The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act is to diplomacy what Sharknado is to meteorology or ichthyology. Well, that's not a perfect analogy. Both the NWFIA and Sharknado are jokes, but Sharknado was so bad it was good, whereas the NWFIA is just bad. The NWFIA would institute a new round of crippling sanctions should we fail to reach an agreement with Iran or if Iran fails to negotiate in good faith. This in and of itself sounds reasonable--at least to American ears, and it might not nec
In 2001, Benjamin Netanyahu boasted about how he helped thwart the Oslo Peace Process. He did not know he was being recorded when this video was made. Pay especially close attention to 3:56 - 4:08 of the video where he says "America is a thing that can be easily moved."
Bibi Netanyahu is a man of peace--or so he would have you believe. He made a speech in 2009 at Bar Ilan University in which he laid out his vision of two-states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side in peace.
Those who want to build, build, build settlements in the West Bank and jeopardize any chance of Palestinians having a reasonably contiguous viable state--those who are just fine with forcing Palestinians to live under martial law in the West Bank--those who see nothing immoral with throwing Palestinians out of their homes and off their land, are desperate to deny that Palestinians have any claim to the land. I want to address two of their biggest talking points in this post. Before I discuss these issues I want you to watch the following video exchang
There is a perception by many in the West that Muslims and Jews have been at each other's throats for over a thousand years. They believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on forever, and there is no hope for a peaceful resolution because Islam is a uniquely virulent religion. This fundamentally misreads the situation--the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is relatively recent and is primarily a conflict over land, though the introduction of religious elements into the conflict makes the conflict much more dangerous and difficult to solve. I will discuss how religion complicates finding a s
If you ask most Americans what a waqf (plural, waqfs or awaqf) is they might answer that it is something to stir-fry their vegetable in or that it is a word from a Klingon dictionary. Actually, understanding what waqfs are is essential to understanding why Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. Trying to understand Hamas's position without understanding what a waqf is is like parachuting into Pakistan wearing nothing but an American flag T-shirt. You may as well apply for the Darwin awards because your understanding will be fatally flawed.
David Samel made a very perceptive observation in the comments section of an article about settler violence in the West Bank. The article itself is worth a read, but I'd like to focus on Samel's comment about right-wing Israelis who deny that the West Bank is occupied as well as the significance of the Palestinian Nakba. Samel was responding to a commenter named Bar who had put the term "Occupied West Bank" in quotes to denote that he really didn't believe it was appropriate to refer to the West Bank as occupied territory. Samel resonded:
Over a year has passed since my proposal to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict while simultaneously addressing the Iran nuclear crisis. I still think it is a mistake to treat the two issues separately since we miss opportunities by artificially compartmentalizing our foreign policy.
Bibi Netanyahu has repeatedly demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish State" for peace talks to go anywhere. It is not enough for the Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist peacefully as a normal state. No, according to Netanyahu the Palestinians have to go beyond that and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State. Israel hasn't always demanded this. It did not require that either Egypt or Jordan recognize it as a Jewish State bef