When Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister for the second time in March 2009, it was not long after Israel had conducted three weeks of sustained air attacks on the enclave of Gaza. More than 1,100 Palestinians died in that campaign. About a dozen Israelis also perished, four from friendly fire, the rest from rockets coming… Continue reading Netanyahu Soldiers On
In the 13th century, the Italian town of Lucera was a Muslim island in a sea of Christendom. Here Frederick II, the head of the Holy Roman Empire, established his own shadow cabinet of scholars and advisors from among the Arabs that he invited to live in this walled city near the eastern coast of… Continue reading Life in the Gray Zone
In his new film Taxi, Iranian director Jafar Panahi is having a conversation with his young niece. They’re sitting in the cab Panahi is driving. The Iranian government has banned the director from making films, so he’s ostensibly found an alternative means of making money and of making films. He’s set up a camera on… Continue reading Kumbaya (Not)
In his recent meeting with President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saidthat he was “committed to the vision of peace for two states for two peoples.” That sounds nice. But if he’d been pressed, Netanyahu might have admitted that the two states he had in mind were Israel and the United States, not Israel and… Continue reading Recognizing Palestine
For all the hands shaken and hamburgers eaten, President Obama has never quite shaken his reputation for detachment. He is the “cool” president who doesn’t lose his temper even when he should. He is the former constitutional law professor who is too “academic” for the Oval Office. He uses his brain when he should be… Continue reading Is Obama Adrift in the World?
The Palestinians of Gaza are guilty of that new post-Cold War misdemeanor: voting while Muslim. The punishment for this crime has been eight years of economic hardship, international isolation, and periodic Israeli bombardments. Like the Algerians in 1990 and the Egyptians in 2012, Gazans went to the polls in 2006 and voted for the wrong… Continue reading Mowing the Lawn in Gaza