Palestine

Irish upgrade Palestinian diplomatic status

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

The Irish government has upgraded the status of Dublin’s Palestinian diplomatic mission to that of an embassy, prompting concern that its European neighbours will follow suit.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the move and expressed regret over it, but said it had not come as a surprise.

Although the decision does not automatically mean Ireland officially recognises an independent Palestinian state, it does represent a break with the rest of the European Union.

More..

On this day: the Palestinian elections

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

The first Palestinian Legislative Council elections in a decade, the Palestinian elections of 2006 marked a turning point in Middle East politics as Hamas came out triumphant at the polls.

Ruling party Fatah took just 43 of the 132 Palestinian Authority parliamentary seats, while a group viewed around the world as a terrorist organisation took 76.

More..

Al-Jazeera Palestine papers dismissed as 'fabrication'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011

The Palestinian Authority has roundly dismissed claims that two years ago it offered Israel significant concessions on control of Jerusalem and other key issues in the Middle East peace process.

According to documents published by Al-Jazeera, which are claimed to be leaked reports on the 2008 peace negotiations, the Palestinians said Israel could keep almost all of east Jerusalem in return for an area beside the West Bank.

The holy sites in Jerusalem would initially have been placed under international control.

More..

JLC forced to scrap first West Bank visit

By Marcus Dysch, January 20, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has postponed a trip to meet Palestinian leaders in the West Bank following an angry reaction from community representatives.

Chairman Vivian Wineman had been due to travel to Ramallah next month with other council members including Sir Trevor Chinn and Rosalind Preston. They would have met Palestinian Authority officials and members of non-governmental organisations such as Oxfam and War on Want.

The JLC had also proposed that a representative of the Office of the Chief Rabbi join the touring group.

More..

The Middle East - a musical musing

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011
See Video

Singer Ben Sheehan gives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a lyrical twist

More..

Britain 'concerned' over Bilin activist case

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

Britain has criticised Israel for extending the sentence of a Palestinian man in prison for his role in weekly and often violent anti-Israel protests.

Abdallah Abu Rahma, a leading figure in the regular demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bilin, was handed the 12 month sentence in October 2010 for incitement and for organising and participating in the unauthorised protests.

He had been arrested eight months earlier, so has now served the conditions of his initial sentence.

More..

Complaints over Palestine advert 'distortion'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Jewish organisations have condemned as misleading an advert that appeared in National Geographic Traveler magazine for implying that Palestine extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

The Zionist Federation, which has complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), said the advert also gave “false impressions” by describing Palestine as a country and suggesting that the city of Hebron was under Palestinian control.

More..

Dubious claims of a peacenik

By Melanie Phillips, January 10, 2011

One of the great divisions among Jews is between those who believe the Palestinians are genuinely prepared to live in a Palestine state side-by-side with Israel, and those who believe that they are not. The former are scorned by the latter as dreamers or idiots, the latter denounced by the former as right-wing extremists and bigots.

More..

New year, old tricks: Palestinians go to UN

By Robin Shepherd, January 6, 2011

The signs were there for all to see. 2011 was always going to be the year that the Palestinians turned to the United Nations to help obscure the reality of their own rejectionism as the root cause of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and to use inbuilt majorities in that less than august institution to make life as difficult as possible for the state of Israel.

More..

Debate over death of Palestinian woman in Bil'in

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 6, 2011

A Furious debate has broken out in Israel and across the blogosphere over what caused the death of a 36-year-old Palestinian woman over the weekend.

The villagers of Bil'in in the West Bank claim Jawaher Abu Rahme was suffocated by tear-gas shot, by Israelis soldiers. The IDF maintain she died of an illness that she was already suffering from.

More..