Israel 2010

Written by  //  December 29, 2010  //  David/Terry Jones, Israel  //  1 Comment

NYT Topics – Israel
J Street the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle
(Foreign Policy May/June 2010) Middle East Peace: So Why Have We Failed?

29 December
Noble Says Tests Show Leviathan Is Significant Gas Discovery Off Israel
(Bloomberg) The Leviathan find is “the largest gas discovery in deep water in the past decade,” Delek Drilling Chairman Gideon Tadmor said in an e-mailed statement. The Leviathan and Tamar partners will examine options for exporting the gas from Israel via a pipeline or by turning it into liquefied natural gas, the Delek statement said.
27 December
What If Israel Ceases to Be a Democracy?
(The Atlantic) Is it actually possible that one day Israelis — Jewish Israelis — would choose to give up democracy in order to maintain Israel’s Jewish voting majority? Some people, of course, argue that Israel has ceased to be a democracy, because there is nothing temporary about the 43-year-old occupation of the West Bank. I believe it is premature to talk about the end of Israel as a democratic state — mainly because the disposition of the West Bank is still undecided — but I can’t say that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind that one day Israelis will make the conscious, active decision to preserve the state’s Jewish character instead of its democratic character
15 November
Netanyahu presents new settlement freeze plan to Israeli Cabinet
(NYT) … the freeze proposal, which was reached in intensive negotiations with the United States and still needs Israeli government approval — Mr. Netanyahu presented it to his cabinet on Sunday — carries huge risks for all sides. Even before the cabinet began to consider it, both the Israeli right and the Palestinian leadership raised strong objections.
10 November
Charles Cogan: Whose Jerusalem Is It?
In sum, the underlying strategic imperative for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is twofold: there must be a two-state solution; and for a two-state solution to be realized, there must be a two-capitals solution. The Palestinians, and the Arab States behind them, will never accept a solution in which East Jerusalem does not become the capital of a Palestinian state. If this is ruled out, then a two-state solution is not achievable. The alternative, a one-state solution, is utterly unacceptable to the Palestinians, as it negates their dream of an independent Palestinian state. The one-state solution is also not in Israel’s interest, as it translates out to an eventual Arab majority in the Israeli state. Then the choice becomes equal rights or apartheid, neither of which is desirable: the former is not in Israeli interests; the latter is not in accord with Jewish values.
Except Jerusalem, the other issues would seem to be within reach of a solution. The right of return of Palestinians to their former homes in Israel is a non-starter: do we expect the Germans to reoccupy East Prussia or the Mexicans California? Similarly, the repatriation of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, outside those in the large settlement blocks close to the Green Line, which would go to Israel under the land-swap arrangements, should be able to be accomplished with compensations.
9 November
In Brusque Exchange, U.S. Faults Israel on Housing
The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected criticism of Israel’s plans from President Obama and others.
President Obama’s criticism of new Israeli housing plans for East Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s even sharper retort, have thrown the Middle East peace talks into jeopardy, with the dispute over Jewish settlements looming as a seemingly insuperable hurdle.

