Near & Middle East
The Entitled People

The Entitled People

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before a special joint session of the United States Congress. A foreign leader, he looked at home as he thumbed his nose at US President Barack Obama. Just days before, Obama had reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to two states—one for the Palestinians, the other for Israelis—based on pre-Six Day War borders. Netanyahu defied Obama as he told Congress (and international audiences watching the live broadcast) that Israel would not withdraw to the 1967 lines. More»

Surviving the Freedom Flotilla

Surviving the Freedom Flotilla

Gene St. Onge is not the sort of person you would expect to have done time in an Israeli prison. A middle-aged engineer from Oakland, California, there is a reserved aura about him that seems entirely suited to St. Onge’s hometown and choice of profession. More»

Netanyahu's Evolving Dystopia

Netanyahu’s Evolving Dystopia

This a work of speculative fiction. It is an attempt to describe a future where the current Israeli trend of embracing right-wing politics, and valuing nationalism over democracy, continues unchecked. The purpose behind this stark portrait is not to predict it as an inevitable future, but to illustrate how bad things could get if we are not successful in containing Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman. More»

Imagining Israel's Future

Imagining Israel’s Future

In May of 2011, the Palestinians made a brave attempt to start the Third Intifada. On the northern borders, the grandsons and granddaughters of those who had been dispossessed during the nakba attempted to exercise their United Nations-acknowledged right of return. These were the grandsons of those who had been driven from their homes, which were later declared “abandoned” by a law that the new “Jewish and democratic” state made up several years after it was created. More»

A Pyrrhic Victory

A Pyrrhic Victory

It is no surprise that the assassination of Osama bin Laden has brought a wave of celebration in the United States. I, however, found my sentiments best expressed by 9/11 survivor Harry Waizer:

“If this means there is one less death in the future, then I’m glad for that,” said Mr. Waizer, who was in an elevator riding to work in the north tower when the plane struck the building. He made it down the stairs, but suffered third-degree burns. More»

America as Obstacle

America as Obstacle

Daniel Levy is one of the most respected Israeli peace advocates in the United States. Best known for his role as a senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin, Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in January 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo 2” Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. More»

The Pessimism Process

The Pessimism Process

Aaron David Miller worked for the State Department for twenty-four years. His career began during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, and ended in the early days of George W. Bush’s presidency.
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Actually Existing Israel

Actually Existing Israel

“Israel is neither Europe, nor the Middle East,” the commenter wrote. “All of the moral categories you’ve been trained to apply to countries from those regions won’t work. They’re foreign, like you.” A self-identified American soldier, but currently enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, he was making this point in criticizing a journalist for penning a favorable article about an anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv.
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Bride of the Sea

Bride of the Sea

Sometimes I’m not sure what to call her. Is it Yafo? Or Jaffa? Then there is the old Arabic nickname, Urs al-Bahr, Bride of the Sea. Each word has its history. And each has its fate. More»

BDS and Beyond

BDS and Beyond

March 30th

Thirty five years ago today, a peaceful general strike by Israeli-Palestinians was met with bullets. Six people were killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in what became known as Land Day. Two and a half months later, the Soweto uprising began in South Africa, claiming far more lives, but laying down a marker in the struggle against apartheid. The timing of the two revolts melded the stirrings of solidarity consciousness with the Palestinians to apartheid comparisons with South Africa. More»

Peace Means Everybody

Peace Means Everybody

A diverse group of mostly Jewish peace activists descended on Washington from February 26-28 to attend the second national conference of J Street, America’s largest “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group. More»