Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority


How it feels to have a child in an uninhabitable place

Israel/Palestine .  on 

I just had my first baby, a boy named Khalil, last month. From the first moment I held my child in my arms, I was flushed with emotions. I was extremely happy and blessed, but also worried and confused.

At the time I became pregnant I had a good job with an international NGO in addition to my income as a freelance writer and translator, along with my husband’s salary. Yet three months before I gave birth, my contract was terminated. The U.S. funded project I was assigned to closed as a result of the Trump’s administration cut in aid to Gaza’s relief agencies.

Suddenly I found myself about to have a new baby without security for a decent future and life. When I thought of the coming year, I could not help but think of the UN report that warns my home in the Gaza Strip will be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

But I overcame some of my worries. When I hug my son I make a choice to be happy for him. I am thankful for the blessing of having him. Still, I can only stop my anxiety for a few days at a time. When the stress returns, I wonder how I will secure a future for my son? Will we be able to provide him all his needs–a good education, good healthcare, a clean and healthy environment, a safe place to live?

All these questions kept popping up in my mind and so I reached out to other new parents. Some considered leaving Gaza.

My son’s first war

Sarah Algherbawi with her husband and son, Khalil. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Becoming a first-time mom may seem typical for a woman my age, but in Gaza nothing is typical anymore. When I decided to have a child I it was not a decision that I took lightly. I was afraid. I’m 27 and I’ve already witnessed three wars and I never want my child to experience what I’ve gone through. I live everyday in fear that a new war will take place.

Yet even with this fear, I never imagine that such a short time after giving birth my son would experience what war feels like. That is because I didn’t realistically think a war would break out when Khalil was only two weeks old when a short military escalation that took place between Israel and Hamas in mid-November.

In the span of two days, Israeli forces killed 15 Palestinians, and Hamas’ armed wing killed one Israeli officer. In this period Israeli soldiers bombed 150 sites in Gaza and 400 rockets were fired at Israel.

I was still recovering at my parents’ house from a caesarean delivery when the fire exchange started. It was November 11 and the first thing I did was ask my brother to move Khalil’s bed to the hallway, away from any windows in case the glass breaks in the event a building near the house is targeted.

In previous wars I was glued to my phone and laptop, writing and translating media reports. But this time I only hugged my child prayed to God to protect him from any harm. It was the first time I forgot about my own fear and only thought of him. With every incoming strike and outgoing rocket, I muffled out the sound by holding my hands over Khalil’s ears.

No stability

It’s not only the fear of war that dominates every parent in Gaza. We also lack stability. When I lost my job on July because of the punitive measures the Trump administration took against Palestinians I became like one-third of Gaza: unemployed.

My family’s ability to afford caring for our child is now in question, but it’s a question facing many parents around me.

The World Bank reported in October,  “In Gaza, 54 percent of the labor force is unemployed, including 70 percent among youth,” where youth means anyone from age 15 to 29.

The potential to have a good job in Gaza seems impossible now; there’s no governmental recruitment programs because Gaza’s government already suffers from a deficit and doesn’t even pay full salaries to its employees. UNRWA is terminating employees left and right now that the Trump cuts to Palestinian refugees have hit Gaza.

And, the Palestinian Authority, an employer in salary alone, is now scaling back the wages of its employees in Gaza as one of many punitive measures in the Hamas-Fatah power struggle.

I never thought of leaving Gaza before. I’m strongly committed to my family and friends here. But now, my husband and I are seriously considering leaving Gaza. We want to have a better and safer life for our child and we’ve lost trust in our politicians to do so.

Mahnoud Saqer and his wife Mayar in Gaza. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Huda and her three princesses

My colleagues another journalist couple, Huda Baroud and Mohammed Othman preceded us in taking this step. Huda works as a media editor for a local media website and Mohammed used to work in investigative journalist.

Two years ago, Othman emigrated from Gaza leaving behind his wife and three daughters as he searched for a better job and to establish some himself before the rest of the family would follow.

Until now, Mohammed is in Belgium separated from Baroud and his daughters because of paperwork holds. In the meantime Baroud is suffering here in Gaza playing the role of both mother and father. We recently talked about their divided family.

“Our children are the victims we brought into this life in Gaza. We need to do our best to protect them from wars, bad living and environmental conditions,” she told me.

Huda said she now perceives that women of Gaza have become weaker after having children. There are a myriad of safety issues to worry about as a parent and it takes a toll on our strength. “I think a thousand time before I take one of my daughters to a doctor; as medical mistakes killed people here many times,” Huda said.

“Besides, with every escalation with Israel I wish if I never had children,” she said, “Gaza is not a safe place for children to grow up in, this is why I welcomed my husband’s idea of travelling abroad to search for a better life for our daughters.”

About the latest escalation, Huda went on,

“I thought about many scenarios of how I’ll escape with my daughters if a bombardment took place near our house. I tried to explain to my daughters Lamia, 6, Alma, 4, and Tulien, 2, part of the nature of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is to understand violence impacts our lives. I wanted to make sure that if something bad happened they’re ready to face it.”

Huda tries to compensate for the absence of her husband by taking her daughters out from time to time, but the environmental pollution has made her picky and careful in her choices. She tells to me, “Going to the beach is totally forbidden because of the high pollution and wastewater.” Instead of the beach, “I brought a plastic pool for the girls to swim in inside the house.”

She’s also picky in regard to the type of food she feeds to her daughters, “I’m careful in choosing the source of vegetables and fruits the girls eat, I buy from one source that I’m sure they don’t use chemicals on plants.”

At the end of our conversation Huda told me, “I’m a journalist and I’m well aware of what’s happening here. Economic and environmental experts assured that the environmental reality of Gaza is very difficult and is about to collapse if no intervention takes place. This is why I’m always careful and picky with my daughters.”

Huda Baroud and Mohammed Othman’s three daughters. (Photo courtesy of the author)

A Crazy Step

Another couple I know, Mahmoud and Mayar Saqer, age 27 and 24, are experiencing the same emotional distress I’m having: the joy of becoming a parent along with the fear of being a parent in Gaza. The couple are about to have twins, yet instead of celebrating they are extremely worried because Mahmoud’s shoe store recently went out of business.

They are preparing themselves now to emigrate from Gaza temporarily, at least until Mayar gives birth to the twins abroad.

