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
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
Here is a must read from an Israeli patriot who was devastated by the movie and his own depression over leadership and the endless cycle of war and revenge. Please read and react. I have been devastated and cleansed by the movie for a week. While much of Burston’s analysis is powerful and convincing I do not think that ‘we live in post-moral world’. Israelis, and Palestinians, are indeed caught in a web of terrible leadership, with choices between corruption on the one side, and uncorrupted, clear unadulterated violence–and suicide–on the other. But this is not a post-moral world. It seems that way to those inside this insanity, but to those outside morality is alive and well, and the answers are not as complicated as leadership on all sides has made them out to be: Respect your enemy, never surround an enemy on all sides with no way out, be …
Sometimes in the construction of a better world, it is necessary to go into the heart of darkness, to quote Conrad. Sometimes it is only in exploring our heart of darkness that we can figure out where we are, so that we know how to get beyond our current fallen state. I am drunk with blood these days, thoughts of blood, fear of blood, the rage of boiling blood, and so is anyone for whom Palestine and Israel are a fixation.
This report of carnage in a Gaza hospital in all its horrifying details is typical of the innocents who are being cut to pieces. What stands out is the report of the impatient, smiling Islamic Jihad fighter who is just thrilled with the blood of his own people. New recruits to his cause. He sees around him a man with his…
Joel Suarez found fault with my previous posting on Shahids and Hayals, in that I come down hard on the rage in the Arab world at this time. Over the weekend I got many more reports of the atrocities occurring in Gaza at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, and the fact that the Arab world, unlike Israel and the United States, sees the direct evidence of this regularly on their television screens. It occurred to me that Joel’s critique was a good one, even though I may disagree with some facts. I will regularly post guest writers and I think this piece has good merit. Joel is a graduate student at Columbia University and writes at joelsuarez.com .
Joel Suarez writes:
I recently read your post on hatred in demonstrations. I’d have to agree that it is extremely disappointing to see bigotry injected into protests …
Writing from Jerusalem
No one knows whether the Middle East is at the dawn of a new era with the accession of President Obama to leadership, whether between Obama, the new Saudi king’s very serious Peace Proposal, and President Assad’s keen interest in a peace process, that we are at the dawn of a strong consensus to finally resolve the central conflict of the region, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. We could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral of hatred, revenge, populist rage, military force, fanatical manipulation, and zero sum desperate final measures of power and destruction that will yield unprecedented human misery in the region. I cannot tell, honestly.
But I do know that we are all responsible for this. We are responsible in everything we say and do, and in every action that we support. The nonsense that corrupt…
This report in from Sami Moubayed in Damascus. Moubayed speaks with great authority for the official mood in Syria. This cancellation of negotiations by Syria has sent shock waves in an Israeli establishment that thought the talks with Syria were going well. My shock is at their shock:
According to veteran British journalist and Syria expert Patrick Seale Israel’s ‘savage war’ brings home a number of truths:
1) Syria’s fate is tied to the Palestinians. It cannot distance itself from the Palestine cause, whatever incentives Israel might in future be inclined to offer it.
2) Only a comprehensive accord can bring peace to the Middle East – but of this there is at present no sign.
3) Third, by its violence and its brutal indifference to human life, Israel has demonstrated yet again that it is not ready for peace. Its primal urge remains to expand and to dominate, as
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