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Palestine


  • Originally published 08/10/2014

    Lessons of the War in Gaza

    As Israeli operations against Hamas wind down, here are seven insights into the month-long conflict.

  • Originally published 08/04/2014

    Why They Fight: Hamas’ Too-Little-Known Fascist Charter

    As the Gaza conflict rolls on, the Western press has virtually ignored Hamas’s 1988 “Covenant,” which precisely details the terror group’s radical anti-Semitism and intellectual debt to Nazi ideology.

  • Originally published 07/17/2014

    The Curse of The Occupation

    To be sure, occupation is a curse that dehumanizes both the occupier and the occupied. It runs contrary to every tenet of humanity.

  • Originally published 07/14/2014

    Why Does Hamas Want War?

    "The holy grail of political warfare is to win the sympathy of the global Left by presenting oneself as underdog and victim."

  • Originally published 07/14/2014

    Israel’s Groundhog Day: Reverse Snowballs and the Horror of Lawn-Mowing

    "The Israelis, the Palestinians and the world are doomed to relive these periodic slaughters over and over again, until slowly, inexorably, they further corrupt the Israeli soul and make the Zionist enterprise so unlovely in the eyes of the world that it loses crucial support."

  • Originally published 01/16/2014

    The Israel Double Standard

    The prejudice against Israel in diplomatic matters is as troubling as more crude bigotry against Jews.

  • Originally published 09/29/2013

    American Martial Virtue?

    America is not exceptional when we commit to martial virtues; America is exceptional when we commit ourselves to liberty.

  • Originally published 08/13/2013

    Louis René Beres: Core Roots of Palestinian Terrorism

    Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and publishes widely on world politics, terrorism, and international law.Jerusalem will soon have to confirm its final Road Map decisions on "peace." Then, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will need to determine whether the still-fractionated Palestinian side is willing and able to overcome some of its deepest cultural roots. Without such a determination, any formal agreement could be perilous.Here, insight requires memory. Before a resurgent medievalism took hold in the Islamic Middle East, the fraternity of Palestinian terrorist groups had contained many disparate bedfellows. Virtually every Arab enemy of Israel was more-or-less welcome to join in a battle for "national self- determination" against the "Zionists." Today, the fight has changed from a preeminently secular and tactical one, to a struggle that draws heavily upon still-underlying commitments to religious sacrifice.

  • Originally published 07/12/2013

    German settlers left mark on Palestine

    Kurt Eppinger's community of German Christians arrived in the Holy Land to carry out a messianic plan - but after less than a century its members were sent into exile, the vision of their founding fathers brought to an abrupt and unhappy end.The Germans were no longer welcome in what had been first a part of the Ottoman Empire, then British Mandate Palestine and would soon become Israel."On 3 September 1939, we were listening to the BBC and my father said: 'War has been declared' - and the next minute there was a knock at the door and a policeman came and took my father and all the men in the colony away."Aged 14 at the time, Kurt was part of a Christian group called the Templers. He lived in a settlement in Jerusalem - the district still known as the German Colony today....

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Q&A: Israeli historian Ilan Pappe

    The work of Professor Ilan Pappe - an advocate for an international boycott against Israel and the establishment of a single state for Israelis and Palestinians - has drawn praise as well as harsh criticism in academic and political circles.The criticism is not surprising, given that Pappe's work has sought to challenge the accepted truths of a divided land, and led to him being forced to resign from the University of Haifa in 2007....Al Jazeera and Professor Pappe discussed the stalled "peace process", along with Palestinian unity and the successes of the push for a one-state solution.Al Jazeera: How do you assess the recent efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians?

  • Originally published 06/25/2013

    Louis Rene Beres: The Palestinian Treaty Problem

    Louis Rene Beres is a professor of International Law at Purdue University. Born in Zurich, Switzerland at the end of World War II, he is the author of many major books and articles dealing with world politics, law, literature, and philosophy.From the beginning, the state of nations has been the state of nature. Always, states and empires are poised for war. Normally, in order to secure themselves within this condition of protracted peril, they have fashioned assorted written agreements under international law. These formal codifications, expressed as treaties, have sought to smooth over the dreadfully harsh realities of anarchic world politics.Still, on a fragmenting planet, law insistently follows power politics. Throughout history, more or less grievous problems have arisen whenever particular signatories had determined that lawful compliance is no longer in the "national interest." The overriding takeaway here is that treaties can be useful whenever there is a conspicuous mutuality of interest, but they can also become worthless whenever such mutuality is expected to disappear.

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Paris museum commemorates Palestinian suicide bombers

    A government-subsidized museum in Paris has opened a photography exhibition of Palestinian suicide bombers, remembering them as freedom fighters, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Friday.The exhibition, “Death” by Ahlam Shibli, opened on May 28 at the Jeu de Paume museum of contemporary art.The museum’s website describes the people pictured as “those who lost their lives fighting against the occupation,” and the exhibition as being about “the efforts of Palestinian society to preserve their presence,” the JTA reported....

