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
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
OBAMA AND THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: A CONVERSATION
This is a conversation on the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly of PBS that I wanted to share with you. Here is the link to the video, and below is the transcript of part I.
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Now, a conversation about the spirit of the country on the eve of the Obama inauguration. Alice McDermott is a writer, a National Book Award winner, whose latest novel is “After This.” Rabbi Marc Gopin is director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University in Virginia. And Dr. Robert Franklin is president of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Welcome to all of you. Bob Franklin, the mood of a country is an ambitious and sometimes elusive thing to try to get at. But what do you sense, especially among African Americans?
Dr. ROBERT FRANKLIN (President, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA): I think that Barack Obama’s election has evoked
Jewish, Muslim, Democratic: How Can States be Ethnocentric and Democratic?
Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni is in a fight she is likely to lose to become the next prime minister of Israel. Reports coming in indicate that Likud, and therefore its head Benjamin Netanyahu, will be able to put together the next Israeli government. So it is not surprising that Livni, who has advocated a peace process vociferously, would now be appealing to the right wing in the American Jewish community and in Israel by emphasizing her Jewish allegiances. She said recently:
“The world is willing to defend the right of the state of Israel to exist, this is the part of the requirement that the [Mideast] Quartet demands [of] Hamas. But I would like to add two more words to this demand of the quartet: They need to accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state,” Livni told delegates at the closing ceremony of the
I MET JIM CROW AND SENATOR OBAMA IS LAYING HIM TO REST
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 …
Change in U.S. Middle East Policy: A Religious Argument to Obama and McCain
I just published this piece in the Washington Jewish Week. I wrote it as a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of Brit Tzedek Ve’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, a national American Jewish organization with over thirty thousand members and thirty eight chapters, which argues in Washington for a just solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict.
It is settled: The election is about change. Sen. Barack Obama had made that his central motif all along, but now Sen. John McCain is onboard. Now that everyone is using the word “change,” it begs a question. The question is not “Who stands for change?” but rather, “Whose changes are going to really make a difference, and what are those changes?”
One place where change is desperately needed is in the disastrous United States policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict that has been in effect for the past eight years. It