SodaStream, an Israeli company with a production facility in a West Bank settlement, made headlines recently due to the superstar status of its spokeswoman, Scarlett Johansson. But the real stars of the Israeli business community are those who joined with their Palestinian counterparts in an effort to use their economic heft to urge political leaders to achieve a two-state solution as soon as possible.
I’ve written a series of columns from Israel in the past two weeks because I believe that if Secretary of State John Kerry brings his peace mission to a head and presents the parties with a clear framework for an agreement, Israel and the Jewish people will face one of the most critical choices in their history. And when they do, all hell could break loose in Israel. It is important to understand why.
Secretary of State John Kerry caused outrage in Israel recently when he declared: “For Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary.”
Members of the Israeli government were indignant. Israel, they declared, will not negotiate under pressure. Advice givers, stay away! But Kerry was only repeating what Israel’s own finance minister, Yair Lapid, had already said: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement is beginning to bite.
As counterintuitive as it may be, when you see Scarlett Johansson’s Super Bowl ad on Sunday, promoting a product
that lets you make carbonated drinks at home, try to see through bubbles and think about the future of the Middle
Op-ed: Instead of whining about Palestinian incitement, ministers should discuss state of incitement in Israel
On Sunday, Israel's cabinet dedicated its weekly meeting to an important issue. Not important - critical. Yossi Kuperwasser, the director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, found the time to attend the meeting and even brought along a presentation. Not just a presentation - an audio-visual presentation, with both images and sounds. Thanks to the presentation, songs in Arabic were played in a cabinet meeting for the first time in history.
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Washington's failure to clinch two-state deal would shift Palestinian focus to international groups and college campuses where organized Jewry holds little sway.
In the spirit of the season, let me hazard a prediction: 2014 will be the year that America's Israel debate begins to pass the organized American Jewish community by.
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Israeli-Palestinian relations - whether they take the form of intifada, peace process or merely the "status quo" -
have never developed in a vacuum. Not only have interested third parties such as the U.S., European Union and
Norway been involved, but so have immediate neighbours like Egypt and Jordan. The Arab League has also been
involved, usually with Saudi urging, in initiatives like the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 and the earlier 1982
More at the at the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a passionately pro-Israel speech this past weekend at the Saban Forum in
Washington. On matters concerning Israel's security, its international legitimacy and its demographic future, he
showed himself to be a true friend. There are people in Israel -- there were people at the Willard Hotel, where
Kerry gave the speech, in fact -- who did not consider this speech pro-Israel, but they are deluding
On Wednesday the 4 December the Geneva Initiative held a conference "10 Years to the Geneva Initiative: Leading
the Way to Peace". Here is the text of Yuval Diskin, former Head of the ISA's speech, which received very wide
Good evening and Happy Festival of the lights,
During this important event marking ten years to the Geneva Initiative, I would like to focus on three issues.
The first: Why the "two states for two peoples" option may fade and disappear in the near future.
Second: Why it is vital to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the near future on the basis of the two states for two people option.
Third: What needs to be done to succeed in this difficult mission.