06-07-2023  8:34 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Permit-to-Purchase: Oregon's Tough New Gun Law Faces Federal Court Test

The trial, which will be held before a judge and not a jury, will determine whether the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

Local Hire: National Park Board Appoints First Native American Member

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission executive director and Yakama Nation member Aja DeCoteau joins team of 15 new appointees during revival of defunct group

Portland Mulls Ban on Daytime Camping Amid Sharp Rise in Homelessness

The measure before the Portland City Council on Wednesday would prohibit camping between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in city parks and near schools and day cares.

Truck Driver Indicted on Manslaughter Charges After Deadly Oregon Crash That Killed 7 Farmworkers

A grand jury in Marion County Court on Tuesday indicted Lincoln Smith, a 52-year-old truck driver from California, on 12 counts, including seven charges of manslaughter, reckless driving and driving under the influence of intoxicants.


Letter to Mayor: Northeast 87th Avenue Maintenance Problems

For over 15 years, I have traversed Portland's bureaucratic quagmire attempting to determine which bureau is responsible for...

Rosie Reunion: WWII Rosies to Headline Grand Floral Parade

These iconic women will not only grace the parade but also hold the esteemed position of Grand Marshals. ...

Milwaukie Native Serves at U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron in Japan

Spencer Mathias attended Milwaukie High School and graduated in 2005, and today serves as a naval aircrewman with Helicopter Maritime...

Jazz Singers Shirley Nanette, Nancy King, Rebecca Kilgore Perform June 10

The show benefits the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival 2023 ...

Albina Music Trust Special Event Free to the Public

Albina Music Trust announces a special collaboration between experimental video artists Spoiler Room and the band Greaterkind ft. Lo...

Missing Mount Rainier climber's body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — Search crews on Mount Rainier have found and recovered the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing last week, Mount Rainier National Park officials said. Dawes Eddy of Spokane, Washington,...

Racist message, dead raccoon left for Oregon mayor, Black city council member

REDMOND, Ore. (AP) — Someone left a dead raccoon and a sign with “intimidating language” that mentioned a Black city councilor outside the law office of an Oregon mayor, police said. Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch found the raccoon and the sign on Monday, the Redmond Police Department...

Foster, Ware homer, Auburn eliminates Mizzou 10-4 in SEC

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Cole Foster hit a three-run homer, Bryson Ware added a two-run shot and fifth-seeded Auburn wrapped up the first day of the SEC Tournament with a 10-4 win over ninth-seeded Missouri on Tuesday night. Auburn (34-9), which has won nine-straight, moved into the...

Small Missouri college adds football programs to boost enrollment

FULTON, Mo. (AP) — A small college in central Missouri has announced it will add football and women's flag football programs as part of its plan to grow enrollment. William Woods University will add about 140 students between the two new sports, athletic director Steve Wilson said...


Significant Workforce Investments Needed to Stem Public Defense Crisis

We have a responsibility to ensure our state government is protecting the constitutional rights of all Oregonians, including people accused of a crime ...

Over 80 Groups Tell Federal Regulators Key Bank Broke $16.5 Billion Promise

Cross-country redlining aided wealthy white communities while excluding Black areas ...

Public Health 101: Guns

America: where all attempts to curb access to guns are shot down. Should we raise a glass to that? ...

Op-Ed: Ballot Measure Creates New Barriers to Success for Black-owned Businesses

Measure 26-238, a proposed local capital gains tax, is unfair and a burden on Black business owners in an already-challenging economic environment. ...


UN judges declare 88-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect unfit to stand trial because of dementia

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — United Nations judges have declared an 88-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect unfit to continue standing trial because he has dementia and said they would establish a procedure to go on hearing evidence without the possibility of convicting him. The...

Missouri prosecutor Wesley Bell vies for GOP Sen. Hawley's seat

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Black Missouri prosecutor who stepped into leadership in the aftermath of protests over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown is running for Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley's seat, the Democrat announced Wednesday. In his campaign announcement,...

Andrew Young was at Martin Luther King's side throughout often violent struggle for civil rights

ATLANTA (AP) — Andrew Young’s first thought when he heard the Voting Rights Act had been signed into law was not celebratory. It was strategic. “Where are we going to get the money to get the country mobilized to register these voters?” he recalled thinking at that momentous...


Tony Award-nominated Betsy Wolfe on '& Juliet': 'This was the story I wanted to tell'

NEW YORK (AP) — One recent day, Broadway star Betsy Wolfe was up at 4 a.m. to perform on “Good Morning America.” Then there was a formal gala lunch and a few snuggle hours with her young daughter. Finally, as the sun set, her main job beckoned: A big new musical that needed her voice. ...

Too much information? Jason Isbell believes opening your life to fans builds a stronger bond

NEW YORK (AP) — If Jason Isbell is keeping many more secrets, it's hard to imagine what they might be. The singer-songwriter and his wife, fellow musician Amanda Shires, open their lives for public consumption in a manner unusual even to artists who mine their own world for...

Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson, Kane Brown, Lil Wayne headline iHeartRadio festival

NEW YORK (AP) — Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson, Kane Brown and Lil Wayne are among the headliners this fall at the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, which will be broadcast live throughout the country. The lineup for the two-day event Sept. 22-23 at T-Mobile...


In Kenya, lions are speared to death as human-wildlife conflict worsens amid drought

MBIRIKANI, Kenya (AP) — Parkeru Ntereka lost almost half of his goat herd to hungry lions that wandered into his...

Pope Francis will have intestinal surgery and stay in the hospital for several days

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis was admitted to the hospital for surgery Wednesday to repair a hernia in his intestine,...

Protesters brawl as Southern California school district decides whether to recognize Pride Month

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — Protesters briefly scuffled and punches flew Tuesday as a Southern California school...

Rishi Sunak goes to Washington with Ukraine, economy and AI on agenda for Biden meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The war in Ukraine was top of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s agenda Wednesday as he started a...

Greece seeks assistance from rival Turkey over migration spike along border river

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek officials have launched a series of high-level contacts with the newly elected...

Former ByteDance executive says Chinese Communist Party tracked Hong Kong protesters via data

HONG KONG (AP) — A former executive at ByteDance, the Chinese company which owns the popular short-video app...

By the Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Barack Obama wants Israelis and Palestinians to return to the bargaining table. It seems unlikely this will happen anytime soon, but even if it did, the sides would find a formidable array of obstacles to agreement. The Skanner News Video

There are huge gaps on important issues between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-winger for whom acquiescence to the very idea of Palestinian independence — popular around the world and now widely accepted in Israel, too — was a major ideological leap.

But even if a more compliant Israeli leadership should return to power, a survey of the issues on the table appears to present overwhelming challenges. Here are some of the key obstacles:


Obama made waves with his declaration Thursday that a peace treaty should be "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps." It differed only in nuance from previous U.S. positions, but hearing it from Obama was a major Palestinian objective and it touched a deep nerve in Israel, too.

Netanyahu swiftly declared the 44-year-old lines "indefensible" from a military point of view. And a look at the map shows why: Israel would be about 12 miles (19 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point; the West Bank surrounds the Israeli part of Jerusalem on three sides; and, on a clear day, the West Bank's strategic highlands are clearly visible from Tel Aviv, where about a quarter of Israelis live. If there is any chance that a future Palestine could turn hostile, these borders are a challenge.

Are they sacrosanct — or somehow enshrined in international law?

American officials are generally careful to use the word "lines" and not "borders" when referring to the demarcation that lasted from the end of the 1948-49 war after Israel declared independence until the 1967 war when it expanded its territory. That is no coincidence: these are temporary armistice lines between Israel and Jordan in the case of the West Bank, and Israel and Egypt in the case of Gaza.

Might Israel keep some of its 1967 booty?

That largely depends on how hard the Palestinians press, and how much leverage they can summon up. UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 seemed to leave the door open — calling for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." It avoided use of "the territories" and left everyone to debate whether this meant Israel could keep some areas.

Borders were supposed to be the simplest issue in peace talks, yet in a numbing two decades of talking the sides could never quite agree.

Gaza is simple enough, because Israel does not challenge the pre-1967 line and removed its relatively few settlers from the territory in 2005.

But more than a quarter million Israelis live throughout the West Bank now — in addition to a similar number living in the occupied sector of Jerusalem. Most of the settlers live close to the pre-1967 border. That makes it seemingly practical to include them in a redrawn Israel. Obama accepts this idea, but calls for land Israel receives to be swapped for unpopulated parts of Israel adjacent to the West Bank.

But must the swaps be equal in size? And how much land can they involve?

That second question is critical because there are at least two major settlements — Ariel and Maale Adumim — that have tens of thousands of residents and are deep enough inside to disrupt things badly for the Palestinians. Israelis tend to assume creative cartography will finesse the issue. Palestinians know that going around Maaleh Adumim would turn a 15-mile (25-kilometer) drive from Ramallah to Bethlehem, major West Bank centers, into a circuitous ordeal.

Years of discussion have not led to agreement, suggesting the issue is more complicated than appears. For the Palestinians, getting even all of the West Bank and Gaza means accepting the loss of almost four-fifths of historic Palestine and they are in no mood to give up even more. And the Israelis — looking at the current map, and not so much at history — are basically uncomfortable with the smallness of their state.


Dividing Jerusalem is even tougher than negotiating the West Bank borders.

The walled Old City, an area of less than a square kilometer (mile), houses some of the world's holiest sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Neither Israel nor Palestine could easily give it up to the other. Before 1967, it was part of Jordan — but the UN plan called for internationalization of a wide area around the entire city.

