Peace process

Bush visit played down by Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 8, 2008

US President George Bush’s visit to Israel next week will be mainly ceremonial and there is little expectation that it will achieve a breakthrough in the peace process, according to diplomatic sources.



President Bush with Ehud Olmert during his visit earlier this year

Mr Bush will arrive in Israel on Wednesday with his wife Laura for a two-day visit — his second this year — devoted mainly to Israel’s 60th-anniversary celebrations.

More..

Israel is a given. So let's do a deal

By Poju Zabludowicz, May 8, 2008

On Israel’s 60th anniversary, the chairman of Bicom urges its neighbours to grasp the chance to make peace

As we celebrate 60 years of Israel’s independence this week, it is an opportune time for reflection. Yom Ha’Atzmaut ends a week of introspection and remembrance in Israel, with memorial days for the Holocaust and Israel’s fallen soldiers in the last few days. Our joy is as ever set in a wider context. We should not allow ourselves to celebrate until we have remembered, and understood the pain and sorrow of the past.

More..

London’s Arab media ‘give a distorted view’

By Rachel Fletcher, May 1, 2008

Arab journalists in London have been criticised by a leading Israeli Arab activist for giving a distorted view of Israel.

Wafa Fahoum, who runs Israel’s oldest co-existence project, Bet Hagefen, spoke out after meeting the Muslim and Arab media in the capital last week.

She said: “One woman said, as though there were no debate, that there is apartheid in Israel. I was surprised. I told her that there was a big difference between fighting for equality and shared citizenship and apartheid. I want my rights, but it’s not apartheid.

More..

How Israel can make peace with Syria

By Daniella Peled, May 1, 2008

Conditions are ripening for a deal — not least the emergence of a promising new mediator

Recently, a very senior Israeli minister provided a private audience with a particularly neat metaphor for possible talks between Jerusalem and Damascus. “Negotiating with Syria,” the minister said, “is not like haggling in the marketplace. It’s like going into a boutique. You know exactly what you want, and just how much you’re going to have to pay for it.”

More..

Torah says you can be for Israel... and for Palestine

By Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, May 1, 2008

A two-state solution reflects the Torah’s call for justice, says Rabbi Elizabeth Tivkah Sarah, ahead of Israel Independence Day next week

Life/death; blessing/curse; good/evil; love/hate; peace/war; left/right; black/white; right/wrong — the list of binary oppositions is endless. On the face of it, it may seem entirely reasonable to make sense of the world in binary terms: does the Torah not, indeed, urge us to “choose life” and “good” — and reject “death” and “evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15ff)?

More..

There’s no peace on the horizon. Get used to it

By Uri Dromi, April 24, 2008

Negotiations between Abbas and Olmert are futile

Three times in my life I have touched peace. Two out of the three were real; one was false.

In November 1977, I was standing on the Tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport, together with an anxious crowd of people. Suddenly a jetliner with unfamiliar colours appeared, escorted by three Israeli fighter jets. Our eyes were glued to this awesome spectacle, knowing that we were witnessing history at the making. When the door opened, there was Anwar sadat, hitherto the biggest enemy of Israel, coming to make peace with the Jewish state.

More..

Do not discount the power of faith

By Tony Blair, April 10, 2008

Religion has a special role to play in a globalised world, says the former prime minister Let me summarise my argument to you. Under the momentum of globalisation the world is opening up, and at an astonishing speed. Old boundaries of culture, identity and even nationhood are falling. The 21st century world is becoming ever more interdependent. In this world, religious faith, crucial to so many people’s culture and identity, can play a positive or a negative role.

More..