Palestinians are bankrupt and demoralized — yet politics and intifadas have lost their appeal.
Jerusalem — Just as he does every day, on March 30 Mahmoud Abu Sneineh trimmed succulent pieces of lamb off a vertical spit, wrapped them in a fresh pita brushed with tehina, and served the shwarma to hungry customers lined up at his eatery in east Jerusalem.
A majority of American Jews are welcoming of immigrants, favorably disposed towards American Muslims, support legalizing same-sex marriage, favor legal abortions and oppose overturning the recent health care law, according to a Jewish Values Survey released Tuesday.
It is perhaps no wonder then that the campaigns of this year’s Republican presidential candidates have had little resonance with most American Jews.
The rival factions announce a new agreement, but the public is skeptical.
Tel Aviv — When the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, first signed a reconciliation agreement last May in Cairo, young political activists in Gaza went outside to celebrate.
But after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal announced on Monday a new agreement in Qatar on the formation of an interim government to prepare the first national elections in years, there was no such public rejoicing.
The United States transferred $40 million in foreign assistance to the Palestinians.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that congressional lawmakers released the funds, which amount to 20 percent of the $187 million in foreign assistance from fiscal year 2011 that was held up by Congress in response to the Palestinians' actions at the United Nations.
The assistance that the U.S. is for humanitarian and economic purposes and not for security assistance.
Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich stood by his assertion that the Palestinians are an "invented people," drawing criticism from other GOP candidates.
"Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes," Gingrich said during a GOP debate Saturday night in Iowa. "We are in a situation where every day rockets are fired into Israel while the United States -- the current administration -- tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process."
Several Palestinians tried to enter Jerusalem on an Israeli bus from the West Bank.
The Palestinians and activists were attempting to draw attention to the restriction of freedom of movement of the Palestinians in a campaign that imitates the Freedom Rides of the U.S. civil rights movement. West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to enter eastern Jerusalem without special permits.
The Palestinian activists waited for nearly an hour near the West Bank settlement of Psagot until a bus stopped to pick up six of them; several other buses rode by without stopping.
Israel has agreed to the Mideast Quartet's latest proposal to resume negotiations without any preconditions, but the Palestinians are sticking to their demands for a settlement freeze and more before Mahmoud Abbas will sit down with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government announced new construction of Jewish housing in Gilo, just outside the Green Line, which many considered a snub of the Quartet's call for both sides to "refrain from provocative" and unilateral actions.
Three days before a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli security forces during a violent confrontation in the West Bank Friday, Rabbi Avi Weiss warned the United Nations that a Palestinian request for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state might “inspire” violence.