Posts Tagged ‘Peace process’


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Barack Obama to jump-start the “peace process.” At LobeLog, I examine whether Obama is likely to heed that call and the grim position Abbas is in that prompted him to make it.

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Ha’aretz reports that Israel is asking the US to “prod” the Palestinians back to talks. OK, nothing new there, but what I found interesting was this:

The Prime Minister’s Office said that the conversation with Clinton lasted 45 minutes, and quoted Netanyahu as saying, “Israel is interested in continuous talks with the Palestinians while preserving the security interests of Israeli citizens.”

No doubt, there was some clumsy wording here, but doesn’t that sound an awful lot like Bibi is saying he wants endless negotiations while continuing to go about his business as usual?

Just sayin’…

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In my latest post on the Meretz USA blog, I look at Avishai Braverman’s call to fire Avigdor Lieberman for his opposition to the peace process. I conclude that a lot more than that is needed for Israel to deal with this virulent racist in its midst.

Avigdor Lieberman

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In my latest piece for examiner.com, I try to find some hope in what still looks like a pretty hopeless new round of direct talks. I’ll be posting later on some statements from the same guy that have the opposite effect.

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(A version of this piece appears in Zeek Magazine)

Now, here’s a sequence of events.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu states that Israel would not be bullied into peace. The implication, that peace is something the Netanyahu government is, at best, not enthused about, was lost on most of the media.

Where did this tough stance in the face of pressure come from? Well, it turns out that he was referring to an idea that was soon reported by David Ignatius in the Washington Post. According to Ignatius, President Barack Obama is seriously considering putting forth an American peace plan that would be accompanied by American pressure on both Israel and the Palestinians to accept it in principle.

One day later, Netanyahu decided not to attend a summit on nuclear weapons being organized by Obama in

Netanyahu is increasingly being forced to make it clear that he just doesn't want peace

Washington. The excuse he offered was that Arab states intended too bring up Israel’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its possession of nuclear weapons. Bibi defines this as “Israel-bashing,” a fairly absurd characterization since Israel is well-known as having nuclear weapons (and really makes no secret of it), and it’s more than fair that this be brought up.

More to the point, Bibi surely knew that Arab states would raise this issue in a private meeting long before he accepted the invitation to attend. No, his reason for cancelling is the ongoing tension with Washington over building in Jerusalem, the fact that he would not have had a personal meeting with Obama on the trip and the new idea of an American peace plan.

What can be gleaned from these events? The most obvious point is that the Obama Administration is forcing Netanyahu to make it more and more obvious that he does not want peace. The mantra that Bibi has repeated — “Israel desperately desires peace but has no partner”– has been exposed as paper-thin dissembling. The current Israeli government has no interest in evacuating any settlements, sharing Jerusalem in any way or withdrawing Israeli troops from any of the West Bank. They certainly have interest in finding a way to connect Gaza to the West Bank, much less see the establishment of a Palestinian state. (more…)

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