  • Originally published 02/16/2013

    Modern politics overshadows Israel’s historic Herod exhibit

    He's best known as a great tyrant. King Herod is said to have killed his wife and sons as well as all the baby boys of Bethlehem.But the first major exhibition on the Biblical ruler at the Israel Museum sets out to prove that he also had positive qualities that make him more deserving of the title "Herod the Great"."We tried to show that he was not only the cruel person described by [the Jewish historian] Josephus and the New Testament but he was also a ruler who managed to keep this country in peace for 33 years," says curator Silvia Rosenburg."It was probably very difficult being a local ruler caught between the Roman Empire and the different exigencies of Judaism, but he did it very well. In his time there was prosperity and work for everyone."A main reason why there was mass employment was because of the ambitious building projects ordered by Herod when he ruled between 37 and 4 BC......Palestinian officials say they will make a formal complaint to the museum for removing relics from the West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of a future state.

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Israelis unhappy with study of their textbooks and Palestinians’

    JERUSALEM — A State Department-funded study released Monday on the contentious issue of how Israelis and Palestinians depict each other in textbooks says both are locked into narratives that portray the other side as the enemy and erase it from maps, yet do not dehumanize each other.The independent study, billed as the first empirical and quantitative analysis of textbooks on both sides, was boycotted by Israel’s Education Ministry, which refused to cooperate. The ministry called the study biased and said it was based on a false comparison between the Israeli and Palestinian school systems....Funded with a grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the study was directed by Bruce E. Wexler, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University who worked with two Israeli and Palestinian experts on textbook analysis, subjecting books from both sides to identical evaluation questions, with results fed to a database....

  • Originally published 02/04/2013

    Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism

    B.D.S. protestor outside of Carnegie Hall. Credit: Flickr/TheeErin.Next week Brooklyn College will be hosting an event planned by the B.D.S. movement, an activist group dedicated to encouraging "boycott, divestment, and sanctions" against Israel. The gathering is being co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, and will feature Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti as principal speakers. Critics of the event have questioned the propriety of the involvement of the Department of Political Science, charging that their co-sponsorship amounts to the endorsement of political views that will be offensive or intimidating to some students.

  • Originally published 02/04/2013

    Corey Robin: The Question of Palestine at Brooklyn College, Then and Now

    Corey Robin is an American political theorist, journalist and associate professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.In 1942, Brooklyn College hired a young instructor to teach a summer course on Modern European history. Though academically trained, the instructor was primarily known as the author of a series of incendiary articles in the Jewish press on Jewish politics and Zionism.An active though ambivalent Zionist, the instructor did not shy from scorching criticism of the movement for Jewish settlement in Palestine. She had already come to some unsettling conclusions in private. In an unpublished essay, she compared the Zionists to the Nazis, arguing that both movements assumed that the Jews were “totally foreign” to other peoples based on their “inalterable substance.” She wrote in a letter that she found “this territorial experiment” of the Jews in Palestine “increasingly problematic.” By the spring of 1942, she was more public in her criticisms. In March, she wrote that the Irgun—the Jewish paramilitary group whose most prominent commander was Menachem Begin—was a “fascist organization” that “employed terrorist methods in their fight against Arabs in Palestine.”

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Martin Kramer: Chuck Hagel and Linkage

    Martin Kramer is Schusterman senior visiting professor at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and president of Shalem College in Jerusalem.Former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel is President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense. Much has already been said about the pros and cons of the nomination, and much more will be said during confirmation hearings in the Senate. Here is one possible line of questioning: given the centrality of the Middle East in U.S. military planning, how does Hagel think the region works? If the United States has limited resources, and must apportion them judiciously, where is it best advised to invest them?Hagel has a view of this, expressed on numerous occasions. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the core problem of the Middle East. Until it is resolved, it will be impossible to make progress in treating any of the region’s other pathologies. Hagel claims to have reached this conclusion by talking with leaders of the Middle East. He’s just repeating what they tell him, he has said. So it’s interesting to go back and see just what they did tell him—an exercise made feasible via WikiLeaks. (If you belong to that class of persons who have to avert their eyes from WikiLeaks, don’t follow the links and take my word.)...

  • Originally published 08/12/2014

    The U.S. Government Still Tries to Subvert Cuba

    When I saw the headline about the U.S. government and Cuba in my newspaper the other day, I thought I’d awoken in 1961. It was a Twilight Zone moment for sure: “U.S. program aimed to stir dissent in Cuba.” I expected Rod Serling to welcome me to “another dimension."  But it was 2014. The AP news report said President Barack Obama and presumably then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton had plotted to incite a popular uprising — to “gin up opposition” — against the Cuban government by sending in young Latin Americans masquerading as tourists and health workers.

  • Originally published 07/18/2014

    Setting the Record Straight on Palestinian Youth

    Irfan Khawaja has an excellent post at the Austro-Athenian Empire responding to the usual negative portrayal of the Palestinians, especially the youth. I highly recommend it.

  • Originally published 07/09/2014

    Israel and Due Process

    The murders of the Israeli teens were atrocities, of course, but they can in no way justify, retroactively or prospectively, the systematic violence perpetrated against Palestinians that the state of Israel constitutes at its core.

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