We exchanged views on the current state of the Middle East Peace Process and its regional implications. We concur that any annexation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 would be a violation of international law and imperil the foundations of the peace process. We would not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties in the conflict.
Wir haben uns über den gegenwärtigen Stand des Nahostfriedensprozesses und seine regionalen Auswirkungen ausgetauscht. Wir sind einhellig der Auffassung, dass jede Annexion der 1967 besetzten Palästinensischen Gebiete gegen das Völkerrecht verstoßen und die Grundlagen des Friedensprozesses gefährden würde. Wir würden keinerlei Veränderung der Grenzen von 1967 anerkennen, die nicht von beiden Konfliktparteien vereinbart wurde.
Jordan, Egypt, Germany and France came out with a joint statement Tuesday warning Israel against applying its laws to a number of West Bank areas.
The statement was released by the German Foreign Ministry after a video conference held by the top diplomats from the four countries.
We believe in a Jewish and democratic Israel. We feel no obligation to defend Netanyahu’s pathological viciousness, monumentally stupid annexation, incitement and self-enrichment
In letters to senior EU officials, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the 15 Joint List MKs wrote that “the traditional approach based on providing incentives to Israel has thus far failed to achieve our shared legitimate positions.” According to Hadash MK Youssef Jabareen, “We requested that top EU officials act to prevent annexation including re-evaluating the EU-Israel partnership agreement, recognizing a Palestinian state according to the ’67 borders and labeling goods from the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinians deserve independence and freedom.”
The Joint List called on Britain’s biggest political parties to vigorously oppose Israel’s plans to annex parts of the Palestinian occupied West Bank. The two letters, dated June 26 were penned by Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen, the head of the Joint List’s international relations committee, and were sent to the UK Conservative party leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Labour party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer. In the letters, the Joint List parliamentarians said the UK needed to “actively oppose” attempts by Israel to unilaterally annex territory.
“History has demonstrated the tragic consequences of illegal annexations,” the letter read. “We fear that if Britain and its European allies do not urgently act to prevent this impending annexation, our region may witness yet another major upheaval.”
So far, the party has only verbally denounced Israel’s plans. The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has categorically ruled out setting conditions on US aid to Israel.
In the Senate, a letter warning that annexation would „erode the strong support among the American people for the special relationship and diplomatic partnership with the United States that Israel currently enjoys“ only gained the support of 21 legislators.
In the coming months no less than five senior members of the security establishment face replacement.
They are: Yossi Cohen, head of Mossad (Israel’s foreign espionage agency); Nadav Argaman, head of the Shin Bet, (domestic security service); Major-General Tamir Hayman, chief of Military Intelligence, and its Research Directorate director, Brigadier-General Dror Shalom; and finally, Meir Ben Shabat, head of the National Security Council.
Embattled congressman Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has bragged that he sits down with the rightwing pro-Israel organization AIPAC on “every piece of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
In a 2018 speech to an AIPAC gathering in his NY district, Engel noted that he and Rep. Nita Lowey had both been in the House 30 years and were soon to assume chair positions that they could use to help Israel.
In the last three Israeli electoral campaigns, Trump worked hard to keep Bibi in office. Now it is Trump who is running for re-election. The president fully expects Bibi to reciprocate.
But loyalty and gratitude are not among Bibi’s virtues.
Joe Biden is the main reason Netanyahu is not annexing.
There are few politicians who have a keener understanding of polls than Netanyahu. He has several pollsters on his official and unofficial payroll, and keeps in touch with others. His polling brain-trust is heavily American and though they have misled at least once in the past, when he thought that Mitt Romney had a chance of denying Barack Obama a second term in 2012. He is fully aware now that Trump’s chances of winning in November are vanishing.
Netanyahu made the comments shortly after wrapping up talks with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The sides have been holding talks for several months on finalizing a map spelling out which areas of the West Bank will be annexed by Israel.
„I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days,“ Netanyahu said.
He also commended the United States for the January drone strike that killed Quds force leader, „arch-terrorist“ Qasem Soleimani and warned that Israel will do everything necessary to make sure that Iran does not expand its foothold in Syria.
The comments were made during a joint press briefing with Brian Hook, US Special Representative on Iran, who visited Israel as part of his larger official Middle East trip.