Mahmoud, who supports ten other members of his family, said this: “Within months I’ll be a father of two and the only source of our income has now closed. I want to immigrate to a European country so that I can guarantee that my twins will get a foreign passport and security in their future, then I’ll return to Gaza.”

The couple plans to journey along smuggling routes of thousands of fleeing refugees. First go to Egypt, then they’ll travel to Turkey, and lastly travel across the sea to Greece.

“I know that this step is surrounded with a lot of risks, but the future of our children warrants taking this risk. I want to have a better life for them,” Mahmoud said

As Mahmoud spoke I thought Malak Abu Jazar, 9, from Gaza who drowned to death off the shores of Turkey when the boat that was smuggling her family and her to Greece sunk.

Mahmoud and Mayar followed the news when it broke a few weeks ago. It’s given Mayar reservations, but not enough to change her strategy. “Since I agreed to do this step, I have become very nervous,” she tells me, “I hope it goes well. The bad reality of Gaza pushed us to take this risk.”

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 191

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Israel is sending disinformation that it demolished many Iranian targets in Syria, just to save face in this major fiasco. Otherwise, the responses would have been far worse than downing an F16

Can negative trade secret (Not working) be valid as theft in trials? In the hands of the competition, knowing exactly what went wrong (and why) can be worth billions of dollars.

“Should an engineer be free to leave a company and build on the knowledge and skills he gained at the old job? Are the tech industry’s giants too eager to use lawyers to cudgel competition? And are start-ups like Uber too willing to cut corners as they scramble to turn a profit?”— Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times

US district judge William Alsop, presiding over the trial Waymo v. Uber,: “Is an engineer supposed to get a frontal lobotomy before they go on to the next job?

“Negative trade secrets (Failed effort) need to be seen as a public good,” argues legal scholar Amir H. Khoury in IDEA-The Intellectual Property Law Review. He advocates the abolition of confidentiality for failed efforts in the name of greater development for everyone, and touts the economic benefits of this cooperative approach: “This information must remain open to all and shared among all in order for research to evade recurring mistakes and replicating dead-ends.”

The British had drawn the current fictitious borders among Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Kashmir.  As well as drawing many other borders in the Middle-East and Africa with colonial France

“If I was running a car factory, I wouldn’t let workers drive the cars home or borrow tools. But that’s what I do at five o’clock each day, all over the world, when my hackers go home from work. … So we’re working on refining our management techniques so that we can control that information no matter where it is—on our hard disks or even inside our programmers’ heads.”— L. Bob Rife, “Snowcrash” by Neal Stephenson

Qui repondrait en ce monde a la terrible obstination du crime, si ce n’est l’obstination du temoignage?
Deir Yassine, Rafa7, Gaza, Sabra/Chatila, Fallouja, Hama, Homs, Deir-Zour, Diyar Bakr…

Which adolescent group would actually exhibit a higher rate of criminal acts? 

  1. the group living in a clean and stable neighborhood, with an active and sensible community but whose family environment is violent and crude, or
  2. the group of adolescents living in a violent neighborhood but whose family have strong moral support?

We tend to underestimate the minor criminal acts in the specific situations within the environment we are surrounded with, such as overcrowding graffiti views, fare-breaking, window cleaning harassment on intersections or panhandling in our tendency to believing that lawlessness is the rule.

In the cases of smoking and suicide, it is the specific context that turns to be the dominant factor.

Al 3ajez bi mizaniyyat Loubnan maksoud wa sa yassel ila $86 billion this year. Kel siyassi “mouhemm” war militia leader, jamma3 $milliar.

Palestinian authority is Not permitted to borrow from foreign States outside the Israeli banks

 السلطة الفلسطينية برئاسة الرئيس محمود عباس معوزولة عن العالم ماليا وغير مسموح لها، ضمن القرارات الاسرائيلية ان تستدين اي مبلغ من الخارج الا بواسطة المصارف الاسرائيلية.


This story is included with an NYT Opinion subscription.


As Israel bombarded the people in Gaza with extensive airstrikes and followed up with a ground operation in the Gaza Strip and Hamas reacted by launching rockets at Israeli cities, the most immediate cause of this latest war has been ignored: Israel and much of the international community placed a prohibitive set of obstacles in the way of the Palestinian “national consensus” government that was formed in early June.

That government was created largely because of Hamas’s desperation and isolation. The group’s alliance with Syria and Iran was in shambles. Its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt became a liability after a July 2013 coup replaced an ally, President Mohamed Morsi, with a bitter adversary, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Hamas’s coffers dried up as General Sisi closed the tunnels that had brought to Gaza the goods and tax revenues on which it depended.

He is a father, and he just lost his son.

Younes Arar's photo.
Younes Arar's photo.
Younes Arar's photo.
A few hours ago, the 4 Palestinian children of Baker family ((Ahed Atef Bakr (10 years), Zakareya  Bakr (10 years), Mohamad Ramez Bakr (11 years) and Esma’il Mohamad Bakr (9 years))
The four killed kids running before the second shell whipped them down 
‎أولادي الذين لم الدْهم. لو انني التقطتهم بيديّ قبل ان يسقطوا.‎

Seeing a region swept by popular protests against leaders who couldn’t provide for their citizens’ basic needs, Hamas opted to give up official control of Gaza rather than risk being overthrown.

Despite having won the last elections in 2006, Hamas decided to transfer formal authority to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.

That decision led to a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on terms set almost entirely by the P.L.O. chairman and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal:

1. the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one, and

2. the easing of the suffocating border closures imposed by Israel and Egypt that bar most Gazans’ passage to the outside world.

Yet, in many ways, the reconciliation government could have served Israel’s interests:

1. It offered Hamas’s political adversaries a foothold in Gaza;

2. it was formed without a single Hamas member;

3. it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important,

4. it pledged to comply with the 3 conditions for (Western colonial powers) aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel.

Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat.

Israel’s security establishment objects to the strengthening of West Bank-Gaza ties, lest Hamas raise its head in the West Bank. And Israelis who oppose a two-state solution understand that a unified Palestinian leadership is a prerequisite for any lasting peace.

Still, despite its opposition to the reconciliation agreement, Israel continued to transfer the tax revenues it collects on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf, and to work closely with the new government, especially on security cooperation. (Not a correct statement)

But the key issues of paying Gaza’s civil servants and opening the border with Egypt were left to fester.

The new government’s ostensible supporters, especially the United States and Europe, could have pushed Egypt to ease border restrictions, thereby demonstrating to Gazans that Hamas rule had been the cause of their isolation and impoverishment. But they did not.

