My latest at LobeLog reviewing John Kerry’s recent testimony before Congress and the ripples on the Israeli right in response to the collapse of the talks, at least for now.
Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’
Posted in Peace Plans, tagged Avigdor Lieberman, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Congress, ICJ, Iran nuclear talks, Isaac Herzog, Israel, Israel ICJ, Israel Palestine ICJ, Israel-Palestine Talks, John Kerry, John Kerry April 8 testimony, Mahmoud Abbas, Naftali Bennett, Oslo Peace Process, Palestinian tax revenues to Israel, Palestinian UN applications, Rome Statute, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, The Walking Dead, US-Israel relations, Zehava Gal-On on April 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in International Law, tagged Geneva Conventions, international law, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, OPT, Palestine, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian UN membership, Rome Statute, Samantha Power, United Nations on April 7, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Just what was it that sent the US and Israel into apoplectic fits last week? What egregious sin did the Palestinians commit to re-ignite American threats to cut of funding to the PA and Israeli ones to once again start pocketing for themselves the Palestinian tax monies they collect? Why, they are trying to sign on to human rights commitments. The temerity! The US has sent a clear message: Israel is to be coddled or even rewarded for breaking its commitments to the US, by reneging on its prisoner release deal, and to international law by expanding settlements; but the Palestinians must be punished for joning international human rights conventions. I explain and explore at LobeLog today.
Posted in Peace Plans, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Israel, J Street, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Martin Indyk, Middle east, One-State Solution, Palestine, Palestinian Authority, Two-state solution, United Nations, United States, West Bank on April 4, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
A slightly edited version of this article originally appeared at LobeLog, where I and many other foreign policy experts regularly
publish. I’d recommend the site just as strongly even if they didn’t publish my stuff.
There are many false clichés about the Israel-Palestine conflict. There are also some very true ones, though these are heard less frequently. Perhaps the most profound of these was proven once again this week: the United States is incapable of playing a positive role in this arena.
There is nothing about that statement that should be controversial. A decades-long line of U.S. politicians and diplomats have spoken of the need to resolve this conflict. In recent years, these statements have often been accompanied by an acknowledgment of the need for “Palestinian self-determination.” But Israel is the one country, among all of the world’s nations, of whom those very same leaders speak in terms of an “unbreakable bond,” a country between whose policies and ours there “is no daylight.”
Let’s say my brother gets in a dispute with someone else, perhaps even someone I am acquainted with. Would anyone think that I would be the appropriate person to mediate that conflict? If my brother also had a lot more money and influence in the conflict, and therefore a fair mediation needed a broker who was willing to pressure my brother into compromise because, right or wrong, he does not have incentive to do so. Am I the person to be expected to level that playing field? (more…)
Posted in Bibi Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, tagged Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, international law, Israel, Jerusalem, John Kerry, Jonathan Pollard, Mahmoud Abbas, Occupation, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, settlement freeze, Settlements, Two-state solution, United Nations, United States, West Bank on April 1, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
There is a word in Hebrew that marvelously describes what Benjamin Netanyahu has turned both the Palestinian Authority and the
Obama Administration into. That word is “frier.” Not as in a vat of oil to make chips, but as in what would be most closely translated as “sucker,” a person who is easily scammed, who buys the Brooklyn Bridge with their life savings.
The deal which, according to the New York Times, US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to sell today to the Palestinians exemplifies everything that is wrong with the American-brokered Oslo process. The deal itself was hammered out only between Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It reflects the absence of the Palestinians in the discussions, because it offers them nothing but the opportunity to capitulate again to American and Israeli power.
Under the terms of the deal, the United States would release Jonathan Pollard, the Jewish American who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel. Pollard has been a cause celebre for the right wings of both the American-Jewish and Israeli communities for years, but no president has ever seriously considered releasing him before. Israel would, essentially, concede nothing in exchange.
The Israelis would agree to “show restraint” in expanding settlements in the West Bank. That is a vague and meaningless wording which, given the amount of construction Israel has undertaken when they’ve actually agreed to what they call a “freeze” cannot possibly have any real impact. (more…)
Posted in Peace Plans, tagged Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Congress, Israel, Israel-Palestine Talks, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, One-State Solution, Oslo Peace Process, Oslo Process, Palestinian Authority, peace talks, Two-state solution on April 1, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
It’s easy to feel like one is trapped in some sort of alternate reality where the world is just a big funhouse of mirrors these days. After
decades of right wing Israelis and even more radically right wing American Jews campaigning for the release of Jonathan Pollard, his release might actually happen. But it will not be a result of the right wing campaign, nor will it be the US playing its ace in the hole with Israel for some extraordinary Israeli concessions. It won’t even be some dramatic gesture of friendship or a “humanitarian” gesture now that Pollard is old and has been reportedly sickly.
No, Pollard might be released so that the talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have gone on for eight months with noting but negativity resulting from them, can continue pointlessly. All this time, freeing Pollard has been one thing every administration has refused to do, and now they will do it for, essentially, nothing. Why? I explore this and other questions today at LobeLog.
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