Monday, February 16, 2009

Michael Oren's lecture at Georgetown University and Yossi Klein Halevi: Report from Acre & Podcast on CNN re: Elections

Everything you want--and need--to know about the recent war in Gaza. Michael Oren at his best. Citizen/Soldier/Historian/Zionist and all around Mensch. Of particular interest: his answers to tough questions from Gazans and others in the audience at Georgetown.

Below that, Yossi Klein Halevi explores nationalism on both sides of the divide, at the Arab-Jewish junction of Acre, scene of riots and explosive tensions last Yom Kippur.

And Yossi on CNN yesterday with Fareed Zakaria; you can feel the utter frustration as he listens to Dr. Mustafa Bargouhti distort both history and the present.

Michael Oren at Georgetown University: A Personal and Historical Perspective on Gaza
(some people have had difficulty opening the link; if so, I recommend googling for the link--it's well worth the effort to get to this)db

Israel Election Panel on CNN
Yossi Klein Halevi, Mustafa Barghouti (Palestinian Legislative Council), & Yoram Peri--Former advisor to Yitzhak Rabin and professor at American University

Postcards from the Edge
Ground Zero Of Israel's New Ultra-Nationalism

Yossi Klein Halevi , The New Republic
February 13, 2009
Adham Jamal, head of the local branch of the fundamentalist Islamic Movement, and Ze'ev Noiman, head of the local branch of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu ("Israel is Our Home") party, call themselves friends. Both men are deputy mayors of this mixed Arab-Jewish city near Haifa, and their offices are on the same floor of the municipality. "Adham is a great guy," says Noiman, a retired career army officer. "He's condemned terrorism. True, I don't know what he says when he's speaking among Arabs, but to us he says the right things." Jamal: "Ze'ev isn't a racist like Lieberman," referring to Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman. "He grew up here in Acre. He lives with us." Both men say they keep disagreements over national issues separate from cooperation on local issues.
Acre has always been an unlikely home for co-existence. Many of its 35,000 Jews are children of immigrants from Arab countries, or recent immigrants from the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. And many of Acre's 17,000 Arabs are poor and traditionalist. But somehow it's worked. The security guard who checks the bags at the municipality is an Arab--a gesture of trust in the Arab minority I've never seen in Israel. The town's Arab restaurants are filled with Jews. In Sa'id, one of the best hummus restaurants in the country, Jews and Arabs share tables; one recent afternoon there, I ate with a young Bedouin man named Ali, who had volunteered for the Israeli army and was voting for Kadima.
But the balance is becoming increasingly hard for Acre to manage. Last Yom Kippur, hundreds of Arabs and Jews fought in the streets. Jewish store windows were smashed, Arab homes firebombed. The riot was set off by an Arab man who drove into a Jewish neighborhood, violating the unwritten law against traffic in Jewish areas on the fast day. The driver, who Jews say was loudly playing Arabic music, publicly apologized, religious leaders from both communities met for a sulha, or peace accord, and Acre tried to return to normal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are Arab citizens of Acre, or any Arabs who are citizens of Israel, allowed to enter countries like the United Arab Emirates? I believe that Saudi Arabia no longer excludes Israeli Muslims from entering the country in order to make the Hajj.