Near & Middle East

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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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“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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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…)

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…)

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…)