October 5, 2015 |
On a bright, sunny day in September of 1993, I stood on the White House lawn watching Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat sign the Oslo peace accords in front of President Bill Clinton. At that moment, it was possible to suspend disbelief and imagine a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side. Twenty years on, Rabin and Arafat are dead, and so is the Oslo peace process - although politicians from Israel and the West are loath to admit this. Last week at the United Nations, however, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said his government could no longer be bound by the Oslo pact, emphasizing Israeli settlement-building on the West Bank among his many grievances.
January 31, 2014 |
J ustin Bieber has a new Belieber. Crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has risen to the defense of his fellow Canadian after the Biebs was charged with assault Wednesday for allegedly hitting a Toronto limo driver several times in the back of the head in an incident last month. Maybe Bieber was playing the Knockout Game. News of the Canadian charges broke a few hours after the fading teenage pop star's attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges.
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.
December 11, 2012 |
BRUSSELS - The European Union warned Israel of unspecified consequences Monday if it goes through with plans to build thousands of new settler homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The bloc's 27 foreign ministers said they were "deeply dismayed" by Israeli plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and particularly the E1 project, which would separate the West Bank from East Jerusalem, the Palestinians' hoped-for capital, and drive a big wedge between the northern and southern flanks of the West Bank.
November 17, 2011 |
JERUSALEM - Traveling in Israel and the West Bank, and talking to leaders on both sides, one thing soon becomes apparent: The Israeli-Palestinian peace process of the last two decades is dead. Israeli leaders don't believe in it, Palestinian leaders have given up on it, and the White House has abandoned it. An end to talks on a two-state solution means a slide toward a "one-state solution" in which Palestinians outnumber Jews inside Israel's borders. This ensures perpetual violence.
September 13, 2010 |
The prospects are dim, but the process is right. The Obama administration is to be commended for structuring the latest rounds of Middle East talks correctly. Finally, we're leaving behind interim agreements, of which the most lamentable were the Oslo accords of 1993. The logic then was that issues so complicated could only be addressed step by step, in the expectation that things get easier over time. In fact, they got harder. Israel made concrete concessions - bringing in Yasser Arafat to run the West Bank and Gaza - in return for which Israel received growing threats, continuous incitement, and finally a full-scale terror war that killed more than a thousand innocent Israelis.
March 11, 2010
It's never easy to figure out events in the Middle East. Take this week's announcement of plans to expand a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. It was like sticking a finger into the eye of fresh efforts to renew peace talks. Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Israel and the Palestinian territory to hail an apparent breakthrough, was instead placed in the awkward but necessary position of condemning the move to build 1,600 new homes. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not know beforehand about Tuesday's announcement by the Interior Ministry.
June 19, 2009
I'VE known the family on Gina Marie Rosario's father's side for 30 years. It's a tragedy what happened to those three little angels and the mother of Remedy Smith. Many people at first blamed police because they thought there had been a chase. But even if there had been one, it's clear that you need to put the blame on the two thugs. And on our judicial system for letting the thugs back out in society with the criminal records they have. Our judicial system needs to change - society has changed for the worse and our laws need to reflect that.
April 24, 2009
Only Israel supports a two-state solution Re: "Leverage U.S. military aid to halt Israeli settlements," Sunday: If Israeli settlements were the primary obstacle to peace between Israel and its neighbors, there would have been an agreement between 1948 and 1967, when Egypt and Jordan occupied Gaza and the West Bank, or in the years following, when Arabs were boycotting talks with Israel while Israel was seeking peace. Israelis, including their new prime minister, would welcome a two-state solution, with a Jewish state and an Arab state living in peace and security alongside each other.
April 19, 2009 |
The settlement of Ariel, which sits deep inside the Palestinian Territory of the West Bank, voted overwhelmingly for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party in the recent elections. The reasons are straightforward: Likud has vowed to protect and expand settlements, and its platform denies the existence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. These facts run contrary to stated U.S. policy toward the peace process, but the new government of Israel and the residents of Ariel and other settlements who voted for Likud do not seem to care.