Israel


  • President Abbas calls for a Palestinian spring in September

    By Dr. Marc Gopin and Aziz Abu Sarah

    In his speech to the Central Council of the PLO in Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his strategy to end the occupation. The President stressed in his speech that he will not retreat from seeking recognition of the Palestinian state from the United Nations. Abbas had been under enormous pressure to withdraw the request for recognition of a Palestinian State on borders of June 1967. He announced that 122 nations are already in favor of the draft submitted to the UN. Concerning US opposition, he referred to the fact that this has not been communicated in a formal manner.

    President Abbas surprised many of his listeners when he spoke about another element of his strategy. Perhaps for the first time Abbas highlighted clearly his vision of the Palestinian people’s active participation to achieve the dream of a Palestinian state. He called …

  • Jewish Tahrir Square, Marie Antoinetzky, and the Death of GDP

     

    “…he was surprised by the housing protests across the country, ‘because the economy is doing well.” Time for a Jewish period of rebellion against the macroeconomics of super-wealth. Marie Antoinetzky meets real Jewish people–and their Arab neighbors. This is healthy for Israel and for peace. I love it when GDP and other measures fall right on their face in broad daylight. Harder to refute their nonsense about who is doing well and who is not, when the society is adding millionaires and billionaires like crazy and average people are going homeless. It is ironic, even astonishing, that just as the “Labor” Party in Israel has died under the able leadership of the ever altruistic Ehud Barak, that Tahrir Square, sorry Rabin Square, becomes too small to contain the nonviolent rage of the people. No big surprise:

    At present, the richest people in Israel pay the least

  • The Call of the Leading Citizens of Israel to European Communities to Embrace the Palestinian State

    THIS IS A REVOLUTIONARY DOCUMENT THAT SHOULD BE READ. THE COURAGE OF THESE ISRAELI PATRIOTS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE NOTED BY THE HISTORY BOOKS, AND BY THEIR ARAB NEIGHBORS

     

    Israeli senior officials and public figures to European leaders: Support Palestinian independence

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s horror show in Washington and the unequivocal support he received from the US congress may mark the end of the peace process. The only alternatives at this time are the Palestinian push towards independence or the risk of another surge of violence. In contrast to recent statements by Israeli and American officials, a unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence is consistent with fundamental Israeli interests. Moreover, it may rejuvenate the moribund peace process.

    Following President Obama’s objection to the Palestinian declaration of independence, it is evident that the prospect of Palestinian statehood depends on the actions of key European governments.

    Accordingly, a group of

  • Israelis Debate on the Web: Did Norway Get What It Deserved? – Forward Thinking – Forward.com

    Israelis Debate on the Web: Did Norway Get What It Deserved? – Forward Thinking – Forward.com.

     

    There is increasing evidence of a broad gulf between the Jewish conscience of those outside of Israel and the character of a significant portion of the Israeli electorate in 2011. J.J Goldberg is right that you can’t just blame Netanyahu, but it is a fact that perpetual war, stubborn occupations, degrade the decency of any population.  A large portion of the Israeli population has continued to move in the direction of dehumanizing anyone, non-Jewish or Jewish, that opposes their Occupation of the Palestinian people. This is a political style and a paranoid style of politics that has gotten thirty five years of Israeli officials elected, and it is having its effects as a continuous deterioration of Israel’s social relationship with the rest of the world. Amazingly, due to the incredible intellectual talents …

  • Not an Arab Spring, but a Human Spring

    Maybe we are not in an Arab Spring, but a Human Spring. Maybe it is the flowering of nonviolent resistance, and it is time for Jews and Arabs to march as one in Israel/Palestine, and it is time for Americans to march as one to put the banks back into the controls that helped us flourish in the forties and fifties.

    אולי אנחנו לא באביב ערבי, אבל האביב האדם. אולי זה הוא הפריחה של התנגדות לא אלימה, וזה הזמן עבור יהודים וערבים כאחד לצעוד בישראל / פלסטין, וזה הזמן עבור האמריקנים לצעוד כאחד לשים את הבנקים בחזרה את הפקדים עזרו לנו לפרוח שנות הארבעים והחמישים.

    ربما نحن لسنا في الربيع العربي، ولكن فصل الربيع الإنسان. ربما هو ازدهار المقاومة اللاعنفية، وحان الوقت لليهود والعرب في مسيرة واحدة في إسرائيل / فلسطين ، وحان الوقت بالنسبة للأميركيين لمسيرة واحدة لوضع المصارف بالعودة الى الضوابط التي ساعدتنا في ازدهار الأربعينات والخمسينات.

     …

  • Don’t Talk, Do Something! Palestinian/Israeli Unilateralism as Legitimate Negotiations

     

    Much is being made of Palestinian unilateralism recently, and President Obama and his advisors seem authentically perturbed by the unilateral march to Palestinian statehood declarations at the United Nations come September. It will indeed put the United States in an awful position.

     

    Is this Palestinian move such a bad thing, and it is a betrayal of that sacred cow of statecraft, verbal negotiations? I say no, it is rather Palestinian leaders finally intuiting what the true form of negotiations have been all along, the true positions being formulated by successive leaderships of Israel. That form of negotiation, the one that has marched forward year after year, is the creation of facts on the ground, actions not words.

     

    I always knew that actions speak louder than words, but only of late have I come to realize that they are not only a form of negotiation but the form …

  • Fatah, Hamas, and the Future of Palestine

    (This article was written in collaboration with Aziz Abu Sarah, Co-Executive Director of The Center for World Religions Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.)

    Ever since the disastrous split in Palestinian leadership of several years ago into Fatah and Hamas it has become clear that disunity has been a critical factor standing in the way of Palestinian statehood. Many reconciliation efforts, with several third parties, were attempted and aborted. This time it seems that things are different, despite the enormous ideological divisions and outstanding grievances between Fatah and Hamas.

    Why is this happening now? Clearly, the historic impact of the “Arab Spring” on Egypt and Syria, and across the region, is an enormous game changer. The increasing instability of Syria suggests that there is a strong possibility that A) Hamas may no longer have a stable home in Syria, but, on the other hand, Palestinians now have a much more sympathetic …

  • The Arab Spring Awakens in Palestine

    Here are two interviews that I did with Fox News and Russia TV on Tuesday, regarding thousands of Palestinian refugees who attempted to nonviolently cross Israeli borders from the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian border last weekend, resulting in several deaths and dozens injured.

  • Unite, Confuse, and Inspire: Creating a More Inclusive Atmosphere in Israel

    Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.

    In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:

    A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …

  • Imagining Peace: The Practical Advantages of an Israeli/Palestinian Final Settlement

    Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.

    The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.

    Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza

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