How do Americans feel about the offer, and about possible Israeli annexation of West Bank territories?
To find out, we fielded a set of questions through the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll. The poll was carried out by Nielsen Scarborough, among a nationally representative sample of 2,395 American adults, fielded March 10-20.
Notably, only 8% of respondents who were at least “somewhat familiar” with the plan …
Why it matters: Israeli officials say Netanyahu thinks President Trump is politically vulnerable four months before the U.S. election and that he could lose to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He thinks Trump needs the evangelical base to go to vote in order to have a chance at winning.
The idea of Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank, including all of the settlements, is already incorporated into Trump’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
However, Israel can do so only with approval from the US.
“[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is entirely dependent on [President Donald] Trump for the annexation. We have no illusions that he would operate against decisions taken in the White House.” These words were told to Al-Monitor by a senior Likud minister speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Palestinian Authority dispatched a letter on Monday addressed to the Quartet on the Middle East stating that it’s prepared to renew negotiations with Israel and agree to „minor territorial exchanges,“ according to reports by Ynet News on Monday night.
The Quartet on the Middle East, a foursome consisting of the United Nations, the US, Russia and the European Union involved in mediating the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.
Palestinian Authority to lock down all areas with confirmed cases
„We are in contact with the American team here in Israel,“ Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. „We are doing so discretely. The issue is not up to [Gantz’s party] Kahol Lavan. They are not a factor either way.“
Earlier on Monday, Gantz met with Trump’s special envoy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked evangelical supporters to lobby in favor of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, via a speech Sunday night to the American group the Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
The protest comes amid a wave of anti-annexation rallies throughout Israel as the government’s July 1 annexation deadline approaches
„Annexation is illegal. Period,” Bachelet said in a statement. „I am deeply concerned that even the most minimalist form of annexation would lead to increased violence and loss of life, as walls are erected, security forces deployed and the two populations brought into closer proximity.“
Others see a cynical political gambit at play, as with the return of the coronavirus: Netanyahu is either aiming for a crisis that will allow him to call for an early election while blaming Gantz and other rivals on the left for the failure of his annexation move – or is actually banking on a crisis, foreign, domestic or both, that will allow him to seize emergency powers, delay his trial, seize control of the legal system and so on and so forth.
Meetings like this have also taken place at the Israeli consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, as well as at the Israeli embassies in Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen.
“In each meeting we have between three to ten representatives of local Jewish groups attend, because it’s important for us to show that this isn’t a concern just among the ‘usual suspects’ of the left.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), who initiated the letter, said about the appeal to Congress: “The annexation and the occupation are international issues. The US administration constantly intervenes in the region and gives backing to the oppression of Palestinians. The administration can give the green light or put the brakes on annexation. Therefore, we have asked members of the Democratic Party, who might assume power soon, to express their clear objection to Israel’s annexation plans, to denounce the entire Trump plan, and to clarify that, if such plans are implemented, future administrations will not recognize their legitimacy. Annexation is illegal according to international law and is a crime against the Palestinian people. The entire international community must stand against it.”
House Democrats are currently circulating a letter opposing annexation, but its wording is based around concerns for Israel’s security and there’s no mention of holding the country accountable for any of its actions towards Palestinians. A letter developed by Senate Democrats earlier this year implied that the United States/Israel relationship could be threatened by annexation, but any mention of this possibility was quickly removed.
How is it that despite the warnings of three previous Israeli prime ministers, including two IDF Chiefs of Staff and a former justice and foreign minister, that these sorts of steps towards annexation would lead to „apartheid,“ that not a single leader of a dominant Jewish organization in America can bring themselves to use the same word publicly?
How is it that in just a generation, the muscular Jewish leadership that existed in the Diaspora has been replaced by an Israeli caricature of itself: weak galus yidn, unwilling to stand up for our own beliefs, whose only role is to support our strong brethren in the Holy Land?
This isn’t how a political leader talks, and certainly not one who is interested in being an alternative to the inciter in the Prime Minister’s Office. Gantz’s contempt for the Palestinians demonstrates arrogance, pettiness and lack of understanding of the national conflict between the two peoples. If there’s any “deep shit” in which the Palestinians are drowning, it’s the 53-year-old occupation, a messianic project of oppression that has been perpetuated by successive Israeli governments and maintained by the army, formerly headed by Gantz himself.
