politics

This will be a long, hard fought battle that will leave Muslims quite weary, but it has been engaged before and successfully won. Just ask Catholics a hundred years ago, or Jews two hundred years ago. This will require persistence, coalition building, compromise, honesty, an evolution in communication skills, and patience above all. But I believe that history demonstrates that Americans of common sense generally win in the long run. I believe we are just witnessing the second wave of organized hatred that comes from political opportunists (who often wear religious garb). It will exhaust itself in embarrassment as it reaches absurd limits. Critics of Islam with legitimate gripes, such as Wafa Sultan, will begin to distance themselves from hatreds they did not intend to unleash, as everyone learns, in every generation unfortunately, that nothing good comes of hate, and the mob is not controllable.

While a high-profile battle rages

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Israel’s New Government

by mgopin on March 31, 2009 · 9 comments

Here is the new government linuep, and here is Avnery’s analysis of Israel’s new government. Quotable quotes by Lieberman proposing nuking Gaza and drowning Palestinian prisoners in the Dead Sea, here, and here. Records on Lieberman’s conviction for beating up a boy who fought with his son can be found here.
This will be interesting. Everything has consequences, and the scientific laws of causality, the literary insight of poetic justice, and the religious ideas of karma, or poked avon avot, the sins of one generation visited on the next, all have their place here. The sins of suicide bombing in Jerusalem gave rise to Netanyahu the first time, which in turn destroyed the peace process and caused the Intifada of 2000, which in turn gave rise to the Wall and the imprisonment of the West Bank and Gaza, which in turn gave us the rocket …

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TURKEY’S RETURN TO GLORY

by mgopin on March 18, 2009 · 5 comments

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

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This is a message from a group of Israeli Jews from Sderot, the front lines in receipt of the rocket attacks from Gaza who have been meeting with Gazans:

For two months, our teams from Gaza and Sderot have been documenting life as it is in their two cities: hope, anger, daily hardships, dreams. In Gaza, our characters have shown us what it means to live under siege. In Sderot, we have heard our characters tell us how their lives are haunted by kassams. All of them have told us about their desire to live inspite of everything, however different their situations might be.

It so happens that nearly at the very moment we had planned to complete our web documentary series, the truce is over. Now has come the time of weapons. Watching the videos that were produced over these two months, we are trying to imagine what our

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Population analysis says much more than either war or peace slogans. The anger Israeli Jews feel about Kassams and suicide bombs could possibly explain the level of brutality of the Occupation, but it cannot explain the population explosion of Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

The population growth among West Bank settlers was three times higher than that of the rest of Israel during the past 12 years, according to a report by the Ariel College Center of Samaria.

The statistical annual report shows that the Jewish population in the West Bank more than doubled during that time, with a growth of 107 percent. The report also shows that the settler population has surged from 130,000 in 2005 to 270,000 by the end of 2007.

Meanwhile, the entire population of Israel grew by 29 percent over the same period.
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This population trend has continued over the past three years,

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Barack Obama, my new president, has ushered in a new era of American history, on many levels. But we are quickly moving to the question of how President Obama’s leadership and governance will operate, what will it look like in practice. Everyone is looking for clues, and Dan Balz has an excellent article on deciphering those hints of the future, based on Tom Mann’s insights at the Brookings Institution.

His voting record and the platform upon which he ran certainly suggest that his beliefs put him left of center. But Obama allies point to his pledge to govern inclusively as a counter to those who say his real purpose is to drive through the liberals’ agenda.

“He is genuinely a progressive, but he’s not an ideologue,” argued Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution. “He’s a broadly pragmatic person who, when confronted with new situations, is prepared to take a new

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I was phoning somewhere in the American South for Obama the other day. What an education for me! There were simple, poor families that have been energized by the campaign, volunteering, excited. There were some angry independents, a completely nuts Nader person who hung up on me after screaming about women getting 93 cents on the dollar.

And then there was “Jim Crow” himself, who I have always longed to meet. When I say “Jim Crow” I mean those people in the United States who have actively supported racial segregation their whole lives. They actively ensured through legislation in the late nineteenth century, referred to as the “Jim Crow Laws”, that blacks would remain segregated and unequal in the United States, in a steady reversal of the gains made by victory in the Civil War over slavery. The great President Woodrow Wilson was actually the first Southern Democrat to …

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Iraq has rejected the United States’ use of its territory as a base from which to attack Syria. That is interesting because I thought that the justification for the attack was to defend Iraq from foreign fighters. No one has a greater stake in repelling foreign fighters than the Iraqis themselves. Though, wisely, they realize that building a peaceful relationship with their neighbors is far more effective than killing a few people and weakening the sovereignty of neighboring states.

Coverage of the incident is receiving increasing attention and analysis. I have done some of my own digging as to the source of the attack. It seems that most people assume that this attack across an international border could not have been done without the express approval of the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it is possible that the Vice President authorized it and presented it …

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The timing is amazing from a neoconservative point of view, a few days before the American elections. Right now, after years of scrupulously avoiding crossing into Syrian territory, the American military receives instructions to invade a town in Syria and kill 8 people.

A U.S. military official confirmed late Sunday an American helicopter attack in an area along Syria’s border with Iraq, which left 8 people dead and three people wounded.

Syria condemned the attack, which it called “serious aggression.”

We are closer than ever before to serious conversations between Israel and Syria, Syria has recognized an international border with Lebanon for the first time in modern history, and this is horrifying to neoconservatives who ran Washington for the last decade. They need to use force and force only to conquer Iraq, Iran and Syria. And they need to promote a conception of the American presidency that is focused …

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General Powell on Islam and Repentance

by mgopin on October 25, 2008 · 1 comment

A very moving article by Maureen Dowd on Powell’s performance on television. It really represents a turning point, in my opinion, in the history of conservative America. Powell has called out the haters in his own Republican political party. He asks the right question, finally, ‘what if Obama were a Muslim’? What difference should it make in democratic America. What does trouble me is that Powell falls into a trip that many conservatives around the world fall into, he bonds based on a sharing of war with other men. I understand that he bonded with this Muslim soldier, but I wish it was not over war and death. Here is the picture that Powell stared at for an hour and that led to his epiphany:…

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