JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The United Nations "should not delude" the Palestinians into thinking that a unilateral declaration of a state will lead to its establishment, Israeli President Shimon Peres told a U.N. official.
Israel supports the establishment of an independent state, but one achieved through "direct and discreet" negotiations, Peres told U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Ashe-Rose Migiro Sunday during a meeting in Jerusalem.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Senators introduced an enhanced Iran sanctions bill matching one recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The crux of both bills is a ban on business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year. The current threshold is $20 million in business per year.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A bipartisan bill introduced by top lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives would considerably tighten sanctions on Iran.
The bill, introduced May 13 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), its ranking Democrat, would ban business with any entity that does $1 million in a single trade with Iran's energy sector, or $5 million over one year.
It also would expand sanctions against alleged human rights violators and financial institutions that deal with Iran.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council against Syria and Lebanon over the breach of its border by protesters.
The delegation said Monday it filed the complaint in the Security Council and with the U.N. Secretary-General's office for violation of international law.
The complaint follows demonstrations on Sunday for Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, marking Israel's achieving statehood. Israeli troops fired on protesters from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza who tried, and in some cases succeeded, in breaching Israel's border.
Since negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians have stalled, it’s becoming fashionable to discuss an “easy fix” of unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state. But the “easy fix” attempts an end run around a negotiated settlement, which is the only route through which a settlement could possibly be reached.
A Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) would bypass peace talks entirely.
What's most striking to me about recent events in the Middle East is how just about all the experts – the administration deep thinkers, their Republican critics, the academics and the foreign policy talking heads – failed to predict the seismic forces that are reshaping the region in ways we can't begin to fathom.
This isn't a matter of partisan politics. The Obama administration is clearly clueless about a region in turmoil, but I haven't heard anything resembling acumen from the Republicans, either.
Over the holiday I had several interesting calls and emails about the prospects for a major new U.S. Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.
A friend who's left of center emailed to say that the Obama administration, seeing no alternative, is about to launch a major new peace push that will include U.S. bridging proposals, a paper outlining elements of previous negotiations and a significant amount of pressure on both sides.
That's really good news for Israel, this activist trilled.
You don’t have to work for a Middle East think tank or have a doctorate in international relations to understand that a Palestinian state created through unilateral action can never be anything resembling a real state — even if it is endorsed by the United Nations.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho) initiated the resolution last week after Richard Goldstone, a South African judge, retracted a key conclusion of the U.N. report he helped author on the 2009 Gaza war -- that Israel had targeted civilians as a policy.