Posted in Israel, Peace Plans, United States, tagged Anti-Semitism, B'Tselem, Barnea on Israel-Palestine, Benjamin Netanyahu, criticism of two-state solution, Gaza, Isaac Herzog, Israel-Palestine Talks, Israeli Settlements, John Kerry, Labor Party, Likud, Mahmoud Abbas, Nahum Barnea, Oslo Accords, Peace Now, Shelly Yachimovitch, West Bank, why did Israel-Palestine talks fail, Yediot Ahoronot, Yediot Ahoronot article on failure of Israel Palestine talks on May 5, 2014 |
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An edited version of this piece appeared at LobeLog.
On May 2 Israel’s most widely read newspaper, Yediot Ahoronot, published an article that blows the lid off of the failure of United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Nahum Barnea, one of Israel’s best known reporters, got several U.S. officials who were involved with the talks to open up to him, anonymously, about what happened.
Barnea says that the version the U.S. officials present “… is fundamentally different to (sic) the one presented by Israeli officials.” The implication from Barnea, and the way most will read the U.S. revelations, is that it was basically Israel’s fault that the talks failed. But a more sober and critical reading of what these officials say paints a different picture than the ones that the Israeli government, Barnea, or most of the initial reactions do.
In fact, what comes out is that Israel was not the primary culprit here. As has long been the case, the main reason for the failure of talks was and is the United States.
Combining amazing ignorance not only of the Palestinians but also of Israel and its politics, with a hint of anti-Semitism and a contemptuous attitude toward the Palestinians, tossing in some willful blindness to the realities on the ground and in the offices of politicians, the United States initiated a process that put the final nail in the two-state solution as it has been understood for years. Some, myself included, might consider that a good thing, as it raises the opportunity for re-thinking all the options, including other ways to conceive of two states (which I favor), as well as one state ideas. But the way this has come about has strengthened hard-liners in Israel, made the United States Congress even more myopic in its blind support for Israel and made it less likely that there will ever be a negotiated, rather than a violent, resolution to this conflict. In any case, this latest episode has quite likely kicked any resolution even farther into the future than it already was. (more…)
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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 |
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This piece originally appeared at LobeLog.
John Kerry meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, July 19, 2013 (from State Department photos)
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…)
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Posted in Europe, tagged AIPAC, Anti-Semitism, Ariel Sharon, Avigdor Lieberman, Barack Obama, Catherine Ashton, CUFI, Czech Republic, Daniel Levy, E-1, EU, Europe, European Union, George W. Bush, Israel, Kadima, Labor Party, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Peter beinart, The Holocaust, United Nations, World War II on December 14, 2012 |
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The United States may be easing up its customary pressure on Europe to go along with it in its blanket protection of Israel no matter how far Israel pushes the envelope. Early indications are that Europe just doesn’t need the pressure, they’re not going to pressure Israel anyway, despite the recent arrogant comments by both Bibi Netanyahu and Yvet Lieberman. But in the long term, maybe there’s a little more hope down the European road than the US one. I explore this in this week’s piece at Souciant.
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Posted in Palestinian Citizens of Israel, tagged Al-Aksa Intifada, Arab Democratic Party, Aryeh Deri, Avigdor Lieberman, Bedouin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Gaza, Hadash, Israel, Jewish State, Labor Party, Likud, Mapai, Palestine, Palestinians, Tzipi Livni, West Bank, Yisrael Beitenu, Zionism on October 26, 2012 |
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In this week’s article at Souciant, I examine the lack of political power of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Though they have the right to vote just like any Israeli, as Israel endlessly reminds us, the power of that vote in the real world is negligible, and not just for the reasons many disillusioned voters feel. It’s about the marginalization of Israel’s Arab sector more broadly.
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Posted in Israel, Likud, tagged Aryeh Deri, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, Ehud Olmert, Israel, Labor Party, Likud, Middle east, Netanyahu, Shas, Shelly Yachimovich, Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beiteinu on October 25, 2012 |
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I’ve long suspected it, but now I’m convinced: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost his mind. His announcement todayof forming a joint list with Yisrael Beiteinu and Avigdor Lieberman reeks of a panic not rooted in any sense of reality. And this time, it’s not about “the Arabs” or Iran, but about the upcoming election. It’s proof positive that the man running Israel, and who is going to continue to run Israel for the foreseeable future, is a frightened, perhaps even paranoid, reactionary man.
Consummating their love and uniting the right: Avigdor Lieberman and Benjamin Netanyahu
According to Yediot Akhronot’s web site, YNet, Bibi made the decision to do this because polls indicate Likud would lose a few seats in the next elections (sorry, the report is not available in English at this time). Netanyahu wants to be the leader of the next Knesset’s biggest party, not the second biggest as he currently is. So, he threw in his lot with Lieberman and his explicit fascism.
I think this move is going to backfire on Bibi in a number of ways. First of all, this is going to alienate a number of very high profile Likud members. Some will be seeing this as coming at their expense, especially those in top positions right now who will be bumped at least one rung, perhaps more, lower on the list and in their positions in the next cabinet. Others, like Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and more, are going to bristle sharply at having to work this closely with Lieberman. It would not surprise me to see several prominent Likud figures bolt.
Second, whereas before the so-called super-bloc of “center-left” parties was largely a media invention, Netanyahu has now given it much more impetus. While Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid may still be more interested in making their own mark on the electorate, the more seasoned Labor and Kadima parties are going to find that they have little choice but to join forces now in some way. That won’t matter to Bibi…unless Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni re-enter the fray, which make Kadima meaningful again and would combine well with a Labor Party that Shelly Yachimovitch has kept at a steady second place in polls for months. (more…)
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