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Posts from the ‘Articles’ Category

The Palestinians can undermine US-Saudi designs and rescue their national struggle

If the Oslo Accords gave birth to a Palestinian Authority without authority, then Donald Trump’s “ultimate deal” looks set to offer the Palestinians a state without statehood.

The potential spoilers are the Palestinian people themselves. The protests over recent days are an indication of the potential impact of popular mobilisation, and its ability to undermine US – and Saudi – plans for an “ultimate deal” that will ride roughshod over inalienable Palestinian rights. Read more

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Why is Trump moving on Jerusalem now?

In comparison to the focus on opposition to the move and its possible ramifications, relatively little has been said about why Donald Trump’s administration has decided to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and signal its intent to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

For example, one widely-shared piece of analysis does not really answer the question in its title, namely, “Why is Trump undoing decades of US policy on Jerusalem?”

I believe there are three main reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive. Read more

Exclusive: Amnesty pledges to consider if Israel is committing apartheid

In an unprecedented development, Amnesty International has pledged to consider whether the Israeli government is committing the crime of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

This marks the first time that the global rights NGO has said it will investigate Israeli practices specifically with regards to whether they meet the international definition of apartheid. Read more

Why Israel does not want a sovereign Palestinian state

How many Israeli settlers – or settlement houses – until a two-state solution is impossible? That’s the question we should be asking our politicians, who frequently refer to a “closing window of opportunity” for a Palestinian state in light of Israeli “facts on the ground”.

Speaking in Parliament recently, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged a halt to “the illegal settlements”; every time Israeli authorities “build new units”, he said, they “move us further from a two-state solution”, even if “they are not yet making it impossible to deliver the new map”.

So, the question remains: how many is too many? Read more

The untold story: why Priti Patel’s departure is ‘a great loss for Israel’

It is easy enough to understand why an ambitious politician like Priti Patel would have wanted to court Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), described this week by The Jewish Chronicle’s reporter Marcus Dysch as “the biggest lobbying group in Westminster”.

But what about the Israeli government and its allies? Why, in the words of Israeli opposition politician Isaac Herzog, was Patel’s fall from grace a “great loss for Israel”?

True, she looked like future leadership material. But in fact, a more interesting answer lies in the story of how the Department for International Development (DFID) has become a key battle ground for Israel and its Westminster lobbyists, an arena for foreign policy by proxy. Read more

Praise and protest: Reflections on how the Balfour centenary was marked

Following a year of build-up, the Balfour Declaration centenary has now come and gone. After the campaigns, events, articles and protests, I want to take a moment to make a few observations about how the centenary was marked.

To my mind, there were two main aspects to the anniversary’s significance. Read more

This week a world leader much worse than Donald Trump is visiting the UK – but I don’t see any protest from MPs

That US President Donald Trump has not yet made an official visit to the UK is down to the entirely justifiable opposition such a prospect provokes.

Here is a man who ran a racist election campaign and brought hard-right nationalists into the corridors of power, who has open contempt for treaties and bodies like the United Nations.

Yet this week, Theresa May will welcome to London another world leader about whom the exact same – and much more – can be said: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more

Balfour celebrations a reminder that the colonial past is not past

The 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is many things, but it should not pass without observing how, in 2017, Israel’s friends are still justifying the Zionist project with the same lexicon of colonialism as they were 100 years ago.

Last week, a debate was held in Parliament on the “Centenary of the Balfour Declaration”, moved by Matthew Offord, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hendon.

During the discussion, fellow Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) marvelled that the State of Israel “rose out of the desert” Read more

Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns

The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.

It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt. Read more

Don’t believe the hype about Israel’s Labour Party being progressive – it’s just proven that it’s decidedly not

The leader of Israel’s main opposition party, Labour chair Avi Gabbay, is currently making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Yesterday, Gabbay told Israeli television that he opposed discussing the removal of even the most isolated illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The remarks came a day after Gabbay told a meeting of party activists that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us”. He added: “They fire one missile – you fire 20. That’s all they understand in the Middle East”. Read more