New Blog on Middle East Politics

Posted on Wed, Sep 24, 2008 @ 02:25 PM

Political Science students report daily on twelve Middle East nations

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the class on Middle East Politics that I'm teaching this semester at the University of Southern California. Part of the course is to learn about blogging by creating a site and writing for it 5 days a week.

On a number of occasions the students have found stories before the main international media have reported them. That's because they are encouraged to look locally for less familiar perspectives. 

Tags: middle east, blogging, new site

Oslo Fifteen Years On

Posted on Tue, Sep 16, 2008 @ 02:28 PM

Why the historic effort to close peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority foundered
Oslo Accord

After the accord was signed in 1993 various obstacles arose to render most of the agreement null. But it did have some positive effects as Israeli negotiator Uri Savir notes in this recent interview.

The bitterlemons Web site devotes its latest report (#36) to a four-way commentary on Oslo, including one from Savir.

Tags: arab-israeli conflict, bitterlemons, oslo accords, palestinian authority, peace process, savir, israel

Assessment of Peace Talks Regarding Jerusalem

Posted on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 @ 02:33 PM

Jerusalem continues at the center of Arab-Israeli conflict
Google News
Details: Assessment of Peace Talks Regarding Jerusalem
Peace Talks over Jerusalem

Four commentaries on the current state of play in discussions between the parties on the Jerusalem Question were published this week. 

My friend, Menachem Klein, who teaches political science in Israel, has contributed one of the pieces.

Jerusalem as an issue will not go away from any future discussions. See my recent article, "Triumph and Tragedy in the Middle East." 

Tags: jerusalem, arab-israeli conflict, peace, israel, Palestine

New Material on King Hussein and His Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians

Posted on Fri, Sep 05, 2008 @ 02:36 PM
September 05, 2008
Google BlogSearch
Details: New Material on King Hussein 
and His Relationship with Israel and the Palestinians
Avi Shlaim on King Hussein

I've mentioned Bernard Avishai before. His recent blog piece about a review of Avi Shlaim's new book on King Hussein provides some useful insight into some corners of the publishing world.

That aside, the content of Avishai's review and Shlaim's book are and will be well worth the read.

Tags: middle east, Bernard Avishai, avi shlaim, king hussein

Former Israeli PM Barak Says Jerusalem Division Possible

Posted on Thu, Sep 04, 2008 @ 02:39 PM

East Jerusalem can yet become capital of the Palestinian state
Google News
Details: Former Israeli PM Barak Says Jerusalem Division  Possible
Ehud Barak Palestinian capital

Reuters reported an interview with Ehud Barak aired on Al-Jazeera television. Barak said, "We can find a formula under which certain neighbourhoods, heavily-populated Arab neighbourhoods, could become, in a peace agreement, part of the Palestinian capital that, of course, will include also the neighbouring villages around Jerusalem."

This is, of course, no surprise. It's just that the continuing impasse in public covers up what has already been agreed in principle by various negotiators over the past few years.

Tags: jerusalem, israel, Middle East Conflict, Palestine

Uri Savir's Passion for Peace

Posted on Tue, Sep 02, 2008 @ 02:42 PM

Savir speaks about a new approach to the Middle East conflict
Middle East Conflict

Like many others with classes to teach in the Fall, I have been away from blogging for the Summer. But I did manage to conduct a significant interview with the Israeli career diplomat and Oslo Accords negotiator, Uri Savir.

His new book, Peace First, has just been published. In it he calls for a new approach to diplomacy. He speaks of peace building rather than peacemaking and the creation of an ecology of peace. With contributions by Shimon Peres, Dennis Ross and Ahmad Qurei, Peace First builds on Savir's work since 1993. He presently heads up the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv and the Glocal Forum in Rome.

Tags: Middle East Peace, Uri Savir, Middle East Conflict