Topic:

Palestinian Affairs

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Thinking Outside the Box

| February 21, 2018

A creative solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must start with appreciating the advantages of the hybrid spatial model that has emerged in the West Bank, notably the governmental powers granted to the Palestinian Authority as far back as January 1996 in Areas A and B, and discarding the stillborn paradigm of total separation.

DEBATE: Should US Aid to the Palestinians Be Suspended?

| February 8, 2018

Q: On January 2, 2018, US President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding from the Palestinians with the tweet: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Two weeks later, the US said that it while it remains committed to a voluntary contribution of $60 million to sustain Palestinian schools and health services, it is holding back a further $65 million for reconsideration. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Should US aid to the Palestinians be suspended?

Trump’s Business Approach to Foreign Aid Diplomacy

| February 7, 2018

Until now, two approaches have dominated American foreign aid: the strategic and the humanitarian. Trump has added a third: the “business approach.” The strategic is based on interests, the humanitarian on compassion, and the business on yield. The great powers use the strategic approach and the Europeans the humanitarian. The business approach now guides US aid to the Palestinians. Trump has threatened to cut off US aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to negotiate with Israel, and cut US allocations to UNRWA. This new approach influences the attitudes of Egypt and Jordan, both large recipients of American aid. This can be seen in their low-key responses to Trump’s Jerusalem decision. It can also have ramifications for Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the US.

Chinese-Palestinian Relations: What’s Really Going On?

| February 6, 2018

On December 23, 2017, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi observed that “it’s been seventy years since the UN adopted the decision to create a Palestinian state, but seventy years later, a Palestinian state is yet to be created.” Other Chinese voices in recent years have made similar statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why the Chinese preoccupation with this issue? Perhaps because words and gestures allow Beijing to show involvement while avoiding intervention.

Palestinian Double-Dealing Won’t Work Forever

| November 26, 2017

By refusing to be Israel’s direct interlocutor, and by turning instead to third parties in the hope of cornering Israel into submission, while also demanding that it be prosecuted for “war crimes,” the PLO manifests inordinate duplicity vis-à-vis Israel. It disqualifies itself entirely from the trust of the Jewish state. The PLO will have to face the consequences of its actions: for, short of imperiling its own legitimacy, no “honest broker” could abet the PLO’s double dealings much longer.

Palestinians and Internationalization: Means and Ends

| November 26, 2017

From the 1920s to the present, Palestinian elites have called for Muslim, Arab, and other forms of international support in order to situate their cause at the head of emerging trends and movements. Internationalization has also served as a means to nationalize the Palestinian masses. But in the process, Palestinians have repeatedly ceded control to outside forces and interests, from Arab, pan-Arab, and revolutionary nationalists, to today’s anti-globalization red-green alliance, which have manipulated Palestinian nationalism for their own ends. The root cause of this process is weak Palestinian national identity.

Belief in Palestinian Openness to Two-State Solution Amounts to Insanity

| November 23, 2017

Rather than look at the historical record of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and draw the self-evident conclusions, Uri Avnery retreats into a counterfactual fantasyland.

BRICS Without East Jerusalem

| October 8, 2017

The 43-page Xiamen Declaration issued at the end of the ninth BRICS summit in early September marks an interesting shift concerning Israel. In paragraph 42, it makes the usual references to “relevant” UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, and “previous agreements” and calls for “a just, lasting and comprehensive solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Declaration calls for the creation of “an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel” – but contains no reference whatsoever to East Jerusalem.

How Palestine “Occupies” Itself

| October 7, 2017

“Occupation” has become an all-purpose Palestinian tool. On the one hand, the Palestinians claim the Israeli “occupation” makes serious negotiations with Israel impossible. On the other, they claim the “occupation” makes the development of local institutions and civil society impossible. Western and Israeli diplomats have largely avoided criticism of this strategy, possibly because it has become a central tenet of Palestinian identity.

Palestinian Settler-Colonialism

| September 3, 2017

The concept of “settler colonialism” has been applied with almost unique vehemence against Israel. But the fact that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant can be proved with ease. In contrast, historical and genealogical evidence shows Palestinians descend primarily from three primary groups: Muslim invaders, Arab immigrants, and local converts to Islam. The Muslim conquest of Byzantine Palestine in the 7th century CE is a textbook example of settler-colonialism, as is subsequent immigration, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries under the Ottoman and British Empires. The application of the concept to Jews and Zionism by Palestinians is both ironic and unhelpful.