Israel ‘at risk of civil war,’ says ex-Mossad chief

Internal threat ‘more worrying’ than external one, warns Tamir Pardo; complains some Israelis ‘more interested in emphasizing what divides than what unites’

Israeli society is heading for civil war and the country must take steps to counter it, former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo warned Tuesday in his first public remarks since stepping down as the spy agency director in January.

“The internal threat must worry us more than the external threat,” he told a press conference in the northern Druze town of Daliyat al-Carmel. Continue reading

Former European leaders call on EU to up pressure on Israel

Letter sent to EU foreign policy chief urges labeling of settlement products, refers to Netanayahu as an obstacle to peace

A group of former high-ranking European officials is set to send EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini a joint letter Wednesday calling on the union to adopt a proactive and more aggressive attitude to pressure Israel on the Palestinian issue.

The letter, which was obtained by the news site Ynet, is addressed to Mogherini and the foreign ministers of EU countries, with copies to US Secretary of State John Kerry, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz. Continue reading

Obama says the US will “reassess” its options on Israel

President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a phone call Thursday that the US has been forced to reassess its policy regarding the Middle East peace process following the prime minister’s new positions and comments on a two-state solution.

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After Netanyahu win, Obama takes off the gloves

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration woke up Wednesday morning to a sobering new reality on the ground in Jerusalem – instead of a weakened or rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Washington will now face the return of “King Bibi.” The White House has to come to terms with a Netanyahu who, defying the predictions, has been shored up by a strong mandate for his rightward-turning campaign.

In a set of coordinated messages, the White House and State Department launched their first barrage, mostly focusing on Netanyahu’s comments apparently repudiating his 2009 statements in support of a two-state solution. Continue reading

Why Does the Vatican Want a Palestinian State?

Much of the world seems to want the Palestinians to have a state of their own. In September 2011, it looked like they had some momentum for their cause. Most of the international community expressed symbolic support for a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Of all the supporters, though, one stands out as being especially intriguing: the Roman Catholic Church.

In a statement last September, retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, together with representatives from various Christian communities in Israel, pledged “support for the diplomatic efforts being deployed to win international recognition for the State of Palestine.”

In his sermon on Christmas Day, the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, reiterated Catholic support for Palestinian statehood. “We want a just and comprehensive peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We adhere to the position taken by the Holy See, clearly acknowledging the two-state solution with security and internationally recognized borders,” he stated.

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EU to Israel: If you want to get along with us, make peace

Forcing this will only bring about war. Another important note is to know, which was also mentioned in another post, what happens to those who attempt to divide or split Israel.

 

The EU warned on Monday that continued growth of its bilateral ties with Israel and the Palestinian Authority was directly linked to their actions with regard to the peace process.

“The EU recalls that the future development of the relations with both the Israeli and Palestinian partners will also depend on their engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution,” the EU’s foreign ministers said after a council meeting in Brussels.

The meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council comes amid increasing tension between Israel and the EU over settlement activity.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that it was a mistake for the EU to link its ties with Israel to the peace process. Continue reading

Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: ‘All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion’

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Diskin, following 10 days of airstrikes, the Israeli army launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip last week. Why now? And what is the goal of the operation?

Diskin: Israel didn’t have any other choice than to increase the pressure, which explains the deployment of ground troops. All attempts at negotiation have failed thus far. The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion. The army hopes the invasion will finally force Hamas into a cease-fire. It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing. They are saying: We aren’t operating in residential areas; we are just destroying the tunnel entrances. But that won’t, of course, change much in the disastrous situation. Rockets are stored in residential areas and shot from there as well. Continue reading

US officials: Even if Israel doesn’t like it, Palestinians will get state

Members of Kerry’s team slam Netanyahu, empathize with Abbas, warn Palestine will rise ‘whether through violence or via int’l organizations’

American officials directly involved in the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process over the last nine months gave a leading Israeli columnist a withering assessment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the negotiations, indicated that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has completely given up on the prospect of a negotiated solution, and warned Israel that the Palestinians will achieve statehood come what may — either via international organizations or through violence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to Nahum Barnea, a prominent columnist from Israel’s best-selling daily Yedioth Aharonoth, the officials highlighted Netanyahu’s ongoing settlement construction as the issue “largely to blame” for the failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s July 2013-April 2014 effort to broker a permanent peace accord.

They made plain that US President Barack Obama had been prepared to release spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard to salvage the talks. And they warned that “the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation.” Continue reading