Some people in Europe and elsewhere are deeply disturbed that the U.S. Navy Seals on their secret mission in Pakistan last week killed an unarmed Osama bin Laden. But it didn’t matter to me whether he was fighting back or not at the time he was shot.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The White House reportedly is set to name Steve Simon, the co-author of a comprehensive outline for a Palestinian state, as a top Middle East official.
The Obama administration will tap Simon, a former top National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, to head the NSC's Middle East desk, according to Laura Rozen of The Envoy foreign policy blog on Yahoo.com. Simon would succeed Daniel Shapiro, who by default has become the top administration point man for pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials.
(JTA) -- Peru joined several Latin and South American states in recognizing a Palestinian state.
“Today the government communicated to the ambassador of Palestine in Lima recognition of the Palestinian state as free and sovereign,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said Monday, according to reports.
Belaunde did not specify the borders of the state endorsed by Peru.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The PLO office in Washington raised a flag for the first time.
"It's about time that this flag that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood is raised in the United States," said Palestine Liberation Organization envoy Maen Areikat in a brief ceremony Tuesday outside its Dupont Circle offices. "We hope that this will help in the international efforts to provide recognition for the Palestinian state."
With “delegitimization” public enemy number one for pro-Israel leaders and the Israeli government these days, isn't it about time we define exactly what we mean by the term?
I say this because I hear it used loosely, to cover a variety of positions on Israel.
To me, “delegitimization” refers to efforts to promote the idea that Israel is not a legitimate member of the community of nations – that its creation was improper, or that it has somehow rendered itself beyond the pale through its actions.
(JTA) -- The European Union will not recognize Palestinian statehood until an "appropriate" time, its Foreign Affairs Council said in a statement.
The 27 EU foreign ministers meeting Monday in Brussels issued the statement in response to a letter from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton asking the body to join those countries that already have recognized a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
Argentina and Brazil announced their support last week of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
Jewish leaders are suddenly in a frenzy about the possibility the Palestinians may go to the United Nations and seek approval for a unilateral declaration of independence, and well they should be; such a move would put Israel in an impossible position without doing anything to really resolve the conflict.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.
The card hasn’t actually been played, but the mere threat that the Palestinians would push for international recognition of a state from the United Nations has been enough to push the Israeli government to reconsider options to return to the negotiating table.
For months, officials in Washington had feared a diplomatic earthquake on May 4, when Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, terming it a “sacred date,” threatened to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state.
Instead, next week’s long-feared deadline may pass with barely a rumble, thanks to intensive U.S.-Palestinian diplomacy and a new initiative from Washington that promises to revive U.S. mediation efforts after the upcoming Israeli elections.