August 2, 2013 |
Why now? You have to ask, with the entire Arab world falling apart, and President Obama caught up in urgent domestic matters, why has Secretary of State John Kerry staked his reputation on another effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? And, given the number of failed peace efforts over the past four decades, why on earth would Kerry set a goal of reaching an overall peace deal in nine months - which is, to put it mildly, impossible? Especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.
June 27, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israel on Wednesday announced plans to build dozens of homes in a contentious east Jerusalem settlement, casting a cloud over an upcoming peace mission by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry has been shuttling between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months in search of a formula to restart peace talks. Kerry has urged both sides to avoid provocative moves that could undermine his work. Talks have been stalled for nearly five years. The Palestinians have demanded a halt in settlement construction before returning to the negotiating table.
May 24, 2013 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinians believe the U.S. effort to restart peace talks is doomed, and they're preparing instead to resume their campaign of seeking membership in key international organizations as soon as next month, officials said Wednesday. As Secretary of State John Kerry arrives on another peace mission, Israel and the Palestinians appear to be as divided as ever over the issue of Israeli settlement-building. Without major U.S. pressure on Israel, Palestinians believe the outlook seems bleak.
April 8, 2013 |
When Secretary of State John Kerry revisits Israel and the West Bank this week, he's unlikely to talk about what really needs discussing: What will Israel and the Palestinians do once the two-state solution dies? No one wants to discuss such a grim prospect, let alone admit that the peace process is over. Such an admission would have earthshaking repercussions not only for the Palestinians and Israelis, but for Washington and the entire Mideast. So the pretense continues that peace talks can be revived.
March 23, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - President Obama urged Israelis on Thursday to move decisively in a spirit of self-preservation and empathy to secure a lasting peace, but he delivered an even sharper ultimatum to Palestinians to drop conditions that have held up a new round of negotiations. His evening address at the Jerusalem International Convention Center signaled a shift away from the balance he has sought to maintain between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since taking office - and toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he has had a stormy relationship, at least until this trip.
December 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In unusually rare and blunt criticism of its top Mideast ally, the Obama administration on Tuesday criticized Israel for continuing to announce new settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians. The State Department accused Israel of engaging in a "pattern of provocative action" that calls into question statements from Israeli leaders that they are committed to peace. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said settlement activity only puts the goal of peace "further at risk" and urged both Israel and the Palestinians to halt all provocations and take steps to revive long-stalled peace talks.
December 11, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister on Monday accused the international community of "deafening silence" in response to recent vows by the head of the Hamas militant group to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed, and appeared unmoved by the gathering storm of global condemnation of his government's plans to continue settling the West Bank. Benjamin Netanyahu's tough words were likely to deepen the rift between Israel and some of its closest allies, particularly in Europe, that has emerged since the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of Palestinian independence last month.
December 4, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returned triumphantly to the West Bank on Sunday, receiving a boisterous welcome from thousands of cheering supporters at a rally celebrating his people's acceptance to the United Nations. An Israeli decision to cut off a cash transfer to the financially troubled Palestinian Authority, following an earlier decision to build thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements, failed to put a damper on the celebrations. But Palestinian officials acknowledged they were undecided on what to do with their newfound status, and were waiting for Israeli elections and new ideas from President Obama before deciding how to proceed.
July 13, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Could Ehud Olmert be plotting his return to politics? Although the former prime minister denies it, that was the buzz in Israel on Thursday, after he was acquitted of a series of corruption charges that forced him to resign three years ago. The momentum is driven by the displeasure of many with Olmert's successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, the sense that the current opposition leaders are too weak to unseat him, and a sinking suspicion...
April 4, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister said Tuesday that he still hopes to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, because the alternative would be absorbing them into Israel and destroying the Jewish character of the state. "I want to solve the conflict with the Palestinians because I don't want a binational state," Netanyahu told a rare news conference. "For as long as it depends on me, we will ensure the Jewish and democratic character of Israel. " The statement was notable because it in effect concedes a key argument made by Netanyahu's ideological opponents on Israel's Zionist left: A pullout from territories the Palestinian claim for a state is not just a concession that could be made in exchange for peace - but also an imperative for an Israel that wants to remain a Jewish state that is also democratic.