Today at The New York Times, Laurie Goodstein reports on the United Methodist Church’s decision not to divest from companies that supply Israel with equipment used to enforce its control in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Posts Tagged ‘Israel-Palestine’
Sam McPheeters travels through the Holy Land in search of the “Jerusalem syndrome” for Vice.
Given the close relationship, globally, between religious political action and religious charities, it should come as no surprise that there is a long tradition of cooperation between Islamist political parties and Islamic charitable organizations in Turkey. While this relationship has been the subject of considerable discussion in analyses of Turkish domestic politics, less noticed has been the savvy cooperation between the Turkish government and Turkish Islamic organizations in implementing the country’s increasingly assertive foreign policy under the ruling AKP, or Justice and Development Party. Two recent crises, the “Mavi Marmara” incident in 2010 and Turkey’s on-going aid mission to Libya, highlight the ways in which this cooperation has allowed Turkey to assert itself regionally and are suggestive of the sophistication of its efforts to become, in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s words, “a regional power and a global player.”
For a brief moment in 2007, news of a hit Iranian television series, whose Farsi title was translated variously as Zero Degree Turn or Zero Point Orbit, proliferated across the print and digital mediascapes of the Anglophone world. The series, created by Iranian director Hassan Fathi at great expense and broadcast in a thirty-episode season on the flagship state television station IRIB1, revolves around a Romeo and Juliet plot of illicit romance, with a distinctive twist: while the proverbial Romeo is one Habib Parsa (played by Iranian hearthrob Shahab Hosseini), a Muslim Iranian pursuing his studies in France, his Juliet is none other than a Jewish classmate, Sarah Astrok (played by the French actress Nathalie Matti), with whom he falls in love.
Judith Butler, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is among the leading social theorists alive today. Her most recent books are Frames of War (2009) and The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere (2011), an SSRC volume that puts her in conversation with Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West. As we carried out our conversation by email between Brooklyn and Berkeley, uprisings were occurring across the Arab world, and a U.S.-led coalition had just begun conducting airstrikes in support of rebel forces in Libya. We had discussed some similar questions, and some different ones, a year earlier in an interview for Guernica magazine.
David Remnick, in The New Yorker, profiles Amos Schocken, the prickly but principled (albeit ideologically nonconformist) publisher of Haaretz, which, though long seen—by its own staff as much as its readers—as the conscience of Israeli society, shares with the state itself an increasingly uncertain future.
In Forward, the Jewish weekly newspaper, A.J. Goodman reports on a recent trip of Muslim leaders to Auschwitz and Dachau.
In the latest issue of Foreign Policy, Aaron David Miller, a long-time State Department official and advisor to six secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations, details his apostasy from the “false religion of mideast peace.” Stephen Walt, in turn, offers a critical response.
On the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Degania kibbutz, J. J. Goldberg writes about the decline of the institution in this week’s Forward. The demise of the original utopian vision of a better society was not inevitable; it was “murdered” by a “combination of malice and neglect by government officials and incompetence by planners in the central kibbutz federation in the 1980s.”
Jennifer Rubin accuses Barack Obama of diluting and distorting the message of Passover.
AIPAC, the powerful D.C.-based pro-Israel lobby, is currently hosting its annual policy conference, attended by over 7,500, according to its website. Secretary of State Clinton addressed the conference this morning, and reports indicate that her speech showed little sign of the Obama administration stepping back its criticisms of continued Israeli settlement expansion.
In a moving portrait of the eminent historian, Evan R. Goldstein traces the trajectory of Tony Judt’s career from his adolescent Zionism to the more recent controversies surrounding his advocacy of a bi-national state in Israel-Palestine and forthright criticism of Israeli policy—and, of course, the decades of original and invaluable political and intellectual history in between.
President Obama’s much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last Thursday demonstrated once again that he is an extraordinarily skilled orator working with fantastic speech writers. The speech also underscored the distinctly different approach his administration plans to take in handling U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Quoting the Koran, the Bible, and the Torah, President Obama laid out a plan that basically came down to a simple message: “We’re all in this together and we must all do our part.” But what exactly did he mean by “do our part”?
Here I want to briefly comment on Obama’s discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian question. Two of Obama’s statements in particular have been widely celebrated as marking a new direction in American foreign policy in this area: one, that “the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” and two, that the Palestinians should have “a state of their own.” These are fine sentiments indeed. They are also an almost exact reiteration of the central positions of the so-called Road Map proposed by Bush and his Quartet.
You see, the interview on Al Arabiya confirms that the politics of fear can safely endure, barely disguised as the politics of love. It’s (Christian) politics as usual, in other words. The extended hand of love and friendship—for the enemy—continues to veil the indisputable fact that there is only one iron fist in “the region as a whole.”
Despite disappointment in Obama’s arm’s length approach during the campaign, the vast majority of Arab and Muslim American voters supported him on Election Day. They felt his domestic and foreign policies would be a vast improvement over his predecessor’s. Like other Americans, they were hopeful. His recent televised interview on the Arabic satellite network, Al Arabiya, infused new life into that hope—hope that had been waning rapidly in the weeks leading up to the inauguration.
President Barack Obama has moved quickly to follow up on his inaugural statement: “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” He appointed and sent his special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to the region on an eight day trip. Then on January 28, on Al Arabiya, the prominent Arab satellite TV network, Obama addressed the Arab and Muslim worlds in his first televised interview from the White House.