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Posts from the ‘Articles’ Category

Israel annexation plan: From two-state paradigm to ‘conflict management’

The argument that the two-state solution is dead, or as good as dead, has by now become firmly embedded in mainstream commentary on Israel and Palestine.

Warnings about the diminishing likelihood, or viability, of a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, based on the size of the settler population and extent of Israeli colonisation, have been sounded for decades.

Now, practical hurdles are also being understood in the context of – and as a practical expression of – the political obstacles, namely the rejection of and opposition to Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shared by Israeli leaders across the mainstream political spectrum. Read more

‘Everyone scared’: How Palestinians are preparing for annexation

With just days to go until Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is allowed, per the coalition government agreement, to pursue the annexation of illegally occupied West Bank territory, debate swirls around what – if any – land will be formally annexed in the coming weeks and months.

Various annexation scenarios are being discussed, from the 30 percent of the West Bank envisaged in the Donald Trump administration’s plan – including the Jordan Valley region – through to a smaller amount of territory concentrated around major settlements. Read more

World must fight back against Israeli annexation – whether formal or not

As Israel’s parliament swore in a new government this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his goal of annexing territory in the occupied West Bank. “It’s time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism,” he told the Knesset.

Ever since the deal between Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz took shape, including a commitment to advancing “sovereignty” in the parts of the West Bank allocated to Israel under the Trump administration’s plan, annexation has featured heavily in diplomacy and in analysts’ debates.

But amid all the discussion about potential consequences for Israeli relations with the EU or for the peace treaty with Jordan, not much attention has been paid to the possibility that annexation will ultimately be fudged. Read more

Delegitimizing Solidarity: Israel Smears Palestine Advocacy as Anti-Semitic

Delegitimizing Solidarity: Israel Smears Palestine Advocacy as Anti-Semitic

Journal of Palestine Studies (2020) 49 (2): 65–79.

Abstract:

In response to growing Palestine solidarity activism globally—and particularly in countries that have been traditional allies of Israel—the Israeli government has launched a well-resourced campaign to undermine such efforts. A key element of this campaign consists in equating Palestine advocacy; the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement; and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Read more

How will the US Middle East plan impact the Israeli election?

Amid the fallout from the announcement of US President Donal Trump’s plan for Israel-Palestine, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that the timing and manner of its publication had much to do with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s battle for political survival.

Facing an election on March 2, Israel’s third national vote in less than a year, Netanyahu has crisscrossed the globe to meet leaders and officials. His meeting with Trump was the most high-profile stop and saw the unveiling of the US plan which, analysts have noted, heavily favours Israel. Read more

Is the UK government set to define the boycott of Israel as ‘antisemitic’?

One of the first bills to be introduced by Britain’s new Conservative government will reportedly stop “local authorities from boycotting individual companies”, a move described as targeting the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Conservative Party election manifesto did indeed pledge to “ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries”, on the grounds that such moves “undermine community cohesion”. Read more

Are Palestinian elections on the horizon?

There is a growing expectation among analysts that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas could soon issue a decree to set up parliamentary and presidential elections in 2020.

A vote was last held for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) – the parliament of the PA in the occupied West Bank and Gaza – in 2006. Read more

EU stance in focus after US decision on Israeli settlements

The recent United States announcement that it no longer believes the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is “inconsistent with international law” provoked an immediate response internationally, including in Brussels.

Within hours of the US statement, European Union senior foreign affairs official Federica Mogherini issued a statement affirming that the EU’s position “is clear and remains unchanged: all [Israeli] settlement activity is illegal under international law and … erodes the viability of the two-state solution.” Read more

How Israel redefines international law as a cover for its Gaza crimes

Since removing settlers and redeploying its armed forces to the perimeter fence in 2005, Israel has subjected Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to numerous devastating assaults, a blockade, and routine attacks on the likes of farmers and fishermen.

Many of these policies have been the subject of substantial condemnation – from Palestinians, of course, as well as Israeli and international human rights groups, and even world leaders and politicians – albeit, critically, with little concrete action at the state level.

Israel, however, has sought to thwart even the possibility of meaningful accountability. Its approach has been very simple: in the face of criticism for breaking the law, change the law. Read more

Israel has normalised torture of Palestinian prisoners

Last week, a Palestinian detainee arrested by Israeli occupation forces was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital suffering from severe injuries, including broken ribs and kidney failure. 

Samir Arbeed, 44 and in good health when detained, had been tortured during his interrogation at the hands of Shin Bet agents. According to reports, the agents had been given permission by an Israeli “judicial body” to use “exceptional ways to investigate”. Read more