Lior Amihai in Haaretz: Thwarting any chance of a solution in Jerusalem

There can be no two-state solution without a compromise in Jerusalem. The latest moves to expand Israel’s presence in the eastern part of the city will make such a compromise impossible.

by Lior Amihai

After the Six-Day War, Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem and another approximately 29 Palestinian villages around it. Other countries and the Palestinians never recognized this annexation and the demand to establish the capital of the Palestinian state in East Jerusalem still stands. And so it is clear that a two-state solution cannot come about without a compromise over Jerusalem.

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New York Times editorial: A British Message to Israel

Israel and the United States have dismissed Monday’s vote in the House of Commons in Britain that endorsed diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state as a symbolic gesture that won’t change British policy.

In a strict sense, they are right.

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Chemi Shalev in Haaretz: Netanyahu’s 'un-American' stink bomb: What was he thinking?

Barack Obama Meets with PM Netanyahu of IsraelWhite House fumes at PM’s 'American values' statement that echoes malicious rhetoric of birthers and other crazy Obama-haters.

Chemi Shalev

You want to give Benjamin Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt. You prefer to assume that he knew not what he was doing, that he fell in love with his own wisecrack, as he is wont to do, and simply didn’t think things through. You want to believe that we have not reached the stage when the Israeli prime minister would wantonly detonate a stink bomb in an American president’s face, as if he couldn’t care less.

Nonetheless, you have to wonder. You can say a lot of things about Netanyahu: Stupid isn’t one of them. So how could have gone down the route of declaring White House criticism of his government’s moves in East Jerusalem “un-American”? How could he have ignored the multiple numerous alarm bells and whistles that should have warned him to think twice and even thrice before taking this road? How could he have exposed himself to the kind of withering reaction issued by the White House yesterday, summed it up in one loaded little word: “odd.”

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The New Yorker: Friends of Israel

The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence?

By Connie Bruck

 On July 23rd, officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—the powerful lobbying group known as AIPAC—gathered in a conference room at the Capitol for a closed meeting with a dozen Democratic senators. The agenda of the meeting, which was attended by other Jewish leaders as well, was the war in the Gaza Strip. In the century-long conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the previous two weeks had been particularly harrowing. In Israeli towns and cities, families heard sirens warning of incoming rockets and raced to shelters. In Gaza, there were scenes of utter devastation, with hundreds of Palestinian children dead from bombing and mortar fire. The Israeli government claimed that it had taken extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties, but the United Nations was launching an inquiry into possible war crimes. Even before the fighting escalated, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, had made little secret of its frustration with the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “How will it have peace if it is unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation, and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security, and dignity?” Philip Gordon, the White House coördinator for the Middle East, said in early July. “It cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability.” Although the Administration repeatedly reaffirmed its support for Israel, it was clearly uncomfortable with the scale of Israel’s aggression. AIPAC did not share this unease; it endorsed a Senate resolution in support of Israel’s “right to defend its citizens,” which had seventy-nine co-sponsors and passed without a word of dissent.

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Inspired by stories his father told him as a child, Leonard Fein felt called to mend a torn world, in words and deeds.

Cofounding the magazine Moment with Elie Wiesel in the 1970s, he became one of the nation’s most visible writers and thinkers about Jewish ideas and issues. In 1985 he launched Mazon, a nonprofit that has raised tens of millions to help feed the hungry. A dozen years later he helped create the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy to train tutors, and he also was a founder of Americans for Peace Now.

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(Translated from Hebrew and reprinted in the Commentary/Analysis section of APN's News Nosh on September 1, 2014)

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Yariv_Maariv_Collage186x140Now of all times, when a political initiative is needed, when Hamas is trying to portray itself as the savior of the Palestinian people, when Abbas was forced to deal with harsh criticism for not battling enough against Israel - now of all times, Netanyahu decides to declare 4,000 dunams (nearly 1000 acres) in Gush Etzion as state land. How will Abbas explain to his people the disregard and aggression of the Netanyahu government towards him? While Abbas tried to moderate and calm the area, Netanyahu humiliates him in front of his people.

According to international law, the decision to make land state land requires the sovereign to designate the land for the benefit of the general population in the area. It's no secret that when it comes to the Territories, the only ones to benefit from state land are settlers.

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Interview with Haim Oron in Haaretz: 'I dare you to question the left's loyalty to Israel'

Haim Oron.

Haim Oron, former leader of the left-wing Meretz party, fears that continued control of the territories will spell the end of Zionism, but isn't yet ready to give up hope.

On a recent Saturday, former leader of the left-wing Meretz party Haim Oron and his wife, Nili, spent hours at Sheba Medical Center, in Ramat Gan. They sat by the bedside of their grandson, Adi Zimri, from an elite unit of the Engineering Corps, who was seriously wounded in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Hit in the leg by a rocket-propelled grenade while searching for Hamas tunnels, he saved his own life by applying an arterial tourniquet to staunch the blood.

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NY Times: "Start with Gaza" by Roger Cohen

Roger_Cohen_ThumbnailThe Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a ritualistic obscenity. It offends the conscience of humankind.

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Tom Friedman's NY Times Column: "How This War Ends"

August 2, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank — I HAD held off coming to Israel, hoping the situation in Gaza would clarify — not in terms of what’s happening, but how it might end in a stable way.

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Amos Oz: Gaza war is Lose-lose Situation for Israel

The following interview with Amos Oz, a co-founder of Israel's Peace Now movement and an icon of Israel's peace movement, was published in the English edition of the German Deutsche Welle

Oz: 'Lose-lose situation for Israel'

30 July, 2014

Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is excessive, Israeli writer Amos Oz tells DW. But he also criticizes Hamas' strategy, in which both Israeli and Palestinian victims boost the organization's standing in Gaza.

Amoz Oz: I would like to begin the interview in a very unusual way: by presenting one or two questions to your readers and listeners. May I do that?

Deutsche Welle: Go ahead!

Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

With these two questions I pass the interview to you.

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