The storm of controversy after Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s warning that Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state” reminded us once again that facts, data and the apparently tedious details of international law often seem to have little bearing on conversations about Israel conducted at the highest levels of this country. As was the case when other major figures brandished the “A-word” in connection with Israel (Jimmy Carter comes to mind), the political reaction to Kerry’s warning was instantaneous and emotional. “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous,” said California Sen.… Seguir leyendo »
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The revelation last week that Israel wanted to plan for 20,000 new settlement housing units received the usual outraged responses from around the world. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, mindful of a backlash in the midst of the Iran nuclear negotiations, walked the revelation back, but not very far.
Just a few days earlier, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in Israel trying to keep peace talks afloat, reiterated the U.S. view in an interview: “We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate.”
Settlement expansion, we are constantly told, is the stumbling block to the fragile negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.… Seguir leyendo »
Israel did not wait long to reveal its first response to the United Nations General Assembly’s overwhelming recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, almost immediately announcing its intention to push forward with plans to build housing for Jewish settlers in E1, an area of the West Bank just to the east of Jerusalem.
Although it is sometimes misleadingly referred to as “disputed” or “controversial,” settlement construction in E1 is no more and no less of a contravention of international law than settlement construction elsewhere in the West Bank or East Jerusalem. What makes this development significant is E1’s location, sealing tight the gap between East Jerusalem and Israel’s largest settlement, Maale Adumim, further to the east.… Seguir leyendo »
It goes without saying that Palestinians and Arabs are outraged by the idea that the United States is threatening to block recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations.
What is less obvious, perhaps, is that some of the most vociferous critics of the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. recognition are Palestinians themselves. How could it be that advocates of Palestinian rights could be suspicious of, if not altogether opposed to, the U.N. gambit? Isn’t the creation of an internationally recognized independent state the goal shared by all Palestinians?
Not exactly. The Palestinian cause concerns more than merely statehood. And although much depends on how the statehood bid is formally expressed, there is every possibility that U.N.… Seguir leyendo »
A massive archive of documents leaked to Al Jazeera and Britain’s Guardian newspaper offers irrefutable proof that years of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have been an empty sham. The papers make clear that the time has come for Palestinians and anyone interested in the cause of justice to abandon the charade of official diplomacy and pursue other, more creative and nonviolent paths toward the realization of a genuine, just peace.
The leaked documents, assuming they are genuine — and both Al Jazeera and the Guardian say they have authenticated them — are behind-the-scenes notes from a decade of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.… Seguir leyendo »