Original Commentary on West Bank/Gaza
- Highlighted Voices
- Original Commentary | Feb 4, 2010
Salam Fayyad and Ehud Barak (AP)
The 10th annual Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security came to a close on Wednesday. The four-day conference brought together leading political and security figures from Israel and the international community. It focused on the most pressing issues facing Israel and the region, and included 24 panels with governmental and non-governmental speakers. Below are some of the most interesting and relevant statements from the conference.
- Paving the Way for Palestinian Statehood
- Original Commentary | Feb 2, 2010
Palestinian stone & marble worker in the West Bank (Ian Bomberg)
Can you tell us a little bit about the newly released report, “Palestine: Moving Forward, Priority Interventions for 2010”? What are the core principles behind it? How to does it relate to the original August cabinet document?
Both documents reflect the Palestinians’ determination to empower themselves by taking their destiny in their own hands and shouldering their share of the responsibility by building state institutions under occupation with a view to end occupation. The original document was published in August 2009
- Progress Requires Patience, Compromise and Courageous Leadership
- Original Commentary | Dec 1, 2009
Special Envoy George Mitchell and President Obama (AP)
What is the significance of the Israeli government’s announcement on a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank? What are your next steps now that the Israeli government has made this announcement?
The moratorium announced by Prime Minister Netanyahu on settlements is more than any Israeli government has done before and can help move Israelis and Palestinians toward an agreement on the outstanding territorial issues. For the first time, an Israeli government will stop housing approvals and all new construction of
- An Ambitious But Deliverable Agenda
- Original Commentary | Nov 24, 2009
Blair visits market in Jenin
You were appointed as Quartet Representative to work on building the conditions for a Palestinian state. What are the major challenges you’ve faced in your position?
I think there have been two major challenges: firstly, building confidence in the peace process amongst the parties after so much violence and so many dashed hopes, and secondly, the specific issues around Gaza.
On the first, it is entirely understandable given recent history that confidence in the peace process is low, even at the time
- Recent Challenges
- Original Commentary | Nov 19, 2009
Israeli construction in Gilo (AP)
The past week has brought some challenging announcements from both Israelis and Palestinians and responses from the international community. To help you navigate the week’s events, below is a list of news, analysis and background pieces that look at some of the major issues.
Real Estate Shopping Is Used as Political Theater on Jerusalem’s Contested Ground
by Isabel Kershner (The New York Times)
With new tensions surfacing between the Obama administration and Israel over building in contested parts of Jerusalem, the
- An Eventful Week
- Original Commentary | Nov 12, 2009
Wataniya Mobile Company store, Nablus (AP)
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both addressed this week’s annual meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington. Emanuel discussed his personal ties to Israel, the Obama administration’s position on settlements and the continuing and undiminished U.S. support for Israel, and called for a resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians without preconditions. Netanyahu, too, called for negotiations without preconditions.
On Monday, President Obama met with Netanyahu, though
- Fulfilling Rabin’s Legacy
- Original Commentary | Nov 3, 2009
Hussein, Rabin, Clinton, Arafat & Mubarak (AP)
This week, Israel commemorates the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Fourteen years later, what would you say are the main pillars of Rabin’s legacy?
Today we speak about Rabin’s legacy but his assassination came at a time when he was in the midst of doing and did not think of the legacy he would leave after him. That leaves us with interpreting his lifespan of public service and deriving from it what we call legacy. I would say that there are
- Assuming Responsibility
- Original Commentary | Oct 20, 2009
Netanyahu, Obama, Abdullah and Abbas (AP & Pete Souza)
The most important thing that I believe the new president offered was a change of equation. Regardless of how you view the Israeli-Palestinian, or the Israeli-Arab, or the broader conflict, no matter what side you’re on, I think it’s fair to say that in the past, the construct was that the Israelis and the Palestinians were supposed to negotiate, and what benefit, what cost, what risk, were to be had by either side, was to be done between the two,
- Congressman Wexler on the Way Forward for Middle East Peace
- Original Commentary | Oct 14, 2009
Congressman Robert Wexler, a strong supporter of the U.S.-Israel bond and of President Obama’s Middle East policies, announced today that he would be stepping down in January to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Development. At an event sponsored by Middle East Progress earlier this month, Wexler spoke about the road forward on Middle East peace.
Wexler argued that President Obama has taken great risks to bring about comprehensive peace in the Middle East
- Tensions in Jerusalem Illustrate Need to Focus on Core Issues
- Original Commentary | Oct 8, 2009
The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock (AP)
The situation in Jerusalem remains volatile for a fifth day, after clashes erupted on Sunday between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, which houses both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall.
Israeli police mobilized reinforcements from across the country and have limited the entry of Muslims to men over 50 and women of any age. Jewish visitors and tourists have been barred from entering. The high alert will remain in place tomorrow as