More Mideast Doors Closing Than Opening

JERUSALEM — Israel is digging in its heels. Government officials said Wednesday that Israel does not intend to cooperate with the upcoming United Nations investigation into whether Israel and Hamas both committed war crimes during the recent Gaza war. The officials say they fear the investigation appointed by the UN Human Rights Council last month, … Continue reading “More Mideast Doors Closing Than Opening”

Israel Faces Up to Old Iran and New US

JERUSALEM – Israel does not object to talks between the West and Iran if the intent is to stop Iran’s nuclear program and as long as Iran does not take advantage of these talks, top-level Israeli government sources tell IPS. But the sources go on to reiterate that Israel still expects the international community to … Continue reading “Israel Faces Up to Old Iran and New US”

All Unclear Over Israeli Policy

JERUSALEM — How genuine is Israel’s new leadership about peace when the Prime Minister says that he will go a long way towards striving for a settlement with the Palestinians, but purposefully omits to endorse an independent Palestinian state; and, when his foreign minister warns, "If you want peace, prepare for war," a blunt statement … Continue reading “All Unclear Over Israeli Policy”

Israeli Military Cloaks Abuses

JERUSALEM — The Israeli army’s Advocate General has summarily closed an internal investigation into allegations stemming from accounts by soldiers of abuses against Palestinian civilians committed during Israel’s recent war on Hamas in Gaza. It took the military investigators just half the duration of the 22-day war in Gaza to bulldoze the accounts and to … Continue reading “Israeli Military Cloaks Abuses”

Israeli-Palestinian Disputes Coming to a Head

JERUSALEM – Key issues in conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are all coming to a head. But even if these immediate issues are resolved, in any event, the conflict itself and an overriding diplomatic paralysis threaten to take long-term hold and to stymie all efforts to move the conflict onto a peace track any time … Continue reading “Israeli-Palestinian Disputes Coming to a Head”

Israeli Soldiers Expose Atrocities in Gaza

JERUSALEM – Based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the recent war in Gaza, Israel is being confronted directly with the serious charge that permissive rules of engagement allowed for the killing of Palestinian civilians and widespread destruction of Palestinian property. The disclosures created a stir after first publication Thursday in a … Continue reading “Israeli Soldiers Expose Atrocities in Gaza”

Hamas Offered a Bullet to Bite

JERUSALEM – Israel’s outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert is risking a crisis of confidence with Egypt by insisting that a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas precede any Egyptian-mediated ceasefire arrangement to end the Gaza war. Olmert overrode the objections of his outgoing defence minister Ehud Barak when his security cabinet declared emphatically on Wednesday … Continue reading “Hamas Offered a Bullet to Bite”

Wary Netanyahu in Driving Seat

JERUSALEM – Israel’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni clung precariously to a narrow lead over her right-wing rival Benjamin Netanyahu as vote counting neared conclusion from Israel’s Tuesday general election. Both would-be prime ministers continue to claim victory: "I won," read the headline of the country’s biggest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, alongside the photos of the two. … Continue reading “Wary Netanyahu in Driving Seat”

US-Israel Engagement May Not Bring Change

JERUSALEM – The new U.S. president was as good as his word. Within 48 hours of taking the helm, Barack Obama declared it "will be the policy of my administration to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians as well as Israel and its Arab neighbors." With the follow-up announcement … Continue reading “US-Israel Engagement May Not Bring Change”

Shock, Awe, and Belated Soul-Searching in Israel

JERUSALEM – "If only my three daughters will be the last victims of this horrible conflict," wept Dr. Ezzadin Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian gynecologist recovering from his wounds in Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer hospital. An Israeli tank shell killed three of his nine children, aged 20, 15, and 14, as well as a 14-year-old niece … Continue reading “Shock, Awe, and Belated Soul-Searching in Israel”