White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump will make an „important announcement“ on the subject in the near future.
A U.N. rights investigator urged the European Union on Friday to consider measures to prevent or punish any Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, a few days after over 1,000 European lawmakers made a similar call.
Netanyahu’s comments would mean the government would initially annex about three percent of West Bank territory, covering the 132 settlements, home to some 450,000 Israelis. The remainder of the roughly 30% that the Trump deal grants to Israel — most of which is in the Jordan Valley — would be annexed at a later period, when the joint US-Israeli mapping committee finishes determining the exact territorial divisions beyond the pre-1967 Green Line.
A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah, unnamed in the report, said that the message was sent through Jordan following the reported meeting between Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and King Abdullah II.
Even though the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands has gone on for decades, the only times that people have really erupted in opposition to Israel have been when they have lost hope.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to begin process as soon as July 1, though some of his U.S. backers have urged caution
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, reportedly told U.S. lawmakers last week they’re “free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there.”
Engel is liberal on most domestic issues but fiercely hawkish on foreign affairs, particularly on policies that advance Israel’s national security interests. He is considered a classic AIPAC-type congressman, one of a dwindling group of old guard Democrats who have helped maintain a semblance of bipartisan support for Israel in an era of political polarization and Democratic radicalization.
Engel was one of blue America’s most enthusiastic supporters of the war in Iraq. He was an opponent of Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. After the Obama administration allowed the passage of a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, Engel introduced a House resolution condemning the U.N. In 2016, as Saudi Arabia was starving and bombing Yemeni civilians, Engel joined Republicans in defeating a measure that would have restricted Riyadh’s access to cluster munitions, weapons that leave behind mine-like explosives that can kill civilians for decades after a conflict has ended.
Gantz, who in the past publicly backed dialogue with the Palestinians toward an agreement leading to a two-state solution, said the Israeli government should “not only to manage the conflict but shape it as well.” And if the Palestinians choose not to hold talks with Israel about the annexation, “then we will have to move forward without them,” he said.
Mossad (Israel’s foreign intelligence) chief Yossi Cohen and his Egyptian counterpart Abbas Kamal reportedly spearheaded the talks, which yielded an agreement on the scale of the response.
Thousands of Palestinians rallied Monday against Israel’s planned annexation of areas of the West Bank in a mass protest organized by the Fatah political party.
In the protest were Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’s Middle East envoy, Arab and other foreign diplomats, including the ambassadors of the European Union, China, Russia and Jordan.
According to the report, Netanyahu was surprised to learn that Alternate Prime Minister Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi have many reservations over the annexation plan.
According to Israeli media, the US president will be joined by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, the architect of the US Middle East peace plan; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; National Security Adviser Richard O’Brien; lead negotiator Avi Berkowitz; and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who will reportedly fly back to Washington on Sunday following tête-à-têtes with Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.
IT WILL likely go like this. Netanyahu will rely on the formal public pledge he made in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech to support a demilitarized Palestinian state. That pledge was made when former US president Barack Obama was in power and was designed to satisfy an administration that wanted a two-state solution based on pre-1967 lines.
Netanyahu did not speak of the 1967 lines in the speech, but Obama accepted Netanyahu’s statehood pledge nonetheless.
According to Channel 13, participants at the meetings on Monday and Tuesday will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Richard O’Brien, Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations and Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, in addition to the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who will fly in from Jerusalem.
Under the Middle East peace plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump, Israel has been given a green light to annex some 30 percent of the West Bank.
However, one of the options Netanyahu is considering is to start off with 10 percent, beginning with settlements located deep into the area.
After that, the Palestinian side would be invited to hold negotiations; if no talks materialize, Israel would go ahead and apply sovereignty to the remaining 20 percent, the newspaper reports.
We remain steadfast in our belief that pursuing two states for two peoples is essential to ensuring a secure, Jewish, democratic Israel able to live side-by-side, in peace and mutual recognition, with an independent, viable, de-militarized Palestinian state.
Unilateral annexation would likely jeopardize Israel’s significant progress on normalization with Arab states at a time when closer cooperation can contribute to countering shared threats. Unilateral annexation risks insecurity in Jordan, with serious ancillary risks to Israel. Finally, unilateral annexation could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world. We do not see how any of these acute risks serve the long-term interest of a strong, secure Israel.
