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Gaza One Year On

The New York Review of Books reports on Gaza and the Israeli Peace Movement one year after the Gaza offensive.

David Hulme

Palestinians Downplay Clinton’s Attempts

Hillary Clinton’s latest efforts to restart peace talks met with a rebuff from the veteran Palestinian negotiator over the weekend. According to Saeb Erekat “You cannot have discussions on borders while the territory you want to set up your state on is being eaten up by the settlements.”

David Hulme

Palestinians End Torture of Hamas Prisoners

According to Hamas inmates of West Bank prison in Nablus, the Palestinian Authority has stopped torturing them. This is an effort according to Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad to create a solid foundation for a state.

David Hulme

Official Figures on Gaza Offensive

B’Tselem, the Israeli organization that focuses on human rights in the occupied territories issued its assessment of fatalities during the Gaza offensive known as Operation Cast Lead.

David Hulme

Dubai’s Unique Role in the ME

Juan Cole’s blog has a guest writer today, Jim Crane, author of City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism. A paragraph from the guest blog notes, “In short, Dubai is an open city, a Hong Kong-style trading entrepôt with all the spies, smugglers and schemers inherent in that role. It just happens to service the world’s most dangerous region.”

David Hulme

Israel and New Building Projects

The White House has issued a statement (September 5) about the Israeli government’s latest building plans. Hoping to retain settler support and then follow up with a freeze on construction to meet US demands, PM Netanyahu announced the latest permissions–Helena Cobban comments.

David Hulme

Turkey and Water to Iraq and Syria

September 4, 2009 Turkey had a change of mind on how much water it could release to its neighbors, Iraq and Syria.

David Hulme

Israel, Hamas, Fatah Prisoner Swap

Helena Cobban has a very detailed run down on the latest Israeli-Palestinian behind-the-scenes negotiations over prisoner releases that could free key Hamas and Fateh militants from Israeli hands, and one Israeli soldier held in Gaza since 2006. All of this could be the precursor to declaration of another truce between Hamas and Israel. At the same time reconciliation between Hamas and Fateh seems to be proceeding with a view to shared responsibilities and new elections.

David Hulme

Joint US-Palestinian Education in Jerusalem

I welcome the news that New York state’s Bard College and Jerusalem’s Al Quds University will offer joint programs beginning next academic year. According to the New York Times, “The plan, relying largely on outside financing, includes a liberal arts honors college and a master’s degree program in teaching, both located at Al Quds and granting joint degrees, as well as a model high school to serve as an educational laboratory. The starting date for the first two is September; the high school is to open in 2010.”

David Hulme

Collective Despair Over Gaza

People around the world, among them journalists, commentators, bloggers, scholars and government leaders have decried the Israeli attack on Gaza. International Herald Tribune and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen writes in The New York Review of Books (February 12 issue), “I have never previously felt so despondent about Israel, so shamed by its actions, so despairing of any peace that might terminate the dominion of the dead in favor of the opportunity of the living.” Reflecting on the peace and reconciliation that France and Germany, and Germany and Poland have achieved in the years that have followed WWII, Cohen wonders why it is that Israelis and Palestinians cannot make the same turn in their collective thinking.

More on this at Vision.

David Hulme