared at LobeLog.
I’m always pleased when something surprises me in the realm of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. It doesn’t happen often. Today’s announcement that Secretary of State John Kerry has apparently succeeded at bringing Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the table was one such surprise.
The announcement should not be overstated, of course. At this writing, there is a proviso out there that a few details still need to be worked out. So, there’s a convenient back door that both parties can exit through.
Even if the talks did resume, there is no reason to believe they will succeed. As Stephen Waltdetails, Israel’s governing coalition remains hostile to a two-state solution, the Palestinians remain divided and, despite whatever pushes and prods Kerry used to achieve this outcome, the US remains politically paralyzed and feckless. Coming up with a positive scenario that is even marginally realistic is therefore not easy. But here is one shot at it. (more…)