When historical facts become unacceptable - the effects of UNESCO Resolutions on Jerusalem

When historical facts become unacceptable – the effects of UNESCO Resolutions on Jerusalem

February 2, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

“It’s clear as the sun is clear that the Temple [in Jerusalem] which was demolished by the Romans, is a Jewish temple.”

Seems straightforward, doesn’t it?

Yet, in today’s post-truth world, such historical facts are no longer acceptable in some official Palestinian circles.

Fatah and Hamas announce unity - for at least the eighth time

Fatah and Hamas announce unity – for at least the eighth time

February 1, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

In recent weeks, much has been reported about a proposed Fatah-Hamas unity government. “Fatah and Hamas to form unity government” reads the headline from Al-Jazeera. However, this headline falls short on two accounts. First, this new reconciliation attempt is only the latest of multiple similar reconciliation attempts – we count eight previous times in all, below. Second, it is very unclear that any real and meaningful reconciliation agreement has in fact been reached this time round.

How the Middle East has reacted to Trump

How the Middle East has reacted to Trump

January 27, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

President Trump’s first days in office have been met with a wide range of responses from Israel and the broader Middle East.

ABC crosses the line on settlements again

ABC crosses the line on settlements again

January 27, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

Over the course of several years, I’ve blogged on several occasions about how the Australian media has exaggerated on a variety of issue related Israeli settlements in the West Bank (see here, here and here). Now, the ABC has provided some classic examples of such distortion with recent stories and an analysis piece that appeared on their website in recent days.

Jerusalem and future peace hopes

January 25, 2017

This Update looks at the debate over plans by the new Trump Administration in Washington to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – though it now says nothing has yet been finally decided on this –  and especially examines claims that such a move will be inimical to hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The Paris peace conference

The Paris peace conference

January 17, 2017

This Update looks at the outcome of the French-organised conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace that took placed in Paris on Sunday. The dozens of states participating in the conference issued a declaration urging the parties resume negotiations, but making a number of other points, which you can read here. The Israeli government, which had been opposed to the conference (see Israeli PM Netanyahu’s statement about it here), appears to be relieved that the outcome was relatively innocuous compared to the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334, while both Britain and Australia distanced themselves from the final declaration. Below is some analysis of the conference and its significance.

Hanan Ashrawi's problems with truth and consistency

Hanan Ashrawi’s problems with truth and consistency

January 13, 2017 | Gareth Narunsky

Last year, I accompanied a group of journalists on a study tour of Israel and the West Bank. One of our engagements was a meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian spokeswoman and founder of the organisation Miftah, Hanan Ashrawi.

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Video: AIJAC’s Jamie Hyams on Israeli settlements and Jerusalem – ABC News24

January 13, 2017

AIJAC’s Jamie Hyams appeared on ABC News24 on 12 January 2017 to discuss the issue of Israeli settlements, Jerusalem and prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The Aftermath of UNSC Resolution 2334

The Aftermath of UNSC Resolution 2334

January 6, 2017

This Update deals with the implications and aftermath of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 2334 (the text of the resolution is here) , which passed 14-0 with the US abstaining, on Dec. 23. The controversial resolution condemns Israel over settlements, and has a number of other provisions likely to affect Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking in the future, as discussed below.

Trump's controversial ambassadorial pick

Trump’s controversial ambassadorial pick

December 21, 2016

Today’s Update looks at US President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that David Friedman is his pick for the next US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman has worked for Trump as a legal adviser for many years and holds a range of positions on Israel that are markedly different to the outgoing Obama Administration, including questioning the merits of the two-state formula for peace. A good profile of Friedman from the New York Times’ Isabel Kershner and Sheryl Gay Stolberg can be found here.

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