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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
It Won’t Bring Peace, but the Bahrain Conference Is Still ImportantAnshel Pfeffer - Haaretz - For now at least, the public mood in the Arab world is shifting only gradually, so lip service to Palestinian aspirations and token resistance to “normalization” continue. Which is why the event in Bahrain is so important: It’s another sign of Arab leaders bringing the burgeoning secret relationship into the open. This doesn’t necessarily spell ultimate disaster for the Palestinians. Their nosedive down to the bottom of the global agenda is not yet final. Kushner and the rest of President Donald Trump’s Middle East team may all be gone in 18 months and the next U.S. administration could reverse their policies. The Europeans may sort out their own internal problems and become a diplomatic force again. The Arab leaders’ calculations could change. Israel may yet come under pressure once again to make concessions and the two-state solution could be back on the table. But that is all in an uncertain future. For now, Bahrain is happening. [bz]25/6/2019
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Trump’s Peace Plan Is Immoral, Impractical—and Could Blow Up the Middle EastAMI AYALON, GILEAD SHER and ORNI PETRUSCHKA - Politico Magazine - By putting economics first while ignoring the end game, Trump is repeating a colossal mistake: resuming talks without defining the end goal. For both Palestinians and Israelis, that goal should be ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel within 1967 borders, with necessary land swaps. Unless both parties and the mediating power state this clearly at the outset, the expectations gap will breed mistrust. Thus, sitting down together will be futile. This will lead to further disillusionment—and escalating violence. {bz]25/6/2019
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Palestinians resist US plan for more efficient Israeli occupationTamara Nassar - The Electronic Intifada - In an interview with Reuters, US presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said that to reveal the political component of the Trump administration’s peace proposals simultaneously with the economic aspect would have been “very, very hard” for people to digest. The choice to reveal the economic plan first was due to its “less controversial” nature, he added. (...) [bz] 25/6/2019
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Bahrain Debacle Marks Crash of Trump Team’s Campaign to Diss Palestinians Into SubmissionChemi Shalev - Haaretz - (...) an amateurish pie-in-the-sky, shoot-for-the-moon, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hodgepodge that promises projects that cannot be implemented, funded by money that does not exist and contingent on a peace deal that will never happen. [Including how Trump-Palestinian relations developed over the years-bz]25/6/2019
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Annexation: How Israel Already Controls More Than Half of the West BankJonathan Cook - AntiWar - Annexation would only formalize a situation in which almost two-thirds of Palestinian territory is controlled by Israel and settlers live as Israeli citizens [ry] 24/6/2019
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Palestinians have every right to reject another OsloSam Bahour - +972 "With the Bahrain workshop, the Trump administration is relying on the same old Oslo model of economy before politics. What needs to be done is to hold Israel accountable." ca22/6/2019
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Young Palestinians speak out on alternatives to the occupationRanjan Solomon/Yasmeen Al-Khoudary/Yara Hawari/Amjad Iraqi/Inčs Abdel Razek - Palestine Updates - Things are somewhat bleak for the Palestinians these days. With an American administration gone awry, Israel has lost self-control and is only going to more extremes than it already has. The alternative to a peace process that has collapsed has to be something robust and realistic. At the same time it should not stop at something easy and simplistic. Oslo was that and worse. An unprepared PLO was represented by people whose political acumen was not suited to tough and refined political dialogue. Such people were there for the PLO to draw from. But Arafat was insecure and unwilling to risk the unknown and, hence, lost the plot. Will the Palestinian liberation movement ever respond proactively and prompt Israel and the international community to make hard choices? What is realistic? The failed two-state solution formula – It has proven unfeasible thus far. Or, a one-state solution which seems may be the inevitable outcome. It may well be the option that Israel has cornered itself into which will be its own undoing. For most Israelis, the notion of a one state solution is a chilling prospect. Palestinians would add up to more or less half or more of the population. That would mean Israel could cease to be a majority-Jewish country. This is the Zionist nightmare, but it is the scare they have brought on themselves.[ak]19/6/2019
