I forgot to post any of the following! Here are my latest Open Zion/The Daily Beast pieces:
- An Equal-Opportunity Curse (August 10, 2012)
In the wake of the failed Geneva Peace Conference of 1973, Abba Eban famously observed that “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” It’s a line beloved by those who say neither the Palestinian people nor the Arab nations are partners for peace. But I have to wonder what Eban would think of Israel’s own failure to grasp the opportunities presented by none other than the Arab League.[On Aug 9], Ha’aretz reported that in 2007 “Ehud Olmert rejected an invitation by former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and other Arab leaders to address an Arab League convention and set in motion a regional process based on the Saudi peace initiative….When I look back on the decade since the offer was first made, and the five years since Olmert almost took a chance, I’m frankly moved to tears. The rivers of blood, the mourning families, the entrenchment of Hamas, and the overwhelming helplessness now felt by so many in the region—could it all have been avoided?
We’ll never know. We can only know that missing opportunities is an equal-opportunity curse.
- On Laws and Walls (August 14, 2012)
This past week, Israel’s Justice Ministry issued new regulations that, if implemented, will make it impossible for many Palestinians and all undocumented immigrants to file suit in Israeli courts.
What looks like mere bureaucracy would in fact serve to close Israel’s justice system to the people most vulnerable to injustice: Migrants fleeing hunger and oppressive political regimes, and Palestinians who are stateless and (often) paper-less—the latter usually a result of some other Israeli regulation or bureaucratic machination, such as the thousands of Gazan and West Bank Palestinians who happened to not be in Gaza or the West Bank on the day that Israel conducted its first census of the territories, or the quarter of a million Palestinians who had their West Bank or Gazan residency covertly revoked by Israel between 1967 and 1994.
The new regulations are, then, “new” in word only, not in spirit. The endemic violence and bloodshed get a lot more attention, but the truth is that bureaucracy has long been Israel’s favorite tool of control.
- How Will We Sleep Tonight? (August 17, 2012)
As a writer and activist, I’m forever asking people to consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from another perspective—whatever perspective they might happen to have.
And so today I ask: What would Israel, the Israeli people, and American Jews be doing if the following news reports concerned an Israeli family and three Israeli young men?…
To read the thrilling conclusion of any and all of the above, please click on the links embedded in the headlines.