Maher Al-Akhras, a Palestinian man of 49 who has been detained repeatedly by Israel, is today in Day 78 of a hunger strike that has brought him close to death. Arrested in July without charges and held at an Israeli hospital since September, the West Bank man has refused an offer to be released next month, demanding his release now in the name of all Palestinian detainees.
Benny Gantz, who became an American liberal Zionist hero over the last 18 months as he tried to replace Netanyahu– and then folded–spoke at a Friends of Israel Defense Forces gala of a “people’s army” that protects the “Jewish homeland” and draws its ranks from “every walk of life… every type of background.” But very few Palestinians serve in the Israeli army. Only Jews are required to do so.
Once the hope of liberal Zionists, Benny Gantz is now siding with settlers against Netanyahu for political advantage. Angered by the move, dedicated Zionist Michael Koplow urges U.S. Jewish community to open discourse to include a one-state outcome.
Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu are maneuvering for political advantage inside Israel by trying to outdo one another on an Israeli activity that sadly always wins support: bombing Gaza.
Anti-annexation forces counted on Yair Golan in Meretz to oppose plans. He has folded, while former hero Benny Gantz uses scatological derision of Palestinians in pushing forward on annexation. “We won’t get into Palestinian deep shit.”
Dennis Ross says Netanyahu is deluded about Joe Biden’s potential support for annexation. “[Netanyahu’s] view of the gains unfortunately is not very real. You only establish an international baseline if in fact everyone is prepared to adjust to it. Now maybe if Trump has a second term, there is more of an impulse to adjust to it. But if Trump doesn’t have a second term, no one else internationally of any meaning is going to recognize this new baseline. And if Joe Biden comes in and says, ‘I was opposed to it, I still believe in the two-state outcome, I want negotiations, I saw what Trump did was antithetical to achieving that, so we’re not recognizing that as a baseline…”
It’s been two days since Ranad al-Halaq’s only son, 32-year-old Eyad al-Halaq, was gunned down by Israeli police in the Old City of Jerusalem, where he was enrolled at a center for Palestinian adults and children with disabilities. “He was the light of my heart, the light of my eyes, my soul, my angel.”
European leaders know that the Oslo process has failed. Will they step forward courageously and break the spell by speaking out against the continuation of the obviously failed policy? If they do, they will merely be recognizing actual reality. Even Dennis Ross, former US diplomat involved in several rounds of negotiation in the Oslo process, now recognizes, that a one-state solution based on the concept of equal rights for all is the most likely outcome.
Pompeo’s lightning visit to Israel shows that Republicans have a lot to gain by making Israel a political football, possibly gaining Jewish votes in Florida.