Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

This article was published at LobeLog

Well, here it is, the day after. The Israeli elections are over, but the form of the next government is not at all clear. Most likely, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beiteinu party

Next to the polling station, photo by Yossi Gurvitz

Next to the polling station, photo by Yossi Gurvitz

will form a government with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party being the main partner. This is by far the most likely scenario, though others possibilities exist, even a million-to-one long shot that Lapid could form a government. Labor is likely to be leading the opposition, unless Lapid surprises everyone and stays out of a Netanyahu-led government.

The new Knesset will be somewhat less tilted to the right than the last one, but this is not likely to make a big difference in terms of Israel’s approach to the Palestinians. Indeed, in some ways, it might serve Netanyahu to have a friendlier face in Lapid to cover policies that might be slightly different rhetorically but essentially the same on the ground. More than anything else, the shift in government is going to be felt domestically, in terms of greater attention to civic and economic issues. Indeed, no Israeli election in my memory compares to this one for the dominance of domestic over security issues.

Given that there’s still more to see before the full ramifications of the election are known, I’ll engage here with a few winners and losers. (more…)

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In my latest piece for Souciant, I look at what President Obama can do to create a more positive view of the United States in the Arab world, and how some steps that need to be taken in response to the Arab Spring can actually help move the politics around Israeli-Palestinian peace forward. In turn, that forward motion would also, obviously, help enhance the US’ standing in the Arab world, a pleasant symbiosis that I highly doubt Obama will pursue.

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In my latest piece for Souciant, I look at the opportunity for change that exists right now. In the attempt to change US Mideast policy, we get opportunities from time to time, though they are rarely great opportunities. This one isn’t that dramatic, but it is the sort of starting point we have regularly bypassed. If we had taken one such years ago, we would be in a very different place today.

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In my latest piece for Souciant, I look at the potential for change that Mitt Romney, Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu have created by trying to break the bipartisan consensus in the US on Israel. It will come to nothing if people don’t take this and run with it from within the Democratic Party, but there is a chance, if time, energy and lots of money get to work on it, that there could be a sufficient change among Democrats toward a US policy that is more sensible.

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This week’s Souciant piece is up. It’s the first of what is likely to be many pieces over the next few months on Obama’s first term, his possible second one and just how bad things could be with a Republican president. In this piece, while I remind folks that things would have been much worse with McCain and will be much worse if Romney wins in November, Obama’s policy, or lack thereof, in the Middle East has been a disaster.

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Some follow-up points on the RNC resolution I reported on here.

First, I think it’s clear that the RNC absolutely has no idea what they actually said. They do not understand the implications of their resolution and that it would mean either the end of Israel as a Jewish state or would necessitate the mass expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank.

Second, several readers, at this site and in other places, have raised the issue of whether one of the “whereas” clauses mitigates the call for a single state. That clause reads:

WHEREAS, the Nation of Israel declared its independent control and governance of said lands on May 14, 1948, with the goal of re-establishing their God-given lands as a homeland for the Jewish people;

The clause refers to Israel’s declaration of independence and sovereignty, but it bears no relation to any piece of land. On that date, there were no lines drawn. What would become the Green Line was not in existence in any sense–the Green Line is the line drawn by the armistice declared in 1949 (various agreements were signed with neighboring countries from February to July of that year to end the fighting).

On May 14, 1948, the Yishuv (which would become Israel the next day) did not have control of the Upper Galilee, or large portions of the Negev, but did have control of areas of the West bank which it would soon lose. (more…)

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Last week in New Orleans, the Republican National Committee officially adopted a resolution supporting a one-state solution in Israel-Palestine.

This news came to me via a very trusted source, but both I and my source were puzzled by the fact that we could find nothing in the media confirming this. I called the RNC, but they would neither confirm nor deny.

Cindy Costa, RNC Committeewoman from South Carolina, who brought the resolution

So, I contacted Cindy Costa, the RNC’s National Committeewoman from South Carolina who was listed as the sponsor of the resolution. Here’s our e-mail exchange:

Me: Dear Ms. Costa,
I am a correspondent for several web-based news outlets, including Inter Press Service. I received the resolution below today, and would like to write an article about it. I just wanted to check with you that this was in fact an officially adopted RNC resolution. Can you please let me know? Thanks.

Costa: Yes it was adopted unanimously by the RNC last Friday at our winter meeting in New Orleans.  Cindy

So, that seems pretty clear. I reprint the entire text of the resolution below (and I sent it fully to Ms. Costa so she could confirm the full text), but the key passage is this one:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.

I don’t see how anyone could read that as anything but a statement in support of a one-state solution. The RNC officially supports not only continued Israeli possession of all the land it currently controls, but advocates “one law for all people,” which does not exist now.

Israelis behind the Green Line live under Israeli law. So do settlers. But Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem are subject to a conglomeration of laws based on previous Jordanian law from before 1967, Israeli emergency laws and military regulations mostly adopted after 1967, and even some measure of old Ottoman laws, these particularly applied in East Jerusalem. (more…)

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