Peace process

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Corruption more important than peace for Israelis?

By Nathan Jeffay, November 11, 2010

Fighting government corruption is a higher national priority for Jewish Israelis than peace with the Palestinians, according to a new Tel Aviv University poll.

One in four Jewish Israelis, asked to identify the most urgent issue the government needs to deal with, chose war on corruption and clean governance. Israeli-Palestinian peace, selected by one in five Jewish respondents, came in joint second place alongside closing socioeconomic gaps.


Hague condemns West bank construction plans

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Foreign Secretary has described plans to build nearly 1,300 homes in East Jerusalem as an “obstacle to peace”.

The proposed construction, in the Har Homa and Ramot settlements, has been approved by Israel’s interior ministry. But a ministry official said building would be unlikely to begin for several years.

However William Hague, who has just returned from an official visit to Israel, said: “The latest announcement…is extremely disappointing and unhelpful.

“Their construction should stop.”


Harry Potter star and the 'Israeli Holocaust'

By Leon Symons, November 4, 2010

Actress Miriam Margolyes was accused this week of "ignorance and moral imbalance" for remarks she made on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Ms Margolyes, who appears in the Harry Potter films, was asked to speak about her recent visit to West Bank refugee camps with the Action Aid charity. The programme ran a short film clip, supplied by Action Aid, showing her visiting the ramshackle home of a Palestinian family.


'Bibi will agree to new freeze'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Israel is expecting a renewed push to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians now that the American midterm elections are over. According to sources close to Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will agree to a new form of building freeze in the settlements.

Peace talks with the Palestinians ground to a halt a month and a half ago when the ten-month moratorium on building in the West Bank ended.