Instead, after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse.

Gaza is a concentration camp.

Gaza is a concentration camp.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), have some scathing, painful things to say about what Israel is doing to Gazans:

[A senior official with the] humanitarian charity has described his organisation’s work among the 1.8 million besieged Palestinian refugees as akin to being “in an open-air prison to patch up prisoners in between their torture sessions”.

Jonathan Whittall, head of humanitarian analysis at MSF, who worked in Libya during the 2011 war, in Bahrain during the uprising of the same year, in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan and Darfur, has bluntly asked his colleagues:

At what point does MSF’s repeated medical action in an unacceptable situation [like Gaza] become complicity with aggression and oppression?”

“An entire population is trapped in what is essentially an open-air prison,” Mr Whittall writes. “They can’t leave and only the most limited supplies – essential for basic survival – are allowed to enter. The population of the prison have elected representatives and organised social services.

“Some of the prisoners have organised into armed groups and resist their indefinite detention by firing rockets over the prison wall. However, the prison guards are the ones who have the capacity to launch large-scale and highly destructive attacks on the open-air prison.”

The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.

Bug off Abbas. No timeframe for Palestine’s end of occupation” US told

this wretched illegal Palestinian Authority President

Note: The UN finally voted on resolution to end Israel settlements in West Bank.  If this resolution was voted on in 2014, a timetable of withdrawal of Israel occupation of West Bank would have been voted on right now.

The US has rejected an initiative set out by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to set a timeframe to end the Israeli occupation, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported diplomatic sources as saying today.

The sources said the US’ Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Bauer informed the group that her country “does not welcome the initiative”.

US refuses Abbas’ initiative to end occupation

Abbas’ initiative set out plans to resume negotiations with Israel within nine months and for the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories in no more than three years.

Representatives of Abbas’ government are in the process of conducting consultations on the initiative as a prelude to the formulation of a draft resolution to the UN Security Council for a vote after listening to the feedback of all the states prior to the annual session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York this month.

The sources added that permanent members of the Security Council lead by the United States “told us that they do not support the idea. Some permanent members also said they are undecided about the initiative, especially after the US’ refusal of it.”

Abbas’ initiative set out plans to resume negotiations with Israel within nine months and for the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories in no more than three years.



Palestinian non-violent activists killed by Israel

Naomi Wolf posted:

“All the Western MSM have ‘”dies after clashes’ suggesting this minister was violent and the context was militarized or aggressive. Only the Guardian includes the fact that the group was a peaceful group of protesters planting olive trees, in its subhed (that is journalism speak for the explanation below the headline).

See the demonization of Palestinians and Islam almost like an organic law and the story moves from East to West?

And is that second soldier restraining the one choking Abu Ain — or restraining Abu Ain from keeping himself from being choked bythe first soldier?…/palestinian-minister-dies-conf…

Israeli Army violence won’t stop our resistance

The Palestinian minister who died after a non-violent protest on Wednesday was a symbol the Palestinian Authority’s support for non-violent popular struggle.

Non-violent Palestinian leaders from across the West Bank talk about how Israel responds violently toward their activities.

Yael Marom published this Dec. 10, 2014

Ziad Abu Ein exits a Palestinian home that settlers vandalized with graffiti reading "Death to Arabs" in late November. (Photo by Rabbis for Human Rights)

A general strike in Ramallah, three days of mourning in the Palestinian Authority and calls for increased protests and non-violent resistance to the occupation.

Those were only some of the responses to the death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died during a protest marking International Human Rights Day Wednesday.

Abu Ein, who was the Palestinian Authority official responsible for popular resistance against West Bank settlements, took part in a press conference organized by four Palestinian villages and Israeli human rights group Yesh Din Wednesday morning.

The press conference was timed to coincide with a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice demanding that the Israeli army dismantle the illegal settlement outpost of Adei Ad, in the northern West Bank, and International Human Rights Day.

“We tried to go and plant olive tree saplings today when the soldiers attacked us,” said Abdallah Abu-Rahme, of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC). “The soldiers pushed Abu Ein; he was injured and fell to the ground. He is an older man who had various health conditions, and he died as a result of the blows he sustained.”

The type of direct action used Wednesday is an example of the way non-violent popular resistance has been organized in the West Bank since the Second Intifada. The struggle, which initially came in response to construction of the separation barrier and the ensuing land grabs, uses tools aimed at bringing resistance against injustice to the locations where they those injustices are taking place.

When the resistance is against the separation barrier — they march toward the wall, when it’s about land theft, they attempt to reach those lands and demonstrate there. In the case of today’s action, the activists set out to plant olive trees, a Palestinian symbol, on lands that were confiscated.

Palestinian protesters flee tear gas at a protest in which Palestinian Minster Ziad Abu Eid died. Activists set out to plant olive trees on lands usurped by Israeli settlements, December 10, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/

In recent years the Palestinian Authority has assumed a larger and larger role in that struggle. Issa Amro, one of the leaders of Youth Against Settlements, an organization that practices non-violent resistance in Hebron, spoke to +972 about Ziad Abu Eid.

“I have known him since he assumed his current role as the official responsible for popular struggle in the West Bank and against settlements,” Amro said. “He really tried to advance the non-violent struggle. He tried to organize non-violent [popular] committees, to organize the youth, political parties and students. He had a vision that 2015 would be the year of Palestinian non-violent struggle.”

Amro said of today’s events: “The army and the settlers turn the leaders of non-violent struggle into targets. That’s their way of preventing us from recruiting more people and more young people into our struggle. Look at how the army responds to non-violent struggle — with disproportionate violence toward the activists.”

Amro brought up Nariman Tamimi, one of the more prominent activists in the resistance by residents of Nabi Saleh against the confiscation of the village’s spring by settlers, who was shot in her leg last month. “They don’t want this type of struggle because if there is a non-violent movement it will weaken the occupation. They say the occupation is there for security, but if the struggle is non-violent then they can no longer justify the occupation.”

Munadir Amira, one of the PSCC’s leaders in the West Bank village of Ni’ilin, told +972: “This is a crime intended to stop these types of non-violent actions. They want us to be violent; they want us to not even open our mouths; they want us to just accept what Israel does.

But we won’t remain silent. This is another example of crimes that are committed by the occupation against non-violent activists. But this crime will not stop us from resisting the occupation. We will continue our struggle and even step it up. In the coming days there will be more actions at the same location and across the entire West Bank.”

