Settlements

Analysis: A settlement boycott Palestinians don't back

By Nathan Jeffay, November 4, 2010

In May, the Palestinian Authority announced that it will become a crime for Palestinians to work in settlements. But all indications are that come the first day of the ban, January 1, Palestinian workers will be going to settlement jobs as normal and nobody will bat an eyelid.

More..

Mosque attack part of tit-for-tat policy

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Who were the arsonists at Beit Fajar, and why would anybody want to torch a Palestinian mosque?

The obvious answer is that it was an act of hatred, akin to when antisemites desecrate Jewish cemeteries in Europe: it is simply a bubbling over of the contempt that some settlers have for Palestinians.

In all probability, however, the attack was not an expression of anti-Arab anger but rather a show staged by extremist settlers to communicate a specific message to the Israeli authorities. The Beit Fajar mosque was essentially caught in the crossfire.

More..

Rabbis replace Korans damaged in West Bank

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Just over a week ago, residents of the Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Fajar witnessed a strange spectacle. Six settler rabbis arrived, greeted city elders, and made their way to the mosque.

Settlers rarely enter Palestinian areas, both because of concern for their safety and because they are not welcome. But the rabbis and the
village elders felt that special times call for special measures.

More..

Netanyahu to Abbas: recognise Israel for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

Benajmin Netanyahu has offered to halt construction in the West Bank if the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

The Israeli prime minister said that the Middle East conflict “will never end” unless the Palestinians agree to this.

A ten-month-long freeze on settlement construction expired last month. Talks between Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas have stalled in the wake of this.

More..

Analysis: Bibi fights his coalition on settlements

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 7, 2010

"Bibi really has a big dilemma right now,"a prime ministerial aide said this week. "This is probably the most difficult decision of his premiership."

Delaying tactics have become Binyamin Netanyahu's signature move but, this time, his stalling over whether or not to renew the building freeze in the West Bank settlements seems to be a sign of genuine soul-searching.

More..

Hague at conference, calls for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

William Hague has called for a two state solution “which brings security to both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Foreign Secretary told the Conservative Party Conference that the coalition government’s “strong support” of the Middle East peace process comes from the need for Britain to pursue foreign policy that reduces the human and financial costs of conflict.

More..

Settlement freeze ends, talks teeter on knife edge

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 28, 2010

Israel's version of procrastination is epitomised in the phrase acharei ha-chagim. In other words, "after the High Holy Days", which is when Israelis promise to get things done, start a new diet and generally set their lives in order. This week, acharei ha-chagim also symbolises the next stage of the diplomatic process.

More..

Appeal for talks to continue as settlement freeze ends

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has called for "expedited, honest talks" with the Palestinians to continue as the ten-month-long settlement construction freeze came to an end.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister said: "Israel is ready to pursue continuous contacts in the coming days to find a way to continue peace talks."

US officials also urged the negotiations to continue despite the expiry of the moratorium.

More..

Frank Gehry backs settlement boycott

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

Two prominent Jewish artistic figures have announced their support for a boycott of Israeli settlements.

Conductor Daniel Barenboim and architect Frank Gehry have added their names to a list of public figures expressing solidarity with Israeli artists who refuse to perform in the West Bank.

It follows the decision by Mr Gehry earlier in 2010 to abandon his role in the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Museum of Tolerance project in Jerusalem because of controversy over its location.

More..

Palestinian sues to obtain Israeli wages

By Nathan Jeffay, September 21, 2010

Normally, when Israelis and Palestinians row over the Green Line, the grievance is predictable - both claim authority over the same piece of land. But in an unusual court case, a Palestinian is advancing claims of Israeli jurisdiction.

Last week Nazer Fukra asked the Tel Aviv labour court to declare that the Nitzanei Shalom industrial zone, which lies on a spot of uncertain sovereignty right on the Green Line, should be considered Israeli.

More..