Near & Middle East

Mya

In the fourth grade, I stopped saying the pledge of the allegiance. While the other children clapped their hands to their hearts, I stood, my arms limp, lips still. It was not an act of rebellion, nor did I intend to disrespect the United States. I’d simply decided—after several classmates had tried to convert me to Christianity—that we were not “one nation, under God, indivisible”. As a Jew, I felt that my place was elsewhere. (More…)

The difficulty of determining Syria’s political boundaries is primarily due to the fact that Syria’s population is not an ethnic unit. Syrians are Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Druses, Hebrews, Assyrians, Circassians, and people combining the blood of these various elements. (More…)

This has been the first time in the history of Israel that elections were held in conditions of war. On the eve of the elections, there was intensified military activity and there was great political tension. (More…)

When the US bombing of Iraq started in 2003, many people fled the country, including 18 Palestinian families who came to Gaza. This is the story of the Abo Obaid family, as told to me by one of the children, 21-year-old Rola. (More…)

Turkey will never be the same again. The papers are filled with news of the crisis in Iraq, Soviet intrigues in Turkey, the persecutions of Christians, fears of a Turkish-Italian war, the hanging of opposition members of the Grand National Assembly, Turkish women demanding votes and claiming complete emancipation, and the Kurds rising in rebellion against the new “infidel,” Kemal Pasha. (More…)

The House of Representatives, it was announced on Thursday evening, passed a resolution condemning “all forms of hatred.” On its face, there is much to recommend this. Who, after all, is not against hate? (More…)

If all follows plan, an Israeli space project will land in early April on the moon’s Mare Serenitatis, the Sea of Serenity.  Somewhere here there is an unintended comment on the distance needed to travel for Middle East peace.  The Beresheet lander may achieve escape velocity from earth orbit, but it will not escape Middle East politics. (More…)

The scheduling of a meeting of the Visegrád 4 (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia) in Jerusalem at the end of January was a seen as a moment worthy of remark even at the time. As Israeli media noted, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had originally offered to host a meeting of the V4 in 2017, and this was the first time that the group would meet outside of Europe. (More…)

My dad is an engineer and he saved to buy a big house where our family of eight could find happiness: two stories designed by an Algerian, white walls with a red roof, a garden with trees and flowers, and my own bedroom. It was a dream come true. (More…)

San Francisco, April 2008

Every weekday morning, I watch the news as I pick up our bedroom before heading off to work. Last Friday was no different. (More…)

The Gulf War was not ended by the military victory of America and the Allies. It was ended by the mass desertion of thousands of Iraqi soldiers. So overwhelming was the refusal to fight for the Iraqi state on the part of its conscripted army that, contrary to all predictions, not one Allied soldier was killed by hostile fire in the final ground offensive to recapture Kuwait. (More…)

In May 2017, Israel effectively cut one-fifth of asylum seekers’ wages, hoping people such as Eden Tasfamariam would leave the country. (More…)