Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at the White House on February 16, 2017. Photo: Netanyahu’s Twitter account.
Only 12 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that withdrawing from the West Bank would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a survey published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs at the end of March.
Overall, Jewish support for withdrawal from the West Bank has decreased from 60 percent in 2005 to 36 percent in 2017. The survey also found that 79 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that it is important to retain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. Such a stance is at odds with the international community’s oft-mentioned two-state plan of dividing Jerusalem and making it the capital of both Israel and a proposed Palestinian state.
An ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism since the fall of 2015 — most recently, the murders of British exchange student Hannah Bladon in a stabbing attack and Israeli soldier Sgt. Elhai Teharlev in a car ramming — has apparently cooled the Israeli public’s appetite for a deal involving a Palestinian state.
“The Palestinian insistence on having their capital in Jerusalem is the true obstacle to peace,” Professor Efraim Inbar of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies told JNS.org.
Inbar also emphasized the significance of Jewish Israelis’ “large support for Israeli control of the Temple Mount,” the eastern Jerusalem holy site where Jewish prayer is currently banned, but where the Israeli government maintains security control.
“Jews in the Diaspora, as well as many Christians, also sympathize with Israel’s positions on Jerusalem,” Inbar said. “Therefore, Israel’s insistence on Jerusalem will put the onus of failure on the Palestinians.”
Inbar wrote in an April 5 article that, “The only approach that can succeed in Israel’s current conflicts is a patient, attritional, repetitive use of force. … Israelis should take comfort that time is on Israel’s side.”
In February, President Donald Trump broke with the longstanding American stance of wholeheartedly supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state. During a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that “I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like,” demonstrating an openness to alternatives to Palestinian statehood.
Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Palestinian society and a research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa, told JNS.orgthat although the US wants to see progress on the peace process, it understands that there is a lack of trust between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“The first thing a leader needs for a deal is public support and without this, I don’t see Netanyahu moving towards a deal,” Zelkovitz said, referring to Israeli public opinion about Palestinian statehood.
“The classic Israeli maneuver is to go along with American-sponsored talks, [while] expecting the Palestinians to say no again,” added Zelkovitz.
At the same time, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas might be open to a deal if he receives most of what he demands from the Israeli side, Zelkovitz argued, explaining that the 82-year-old Abbas is likely nearing the end of his political career, and might want to leave the legacy of creating a Palestinian state.
Yet there are Palestinian obstacles to an agreement — such as Abbas’ lack of control over Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, and the fact that Israel is unlikely to grant all of the Palestinians’ demands.
Yuval Arnon-Ohana — an Israeli expert on Palestinian affairs — said that while Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have failed up to this point, he does not rule out the possibility of Trump creating a breakthrough that would result in an agreement.
Yet even if no peace agreement is reached, Arnon-Ohana is optimistic about Israel’s future.
“One-hundred years ago, there were only around 60,000 Jews in Israel; now there are over 6 million,” he said. “We will continue to have babies and build the country.”
Jul 27, 2017 0
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.