Older articles on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

01 December 2001

Israel’s secret negotiations with Syria were disrupted by the US. Gabriel Kolko looks at the history of Israeli foreign policy and concludes that US influence has led it down a dangerous and destructive path.

Israel and US 30 November 2006
Phyllis Bennis interviewed by Bruce Jackson

The Roadmap to Nowhere 2 October 2006
Eric Hazan interviews Tanya Reinhart
With the Israeli military increasingly taking key decisions, the Israeli political system is gradually crumbling, says Tanya Reinhart. In her latest book, “The Road Map to Nowhere,” she traces the legacy of Ariel Sharon’s government as pointing towards eternal war. She praises the daily endurance of the Palestinians, and draws hope from the growing non-violent struggle of Palestinians against the West Bank wall.

The Gaza/Lebanon Crises: Escalating Occupation & Danger of New Border Fighting 12 July 2006
By Phyllis Bennis
The Israeli assaults on Gaza and Lebanon constitute a political, not just humanitarian crisis, says Bennis. They violate the Fourth Geneva Convention in seeking to collectively punish whole populations, and the attack on Lebanon risks a serious escalation, were Syria to become involved. Only a new, international (not U.S.-sponsored) diplomatic process based on international law and human rights can form the basis for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

Palestine: Israel's Olmert Comes to Washington 26 May 2006
By Phyllis Bennis
President Bush capped Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s visit to Washington with a cautious endorsement of his government’s plan to annex large swathes of Palestinian territory. Bennis analyses the implications of the visit, and looks at the role of Isral in the US-Iran crisis.

`No negotiations' with Hamas a red herring 3 March 2006
By Phyllis Bennis
Israel’s government asserted it would not negotiate with a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, but the truth is that for the last two years Israel has not been negotiating with the Palestinian Authority anyway, Bennis points out, calling on the US not to punish an impoverished occupied population because Washington doesn’t like what democracy has wrought.

Cambio de gobierno en Palestina, nuevo escenario regional January 2006
By Mariano Aguirre
The Hamas victory in Palestinian elections is an example of the rising importance of religious and national identities embodied in movements acting as a counter-power, replacing traditional political parties and governments that are perceived as incapable of guaranteeing rights. The future of peace negotiations will depend on Israel's and Hamas's mutual recognition, and concessions, writes Aguirre.

Munich and the Hamas electoral victory 9 February 2006
By Saul Landau
Reading into the latest Spielberg film, Munich, Landau praises it for turning the black and white, right and wrong worlds of the Israel-Palestine dispute into ugly shades of grey. The film presents Israel stripped of innocence and virtue. Israel has used violence - alongside democracy - since its inception. The film came out just as Hamas won elections in the Palestinian territories - because they and not their secular rivals showed they could deal with Israel both from a tough and from a clean position.

Hamas wins the Palestinian Elections 27 January 2006
By Phyllis Bennis
The huge turn out for Hamas was less a statement of support for their Islamist social agenda than it was a call for change in the Palestinians' untenable situation - it was a vote against, not a vote for. The Hamas victory may make it easier for the Israeli government to justify acting unilaterally, on the grounds that "we have no partner for peace". Because of Hamas' inexperience with serious diplomacy, the Palestine Liberation Organisation may get a renewed role, foresees Bennis.

The Little Town of Bethlehem 27 December 2005
By Phyllis Bennis
Reporting from the historical town of Bethlehem, now encircled by Israel's 'security fence', suffocated economically and deprived of its horizon, Bennis observes how the city is dying out, although its monuments and ancient shrines may live forever.

After the Gaza Withdrawal September 2005
Después de la retirada de Gaza territorio
By Mariano Aguirre
The withdrawal of security forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip in August opens a series of doubts about the future of the Road Map for peace negotiations, the ability of the Palestinian authorities to control this territory and, in the medium term, whether it will be possible to achieve agreement around the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

The Gaza "Disengagement" 21 July 2005
By Phyllis Bennis
Sharon's planned "disengagement" from Gaza is not a step towards ending occupation. It is designed to change the character of Gaza's occupation from the direct one to a kind of occupation-by-siege in which Gaza will be completely encircled by an Israeli fence. It will be used to put the withdrawal of the rest of the occupied territories off the agenda. Bennis calls for civil society to step up their campaign against Israel's occupation and the institutions and corporations that benefit from it.