Israeli security forces arrive at a tree-planting demonstration marking Land Day in the West Bank village of Bil’in, March 27, 2014. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/

Asked about the mood in the Palestinian street, Amira said: “Everyone is in shock, but not me. I know the way the Israeli army behaves towards us. Every small mistake by a soldier can cost us our lives. They use gas, they shoot at us. He isn’t the first to be killed in a non-violent action. They kill us — we know that we will pay a price, but that is the price of freedom.”

“Zia Abu Ein was a symbol of the Palestinian Authority’s support for the popular struggle,” said Muhammad Zawara, an activist in the PSCC from the Bethlehem-area village of al-Ma’asara. “He represented the strategy of non-violent action, of protest, and of promoting those tools as a central strategy of the Palestinian Authority.”

Attorney Gabi Lasky, who represents human rights defenders and activists in the popular struggle, and who is a Tel Aviv City Council member for Meretz, said: “On one hand, in a situation of occupation the security forces defend the settlers and land thieves and implement an apartheid regime in the territories. And on the other hand they prevent the residents of that occupied territory from struggling against that [land] theft and apartheid.”

“Instead of ending the injustice they try and curb and prevent non-violent protests. In doing so, the security forces use violence against anyone who attempts to realize their most legitimate right — to protest. That’s what happened here. And this time, like in previous incidents, it ended with death.”

On the non-violent struggle, Lasky said: “The Israeli occupation has found many ways to use force against Palestinian violent struggle. But it doesn’t have an answer to non-violent struggle, aside from sending its leaders to prison.”

Palestinian minister dies after reportedly struck by Israeli troops

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.

No full sovereignty darling Abbass, and you knew it, and Obama also told you to bug off…

Israel’s insistence on ongoing security precautions in the West Bank does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle to Palestinian statehood and sovereignty, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told The Times of Israel.

But it was always clear, from the start of negotiations, she added, that due to Israel’s security needs a Palestinian state would not enjoy “full and complete sovereignty.”

In an interview ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Livni, who led Israel’s negotiating team in this year’s failed negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, said the collapse of the peace process was deeply disappointing, but that it was “not too late” to restart talks. (The full interview appears here.)

“Always, from the first day of the negotiations, it was clear that any agreement (on Palestinian statehood) would not include full and complete sovereignty,” the Hatnua party leader said.

“We are speaking in terms of a sovereign Palestinian state, but it’s clear that the sovereign Palestinian state must accept limitations. Certainly demilitarization. By the way, that’s also what we’re demanding now for Gaza. Limitations and arrangements that will ensure, in the long term, that no threat is created of the kind we have been witnessing.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, she went on, had accepted the need for a demilitarized Palestinian state, “though there’s an argument about what demilitarization entails… That’s why you negotiate. This all has operational expression on the ground: How is it overseen? Who’s at the border crossings? Who deploys along the border?”

Then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, September, 2008 (photo credit: AP Photo /Keystone/Alessandro della Valle)

Then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, September, 2008 (photo credit: AP Photo /Keystone/Alessandro della Valle)

Livni was clarifying Israel’s position in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declarations this summer about the imperative to maintain Israeli security oversight in the West Bank under any agreement with the PA.

“Germany also took upon itself military restrictions after World War II. To this day, there’s a British military base in Cyprus. Sinai is demilitarized in accordance with the Israel-Egypt peace agreement,” Livni said. “Therefore the idea that there is a necessary contradiction between Israel’s security and Palestinian sovereignty is incorrect. They get the state and, by virtue of their independence, they take upon themselves certain limitations. One goes with the other.”

The justice minister also revealed details of what she said was an initiative agreed upon with the Palestinians to foster a “culture of peace” on both sides — a bid to change the tone and content of media, religious leaders’ statements, education, and more — in order to create a climate that would encourage compromise. “We had an agreed text,” she said. “Had we extended the talks (last spring), I think we were going to implement (the initiative) during the extended negotiations.”

Speaking days before Abbas was set to address the UN General Assembly, with an anticipated demand that Israel be required to set a timetable for withdrawing from the West Bank, Livni criticized the PA leader for turning to the UN rather than continuing peace negotiations with Israel.

Abbas had taken the easier route of going to the UN and forgoing negotiations, she charged, “because in negotiations you have to pay a price and concede things, whereas when you go to the UN, you can get everything you want.” (Apparently, Israel feels no obligations to concede anything)

“But it won’t give you a state,” she warned. “There’s no state via the UN.” (Why? Because of the US perpetual veto?)

She also said she was sorry the US had chosen not make public the framework document it drew up “which provided answers on all the core issues” of dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

“It was very fair. It gave expression to both sides… We wanted to advance the negotiations on that basis. Israel essentially accepted this framework,” she said, while Abbas did not. “I have grievances with him — over how the negotiations ended, over his turning to the UN, his joining up with Hamas, in the Palestinian unity government.” (All along, Israel claimed that Abbas cannot deliver because the Palestinians had no unified government. Now, it is not possible simply because they united)

Livni expressed profound concern that the anti-Israel public opinion in the Arab world was also spreading to Europe, and partially blamed the settlement enterprise.

“The problem is that what we’ve seen in the Arab world — where public opinion is anti-Israel and it is very hard for the leaderships to deal with — is also happening now in Europe,” she said. “I have discussions with world leaders. It’s very hard for them. They say, ‘We understand why you have to hit Hamas. We’re with you. But the issue of the settlements renders Israel incomprehensible and shorn of credibility when it says it wants peace.’”

“In the eyes of Europe, the European street,” she went on, “the settlement enterprise is a kind of old-style colonialism. Not self-defense, which would be acceptable.

“That mix is not good for Israel,” she stressed. “I seek to ensure that we retain the legitimacy to defend ourselves against those extremist terrorist forces. And Israel’s policy as regards what it wants in these areas (of peacemaking and settlements) is not clear. And ultimately that harms Israel’s security.”

She said that she does not share the ideology “that believes we need to stay in all of the Land of Israel.” And “to the best of my knowledge,” she added, “the prime minister does not share that ideology.”

Regarding international attitudes to Israel over this summer’s conflict with Hamas, the justice minister said, “I don’t expect the world not to judge us. It should judge us — but on the same basis as it judges itself or any democracy. Fatalities on the Palestinian side are accidental, after we have made every effort to prevent them. By contrast, the terrorists are deliberately aiming at civilians. And I expect the world to make that distinction.” (How in denial!)

