Israel Appoints Negotiator For Peace Talks With Palestinians – Will It Work?

TYT Network

The Huffington Post writes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – under pressure from President Barack Obama to prove his commitment to a two-state solution – is likely to name a new top negotiator for talks with the Palestinians. However, Netanyahu’s choice – Silvan Shalom – is not particularly pro-peace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wins?

Most news outlets are now claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the recent Israeli elections.  With nearly all votes counted on Wednesday, Likud had won 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, comfortably defeating the center-left Zionist Union opposition on 24 seats. A united list of Israeli Arab parties came in third.

The New York Times:

“After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.

“With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported Wednesday morning that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.”

Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday to form a new governing coalition quickly after an upset election victory that was built on a shift to the right and is likely to worsen a troubled relationship with the White House, according to Yahoo News.

In the final days of campaigning, Netanyahu abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state – the basis of more than two decades of Middle East peacemaking – and promised to go on bulldozing areas and building settlements on occupied land.

Such policies defy the vision of a peace treaty for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is embraced by President Barack Obama and his Republican and Democratic predecessors, states Yahoo News.

The result was in some ways an unexpected victory for Netanyahu:  opinion polls published four days before the vote had shown Likud trailing the Zionist Union by four seats.

More here

(Updated article)

Israeli Police Hit In Palestinian Car Attack

An Israeli policewoman cries near the scene of an attack in Jerusalem

A Palestinian has rammed his car into a group of Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem, according to the BBC. He injured six policewomen, police say.

It happened on the seam of East and West Jerusalem, on the same junction as a previous attack last year.

Police say the driver tried to stab people before he was shot and seriously wounded by a security guard.

Who Is ‘J Street?’

J Street is an advocacy group based in the United States whose aim is to promote American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israel-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. It was founded in April 2008.

J Street states that it “supports a new direction for American policy in the Middle East – diplomatic solutions over military ones”, “multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution”; and “dialogue over confrontation” with wider international support.

J Street describes itself as a pro-Israel organization which supports peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Wkipedia:  “…the organization seeks to provide a political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who believe that a ‘two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy.'”

Recently, The Anti-Defamation League blasted the “left-wing lobby group” J Street for running an “inflammatory and repugnant” campaign against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Algemeiner:  “Though it calls itself a ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ group, J Street has actively lobbied against sanctions on the Iranian regime, devoting its energies to attacking Netanyahu almost exclusively. Its latest petition campaign, around the slogan ‘Israel’s Prime Minister is not the spokesman for all Jews,’ is directed at Netanyahu’s forthcoming speech to the US Congress on the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

“At the height of the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to Congress, J Street’s petition campaign that attempts to distance itself and American Jews from Israel’s duly elected prime minister is inflammatory and repugnant,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. “It exacerbates an already heated and politicized moment for U.S. Israel relations at a critical juncture in the West’s negotiations with Iran.”

The newspaper The Algemeiner calls J Street a “left-wing Jewish organization.”

In other words, J Street is a pro-peace Jewish organization that does not agree with everything Netanyahu does.

Foxman’s condemnation of J Street comes shortly after the ADL chief himself said that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress should be scrapped, arguing that the invitation to the Israeli prime minister extended by House Speaker John Boehner “looks like a political challenge to the White House.”