Jerusalem

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..

Israelis protest against settlement freeze

By Jessica Elgot, December 10, 2009

Protests over Binyamin Netanyahu’s plans for a 10 month freeze on settlements continued through the night in Jerusalem, where around 10,000 settlers, Charedim and sympathisers gathered.

It was US President Barack Obama who was the main target of anger from settlers, who gathered near the official residence of the prime minister, in the city’s Paris Square.

Banners criticised the US influence on Israeli policy. One read “We were hoping for change, got the same old imperialist.”

Another read: “Bibi, you serve us, not the US.”

More..

EU: Jerusalem must be capital of Israel and Palestine

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2009

The Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has defended the EU’s statement on Jerusalem, which called for it to become the capital of two states.

Mr Bildt’s original proposal, which has firm support from Britain, recommended re-dividing the city, so that east Jerusalem could be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

A watered-down version of the Swedish proposal was approved by the EU, removing the recognition of east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and referring to the Palestinian Authority, instead of “Palestine”.

More..

Britain 'will back EU draft to divide Jerusalem'

By Jessica Elgot, December 7, 2009

Foreign ministers of the European Union will meet in Brussels today to discuss a Swedish proposal to name east Jerusalem as a future Palestinian capital.

Britain is expected to back the proposal, along with Ireland, Belgium, and Malta, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Italy, France, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovenia have all come out against the strong wording used in the draft.

The proposal for the Council for Foreign Affairs recommends dividing Jerusalem, so that east Jerusalem can be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

More..

Arab scholar 'blasted' over Temple Mount

By Ben Lynfield, December 3, 2009

Prominent Palestinian academic Sari Nusseibeh has reportedly been blasted for writing about the Jewish connection to Temple Mount.

Mr Nusseibeh was one of a number of Palestinian and Israeli scholars to contribute to an unprecedented joint new study about the site, Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade, initiated by the Hebrew University and the Yad Ben-Tzvi Institute.

In his chapter, Mr Nusseibeh, president of al-Quds University in east Jerusalem, does not affirm that there were Jewish temples on Temple Mount.

More..

Prayer call by women of the wall

By Leon Symons, December 3, 2009

Israel’s Women of the Wall organisation has said it will launch a major demonstration to try to break a 20-year-old law banning women from praying directly in front of the Western Wall.

The organisation’s chair, Anat Hoffman, told an audience of New Israel Fund supporters in London this week: “We will be there again at the Wall on December 18, believing that the Wall is the holiest place for Jews, believing it should be open to all.”

Last week a woman was arrested and then released after a group of 40 women, wearing tallitot and kippot read from the Torah.

More..