European Envoy to Mid-East Comments on Annapolis Prospects

Posted on Sat, Nov 13, 2010 @ 01:53 PM

The Reuters section of our main website at Vision has a timely update on the Annapolis talks from European Union High Representative Javier Solana's perspective. 

His itinerary for his current visit to the Middle East is here:

Tags: middle east, Annapolis talks, Javier Solana

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

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

United States Gets Busy in the Mid-East Again

Posted on Mon, Mar 31, 2008 @ 03:14 PM
Secretary of State Rice's visit prompts easing of some West Bank restrictions
Google News
Details: United States Gets Busy in the Mid-East Again
West Bank roadblock restrictions
In an apparent attempt to get the peace process reignited, Condoleezza Rice appears to have wrung some concessions from Israel to improve Palestinian life on the West bank by easing some roadblock restrictions. 

Tags: middle east, israeli-palestinian conflict, peace process, west bank, Condoleezza Rice

Israeli Newspaper Haaretz Reports FM Livni's Opposition to Olmert's Go Slow on Jerusalem

Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 03:27 PM

Israeli foreign minister opposes her prime minister's delay of Jerusalem issue
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Details: Israeli Newspaper 
Haaretz Reports FM Livni's Opposition to Olmert's Go Slow on Jerusalem
Jerusalem negotiations
Tzipi Livni agreed with her PA counterpart, Ahmed Qurei, that without Jerusalem on the table negotiations would go nowhere. Annapolis was an agreement to discuss all issues, she said. Haaretz commented, "This means that the order of debates on the core issues is insignificant, as without an understanding on Jerusalem, any understandings reached on other issues, like borders and refugees, are meaningless."

Tags: jerusalem, mid east conflict, middle east, Olmert, israel, annapolis, Palestine, livni, borders, qurei

Building in Northern Israel and East Jerusalem

Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 @ 03:32 PM

A site in Northern Israel for a new Arab city and more Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem
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Details: Building in Northern Israel and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem Building Permits
It's almost give with one hand, take back with the other. At the same time that the Israeli interior minister announced that he would like to see a plan this year for a new Arab city in Northern Israel, others said that Israel would issue building permits for parts of disputed East Jerusalem.

Tags: mid east conflict, east jerusalem, middle east, israel, palestine settlements

In Mid-East, Tony Blair Presses Israelis on Road Map Commitments

Posted on Sun, Feb 10, 2008 @ 03:39 PM
Quartet Mid-East Envoy Acknowledges Positive Palestinian Actions
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Details: In Mid-East, Tony Blair Presses Israelis on  Road Map Commitments
Blair visits Ramallah
On Thursday, Reuters reported on Tony Blair's visit to Nablus and Ramallah, where he agreed that the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas has made progress on meeting Road Map security conditions. He pressed Israel to similarly meet its commitments

Tags: middle east, tony blair, israel, mahmoud abbas

Massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin Named Black Stain by Jewish Thinkers

Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 @ 04:43 PM
Martin Buber and one of the seminal events in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948

Deir Yassin todayIt was Jewish philosopher Martin Buber who, with three other Jewish thinkers, wrote to Ben-Gurion that the massacre of over 100 men, women and children by Jewish forces at Deir Yassin is "a black stain on the honour of the Jewish nation" and "a warning to our people that no practical military needs may ever justify such acts of murder."

Ben-Gurion never replied despite being sent several copies of the letter.

Two Jewish underground groups are traditionally associated with the events at Deir Yassin: IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Group]). But as Israeli historian Benny Morris has pointed out in Righteous Victims (1990, p.207), there was a third supporting group, comprised of Palmach and Haganah elements (there with the approval of the Haganah command in Jerusalem).

Jewish theologian Marc Ellis notes that Martin Buber also wrote in his letter to Ben-Gurion, "The time will come when it will be possible to conceive of some act in Deir Yassin, an act which will symbolize our people's desire for justice and brotherhood with the Arab people."

Speed the day.

Deir Yassin: From Both Sides

Tags: middle east, arab-israeli conflict, israeli-palestinian conflict, 1948, Ben-Gurion, Marc Ellis, Martin Buber, Benny Morris, Deir Yassin

Review of Palestinian Christian Situation

Posted on Wed, Dec 19, 2007 @ 04:51 PM

Is Middle East peace a distant dream?

Identity, Ideology and the Future of Jerusalem, by David HulmeIn a report from the Israel Project attention is directed to the plight of Palestinian Christians whose numbers have dwindled in recent years. The site of Jesus' birth has been hard hit. As the report notes, "Bethlehem in particular has seen a dramatic decline in its Christian population. Of Bethlehem’s 30,000 residents, less than 20 percent are Christian. In 1948 though, more than 85 percent of the town’s inhabitants were Christian." In the West Bank and Gaza the drop in numbers is even more dramatic. Once at 15% of the Palestinian population (1948), Christians now represent only 1½%. Muslim persecution is certainly one of the reasons for the decline as the report shows.

Though religious tolerance is usually relegated in discussions about the peace process, without mutual respect between Christians, Muslims and Jews, progress in the Middle East will remain a distant dream. The issue of Jerusalem's declining Christian population is a subject I treat in Identity, Ideology and the Future of Jerusalem.

Vision's web site has a helpful background article about the Jewish perspective, and another about the Palestinian view on Jerusalem.

Tags: jerusalem, gaza, middle east, Christians, Muslims, israel, west bank, Palestine, Jews

Middle East Peace Talks and Balance of Power Issues

Posted on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 @ 01:37 PM
With the Annapolis talks now confirmed for November 26-27, the Brookings Institution's Martin Indyk and Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes have advice on the Middle East for the next US president.

Tags: middle east, Annapolis talks