Jerusalem

Officials blamed for leaking Jerusalem building plans

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 25, 2010

Senior Israeli officials are accusing both the left and right wing of sabotaging the Netanyahu government's relations with the US by leaking details of building plans in east Jerusalem.

As Mr Netanyahu was going to his meeting with President Obama on Tuesday, Israeli websites broke the story that the Jerusalem municipal planning council had given the final authorisation for a new building project on the site of the Shepherd's Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem.

More..

MPs attack Israel over Jerusalem

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

MPs attacked Israeli settlement policy during an emergency meeting held by Palestinian groups in Parliament.

Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, a veteran foe of Israel, told the meeting, held by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa: "The Jews running Israel are the most stupid Jews because they do not see the population equation will mean that unless there is a settlement granting Palestinians their own state, Palestinians will wait it out.

"When they outnumber the Israelis there will... be a one-state solution and that will not be Israel."

More..

Analysis: Still deep divisions between US-Israel

By Nathan Guttman, March 25, 2010

The annual policy conference held this week by Aipac, the Israel lobby, certainly helped tone down the rhetoric between Israel and the US.

However, it also highlighted the deep divisions that still remain between the two countries, which no amount of sweet talk will be able to paper over.

The conference brought together 7,500 delegates from across America. As always, it was the top event in town, with the A-list of Washington politicians gathering to express their support for Israel.

More..

Security forces: How police limited the Jerusalem riots

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 18, 2010

Security officials believe that they have contained the violence in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The last four weeks saw an unprecedented outbreak of rioting, following a decision by the Israeli government to include the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem on a list of national heritage sites.

More..

Palestinian view: No compromise on our holy Old City

By Daoud Kuttab, March 18, 2010

This is not how the peace process was supposed to work. Architects of negotiations have forever talked about leaving difficult issues until last, and in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, nothing fits the bill of "difficult" as much as Jerusalem.

Israeli behaviour towards the US has its own truism. You don't pick a fight in the beginning of negotiations and you certainly try not to embarrass those who are known to be among your best supporters in Washington.

But these are not normal times.

More..

Analysis: Netnayahu faces US crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 18, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu is not a natural gambler. He hates making decisions and will use every opportunity to defer and procrastinate. But this week he was handed a clear ultimatum by the White House: make the choice - us or your coalition.

His response: to continue playing for time.

More..

Peace talks cancelled over East Jerusalem homes

By Jessica Elgot, March 11, 2010

The Palestinians have called off peace talks with the Israeli government after a decision to approve 1,600 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem, despite an apology from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s approval of the houses, which came 24 hours after indirect talks between Israeli and the Palestinians were announced, brokered by US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

The homes are to be built for a strictly-Orthodox community in Ramat Shlomo near the Palestinian village of Shuafat.

More..

Building plans in east Jerusalem on hold

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 4, 2010

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been forced to intervene in Jerusalem's building plans to prevent another diplomatic row with America.

On Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu asked Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to put on hold his plan to demolish 22 houses in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem and build a tourism complex in their place.

Mr Barkat had announced his plan earlier that day at a press conference in City Hall. According to the plan, 22 buildings in Silwan which were built without planning permission will be demolished to make way for a series of parks, hotels and restaurants.

More..

Right-wing violence threat on the rise

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 7, 2010

Senior Israeli security officials are warning of a drastic increase in the number of right-wing extremists prepared to use violent means to stop any attempt to dismantle settlements.

More..

Call for Hebrew signs in Arab areas

By Ben Lynfield, December 17, 2009

The Jerusalem municipality will require shopkeepers in east Jerusalem to put up Hebrew signs on their stores in a bid to affirm that the area is part of Israel’s capital, according to Deputy Mayor David Hadari.

Arab storekeepers oppose the plan, which has also come under attack from liberal city councillors.

“This is part of having sovereignty in Jerusalem and of our identity as the state of the Jews,” Mr Hadari said. “There must be Hebrew letters.”

More..