We gather here at difficult times, when it seems that the Palestinian cause has been almost eliminated from the international agenda. The Western world is hailing the new “peace vision” of Sharon’s disengagement plan. The day this plan passed in the Israeli Knesset (“Parliament”) last week was hailed by Le Monde as a historical day. Who would pay attention to the two line news piece that on that same day, the Israeli army killed 16 Palestinians in Khan Younis? But Europe looks the other way, reassured of Sharon’s new vision of peace. Tanya Reinhart comments. Read more about Sharon's Gaza Pullout: Not Gonna Happen!
The International Court of Justice has determined that the present route of Israel’s West Bank Barrier is a serious and egregious violation of international law. In an interview given last weekend, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon contested the applicability of international law. Such a system was appropriate for the conditions of World War II, he declared, but not for the present war on terror. Apparently, as Ya’alon envisions it, in this war the armed forces are bound only by their own law. Indeed, a battle is being waged in the world today over the status of international law. Tanya Reinhart comments. Read more about From the Hague to Mas'ha
How can we explain the conjurer’s trick by which Sharon has turned into the darling of the Israeli peace camp? In the last Israeli elections, many voters who were fed up with Sharon voted for Labor candidate Amram Mitznah. But now their elected representatives are keeping Sharon afloat. On Monday, June 7, there were two non-confidence votes in the Israeli Parliament, one submitted jointly by the Beilin’s Yahad party and the Arab parties. The Labor party abstained, thus giving Sharon the majority he needed to survive. Tanya Reinhart comments. Read more about The address for protest is Labor's headquarters
Biddu is a beautiful Palestinian village, surrounded with vines and fruit orchards, a few miles to the east of the Israeli border of 1967. In the last couple of months, the village, that has lived in peace with its Israeli neighbors even during the present Intifada, has become yet another symbol in the history of Israel/Palestine. The misfortune of this village is that its lands, as well as the lands of the other small Palestinian villages nearby, border the “Jerusalem corridor” - a sequence of Israeli neighborhoods to the North of Jerusalem. Israeli control of this land would enable territorial continuity “clean of Palestinians” from this corridor to the settlement of Givat Zeev, built deep inside the occupied West Bank, close to Ramallah. Read more about Biddu: The struggle against the Wall
Amidst the political storm in Israel regarding the “Gaza disengagement” plan, only one really meaningful fact emerges: Sharon received Bush’s approval to proceed with his plan for the Wall in the West Bank. Along this route, Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of trees, dispossessing Palestinian farmers of their land, and pushing them into small enclaves between fences and Walls, until, at the final stage, the Wall will surround them on all sides, as in the Gaza Strip. Israeli academic Tanya Reinhart looks at the steadily increasing number of facts on the ground and the implications of Sharon’s plan. Read more about What kind of state deserves to exist?
An extensive discussion has already taken place in Israel regarding the cost-benefit ratio of Yassin’s assassination. But the question of justice has hardly been raised. International conventions are one of the means people have developed for self-preservation. Without them, there is a danger that the human race would annihilate itself - first the strong would wipe out the weak, and then each other. Palestinian farmers whose land is being robbed sit on the ground in front of the bulldozers, accompanied by the Israeli opponents of the wall - the veterans of the Mas’ha camp. What could be more nonviolent than this? But the Israeli army shoots at sitting demonstrators, like in Tiennamen Square. Israeli academic Tanya Reinhart comments. Read more about As in Tiennamen Square
Getting out of the Gaza Strip is an old dream of the majority in Israeli society. Even before the Oslo agreements in 1993, the call to get out of there was heard after every terror attack. Today, according to the polls, it has the support of 60-70% of the Israelis. But governments come and fall, and still, this majority has not found the political power to realize its will. But now, so the papers say, we have finally reached a historical turn. The majority is asked to believe that of all Israeli leaders, it is Sharon who will get us out of Gaza. Israeli professor Tanya Reinhart looks at the reality. Read more about Sharon's 'Disengagement': A Pacifier for the Majority
“Every few months, a ‘peace plan’ is pulled out of the drawers of the White House and keeps the public discourse busy for a few weeks. Although this ritual has a fixed pattern and predetermined end, it is curious that many in Israel are still tempted to believe that this time it is different. The Road Map announces that this time “the destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005”. To check if it offers anything concrete in this direction, it is necessary to first get clear regarding what the conflict is about.” Israeli academic Tanya Reinhart writes in Yediot Aharonot. Read more about The guaranteed failure of the Road Map
While fears that Israel might use the war in Iraq as a cover to forcefully relocate Palestinians in the “seam line” area of the northern West Bank have not been realized, the Israeli army is rehearsing for such a “transfer.” Furthermore, Israel is escalating efforts to rob Palestinians of their lands in the occupied territories. Tanya Reinhart reports in Yediot Aharonot. Read more about Sophisticated transfer
It appears that all the Lilliputians managed to do so far is to delay the giant for a few months. But these months were crucial. Today the Lilliputians are no longer tiny people. It started with thousands of small organizations, scattered around the globe and communicating over the Internet - organizations which are connected by a shared sense that if things go on like this, the human race will destroy itself. Tanya Reinhart writes in Yediot Aharonot. Read more about The Lilliputians are no longer tiny people