Articles worth reading
Image : Cummins back, Cartwright included in Australia's ODI squad

Cummins back, Cartwright included in Australia's ODI squad

person Orange Themes access_time Nov 23,2016

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Paceman Pat Cummins is set to return and Zimbabwe-born allrounder Hilton Cartwright has been called into Australia's squad for three limited-overs internationals against New Zealand next month.

Image : French PM says 'possible' Le Pen could win in 2017

French PM says 'possible' Le Pen could win in 2017

person Orange Themes access_time Nov 17,2016

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Thursday that far-right leader Marine Le Pen had a chance of winning next year's presidential election, boosted by the momentum of Donald Trump's shock win in the United States. "It's possible," Valls said

Image : AP Interview: Kaine already reaching out to GOP

AP Interview: Kaine already reaching out to GOP

person Orange Themes access_time Oct 23,2016

BOSTON (AP) — Tim Kaine is sounding a hopeful note that a Democratic White House could work with Republicans to bridge deep divides laid bare by this bitter presidential campaign.

Latest blog articles

More than they bargained for? Israeli leaders gird for Trump visit.

access_time May 18,2017 chat_bubble_outline 39 views

A recent cartoon in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu breaking a sweat as he greeted a friend bearing gifts: President Trump with a package containing an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Mr. Netanyahu, on the heels of a famously bad relationship with former President Barack Obama that both sides did little to hide, has gone out of his way to signal that Mr. Trump is a president he can deal with. For his part, Trump took office after campaigning hard on the theme he would be a more sympathetic friend to Israel.

But what began with high expectations in the Israeli government of a suddenly freed hand in settlement building and of tightening Israel's hold on the occupied West Bank has turned into apprehension over what peace proposals the fast-pivoting Trump may bring with him on his visit here.

How much do you know about Israel? Take the quiz [/url]" data-reactid="14">Recommended: How much do you know about Israel? Take the quiz

After a weekend meeting with Muslim heads of state in Saudi Arabia, the US president arrives here May 22, less than three weeks after hosting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, and expressing optimism that he would succeed where others have failed.

Netanyahu's coalition, the most right-wing in Israel's history, opposes territorial concessions to the Palestinians to further the peace process and supports expanding settlements in the West Bank. And some key members oppose the notion of a Palestinian state altogether.

"For Netanyahu the really frightening possibility is that typically a peace process is accompanied by confidence-building measures, such as restraining settlement activity, the kinds of things that are difficult for him to do with his present coalition," says Nathan Thrall, an analyst with the International Crisis Group and author of "The Only Language They Understand," a new book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "There is also a more general unease about Trump's unpredictability."

The president's unpredictability looms large in both Israeli and Palestinian calculations, analysts say. And the setting for the visit has changed rapidly in recent months.

In the weeks after Trump took office, Israel announced a building spree in the West Bank, publicizing plans for the construction of thousands of new homes in settlements, with no immediate response from Washington. After years of tension with the Obama administration over settlement construction, it seemed that the lid was off.

Trump's campaign promise to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and his appointment of a new ambassador to Israel who is a staunch supporter of the settlements, seemed to point to a new policy direction.

Right-wing Israeli cabinet ministers celebrated a new era, floating proposals to annex large settlements to Israel, starting with the town of Maaleh Adumim near Jerusalem. Some hailed the demise of the two-state solution.

"Obama is history, now we have Trump," crowed Culture Minister Miri Regev, a member of Netanyahu's Likud party.

SHIFTING MESSAGES

But then came signs that the Trump administration was not giving Israel a free pass when it came to the Palestinians. It started with a White House statement cautioning that building new settlements or expanding existing ones "may not be helpful," echoing the stance of previous administrations.

Then, in a meeting in Washington with Netanyahu, Trump publicly asked him to "hold back on settlements for a little bit." The Israeli government later announced it would take steps to curb the footprint of construction in settlements, limiting it to built-up areas of the settlements or zones contiguous to them.

After the presidential envoy, Jason Greenblatt, met Arab foreign ministers at an Arab League summit in March to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, Trump met with Mr. Abbas and repeated his pledge to work for a peace deal. The White House later said Trump would endorse Palestinian "self-determination" during his visit to the region, diplomatic code for statehood.

