New from FMEP
Peter Beinart and Danny Seidemann host the first episode of FMEP’s new podcast with an in-depth discussion of Jerusalem, President Trump’s peace initiative, and the meaning of “zionism.”
Amir Peretz and Avi Gabbay, the two candidates in the runoff for chairman of the Labor Party, faced off in a heated televised debate on Saturday two days ahead of the election.
The bill now stipulates that conceding sovereignty in any part of Jerusalem will require a special majority of 80 Knesset members (out of 120), as it had previously proposed – but adds that a simple majority of 61 votes will be able to annul this clause.
As opposed to what Israel is attempting to portray, UNESCO does not comment on the religious aspects of heritage sites, or to whom they are or are not considered holy. This is not the Israeli Rabbinate. UNESCO deals with two questions: whether a site is worth being included in the list of World Heritage Site, and which national entity it falls under.
Israel plans to complete construction of the Kedem Center for tourists in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood just outside the Old City’s Dung Gate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. Ir Amim, which has opposed the project, said it would destroy the fabric of the Silwan community and undermine any efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Israeli and Palestinian claims to the city.
“While the primary purpose of his trip is to meet with the ambassador [David Friedman] now that the ambassador is on the ground and fully installed in his position, Greenblatt will also likely be taking meetings relevant to both the Israelis and the Palestinians,” a senior White House official told The Times of Israel.
Tracking Netanyahu’s attitude toward construction in the settlements ever since he was elected in 2009 is a fascinating exercise. It reveals that he adopts the same tactic time and again, maneuvering between the Israeli hard right and the US administration.
It is not entirely clear whether the government intends to keep out only leaders of the BDS movement or whether the law could be applied equally to, say, a college student who has posted a pro-boycott message on Facebook. According to the newspaper Haaretz, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who promote or support BDS; the government already has created an “intelligence unit” to gather information on BDS activists from abroad, the newspaper reported.
Ten years ago this past June, Israel imposed a stringent land, sea, and air blockade on Gaza. With the ready help of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime in Egypt, they have restricted most movement to and from the strip and pushed the tiny territory to the brink of collapse. Today some 80 percent of Gaza’s population relies on humanitarian aid to survive. Conditions have become so extreme that the United Nations has stated that by 2020 the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable.”
State-owned Israel Electric Corp [ISECO.UL] and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement on Monday to boost Israeli electrical supply to the occupied West Bank, even as Gaza endures daily blackouts in a Palestinian political dispute. Under the deal, a new electrical substation was inaugurated near the West Bank city of Jenin.
Egyptian and Palestinian leaders have met amid signs of a rapprochement between Cairo and the Islamic militant Hamas group that could shake up Gaza’s political landscape and sideline the Palestinian president.
Hamas and Israel are currently in the midst of intensive talks over a prisoner exchange, Palestinian sources have told Haaretz. According to the sources, the talks are being mediated by Egyptian intelligence officials and former senior Fatah figure Mohammed Dahlan.