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As Secretary of State John Kerry recently observed, we are at a 'critical point' in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In a New Left Project interview earlier this month, Norman Finkelstein presented an in-depth analysis of where the Israeli-Palestinian talks being brokered by Kerry are heading, the gist of which was: in the absence of a revived Palestinian movement, the U.S. and Israel will successfully impose Israel's terms of settlement on an unprecedentedly weak Palestinian leadership, inflicting an in-all-likelihood decisive defeat on the Palestinians' decades-long struggle for self-determination.

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An agreement may be imminent that will end the Israel-Palestine conflict -- and the prospects for an independent Palestine along with it.

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Ahead of renewed US-mediated Israeli-Palestinian talks, it's a relief to see that US lawmakers are aware of the dangers of endless negotiations.

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A guest post by Norman Finkelstein, first published at New Left Project and republished here with permission

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The long-suffering Middle East peace process has been revived once again. Norman Finkelstein assesses its prospects and implications.

Re-published with permission from New Left Project

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Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:26 AM PDT

All Talk in the Middle East

by heathlander

Many analysts and politicians have responded to Hassan Rouhani's victory in Iran's presidential elections with concern -- that a more moderate Iranian figurehead may reduce international pressure even in the absence of any substantial change in Iranian policy, and that Rouhani may engage in negotiations designed to drag out for eternity, in order to distract from continued nuclear activity on the ground.

Whether or not these fears are justified with respect to Rouhani, they are a precise description of another item dominating the regional agenda: the Middle East peace process.

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:20 PM PDT

Power Corrupts

by heathlander

Samantha Power has long criticised "peace processors". So how will she defend the most bankrupt peace process of all?

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For those confused about the U.S.'s latest push for Middle East peace, State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki has handily summarised Obama administration policy:

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John Kerry's economic initiative for the Palestinians is a rehash of a failed strategy. Here we go again...

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Israel's recent election was widely expected to yield another triumph for the Israeli right. In the event, what impressed commentators most was the resurgence of the centre. After more than a decade of right-wing dominance, did the vote mark a fundamental realignment of Israeli politics? I spoke to Shir Hever, economist with Israel's Alternative Information Center and author of The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation.

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In this article Norman Finkelstein, leading scholar of the Israel-Palestine conflict, analyses Israel's most recent attack ('Operation Pillar of Defense') on Gaza. He argues that shifting regional alignments and the legacy of the Goldstone Report combined to ensure that Israel suffered a stunning defeat.

This is posted here with the permission of both its author and New Left Project, where this article first appeared.

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As Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip enters its second day, reports have emerged that it launched the attack in the knowledge that a 'permanent truce' was in the works.

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