CMEP Bulletin: What’s Next?
What’s Next for Middle East Peace? [Al Monitor]
The Obama administration is deliberating three options and measures to take in order to stabilize the volatile situation on the ground and set a policy platform for a future two-state solution.
Israeli Officials Fear a Looming Disaster: The Collapse of the Palestinian Authority [Vox]
Israeli security officials and political leaders are increasingly worried that the Palestinian Authority — which along with Israeli security forces is responsible for governance and security in the West Bank — is on the verge of collapse, and that when it does collapse, law and order in the West Bank will erode, bringing disaster for Palestinians there and potentially opening the territory to a takeover by Hamas or other extremists. These fears, long expressed by some Palestinian and American officials along with independent analysts, appear to have gripped the Israeli establishment as well.
Martin Indyk: Obama “Has Essentially Written Off Netanyahu” [Frontline]
According to Martin Indyk, a U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, and from 2013 to 2014 a special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in the early days of his administration, President Barack Obama had a theory about Israel. “It was a wrong theory of the case,” says Indyk, but a theory nonetheless: If the president could put distance between the United States and Israel, then just maybe he could build up credibility with the Arab world — and ultimately be in a better position to help Israel negotiate for peace.
An Unholy Alliance – Abbas’ Rivals Unite Against Him [Foreign Affairs]
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to name a successor, hold elections, or reform the PA’s corrupt institutions is pushing his rivals to unite against him. The staunchest of enemies—from members of Hamas to former members of the PA, including the Western-educated reformer Salam Fayyad and the exiled Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan—have found common ground in their quest to dethrone the aging Palestinian leader.
A Hopeful Opposition In Israel: FMEP Interviews MK Ayman Odeh [FMEP]
In 2015, Israel ushered in the most right-wing government in its history. But the same election produced another notable outcome: for the first time, Arab parties joined in a bloc with the sole Jewish-Arab party, Hadash, to form the Joint List. Ayman Odeh is the Chairperson of the Hadash party and the head of the Joint List. In these roles, MK Odeh has established himself as a respected leader, bringing a principled voice to the opposition while balancing the diverse and sometimes contradictory politics of his own List. In December, MK Odeh embarked on a groundbreaking visit to the United States, his first as well as the first of its kind for a political leader of Israel’s Palestinian community, where he met with many politicians, community leaders and activist groups. FMEP conducted this interview with MK Odeh between December 23, 2015 and January 2, 2016.
Vatican: Historic Accord with Palestine Takes Effect [IMEMC]
The Vatican’s first accord with the Palestinians has come into force, the Holy See announced Saturday, according to Al Ray. The accord was signed in June, just over two years after the Roman Catholic Church recognized the Palestinian territories as a sovereign state, in February of 2013. The accord covers the operation of the Church in areas of the Holy Land under Palestinian control, but its significance has been seen in broader terms as a symbol of growing international backing for a Palestinian state.
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