Democracy and Ocupation: What's Really on the Rise Across the Middle East? 12 March 2005
By Phyllis Bennis
Contrasting US's claims to be supporting democratic changes in the Middle East with actual US policies towards the countries in the region, Bennis concludes that what is happening across the Middle East is an explosion not of democracy, but of occupation.

The two injustices of the Middle East, the US occupation of Iraq and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands constitute the two faces of US policy in the region. They are also a manifestation of the weakness of the UN and its domination by the US. With official channels of diplomacy seriously twisted, civil society activists from 34 countries, including Occupied Palestine and Israel, gathered at a conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 28-30 March 2005, to determine how civil society could contribute to the quest for a just solution to decades of Israeli - Palestinian conflict. TNI was represented by Achin Vanaik, and Walden Bello and Phyllis Bennis gave keynote speeches.

Palestine and Israel at the Sham Sharm Talks 11 February 2005
Phyllis Bennis
The US goal for the Sharon-Abbas ceasefire was to provide a new chance for Sharon and Abu Mazen to deliver a level of quiet on the Israel-Palestine front so it does not continue to undermine the Iraq war and US regional goals, writes Bennis. Security for Israel, not an end to Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state, was the only operative focus. International law is not identified as the fundamental basis for any negotiations, says Bennis.

Man under a Death Sentence: An Interview with Hamas Leader Usamah Hamdan 3 December 2004
by Walden Bello and Marylou Malig
In the wake of Arafat's death, which puts into question the PLO's leadership of the Palestinian people, Walden Bello and Marylou Malig interview Usamah Hamdan, leader of the other Palestinian organization - Hamas.

Giving Arafat his Due 20 November 2004
By Praful Bidwai
The Palestinian crisis will worsen with Yasser Arafat's death and a changed balance of forces vis-a-vis Israel and the US, writes Bidwai. A just resolution of the crisis will demand extraordinarily creative efforts from the PLO and the world community, including India.

After Arafat? Progreso Weekly, 18 November 2004
By Saul Landau and Farrah Hassen
In this fluid article, Landau and Hassen follow the history of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and portray Arafat as a leader who didn't always making clever decisions during his forty years of inconclusive struggle with Israel, the west and other Arab states, and who often resorted to manipulation to maintain internal control. His death might actually open the door to political possibilities for Palestinians that were vitiated by his leadership, conclude the authors.

The End of the Arafat Era 12 November 2004
By Praful Bidwai
On the eve of Arafat's death, Bidwai writes, that Arafat has never been an obstacle to peace, but rather a precondition for it as he has done more than anyone else to put the cause of the Palestinian people on the world map. After Arafat, and in the face of the Sharon's "Disengagement plan", after which Gaza will become a giant prison, the PLO has to forge a strong, effective, collective leadership, he urges.

Palestine in Dire Crisis Frontline, 31 July 2004
By Praful Bidwai
Even as Israel faces reprimand and dishonour all over the world over its Apartheid Wall, the PLO's dominant Fatah faction is half- paralysed by corruption scandals and a grim leadership crisis. There is an urgent need for reform in Fatah and a concerted global struggle against the Israeli occupation, argues Bidwai.

Sharon's Insane Plan 3 July 2004
By Praful Bidwai
Israel's plan to "disengage" from Gaza, which is part of a scheme to break up Palestinian territory into a series of Bantustans and torpedo the project of Palestinian statehood altogether, must be opposed worldwide - just as apartheid was, says Bidwai.

Phyllis Bennis Admit you were wrong and help the UN The Guardian, 13 May 2004

Report from Palestine, by Praful Bidwai:
Praful Bidwai reports on his trip to the Palestinian territories where he witnessed "apartheid in practice". It is hard to demarcate Israel's Palestine policy from the former South Africa's egregious ideology and politics of apartheid, says Bidwai. He also comments on the now-rejected Sharon proposal for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The plan had nothing to do with Palestinian independence, but was rather a way of getting rid of a "trouble- spot" to consolidate the much larger settlement issue in the west Bank preventing the emergence of a sovereign Palestinian state.

There May be Other Dirty Hands Besides Sharon's 19 April 2004
By Praful Bidwai
After Bush's embrace of Sharon's unilateral plans that exclude any participation by Palestinians ("Second Balfour Declaration"), it is difficult to believe that the action that followed it - Israel's assassination of Abdul Aziz Rantisi - was not approved by the Bush administration, says Bidwai.

