Building the Bridge > The Great Debate en-US Sun, 14 Apr 2024 10:08:33 +0200 Sun, 14 Apr 2024 10:08:33 +0200 FeedWriter If Israel Lets in Palestinian Refugees, Will It Lose Its Jewish Character? Source: Forward


By Joshua Schreier and Mira Sucharov


We watched with admiration as Hagai El-Ad of B’Tselem and Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now appeared recently before the U.N. Security Council to urge action against the Israeli occupation. The session was framed as a discussion of settlements in the context of “peace” and a “two-state solution.” But behind the occupation lurks an even more vexing issue: that of the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees. We feel we need to unpack this issue — and the assumptions about demographics that animate it — if we’re going to make real headway on countering the occupation.


The vast majority of Israelis, even most on the Israeli left, argue that admitting the Palestinian refugees would lead Israel to lose its “Jewish character.” For them, a Jewish-majority state provides the Jewish people with a degree of security and justice. Yet many Palestinians and their increasingly numerous and vocal supporters in North America and Europe see no justice in Israel’s exclusionary policies allowing all Jews, but no Palestinians, to “return” to the country.

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 19:32:03 +0200 (Webmaster)
Israel’s Human Rights Activists Aren’t Traitors By: Michael Sfard, New York Times


Michael Sfard is an Israeli human rights lawyer who serves as a legal adviser to the Israeli organizations Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din and the Human Rights Defenders Fund


In March 1968, my father was a member of the Warsaw University students’ committee that helped lead the enormous protests demanding reform from the Communist Polish government. The government responded with a smear campaign to try to delegitimize the protests’ leaders, claiming they were acting in the interest of Western powers, or — exploiting widespread anti-Semitic sentiments — of a Jewish-Zionist plot against the Polish People’s Republic.

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:57:37 +0100 (Webmaster)
Guest Column - Why Israel? By: Shlomo Ben-Ami


TEL AVIV – Israel’s latest war in Gaza has echoed through Europe’s capitals in a powerful and destructive way. In Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere, Israel is being denounced as a “terrorist state.” Angry demonstrators burned synagogues in France and, of all places, Germany, with some even chanting “Jews to the gas!” The grotesque coupling of legitimate solidarity with Palestine and anti-Jewish invective seems to have forged a politically correct form of anti-Semitism – one that, 70 years after the Holocaust, is raising the specter of Kristallnacht over Europe’s Jewish communities.

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:48:44 +0100 (Administrator)
Is the Israeli occupation in Palestine forever? Source: Daily Sabah



Published October 15, 2021


A global mobilization is still lacking to end Israel's wrongdoings, and it naturally brings up the question of whether Palestinians will ever be able to exit the bloody conflict

Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:19:51 +0200 (Webmaster)
Dishing out Nutrients of Peace Smorgasbord-style…Nourishing Broken Hearts The Times of Israel, September 5, 2016, 1:18 am


By: Abraham A. van Kempen

The Hague, The Netherlands


Part 1 of 3


The Palestinian–Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll, released on 22 August 2016 strongly suggests that the vanilla-flavored, one-bite-feeds-all peace fare is not appetizing enough to satisfy everyone. All sides are coming to the table with their own dietary demands; and, they’d rather go home hungry than to try out different recipes. We’re going to need a Plethora of Possibilities to make Peace a Palatable Preference. And everyone knows ‘Trust is the Thrust’ but few, if any, trust the other. So, the prospects of peace continue to be a prayer without end.

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 17:47:36 +0200 (Webmaster)
Open letter to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin The Hague, 16 January 2017



President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин

President of the Russian Federation

23, Ilyinka street

Moscow, Russia, 103132

103132, Россия, Москва,ул. Ильинка, д. 23, Администрация Президента РФ


Taking Off At Full Throttle …


“The world cannot impose peace upon the Israelis and Palestinians”, says French President Mr Francois Hollande but warned, “the Middle East cannot be stabilised without an accord”.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:13:47 +0100 (Webmaster)
Palestinian citizens of Israel are key to resisting the occupation Source: +972 Magazine


By Rida Abu Rass

Published April 17, 2017


If Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, those who have grown up in Israeli society and lived alongside Jewish Israelis, were to truly organize and leverage their unique position, it would be impossible to break without ripping off the mask of apartheid.


Israeli riot police cut off a march by Palestinian citizens of Israel protesting home demolitions, Ar’ara, January 21, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:42:21 +0200 (Webmaster)
Why Now? The Arab Peace Corps  

By Mr. Sami Jamil Jadallah, JD

    Founder and Executive Director

    New Arab Foundation


Mr. Sami Jamil Jadallah is a Palestinian-American immigrant with over 50 years in the US and is a Veteran of the US Army where he received leadership award.

Sami attended Indiana University where he earned his BA, MPA/School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence.

