30 April 2010 0 Comments

J Street group refreshingly artistic

I spoke this week to a group touring Israel and Palestine from J Street, an American group which aims to provide an alternative perspective on the conflict hereabouts to the one put forward by AIPAC. The idea: AIPAC is a bit stuck in the mud, because it toes the line of the utterly mudstuck Israeli […]

16 April 2010 0 Comments

Bibi’s Bedtime Book: The Secret Diary of Prime Minister Netanyahu #2

I can’t believe the extent of the corruption being uncovered in Israel’s government. My predecessor as Prime Minister drifted home from vacation yesterday – without any envelopes stuffed with cash, as far as we know — and made a mopey statement about yet another investigation into bribery and fraud and breach of trust on his […]

12 March 2010 0 Comments

As Biden leaves, Israel feels Iran fears

To force US action on Iran’s nukes, Netanyahu may need to concede in talks with Palestinians. (I posted this on Global Post.) JERUSALEM — Israeli leaders would like nothing better than to smash Iran’s putative nuclear capability with a swift bombing raid. Trouble is, most Israeli military and political chiefs are doubtful it could be […]

25 January 2010 0 Comments

New meaning to Israel ‘domestic issues’

Alleged abuse of staff by Netanyahu’s third wife opens him up to political attack. Billions of dollars in aid, bulging frequent-flier accounts for U.S. diplomats, and several thousand dead ought to be proof enough that the Middle East peace process has churned through the last decade and a half without getting anywhere. But if you […]

20 December 2009 0 Comments

4-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians?

My latest dispatch on Global Post — a week or so after it posted, because I’ve been in Italy and, well, the Middle East wasn’t on my mind…I didn’t miss the taste of humus too much either, not with all that saltimboca and gelato… Palestinians are divided; Israelis too. Not a good basis for negotiation. […]

13 November 2009 0 Comments

Is Abbas really ready to quit this time?

Worn out has-been or drama queen? Interpretations of the Palestinian president’s threat to quit vary greatly. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — Sometimes a quitter really does quit for good. The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced last week that he wouldn’t run for re-election in the proposed January elections. Back when he […]

9 October 2009 0 Comments

Let’s do the time warp again

A brouhaha over who can pray at the Temple Mount recalls a similar disagreement … that became known as the second intifada. by Matt Beynon Rees on GlobalPost JERUSALEM — I just returned to Jerusalem after a month away. Or at least I thought I did. I suspect I entered a cosmic wormhole that popped […]

27 August 2009 3 Comments

Can Palestinians step up to self-government?

Tax breaks, smaller government, a rationalized legal system? No, this is a long way from New Jersey. By Matt Beynon Rees, Global Post RAMALLAH — More than two decades after declaring an independent state, the Palestinians now say they may be able to run one. Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat declared an independent Palestinian […]

13 August 2009 0 Comments

Israel: Less corrupt than Somalia!

Seems even those holding the keys to the Holy Land need reminding that thou shall not steal. By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — In its international survey of corruption, Transparency International (TI) ranks Israel a respectable number 33 out of 180 countries. Pity the poor people of Somalia (rank: 180), because the graft […]

14 June 2009 0 Comments

Netanyahu holds his line

Israeli Prime Minister ignores Obama and reiterates same policiesby Matt Beynon Rees on Global Post JERUSALEM — It’s as if Obama never happened. Less than two weeks ago President Barack Obama laid out his plans for the Middle East in a speech in Cairo. He called for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction, among other […]