In Jerusalem, East Is Nobody’s

JABEL MUKABBER, Occupied East Jerusalem — The Palestinian Prime Minister ventured into Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem bypassing Israeli security authorities who tried to stop him. The city’s Israeli mayor, who also wanted to venture into the eastern of part of "his" city, was unable to because of objections from those same Israeli authorities. For four decades … Continue reading “In Jerusalem, East Is Nobody’s”

Israeli-Palestinian Accommodation: A Circle Not Easily Squared

JERUSALEM – Security first or borders first: security says Israel, borders retort the Palestinians. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are finally again getting under way. Israel, though, remains adamant that the only chance the talks have to make headway is for its security concerns to be satisfactorily addressed. A report by an international think-tank propitiously timed for … Continue reading “Israeli-Palestinian Accommodation: A Circle Not Easily Squared”

Middle East: Pessimistic About Peace, Yet…

JERUSALEM – As President Obama on Wednesday initiates the ninth U.S. attempt in the last 30 years to bring about a final Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement, expectations are low and pessimism is high. It’s precisely why the talks may just succeed. That, however, may be overly optimistic.  Even if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is genuine … Continue reading “Middle East: Pessimistic About Peace, Yet…”

‘McCarthyism’ Rises in Israel

JERUSALEM – Rightwing Israeli groups financially supported by Jewish and fundamentalist Christian groups from abroad are on a campaign to undermine free thought in Israeli universities. Collaterally, a move is under way by right-wing parties in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to limit the freedom of action of civil and human rights-minded NGOs. Under the semblance … Continue reading “‘McCarthyism’ Rises in Israel”

Uprooted Villagers Hold Fast During Ramadan

JERUSALEM – On the eve of the start of Ramadan last week, Israeli police demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert. It was the third time within two weeks that the village had been razed. Unfazed, the Bedouin villagers immediately began rebuilding.  "We have already put back up some 20 of our … Continue reading “Uprooted Villagers Hold Fast During Ramadan”

Work Permits and Ramadan in the West Bank

HIRBET DEIR, Occupied West Bank – For Muhammad el-Baradiyeh, 38, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is always a blessing. In fact, every day of the month-and-a-half prior to Ramadan has been good for Muhammad. Thanks to a permit granted by the Israeli authorities, he’s been able to work inside Israel and save extra money … Continue reading “Work Permits and Ramadan in the West Bank”

Rape, Deception, or Racism?

JERUSALEM – “It was consensual, I owe an apology to no one other than my wife and two children. They’re the ones who’ve suffered from this. And myself.” Sabbar Kashur, 30, is a Palestinian Arab resident of the Shuafat neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. He’s just been convicted by an Israeli court of “rape by … Continue reading “Rape, Deception, or Racism?”

Palestinian Chef Finds Occupation Hard to Digest

RAMALLAH – Nasser Abdulhadi is a mild-mannered man who runs a restaurant. He was always known as the jovial sort. One day, his friends say, he stopped being jovial. He chose instead to fight for a world title for one of his country’s national dishes, and through that to gain worldwide recognition for Palestine. Nasser’s … Continue reading “Palestinian Chef Finds Occupation Hard to Digest”

Obama, Netanyahu Out of Step With the Peace Beat

JERUSALEM – What led the Middle East hit parade this week was less the chords struck harmoniously at the White House Tuesday by two deft diplomatic dancers than the slick dance routine performed by a squad of Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets of the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron. Israeli Television collated scores of reports … Continue reading “Obama, Netanyahu Out of Step With the Peace Beat”

Talks Hit a Rock Called East Jerusalem

SILWAN, East Jerusalem — The sound of stun grenades and gunfire resounded through this embattled Palestinian neighborhood. Amidst increased tension over plans to tighten Israel’s grip over the occupied eastern part of the city, Israeli border police and Palestinian youths confronted each other all through Sunday night. Dozens of Palestinians were wounded, mostly from tear … Continue reading “Talks Hit a Rock Called East Jerusalem”