Within days of Palestinians announcing they would join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his country would stop transferring customs revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The punitive move was expected to lead to a crisis for the Palestinian leadership as government services would collapse across the West Bank. But the Palestinian Authority had an unexpected back up plan. The Arab League has agreed to provide emergency funds to cover the VAT-taxes frozen by Israel. This Arab League safety net will help the Palestinians avoid the expected temporary bankruptcy and allow them to move forward with pressing for war crimes at the ICC. In fact, financial support from the Arab League was a key component, along with joining the ICC, of long-term strategy to pressure Israel into negotiations.
Category Archives: One state/Two states
A day after begin rebuffed by the UN Security Council on a bid to end the occupation, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has surprised the world by signing the Rome Statute, to be able to bring charges against Israel to the International Criminal Court. The US and Netanyahu seethe.
The Palestinian leadership’s resolution to end Israel’s occupation through negotiations failed to pass the United Nations Security Council Tuesday evening. While Palestinian leaders had hoped to garner the nine votes needed to be approved by the 15-member council, only eight countries supported the measure. The United States and Australia voted against it while five others abstained. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said, “We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows, as well—peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at he negotiating table. Today’s staged confrontation in the UN Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving two-state solution.”
Late Monday evening Jordan submitted an updated version of a draft resolution seeking to end Israel’s occupation to the United Nations Security Council. The latest document maintains a 2017 deadline for an end to the Israeli occupation but contains a handful revisions, with substantive changes on the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s separation wall.
Early this morning Jordan submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) a draft resolution on behalf of the Palestinians to end Israel’s occupation of territory occupied in June 1967 through a negotiations process. The resolution would be the first to call for a third-party security presence to “guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine,” but it puts no deadline on Israel’s withdrawal.
PLO official Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh says the current Palestinian push at the UN Security Council comes “a serious junction in the history of Palestine.” Allison Deger reports that the proposed UN resolution marks a change in Palestinian strategy for the PLO. According to Dr. Shtayyeh the resolution is “not simply as part of a routine diplomatic issue. We are going to the Security Council because this is part of a strategic shift in the way that we are dealing with the struggle with the Israelis.” Although details of the resolution are not yet public, it appears this shift includes taking a harder line on Israeli settlement construction and looking toward Europe for leadership over the peace process instead of the United States.
After British MPs moved overwhelmingly to recognise the State of Palestine, the governments of Britain and Israel affected indifference in an attempt to undermine the vote’s significance. These dismissals mask a deep and growing anxiety about the direction of political traffic. “There is indeed reason to worry”, a senior Israeli diplomat acknowledged. “Not because it’s going to be translated into actual government policy, but because it’s a public opinion setter. It does create a trend”. But trends don’t set themselves, and fortunately for Israel, rather than mobilising to publicise and build on last week’s achievement, significant tendencies within the Palestine solidarity movement are working instead to undermine and contain it. Instead, we need to accept the victory and build on it.
Palestinians leaders will likely table a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli deadline to set borders based on the pre-June 1967 line until after fall mid-term elections in the United States. Haartez’s Barak Ravid reports this week that while Palestinians have stalled, Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to prevent the initiative all together. As a last-ditch effort to stop the Palestinian plan, Kerry has sought to reprise his direct talks that collapsed earlier this year. Israeli officials abandoned that effort after the announcement of a Palestinian unity government and there are no signs they are interested in restarting talks.
Today the United Kingdom will vote on recognizing the state of Palestine. The House of Commons’ symbolic motion is poised to pass the Parliament despite Britain’s history of refusing to approve previous and similar bids. When the UK government was faced with Palestine’s own plans to seek recognition from the United Nations in 2012, Britain abstained. The bill’s backers from the Labour party have shored up votes from Liberal Democrats and Conservatives alike, making Monday a likely Palestinian victory. But the vote is coming at a cost. The Independent is reporting inside of Britian’s Labour party, pro-Israel members of Parliament are “furious.” Still the measure more or less models what former Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed through the Quartet. And the House of Commons bill is also being pushed by heavyweights from within the government.
