American Jews Israel Israeli occupation Palestinians

Read it and weep: The Peel Commission Report

Bitter Lemons offers the original summary of the Peel Commission Report from 1937, along with commentary from two Israelis and two Palestinians. Everything that needs to be said about this conflict has already been said many times, during the last 100 years (including the preceding sentence, of course). Note the authors’ struggle to balance morality […]

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Suddenly, the two-state chorus grows louder, more diverse

Something seems to be brewing out there, something new. I’ve been doing Middle East peace work, on and off, since the mid-1980s. I have never heard so many people from so many different corners of America defying right-wingers (and ultra-left-wingers) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and saying the same things at the same time. What do […]

American foreign policy American Jews Far left Israel Israel lobby Israeli occupation Middle East peace process Palestinians Progressive Jews

Heartwarming holiday surprise: Philip Weiss praises liberal Zionists and Israel Policy Forum

In a post that recounts an Israel Policy Forum dinner that I also attended (hat tip to Richard Witty), Philip Weiss describes his joy at discovering what has been available for years, waiting for him to encounter it: a community of American Jews who care about Israel, who consider themselves part of the Israel lobby […]

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A diplomatic tool: the “freyer” factor

So just how much pressure can and should the U.S. apply to both Israelis and Palestinians after the Annapolis conference? The “P word” -pressure– still sends chills down the spines of too many mainstream American Jewish leaders, including those who know full well that, at times, Israeli Prime Ministers have desparately needed American pressure to […]

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What would you do if you were Israel’s Defense Minister?

There has been no shortage of commentary about the prospects –or lack therof–for successful negotiations after Annapolis. I have yet to read much that is not predictable. But Yediot Aharonot’s military correspondent, Alex Fishman, wrote an original piece today about the concrete challenges facing Israel’s security establishment. It is, of course, politically incorrect in some […]

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An approach to the different “narratives”: Don’t let them prevent Arab-Jewish coalition-building

There is a remarkable essay by Hussein Ibish, a Palestinian American who is a Senior Fellow with the American Task Force On Palestine, on the ATFP’s web site. Called “Sense, Nonsense and Strategy in the New Palestinian Political Landscape,” it allows us to eavesdrop on the internal Palestinian American conversation about what is to be […]

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The best line ever written about Israeli settlements…

Lords of the Land, by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar, is one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read (or, more accurately, started to read, as I am half-way through). Written in 2005 and just released in translation by Nation Books, it tells us everything Diaspora and Israeli Jews must be forced to […]

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Will Olmert actually do something about the settlements? Maybe!

There are glimmers of hope out there, suddenly… Am I the only reader of Middle East news reports who feels that way? A few hours ago, both Y-net news and Haaretz.com ran stories about the possibility of a settlement freeze. Both tell us that Olmert informed the heads of the YESHA Council (i.e., the settler […]

American foreign policy American Jews Israel Israeli occupation Mearsheimer and Walt Middle East peace process Palestinians Zionism

Mearsheimer, Walt and what didn’t really happen at Camp David

There is a sentence towards the end of Walt and Mearsheimer’s new book that undercuts some of what they have tried to accomplish with their critique of the “Israel Lobby.” Having rejected the binational, single-state solution as well as Israel’s permanent occupation, they assert: “The United States will have to put significant pressure on Israel […]

American foreign policy American Jews Israel Israel lobby Israeli occupation Mearsheimer and Walt Palestinians Progressive Jews

Mearsheimer, Walt and the so-called “silent” Jewish doves

I have read the Mearsheimer and Walt book. They have answered some–although not all– of my prayers, which were spelled out in my post on August 12th. The book is much more careful, more nuanced, more detailed and more convincing than their original paper, which was published in the Spring of 2006. I wanted very […]