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Monthly Archives: August 2010

"Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of U.S. Arab Relations 1820-2003" :: Book Review ::

"Ussama Makdisi's book tells an important story about a relationship which, in its early years, had tremendous potential based on commonalities and tolerance, but it ultimately soured over time as the spirit of cooperation embodied in the academic institutions established by missions in the Arab world, was replaced with a spirit of domination and dictation from an aspiring superpower to a peoples in the midst of anti-colonialist resistance."

Pogrund’s defence of apartheid Israel stinks

"Instead of threatening to close his ears – “I don’t want to hear anything about Israel from these pundits” – Pogrund can tell his friends in the right-wing Netanyahu government to stop killing Palestinian babies!...Only by understanding the historic disaster in Palestine and the scale of the injustice done to the Palestinians, will people such as Pogrund appreciate what Nelson Mandela has called “the greatest moral issue of our time”.

Panic

"As they confront the cumulative weight of both Israeli and international opinion regarding a two-state solution, Israeli right-wing circles are also beginning to confront the inevitability of "losing" the West Bank, and consequently to panic. Hence some are dressing up old and discredited autonomy schemes as one-state ideas. In stark contrast, a few prominent West Bank settlers are beginning seriously to contemplate the possibility of remaining in a Palestinian state. While none of this necessarily makes a two-state solution any easier, it should put wind in the sails of those who continue to strive toward that end."

The pragmatic solution may become practically impossible

"The changes Israel is undertaking in occupied East Jerusalem, including settlement expansion and infrastructure construction, are eliminating the practical possibility of turning occupied East Jerusalem into the capital of a Palestinian state. This will certainly undermine chances of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 and, consequently, eliminate the two-state solution."

Trying to be Hopeful about Peace

"What is especially troubling is the failure of those who are most optimistic about these talks to recognize that the language they use and the framework they have embraced is so thoroughly tone deaf to Palestinian realities and concerns as to be "Pollyannaish", at best, or insulting, at worst. For example, they flippantly toss out terms like "land swaps", "settlement blocks", and "Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem" without any acknowledgment of what they mean to Palestinians or what consequences each has in predetermining realities on the ground."

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