Israeli-Palestinian peace process

GOP Gains May Cloud Mideast Picture

Republican wins could produce domestic gridlock, uncertainty for Obama peace plans.

10/27/2010
Washington Correspondent

 A big Republican victory on Nov. 2 could bring the Obama administration’s troubled domestic agenda to a dead stop — but it is unlikely to do the same for its faltering Middle East peace efforts, which some Israelis argue favor the Palestinians.

In fact, it could have the opposite result, said Kenneth Wald, a University of Florida political scientist and director of the school’s Center for Jewish Studies.

Will President Obama turn his focus to foreign policy with Republicans poised to pick up many seats in Congress? Getty Images

Jimmy Carter's new "peace" mission: thanks but no thanks

I'm not much for the Jimmy-Carter-is-an-anti-Semitic-Israel-hater line - I happen to believe Israel owes him a debt of gratitude for Camp David -  but after reading today's news I have to ask: what is this guy thinking?

According to wire service reports,  the ex-prez  is embarking on a Middle East tour that will include Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank with a group called The Elders  – and including former Irish President Mary Robinson. (As I write this, I'm thinking that "The Elders" probably wasn't a smart name choice for a group of older statesmen heading to Zion).

The goal, the group said in a statement, is to “encourage support across the region for the current final status negotiations with emphasis on the need to reach a just and secure peace."

Well, cool; I'm all for a just and secure peace.

U.S. Sees Israel’s ‘Jewish State' Demand As Legit

10/13/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States sees as legitimate Israel's demand that Palestinians and other Arab states recognize Israel's Jewish character, a State Department spokesman said.

P.J. Crowley was pressed in a briefing Tuesday about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to extend a partial settlement building freeze in exchange for the Palestinian leadership's recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu Offers Settlement Freeze for Recognition as a Jewish State

10/12/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reinstate a West Bank construction freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu made the offer Monday in a wide-ranging speech at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

Dysfunctional peace process, Chapter 2: conflict on the Middle East team

Friday I wrote about the dysfunctional peace process and signs the Obama administration is out of touch with the realities that are dragging the brand-new talks into the boneyard of failed Middle East initiatives.

Notes on a Dysfunctional Peace Process

 What a crazy, dysfunctional peace process.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinian statehood is his number one goal, but he apparently doesn't want it bad enough to accept some kind of compromise on a settlement moratorium that will allow talks – the only route to his goal- to continue.

The beat(ing) goes on: J Street, Goldstone and the faltering peace process

 As the J Street – George Soros controversy goes into it second full week, here's a quick update on a few of the threads entangling the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.

1. The controversy is solidifying into familiar lines, with ardent supporters blaming the press for heaping fuel on a relatively minor matter – the failure of J Street's leaders to tell the truth about Soros contributions – and detractors piling on with real criticism and outright hyperbole.

Why Israel allowed the settlement freeze to expire

09/29/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- In the four weeks since direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed, settlement construction has been identified widely as the most immediate obstacle to the survival of negotiations.

In media accounts about the diplomatic standoff over the issue, Israel’s decision not to extend its self-imposed 10-month freeze on settlement building has been portrayed as a slap in the face to the Obama administration, deepening Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and creating more stumbling blocks to a final peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. officials are pushing Israel to extend its now-expired West Bank settlement construction moratorium. Should Israel:

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