After a two-year stint with a major Wall Street law firm, Sami and for the last 35 years served as international legal and business consultants with clients from the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the US.


It is in times of wars, conflicts, chaos, terrorism and despair; investments in peace and development become more urgent.

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:55:38 +0200 (Webmaster)
Homing In On Hamas  

By Eric Willoughby


The author has been campaigning on the Palestinian issue since 1967 and is now voluntary Publisher and Editor of the Palestine Media Digest. He has had personal involvement in the region for some 30 years, mainly resident in Amman, and has written and broadcast widely on the Palestinian issue.


Hamas is often given as the excuse for Israel's worst excesses of barbarity, including the massive bombing operations on Gaza.


In a 2015 "debate" in the UK's upper parliamentary chamber (House of Lords) the myths were trotted out time and time again, including a recital from the 1988 Charter, which has been superseded a few times since then.


The simple fact is that Hamas emerged as a RESULT of Israel's intransigence and inhumanity in enforcing its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, after 20 years of trying everything else. The only wonder is that such an organisation didn't start earlier.


The one and only problem is Israel's invasion of June 1967 and the ongoing occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:24:45 +0200 (Webmaster)
To defeat ISIL, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved By: Rami G. Khouri



Rami G. Khouri, a Jordanian-Palestinian national, is a senior public policy fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and a senior fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School.


A top Obama administration staffer admits that the long-running conflict is an obstacle to regional peace


Last week the National Security Council’s Robert Malley offered an unusually sensible statement on Middle East issues. Malley, President Barack Obama’s senior adviser on countering the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), said that the United States must resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to defeat ISIL and similar Islamist extremists.

Sun, 31 Jan 2016 21:19:30 +0100 (Webmaster)
Settlers, Palestinians come together to seek EU-model end to conflict BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF May 28, 2016, 10:21 am


Unlikely initiative, supported by leading figures in settler movement, envisions 2 states, but one homeland — where ‘anyone can live anywhere they want’


A group of Israelis and Palestinians has teamed up in a movement calling for a European-style confederation between Israel and a future state of Palestine that would allow citizens from both sides of the conflict to live in either country but retain their original nationality.


The “Two States, One Homeland” movement — the Israeli side of which is mostly comprised of settlers — is the culmination of four years of low-profile meetings and discussions between activists on both sides. It was reported upon by Channel 2 news on Friday night.

Mon, 30 May 2016 10:17:25 +0200 (Webmaster)
Israel’s policies are sowing the seeds of a future tragedy Source: Reaction




Those who opposed a two-state solution set out to alter facts on the ground so that it could not happen

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:12:50 +0100 (Webmaster)
Why We Need International Recognition of the State of Palestine Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi | Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative- Ramallah


After two decades of sham negotiations, it’s the best way to put pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:47:36 +0100 (Administrator)
Where Is Obama’s Red Line on Israel? Source: The Nation

Oct 11 2016


By Mairav Zonszein


Israel has already chosen settlements, and Greater Israel, over a two-state solution. Washington needs to come to terms with that.


In his statement condemning Israel’s latest settlement announcement, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “Israelis must ultimately decide between expanding settlements and preserving the possibility of a peaceful two state solution.”


But in fact, that decision has already been made by the Israeli public and is consistently reflected by the policies of its elected leaders. The settlement population has doubled over the past 20 years and now stands at between 550,000 and 600,000; there are more settlers in positions of power than in any other time in Israeli history; the current Netanyahu coalition is explicitly and implicitly against a two-state solution and a significant portion of its members openly advocate annexation of 60 percent of the West Bank; fewer and fewer Israelis polled say they support a Palestinian state or see any need for a two-state solution. 


Wed, 12 Oct 2016 17:49:35 +0200 (Webmaster)
Wael Ghonim: Let's design social media that drives real change Wael Ghonim helped touch off the Arab Spring in his home of Egypt ... by setting up a simple Facebook page. As he reveals, once the revolution spilled onto the streets, it turned from hopeful to messy, then ugly and heartbreaking. And social media followed suit. What was once a place for crowdsourcing, engaging and sharing became a polarized battleground. Ghonim asks: What can we do about online behavior now? How can we use the Internet and social media to create civility and reasoned argument?

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:00:44 +0100 (Webmaster)
An urgent appeal from Jewish Voice for Peace  

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine. Become a JVP Member today.

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 10:47:32 +0100 (Webmaster)
Irish MP celebrates win by raising Palestinian flag Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:00:19 +0100 (Webmaster) Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel  

Source: The Times of Israel, DECEMBER 4, 2016, 7:54 PM


By: Fred Maroun

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 20:25:14 +0100 (Webmaster)
Taking Off At Full Throttle Abraham A. van Kempen, Editor


How else? Is there any other way to take off but at full throttle? To eventually soar through the clouds, you’ll need all the torque you can get, maximum thrust to overcome resistance. That’s what it’s going to take to secure real and sustainable peace. In the past, those in command of the peace talks dare not take off at full throttle. The results: one deadlock after the other. Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Madrid, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna have succeeded in producing stalemates often ending in standoffs with one foot in the stirrup, the other in the sand.

