Abbas goes for jackpot in UN speech

September 23, 2011

In his much-anticipated speech to the United Nations General Assembly today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would be willing to return to the negotiating table with Israel with on condition that the international community recognise a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and that Israel cease all settlement building.


'I will defend Israel's right to exist as long as I have breath in my body'

By Jessica Elgot, September 22, 2011

Education Secretary Michael Gove promised to defend Israel's right to exist "as long as I have breath in my body" in a strikingly pro-Zionist speech this week.

Speaking to the UJIA's annual fundraising dinner in central London, he said the state was "under assault" and challenged the hypocrisy of some of Israel's critics. "I'm forced to ask certain questions.


It is in nobody's interest to engage in lawfare

By Robbie Sabel, September 22, 2011

International law defines an entity as a state if it has a permanent population, boundaries, an effective government and the ability to sign treaties and exchange diplomatic missions. Even if these conditions are present, other states have discretion as to whether to recognise such a new international entity.


New York is paralysed

By Alan Elsner, September 22, 2011

The first week of the General Assembly is always crazy in New York. World leaders stream into the city from every continent, hotels double their prices and motorcades speed around the city, paralysing the traffic.


PA security keep the peace in the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

"So far, the Palestinians are sticking by our arrangements," said the senior IDF officer as he looked from afar at the small group of Palestinian youths throwing stones and bottles at the Kalandia Crossing, north of Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

The stone-throwing at what has become over years the "traditional" flashpoint between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators, surprised no-one.


Only direct talks can bring peace

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, September 22, 2011

As the guns fell silent in June 1967, diplomacy sought a solution to the simmering Arab-Israeli dispute.


A perilous yet defining moment

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

Despite the frenzy of diplomacy surrounding the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations headquarters this week, it was still unclear on Wednesday what would happen.

An Israeli offer to renew talks, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to postpone his demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state, was turned down by the Palestinians since it did not inc


Glyndebourne apology

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The executive chairman of the Glyndebourne festival has apologised for the production of a children's opera based on the writings of a pro-Palestinian activist.

Gus Christie said he could "understand and sympathise" with concerns raised over When I Am Old, written using the recollections of Rachel Corrie who was killed in Gaza in 2003.

Performed three times last month by members of the Glynd


Sometimes reality is our best ally

By Jenni Frazer, September 22, 2011

Israel's new ambassador to the UK, London-born Daniel Taub, pledged this week to do whatever he could to engage people across the political spectrum with the Jewish state - even those who were ostensibly anti-Israel. "Even a short visit to Israel can have a dramatic effect," the ambassador said.


PSC says no place for denial

By Jessica Elgot, September 22, 2011

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has amended its statement of purpose expressly to include a denunciation of Holocaust denial.

The statement on the PSC's website now reads: "Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement." Its national organiser, Martial Kurtz, said the move echoed the PSC's assertion "that ours is an anti-r