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Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Middle East Policy Paralysis Paradox

It is very frustrating. On the one hand, say the pundits, "everyone" agrees on the major problems in the Middle East, and also on their proper solution. On the other hand, each day we move further away from the possibility of solving those problems.

Let's go through a (partial) list. [more]

by Moderator @ 10:40 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Disillusion - Seniora says Lebanon will be last country to make peace with Israel

It was nice while it lasted. For a while there, it looked like Lebanese PM Fuad Seniora might be hinting at a peace offer to Israel. Bloggers like Andrew Sullivan got all excited. [more]

by Moderator @ 08:18 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Urgent need for peace education: Teaching hate in Gaza

One example can sometimes teach us a great deal about the Middle East conflcit and answer many questions.

This example answers a few questions for me, and for all the various commenters who WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS because they think that will make them right, and it is very very sad.

Here is a report about a summer camp in Gaza - one of many. It is not the first summer that such camps have been reported. The program of the camp in the words of a director:

We teach the children the truth. How the Jews persecuted the prophets and tortured them. We stress that the Jews killed and slaughtered Arabs and Palestinians every chance they got. Most important, the children understand that the conflict with the Jews is not over land, but rather over religion. As long as Jews remain here, between the [Jordan] river and the sea, they will be our enemy and we will continue to pursue and kill them. When they leave we won't hurt them."


by Moderator @ 12:33 PM CST [Link]

Lebanon and Israel: A chance for peace??

Lebanese PM Fuad Seniora surprised everyone by talking about peace with Israel recently, according to the Daily Star:

"I believe that if Israel uses all its senses and thinks wisely, I think it will be the opportunity," Siniora told reporters.

"The opportunity is how to convert what happened in Lebanon - the calamity that was inflicted on Lebanon - to make it an opportunity to move toward real peace," he said.


by Moderator @ 12:20 AM CST [Link]

Monday, August 21, 2006

Middle East: A neglected detail

The Lebanon debacle and other crises have precipitated great debates in Israel, the USA, Europe and the Middle East, about Middle East strategy, war and peace issues, performance of the IDF, assymetric forces, terror, Iranian nuclear weapons, the Palestinian issue, and the nature of the conflict. These are all very weighty and worthy issues, that are taken seriously by every policy analyst and pundit. Only one little detail is generally neglected. Nobody talks about what the events tell us about reality, and the fact that almost nobody has a coherent policy to deal with that reality is almost universally neglected. [more]

by Moderator @ 05:05 PM CST [Link]

Friday, August 18, 2006

We won't ever forget the name of Amir Peretz

The bigger the hopes and trust we place in a leader, the greater the dissappointment when he fails and betrays us. We were awed by the great vistas that were opened when Amir Peretz was elected to head the Israel Labor Party. Peretz would bring fresh leadership. At last an authentic representative of the Israeli working class headed the Labor Party. As last a veteran supporter and key member of Peace Now was in a key leadership position in the Israeli government. It seemed that a new era was dawning. [more]

by Moderator @ 08:09 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Israel-Lebanon: No Horizon

Why I ask myself. Why does the death of a twenty year old Israeli soldier who I never knew have such an overwhelming impact on me? Why out of all the deaths in the second Lebanon war does the loss of Uri Grossman bring tears to my eyes? Why is it the same for people across the world, from America through Europe to Israel? I haven't found anyone who is unmoved by this, and all of them, like me, never knew Uri.

Is it because we can imagine, for we do not know, what it means to lose a child? Is it because we can identify with the empty space he will leave this coming and every future Friday night? [more]

by Moderator @ 12:49 PM CST [Link]

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lebanon War Fiasco: An experiment in learning by doing

After nearly a month of war, it is becoming increasingly evident that we are witnessing a pointless and horrendous fiasco, a prodigious waste of lives and property comparable in senselessness, if not in abolute scale, to General Ambrose Burnside's debacle at the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg in the US Civil war, and to Churchill's fiasco in Gallipoli in World War I. The unwisdom of Gallipoli, which dragged on for months, should have been painfully evident very soon, but nobody took the required action until it was far too late and hundreds of thousands had died for no reason. The Lebanon war drags on toward disaster in the same way. [more]

by Moderator @ 03:42 PM CST [Link]

Friday, August 4, 2006

Middle East comedy versus reality

The failure of just about everyone to confront reality in the Lebanese-Israeli crisis has resulted in a series of pronouncements that belong to the realm of black humor.

Consider the following, many of which include lines that should have been delivered by the likes of Jay Leno, but instead were pronouncements of Middle East leaders.


by Moderator @ 05:19 PM CST [Link]

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Beyond the front lines

Anger, confusion and compassion -- these are probably the most adequate terms to describe the feelings of a European who has lived in both Israel and Lebanon, experienced the high emotions on both the Israeli and the Lebanese Independence Day (the first ‘real’ one, after the withdrawal of the Syrian army), as well as the cold shiver when Nasrallah’s gripping voice resounded proudly over the army of Hizbullah marching past the streets of South Beirut. Anger at those who have initiated this conflict, consciously sacrificing hundreds of human lives. Confusion about a lasting solution, leading to the peace millions have been yearning for. Compassion for those suffering, those who have -- once again --everything. [more]

by Moderator @ 09:05 AM CST [Link]

War Fever

Tel Aviv -- Moments after the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah it was clear that outbreak of war on Israel's northern border was inevitable. I anticipated the unleashing of the Israel's military might, not because I willed destruction but because I saw no other alternative. The simple and logical Israeli conclusion is that Hezbollah is a fundamentalist terrorist organization that had infiltrated into our sovereignty, captured two of our boys and killed eight more in the battle that ensued. We had not provoked Hezbollah, we were not occupying Lebanon and therefore there could be no plausible justification for their actions… so they must be punished.

by Moderator @ 09:01 AM CST [Link]


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