30 October
Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is Almost Absolute
(Haaretz via Information Clearing House) — Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee this week finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the High Court of Justice. If indeed this legislation is approved by the Knesset plenum, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.
Ten years ago, the High Court of Justice ordered the town of Katzir to accept the family of Adel and Iman Kaadan, Arab citizens of Israel, as members of the community. Seven years later, the court issued a similar ruling against the Galilee village of Rakefet, which, like Katzir, is Jewish. Now, however, the legislature has come up with a proper “Zionist” response to the justices: If it becomes law, the amendment will give acceptance committees of communal villages the authority to limit residence in their towns exclusively to Jews.
Israeli settlement question reaches UN
The resumption of Israeli settlement construction has prompted fierce criticism at the United Nations and warnings from Palestinians and their allies they may seek Security Council action if Israel does not reinstate a moratorium so that peace talks can continue. The Christian Science Monitor (10/18)
15 Octoberr
East Jerusalem housing approval irks Palestinians
Israel has ended its unofficial building freeze in east Jerusalem, giving the green light for hundreds of new homes in Jewish neighborhoods of the traditionally Arab sector of the city — and dealing another potential blow to U.S.-led efforts to salvage peace negotiations.
4 October
Israeli settlements undermine peace process: Saudi
The Saudi government said on Monday that Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied Palestinian territories undermined the US-brokered Middle East peace process.
“A freeze in the direct Palestine-Israel peace talks is possible because of Israel’s persistent refusal to stop settlement construction in the Palestinian territories,” the SPA news agency quoted a cabinet statement as saying.
The Palestinian leadership has backed president Mahmud Abbas who has repeatedly said he will quit direct peace talks over Israel’s refusal to extend a moratorium on new West Bank settler homes which expired on September 26.
23 September
Roger Cohen: A Test of Israel’s Character
Do Israelis, in their majority, want to continue to lord over another people? Or are they ready, with the right security guarantees, to make the painful choices that would, in restoring dignity to a neighboring people, also confer riveting new dignity on Israel?
I believe they are ready to take that risk — peace is also risk — but Netanyahu has to lead them there. He has not yet made the decision to do so. He’s a politician with his finger to the wind. What he senses from within his own Likud party and others further right is that he cannot extend the freeze and hold things together.
1 September
The trickiest issue in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
(CSM) As Israeli-Palestinian peace talks get under way in Washington, the largely Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem shows the intensifying battle for control of the city.
20 August
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set for September
(FT) Israel and the Palestinians are to resume peace talks in Washington next month after a near two-year hiatus, with US officials saying they hope to resolve all the main issues in a year.
President Barack Obama will host Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian president, at the White House on September 1, with formal negotiations beginning the next day. Mr Obama has invited Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president, and King Abdullah of Jordan to come to the meeting to bolster the peace drive.
7 July
Exposed: The truth about Israel’s land grab in the West Bank
(The Independent) As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet, a report reveals 42 per cent of territory is controlled by settlers
The jurisdiction of some 200 settlements, illegal under international law, cover much more of the occupied Palestinian territory than previously thought. And a large section of the land has been seized from private Palestinian landowners in defiance even of an Israeli supreme court ruling, the report said, a finding which sits uncomfortably with Israeli claims that it builds only on state land.
5 July
Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank
(NYT) A New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.
7 June
Much to ponder for Turkey and Israel once the dust settles
(Hurriyet) Once the dust settles down, as it has started to, sensible and level-headed minds in Turkey and Israel will have to sit down and consider how matters could have been brought to such a head between these two countries that have always been seen as “strategic allies” in the turbulent Middle East, and have on the whole enjoyed good economic and social ties that were beneficial to both sides.
5 June
Israel Faces Deepening Tensions With Turkey Over Raid, and Bond With U.S. Frays
— Tensions deepened between Turkey and Israel on Friday, and a new fissure threatened to open between the United States and Israel, as the three countries continued to deal with the fallout from Israel’s deadly raid on a humanitarian aid flotilla off Gaza.
Israeli raid on flotilla sinks U.S. hope for sanctions against Iran
Deadly action against Turkish ferry is the latest in a string of diplomatic catastrophes under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
One is that the United States’ efforts to secure a new round of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to comply with United Nations instructions to halt uranium enrichment, which seemed all sewn up in the middle of May, have now unravelled.
The other is a confident stride forward by Turkey in its evident turning away from Europe and aspiration to become a major political and diplomatic influence in the Middle East.
3 June
How Israel plays into Hamas’s hands
(The Economist) A policy aimed at keeping Gaza isolated has allowed Hamas to tighten its grip on virtually everything in the strip
(Truthdig) Whether Israel’s commandos committed any criminal acts will be determined by investigation, but in the meantime it is safe to say that what happened was not only wrong but exceptionally stupid. Yet while shortsighted brutality has long been a hallmark of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, that tendency is now clearly undermining the strategic interests of both Israel and its traditional friends, including the United States. Consider the events over the past two years that have led up to this moment. More
1 June
Anger in Turkey Grows Over Israeli Raid
For decades, predominantly secular Turkey and the Jewish state have had strong trade and military ties, an exception in a fractious Mideast region. The relationship dates to the post–World War II era, when Turkey welcomed Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and was one of the first countries to recognize Israel. But there has been a cooling off since Erdogan’s moderately Islamist AK administration took power in 2002.
31 May
Israel is lost at sea
(FT editorial) Israel claims the activists had links with extremist groups and that some attacked Israeli soldiers with knives and sticks (and in some accounts the odd light firearm). Even if true, this would not justify the illegal capture of civilian ships carrying humanitarian aid in international waters, let alone the use of deadly force.
27 May
Israel’s new ‘best friend’?
(AlJazeera) As Israel has found itself increasingly isolated on the world stage, successive Canadian governments have moved against the trend and deepened ties with Israel – something that Netanyahu is keen to protect.
Bogus ‘pro peace’ organizations undermine Israel
