PeaceCast #34: Palestinians Facing Two State Crisis

Leading Palestinian pollster and scholar Khalil Shikaki, in a conversation from his Ramallah office, reviewing key challenges facing Palestinians and their leaders, and explaining the dwindling support among West Bank and Gaza Palestinians -- particularly the younger generation -- for the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state. 

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Articles on Israel's approval of 100's of new settlement homes

Reuters: "Israel approves hundreds of new settlement homes: NGO"

Peace Now's Hagit Ofran noted that many of the latest housing projects were slated for settlements deep inside the West Bank.

The Australian (from AFP): 'Israel approves more than 1100 new West Bank settlement homes' (subscription needed)

Peace Now said 6742 housing projects were approved in the settlements last year, the highest since 2013.

The Independent: "Israel approves more than 1,100 new settlement homes in occupied West Bank"

In a statement, the group (Peace Now) said: "The government is attempting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution and the prospects of peace by building more and more in the settlements."

Boston Globe: "Group: Israel OKs more construction in West Bank settlements"

Ofran (of Peace Now) said the government is ‘‘trying to prevent the possibility for peace and a two-state solution.’’

Ha'aretz: "EU, U.K., Germany and France Condemn Israeli Plan to Build Hundreds of Settlement Homes"

Israeli anti-settlement Peace Now also denounced the 1,122 new settlement units which were approved this week.

Jordan Times: "Jordan, world countries reject Israeli settlement plans"

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Trump Policy Triggered Incendiary Abbas Speech, PCC Statement

The Chairman of the PLO and its Central Council over the past couple of days nullified the Oslo Agreements, conditioned recognition of Israel on Israeli recognition of Palestinian sovereignty, shunned the Trump Administration as a peace broker, and announced they would seek further recognition in international fora.

The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) statement followed an inflammatory and unconstructive speech by Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the Council in Ramallah on Sunday.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (1.17.18) - Israel-Palestine update

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses the situation in Gaza; Abbas's aggressive speech at the Palestinian Central Council; Israel's reaction; talk about two potential American peace proposals; and the bottom line.

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Bidding Farewell to Avi Buskila

Americans for Peace Now joins its Israeli sister organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav), Israel’s preeminent peace movement, in bidding farewell to Avi Buskila, Peace Now’s departing director general, who has decided to venture into politics and run for the leadership of the progressive political party Meretz.

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Briefing call with Dr. Khalil Shikaki on trends in Palestinian public opinion

On Thursday January 11, 2018, APN hosted leading Palestinian political scholar and pollster Khalil Shikaki for a briefing call on current challenges facing the Palestinians and on trends in Palestinian public opinion.

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Briefing call with Dr. Khalil Shikaki on state of Palestinian affairs: Thursday, 11am EST

Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and a professor of political science, discussed the state of Palestinian affairs following President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem.

Dr. Shikaki has also been a senior fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University since 2005. His research focuses on the peace process, Palestinian state building, public opinion, transition to democracy, and the impact of domestic Palestinian politics on the peace process.

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APN Condemns Murder of Settler, Warns Against Settlement Construction as Revenge

Washington, DC -- In the strongest possible terms, Americans for Peace Now condemns the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, which occurred yesterday in the West Bank outside Nablus. According to news reports in Israeli media, Shevach was shot by an unidentified attacker who fired on his vehicle from a passing car. We note that Hamas’s military wing, while not taking responsibility for the shooting, praised the killing as “heroic” and a sign of future attacks to come. Islamic Jihad also welcomed the attack.

With great concern, we are following developments in the wake of Shevach’s killing. Israel’s right-wing politicians are shamelessly exploiting this deplorable act with calls for settlement construction, making clear that they intend to use settlement building in the Occupied Territories as a means to punish Palestinians. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has also ordered his agency to examine the possibility of legalizing Havat Gilad – the illegal outpost near Nablus where Shevach lived, parts of which are built on private Palestinian land.

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APN Opposes Israel’s Entry Law Blacklist

Washington, DC -- Israel yesterday published a list of 20 organizations the activists of which will be prevented from entering the country in accordance with Israel’s 2017 Entry Law. Just as we condemn the Entry Law, Americans for Peace Now opposes this blacklist.

The Entry Law is aimed at organizations that support boycotts against Israel or West Bank settlements. Under the just-released blacklist, senior officials and key activists in blacklisted organizations who promote boycotts in an active and continuous manner will be denied entry.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (1.8.18) - Israel and the Middle East in 2018

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses the main strategic issues, threats and opportunities that are likely to characterize the Middle East in the new year; the influence of outside powers; what a Korean war would mean for the Middle East; how Islam will affect Israel and the region; and what's next for Israel and the Palestinians.

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