Analysis

Analysis: PA will not declare independence alone

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2009

Israeli politicians were up in arms this week over the stated intention of the Palestinian Authority unilaterally to declare an independent state in the near future.

Unilateral steps on the Palestinian side will be met by similar moves from Israel, they ominously warned, hinting at possible annexations of parts of the West Bank, as they did in east Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. Such a declaration, they promised, would mean an end to any diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

More..

Analysis: By kicking Bibi, Obama hopes to save Abbas

By Shmuel Rosner, November 12, 2009

The Obama administration felt it had no choice but to humiliate Mr Netanyahu. It was a small price to pay if the gesture re-awakened the peace process. A small price to pay if the gesture convinced Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas not to make his resignation final. A small price to pay with a prime minister the Obama team never really liked, and probably will never like.

They look at Mr Netanyahu and see their own failure. They look at him and see the broken promise of the rekindled peace process. They meet him and they have to be nice — because being cold gained them nothing.

More..

Analysis: Work of a lone wolf?

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

It is still unclear exactly how many murders settler Ya’akov (Jack) Teitel will eventually be charged with.

So far, the security services say he is to be accused of killing two Palestinians in 1997 and numerous counts of attempted murder, with the dead including Arabs, Christian clergymen, a left-wing professor, gay rights activists, messianic Jews and policemen.

The latest accusations centre on the mysterious double murder of two traffic policemen on a dark night in the Jordan Valley eight months ago, deaths that were originally blamed on Palestinian terror organisations.

More..

Analysis: There is no bounce, but no room for complacency

By Peter Kellner, October 29, 2009

Nick Griffin failed in his attempts on Question Time last week to persuade the British public that he was now a friend of the Jews who believed in the Holocaust and backed Israel’s actions in Gaza. By a margin of five to one, the British public regard him as “still at heart a Holocaust denier”, rather than as someone who “has genuinely changed his mind”. And just over half the electorate think Jews would “have reason to be fearful” if the BNP gained significantly in strength.

More..

Analysis: How the IDF stalled a Cast Lead inquiry

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2009

From the moment the Goldstone Report was published a month ago, accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza, the IDF kept mum.

Reporters who called the IDF Spokesman Unit for a response were given a standard answer: “This is a matter for the Foreign Ministry, don’t ask us.”

More..

Analysis: Poll will further split Palestine

By Daoud Kuttab, October 29, 2009

If President Mahmoud Abbas carries out his threat to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on January 24, as announced this week, he will deepen the split between Gaza and the West Bank.

Palestinian basic law requires that elections take place before the end of January 2010. The PLO leader, however, was willing to postpone these elections until June 2010 in return for a reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement that controls Gaza against Palestinian, Arab and international will.

More..

Analysis: Israeli MKs were wrong to attend J- Street

By Yoav Sivan, October 29, 2009

Ten current and former members of the Knesset from parties on the left and centre-left — Meretz, Labour and Kadima — have just been in Washington to attend the first conference of J Street, a new American-Jewish lobby group that fancies itself as a counterweight to Aipac.

More..

Has Barak finally managed to destroy the Labour party?

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2009

Labour Chair and Defence Minister Ehud Barak added a new title on Monday: Labour parliamentary faction leader. Mr Barak had to assume the position after his last loyal back-bencher announced he was resigning from the post.

MK Daniel Ben-Simon said he was resigning because “Labour has not fulfilled its diplomatic goals and does not belong in the coalition”.

More..

Analysis: It was an envoy-trap set by J Street

By Shmuel Rosner, October 22, 2009

The question of “engagement vs boycott” is as old as all questions related to human relations. And Israel’s Washington ambassador, Michael Oren, has been pondering it again.

Next week, the “pro-peace, pro-Israel” group J Street will hold its first national conference in Washington. Mr Oren was invited to speak, and soon realised that, more than an invitation, this was a trap.

More..

UK's tactics over the report could hurt Obama's MidEast mission

By Martin Bright, October 22, 2009

Who would have thought that white phosphorous would become the issue to unite Gordon Brown and David Miliband, after a year of tension between Downing Street and the Foreign Office?

But the two rivals have found common ground over Israel’s use of the controversial smoke-producing substance during the war in Gaza earlier this year.

More..