Gaza


  • Red Cross report: Gazans in despair

    Please read this account of what is happening in Gaza from seasoned outside observers. The question remains why? No explanation has ever been given why basic materials for life, excluding bomb making materials, have been choked off from over a million human beings. It remains as criminal as the day it began, and it is a travesty that must end.  One can only surmise that the assumption of Israel, and implicitly the West, is that it is ok to continue to punish and hold hostage over a million human beings for the actions of Hamas. So, hostage taking seems to be acceptable, except when Hamas does it? I still am amazed. The only way the rule of law ever succeeds in history is when it is universally applied, everything else is just a game.

    Red Cross report: Gazans ‘in despair’

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has

  • PATHBREAKING INTERVIEW ON SYRIAN/AMERICAN/ISRAELI RELATIONS

    Syrian Ambassador to the United States gives an important interview to CNN. The story is significant because Moustapha lays out the parameters of a separate Syrian/Israeli peace track, while also stressing the importance of a ‘comprehensive’ peace for Israel, which must include the Palestinian track. He also stresses that Lieberman is a more honest face of Israel than Livni and Olmert, considering the atrocities in Gaza. He would rather engage the real deal in Israel rather than deal with fake rhetoric. The nuances of his position are quite revealing of the different positions of Syria and Fatah. There is also praise for Obama and Mitchell, but caution that Mitchell’s job is harder than Ireland due to the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.…

  • BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS: Women Cleaning the Mess Men Have Made of the Holy City of Hebron

    THIS LETTER FROM ELANA ROZENMAN:

    February 26th, 2009
    TRUST- WIN visit to “Cordoba” school, Hebron

    The ongoing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in the aftermath
    of the violence in Gaza and southern Israel has put a strain on the ability
    and willingness of many Israelis and Palestinians to engage in
    peace-building activities. In that context last Thursday morning a group of
    Israeli women (Jewish and Christian) set out from Jerusalem with enthusiasm
    and some trepidation to meet with Reem Alshareef who is the Muslim director
    of the Cordoba school in the H2 area of Hebron which is under Israeli
    control. For pictures, press here and search under ‘Women Hebron’.
    The Israeli women were from the left, the right, and the center politically.
    All of them are in our wonderful book “Sixty Years, Sixty Voices: Israeli
    and Palestinian Women” (www.sixtyvoices.org) One was an Armenian Orthodox
    woman who is a …

  • TURKEY’S RETURN TO GLORY

    This article just appeared in Today’s Zaman and in Zaman which is Turkey’s preeminent journal. As you can see this has been part of my ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage far more intermediaries in the Middle Eastern conflict who can be effective, trustworthy and more even handed that Western intervention. This is meant also to encourage the United States, Hilary Clinton, and others to follow the lead of where the most moderate voices of the Islamic world are going. This is also a development of my work in Syria which has encouraged cultural revival that is peace-oriented, practical and visionary at once.

    Turkey’s return to glory
    by
    Marc Gopin
    For reasons of history, culture and geography, there is a surprising opportunity for Turkey to assume a position of central global leadership in the 21st century and thereby further all of its legitimate national interests.

    This is shocking considering the

  • Gaza, Recognition of Hamas, and Peace: A Discussion at the Wilson Center

    We held a good discussion, heavily attended, at the Wilson Center, together with Dr. Robert Pastor and Mr. Leo Kramer on Gaza and Hamas. Here is the video of the event. All of us were in agreement about the need for serious engagement with whoever is in charge of Gaza. This was decidedly different than other opinions also expressed at the Wilson Center by Robert Satloff and Ephraim Inbar.

    It is hard to know what is really going on right now behind the scenes in relations between the United States, Israel, the PA/Fatah and Hamas. Whatever can lead to breakthroughs in my mind is the path forward. Whether it be on prisoner exchange, release of Barghouti who by all statistics could become a unifying leader of Palestine, or a way to break the inhumane blockade. I remain dubious about forcing Hamas to concede to conditions in advance rather …

  • U.S. Shuns Hamas Representatives; Another Attack in Jerusalem; Round and Round the Cycle Goes

    Al Jazeera English interviewed me the other day on American intervention so far in Gaza. Here is the story:

    The United States is set to pledge $900m for the Palestinians at a donors’ conference in Egypt, but only a third of that will go towards reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and none of the money will go to Hamas, who rule the territory.

    Robert Wood, a spokesman for the US state department, said the US would pledge $300m at Monday’s conference on reconstructing Gaza, to meet “urgent” humanitarian needs in the territory after Israel’s military onslaught in December.

    Wood said the $300m would be funnelled through the UN and other organisations.

    “Hamas is not getting any of this money,” Wood told reporters in the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheik, where Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived on Sunday on the first leg of a week-long trip to

  • Encountering Peace: Bibi or Tzipi, Bibi and Tzipi – what does it really matter?

    Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …

  • American Congress Discovers that Gaza Has Been Bombed!

    Read this important story about United States Representatives Keith Ellison and Dr. Brian Baird. In an American Congress that is utterly silenced about Palestinian needs and concerns, these two congressmen should be commended for going to Gaza. They will be punished by the Lobby and it is important for them to be supported. I hope that the Jewish alternative lobby, J Street , will do so. If there were a serious non-Jewish lobby for Palestine in Washington that really wanted to change things for Palestine it too would support every positive act coming out of Congress–with votes and cold hard cash. Alas, progressives don’t get it.

    Here are excerpts written by veteran Post writer Tovah Lazaroff:

    “When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?” asked Rep. Brian Baird (D-Washington).

    He and Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) called on Israel to end

  • Landis on American Middle East Policy So Far

    As usual, Josh Landis is brief, brilliant and right on target. The Obama White House should study every word. It is time for a diplomatic revolution if they want to save themselves a massive upheaval in the Middle East in the next few years. Listening to where the Arab world really is at is going to be the key to a successful American intervention in the region. The rage and shock that has spread across the Arab world could lead to a new regional confrontation with Israel. But if Obama coordinates a systematic engagement with all regional powers and players, including Syria and Turkey, in addition to a new kind of engagement and negotiation with outside powers such as Russia and China, we may see an emerging consensus on both what Israel must do, what Iran must do, and what Hamas must do, in order to step back from …

  • An Israeli Diagnosis of the Deteriorating Psychology of the Country

    Akiva Eldar reports on the critical work being done on Israeli Jewish psychology and the war against the Palestinians. Eldar’s title, “Is an Israeli Jewish Sense of Victimization Perpetuating the Conflict with the Palestinians”, says it all, and he marshals significant evidence. Daniel Bar Tal is one of Israel’s premier psychologists.

    The sweeping support for Operation Cast Lead confirmed the main diagnosis that arises from the study, conducted by Daniel Bar-Tal, one of the world’s leading political psychologists, and Rafi Nets-Zehngut, a doctoral student: Israeli Jews’ consciousness is characterized by a sense of victimization, a siege mentality, blind patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of the Palestinians and insensitivity to their suffering….

    “Most of the nation retains a simplistic collective memory of the conflict, a black-and-white memory that portrays us in a very positive light and the Arabs in a very negative one,” says the professor from Tel Aviv University. This

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