Unfortunately, she went on, “as time passes since the establishment of Israel, what was taken for granted in 1948 is no longer taken for granted. We see ourselves, satellite view, as a tiny state surrounded by enemies. The world looks from the Google Earth perspective, and sees a soldier with his weapon and a Palestinian boy or girl. And that viewpoint is deepening. It is a skewed picture of the conflict. The sorrow over seeing civilians killed, a sorrow that I share, skews the judicial perspective of the reality.”

Note: Abbass did visit Obama and he turned his suggestion down for a Palestinian State. Abbass addressed the UN and demanded a timetable for a Palestinian State. It is not in Israel ideology to give Palestinians any kinds of recognition: They still insist on calling them “Arabs“.

Timeline of Settlements promotion by Israel during the Peace Talks negotiation with the Palestinian Authority

A report by Peace Now

The simple condition to desist from expanding settlements during the negotiation (which has lasted 9 months) was totally ignored by Israel who kept rubbing it in the face of John Kerry attempt to salvage the US role and position  in the Near East

Settlements promotion during the talks – Timeline

 (August 1, 2013

Depositing of plan No. 515/5 for 48 units in Tene

Depositing of plan No. 508/1 for 230 units in Ma’on

Depositing of plan No. 411/5 for 40 units in Nokdim



Depositing of plan No. 205/12 for 30 units in Shilo



Discussion for depositing of plan No. 317/2 for 234 units in Galgal

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 242/1/3 for 38 units in Kochav Yaacov

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 205/14 for 17 units in Shilo

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 235/2/4 for 304 units in Talmon

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 405/6/6/1 for 60 units in Alon Shvut

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 227/21 for 30 units in Kfar Adumim

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 604/4 for 31 units in Almog

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 235/10 for 255 units in Talmon

Discussion for validation of plan No. 426/1/1/3/8 for 48 units in Beitar Illit

Discussion for validation of plan No. 205/13 for 95 units in Shilo



Publication of tender No. 346/2012 for 36 units in Beitar Illit

Publication of tender No. 365/2012 for 117 units in Ariel

Publication of tender No. 91/2013 for 92 units in Maale Adumim

Publication of tender No. 96/2013 for 149 units in Efrat

Publication of tender No. 82/2013 for 160 units in Pisgat Ze’ev

Publication of tender No. 84/2013 for 80 units in Har Homa C

Publication of tender No. 85/2013 for 130 units in Har Homa B

Publication of tender No. 86/2013 for 23 units in Pisgat Ze’ev

Publication of tender No. 108/2013 for 397 units in Gilo



Publication of validation of a Plan for 891 units in Gilo



Publication of validation of plan No. 210/6/3 for 732 units in Modi’in Illit



Approval by the Minister of Defense for plan No. 220/23 for 381 units in Givat Ze’ev



Depositing of plan No. 215/2/11 for 1 unit in Givat Ze’ev



Depositing of plan No. 116/5 for 37 units in Elmatan



Discussion for validation of plan No. 132/6for 694 units in Alei Zahav



Approval by the Minister of Defense for plan No. 125/7 for 72 units in Elkana



Discussion for validation of plan No. 227/15 for 25 units in Kfar Adumim



Publication of tender No. 040813 for 30 units in Beit El

Publication of tender No. 170/2013 for planning of 9,560 units in the West Bank – the tender was cancelled.



Publication of validation of a Plan for 1,531 units in Ramat Shlomo

Publication of tender No. 11580/2013 for planning of 12,750 units in the West Bank – the tender was cancelled.

Publication of tender No. 11581/2013 for planning of 1,476 units in the West Bank – the tender was cancelled.



Depositing of plan No. 118/2 for 160 units in Yakir



Depositing of the Kedem Compound plan in Silwan (East Jerusalem)



Discussion for depositing of plan No. 411/8 for 12 units in Nokdim

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 220/10/7 for 28 units in Givat Ze’ev

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 220/23 for 381 units in Givat Ze’ev

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 301/2 for 125 units in Givat Sal’it (Mechola)

Depositing of plan No. 420/1/1/36 for 1 units in Maale Adumim

Discussion for validation of plan No. 227/10/2 for 255 units in Talmon

Discussion for validation of plan No. 205/12 for 30 units in Shilo

Publication of tender No. 38/2013 for 283 units in Elkana

Publication of tender No. 39/2013 for 2 units in Maale Adumim

Publication of tender No. 90/2013 for 196 units in Karnei Shomron

Publication of tender No. 103/2013 for 102 units in Givat Ze’ev

Publication of tender No. 162/2013 for 18 units in Ariel

Publication of tender No. 252/2013 for 80 units in Geva Binyamin (Adam)

Publication of tender No. 274/2013 for 112 units in Maale Adumim

Publication of tender No. 275/2013 for 238 units in Beitar Illit

Publication of tender No. 273/2013 for 311 units in Gilo

Publication of tender No. 293/2013 for 387 units in Ramat Shlomo

Publication of tender No. 299/2013 for 130 units in Har Homa B



Depositing of plan No. 604/4 for 31 units in Almog

Depositing of plan No. 114/2 for 90 units in Bracha

Publication of tender No. 108/2013 for 397 units in Gilo



Depositing of plan No. 218/18 for 296 units in Beit El



Depositing of plan No. 235/10 for 255 units in Talmon

Publication of validation of Plan No. 205/13 for 95 units in Shilo

Publication of tender No. 302/2013 for 1 units in Alfei Menashe

Publication of tender No. 303/2013 for 1 units in Elkana



Approval by the Minister of Defense for plan No. 227/7/1 for 5 units in Nofei Prat



Depositing of plan No. 132/4 for 277 units in Alei Zahav



Publication of validation of Plan 220/13/1 for 29 units in Givat Ze’ev



Discussion for validation of plan no.221/6 for 250 units in Ofra



Publication of validation of Plan No.117/13 for 22 units in Karnei Shomron



Publication of validation of Plan No.205/12 for 30 units in Shilo



Publication of validation of Plan No.221/6 for 250 units in Ofra

Discussion of validation of plan No. 130/2/3/30 for 5 units in Ariel



Publication of tender No. 1/2014 for 208 units in Efrat

Publication of tender No. 2/2014 for 24 units in Beitar Illit

Publication of tender No. 3/2014 for 102 units in Imanuel

Publication of tender No. 4/2014 for 86 units in Karnei Shomron

Publication of tender No. 5/2014 for 68 units in Alfei Menashe

Publication of tender No. 6/2014 for 40 units in Ariel

Publication of tender No. 9/2014 for 75 units in Geva Binyamin (Adam)