Rouge States Embrace: The Bush - Sharon Conference 15 April 2004
By Phyllis Bennis
As a quid quo pro for Israel pulling out of most of Gaza, Bush has embraced Sharon's unilateral plan to annex six major West Bank settlement blocs and reject the internationally recognized Palestinian right of return. This, argues Bennis, represents a major defeat for Palestinian human rights and international law. Furthermore, Israeli-US negotiations have become the substitute for Israeli-Palestinian talks, with the US free to concede Palestinian land and rights as the British did in the colonial era.

The Assssination of Sheik Yassin and Israel's Push for US Support of Annexation of Settlements 29 March 2004
By Phyllis Bennis
Bennis argues that the assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin marks a serious escalation in Israeli occupation tactics, "While Israel had (in earlier assassination attempts) already crossed the "red line" that once defined some limits in aggressive acts, its message in the Yassin murder was that there are no limits, that Israel's military attacks face no restrictions." Counting accurately on Washington's unwillingness to challenge its aggression, Bennis argues, that the assassination also ushers in a new Israeli campaign to win official US support for wide-spread annexation of major West Bank settlements as part of Tel Aviv's "unilateral withdrawal from Gaza" plan.

Geneva Accord 11 December 2003
By Phyllis Bennis
The Geneva Accord offers a glimmer of hope for the Middle East. In this article, Bennis dissects the Accord, pointing to where it goes beyond previous efforts but also making constructive criticisms of where it falls short. In particular, she points to the question of the need to respect existing UN resolutions.

The Geneva Accord. Open Forum with Yossi Beilin, Yasser Abd Rabbo and other Drafters 3 December 2003

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Solemn Commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations, New York, 1 December 2003
By Phyllis Bennis
If we are to reverse not only the Apartheid Wall but the occupation as a whole, we need a new internationalism to do it - an internationalism made up not only of governments, not only of global civil society, not even only of the United Nations - but of all of them together, says Bennis. That will be the internationalism of our future, and the internationalism that can bring peace and justice and an end to occupation for the Palestinian people, in whose name we gather today.

How not to deal with Israel 18 September 2003
By Praful Bidwai
After Ariel Sharon's visit to India, a debate was triggered in Pakistan as to the merits of warming up relations with Israel. But any strategic proximity with Israel based on "solidarity" in fighting "terrorism" is fundamentally misconceived.

The Tragedy of Palestine 18 June 2003
By Achin Vanaik
The US-sponsored 'roadmap' is simply a repackaging of the old Oslo process, itself meant to create a Palestine permanently subordinate to Israel, and if the Palestinians refuse to accept the terms of surrender then they themselves will be blamed for the continued Israeli occupation.

Roadmap to Injustice 8 May 2003
By Achin Vanaik
The takeover of Iraq is the first step in the effective re-colonisation of West Asia. But without 'resolving the Palestine issue' the region cannot be stabilised.

Mapping the Roadmap 23 April 2003
By Phyllis Bennis

Veto January 2003
By Phyllis Bennis
Bennis writes how the US repeatedly used its veto power in the UN Security Council to block any constructive resolution concerning Israel and Palestine. But overall US concern in the Middle East, and especially regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict, is strategic, not humanitarian. Washington has an interest in insuring that some modicum of social stability exists, and is perfectly willing for the U.N. to take the lead in providing basic survival support networks (thus substantially lowering what the US alone might have to pay for). What it is not willing to do is have the U.N. - and by extension the international community as a whole - involved in the political decision-making of the Middle East.

Talk given at the Annual Solemn Meeting of the UN General Assembly Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People 29 November 2002
By Phyllis Bennis

