Even when they had reached the borders of the Promised Land, after 40 years in the desert, all the Children of Israel wanted was to go back to Egypt. In Erez Biton's poem, the immigrant from Algeria and his son fail to build a home in Israel. Independence Day is also the tale of the rift in our identity, created by immigrating here. By Mati Shemoelof "And the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread…Read More...
The fact that the head of Israel's opposition could soon join forces with Netanyahu may actually bode well for the Israeli Left and Palestinian citizens alike. The Israeli media has been beside itself this week with the possibility that the head of the opposition Isaac Herzog, leader of the Labor Party cum Zionist Union, may join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the executive branch of the Israeli government. Roughly two weeks of chatterbuzz about Herzog-Netanyahu negotiations have yielded the usual five stages of rumors: from denial (“there are no negotiations”); to low expectations (“they’re just talks, they won’t lead to…Read More... | 1 Comment
Two intifadas increased Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals. Wars in Lebanon and Egypt led Israel to withdrawals from those territories. Despite all that, the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain quiet and security for Israelis but receives nothing in return. If I were Palestinian I might come to a disturbing conclusion. One axiom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Palestinian violence pushes the Jewish public rightward. Due to violence, common wisdom goes, the willingness of Israeli Jews to make concessions or compromise decreases, and Palestinian independence or equality becomes more of a pipe dream. Only refraining from violence will…Read More... | 4 Comments
Now that the Iran nuclear deal has been implemented, the Islamic Republic, Egypt and others are likely to make a much more serious push for a nuclear-free Middle East. And Israel is in a much tighter spot than ever before. By Shemuel Meir A sigh of relief was heard in the corridors of Israel’s security establishment and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office in May 2015. Its cause: Israel’s success in fending off and foiling a proposed resolution put forward by Egypt at the NPT Review Conference to establish a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu sent President Obama a special thank…Read More...
A new Palestinian PR campaign attempts to recast the conflict by comparing Israeli violence against Palestinians to methods used by Islamic State. By Jacob Wirtschafter CAIRO — Eager to re-enlist Egyptian public opinion to their cause, the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo hosted a rare press conference Thursday outlining Ramallah’s current diplomatic agenda. The agenda includes a definitive UN Security Council resolution with a timeline for two states, deployment of international forces to protect the population of the West Bank, and an international fact-finding mission to determine the “root causes” of the current phase of the conflict. [tmwinpost] It’s a hard…Read More... | 3 Comments
Despite highly destructive counter-revolutionary forces like a-Sisi in Egypt and ISIL in Iraq and Syria, there are grassroots movements across the region demanding governments that serve the people — all of the people. By Yoav Haifawi* On Friday, August 28, 2015, demonstrators in southern and central Iraq (those parts of the country not under “Islamic State” control) held their fifth consecutive “Friday protests” against government corruption, lack of basic services and the sectarian structure of power sharing. On Saturday, August 29, Lebanon’s “You Stink” movement held its largest demonstration yet in “Martyrs’ Square” in the middle of Beirut – undeterred…Read More... | 4 Comments
Weighted down by historical, religious and linguistic inaccuracies, Egyptian television series 'The Jewish Quarter’ nevertheless tells an intriguing story of the political, social and religious changes that have transformed Egypt — in 1948 and in 2015. An Egyptian Ramadan television series called “The Jewish Quarter”* has attracted quite a bit of international media attention for its sympathetic portrayal of Jewish Egyptians during the years immediately following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, up until 1954. Set in Cairo, the ongoing multi-episode drama takes its name from one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, where Jews, Muslims and Christians…Read More... | 7 Comments
By dreaming up an association between Hamas and Islamic State, Netanyahu hopes Israel will have it easy the next time it goes to war against Gaza. The head of Israel’s military government in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, spearheaded the latest round of Israel’s fantastical, anti-intellectual conflation between Hamas and ISIS this past week. Taking advantage of the horrendous attacks by an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mordechai told Al Jazeera Arabic that Hamas is aiding the world’s most terrifying terrorist organization—by bringing its wounded fighters into Gaza for medical treatment. The attempt to make a connection between the…Read More... | 79 Comments
While Sinai used to be one of the most popular tourist destinations for Israeli Jews, today it is nearly abandoned. But neither the threat of Al-Qaida attacks, ISIS kidnappings or her friends' pleading could stop Orly Noy from going back to her own private heaven. The bottom line is this: we went to Sinai for our Passover vacation, we had a great time and returned unharmed. Does this justify an entire article on the exprience? Well, if you take into account the number of requests for television and radio interviews that I received while there, the answer is yes. The…Read More... | 8 Comments
Nearly two million Gazans are living in a state of poverty and shortages, with few options of leaving and even fewer options for work. Nearly two million people who live in a giant prison, and Israelis cannot even begin to fathom how terrible their situation is. "I'm extremely concerned that if you leave Gaza in the state it's currently in, you'll have another eruption, and violence, and then we're back in a further catastrophe, so we've got to stop that," warned Quartet envoy Tony Blair during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. It was his first trip to the…Read More... | 34 Comments
Jacqueline Kahanoff’s novel, 'Jacob's Ladder,' strips 'multiculturalism' of its cold, academic veneer, displaying instead the reality of a Jewish, multicultural lifestyle. But the novel also directs a powerful question toward Israeli society: can the Arabs that live among us today ever live in Israel the same way Jews lived in Egypt? By Ktsiaa Alon (translated from Hebrew by Shaked Spier) Several decades after its publication, Jacqueline Kahanoff’s great novel, “Jacob’s Ladder,” has finally been translated into Hebrew. The novel portrays a vivid picture of a Levant of multiculturalism, as Kahanoff called it in her intellectual essays. After a delay of over…Read More... | 6 Comments
Israel and Hamas announced Tuesday evening that they had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered, open-ended ceasefire, after seven weeks of fighting left more than 2,200 people dead and tens of thousands wounded, the vast majority Palestinians. Although the ceasefire went into effect at 7 p.m., both sides engaged in violence until the last minute. In Israel, a mortar attack killed two men in Kibbutz Nirim. Palestinians reported that an airstrike destroyed a seven-story building in Beit Lahiya. Officials from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad stated that the ceasefire included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief…Read More... | 2 Comments
My colleagues at 'Let Us Build Pakistan' and I have discovered various overlapping interests on certain issues and we occasionally cross-post material that we think our audiences would find relevant. Here is one such article I found interesting. Against the background of a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East, a Muslim writer calls for introspection. By Asif Zaidi The following book review in The Telegraph addresses two recently published books mainly defending British Muslims. A friend sent me the article, hoping that it will help me “see the light.” But I believe the review downplays some significant problems.…Read More... | 46 Comments
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