During past peace talks, the sides spoke of each controlling its "own" holy sites — but were not known to have reached a detailed understanding of how two states could divide between them an ancient enclave full of warrens and alleyways, ancient ruins and underground tunnels and excavations. Would there be a border? Who would be in charge of security? At one point there was even talk of the most explosive site — known as the Temple Mount for Jews, and Haram as-Sharif for Muslims — being placed under "divine sovereignty" to sidestep the problem.

But even beyond the Old City, Jerusalem's current demographics defy a division anywhere near as clean as, for example, the wall that once divided East and West Berlin.

After 1967, Israel expanded the municipal borders into the West Bank. Over the years it has ringed the Arab-populated part of the city with Jewish neighborhoods. The Palestinians call them "settlements" no different from those in the West Bank, and indeed, some have the appearance of distinct hilltop communities. Some 200,000 Jews now live in such developments in the occupied area of the city, alongside about 300,000 Palestinians and 300,000 Jews in the western part of Jerusalem.

The sides have discussed the principle of each keeping those areas of the city where its people live — but again, without much detail. On the ground, such a division would yield an astoundingly kaleidoscopic jumble, with islands of Jews surrounded by Palestinian areas and vice versa. A light railway planned for the city could end up crossing several borders a minute.

Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, put aside arguments about national rights and religious holy sites and argued plainly, in a meeting with foreign media this month, that a division of the city was no longer a practical possibility.

Yet to the Palestinians, Jerusalem is the heart of their country, and it is difficult to see them accepting a merely face-saving formula — such as access to, or some sovereignty over, their holy sites. Peace probably requires doing what Barkat argues is impossible.



The Palestinians have always demanded a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants to their families' previous homes in Israel — even though in most cases the homes, and in some even the villages, no longer exist.

For Israelis across the political spectrum this is a non-starter. The main reason they did not annex the West Bank and Gaza — and the reason why many are willing to part with such strategic territories — can be boiled down to a desire to ensure their Jewish majority.

On occasion, Palestinian officials would hint that a formula was possible that would satisfy everyone — perhaps, for example, with the right declared in principle but implemented only for a small number. A 2002 peace initiative by the Arab League made only indirect reference to the refugees, giving some Israelis hope.

But the deep Palestinian yearning is still there, seeming to grow stronger with each generation that grows up disenfranchised in countries such as Syria and Lebanon. Youth who have never seen their ancestral land carry keys to vanished family homes. Earlier this month, thousands risked their lives trying to breach Israel's borders, and several were killed by bullets fired from rattled Israeli troops.

At the White House on Friday, Netanyahu said the Palestinians must be told clearly that a return is "not going to happen." With this statement, the divisive Netanyahu spoke for the vast majority of Israelis. In his speech a day earlier, Obama had sidestepped the vexing issue.

According to the original timetable of the 1990s, a comprehensive deal, ending a century of conflict, was to be reached by May 1999. That never happened, and still seems far from imminent today. What, then, are the alternatives?

For one thing, the Palestinians say they will ask the United Nations for recognition of a state along the pre-1967 lines in September. Obama is trying to dissuade them.

If the Palestinians proceed, the gambit promises to be messy. Since the United States can veto any move in the Security Council, the Palestinians' bid would likely pass only in the General Assembly that has declarative but not practical powers. Still, such a recognition could spark other moves, including economic boycotts against Israel and mass public protest in the West Bank. Israel does not take it lightly.

A host of other scenarios, in the short and long term, could possibly unfold:

— An interim deal: Israel would probably jump at a plan establishing a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank and all of Gaza, leaving Jerusalem and the other issues for later, and not requiring the Palestinians to forswear all future claims. The Palestinians, fearing the temporary will become permanent, reject this out of hand — but world pressure might change that.

— A unilateral pullout: In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would unilaterally pull out of most of the West Bank, essentially implementing the interim scenario without Palestinian agreement. But the Gaza precedent works against this in Israeli public opinion: Israel pulled out of the coastal strip, Hamas militants soon seized it, and the area has been used as a launching pad for rockets against Israel. But some variant of unilateral pullout may regain favor, especially if Israel faces mass Palestinian unrest that gets out of hand.

— Outside intervention: It seems far-fetched today, but some Palestinians speak of asking the UN for a "trusteeship" over their areas, not unlike the British "mandate" over all of Palestine conferred by the League of Nations in 1922. Israel would find it tough to rebuff. It seems unlikely except as a very last resort, because it would probably require the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and a sort of admission that the Palestinians aren't ready for independence.

— A binational state: Few on either side say they want this today. But if Israel cannot extricate itself from the West Bank, in the long run it would face pressure to give the Palestinians the right to vote, much as South Africa did when ending white minority rule. The Palestinians are already about half the population in Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza — and barring massive Jewish immigration they will very likely become the majority. In an irony of history, Jewish nationalism — in bonding Israel to the areas it conquered in 1967 — would have helped bring down the Jewish nation-state.