Archive for November, 2009

The gated country

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I’ve just returned from Israel. The sense of gloom about the chances of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so widespread and predictable that even mentioning it –or noticing it– seems naive. It is hardly new. But lately something different and probably dangerous has also seeped into the air, a kind of lethargic refusal to care […]

Gilo construction part of larger settlement expansion plan

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Netanyahu willfully engineered a confrontation with the U.S. over announced plans to build in the West Bank town of Gilo, according to Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now and Danny Seidemann of Ir Amin. They make a persuasive case that the plans were a deliberate provocation of the U.S., as Netanyahu had many other […]

Is it time to give priority to the Syrian track?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Thomas Mitchell, in a guest column pasted below, asserts that the U.S. and the EU should place a higher priority on peace talks with Syria. I have spoken to two people engaged in Track 2 diplomacy who have been exploring this option for the last 18 months (trust me on that one). They have met […]

If doing nothing is insane, what, then, must be done?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Pundits everywhere are calling for a rethinking of America’s Middle East policies, assuming that the current tack will yield nothing productive. One of the most controversial calls was made by Thomas Friedman, in which he suggested the U.S. should pull the plug on its current diplomatic efforts, give the Israelis and Palestinians the White House […]

The Israelis never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Thursday that he might not run for re-election in January, although it’s not clear if the announcement should be taken seriously, as it might be a ploy to pressure the U.S. and Israel. It’s useful to remember that, like this blog, Abbas has been assailed by extremists from […]

What did the Jewish terrorist’s neighbors know?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Nahum Barnea, the dean of Israeli columnists, offers the following on Yaacov Teitel, the American immigrant who was arrested for murdering at least two Palestinians and the attempted murder of several Israeli Jews, whom he chose because of their sexual orientation, political orientation or religious beliefs. It’s a translation from Yediot Aharonoth (source: Israel News […]

MondoWeiss assails Jewish identity politics, again

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Several recent posts on MondoWeiss decry the fact that the overwhelming majority of attendees at the recent J Street conference were (horror of horrors!) Jews, or that they looked at the conflict through a distinctly (gasp!) Jewish prism and dared to discuss (how appalling!) Jewish values. Lynn Gottleib asks “do we really need another Jewish […]