As committed partners in supporting and protecting the special U.S.-Israel relationship, we express our deep concern with the stated intention to move ahead with any unilateral annexation of West Bank territory, and we urge your government to reconsider plans to do so.
The looming annexation of the West Bank will create a one-state reality, forcing American elites to choose between a commitment to the country’s Jewishness and democratic values.
The joint statement, signed by nearly 50 independent experts, voiced dismay at U.S. support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “unlawful” plan to extend sovereignty, de facto annexation of land that the Palestinians seek for a state.
The proposed West Bank land grab is so patently unhinged it sparks suspicions of more ambitious and sinister designs
Support for a two state solution, while not a majority opinion, continues to be the favored result overall – 42% backed a two-state solution as their preferred course of action in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A quarter of respondents wanted annexation to be the next step, while 22.8% thought that the government ought to continue with the status quo.
According to the Midgam Institute poll, support for a two state solution continues to be the favored result overall: 42% indicated that this is the course of action the prefer; a quarter of the respondents wanted annexation to be the next step; while 22.8% thought that the government ought to continue with the status quo.
However, a clear majority (54.3%) of the respondents to this poll maintained that Palestinians to have the right to establish an independent state next to Israel, within the framework of a peace agreement.
Die Außenminister der EU-Staaten, darunter ÖVP-Außenminister Alexander Schallenberg, schalten sich heute per Videokonferenz mit ihrem US-amerikanischen Kollegen Mike Pompeo zusammen.
While the annexation plan met with harsh criticism from the Israeli left, as well as parts of the international community, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party could secure a meager turnout of some 200 protesters at a rally in Ramallah, according to Haaretz.
The annexation, the letter argues, will result in a system where small Palestinian enclaves in the annexed territories are effectively controlled by Israel in, what it alleges, will amount to „conditions of apartheid.“
Apartheid is seen as a crime against humanity under the international law, the letter warns, adding that Israel could grant citizenship to residents of the target areas, but the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided against that.
“The most important thing is actually generating the information and then sharing the information,” Mr. Netanyahu interrupted Mr. Pompeo to say, an unmistakable reference to the Israeli intelligence services’ track record of developing information of value to the United States.
Notably, Mr. Pompeo’s short schedule of meetings included a session with the Mossad director, Yossi Cohen.
“We’re glad that there is a now fully formed government in Israel,” Pompeo said ahead of the trip. “As for the annexation in the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions.”
A staunch supporter of Israel, Pompeo will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist rival turned partner Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on May 13, the day the government is expected to be sworn in.
Israel’s withdrawing from the West Bank city of Hebron is an absurd proposition tantamount to the idea of the United States abandoning the Statue of Liberty, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Israeli media Friday.
Speaking to Israel Hayom, Friedman stressed the importance to Israel of Jewish communities outside the large settlement blocs in Area C of the West Bank, which is widely expected to remain under Israeli control.
Palestinian-backed plans for a UN security council vote on Tuesday designed to show international opposition to Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan are expected to be shelved after the US and the UK raised separate objections to the draft text.
In what was being seen as a key test of the diplomatic support for Trump’s “ultimate deal”, Tunisia, with Arab League and Palestinian support, …
Two of those diplomats said they understood Tunisia’s newly elected President Kais Saied had fired Baati—who has served for only five months—following complaints from the United States.
The draft resolution demands that any two-state solution forces Israel to return to its pre-1967 war lines.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will take part in „the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Emergency Open-Ended Executive Committee Ministerial Meeting to be held in Jeddah on 3 February 2020 upon the request of the State of Palestine in order to discuss the most recent developments with regard to Israeli-Palestinian conflict,“ the statement said.
Thousands of Jews and Arabs protested in central Tel Aviv, last night (Saturday, February 1), against US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” The demonstrators gathered in Dizengoff Square and marched from there to Ibn Gvirol Avenue. Following the procession, a rally was held where speakers included Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman, Darwish Rabi (Hadash) Mayor of Jaljulya, Hadash union activist Maysam Jaljuli, well know author Yehoshua Sobol and Peace Now CEO Shaked Morag. The protest was organized by Hadash, the Communist Party of Israel, Peace Now, the Geneva Initiative, Combatants for Peace, the Parents Circle Families Forum, Standing Together, A Land for All and other anti-occupation movements and grassroots organizations.
