Most American speakers at the US-Islamic World Forum seemed to either ignore major issues or give the usual statements disliked by most Muslims WASHINGTON, DC - Last week I attended the US-Islamic World Forum in Washington D.C. The forum is organized by the Organization of the Islamic Conference , the Kingdom of Qatar and the Brookings Institute. Muslim dignitaries, interfaith leaders, and American politicians spoke about the rising challenges facing the Muslim world and the implication of the "Arab Spring" on the future of the Middle East. However, despite having a session on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the conference speakers, particularly…Read More... | 3 Comments
Tomorrow, a group of preeminent Israelis will endorse Palestinian statehood along the 1967 borders, and call on compatriots to join them. Will a Palestinian "state" be a game changer? And, if so, will it mark a change for the better? A couple of weeks ago, Ami asked why the Israeli left isn't debating the prospect of Palestinian statehood being proclaimed and internationally recognized this year. It did not take long for an answer to emerge. Tomorrow, 17 recipients of the Israeli state's highest honor – the "Israel Prize" – will hold an event in front of the hall where Israeli…Read More... | 25 Comments
The upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood, that will most probably take place this September at the UN General Assembly, has a lot of people talking - and a certain government panicking. Rightfully so - it’s the region’s biggest event of 2011. So why is the left in Israel and abroad keeping mum? The fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is a staller is well-known to many in Israel and around the world. These days, readers yawn in boredom whenever they read once again about his inability to lead, his non-commitment to peace, and his lack of vision. Lately, the criticism has focused…Read More... | 20 Comments
In terms of Palestinian democracy, there is no question that calling Presidential and Parliamentary elections for September 2011 (and maybe local elections) is the right thing. Postponed since 2009, holding elections can only strengthen the democratic culture and the legitimacy of state authorities. Holding regular, free elections in a non-state entity is actually an important part of state-building in other non-recognized states. In free and fair elections, such entities both choose leaders, but also signal internally and externally that the leadership is serious about its statehood project. But there are many questions about who would win. Horse race polls this…Read More...
I am deeply moved by the events in Tunisia. The uprising is proof, once again, that liberty and justice are indeed for all: for Americans under Jim Crow, for the Chinese in Tiananmen Square, and for Tunisians too, these truths are self-evident and universal. Tunisia is a great riposte to racist arguments that the Arab/Middle East mentality is not built for democracy and is hard-wired only for force. I wonder if people realize how often that argument is raised here. The dramatic sight of young people harnessing technology to rise up in Lebanon and Egypt seems to be a ripple…Read More... | 15 Comments
The UN Security Council resolution that was introduced this week condemning Israeli settlement expansion is sure to provide more grist for Israel's ‘de-legitimization’ mill. Increasingly paranoid commentators will lump the resolution together with all critique they don’t like as undermining the Israel’s right to exist. If so, they will implicitly contribute to an absurd notion that the legitimacy of Israel rests on the right to settlement expansion. The resolution could also offer opportunities; but Israel seems likely to insist on missing them. Even if not a single olive tree in the West Bank is protected from bulldozers, to view the…Read More... | 3 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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