(Jerusalem Post) Of late, the western media has provided inordinate prominence to Jewish fringe organizations like J Street and its European clone, JCall, which define themselves as “liberal” and “pro-peace”, but concentrate on castigating the Israeli government and undermining mainstream Diaspora pro-Israel Jewish organizations.
These bodies are primarily controlled by anti-Israeli activists, but also include many well-meaning but confused liberal fellow travelers. They also attract uninformed Jews and members of the anti-Zionist chic influenced by constant negative media depictions of Israel. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however erroneous
24 May
Israel’s Most Illicit Affair
A new book reveals that Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa went far deeper than previously understood.
17 May
Israel Roiled After Chomsky Barred From West Bank
Noam Chomsky, the linguist and icon of the American left, had been barred from entering the occupied West Bank on Sunday.
Front-page coverage and heated morning radio discussions asked how Professor Chomsky, an 81-year-old professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, could pose a risk to Israel and how a country that frequently asserts its status as a robust democracy could keep out people whose views it found offensive.
Iran’s posturing triggers interest in Israel’s nuclear arsenal
With the U.S. leading the charge to denounce the threat of an illicit Iranian nuclear development program, Arab and Islamic states have answered by saying that a greater threat is posed by Israel — which has never declared its nuclear weapons, accepted inspectors into its facilities or signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran’s nuclear posture has reignited interest in a long-ignored 1995 proposal — one that Washington supported at the time — to transform the Middle East into a nuclear-free zone. BBC (5/12)
U.S.-Brokered Mideast Shuttle Talks Begin Again
[The talks] are aimed at forging a joint vision of the outlines of a solution based on the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
10 May
Israel Will Join Economic Group of Developed Nations
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a 31-country group often seen as an exclusive club of rich countries, voted unanimously on Monday to admit Israel.
Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, and its war in Gaza in late 2008, had drawn strong criticisms from a number of European members, raising the possibility of delays or blocks to its admission to the group, an association of market-oriented democracies that promotes international trade. The decision to accept Israel came despite a letter by the Palestinian Authority asking the O.E.C.D. not to admit Israel.
7 May
Richard Goldstone, Hanging Judge
(The Atlantic) Yediot has just published a report detailing Richard Goldstone’s career as an apartheid-era judge in South Africa. Goldstone is the author, of course, of a UN report excoriating Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.
The most serious charge leveled against Goldstone — one of the most serious, anyway — is that he is a man without a moral compass, who did what he did at the UN because he wants to be remembered as an avatar of human rights, and he knew that one way to become a favorite of the human rights community would be to lead the charge against that community’s most favored target.
22 April
Netanyahu insists on East Jerusalem building, hope fades for two-state solution
(CSM) Israeli Prime Minister insisted Thursday on continued settlement building in East Jerusalem. Israeli expansion in the contested city is one reason Palestinians are losing hope in the two-state solution.
8 April
Netanyahu Cancels Trip to U.S. Nuclear Summit
Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feared that Muslim states were planning on using the occasion to discuss Israel’s nuclear arsenal.
25 March
Payback time! Obama snubbed Netanyahu for dinner with Michelle and the girls, Israelis claim
(Telegraph U.K.) Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family, it emerged on Thursday. Barack Obama’s humiliation of Israel is a disgraceAnd what of Israel’s treatment of Joe Biden?
23 March
Netanyahu Takes Hard Line on Jerusalem Housing
“The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years, and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today,” Mr. Netanyahu said to the group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Jerusalem is not a settlement; It’s our capital.” Good rebuttal: Historical Fact the First Casualty in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Outlook on Expansion
15 March
J Street Backs Obama in Row With Israel
(WSJ) At least one Jewish-American organization is lining up behind the Obama administration it its intensifying feud with the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
J Street, the newest Israel-focused lobby in Washington, broke Monday with more established Jewish-American bodies and publicly backed the White House’s sharp criticism of Netanyahu and Israel’s plans to continue building in contested east Jerusalem.
14 March
Tom Friedman: Driving Drunk In Jerusalem
… the vice president … should have snapped his notebook shut, gotten right back on Air Force Two, flown home and left the following scribbled note behind: ”Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And right now, you’re driving drunk. You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences? You have lost total contact with reality. Call us when you’re serious. We need to focus on building our country.”
11 March
Joe Biden gives Israel bear hug – and tough love
(CSM) Israel is America’s closest friend, US Vice President Joe Biden said in an emotional speech at Tel Aviv University today. But he also said sometimes it takes a friend to deliver the hardest truth – that the status quo is untenable.
10 March
When Israelis degrade Israel by humiliating Joe Biden
(Haaretz) What conceivable advantage is there in the Interior Ministry choosing the occasion of a high-profile visit by Joseph R. Biden, Jr., a mission aimed at soothing strained relations between Israel and the Obama administration, to announce the approval of 1,600 new homes for Israelis in East Jerusalem?
9 March
Israel’s OECD Bid Poses Problems for Members
An exclusive club of the world’s most developed countries is poised to admit Israel as a member even though, a confidential internal document indicates, doing so will amount to endorsing Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.
22 January
For Israelis, Mixed Feelings on Aid Effort
(NYT story reprinted in the Gazette) Early in the week, Akiva Eldar, a leftist commentator and reporter with the newspaper Haaretz, made a similar point: “The remarkable identification with the victims of the terrible tragedy in distant Haiti only underscores the indifference to the ongoing suffering of the people of Gaza.”
Israel’s double standards over Haiti
(The Guardian) The Israeli relief effort in Haiti is laudable, but it underlines the state’s indifference to those suffering on its own doorstep
(Al Jazeera) George Mitchell, the US envoy to the Middle East, has failed to break a deadlock in peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians during his latest visit to the region.
Mitchell met Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, on Friday in the West Bank town of Ramallah, for talks on reviving the stalled negotiations, a day after meeting Israeli officials.
[Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator] said the Palestinians want the resumption of negotiations, but that the onus is on Israel to agree to freeze the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank first. More
11 January 2010
David Brooks: The Tel Aviv Cluster
Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

