Trump to Send Delegation to Israel, Palestinian Authority and Arab States in New Peace Push [Haaretz]
Haaretz reports, “President Donald Trump is preparing to send a delegation of senior officials to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and several Arab states in an effort to renew the peace process. According to a senior Israeli official, the delegation is evidently expected to arrive in the last week of August. A senior White House official said that the delegation will be headed by Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who will be joined by the president's envoy to the peace process Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.”
Is Trump’s Middle East Peace Effort Dead in the Water? [Foreign Policy]
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro writes, “President Donald Trump is sending his Middle East team, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, back to the region this month to try to energize peace talks. But they are about to confront some hard truths about their Israeli-Palestinian peace effort. Perhaps earlier than expected, it has become clear in recent days that whatever faint hopes there were of a breakthrough, or even renewed talks, are beyond reach for now.”
Cutting Off Payments to Palestinian Families Won’t Stop Terrorism [The Nation]
“According to Palestinian sources, Israel has arrested 40 percent of the male Palestinian population since 1967. This is in addition to Palestinians killed while attacking, or accused of attacking, Israeli targets. Most Israelis sees these men as terrorists; most Palestinians view them as martyrs and political prisoners. This is the brutal, zero-sum ethos of national struggle—something that will change only after the conflict ends. In the meantime, given this rate of arrests, funding for families of those killed or imprisoned by Israel represents a critical social safety net. Removing it would amount to collective punishment, illegal under international law and viewed by most of the world as immoral,” writes Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
The Sly Effort to Criminalize the BDS Movement in the U.S. [The American Conservative (TAC)]
Founding editor of TAC Scott McConnell writes, “BDS’s advances worry Israel and its most uncritical U.S. supporters. Benjamin Netanyahu has called the movement an ‘existential threat.’ Early this year AIPAC (America’s main pro-Israel lobby) has actually helped draft a bill (S. 720), The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which mandates civil and criminal penalties for participating in an anti-Israel boycott. The ACLU, which usually steers clear of any implicit criticism of Israel or its lobby, has denounced the legislation, saying its impact ‘would be antithetical to free speech protections enshrined in the First Amendment.’”