Coming on the eve of midterm elections, many asked about the political importance of the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" organised by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Would it be able to help the Democrats bounce from what is looking like a major shellacking coming their way today?Read More
Hamas's victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections surprised everyone, including its own members and leaders. Many local and international activists were also relieved, as the victory was a blow to the Bush doctrine in the Middle East. It was also a test of the credibility of the liberal democratic approach and its applications in the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision not to renew the settlement "freeze" has left the Obama administration scrambling to save the negotiations from collapse. For the second time in two years, direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are at risk due to Israeli actions.Read More
What can be said for the state of international law when international organisations such as the OECD find themselves unable to prevent a member country from bringing its unlawful practice into the life of the organisation itself? In such situations, how can law-abiding member countries avoid being drawn into acquiescence? Later this month, these questions may find answers when Israel hosts an OECD gathering in Jerusalem to discuss global tourism.Read More
The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is already on shaky ground. At issue, once again, is Israel’s insistence that it can build and expand settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.Read More
When we were kids, we went to my uncle's Jordan Valley farm in the Palestinian West Bank to hunt for Easter eggs. The event was organized by his Christian wife and the whole family was happy to celebrate because it was so much fun. As we peered through the bushes and looked under the stones of this most fertile of West Bank land, the adults made sure that each child found at least one brightly decorated egg. Israel's occupation in 1967 put an end to those family visits during my father's vacations from the American University of Beirut.Read More
Israel's ten-month "freeze" on settlement building, declared under pressure from the Obama administration last November, is set to expire this month. James Cunningham, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, reportedly warned European envoys that direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians were on the verge of collapse over the settlement freeze. While attention has focused on whether the freeze will continue, few have asked if it was ever truly in force.
Rabbi Kenneth Chasen is the latest to offer a glowing report of the Palestinian-state-in-the-making supposedly being built by Salam Fayyad, a political unknown until he was boosted from obscurity by the George W. Bush administration and installed as the unelected "prime minister" of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.Read More
GEORGE J. MITCHELL, the United States Middle East envoy, tried to counter low expectations for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations by harking back to his experience as a mediator in Northern Ireland.Read More
News of resumed peace talks have hit the headlines -- on September 1st, international leaders will break bread and on September 2nd, ostensibly well-rested and full-bellied, they will resume direct peace negotiations. Sadly, the photo opportunity will provide little more than the occasion for spectators to juxtapose this photo alongside similar ones over a span of nearly two decades.Read More