A regional approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking?

March 2, 2017

The Update offers a few articles on the idea of a “regional peace”, the idea being canvassed by both the Israeli government and the Trump Administration that the Sunni Arab states, who today see Israel as an ally against Iran, might be the key to making Israeli-Palestinian peace. (A good example of advocacy for this approach comes from Israeli Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz in this interview in the Washington Post.

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Video: Israeli PM Netanyahu and Australian PM Turnbull Meet Jewish Community in Sydney

February 24, 2017

Video highlights: Israeli PM Netanyahu and Australian PM Turnbull meet Jewish Community in Sydney…

In defence of Ambassador Dave Sharma

In defence of Ambassador Dave Sharma

February 23, 2017 | Gareth Narunsky

On February 7, Australia-based online news site Crikey asked the question “Does DFAT support Israeli settlements?” The short piece essentially attacks Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, for “his support for the Israeli Government” and for “working with a group that actively promotes the key threat [which is settlements according to the article] to the two-state solution”.

Livestream of Netanyahu-Turnbull community event

Livestream of Netanyahu-Turnbull community event

February 22, 2017

The communal event taking place in Sydney at 6:00 pm with the Prime Minister of Israel, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu and the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, will be live streamed on the web.

The Trump-Netanyahu meeting

The Trump-Netanyahu meeting

February 17, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu travelled to Washington on Wednesday for his first summit with new US President Donald Trump since his inauguration, in a visit that was generally seen as important for both US-Israeli relations during Trump’s term in office and for setting a baseline for the Trump Administration’s policy on Middle East peacemaking. Most of the media headlines about the summit have focused on the initial press conference and especially Trump’s remark, when asked about the two-state solution, “I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one…” (The media conference can viewed in full here, while a transcript is here.)

Will they? Won't they? The ongoing Israeli/American Iran question

Have Netanyahu and Trump backed away from the two-state peace paradigm?

February 16, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

There has been much confusion over what was and what wasn’t said at the press conference between US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington DC yesterday.

However, upon closer examination of the press conference and comments made afterwards, it seems likely that they are both, quite deliberately and intentionally, leaving the door open for a peace based on a two-state outcome – while pressuring the Palestinians to come to the table.

On construction within settlements

On construction within settlements, Israel maintains policy

February 14, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

In a follow-up to my previous blog on Israel’s West Bank settlements from late last month, I examine a second round of approvals for around 3,000 more housing units in the settlements that was announced approximately a week later.

What’s of particular note is that, although this announcement from January 31, like the previous one from January 24, occurred after the inauguration of Donald Trump, it remained consistent with Israel’s settlement policy for over a decade – largely avoiding significant expansion of construction in settlements outside of the settlement blocs Israel is expected to retain in any future peace agreement through the use of land swaps with the Palestinians.

 

The Trump Administration and Iran's missile tests

The Trump Administration and Iran’s missile tests

February 10, 2017

This Update deals with Iran’s test of a ballistic missile last week (actually, there were also reports of an alleged nuclear-capable cruise missile test which received less attention), the Trump Administration’s response including some new sanctions, and the implications of both for the Trump Administration’s overall Iran policy.

Israel's controversial settlements regulation bill

Israel’s controversial settlements regulation bill

February 9, 2017

As readers will probably be aware, on Monday night the Israeli Knesset passed a very controversial law, known as the “Regulation Law” which retroactively allows residents of housing units in the West Bank “outposts” – settlements built without government permission – to stay in their homes if it is discovered their homes are inadvertently built on privately-owned Palestinian land. The landowners are to receive compensation rather than the evacuation of the land by the Israeli residents, as Israeli courts had previously ordered.

The Amona evacuation and Israel's settlement announcements

The Amona evacuation and Israel’s settlement announcements

February 3, 2017

This Update is devoted to exploring the link between recent Israeli announcements about new construction in West Bank settlements and the dramatic evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amona yesterday, which led to scenes that many Israelis found traumatic (a gallery of images from the evacuation is here). Another theme is the link between Israeli policy toward West Bank settlements and Israeli relations with the new Trump Administration in Washington, which yesterday issued a statement cautioning Israel against announcing new settlements or expanding the boundaries of existing ones.  Finally, following up on the recent Update on “Jerusalem and future peace hopes”, we offer an interesting piece on Arab reactions to any plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, as promised by Trump.

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