March 21, 2014 |
The prospects for reaching an Israeli-Palestinian deal by John Kerry's April 29 deadline are about as unlikely as Vladimir Putin's giving up Crimea. The secretary of state probably wishes he never launched his quixotic campaign for Mideast peace a year ago. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Monday meeting with President Obama at the White House only illustrated the unbridgeable gulf between Israeli and Palestinian positions. But Kerry was right to warn in April that "if we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance.
July 24, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he is fast-tracking legislation that would allow him to put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a national referendum - an apparent attempt to silence hard-liners in his party and coalition government. Netanyahu spoke three days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said progress has been made toward a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, stalled for five years. Kerry has invited Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington for preliminary talks, though wide gaps remain on the framework of the actual negotiations.
February 8, 2013 |
The White House has just announced that President Obama will visit Jerusalem in March - his first presidential trip to Israel and the first overseas visit of his second term. This trip, which will also include the West Bank and Jordan, will be crucial for Obama, whose Mideast policy is in tatters. He'll be trying to warm up his cool relations with Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, and to focus on Iran and Syria. But Obama will also need to put forward new ideas for resurrecting the Israel-Palestinian peace process, a task on the order of raising Lazarus from the dead.
November 16, 2012 |
AMMAN, Jordan - Jordanian authorities will strike those who incite violence during protests with an "iron fist," the country's police chief said Thursday as the Islamist-led opposition vowed to continue demonstrations that have rattled the U.S.-allied kingdom. The protests, which erupted Tuesday across Jordan in response to the government's hiking fuel and gas prices, are the largest and most sustained to hit the country since the start of uprisings in the region nearly two years ago. Gunmen taking advantage of street chaos caused by the protests fired on two police stations late Wednesday, wounding 17 people, including 13 police officers, officials said.
November 5, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority president has set off a strident debate by shattering a once-inviolable taboo, publicly suggesting his people would have to relinquish claims to ancestral homes in Israel. Mahmoud Abbas' comments on the refugee issue, made in an interview on Israeli TV over the weekend, triggered hot responses from Palestinians and Israelis alike. In Israel, it suddenly put the long-sidelined issue of peace talks back in the Israeli public's consciousness ahead of parliamentary elections.
September 9, 2012 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighborhoods, activists said. Shelling and air raids against the eastern Helwaniyeh neighborhood caused a large number of casualties, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist group called the Local Coordination Committees. Amateur videos showed wounded people bleeding on the floor of a crowded makeshift hospital as they received treatment.
January 29, 2012 |
I am coming to the University of Pennsylvania this week to incite violence against the State of Israel - pro-Israel groups and commentators have contended - and, along with hundreds of students and other speakers who will attend the 2012 National Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference, to engage in an "act of warfare. " Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we are coming together to push forward an inclusive movement that supports nonviolent action to promote the human rights of the Palestinian people, because only full respect for these rights can lead to peace.
January 6, 2005
Enough about Eagles! Re: "Optimism = Super Bowl?", Jan. 4: I must be an optimist. I can actually visualize a time when this baseless drivel casting Philadelphians as pessimists will no longer be repeated ad nauseam in publications such as The Inquirer. Thoughtful people in this area (i.e., most of us) recognize that in any given year, the Eagles have only a chance to win the Super Bowl, much like other good teams around the league have a chance to win it. Not winning it does not make the Eagles "losers.
November 12, 2004 |
One doesn't speak ill of the dead - much less so if his passing plunges his people into grief. But if his actions in life denied those people the very goal he'd promised them, the one on which they'd hung their hopes and their destiny, then one has no choice but to speak, even as one acknowledges the man's remarkable achievement. And Yasir Arafat's achievement was remarkable indeed. Without him, the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from their homes in 1948 might have been forgotten, like the German refugees expelled from Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1945, or the Hindu and Muslim refugees displaced at the partition of India in 1947.
November 3, 2004 |
Yasir Arafat isn't dead yet. The disorder that forced him to desert his besieged headquarters in Ramallah and fly to Paris for medical treatment may not kill him, but he may never go home again, and his long reign as the undisputed leader of the Palestinian people is certainly over. So it is time to write his political obituary, if not his personal one. He should have died at least 10 years ago, of course. It would have been better for his reputation, for he never had the skills to run a proto-state like the Palestinian Authority: even as "president" of the Palestinian Authority, he remained at heart a guerrilla chieftain who ruled through cronies and relatives, co-opted his opponents with bribes of one sort or another, and never failed to appoint at least two rivals to any position of power.