Given the frequently bombastic rhetoric that has come from the new President of the United States in his first two weeks in office, it is not surprising that many observers are reading the statement from the White House about Israeli settlements as being much sterner than it is. Expectations (and fears) have been raised in some quarters that President Donald Trump would be even more supportive of settlements than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the statement has been read by many in that context. Read more at Facts On the Ground
Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’
Gershon Baskin is the founder of IPCRI – Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, and served as its co-director until January 2012. He is a long-time veteran of both Israeli peace NGOs and second track diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians, and has many key contacts on both sides. This gives him a particularly well-informed grasp of current events.
In July 2006, after Gilad Schalit’s abduction in Gaza he began unofficially, without governmental authorization or support, to open a back channel with Hamas. Baskin was involved in the ultimately successful efforts leading up to Shalit’s release for more than five years
Baskin is a member of the steering committee of the Israeli Palestinian Peace NGO Forum, a member of the Board of Directors of ALLMEP – the Alliance for Middle East Peace, a member of the Israeli Board of One Voice Movement, and a member of the editorial committee of the Palestine Israel Journal.
Baskin holds a Ph.D. in International relations from the University of Greenwich.
All of this makes his insight into how to resolve issues particularly valuable. As this week of escalated violence in Israel and the West Bank came to a close, Baskin posted some of his thoughts to his Facebook page. The Foundation for Middle East Peace reprints them here with his permission.
Posted in Jerusalem, tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, al-Aqsa, al-Quds, ARab League, East Jerusalem, Hamas, Haram al-Sharif, Hashemite, ISIS, Jerusalem, Jerusalem light rail attack, Jordan, Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty, King Abdullah, Muslim Brotherhood, Netanyahu, Refugees, Religious Zionism, Temple Mount, Yehuda Glick, Zionism on November 7, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Take a particularly provocative and grandstanding Israeli government and shift its focus from Hamas and Gaza to Jerusalem and you have a most explosive recipe. That potion is being stirred now, and the results could shake up the status quo in a way that we have only seen a few times in Israel’s history. Read more at LobeLog
Posted in Uncategorized, United States, US-Israel Lobby, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, BDS, Bernie Sanders, Black September, campaign financing, Chuck Hagel, Code Pink, Cold War, Cory Booker, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Egypt, Elizabeth Warren, Gaza, Gaza Under Attack, George W. Bush, Golda Meir, Harry S. Truman, Henry Kissinger, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Criminal Court, Israel Lobby, Israel Nuclear weapons, Israeli nuclear program, Jewish Voice for Peace, John Foster Dulles, John Mearsheimer, Jordan, Kurds, Lyndon B. Johnson, Nasser, national security council, Noam Chomsky, Occupation, Phantom Jets, Richard Nixon, Settlements, Sheldon Adelson, Soviet Union, Stephen Walt, Syria, United Nations, US Aid to Israel, US Foreign Policy, US geo-strategy, US National interests, West Bank, Yitzhak Rabin, Zionism on October 15, 2014| Leave a Comment »
During the summertime war in Gaza, the two most progressive members of the US Senate stirred up controversy among their backers with expressions of uncritical support for Israel. At a town hall meeting, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the lone Senate independent, responded to a questioner that Israel had “overreacted” with its 52-day bombardment and ground incursion, but then proceeded to justify Israel’s actions with the usual pro-Israel talking points about “missiles fired from populated areas” and “sophisticated tunnels.” An audience member began to shout objections, to which Sanders said, “Shut up.”
Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat from Massachusetts, went further in her defense of Israel at a meeting with constituents on Cape Cod. She said it was right for the United States to send $225 million in aid to Israel, a “democracy controlled by the rule of law,” as the bombing continued. She ventured no criticism at all of the extensive damage to civilian lives and livelihoods in Gaza. When another constituent suggested that future US aid be conditioned on Israel halting settlement construction in the West Bank, Warren replied, “I think there’s a question of whether we should go that far.” Read more at the Middle East Research and Information Project
Posted in Peace Plans, tagged 1991 Gulf War, ARab League, Bi-nationalism, Cold War, democracy, intifada, Israel, Jews, Jordan, Nationalism, Occupied Territories, Oslo Accords, Palestine, Palestinians, PLO, Secular, West Bank, Yasir Arafat, Zionism on October 11, 2013| Leave a Comment »
In the last of three pieces, starting with an article at LobeLog earlier this week and one at this site yesterday, I look at the need for advocacy for various one-state formulations to be part of the discourse around resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. I argue that, even for two-staters, there is an absolute need to broaden the discussion, to get to a better idea than the failed Oslo one, but that this won’t be possible unless some leadership, probably Palestinian though it could be Israeli too, is willing to advocate a one-state solution. That’s what is missing now, and what needs to emerge and just might be doing so. Check it out in Souciant this week.
Posted in Egypt, tagged AKP, al-Sisi, Anwar Sadat, Arab Spring, Catherine Ashton, Coup, Egypt, Egyptian Coup, Egyption Revolution, Fawaz Gerges, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Gaza, Hamas, Hosni Mubarak, Jordan, June 30, Libya, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Political Islam, SCAF, Tunisia, Turkey on July 31, 2013| Leave a Comment »
This article originally appeared at LobeLog.
It’s time to ask some tough questions about US policy regarding Egypt. The most pressing being what that policy is, exactly?
I agreed with the easily assailable decision by the Obama administration to refrain from labeling the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi a coup. It still is my belief that doing so might be consistent with US law, but would not be helpful to Egypt. Instead of taking funding away from the military which, since it now directly controls the Egyptian till, would simply divert the lost funds from other places (causing even more distress to an already reeling Egyptian economy) it would be better to use the aid as leverage to push the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) toward an inclusive political process that would include drafting a broadly acceptable constitution and, with all due speed, re-installing a duly elected civilian government. (more…)
Posted in Barack Obama, Bibi Netanyahu, Turkey, tagged Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danny Ayalon, Egypt, Erdogan, Flotilla, Hamas, Jordan, Mavi Marmara, Moshe Ya'alon, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, Turkey on March 23, 2013| Leave a Comment »
A reader at LobeLog asked how I thought Netanyahu’s surprising and long-belated apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara killings fit in with my analysis of Obama’s speeches in Jerusalem and Ramallah. I thought my readers here would be interested in my response, so I reprint it below.
I think it fits in perfectly. What Obama set out to do, in my view, was to reset his foreign policy priorities, given not only the pivot to Asia, but also the domestic political
realities that severely limit his options in dealing with Israel (i.e. AIPAC et al). He’s essentially trying to move the conflict out of the way.
It may well be that events, maybe in Syria, possibly even in Egypt or Jordan, will change the status quo by drawing Israel in and that may hamper the move to lessen US involvement in all of this. But for now, Obama will do what he must as dictated by US politics but I think little if anything more, and that was his message to the Israeli public.
To Bibi, I think he handed that perspective as a gift, or more precisely a payoff. Basically, he said I’m not going to push you the negotiating table, but you’re going to pay me back for that by making this issue less of a thorn in my side. I think the rapprochement with Turkey is the centerpiece of that, because while the split between those two US allies has not always been in the news, it is a central concern for US diplomats. This makes matters simpler.
I think Obama was also hoping that Bibi would agree to turn the heat back down on the Iran issue and let Obama take the lead. Such a thing would probably be wise for Israel, even from their point of view, because Obama’s own rhetoric on Iran has hardly been mollifying. But I think that was an area where Bibi was much less forthcoming. He knows his new defense minister prefers the US hit Iran rather than Israel, but also that he very much believes that the US should be pressured to do so–Ya’alon does not seem to share the assessment of his military and intelligence leaders on Iran, which is pretty much identical to the US’. (more…)