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 13:00:31 +0200 (Webmaster)
Is Springtime On the Horizon? By Abraham A. Kempen, Editor


Will millions of like-minded and unlike-minded people deploy their pens to achieve what matters most, to upstage each achievement with the next …

Mon, 29 Feb 2016 12:02:48 +0100 (Webmaster)
The Better Angels of Our Nature … By: Abraham A. van Kempen, Editor



We’ve learned our lesson. The European people won’t allow Europe to create another quagmire. We can and will help the State of Israel and the State of Palestine to break out of their jam (to put it mildly) and to help build bridges if and only if both voluntarily lay down their arms. Inevitably, a democratically decreed regime change, voted in by the majority of the people on both sides of the Divide is in order. Thereafter, Europe can and will guarantee authentic security and sustainable peace, especially when pressured to do so by the Court of World Public Opinion. We Europeans can propose but cannot impose upon the people of the region to do what’s right. If only all parties could rethink what’s right rather than what’s wrong with the other, they’ll be light years ahead. Abraham Lincoln referred to the idea as seeking “the better angels of our nature.”

Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:12:33 +0100 (Webmaster)
European Solidarity In a World of Crises By: Jean-Claude Juncker


Jean-Claude Juncker is President of the European Commission


BRUSSELS – The end of the year is always a time for taking stock. At the end of 2015, we could look back on a year when European solidarity – at the risk of sounding overly dramatic – withstood what may have been the greatest trials it has faced since the end of World War II.

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:54:53 +0100 (Webmaster)
A European Agenda to the World’s Stage We Europeans now know more than ever before about walking the tightrope, forging consensus among dozens of nations, balancing the need to regulate and supervise cross-border interactions while recognizing the interests and culture of each individual country. These are precisely the skills that the vast majority of the Israelis and the Palestinians crave, to bring them together around their common interests and challenges.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:16:32 +0200 (Abraham A. van Kempen)
President-Elect Trump…Will You Deliver? The Times of Israel, NOVEMBER 9, 2016, 9:00 PM


By: Abraham A. van Kempen

The Hague, The Netherlands




Dear Mr. President-Elect,


Though I could not fathom a Trump Presidency; a heartfelt congratulations, nonetheless. I thought I understood America. I am beginning to understand Americans. What a humbling experience. And now we must adapt to the new realities because truth, real or imagined, dictates.

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 12:28:34 +0100 (Abraham A. van Kempen)
Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama: Recognize The State Of Palestine  

Source: Newsweek


BY JACK MOORE ON 11/29/16 AT 1:28 PM


The former U.S. president has urged the outgoing leader to make a bold and unprecedented move.


Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who brokered peace between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, has called on Barack Obama to recognize the State of Palestine (as the United Nations refers to the non-member observer state) before he leaves office in January.

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:51:46 +0100 (Webmaster)
Jimmy Carter: President Obama can still advance Israeli/Palestinian peace  

Jimmy Carter 3:28 p.m. EDT March 17 2016


Even this late in his presidency, creating a clear outline for moving forward is crucial


Since the time of President Harry Truman, the United States has assisted Israel, including persistent efforts to forge peace agreements with her neighbors. Our government has also vetoed more than 30 U.N. Security Council resolutions that were critical of Israel, including many that were supported unanimously by all other Security Council members, and for several decades our support has included massive economic and military aid, amounting to about $8 million per day. This financial commitment is now being renewed, unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides to wait and conclude the deal with the next president.

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:51:03 +0200 (Webmaster)
A New Century for the Middle East By: Jeffrey D. Sachs


Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.


NEW YORK – The United States, the European Union, and Western-led institutions such as the World Bank repeatedly ask why the Middle East can’t govern itself. The question is asked honestly but without much self-awareness. After all, the single most important impediment to good governance in the region has been its lack of self-governance: The region’s political institutions have been crippled as a result of repeated US and European intervention dating back to World War I, and in some places even earlier.

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:46:45 +0100 (Webmaster)
‘We need a Palestinian state,’ new EU foreign affairs chief says in Gaza Source: Times of Israel


Federica Mogherini says world can’t afford a fourth Gaza war, and entire EU sees Palestinian statehood as ‘ultimate goal’

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:48:31 +0100 (Administrator)
Milestone Report - 300 groups: suspend EU-Israel Agreement Published by the Alternative Information Center (ACI) on 4 November 2014


More than 300 human rights groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called for the EU to hold Israel accountable for its massacre of Gaza earlier this year by suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the main treaty between the EU and Israel.

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:11:53 +0100 (Administrator)