Publication of tender No. 10/2014 for 19 units in Efrat

Publication of tender No. 11/2014 for 169 units in Elkana

Publication of tender No. 7/2014 for 182 units in Pisgat Ze’ev

Publication of tender No. 8/2014 for 294 units in Ramot

Publication of tender No. 12/2014 for 600 units in Ramat Shomo



Publication of tender No. 16/2014 for 56 units in Neve Yaacov



Depositing of plan No. 220/23 for 381 units in Givat Ze’ev



Publication of validation of Plan 227/10/2 for 255 units in Kfar Adumim



Depositing of plan No. 317/2 for 234 units in Galgal

Depositing of plan No. 13901 “The Spring House” for tourism in Silwan



Approval by the Minister of Defense of plan No.111/1/3 for 65 units in Shavei Shomron



Publication of validation of Plan No. 227/15 for 25 units in Kfar Adumim



Depositing of plan No. 116/5 for 37 units in Elmatan



Discussion of validation of Plan No. 604/4 for 31 units in Almog

Discussion of validation of Plan No. 218/18 for 296 units in Beit El

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 205/2 for 353 units in Shilo

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 111/1/3 for 65 units in Shavei Shomron

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 130/8 for 839 units in Ariel

Discussion of validation of Plan No. 132/6 for 694 units in Alei Zahav



Depositing of plan No. 227/10/3 for 19 units in Kfar Adumim



Discussion of validation of Plan No. 115/12/1 for 28 units in Alfei Menashe



Depositing of plan No. 242/1/3 for 38 units in Kochav Yaacov

Depositing of plan No. 220/10/5 for 56 units in Givat Ze’ev

Discussion for validation of plan No. 129/3 for 19 units in Kiryat Netafim

Discussion for validation of plan No. 218/11 for 200 units in Beit El

Discussion for depositing of plan No. 201/3/10 for 27 units in Beit Arye



Discussion for validation of plan No. 118/2 for 160 units in Yakir

Discussion for validation of plan No. 114/2 for 90 units in Bracha

Discussion for validation of plan No. 132/4 for 277 units in Alei Zahav



Publication of tender No. 65/2014 for 708 units in Gilo

Opening bottles of champagne. Celebrating election victory of your occupier?

John Kerry mission after frequent shuffling trips between Netanahyu and Mahmoud Abbass is at a dead end.
What the US expected to offer the Palestinians?
They are pressuring the Palestinians to recognize the pure Jewishness of Israel, and the resident Palestinians to be de-facto second class by law.
Israel has already made Jerusalem a Jewish city
Israel refuses the UN declaration the Palestinians rights to return to their hometowns
Israel wants to maintain its settlements in the Jordan Valley, separating the West bank from Jordan
Israel is intent on keeping its hundreds of check points in the West Bank…
The Wall of Shame is still standing against the order of the La Hague International Court to dismantle it
What cards remain in the hands of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with?
Mahmoud Abbas (current President of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank) and Ibrahim Souss (former Palestinian Fateh faction representative in Paris, and later assassinated by Israeli agents) used to celebrate the election victories of the Israeli Labor party by opening champagne bottles in most of its official offices around the world.
(Apparently, the Oslo agreement between Arafat and Rabin required these kinds of celebration? Apart from protecting Israel from Palestinian rights to resist?)
A few Palestinian leaders believed that it was adequate to differentiate among the Israeli political parties who all refuse the Palestinians their UN rights to return to their homeland.
These confused Palestinian leaders feel so impotent that they are relying on the Israeli voters to redress justice and offer potential solutions to the Palestinian indignities and sufferings.
It was no longer the legitimate fight against this occupying force and its apartheid system that was on the table, but the reliance on the Israeli voters.
And thus, the Palestinian Authority tried to distinguish between Ariel Sharon and the other Labor leaders. The terrorist activities of the Zionist movement started in 1929 and never abated.
The war crimes of Ariel Sharon are no less terrible than the crimes committed by Isaac Rabin, Shimon Peres and Golda Meir. (Asaad Bu Khalil
Menahim Begin boasted in his autobiography “Uprising” that their terrorists acts quickened the transfer of the Palestinians from their homes and villages.
The same idea and methods were adopted by Sharon and he executed them every time he led incursions into Palestinian villages. For example, he slaughtered the people in the village of Qabiyeh (under Jordanian authority) in reprisal of a supposed “terrorist attacks” in 1957.
Note: The Arabic text by

أدرجت منظمة فتح، بشخص محمود عبّاس وإبراهيم الصّوص (مندوب المنظمة لسنوات طويلة في باريس) طقس الاحتفال بفوز حزب العمل في الانتخابات الإسرائيليّة. كانت بعض مكاتب المنظمة حول العالم تفتح زجاجات الشامبانيا عند فوز حزب العمل. صدّق البعض تقليد التمييز بين الأحزاب الصهيونيّة في الكيان الغاصب. أو أن العجز الثوري (السياسي والعسكري على حدّ سواء) في قيادة منظمة التحرير أدّى إلى التسليم بقدرة الناخب الإسرائيلي على تقديم الحلول الصغرى للقيادة الفلسطينيّة.

لم يعد النضال الفلسطيني هو العامل التحريري، بل كان الاتكال _ كل الاتكال _ على انتظار ما يقدّمه حزب العمل من فتات هو الحلّ. والتركيز على شرور شارون كان جزءاً (خطيراً) من التمييز السياسي الباطل الذي أصرّت عليه قيادة عرفات في منظمة التحرير. إنّ أرييل شارون لا يزيد في جرائم حربه وفي مجازره عن جرائم ومجازر إسحق رابين وشمعون بيريز وديفيد بن غورين وغولدا مائير وموشي شرتوك. كلهم سواء. إن المجازر والإرهاب الصهيوني لم تكن يوماً _ كما يُراد لنا في بعض الخطاب الفلسطيني السياسي الذي أدرجه عرفات ومحمود عبّاس _ عرضية أو تجاوزاً أو تطرّفاً أو خروجاً عن إجماع القيادة السياسية

