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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Remembering Jerusalem, city of peace

A renewed spate of violence along old faultlines recalls a briefly hopeful time.

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Palestine's statehood options: a dialogue

What are the choices facing Palestinians regarding their state sovereignty, and how best should they be pursued? Two legal scholars debate these increasingly urgent questions. 

Gaza, and an Arab civil war

Behind the Arab rhetoric of unity over Gaza - and Syria or Iraq - lie deep and dangerous fractures.

In Israel, as in Gaza, human rights are the last line of protection

Plain and simple sadness is a natural human reaction to the killing in Gaza. But we are told such emotional reactions must be politically calibrated.

Why Israel lost

After its four-week bombardment, a three-day ceasefire reveals that the ground has shifted under Israel.

On Israel-Palestine and BDS

Those dedicated to the Palestinian cause should think carefully about the tactics they choose.

Boycotting Israel: the situation has changed and I have changed my mind too

The latest Israeli assault on Gaza is for one scholar an occasion to rethink the fundamental arguments for and against a boycott of the country.

An open letter to my friends in Gaza

A former aid worker who worked in Gaza for two years in the mid-2000s writes to his friends there.

Israelis and Palestinians: time to acknowledge the other’s trauma

The US-sponsored peace negotiations on a two-state solution have failed, again, as they will always do until monopolistic narratives of victimhood are abandoned.

Who was Arik Sharon?

The varying nature of the Israeli soldier-politician's career means that there is no consensus in its aftermath, says Colin Shindler.

Israel and Hamas: momentum of war

The latest war over Gaza leaves unchanged the underlying roots of conflict, even as regional changes are narrowing the potential for a long-term settlement.

Israel and Gaza: the way ahead

The latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be traced to decisions made since 2004. Its solution lies in a recognition of strategic reality, says Eóin Murray.

Hamas divided, and a political choice

The Palestinian Islamist movement is uncertain about its strategy in the wake of the Arab spring. This creates an opportunity for much-needed progress in the region, says Nathan Thrall.

Bitterlemons, the next stage

An innovative Israeli-Palestinian collaboration offering regular analysis of middle-east affairs is ending regular publication after eleven years. Its co-editors, Yossi Alpher and Ghassan Khatib, explain why.

Israel's new government: a blank peace page

The surprise formation of a new governing coalition is bad news for Israeli-Palestinian peace - unless another unlikely scenario takes hold, says Yossi Alpher.

The Palestine question, and the Arab answer

The Palestinians’ inability to claim their right has been reinforced by long-term failures of thinking and strategy in which the eclipse of politics by essentialism plays a major part. But the new aspirations sweeping the Arab world create potential for progress, says Hazem Saghieh.

Palestine's deal, and an emerging paradigm

The leading Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a declaration in Doha on 5 February 2012 that committed them to work together. It promises to be a significant moment for Israel and the west too, says Yossi Alpher.

Palestine and the two-state phantom

A combination of political changes and shifts in attitude are making the possibility of a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine increasingly remote, says Ghassan Khatib.

Advocating the two state solution: the best bet?

We need to convince our governments and the EU to invest in a political strategy that reverses the destructive dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They need to understand that respect for international law is not a detail, but lies at the very heart of the conflict.

The Palestinian crossroads

The Palestinians' current political impasse offers them only difficult choices, says Ghassan Khatib.

Talking with Khalil: the subtle violence of constant occupation

On a journey to the West Bank, the author encounters one small instance of the broader machinery that Israel uses to sustain its occupation of Palestine. The days of battle are over. Now the Palestinians suffer the indignity of daily humiliations, and the slow and quiet effort to snuff out any dream of statehood

Israel: the cost of arrogance

A triple diplomatic challenge to Israel from Turkey, Palestine and Egypt both reflects the region's political transformation and reveals the key flaw in Israel's attitude to its neighbours, says Khaled Hroub.

Will the Israelis listen to the clock ticking?

In this eventful month of September, the Israeli (Arab) spring has to decide: where does it stand, first and foremost, in regard to Palestine, but also in regard to Turkey and Egypt.

Middle East hawks should welcome the UN Palestine vote

At their very best, Israeli-Palestinian partition plans envision the same kind of complex ethnic patchwork rejected by western diplomats in Bosnia.

Palestinian statehood: a turning-point

The Palestinian ambition of becoming a full member-state of the United Nations is approaching a crucial moment. A combination of numbers and strategy will bring its fulfilment closer, says Victor Kattan.

A war of rhetoric: the Israel-Palestine vortex

A fevered dispute in the media contest over Israel-Palestine is an object lesson in the deformities of internet-fuelled public debate on this issue, says Keith Kahn-Harris.

Land, citizenship and exclusion in Israel

A new law that "formalizes the establishment of admission committees to review potential residents of Negev and Galilee communities that have fewer than 400 families" seems set to entrench Arab exclusion and challenges the meaning of citizenship and the basis of democracy

Israel and the Arab awakening

Israel’s political class is struggling to make sense of a crumbling Arab order and the loss of the certainties it embodied, reports Thomas O’Dwyer.

Israel and human rights: voice and silence

A series of legislative measures in Israel will further constrain Israel’s beleaguered human-rights groups. A proposed commission to monitor their work highlights the real motive behind these efforts, say Lisa Magarrell & Iain Levine.

The middle east: the question of freedom

The much-recycled image of a region inhospitable to peace, human dignity and freedom has damaging effects in practice, say Foulath Hadid & Mishana Hosseinioun. 

Fractured justice: the UN Secretary-General's Gaza flotilla enquiry

The UN Secretary General has promised to investigate the Gaza flotilla incident in a manner which is "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent" and "conforming to international standards". But it looks as if politics is triumphing over justice

Israel’s security: beyond the zero-sum

The prospects for progress in the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in Washington are meagre. But breakthrough is essential if Israel is to be saved from itself.

In search of an Israeli left

The disconnection between the international left and its counterparts in Israel has become near total, to the detriment of the causes that both espouse. But a situation with complex roots can be remedied by looking more closely at the work of people on the ground, say Keith Kahn-Harris & Joel Schalit.

Struggling with Gaza power

As darkness descends on more and more parts of Gaza, and temperatures soar, another kind of darkness is creating havoc with people’s equilibrium
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