Zineb Belmkaddem examines how the Moroccan authorities are clamping down on opposition movements.
Showing posts for "Palestinian Authority"
This article was originally published here on TimesOfIsrael.com on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.
Almost from the start of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the commentariat has been seized with the idea of “empowering [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas” as the only way out of the recurrent violence between Israel and Hamas. The discovery of this idea in Washington (and Jerusalem for that matter) is rather odd, not because it does not make sense, but rather because the idea is so reasonable and obvious that one wonders why — ten years after he became the Palestinian leader — it took so long to recognize it. Almost from the moment of Yasser Arafat’s death, Egypt sent high-level emissaries to the United States, warning that the new Palestinian president needed help lest he gradually cede the political arena to Hamas. He did not get it then and now it is likely too late to salvage Abbas. Read more »
With all the important news going on in the Middle East this past week, Al Jazeera took time out to remind its audience that Yasser Arafat is still dead. It has been nine years since the Palestinian leader passed away in a French hospital, yet Abu Ammar is still making news, of sorts. This week a Swiss investigative team reported that there are indications that Arafat was poisoned with polonium, yet others who took part in the examination of the remains and soil samples around the man’s grave at the Muqata’a in Ramallah have not been so definitive nor willing to release their findings. Sounds suspicious. Read more »
Mumbai, India—A few nights ago, I had the opportunity to speak about the Middle East at an interfaith forum in Chennai. India is not without its sectarian problems and periodic spasms of terrible religion-inspired violence, but the country’s well-deserved reputation for spirituality seems to take the edge off on a daily basis. For that reason, I was looking forward to the interfaith dialogue. This is a country of six major religions, and though 80 percent are Hindus, departments of Religious Studies at Indian universities teach about Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. That’s not all, of course. Another almost 7 million people adhere to a variety of other religions. The interfaith forum provided an opportunity for me to see how the Indians make it all work. I was imagining a lot of Namaste (a hard to translate expression of reverence and respect). The rangoli—a symbolic offering to Hindu gods—just outside the building where the dialogue was taking place only heightened my expectations about how the evening would unfold. The event started off well-enough with the director of the center giving a “Moon is in the 7th House—all religions teach love—peace is our destiny” oration that in a previous era inspired a generation of hippies. Read more »
Muftah analyzes the Muslim Brotherhood’s appropriation of revolutionary symbols, such as the Ultras, to claim popularity among the youth in Egypt. Read more »
So it has begun. President Barack Obama travels to Israel—as well as Palestine and Jordan—this week and columnists, bloggers, and foreign policy wonks of all stripes have begun commenting on the visit. My friend Aaron Miller weighed in Sunday morning with a big article in the Washington Post’s “Outlook” section about where the President can find common ground with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, though most of the piece was devoted to the relationship with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The National’s Hugh Naylor quotes Yossi Bellin, who will forever be identified as an “architect of the 1993 Oslo Accords,” as stating boldly that President Obama should not bother making the trip unless he comes with proposals to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end. Overall, there have been at least sixteen articles and op-eds in the past few weeks dealing with the peace process and President Obama’s travels to the region. Most of them are in line with the low expectations that the White House has set ahead of the visit, suggesting that the meetings between the President and Israeli prime minister will deal almost exclusively with Syria and Iran. That may be the case, but there are some modest expectations bubbling up on the peace process. Read more »
From the Potomac to the Euphrates examines how debates about Mideast policy in Washington connect to the region, with a special focus on Egypt and Turkey.