“On January 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in Russia on a short working visit,” the message informs, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Earlier, Netanyahu’s spokesperson Anna Jonathan-Leus informed that the Israeli PM plans to head for Moscow after visiting Washington in order to inform Putin of the details of the US plan for Middle Eastern regulation, the so-called “deal of the century.”
“Make no mistake – this is not a peace plan; it’s a one-sided annexation plan that harms the goal of a two-state solution. If we truly want to achieve peace in the Middle East, we must actively engage both Israelis and Palestinian leaders, something the Trump Administration has consistently failed to do.
“Trump’s destructive annexation plan does not represent the bipartisan foreign policy of the United States, and I will continue to work to reverse the damage this administration has done to lasting peace in the Middle East.
A group of pro-Israel Democrats who accompanied Pelosi on the trip — including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of New York and Middle East panel Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida — also expressed hope that Trump’s proposal could lead to direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians to ultimately result in a two-state solution.
U.S. recognizes applying Israeli law to settlements, PM says after Trump unveils plan
Details of Trump’s plan make it clear that it will lead not to a Palestinian state, but rather to Israel taking full control of the entire West Bank
Der Nahost-Friedensplan der US-Regierung richtet sich nicht an Palästinenser und Israelis, meint Torsten Teichmann. Stattdessen haben Trump und Netanyahu sich einmal mehr gegenseitig gestützt. Denn beide wollen Wahlen gewinnen.
After all, both President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are, in effect, facing job-threatening charges — Trump for obstruction of justice and abuse of power and Bibi, who was literally indicted on Tuesday, for fraud, bribery and breach of trust. They both had a huge need to change the subject and shore up their common base of right-wing Jews and evangelicals.
Mr. Trump can be expected to flog that endorsement as he seeks reelection this year. Mr. Netanyahu, in turn, will present himself to Israeli voters in a March election as the leader who extracted once-unimaginable concessions from Washington. Both leaders can hope to distract from ongoing scandals: Mr. Trump from his impeachment trial and Mr. Netanyahu from his indictment Tuesday on corruption charges.
It lays the groundwork for Israel to immediately begin annexing all of its settlements in the West Bank with US backing and also foresees the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty after a transition period. Palestinian negotiators have not had direct contact with the Trump administration in more than two years.
He said there that the U.S. wants to see a strong Israel in the Middle East to implement its objective in the region.
The plan will see Israel annex the Jordan Valley in exchange for the promise of a demilitarised Palestinian state
As Donald Trump hailed his so-called „deal of the century“ as a historic opportunity to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israel, Democratic members of congress poured scorn on the plan that has been rejected by Palestinians.
תוכנית הממשל האמריקאי הממותגת כ“דיל המאה“ היא גבינה שוויצרית במסגרתה מציע הנשיא טראמפ להעניק לישראלים את הגבינה ולפלסטינים את החורים. ישנן דרכים רבות לסיים את הכיבוש, אבל האפשרויות הלגיטימיות היחידות הן אלו המבוססות על שוויון וזכויות אדם לכולם. לכן, התוכנית הנוכחית – שמכשירה, מקבעת ואף מרחיבה את היקף הפרות זכויות האדם שביצעה ישראל ב-52 השנים האחרונות – אינה חלופה מתקבלת על הדעת.
The American administration’s plan branded as the “Deal of the Century” is more like Swiss cheese, with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians. There are many ways to end the occupation, but the only legitimate options are those based on equality and human rights for all. This is why the current plan which legitimizes, entrenches and even expands the scope of Israel’s human rights abuses, perpetuated now for over 52 years, is utterly unacceptable.
If one believes the leaks emanating from Netanyahu’s office and other top right-wing politicians in recent days, Trump’s “deal of the century” shouldn’t be classified as a proposal at all. Its main purpose is to serve as a crude cover for Israel to annex the Jordan River Valley and most Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Once the Palestinians reject the plan as expected, Israelis have been led to believe, the U.S. administration will give Israel a green light to unilaterally seize areas earmarked for annexation, which it has long desired.
Needless to say, this is not the way peace proposals are supposed to work.
The press conference is slated for noon. Watch the live video above.