December 6, 2009

Broadcast Date: 
Dec 6 2009

Netanyahu's partial settlement freeze changes little in the West Bank and nothing in East Jersusalem; Iran makes things difficult for Obama's diplomatic initiative; plus a new monthly update from Muzzlewatch blogger Cecilie Surasky on the Jewish right's latest efforts to determine what can be said about Israel and Palestine.

Episode segments
  • Israel Tightens Grip on East Jerusalem
    Israel/Palestine, Occupation
    Mitchell Plitnik is the Director of the U.S. office of B'Tselem: the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
    Esther Kaplan and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

    In late November, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu announced "a policy of restraint regarding settlements which will include a suspension of new permits and new construction in Judea and Samaria for a period of ten months."  But this new policy is more important for what it excludes--any construction already under way, public buildings "necessary for the continuation of normal life," any needed security infrastructure and most importantly East Jerusalem--than for its limited promises. But what seems like a trivial policy to critics in the West, evoked a heated response from the settler movement. We talk with B'Tselem's Mitchell Plitnik about the net effect of this policy on settlement growth; on the prospects for negotiations and the future role of the settlers in determining Israeli government policy; and about Israel's efforts both to separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied West Bank and to change its demographic balance.

  • Breaking the Nuclear Deadlock with Iran
    Foreign Policy, International Politics, Middle East
    Trita Parsi is founder and President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).  He is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States, for which he has just been awarded the 2010 University of Louisville Grawbmeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order.
    Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

    Just two months ago it appeared there was a breakthrough in relations with Iran. Today, every aspect of what appeared to be an agreement that would put relations between Iran and the P5+1 countries (the 5 permanent security council members-- the U.S.,Britain, France, China and Russia, plus Germany) has collapsed.  We talk with Trita Parsi about what contributed to the breakdown in talks and whether there is a path forward in the near term.

  • Muzzlewatch
    American Politics, Israel/Palestine, Jewish Communities
    Cecilie Surasky is Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace and founder of Muzzlewatch, JVP's blog tat documents efforts to silence open debate about Israel-Palestine policy.
    Esther Kaplan and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

    In what we hope will be a regular monthly discussion with Cecilie Surasky, we talk about some of the trends she's noted in her coverage of efforts to silence critics of Israel.