Israel Blamed for Breakdown in the Peace Process

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Peace process discussed at U.S. Senate hearing.

Associated Press: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lays the blame for the peace process suspension clearly on Israel during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to the article, “his words made clear that Israel’s actions have thrown the process deep into doubt.”

When asked if the Palestinians share the blame, he mentioned that “they don’t have a state yet,” as if this explains and excuses the PA’s unilateral moves.

The New York Times coverage of the hearing reports that Kerry had specifically focused on the Israeli announcement of more construction of Jewish apartments in Jerusalem. Interestingly, rather than picking up the “They don’t have a state yet” comment, the NY Times says:

The State Department insisted that Mr. Kerry did not place the blame for the crisis with either the Israelis or the Palestinians. He also criticized the Palestinian Authority for applying to join 15 international treaties and conventions, a move toward recognition of Palestinian statehood outside the peace process, which the United States staunchly opposes.


John Kerry having a tough day?

See also in the The Australian, focusing on the settlement issue as the cause for the breakdown of the peace process rather than Palestinian unilateralism. Also covered by the LA Times.

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2. Israel responds to PA’s UN moves by limiting contact between official Israeli and PA agencies according to Reuters. Other fallout includes a blocked shipment to Gaza according to Financial Times.

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3. A number of Palestinian runners from the Gaza Strip have been denied permission to cross into Israel to participate in the Bethlehem Marathon. A number of media reports note that one of the runners rejected was a 2008 Olympic participant. According to Israel, the applications did not meet the criteria for transit through Israel. See stories from IBT,  The Scotsman (which noted that the Olympic runner’s entourage included some 30 additional Gazans,) and the Times.

See HonestReporting’s Palestinian Marathon: Media Runs the Errors.


4. Recommended Reading: A Former Terrorist Reflects: As Palestinian prisoner releases are debated, a former inmate turned Hebrew teacher reflects on his actions. “I don’t feel like a hero because of what I did. Honestly, anyone can kill a person; that is easy. But I do see myself as a hero because I came out of this experience still strong,” he said. “I wrote, studied and managed to deal with the harsh conditions in prison, I left and I still have my sanity.”

5. Anti-Israel Agitprop in The Australian: A former Bishop bashes Israel.

6. AFP’s Settlement Error: The wire service can’t tell the difference between new buildings and entire new settlements.


Israel and the Palestinians

• Settlers and soldiers clash in the LA Times.

• Lots of pictures of secret tunnels in this story of a child working beneath the Egypt/Gaza border.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• Jennifer Rubin examines whether the U.S. should give Israel bunker busting bombs in the Washington Post:

We are quickly running out of options to halt Iran’s attainment of a nuclear weapons capability. In wasting years trying to “engage” Iran, then attempting to stall sanctions and recently rolling them back for virtually no tangible gain — all the while continually talking down the military threat — the president and his secretaries of state have systematically foiled our best options for peacefully dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons threat. Supplying Israel with bunker busters may be one of the few moves left to get the Iranians’ attention. And if that still fails and the president refuses to assume the responsibility as leader of the Free World, it will be up to Israel to act on behalf of the West.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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