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Friday, August 31, 2007

South Africa is not a model for Israel

Benjamin Pogrund, a journalist and active leader in the struggle against apartheid, explains why South Africa is not a model for Israel.

South Africa Is Not a Model for Us

Benjamin Pogrund

Benjamin Pogrund is the founder and director of Yakar's Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem and was deputy editor of the former Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg. He is co-editor of Shared Histories: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue and is a member of the Palestine-Israel Journal's Editorial Board.

by Moderator @ 06:43 PM CST [Link]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A better route to Israeli-Palestinian peace?

A peace conference is in the offing. Once again, after a long lull in which nothing was accomplished, Israelis and Palestinians are scrambling to hammer together a framework agreement. In theory, both Palestinians and Israelis want peace, and polls seem to show that they do. Reality is different. Neither the leaders nor their constituents have any confidence that any such vague framework will be a basis for a peace plan that does not cheat them, nor do they trust the other side to carry out their part of the bargain. Each side is skeptical that the other side has both the will and the capability of implementing any agreement. There may be many fine words, but in the end, people suspect the settlements will remain where they are, and the various terror groups will stay in business, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue as usual. [more]

by Moderator @ 11:10 AM CST [Link]

Monday, August 27, 2007

Water Cooperation in the Middle East

Amid the gloom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it's a joy to go to a meeting in Jerusalem where hope and cooperation are the keynotes, especially when it's on an issue that usually carries dire threats of war: water.

The warnings exist because water, critical for existence, is in such short supply in this part of the world. A primary reason for Israel holding and annexing the Golan Heights in the north is that it means survival: it's the watershed for more than 55% of the country's fresh water needs. In 1964, Syria began to divert water that flows into the Yarmuk river, a tributary of the Jordan, and then into the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). Israel used armed force to destroy the construction works. [more]

by Moderator @ 07:54 PM CST [Link]

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Readers' Comments and thinking about the Middle East II

I promised (or threatened) a sequel to Readers' Comments and thinking about the Middle East I, if reactions were not unfavorable. As there were no more than the usual number of complaints, and those for expected reasons, herewith is another installment. [more]

by Moderator @ 03:57 PM CST [Link]

Pragmatism and Brutality in Middle East Analyses

As we move, for better or worse, toward the upcoming Middle East Summit, there will be a proliferation of opinions about what should be done there and what might be accomplished. It appeared for a time, that there might be the possibility of a peace dialogue between Israel and Syria. This possibility seems to be dimming, but Professor Marc Gopin wrote an op-ed about it for Common Ground News . It is unfortunately very representative of many policy proposals regarding the middle east.

by Moderator @ 03:25 PM CST [Link]

Peaceworks: Making the Business of Peace Thrive

Every time a bomb goes off somewhere, someone is making money from it somehow. War is always the fruit of the search for power or money - either the money will be used to buy power, or the power will be used to accumulate money. It is true from the highest levels to the lowest "martyr" who blows himself up to get a pension for his family. Osama Bin Laden would not have invested in Al-Qaeda if he didn't think it is a good business. Armaments manufacturers, metals speculators and others get rich from from wars. Not surprisingly, interested persons will spend a great deal of money and effort to drum up support for war, and to block peace efforts.

But what if we show people how to get rich from peace? Daniel Lubetzky has done just that with his Peaceworks- Healthy Gourmet Foods initiative, as Erin Pineda explains below. It is a great model for the Middle East too.

Ami Isseroff [more]

by Moderator @ 11:20 AM CST [Link]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Special: OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was asked to prepare a report of the accountability of CIA officers for performance failures in countering the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as revealed by earlier congressional hearings. The report was prepared in 2005, but kept secret until August 21 2007. [more]

by Moderator @ 02:09 AM CST [Link]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Readers' Comments and thinking about the Middle East I

MidEastWeb is supposed to be your Web site, dear readers, so your intelligent comments and articles are always welcome. We have had some excellent discussions here, as well as reader-contributed articles that have enriched our collective understanding.

But "interactive" Web sites always seem to bring out the worst in people as well as the best. Occasionally columnists like Bradley Burston will complain about the level of e-comments. Now it is my turn. [more]

by Moderator @ 06:05 PM CST [Link]

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hamas and Syria won't watch the peace on television

If you are for peace, then should you be for or against Israel making a "deal" with the Hamas? Recently, Yossi Beilin gave a talk that illustrated both the realities and the illusions represented in the prospect of dealing with, or ignoring Hamas, and the pitfalls it presents.

by Moderator @ 11:46 PM CST [Link]

Peace conference: beginning of hope or fresh catastrophe?

Seen through the right glasses, it may look as though there is an opportunity for peace once again between Israelis and Palestinians.

The threat of Iranian hegemony, the U.S. failure in Iraq, and the collapse of Fatah and rise of the Hamas in Gaza, have all hurt forces of moderation and reason, but they stirred something. The weak Olmert government is likewise threatened by right wing opponents. But these unfortunate events just might yield a tiny ray of hope in the Middle East. They have finally forced all the different parties who might be interested in peace to at least sound like they mean business this time, and to take somewhat less unrealistic stands than in the past.


by Moderator @ 11:32 PM CST [Link]


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