The evidence favoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in July 2015, is before our eyes. It was negotiated between the Iranian government and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China and one other: Germany (P5+1). For much of the time prior to the negotiated interim agreement, the U.S. pursued a highly bellicose policy toward Iran and Iran speeded its development of a nuclear program that could be preparatory to having nuclear weapons capability. That history also makes evident why the rejection of the signed agreement is likely to have extremely grave consequences for the United States. Continue Reading »

Hatem SharrubHatem Shurrab is the head of communications with the Islamic Relief Fund in Gaza. He submitted a video report depicting the aftermath of the current conflict in Gaza. Mr. Shurrab was part of the Maxwell School’s Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF), a U.S. State Department program that hosts reformers from the Middle East and North Africa for months of academic training and professional affiliations. See the video here.

By Nimrod Goren

(Originally published on the I24News website, July 27, 2014)

Israel can no longer rely on Egypt to broker between itself and Hamas; a fundamentally new set-up is required.

The list of “wannabee-mediators” between Israel and Hamas is long. Those that have offered assistance in brokering a ceasefire include the UN, the Quartet, the US, the EU, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Tunisia, China and Russia.

It was not always like that. In previous rounds of Israel-Hamas violence the overall formula was rather clear. It was the Egyptians, with American backing, that would eventually deliver. In 2012, after operation Pillar of Defense, the Egyptians were even designated as the guarantors of the Israel-Hamas understandings. Continue Reading »

by Imran Khalid

With Palestinian deaths (overwhelmingly civilian) nearing 700, it is time for a global rethink vis-à-vis Occupied Palestinian Territories. The current crisis comes on the heels of the 2009 invasion of Gaza which resulted in over 1500 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths, and the 2012 crisis in which well over 100 Palestinians were killed. We don’t need a statistician to inform us of the enormous discrepancy between the two sides militarily, economically and geopolitically. Indeed, Israel’s hold on Palestinian people and land has been likened to the apartheid regime in South Africa of yore. Yet, I am increasingly shocked and awed by the heavily biased coverage of crisis by the media in the United States and beyond. While social media has been integral in highlighting their plight, major media entities in this country continue to present the Palestinians as the “other,” with lesser values. Continue Reading »

by Timothy Rodriguez

(Published on the blog “Edgy World Affairs,” July 16, 2014)

It has come again. Something that comes every couple of years now – an Israeli assault on Gaza. To see images and video of the horrific bloodshed is pain enough – around 190 Palestinians killed (80 percent civilian), up to 1,485 injured; 1 Israeli killed and about 10 injured – but to make matters worse, the lack of journalistic and intellectual integrity on the topic has been appalling to listen to and read.

Contrary to the official Israeli line – which too many unquestionably follow as if it were gospel – the current assault did not begin with Hamas shooting rockets or the abduction of three Israeli teenagers. Continue Reading »

(Published in The Times of Israel, July 16, 2014. A link to this blog was featured in Sean Kirst, “In Syracuse, Grieving the Death of Innocents: Muslims and Jews Share a Meal, Dream of Harmony,” The Post Standard, July 16, 2014) 

It was last Thursday when I happened to come across the initiative to transform July 15, the Jewish fast day of 17 Tammuz (Shivah Asar B’Tammuz) and the 18th day of Ramadan, into a joint fast for peace. I’d been spending a few hours that day trolling the web, looking for information about how Israelis were coping with the steady barrage of Hamas rocket fire and how Palestinians were holding up on the fourth day of Israel’s retaliatory aerial strike.

Notice of the interfaith fast was buried at the very end of a Forward article. I might’ve missed it completely were I not so engrossed in the story: Rachel Fraenkel touching hearts by welcoming a group of Hebron-area Palestinians to her shiva; a group of courageous Palestinians, defying Hamas and BDS, going to offer comfort to a bereaved Jewish Israeli family. Continue Reading »

(Published in The Times of Israel, July 20, 2014)

Only 11 days into “Operation Protective Edge” and already analyses that twist and ignore the facts to pin all the blame on Israel are being published in major newspapers of record. Of course, this is nothing new when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where so-called experts have long presented a distorted picture of Israel as a perennial villain. But it’s disappointing when it’s written by a top-notch analyst at an award-winning think tank whose prior published reports on the conflict have been both relatively fair to all sides and superbly researched.

I’m referring here to Nathan Thrall’s opinion editorial published yesterday in the New York Times, and endorsed today by the paper’s editorial column. Thrall, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, slams Israel for failing to embrace the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas back in early June, a grave error which he views as the root cause of the current crisis. In particular, Thrall argues that Israel should have done more to get Hamas’s 43,000 civil servants paid. Does Thrall actually believe that 3.5 million Israelis are spending their summer in bomb shelters because of a labor dispute? Continue Reading »


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