Arpen Roy talks with Ofra Yeshua-Lyth about her book “The Case for a Secular New Jerusalem” and the sociopolitical foundation of Israeli society.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution to end Israel’s occupation of the June 1967 territories, by ordering the immediate resumption of negotiations with a set time limit to demarcate the boundaries of a Palestinian state. He has put on hold the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court.
Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.
As a fresh ceasefire continues to hold (for now) and the rest of the Middle East bleeds, the media can be forgiven for turning its attention away from the battered Gaza Strip. If the indirect peace talks in Cairo are successful and the ceasefire extended, then once again Palestine will be momentarily forgotten. The well-oiled […]
Many people who have come to value the courageous and principled stands of Noam Chomsky regarding injustice and imperialism are surprised to learn of his opposition to most aspects of BDS. Precisely because of the stature and influence of this “father of modern linguistics”, it is especially important that his views be subject to the same […]
The answer — the only answer — to Israel/Palestine is equality. But Haaretz, stuck in the old, now-meaningless paradigm of so-called ‘peace,’ is promoting an Israel Conference on Peace in Jerusalem on July 8. The biases are striking. Nowhere in the conference program is there a clear focus on equality, human rights, international law, or the rights of […]
In 2010, this interview was conducted with Dr. Haidar Eid as an activity by the Gaza BDS group and the One Democratic State Group (ODSG), but it has never been published before due to technical reasons. It was edited recently because this interview needs to be publicised since it tackles some of the most recent important and timely issues. Eid presents insightful […]
A day after Rebecca Steinfeld asked in Haaretz whether liberal Zionists will move left to support democracy or move right for permanent ethnocracy in the wake of the two state solution’s autopsy, Peter Beinart on cue considers — and then totally avoids — the question. Writing about J Street: Absent some crisis that forces Washington’s […]
Now that the Two State Solution has finally received belated, more-or-less official autopsy results, what will liberal Zionists do: move left to support a state of equality, or move right to support a state of permanent Apartheid ethnocracy? For a long list of self-identified liberal Zionists such as Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg, Thomas Friedman, Bradley Burston, Larry Derfner, and […]
For most of Obama’s time in office, Netanyahu and the Israel lobby tied him down like Gulliver. After initially confronting Netanyahu on settlements, Obama retreated in humiliating defeat. This time round, however, Obama outmaneuvered Bibi, apparently using anonymous proxies to pin the blame for the recent talks’ failure where it belongs: on Israel, for failing to end […]
U.S. officials blamed Israel’s “expropriating land on a large scale” to build colonies “on the territory meant for that [Palestinian] state” as the “primary” reason for the recent negotiations’ failure, in a must-read Ynet interview with historic implications. This rare moment of honesty from anonymous officials of the dishonest broker stands in sharp contrast to the […]
As Secretary of State John Kerry’s April 29 deadline looms for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the State Department has dropped any pretense that talks will result in a framework agreement, instead confirming that negotiations at this point revolve around keeping the moribund “peace process” on life support for a few more months. Whether or not the United States succeeds […]
Returning to visit his native South Africa, Peter Beinart writes in Haaretz about the the changes, but misses the point: The South Africa I visited as a child was a brutal, isolated place… In today’s South Africa, by contrast, multiculturalism is a state religion. The country is awash in tourists and has become a kind of […]
Last summer when negotiations resumed between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, hundreds of Palestinian youth took to the streets of Ramallah to protest the Palestinian Authority decrying the talks. In fact August 2013 saw a string of protests from the city center to the Muqataa, the seat of the Palestinian government. And each protest ended the […]
As negotiations between Israeli and Palestinians leaders reach a crisis, in Ramallah, the urban reprieve and seat of President Mahmoud Abbas’s government, the breakdown passes with much apathy. Indeed, the nine months of direct talks are leaning to disaster, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stalled the release of a fourth round of Palestinian prisoners, and […]