Responding to petitions signed by hundreds of their members, the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) — the state’s two largest pension plans — have become enmeshed in the battle to persuade American companies to divest from Israel’s West Bank.
A computer virus attacking computers in Iran and the West Bank may have been created with Israeli involvement, a government minister hinted.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeated on Sunday his refusal to talk with Israel without a settlement freeze after international mediators, responding to his United Nations bid for statehood, urged negotiations within a month.
While clearing away the rubble from Dennis Prager’s latest attack on “liberals,” which he likes to think is not ad hominem (unless, of course, one understands the term literally), we have to acknowledge that he may have a point. One can debate whether Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are “the major impediment to peace in the Middle East.” After all, there are weighty factors other than settlements that complicate prospects for a negotiated settlement, including Israeli political opinion, Palestinian public opinion, the attitude of neighboring Arab states, and the lack of resolve of the international community to offer carrots and sticks at the appropriate moments.
The city of Ariel is home to 19,000 Israelis, a university center of 12,000 students and a growing industrial park with 27 factories employing thousands of workers. The city’s backers describe Ariel as beautiful, diverse, peaceful. One repeat American visitor said, “It’s like driving into some San Diego suburb.”