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Emboldened Israeli Right Presses Moves to Doom 2-State Solution

But Palestinians and Israeli supporters of a two-state solution said the moves revealed the true colors of the country’s ascendant right wing.“We hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the international community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the U.S. administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace,” Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, said Monday, adding that he would respond by revisiting the authority’s existing agreements with Israel. “Rather, its main goal is the consolidation of an apartheid regime in all of historic Palestine.”Daniel Seidemann, director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, which focuses on the Holy City’s fate in a potential two-state solution, said that “what was winked and nodded about before is now being acknowledged publicly: ‘We have no intent of sharing this land with anybody else except as a barely tolerated minority.’”Mr. Netanyahu has publicly said that he supports a two-state solution even as his government has expanded settlements on the occupied West Bank. […]

Why Saad Hariri Had That Strange Sojourn in Saudi Arabia

The day Mr. Hariri was ordered to report to Riyadh, he was just a pawn in the crown prince’s overall battle: to rein in the regional ambitions of Saudi Arabia’s longtime rival, Iran.PhotoA poster of Mr. Hariri in Lebanon during his absence. Many Lebanese believed he was being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York TimesThis is the back story of Mr. Hariri’s long, strange sojourn in Saudi Arabia last month, as revealed in behind-the-scenes accounts from a dozen Western, Lebanese and regional officials and associates of Mr. Hariri.Bold Moves BackfireAfter delivering his speech, as his bewildered aides tried in vain to reach him from Beirut, Mr. […]

The Interpreter: The Jerusalem Issue, Explained

Maybe more important, Israel’s position on Jerusalem isn’t just that its capital should be somewhere in the city. A 1980 law declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “undivided” capital, which was widely understood as a de facto annexation of the city’s eastern half.Mr. Trump, in endorsing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, did not explicitly endorse this idea. But he didn’t reject it, either. Nor did he say that Jerusalem should also become the Palestinian capital.This implies that the United States is increasingly supportive of Israel’s position — full annexation — though this would almost certainly kill any viable peace deal.Why Does It Matter if the U.S. Takes Sides?The United States has, for decades, positioned itself as the primary mediator between Israelis and Palestinians. Neutrality ostensibly allows the United States to remain a credible arbiter and keeps both sides at the negotiating table.American diplomats tend to consider neutrality a bedrock principle and essential for peace, and see Mr […]

Trump Calls Jerusalem Plan Step Toward Peace, but It Puts Mideast on Edge

Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem isolates the United States on one of the world’s most sensitive diplomatic issues. It drew a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders, including some of America’s closest allies.Many said that Mr. Trump’s move was destabilizing, that it risked setting off violence and that it would make achieving peace even more difficult […]

Affordable Care Act, Puerto Rico, Chicago Cubs: Your Friday Briefing

• Baseball’s next round begins. The Cubs will again face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, after Chicago beat the Washington Nationals, 9-8. And our baseball columnist looks at the overperforming New York Yankees, a young team that starts its series against the Houston Astros tonight. • Ready for the weekend […]

News Analysis: The Big Question as the U.N. Gathers: What to Make of Trump?

One of Mr. Trump’s primary tasks will be to define how his America First approach — which has led him to pull out of international agreements on free trade and climate change — fits into the world-first mission of the United Nations.His challenge is “to describe the Trump Doctrine on U.S. global leadership and engagement,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. “The perception in many parts of the world, including the U.N., is that President Trump is unilateralist and isolationist. Trump has the opportunity to present and describe his vision and strategy. The world will be all ears.”Mr. Trump arrives in New York at a time of crackling tension over North Korea’s provocative actions and deep uncertainty about what he will do with President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. […]

Europe Edition: Russia, North Korea, Venezuela: Your Monday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Cezary Aszkielowicz/Agencja Gazeta, via Reuters • In Poland, an attempt to undercut the judiciary’s independence has mobilized Poles who are eager to protect hard-won post-Communist freedoms. [The New York Times] • The Sunday Times of London fired the writer of an op-ed that was widely criticized as employing anti-Semitic and misogynistic arguments. [The New York Times] • In an effort to curb human trafficking, Italy plans to use its navy to help patrol the Libyan coastline. [Deutsche Welle] • In Barcelona, more than 20,000 concertgoers were forced to flee a music festival after a fire broke out, incinerating the event’s stage. [The New York Times] • An Israeli military court rejected an appeal by Elor Azaria, who was convicted in January in the shooting death of a wounded Palestinian assailant. [The New York Times] • A Turkish court ordered the release of seven journalists from an opposition newspaper, while four of its most prominent editors and executives remained in jail. […]