israeli-palestinian conflict

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby urged Arab countries to take a “firm stand” against Israel’s demand for Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state. Speaking Sunday at the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting in Cairo, Elaraby called the concession a deviation from the previously agreed-upon framework for peace talks.

Even in the easygoing, laid-back environment of modern-day Los Angeles, bringing Muslims and Jews together to talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict is viewed as playing with fire. For decades, “the Muslim-Jewish dialogue that existed in L.A. only took place at the leadership level, among a handful of left-leaning Muslim and Jewish leaders,” recalls Edina Lekovic, policy and programming director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The prospect of greater Chinese involvement in the Middle East peace process was raised in mid 2013 when Beijing invited both Israeli and Palestinian leaders for separate meetings to discuss the resumption of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Newly elected Chinese leader Xi Jinping used the meetings to unveil his four-point peace proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian issue.

As U.S. mediated Middle East peace talks enter their seventh month, mounting tensions have emerged between Israel and Washington. Israeli officials are furious after Secretary of State John Kerry warned that if peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel could face growing international boycotts. Kerry was speaking at a security conference in Munich.

Israel's defence minister has accused US Secretary of State, John Kerry, of an "incomprehensible obsession" with his push for Middle East peace, drawing an angry response from the country's chief ally. The US State Department on Tuesday described Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon's comments as "offensive," in a mark of the degree of outrage in Washington at the latest public spat between the two allies, which follows a major row over Iran policy.

Ever since Ariel Sharon sank into a coma eight years ago, many have wondered whether he would have taken the peace process with the Palestinians any further after the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. A series of cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the State Department that were leaked to Wikileaks show that in fact, even before the Gaza withdrawal, Sharon was planning his next big diplomatic move.

An influential Saudi prince blasted the Obama administration on Sunday for indecision and a loss of credibility with allies in the Middle East, saying that American efforts to secure a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians would founder without a clear commitment from President Obama. “We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia.

This has happened in recent days: The Dutch water company Vitens severed its ties with Israeli counterpart Mekorot; Canada’s largest Protestant church decided to boycott three Israeli companies; the Romanian government refused to send any more construction workers; and American Studies Association academics are voting on a measure to sever links with Israeli universities.