This week, Alpher discusses what we should focus on with regard to the abduction-settlement link; if there is any link between the abduction, presumably by Palestinian Islamist extremists, and the military successes last week of the ISIS salafi group in Iraq; how all this will affect the Palestinian unity government experiment; and how the election of Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin as president of Israel last week will affect the Israeli political discussion of settlements and the two-state solution.
Veteran Israeli journalist Danny Rubinstein, who has been covering Palestinian affairs for Israeli daily newspapers since 1967, shared his observations on current Israeli-Palestinian relations in perspective of 47 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
On the 47th Anniversary of the Occupation: Time for Hard Truths, Tough Actions
Forty-seven years ago this week, Israel won a stunning victory in the 1967 War. This was not a war of Israel’s choice or making. It was a defensive war, with Israel facing threats by armies from countries on all sides seeking Israel’s destruction. Repelling and defeating these armies, Israel sent a resounding message to the region and the world: we are here to stay.
Israel’s victory in the 1967 War left it with a pressing question: what to do with the additional land now under its control: the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. As recognized by many Israelis – and demonstrated in the Camp David Accords with Egypt – these lands offered Israel the opportunity to normalize its position in the region through agreements with its Arab neighbors, based on the principle of land for peace.
Forty-seven years later, such normalization remains a distant dream. Rather than act in good faith to seek agreements based on land-for-peace, for 47 years successive Israeli governments have actively and passively collaborated with Israel’s own extremists in their efforts to take land-for-peace off the table in favor of fulfilling their own grandiose, messianic vision of Greater Israel. And now they’ve succeeding in killing what many believed was the best chance for a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians that has ever existed, and the best chance that may exist for a long time to come.
This week, Alpher discusses how the Netanyahu government plans to deal with the anomaly of its position vis-a-vis the new Palestinian government and the proposals and counter-proposals for unilateral and bilateral initiatives which are everywhere in the Netanyahu government; last weekend's dramatic withdrawal from the race of Binyamin (Fuad) Ben Eliezer, who had suddenly come under suspicion of receiving bribes and and when will the corruption trail end; who among the candidates benefits from Ben Eliezer's departure; and how dangerous is it that Palestinian prisoners under administrative detention in Israeli jails are on hunger strike, demanding to be charged and tried and why does administration detention exist in Israel?
There’s a lot of talk these days – from pundits, lobbyists, members of Congress, and others – to the effect that according to U.S. law, the Obama Administration must cut off all aid to the Palestinian Authority now that a new government is in power, a government that was produced out of a PLO-Hamas reconciliation agreement.
Regrettably, most of this talk appears to be informed more by anger, opinion, or wishful thinking than a careful analysis of the actual laws in question. And as always, while every person is entitled to his or her own opinion, there is only one set of facts. So now it's time to set the record straight.
This week, Alpher discusses the challenges the new Palestinian "technocrat" unity government sworn in in Ramallah this week presents to Israel and the US; the strange melodrama over the election of Israel's next president and what this tells us about PM Netanyahu's functioning; the US swap of five Guantanamo prisoners with the Taliban for an imprisoned US army sergeant; and why does either country need a "hot line" emergency phone connection between Netanyahu and Putin?
Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the swearing in of a new Palestinian Authority government, headed by current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and comprised of apolitical technocrats.
While Israeli politicians flip the finger at the world to score points with right-wing voters at home, they are alienating Israel’s most important, loyal allies: Progressive U.S. Jews.
Lately, American friends are asking me whether Israeli leaders are thinking straight, whether they realize how unreasonable their statements sound here in Washington, and how odd some of their policies seem.
The holiday of Shavuot, which begins the night of Tuesday, June 3rd, and continues through Thursday, celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Shavuot completes the cycle that celebrates the origin of the Jews as a people, starting with Passover. The holiday of Shavuot, once an agricultural festival, has come to represent the importance of the Torah, and our understanding that freedom is not complete until there is rule of law to guide us.