How About an Israeli Destruction Freeze?

Much was made of what many in the media described as a "confrontation" between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama over the building of illegal Israeli settlements (or colonies) in Occupied Palestinian Territory. From the very beginning of the Obama administration, the pursuit of a freeze on Israeli settlement activity was … Continue reading “How About an Israeli Destruction Freeze?”

It Can Happen Here!

Years ago I said that there are but two miracles in Israel: the Hebrew language and democracy. Hebrew had been a dead language for many generations, more or less like Latin, when it was still used in the Catholic church. Then, suddenly, concurrent with the emergence of Zionism (but independently), it sprang back to life. … Continue reading “It Can Happen Here!”

Israel Becomes the Settler State

The other day, the almighty General Security Service (Shabak, formerly Shin Bet) needed a new boss. It is a hugely important job, because no minister ever dares to contradict the advice of the Shabak chief in cabinet meetings. There was an obvious candidate, known only as J. But at the last moment, the settlers’ lobby … Continue reading “Israel Becomes the Settler State”

Who Is Annexing Whom?

In a rare late-night session, the Knesset has finally adopted two obnoxious, racist laws. Both are clearly directed against Israel’s Arab citizens, a fifth of the population. The first makes it possible to annul the citizenship of persons found guilty of offenses against the security of the state. Israel prides itself on having a great … Continue reading “Who Is Annexing Whom?”

West Bank Neighbors: Chronicles of Death

March 11, 2011 On Friday night, two men—presumably Palestinians—entered the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar. The settlement of 1,000 was established in 1984, deep in occupied land (28 km from the Green Line). It is named after the son of the biblical Aharon, Itamar, whose grave—according to a 13th-century legend—is located in the adjacent … Continue reading “West Bank Neighbors: Chronicles of Death”

Netanyahu Tries to Scuttle Peace Talks Again

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once against scuttled a chance for progress in the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. You didn’t know? Don’t feel bad. It all happened so quickly that hardly anyone noticed it – except in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority has its offices. There they know all too well what happened, and … Continue reading “Netanyahu Tries to Scuttle Peace Talks Again”

Israel’s Reasoning Against Peace

With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank Monday, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians. It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are … Continue reading “Israel’s Reasoning Against Peace”

Settlement Policy Wrong, Say European Jews

PARIS – Prominent Jewish intellectuals living in Europe have begun denouncing the Israeli policy of allowing settlements to come up on Palestinian territories as “morally and politically wrong.” In a collective declaration, presented in the Belgian capital Brussels on May 3, hundreds of prominent European Jews also said that the main danger to the state … Continue reading “Settlement Policy Wrong, Say European Jews”

From Two States to One

Last week in Tel Aviv, a judge imposed a $25,000 fine on three tenants who extended their balcony illegally by annexing 23 sq. meters (250 sq. ft.). Well, that’s not really a scoop. Illegal construction is a punishable offense everywhere, even if there are no immediate victims like in this case. Israel is a law-and-order … Continue reading “From Two States to One”

A Cloud Over Jerusalem

Everyone has the right to change his or her mind. Even Danny Tirzeh. Col. Tirzeh was responsible for planning the wall that “envelopes” Jerusalem – the one that cuts the city off from the West Bank in order to turn it into the United Capital of Israel for All Eternity. And now, suddenly, Tirzeh pops … Continue reading “A Cloud Over Jerusalem”