Month: June 2008

  • A Humanitarian Award For Syria, a Censure for America?

    James Denselow writes of the horrible conditions of refugees inside and outside Iraq, 4 million of them, including minorities inside Iraq with no militia to protect. This includes Palestinians, of course, who, already living in horrifying camps, have been beaten and tortured by Iraqi police.

    As the violence against Palestinians in Iraq continues, the number of refugees in al-Waleed camp has increased to more than 1,700 today. They live in conditions totally unsuited to extended human habitation. Hazards include an extremely harsh physical environment, extreme temperatures (+50 C to sub-zero) outbreaks of fire amongst the tents, accidents caused by passing trucks and infestation of snakes and rats. Residents of this camp are assisted by UNHCR’s Iraqi Operation Unit in Amman and aid agencies such as Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Unlike the Palestinians in the al-Tanf no-man’s land camp they suffer of a severe lack of protection as they are

  • Jewish Arabs and a New Middle East

    Common Ground News Service – Middle East
    by Marc Gopin

    27 March 2008

    WASHINGTON – In 1998, Prince Hassan of Jordan appeared on video at the University of Notre Dame, marking one of the first academic conferences in the field of religion and conflict resolution. As he spoke via teleconference, he quoted at length and with great love from the writings of Moses Maimonides the world-famous medieval Jewish philosopher who had been a chief conduit between Arab neo-Aristotelian philosophy and the Christian world.

    It was already a thrilling moment for me the conference was the first that I attended as an academic speaker but Maimonides was part and parcel of my sequestered religious childhood. I went to school for 13 years as a child at a place called Maimonides School, and prayed there on Sundays and Saturdays. For Prince Hassan,

  • Human Intelligence is the key to Middle East War Prevention

    David Ignatius, always well informed, outlines the ‘surprise’ in the West about the renewal of Israeli-Syrian negotiations, and presents the interesting puzzles that still surround the process. He writes:

    What’s going on between Syria and Israel? Are the indirect peace negotiations through Turkish mediators that were announced last month for real? I’ve been talking with sources on all sides, and they present an upbeat view of a peace process that has taken many people (including top Bush administration officials) by surprise.

    But of course it was a surprise, due to the foolishness of American isolationism and neoconservative ideology of the past eight years that we will pay heavily for well into the future. I have been on the ground inside Syria working on peace since 2005. I can say without a doubt that anyone with intelligence would have discovered how consistent the drumbeat was from Syrians at the highest …

  • An Important Conversation on a Palestinian Child poisoned by Israeli Military Waste

    An important conversation on between Palestinians and Jews is developing on Israeli military waste on the West Bank and its destruction of a child’s leg. In response to this shocking tragedy people inside Israel, abroad, and in Palestine are trying to draw attention to this by working together.

    Yesterday (Monday) we went with Iyad to search for and photograph evidence to document the military waste and dangerous materials that the IOF leaves in the area of the Jahalin Bedouin in the south Hebron hills. Iyad took us to visit a family whose child’s leg was badly burnt a month ago when he was playing in the desert with ammunition remains left behind by the Israeli military. Nothing could have prepared us for our meeting with the boy, whose name is Jabar, even though he had received medical attention at Yata [a nearby city]. The condition of his leg

  • Obama turns Dobson’s attack on its head

    Yes We Can

    Jim Dobson has this to say about Obama:

    I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said, adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.” Responding to Dobson’s comments Tuesday evening, Obama sharply disputed the suggestion he was distorting the Bible.

    Obama responds:

    “Someone would be pretty hard pressed to make that argument,” he told reporters aboard his campaign plane. “It is a speech that affirms the role of faith not just in my life but in the life of the American people, that suggests that we make a mistake by trying to push faith out of the public square.”

    “I do make the argument that it’s important for folks like myself, who think faith is important, that we try to translate some of our concerns into universal language so we

  • New Treaty for Iran and Israel

    Published: June 25, 2008

    Middle East Times

    It is often said in the Arab world that the road to Jerusalem goes through Washington, with the implicit assumption that only the Americans can bring the Israelis to the negotiating table. But there is a distinctly different dynamic emerging from the waning days of the U.S. presidency of George W. Bush. The road to Washington may in fact pass through Jerusalem.

    Increasingly, countries in the Middle East are initiating peace talks with Israel directly, without U.S. assistance. The recent Syrian and Israeli negotiations are but one potentially promising model, and this route may be the best hope the Iranians have to prevent a cataclysmic confrontation over their nuclear program.

    The Iranian government asserts that its nuclear enrichment program is for peaceful purposes, but suspicions still abound. The rhetoric coming out of Iran, coupled with fears over the nature of its nuclear ambitions, …

  • What exactly is pro-Israel?

    WASHINGTON – The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the most powerful lobby groups in the United States, just concluded its annual Washington conference. It drew a long line of administration officials and the presidential candidates to its doorsteps, all touting orthodox lines on what it means to be pro-Israel – messages carefully crafted to please the lobby. Now is a good time to ask, what exactly does “pro-Israel” mean, and who is pro-Israel in the United States today? The ones who twist every arm in Congress to be silent, to suppress what they know is right to do in terms of a fair Israeli-Palestinian deal? We have before us now a hair-trigger set of confrontations from Lebanon to the Persian Gulf, with long-range missiles, chemical and nuclear capable, aimed at Israel from a country in the Persian Gulf that has no business in Gaza. And yet, due to …