Plans for moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem were put on hold after warnings from King Abdullah of Jordan and other Arab leaders that the move could spark unrest.

All of which has set the stage for a presidential visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority whose substance is still very much an enigma. It remains unclear whether Trump will go beyond speeches to present concrete peacemaking proposals to the parties, or press them to take steps that could create a better atmosphere for renewed negotiations.

Still, his declared determination to push for what he has called the "ultimate deal" has the potential of unnerving both sides, who have gone out of their way to praise his leadership. Both could be asked to take politically risky steps.

Any concessions by Netanyahu would open him up to criticism from the right flank of his government, led by Naftali Bennett, head of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, who has already accused the prime minister of failing to close the door on a two-state solution to the conflict.

"Abbas is worried that he will be pressured into entering a process that's damaging to him domestically if he's seen to be backing down on all the demands he has reiterated over the years," Mr. Thrall says. "If he's in a process with an Israeli governing coalition that finds it extraordinarily difficult to throw him a bone, how does he avoid looking like he is again giving cover to settlement expansion, land expropriation, and deprivation of Palestinian independence?"

UNPREDICTABILITY IS AN ISSUE

Trump's volatile personality and sharp policy swerves are another unsettling factor.

"Trump is a loose cannon, and even if he says something like 'Israel can depend on us' and sounds reassuring on concessions to the Palestinians, he may turn around the next day and say the opposite," says Yossi Alpher, an Israeli strategic analyst and author of "No End of Conflict: Rethinking Israel/Palestine."

"The only factor that might provide some sense of relief for Netanyahu is the impression that Trump doesn't have it in him to get committed to such a complex and extended process," Mr. Alpher says. "Given Trump's total unpredictability, Netanyahu is very cautious."

What has become increasingly clear is that the policies of the Trump administration are coming into line with those of its predecessors.

Like those that came before him, Trump's "current policy is opposition to building in the settlements, opposition to annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and support for Palestinian national aspirations," wrote Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz.

"It is doubtful whether Trump was familiar with the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but within four months in office he too has understood that there is really no other solution than two states for two peoples."

Related stories

  • How much do you know about Israel? Take the quiz
  • A US president hosts a Palestinian leader. Has anything changed? Maybe.
  • On Jordan's East Bank, Palestinians grasp at old idea for statehood
  • What Trump's intelligence-sharing with Russia may have cost the US
  • The Monitor's View
    A peace accelerator in the Mideast desert

Read this story at csmonitor.com

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Poor Sleep May Spur College Weight Gain

As the first semester of the school year reaches the halfway mark, countless college freshmen are becoming aware that their clothes are feeling rather snug. While the so-called freshman 15 may be hyperbole, studies confirm that many students do put on five to 10 pounds during that first year away from home. Now new research suggests that an underlying cause for the weight gain may be the students’ widely vacillating patterns of sleep.   A study in the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Armed robber flees bank heist in central Vietnam

Police in Thua Thien-Hue are tracking down a man suspected of robbing a bank in the central province on Tuesday afternoon. A young man entered a local branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) on Mai Thuc Loan Street in Hue at around 5 p.m pretending to be a customer, according to police accounts. He proceeded to the counter and ordered the cashier to hand over the money, the police said. Hearing the noise and commotion, locals rushed to the branch but the suspect fled… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Thouless, Haldane and Kosterlitz win 2016 Nobel physics prize

David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have been awarded the 2016 Nobel prize in physics. Illustration: N. Elmehed/2016 Nobel Prize British-born scientists David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics for studies of unusual states of matter such as in superconductors, the award-giving body said on Tuesday. "Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Flybe to add Sheffield— Dublin route to schedule in October

Flybe has added a new route to Dublin from Yorkshire’s Doncaster Sheffield Airport that will operate six times a week with effect from October 30th. The news comes just months after the launch of its new partnership with Flybe that featured an initial ten routes. It comes as a welcome boost to business and leisure travellers alike who enjoy visiting the Irish city. Dublin attracts visitors for mid-week and weekend getaways and is great for a family trip away. Also, from the Irish airport… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

WATCH: Donald Trump's Inauguration Is Streaming Live on PEOPLE

Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags

Comments

Loading...

Trends in Singapore

Trends in Indonesia

Trends in Philippin