. إن الإرهاب الصهيوني من 1929 حتى يومنا هذا مقصود ومدروس ومُخطّط له بعناية فائقة من قبل القيادة الصهيونيّة. وشخصنة العداء لإسرائيل من شأنها أن تضلّل الرأي العام العربي الذي يخضع لسنوات لدعاية (عربية نفطية وغربية صهيونية) تجعل من مجرمي حرب حزب العمل (من أمثال رابين وبيريز) أو من مجرمي كاديما (بسبب غرام القادة العرب بتسيبي ليفني) حمائم سلام وديعة

كما أن الدعاية العسكريّة للعدو تقصّدت أن ترمي أمام أعيننا فكرة «القائد العسكري الإسرائيلي المُتفلِّت من الضوابط»، وذلك من أجل التخويف والإرهاب النفسي والمعنوي. زها بيغن بمجزرة دير ياسين وقال في كتابه «التمرّد» إن المجزرة كانت مفيدة للتسريع في طرد الشعب الفلسطيني من أرضه، كما أن أرييل شارون زها في مذكراته («محارب») بمجزرة قبية، وقال إنها أخافت العرب وحسّنت من معنويات جيش العدوّ. لكن لشارون هذا إرث لبناني خاص، غائب كليّاً عن المناهج الدراسية اللبنانية وعن الخطاب السياسي اللبناني

. لقد حرصتُ أدناه لتعميم الفائدة ولترسيخ تاريخ مشين في الأذهان على ترجمة ما يتعلّق بالفصل اللبناني من جرائم حرب شاورن وعلاقاته اللبنانيّة، لعلّ جيلاً من اللبنانيّين يكون على علم بها، وذلك من أجل الحكم على فريق سياسي لبناني يتحدّر من حلفاء شارون في تلك الحقبة المظلمة من تاريخ لبنان (والترجمة هي من النص الإنكليزي لمذكّرات شارون وتبدأ بفترة التحضير للاجتياح الإسرائيلي في عام 1982):

«وأنا أيضاً كنتُ أريد أن أرى لبنان بنفسي كي آخذ شعوراً بالملموس عن الحالة على الأرض هناك، وخصوصاً من أجل فهم إذا كان هناك أي شيء ممكن توقّعه من القوّات اللبنانيّة المسيحيّة في حالة الحرب. وأنا كنتُ قد التقيتُ ببشير الجميّل للمرّة الأولى عندما كنتُ وزيراً للزراعة خلال واحدة من زياراته للقدس لبحث العون الذي كنّا نقدّمه (لهم). ولقد ترك عندي انطباعاً (إيجابيّاً) آنذاك على أنه رجل شاب مليء بالثقة بالنفس والعزم. تحدّث بإقناع وبسلطة، ولم يكن هناك شك بأنه كان قد أظهر قدرات قياديّة حقيقيّة. لكنني شعرتُ

Young Ariel Sharon: Has he ever changed?
 ” Palestinian women are slaves to the Jews, because that’s how we want them to be”
War criminal Ariel Sharon, butcher of Beirut, is dead. He never faced justice for all the lives he ended and ruined. (Graphic by @[1069374286:2048:Doc Rocket] & me)
War criminal Ariel Sharon, butcher of Beirut, is dead. He never faced justice for all the lives he ended and ruined. (Graphic by Doc Rocket & me) Ben White‘s photo.
General Ouze Merham interviewed Sharon in 1956 and Ariel’s answers:
1. I massacred 750 Palestinians in Rafah in one swipe
2. I encouraged my soldiers to rape the Palestinian women
3. Palestinian women are slaves to the Jews
4. We dictate to others what we want
5. I swear that I am ready to kill any civilian Palestinian I meet
This is the French text:
Au grand jour's photo.

Nadia Massih published in the Lebanese The Daily Starthis Jan. 11, 2014

BEIRUT: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died Saturday aged 85, was widely reviled in Lebanon for his role in the invasion of the country in 1982 as well as the massacres at the Beirut-based Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.

Sharon was commonly dubbed the “Butcher of Beirut” for his association with some of the worst atrocities during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War.

The Daily Star
FILE - In this June 15, 1982 file picture provided by the Israeli Defense Ministry, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, foreground, rides an armored personnel carrier on a tour of Israeli units advancing to the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon, during the Israeli occupation. (AP Photo/Israeli Defense Ministry, File)
FILE – In this June 15, 1982 file picture provided by the Israeli Defense Ministry, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, foreground, rides an armored personnel carrier on a tour of Israeli units advancing to the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon, during the Israeli occupation. (AP Photo/Israeli Defense Ministry, File)

He was a part of the Israeli military since the country’s creation, as a member of the Jewish Haganah paramilitaries in the 1947-48 war that led to the “Nakba,” displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

He rose through the ranks with his belligerent military strategies, leading a brigade in the 1956 Suez War, and engineering the capture of the Sinai Peninsula 11 years later during the Six Day War.

However, it was in his political career that he will be most controversially remembered.

As Defense Minister he spearheaded the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, set up to root out Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization and form a peace accord with the Beirut government. The invasion morphed into a long occupation, and inadvertently helped to confirm Hezbollah’s status as the resistance party.

In 1982, Israel’s ally Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party member Habib Chartouni. Gemayel’s Kataeb fighters looked to the Palestinians to avenge the death and launched an attack of the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, which were under Israeli control.

Over 3,000 Palestinians, including many women and children, were brutally killed, and as many taken away, never to reappear.

It was a massacre that Sharon was personally implicated in. A U.N. investigation the next year concluded that Israel was responsible for the attacks, and the Israeli-run Kahan Commission the same year determined that Sharon was personally accountable.

The Kahan report’s findings said that Sharon bore responsibility “for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge” and “not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed.”

The conclusions led many to dub Sharon the “Butcher of Beirut” and forced him to resign from the defense post but he refused to leave Cabinet, remaining minister without portfolio.

His bellicose reputation continued into his tenure as prime minister.

In 2000, he walked brazenly into the Temple Mount complex which houses the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque, some of the holiest sites in Islam. The inflammatory move was widely attributed as sparking the Second Palestinian Intifada.

He was also associated with the widespread expansion of illegal outposts in the West Bank. As Housing Minister in the 1990s, he oversaw the biggest settlement drive in 20 years.

However, despite his uncompromising attitude, in 2004 he signed into law a plan to re-house all settlers in the Gaza Strip.

