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
Donald Trump rode to power on a wave of fear. During his presidential campaign, he portrayed terrorists, immigrants, the Chinese government and many other people and entities as threats to America. But nothing proved more powerful as a mobilizing force than his anti-Islamic pronouncements. Other presidential candidates were careful to distinguish between what they considered… Continue reading Trump v. Islam
Two days before the November elections, Elizabeth Moreno was driving to the Democratic Party headquarters in Manassas to pick up a list of addresses. She was planning to spend another day of canvassing to get out the vote for her candidate Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth had taken off a full week from her job at one… Continue reading Goodbye, Clinton!
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
Solo shows are about journeys. The performer tells the story of how he or she navigated through an experience of life-altering importance. At the beginning of Wrestling Jerusalem, the new solo show that kicks off Mosaic Theater Company’s latest Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival in Washington, DC, playwright and performer Aaron Davidman makes… Continue reading Wrestling with Wrestling Jerusalem
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)
After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries. What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule — quickly turned into one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. By the end of 1948, after an exodus of Muslims from India… Continue reading The Middle East’s New Nakba
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton gave a major foreign policy speechthat provided a glimpse of one possible post-Obama future. In many ways, it was not a pretty picture. But let’s first look at the good points. Clinton endorsed the Iran deal that just squeaked through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition. “Either we move… Continue reading After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders
Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU would offer a better deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Or, failing that, he could have navigated his… Continue reading Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game
One of the greatest moments of U.S. diplomacy in the 20th century was Nixon’s opening to China. It was a surprise, a breathtaking opportunity, and a true game-changer. It was also one of the strangest political matches of all time. A president who had established his political bona fides as an anti-Communist crusader shocked everyone… Continue reading Iran Deal: Is Obama Channeling Nixon?