Here are two very different views of Jason Greenblatt, Pres. Trump’s envoy to Israel. Barak Ravid & Amir Tibon admire his persistence in speaking of his concern for Gaza; Mondoweiss has a much sourer view of a man who was an Israeli settler and thinks Palestinians should reject “the false notion that Israel is an occupier”.
AIPAC’s modus operandi is cultivating direct lines to Congressmen and the White House. The MO of both Trump and Netanyahu, says Bradley Burston, is to work under cover, never letting the daylight in.
No-one knows what deal Pres. Trump might want to make over settlement construction and whom will the deal be with? Peter Beaumont thinks the settlers might be rejoicing too early, mistaking the president as a man like them, with a fixed ideology. But ambassador-in-waiting David Friedman likes and is like the settlers.
The only way in which David Friedman will be a successful ambassador in Israel for the US is if he finds a way of concealing the facts on the ground – no occupation, no Palestinian political prisoners, no restrictions on free movement….His role is not to report the truth but to provide alt-facts. Analysis from The Hill and FMEP.
The Nazis, SS and Action Groups had many enemies they wanted to obliterate, but only two whole peoples – Jews and Romany. Only the former were subject to mass, industrialised extinction – Judeocide. We know the US President doesn’t know European history but one might have thought this one fact would have got through. Trump’s Holocaust Day speech.
The American Jewish network, IfNotNow, is just one of the many groups to organise against Pres. Trump. It has fewer allies in its determined resistance to the establishment bodies who purport to lead American Jews. They say Jewish values must mean you oppose the Occupation.
The Netanyahu-Trump love-in may be short-lived. Before, the Israeli PM defended himself against US pressure by saying he had to hold off the right wing. That Right has responded gleefully to Trump’s election by asserting there is nothing now to stop Israel expanding its power and territory.
Here Ben Caspit tells us the Israeli Right is jubilant that Trump will bend US policy to their desires – annexing the West Bank – but in fact such is the confusion no-one actually knows what the Mid-East policy of a president Trump will be.
Today, Sunday January 15th, over 70 representatives of countries and organisations were drawn to Paris to discuss the Israel/Palestine stalemate. Working groups will present their proposals on civil society, institution and state capacity building and economic assistance. French Foreign Minister Ayrault did not need months of deliberation to warn Trump of the consequences of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu says the conference is futile. Well he would wouldn’t he.
Had Clinton won we’d be living through more years of a do nothing, go nowhere ‘peace process’ minus Obama’s empathy for the Palestinians. Robert Cohen hopes Trump’s gung-ho Israelism will tear away the shield of prevarication.
Ramzy Baroud’s argument is a familiar one on the radical left: social democrats lull people into a self-damaging calm. So a good dose of Trump’s harsh politics will show them the true nature of American power and stimulate resistance. Not a view that the dictators of history built their power on.
Nahum Barnea, Ynet’s editorial writer, looks at the legacy of the indefatigable Kerry and argues that he failed to make headway because he did not have the backing of Pres. Obama and thus lacked the power he needed. Meanwhile the Israeli PM and the American president-elect are well stuck into a tweeting relationship.
Not meaning she is one of the 18.2m followers of the next guardian of the free world, but after Trump had laid into those who criticise Israel May followed him with a new diplomatic rule: it is ‘not appropriate’ to criticise one’s allies. Which bodes ill for that free world.
Pleasingly, Vox.com assumes that lots of people don’t know what the UNSC is and why its vote on Israel’s settlements matters. They provide a 9-point answer including, No. 8, whether Trump can reverse it. (Not likely)
John Kerry, outgoing Secretary of State and indefatigable worker for Palestine/Israel negotiations makes a definitive speech because he thinks that the incoming administration will be a disaster for the 2-state solution – ‘we cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away.’ Full transcript.
There’s not much point in carrying reports of Netanyahu’s response to the UNSC’s resolution on settlements. It is entirely, self-pityingly, predictable. Here he musters his troops for a fight-back against the rule of international humanitarian law.
The UN security resolution condemning Israeli settlements is a ‘landmark’ change, if only symbolically. It has been received positively by most – which doesn’t include the Israeli government which, rhetorically, condemns the resolution as anti-Israel, a betrayal of common values (a snide reference to the American annihilation of the indigenous population?) In one of the more bizarre events of 2016 Trump – with his large antisemitic following – and Bibi have become brothers-in-arms, the religion of Israel being defence of the nation state. What, if anything, this UNSC act will change is discussed by some of the commentators here.
Hannukah is not, and not like, Christmas. It carries no message of love, peace and goodwill (regardless of whether or not Christians heed the message). Rather, writes Rob Eshman, its celebration of the Maccabee revolt hides the ruthless ‘blood-soaked struggle that pitted Jew against Jew’. And intra-Jewish conflict is at another all-time high.
By the time you read this you will probably know whether or not President Obama ordered his country’s UN ambassador to veto the Egyptian/French resolution to oppose all settlement construction in the oPt. You don’t need to read this to know that Donald ‘neutral-on-Israel-Palestine’ Trump is insisting the US veto not be used.
The status of Jerusalem was established by the UN as corpus separatum, under international rule, in 1947. All national embassies are in Tel Aviv or environs. If Trump does move the US embassy to Jerusalem it will be an insult to Palestinians and the UN and take away a key factor in what makes Tel Aviv Israel’s financial and technological centre.