Peace process

'Israel risks losing the whole world'

By Marcus Dysch, December 29, 2010

A senior Israeli minister has warned that the "whole world", led by the United States, may back a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood if Israel does not commit to peace talks.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Trade and Industry Minister and a veteran Labour Party politician, said talks with the Palestinians must resume, even if Israel were forced to renew a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank.

His warning, delivered to cabinet colleagues on Sunday, is the first admission by a senior Israeli official of a potential rift with its key ally.

More..

Peace talksgo back to the drawing board

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 16, 2010

Following its failure to secure a second settlement freeze, the Obama administration is now pushing for indirect talks over the "core" issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

The senior US negotiator George Mitchell resumed the "shuttle diplomacy" between Jerusalem and Ramallah this week, after four fruitless months spent trying to enable direct talks.

Mr Mitchell and the Prime Minister met for over three hours on Monday in a meeting that, according to Israeli sources, was mainly dedicated to "working out a new procedure for the negotiations with the Palestinians".

More..

The United Nations route to solving this impasse is fools' gold

By Robin Shepherd, December 16, 2010

It has been a mixed couple of weeks for the Palestinian Authority. With the breakdown of peace talks they have managed to land the blame where most of the world was only too ready to place it anyway: it's Israel's fault because of the settlements, and not theirs for their refusal to negotiate without pre-conditions.

More..

EU, UN criticise Israel for settlements

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

Israel’s refusal to change its position on settlement building has prompted criticism from members of the European Union and the United Nations.

The rebukes came as Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho flew to Washington to discuss the progress of the peace process at meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East George Mitchell.

On the same day Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Thursday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the EU considered settlements an obstacle to peace.

More..

EU, UN criticise Israel for settlements

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

Israel’s refusal to change its position on settlement building has prompted criticism from members of the European Union and the United Nations.

The rebukes came as Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho flew to Washington to discuss the progress of the peace process at meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East George Mitchell.

On the same day Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Thursday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the EU considered settlements an obstacle to peace.

More..

Peace talks are failing and it's Obama's fault

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 9, 2010

Two weeks ago we were prophesying that a deal on a second freeze of settlement building and a return to direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was a matter of days away. But on Tuesday, the White House unofficially admitted that there was no hope for a settlement moratorium and that it would return to pursuing peace through indirect talks between the sides.

More..

Analysis: Palestinians are rejecting peace

By Robin Shepherd, November 25, 2010

Last week's comprehensive survey of Palestinian public opinion conducted on behalf of the left-leaning Israel Project makes for sober reading for anyone holding out hope that the Palestinians are genuinely interested in a lasting peace.

Most worrying of all were multiple findings showing that solid majorities among them have no intention whatsoever of living side by side with Israel in a long-term peace based on a two-state solution.

More..

Shock over senior UK Jewish leader's Bibi criticism

By Simon Rocker, November 18, 2010

One of British Jewry's most senior leaders this week shattered a longstanding taboo by publicly criticising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the peace process, voicing moral reservations about some of Israel's policies, and calling for criticism of Israel to be voiced freely throughout thecommunity.

More..

Analysis: Bibi sets course for historic deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 18, 2010

Kicking, struggling and protesting, Benjamin Netanyahu has been dragged across the Rubicon. He may still try to swim back.

More..

Netanyahu is just playing hardball

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 11, 2010

This week's quarrel between the Israeli and US governments is almost an exact replay of previous disputes between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama's administration, signalling a return to the rocky relationship of last year. But it could also be an artificial spat to be followed shortly by agreement and progress.

More..