The violent clashes currently underway in East Jerusalem, sparked by the shooting of a Palestinian man by a private guard protecting Israeli settlers, have once again demonstrated the volatility and hair-trigger tensions in Jerusalem and in the region that can explode at the slightest provocation. Yet even as riot police are dispersing Palestinians in the Old City, direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis continue, President Obama yesterday at the United Nations called for greater international efforts to create a true Palestinian state, and a poll of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza found that nearly 60% of respondents oppose attacks against Israel, and 54% believed the new round of talks would be beneficial to them (even though nearly 56% said they did not believe the talks would change the status quo).
The New America Foundation American Strategy Program/Middle East Task Force will host Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm TODAY for a discussion of the state of relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficulties of building a state, its institutions, and its economy while coping with the heavy burdens of occupation and settlements. Registration for this event is CLOSED, but it will stream live right here at TWN.
– Andrew Lebovich