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Is There a Plausible Alternative to The Two-State Solution?Tony Klug - Palestine-Israel Journal - Sandwiched between the mantras of “There is no alternative to the two-state solution” and “The two-state solution is dead,” the contemporary debate over how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been reduced to little more than a shouting match between two absolutist camps, both certain that they are correct. It is possible that they both are. It is conceivable that the two-state solution is effectively dead — or at best in intensive care — and, at the same time, that there is no plausible alternative. If both claims are indeed true, we will have to brace ourselves for a future of perpetual conflict with all its toxic overflows. This is a horrendous scenario, but it is not preordained. It depends on decisions that human beings make.[ak] 18/6/2019
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Israel campaigns against Abbas ahead of Bahrain conferenceShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "For the Americans, what is at stake is the prestige and honor of President Donald Trump. Israel is probably not interested in a conference of this kind, ... It is no secret... that Israel would consider the Bahrain conference a success if its participants, at least most of them, agree at its end that Abbas has ended his historic role and that the crisis must be resolved by bypassing the recalcitrant leader." ca 15/6/2019
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Hamas chief tells UN he doesn’t know who fired past week’s rockets at IsraelTOI staff - "Ismail Haniyeh says terror group investigating who carried out attacks; United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov says Qatari cash to arrive in Gaza in coming days." ca 15/6/2019
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"Without Jewish-Arab partnership, no rebirth for the left in Israel"Yaniv Sagee - Givat Haviva - "In these elections, Meretz would not have survived if the Arabs had not saved it. It is impossible that this pass by us without serious introspection” says the veteran Yaniv Sagee, chair of the Meretz Directorate. Sagee is calling for and acting to establish a new political body, one that is Jewish and Arab, to include under one canopy representatives or parties from the Jewish left and from the Arab factions – from the Labor Party and Meretz and up through Hadash, the Islamic Movement (Raam) and Taal of Ahmed Tibi. He leaves out the nationalist Balad party. In Sagee’s vision, the said list will have two chairs – a Jew and an Arab. The primary aspiration is for one party, with representation through the “zipper system” (vertical parity) for Jews and Arabs. A different model, perhaps more realistic, is a left-wing bloc of Jewish and Arab parties that will run together, in similar fashion to the four Arab parties in the framework of the Joint List in the 2015 elections.What is certain, states Sagee, is that Meretz will cease existing if it continues to run alone as it has done up until now. “Meretz and others on the Israeli left will need to understand that the State of Israel is on a razor-thin edge and it obligates us to change”. [ak]11/6/2019
Time to stop the external manipulation of ‘what Palestinians want’Ramona Wadi - MEMO - "Palestinians want liberation, which is the prelude to the `better life` that the US and the international community harp about. But diplomacy is concerned with what Israel wants, so it seeks to extend the meagre concessions to Palestinians that are nevertheless granted in terms of how Israel benefits from the agreements" [ry] 10/6/2019
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Israel’s interference in 2016 US election to be probed by SenatorsMEMO - Middle East Monitor "Up till now US officials have been reluctant to cast their eyes in the direction of Israel in any probe related to interference by a foreign country. While “Russiagate”, as it’s known, has dominated the Trump presidency, Israel is often cited as a more obvious case of meddling by a foreign country...Renowned American intellectual Noam Chomsky pointed this out earlier this year in an interview. " ca9/6/2019
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U.S. Ambassador Says Israel Has Right to Annex Parts of West BankDavid M. Halbfinger - New York Times "In a wide-ranging interview at his Jerusalem residence last week, Mr. Friedman also accused Palestinian leaders of wrongheadedly using “massive pressure” to deter business leaders from attending an economic conference that the administration is organizing this month in Bahrain, where it hopes to impress upon them the financial windfalls they can expect if they embrace the administration’s peace plan...But it was on annexation that Mr. Friedman’s remarks were likely to be read most closely." ca9/6/2019
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The right wing in Israel is in a deep crisisMeron Rapoport - +972 - Snap elections just weeks after Israelis went the polls are the result of a rivalry between Liberman and Netanyahu, but that’s just part of the story. The right is immersed in a crisis of identity, leadership, and politics [ry] 3/6/2019
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Resurrecting the PLO is Palestine’s Best Response to the ‘Deal of the Century’Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “It is only through the resurrection of the PLO that Palestinians could finally return to their original mission of devising a national liberation strategy that is not manipulated by money and not subjected to regional politicking” [ry] 3/6/2019
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