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Not a peace process
The Democratic Party is also devoted to Israel’s apartheid PDF Print E-mail
Feb 02, 2020 at 12:51 PM

Both sides of the aisle are complicit in maintaining U.S. support for Israel’s separate and unequal regime.

In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which called for Jerusalem to remain an “undivided city,” recognized only Israel’s claim to the holy city, and set aside funds for the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In effect, the act gave Israel’s conquest and military occupation of East Jerusalem an American seal of approval. It made no mention of Israel’s illegal annexation of the city or of the Palestinian presence there.

At the time, both the Senate and the House were controlled by Republicans. But it was not only America’s right-wing party that signed on to the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Most Democrats — 44 in the Senate and 153 in the House of Representatives — voted for the bill. Only one Democrat in the Senate, and 30 in the House, outright opposed the legislation.

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The Real Goal of Trump’s Middle East Plan PDF Print E-mail
Jan 28, 2020 at 12:00 AM

The Trump administration’s long-awaited and ill-named peace plan has many objectives, but making peace isn’t among them.

Neither is jump-starting negotiations, or nudging the parties toward compromise, or even enshrining implicit, private understandings in the hope Israelis and Palestinians might eventually publicly espouse them—each one of which, as we know from successful and unsuccessful experience, has been featured as the goal of past American plans.

The motives behind a document conceived without any Palestinian input, unveiled on the same day as an important vote in the Israeli parliament on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity, and less than a year before Americans vote for their next president, are at once more mundane and more grandiose.

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Denouncing Trump Plan as 'Unacceptable,' Sanders Declares It Is Time to 'End the Israeli Occupation' PDF Print E-mail
Jan 28, 2020 at 12:00 AM

"Trump's so-called 'peace deal,'" warned the White House hopeful, "will only perpetuate the conflict, and undermine the security interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians."

After U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled his long-awaited "peace deal" for the Israel-Palestine conflict, Sen. Bernie Sanders condemned the proposal as "unacceptable" and called for an end to Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories.

Sanders (I-Vt.), a top candidate in the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential primary race, responded to Trump's plan in pair of tweets, envisioning a U.S. policy that promotes "a just and durable agreement."

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Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Secretary of State Kerry’s Announcement of Peace Talks PDF Print E-mail
Jul 19, 2013 at 04:56 AM

http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/blog/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-secretary-of-state-kerry-s-announc

Today Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have “established a basis” for resuming formal peace talks, and may meet in Washington D.C. as early as next week.

We understand why Secretary of State Kerry and others caution against cynicism. Yet it is impossible to ignore the reality that conditions for productive talks are far from ideal.  In fact, none of the conditions that have doomed peace talks over the last twenty years have fundamentally changed.

The Israeli government is extremely right-wing, with several Ministers that lead powerful factions declaring their satisfaction with the status quo or outright opposition to talks.  The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, has a credibility problem, given that it represents only a portion of the Palestinian people, and faces tremendous economic pressure from donor nations to return to negotiations.

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Bush Peace Hallucinations Continue PDF Print E-mail
Jan 10, 2008 at 12:46 PM

U.S. President George Bush landed in Israel yesterday on his first Presidential trip to the country. He participated in a press conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in what both men termed a “historic” and “monumental” occasion. After listening to both so-called leaders make their opening comments and fielding questions from journalists, the only groundbreaking revelation I could register was that the naiveté of President Bush, either real or a charade, only served the agenda of one party in the region – Hamas. The radical Islamists at Hamas could not have recruited a better cheerleader for their movement if they tried.

My opinion may be extreme, but then again, I live in an extremely violent limbo under Israeli military occupation, shaped by a policy both men continuously refuse to call by its true name – state terror.

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Time to Choose: Two States or One? PDF Print E-mail
Dec 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM

www.counterpunch.org/whitbeck12052007.html

December 5, 2007
By JOHN V. WHITBECK

Almost immediately after the hollow show in Annapolis, a ray of hope has appeared from an unexpected source — Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

In an interview published on November 29 in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, he declared, “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished.”

This Ha‘aretz article helpfully referred readers to a prior Ha‘aretz article, published on March 13, 2003, in which Olmert had expressed the same concern in the following terms: “More and more Palestinians are uninterested in a negotiated, two-state solution, because they want to change the essence of the conflict from an Algerian paradigm to a South African one. From a struggle against ‘occupation’, in their parlance, to a struggle for one-man-one-vote. That is, of course, a much cleaner struggle, a much more popular struggle — and ultimately a much more powerful one. For us, it would mean the end of the Jewish state.”

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The Palestine that we are struggling for PDF Print E-mail
Nov 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

November 30th, 2007
Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign — www.stopthewall.org

Last Tuesday’s demonstrations, which brought thousands onto the streets of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Nablus and Gaza in defiance of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to silence the people’s voice, represented a crucial moment for Palestine.

Our demonstration, which was supported by the Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps and over one hundred and fifty civil society organisations and representatives, called for the upholding of the fundamental principles of our struggle: the right of the refugees to return, the right to Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the right to our land. We were refusing the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as this would legitimize the Zionist ideology of colonialism, racism and ethnic cleansing, and effectively exonerate Israel from the crimes of the Nakba, waiving the right of return. Such recognition would justify and reinforce the Israeli system of apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The Palestine that we are fighting for is one which upholds the fundamental principles of our national rights and equality, and which respects the democratic right of the people to express their views in protest on the streets. The Authority has shown that they do not share this vision. On Tuesday they attempted to prevent the people from asserting their rights, first by banning demonstrations and then by attacking us with tear gas, batons and military jeeps.

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The 12 Myths of Annapolis PDF Print E-mail
Nov 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

by Phyllis Bennis

Institute for Policy Studies

29 November 2007

Myth #1)  The Annapolis meeting was designed to launch serious new negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that aimed at ending the occupation and producing a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region based on a two-state solution.

In fact, the two main reasons for the conference had virtually nothing to do with Israel or Palestine. The real reasons for convening the conference were 1) to strengthen Arab government support for U.S. strategies in the Middle East, including the war in Iraq and particularly the escalation of pressure aimed at Iran.  2) To provide a photo-op to reframe Condoleezza Rice’s legacy, now largely shaped by her embrace of Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon in 2006, to the legacy of a would-be peacemaker.

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Spectacle at Annapolis Spurs Nuclear Danger PDF Print E-mail
Nov 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM
by Ira Chernus

By sobering coincidence, I finished reading Jonathan Schell’s new book, The Seventh Decade, just as George W. Bush, Ehud Olmert, and Mahmous Abbas were getting ready to go onstage for their starring roles in the U.S. - produced theatrical spectacle, “Peace Talks at Annapolis.” Schell thinks that the new phase of the nuclear age we are in now may be the most dangerous of all. “Peace Talks” gives us one more good reason to believe he may be right.

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A Statement to the Press from the Free Gaza Movement
Forty-six international human rights workers are now sailing to Gaza through international waters with one overriding goal: to break the Israeli siege that Israel has imposed on the civilian population of Gaza.  Any action designed to harm civilians constitutes collective punishment (in the Palestinians’ case, for voting the “wrong” way) and is both illegal under international law and profoundly immoral.  Our mission is to expose the illegality of Israel’s actions, and to break through the siege in order to express our solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza (and of the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole) and to create a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world.
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