  • Saul Landau Israeli Orthodox Missionaries Recruit in Peru Progreso Weekly, 1 August 2002
  • Phyllis Bennis Bush Mispronounces Middle East Peace End of Occupation (website), 8 July 2002
  • Phyllis Bennis George Junior in Wonderland TNI Website, 23 April 2002
  • Speech Phyllis Bennis, 's speech March on Washington, 20 April 2002
  • Mariano Aguirre El alto el fuego necesita un plan [The Ceasefire Needs a Plan] El correo digital, 16 April 2002
  • Mariano Aguirre Parar la destrucción, asumir la violencia (Taking on the Violence), El País, 11 April 2002
  • Graham Usher Sharon Launches the Endgame? Middle East International Online, April 2002
  • Saul Landau Seeds of Peace or Pessimism? Radio Progreso Weekly, 18 April 2002
  • "Buscan terminar con la Autoridad Palestina" (They Want to Terminate the Palestinian Authority) Interview with Mariano Aguirre, BBC World, 2 April 2002
  • Boris Kagarlitsky Mironov's Glorious Gaffe The Moscow Times, 19 March 2002
  • Saul Landau Face Facts: Israel is Losing a War and her Ethics Progreso Weekly, 15 March 2002
  • UN Impotence over Mid-East Crisis featuring Phyllis Bennis, BBC, 14 January 2002
  • Walden Bello In the Eyes of the World Yes! Winter 2001/2002
  • Phyllis Bennis Before and After: US Foreign Policy in 2001 To be published in Spanish in CIP-FUHEM's Yearbook 2002
  • Mariano Aguirre Time to Intervene in the Middle East El País, 6 December 2001
  • Praful Bidwai Winning the Battle, Losing the Peace Frontline, 28 October 2001
  • Mariano Aguirre An Attack Against Politics and Democracy El correo digital, 12 September 2001
  • Praful Bidwai Israel's Palestine War. Bush Doctrine in Action India-syndicate.com, 7 December 2001
  • Achin Vanaik Fortress America The Hindu, 26 September 2001
  • Saul Landau The Day After TNI Website, 14 September 2001
  • Hilary Wainwright People to People TNI Website, 18 September 2001
  • Phyllis Bennis Can the World Step in Where Bush Steps Back? Die Tageszeitung, 6 September 2001
  • Phyllis Bennis The Newest New World Order Papeles, No. 75, Autumn 2001
  • Mariano Aguirre Israel-Palestina: el malentendido de la violencia (The Misunderstanding of the Violence), El Correo digital, 28 August 2001
  • Jochen Hippler Ein Schritt vorwärts ... Präsident Bashar Assad laviert zwischen innerem Reformdruck und regionaler Unsicherheit (), Freitag, 6 July 2001
  • Phyllis Bennis Palestinian Women Suffer under Occupation Progressive Media Project, 8 March 2001
  • Phyllis Bennis The UN in the Israel-Palestine Struggle Trans-Arab Research Institute, January 2001
  • Mariano Aguirre Palestina-Israel: Las cuestiones esenciales (Palestine-Israel: Key questions) Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, January 2001
  • Achin Vanaik The Oslo Process is Dead The Hindu, 7 December 2000
  • Graham Usher Middle East Divide The Nation, 25 December 2000
  • Phyllis Bennis Camp David's Unspoken Bottom Line: The Disparity of Power TNI Website, 23 July 2000
  • Phyllis Bennis and Khaled Mansour Praise God and Pass the Ammunition: The Changing Nature of Israel's US Backers Middle East Report, Fall 1999
  • Jochen Hippler Foreign Policy, the Media and Western Perception of the Middle East. Kai Hafez (ed), Islam and the West in the Mass-Media Fragmented Images in a Globalizing World, Hampton Press, 2000
  • Jochen Hippler Vorkriegszeit in Nahost? Hintergründe der Gewaltwelle nach dem Massaker auf dem Tempelberg (Background to the Wave of Violence after the Tempelberg Massacre), Freitag, 20 October 2000
  • Mariano Aguirre Israel-Palestine: el abismo informativo (The Abyss of Information), Recol, 18 July 2000
  • Mariano Aguirre Israel-Palestina: Peligros futuros (Israel-Palestina: Future Dangers), El País, 8 September 1999
  • Phyllis Bennis Perilous Failure in Geneva Middle East International, 30 July 1999
  • Phyllis Bennis NGOs, Palestine and the UN Salam Review, Vol. 2, No. 4, April 1999
  • Phyllis Bennis, The US Bears Guilt The Baltimore Sun, 11 April 1999
  • Phyllis Bennis The WYE Bother Summit Salam Review, November 1998
  • Phyllis Bennis US Strategic Reach in the Middle East InFocus, Vol. 1, No. 17, November 1997
  • Phyllis Bennis Washington's "New Initiantive" that Isn't Third World Resurgence, 15 September 1997
  • Phyllis Bennis Time for Europe to Obey its own Rules Salam Review, August 1997
  • Phyllis Bennis Palestine after Oslo: A Report on the Question of Palestine Peace Conference Information Project, May 1997
  • Phyllis Bennis US-Israel Policy InFocus, Vol. 1, No. 9, November 1996
  • Jochen Hippler Ein Trojanisches Pferd - Hamas und die Hintermänner (), Freitag, 15 March 1996