Sharon: ‘Occupation’ terrible for Israel, Palestinians

Kelly Wallace on CNN this May 27, 2003

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to be urging Israelis to accept giving up land for peace and advocating an end to what he called “occupation.”

“You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation — to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians,” he said Monday.

Those were stunning words from the longtime hawk and backer of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

“It can’t continue endlessly,” Sharon said. “Do you want to stay forever in Jenin, in Nablus, in Ramallah, in Bethlehem? I don’t think that’s right.”

On Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet voted to accept — with reservations — the U.S.-supported “road map” to peace, clearing the way for a series of steps that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state within three years.

The first phase of the road map involves the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian zones reoccupied during the current uprising and a freeze on settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian officials are required to crack down on militant groups that have carried out attacks against Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority accepted the plan last month after it was drafted by the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, the so-called Mideast Quartet.

The Israeli Cabinet’s 12-7 vote, with four abstentions, marked the first time an Israeli government has formally accepted the principle of a Palestinian state.

But Sharon faces a skeptical public. In a newspaper poll Monday, 51 percent said implementing the road map would not lead to peace, while 43 percent said it would.

The stakes will be high for this week’s expected meeting between Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas will call for immediate implementation of the road map, including an end to Israeli military operations in Palestinian areas and a freeze on any settlement expansion, Palestinian advisers said.

Both steps are key to convincing radical Palestinian groups to stop attacks against Israel, the Palestinians said.

But Israeli sources said Sharon will reiterate his long-held position that the first step must be a clear and visible Palestinian crackdown on groups such as Hamas, which has claimed responsibility for four recent suicide bombings against Israelis.

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, has acknowledged attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers and has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said Israel wants to see a “complete dismantling of the infrastructure of terror” by Abbas’ government.

“We cannot have negotiation by day and killing us at night,” Ayalon said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Sharon and Abbas failed to achieve any breakthroughs in their last meeting more than a week ago.

And a series of suicide bombings by Islamic militant groups befinning shortly before the meeting was seen as a “declaration of war” by Sharon’s government.

Now the two men face U.S. pressure to deliver, with a possible Mideast summit — with President Bush as host — perhaps hinging on what comes out of this week’s talks.

A three-way summit involving Sharon, Abbas and Bush could be called within 10 days.

A senior Bush administration official told CNN that the White House would not agree to a summit until it sees initial steps taken by both sides — a Palestinian crackdown on militants and the lifting of Israeli economic restrictions.

Nevertheless, a Bush administration advance team left Sunday morning for Egypt to begin preparations for the possible summit, an administration official told CNN. The team is also set to go to Jordan, which Bush might visit early next month.

Read more:

Is it becoming an Illusion? This “Two-State UN demand” between Israel and Palestine?

The last 3 decades are littered with the carcasses of failed negotiating projects billed as the last chance for peace in Israel.

All sides have been wedded to the notion that there must be two states, one Palestinian and one Israeli.

For more than 30 years, experts and politicians have warned of a “point of no return.” Secretary of State John Kerry is merely the latest in a long line of well-meaning American diplomats wedded to an idea whose time is now past.

You see a barrier in the West Bank city of Hebron, with barbed-wire coils, hills scarred by patrol roads and weather-beaten guard posts, Israel has been shaped like few other countries by its borders.

Josh Cochran
IAN S. LUSTICK Published this September 14, 2013   on nyt Sunday Review: Two-State Illusion

True believers in the two-state solution see absolutely no hope elsewhere.

With no alternative in mind, and unwilling or unable to rethink their basic assumptions, they are forced to defend a notion whose success they can no longer sincerely portray as plausible or even possible.

It’s like 1975 all over again, as the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco fell into a coma:

The news media began a long death watch, announcing each night that Generalissimo Franco was still not dead. This desperate allegiance to the departed echoes in every speech, policy brief and op-ed about the two-state solution today.

True, some comas miraculously end (Not Sharon).

Great surprises sometimes happen. The problem is that the changes required to achieve the vision of robust Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side are now considerably less likely than other less familiar but more plausible outcomes that demand high-level attention but aren’t receiving it.

Strong Islamist trends make a fundamentalist Palestine more likely than a small state under a secular government. (Not feasible: Palestinians are the most educated people in Near East)

The disappearance of Israel as a Zionist project, through war, cultural exhaustion or demographic momentum, is at least as plausible as the evacuation of enough of the half-million Israelis living across the 1967 border, or Green Line, (600,000 just in the newest settlements) to allow a real Palestinian state to exist. While the vision of thriving Israeli and Palestinian states has slipped from the plausible to the barely possible, one mixed state emerging from prolonged and violent struggles over democratic rights is no longer inconceivable.

The fantasy that there is a two-state solution keeps everyone from taking action toward something that might work. (Like what other alternatives?)

All sides have reasons to cling to this illusion:

1.  The Palestinian Authority needs its people to believe that progress is being made toward a two-state solution so it can continue to get the economic aid and diplomatic support that subsidize the lifestyles of its leaders, the jobs of tens of thousands of soldiers, spies, police officers and civil servants, and the authority’s prominence in a Palestinian society that views it as corrupt and incompetent.

2. Israeli governments cling to the two-state notion because it seems to reflect the sentiments of the Jewish Israeli majority and it shields the country from international opprobrium, even as it camouflages relentless efforts to expand Israel’s territory into the West Bank. (That’s not true, this clinking argument, otherwise it would have taken place 10 years ago…)

3. American politicians need the two-state slogan to show they are working toward a diplomatic solution, to keep the pro-Israel lobby from turning against them and to disguise their humiliating inability to allow any daylight between Washington and the Israeli government.

4. Finally, the “peace process” industry — with its legions of consultants, pundits, academics and journalists — needs a steady supply of readers, listeners and funders who are either desperately worried that this latest round of talks will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, or that it will not.

Conceived as early as the 1930s, the idea of two states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea all but disappeared from public consciousness between 1948 and 1967.

Between 1967 and 1973 it re-emerged, advanced by a minority of “moderates” in each community.

By the 1990s it was embraced by majorities on both sides as not only possible but, during the height of the Oslo peace process, probable. But failures of leadership in the face of tremendous pressures brought Oslo crashing down.

These days no one suggests that a negotiated two-state “solution” is probable. The most optimistic insist that, for some brief period, it may still be conceivable.

Ian S. Lustick is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza” and “Trapped in the War on Terror.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 15, 2013, on page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Two-State Illusion.




May 2023

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