28 October 2009
J Street fills gap in Washington map
As new pro-Israel lobby group J Street holds its first national conference in Washington, BBC Diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus looks at the opportunities and challenges facing an organisation set up to represent the liberal voice of US Jews.
15 September
UN mission finds evidence of war crimes by both sides in Gaza conflict
(UN News Center) The United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict at the start of this year has found evidence that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law, which may amount to crimes against humanity.
21 February
Return to Bil’in: Four years on, nothing has changed in this West Bank village fighting the encroachment of Israeli settlers
I returned to Bil’in’s olive groves to mark the fourth year of their fight for justice. Despite court rulings in the townsfolks’ favour that demanded the route of the wall be shifted away from their farmland, nothing has changed. The wall still stands, the olive trees are still uprooted, and the border police still meet every protest with volley after volley of teargas, rubber and live bullets.
13 February
Final Israeli Election Results Bring Political Uncertainty
In the final results, centrist Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party won 28 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset or parliament. Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalistic Likud Party came in a close second with 27 seats.
Nevertheless, Ms. Livni could become the first winner of an Israeli election who could not form a government. The right wing led by Mr. Netanyahu controls the Knesset, so he is emerging as the likely candidate to form the next government and become prime minister.
11 February
(BBC) Live: Israeli general election 2009
5 February 2009
Hardline populist Lieberman could be surprise kingmaker in Israeli election
(Guardian) Avigdor Lieberman, former nightclub bouncer, rises to third in poll

One Comment on "Israel 2010"

  1. Mr. S Yakar September 5, 2009 at 4:22 pm · Reply

    Why go back only sixty years?

    Has everything that happened before been forgotten?

    Or is it immaterial because the presnt media commentators were not around?

    If there are refugees, who created them? And who are the beneficiaries
    in preserving that status?

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