Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

JNS.org covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Editors and writers regularly present breaking news, analysis and opinion from the Jewish perspective on one of the most widely covered Middle East issues facing the world today. To select another topic, choose from the other content “categories” in our navigation bar.

Latest News

Norway has joined Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands in contributing funds to an organization funding NGOs that promote a boycott of the Jewish state, the watchdog group NGO Monitor reports.

World Vision and other foreign aid organizations that have funneled millions of dollars to the terror group Hamas are directly responsible for the murder of scores of Israeli Jews, an Israeli legal expert contends. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of Shurat HaDin Israeli legal center, warns that groups like World Vision cannot collect charity that ends up in the hand of terrorists “on the blood of the citizens of Israel."

A day after the Israel Defense Forces bombed a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket attack on the southern Israeli town of Sderot, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that the Jewish state cannot allow the Hamas terror group to arm itself. Lieberman’s caution comes just days after Hamas threatened to abduct Israeli soldiers on Sunday, showcasing two "prison cells" built especially for future Israeli captives. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israeli security forces also raided seven illegal Palestinian weapons mills in the Hebron and Bethlehem area on Monday night in the largest crackdown of its kind over the last year.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed to fight against repeated violations and attacks carried out by Israel and extremist groups on the Temple Mount complex, according to an interview in the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour last week. The Jordanian king claimed that Israel was seeking to “Judaize” the holy site and was attempting to "violate the sanctity and compromise al-Aksa Mosque. These comments may signal a deepening strain in relations between Israel and Jordan, one of only two Arab states that has a peace treaty with the Jewish state. 

Since the declaration of a final cease-fire between Israel and Hamas last month, there has been very little movement to resolve the situation in Gaza. With the Middle East preoccupied by the threat of Islamic extremism as well as the growing rivalries between Arab states over how to handle these threats, there appears to be little appetite in the Arab world to deal with the Palestinian issue. “It is striking to me that even during [this summer’s] Gaza war, you were seeing widespread demonstrations in Europe, but not in the Arab world,” Elliott Abrams, who served as deputy national security advisor for President George W. Bush, told JNS.org

SDEROT—With only a short time to recover from their jet lag, a group of 51 Evangelical Christian pastors representing every U.S. state and the District of Columbia embarked on a journey to the frontline of the recent Gaza conflict as part of a three-day mission organized by Christians United For Israel (CUFI).

 

The Facebook page of Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh was recently removed following complaints about his posts, which are highly critical of the Palestinian Authority and the Kingdom of Jordan. The award-winning journalist reflected on the incident in an interview with JNS.org. “The prevailing concept in the Arab World is that if you are not with us, you are against us,” Abu Toameh said, adding that “a Palestinian journalist is expected to be loyal to the cause of Palestinian nationalism.”

The same reports of tension between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that persisted leading up to November’s U.S. election have re-emerged before Israelis head to the voting booth on Jan. 22. In an article for Bloomberg published Tuesday, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg—who is thought to have good access to the White House—wrote that in the weeks following the United Nations vote to give the Palestinians non-member state status, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”

In his 2008 book, The Much Too Promised Land, Aaron David Miller recounted a conversation with President Barack Obama's reported defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel as follows: “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter, Hagel continued, and ‘then you’ll get eighty or ninety senators on it. I don’t think I’ve ever signed one of the letters’—because, he added, they were ‘stupid.’” Hagel, who served in the Senate from January 1997 to January 2009, was telling Miller the truth about his letter-signing history. JNS.org presents the highlights of letters signed by large majorities of the U.S. Senate, noting whether Hagel signed or not. 

In recent years, the Palestinian leadership, often with the help of the mainstream media in the U.S. and Europe, has been successful in its effort to divert all attention only toward Israel. Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades, presents a list of 10 "inconvenient truths" that he says Palestinian leaders would prefer you not know.

Dr. Essam el-Erian, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official and adviser to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, has called on Jews who left Egypt to return, as “Israel will be destroyed within a decade.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres ignited a controversy by expressing optimism about the Jewish state's relationship with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. "I have known Abu Mazen [Abbas] for 30 years and no one will change my opinion about him, even if they say that I can’t express this opinion because I am president," Peres told a group of 160 Israeli ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from around the world Sunday. "The president should be allowed to evaluate people according to his experience. [Abbas] is a man with whom we can reach an agreement."

Where does U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), President Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of State, stand on foreign policy matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East? JNS.org highlights 10 letters signed by large majorities of the U.S. Senate, noting whether Kerry signed or not.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave the order on Monday to officially accredit Ariel University Center of Samaria as a full-fledged university, making it the first Israeli university to be located beyond the 1949 Green Line. The ruling “sends a clear message that Ariel will forever stay part of Israel,” said Likud-Yisrael Beytenu Coalition Chairman MK Zeev Elkin.

What do European Jews think of the EU’s recent heavy focus on Israel? What are the reasons behind that focus, and what are its implications for Israel’s relationships with European nations? JNS.org reports on the Jewish perspective from Germany, Britain and France.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused the international community of “deafening silence” in response to vows by Hamas to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed. Netanyahu’s tough words came after the European Union warned Israel of unspecified consequences if it goes through with construction plans in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.

Israel and the Palestinians have fought each other on many battlefields and many diplomatic fronts for decades, but the passing of the resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status at the United Nations indicates the next war between the two might take place at a very different venue: courtrooms.

Judaism is punctilious in its adherence and respect to agreements and contracts. Yet many American Jews who believe in the rule of law for our religious, civil and criminal justice systems and the binding nature of contracts seem to allow their sensibilities to be changed in regard to the binding agreements made by Palestinian Arabs such as the Oslo accords, writes StandWithUs/New York office co-chair Eric R. Mandel.

Kasim Hafeez, a former proponent of jihad who turned Zionist after reading the Alan Dershowitz book “The Case for Israel” and seeing the “normal Israel” upon visiting there, now attempts to foster similar turnarounds for Muslim college students in England.

It is time to recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the most important conflict in the region, nor the most dangerous one, writes JNS.org Shillman Analyst Ben Cohen. Otherwise, we will permit regional leaders to divert attention from their own wrongdoings onto the plight of the Palestinians, according to Cohen.