The Writing Is On the Settlement Walls

JERUSALEM — A paralyzing equation has long bedeviled would-be Middle East peacemakers: either, go directly to negotiating the kernel issues of the Israel-Palestine conflict — borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem — and leave, in the context of a full peace, the thorny question of Israeli settlements in the West Bank to fall naturally into place. Or, … Continue reading “The Writing Is On the Settlement Walls”

Long Way From ‘Settlerland’ to ‘Palestine’

JERUSALEM — Has Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got the Obama message? To judge by his minimalist response to President Barack Obama’s landmark Cairo University address and his continuing reluctance to meet Obama’s demand for a total freeze on Israeli settlements, the answer would seem to be, "No." It’s a mighty challenge for Netanyahu to … Continue reading “Long Way From ‘Settlerland’ to ‘Palestine’”

Obama Turns the Screws on Israel

JERUSALEM — Air raid sirens wailed out on Tuesday morning and Israelis were asked to go down into bomb shelters as the country engaged in its largest-ever civil defense drill. Israelis remain deeply worried by what they perceive as an existential threat of a possible future all-out missile attack from Iran and its proxies. But … Continue reading “Obama Turns the Screws on Israel”

Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory

JERUSALEM – Israel is set to approve a radical new bill that threatens to legalize discrimination against its sizable Arab minority for the first time. The bill, approved this week by the ministerial committee for legislation, would make it illegal to relate to the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948, as … Continue reading “Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory”

Will Netanyahu Give Up Settlements to Gain Support Against Iran?

JERUSALEM – The tremors of Monday’s North Korean nuclear test have been felt all around the world, no more so in a country seemingly not directly affected by whether or not North Korea is a full-fledged nuclear power. In Israel, there is deep concern, an existential fear even – over the implications that Iran will … Continue reading “Will Netanyahu Give Up Settlements to Gain Support Against Iran?”

Showdown Looming Over Israeli Settlements

JERUSALEM – A showdown over Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is looming between Israel and the United States barely a week after the encounter at the White House between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What’s becoming increasingly clear is that the May 18 encounter was no friendly getting-to-know-you … Continue reading “Showdown Looming Over Israeli Settlements”

Israel Expanding ‘Beautifully’ In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Even as Pope Benedict XVI tries his best during his current Holy Land visit to pay reverence to the attachment of all three monotheistic faiths to Jerusalem, on the ground a less lofty imprint is already furthering Israeli control over the Holy City in a way that could threaten the claims of all … Continue reading “Israel Expanding ‘Beautifully’ In Jerusalem”

Israelis Nervous Over Possible ‘Showdown’ With US

JERUSALEM — Almost a full fortnight before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is received at the White House, and already political nerves here are all a-jangle. Is a showdown with Israel’s staunch ally about to materialize? The country’s mainstream media seem to have little doubt. "Collision course" has become the routine fear about how the … Continue reading “Israelis Nervous Over Possible ‘Showdown’ With US”

Hamas Gaining International Legitimacy

JERUSALEM — Delegations from the rival Fatah and Hamas organizations have again failed in Cairo to bridge their differences meant to usher in a Palestinian unity government, but this has in no way slowed inroads which the Islamist movement has been making to increase its international legitimacy — much to Israel’s concern. Since the conclusion … Continue reading “Hamas Gaining International Legitimacy”

Iran Hands Netanyahu a Gift

JERUSALEM — Just when it seemed that the international community was gearing itself up to put pressure on the new Israel government to engage the Arab world and the Palestinian Authority seriously on peace, Iran’s president hijacked the moment. But, in again lashing out against Israel, he handed the Israeli prime minister a whip of … Continue reading “Iran Hands Netanyahu a Gift”