Peace process

Hague urges Syrian support for Middle East deal

By Jennifer Lipman, January 28, 2011

William Hague has called on Syria to “support efforts towards a comprehensive peace with Israel”.

Mr Hague, who is in Syria for his first official visit as Foreign Secretary, also said that the British government’s position is to oppose settlement building and support Syria’s claim on the Golan Heights, which have been under Israeli control for 44 years.

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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.

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New Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander's Middle East history

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2011

The chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has said he is looking forward to working with the new Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, who was appointed following the resignation of Alan Johnson from the front bench.

Labour leader Ed Miliband appointed Douglas Alexander to replace Yvette Cooper yesterday, moving him from his role as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

Mr Alexander, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, was first elected in 1997 in Tony Blair’s landslide victory.

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Deputies two-state solution Middle East row

By Simon Rocker, January 20, 2011

Board of Deputies leaders were left trying to salvage its Israel policy this week after members threw out a resolution that declared support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Despite the convincing rejection of the motion, Board president Vivian Wineman insisted that most deputies still remained in favour of the concept of a two-state peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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The Middle East - a musical musing

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011
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Singer Ben Sheehan gives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a lyrical twist

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Abbas's ineffectual UDI threat

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 14, 2011

The current negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinian Authority are, if not actually dead, then certainly in a critical state exhibiting every sign of comprehensive systemic failure.

I say this in spite of the commendable optimism voiced earlier this month by Quartet representative Tony Blair, who told Sky News that direct talks between the two sides could start "within weeks."

Well of course they could. But how meaningful would they be?

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Last chance for peace in Middle East

January 14, 2011

Time is running out for Israel to make a deal with the Palestinians, according to three of the most influential figures in recent peace negotiations.

Former Jordanian ambassador to Israel Omar Rifa'i, Dr. Ron Pundak, an initiator of the Oslo peace talks, and former Palestinian Authority minister Dr Sufian Abu Zaydeh were in London to launch a Bicom research paper on Britain's role in the peace process.

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On this day: An anti-disengagement protest

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

It would be the first major rally in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister’s proposal to unilaterally withdraw from parts of the West Bank and Gaza – but by no means the last.

At the rally, held in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, one settler proclaimed: "It will bring hundreds of casualties to the Israeli side because everyone will understand that terrorism will win in this war.”

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Baroness Ashton: Quartet should meet 'as soon as possible'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 7, 2011

The European Union’s High Representative has urged the Mideast peace Quartet to meet within the next few weeks in order to encourage progress on stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Baroness Ashton said: "I propose the Quartet meet as soon as possible to help find a solution to the current impasse.”

She suggested that a meeting should take place around the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of next month.

The foreign policy chief made the comments following a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

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US realised settlement freeze was wrong tactic

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 6, 2011

The Israeli government was prepared to extend the settlement freeze by three months but the American administration decided at the last moment to change course, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week.

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