:: Stage Left ::International politics from the "decent Left".
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:: Saturday, May 25, 2002 ::
Of course, whether Arafat is willing to make a peace deal is a different question that whether he is able to. He might be entirely willing to make a fair deal, but obviously can't get the Israelis to.
This whole discussion rests on the question of what did happen at Camp David II and what that says about Arafat's willingness to make a peace treaty. Here, Malley and Agha present the "revisionist" view, In response, Dennis Ross argues for a more complex version of the "Barak offered the moon, Arafat refused" line, Gidi Grinstein comments on the debate, and Malley and Agha reply. It's a fascinating discussion, well worth the time to read it - especially if you think one side is right and the other wrong.
The New York Review of Books has an interview with former Israeli PM Ehud Barak, given to "new" historian Benny Morris who, though he exposed the truth about Israel's role in the Palestinian refugee problem, is a new darling of the Israeli national consensus. Rob Malley and Hussein Agha point out the flaws in Barak's reasoning in the same issue.Even more interesting is Uzi Benziman's analysis of how Barak's attitutes towards the Palestinians and what that means about his "historic, generous offers".
While Bill O'Reilly can be amusing (much like a screaming chimp), here's a report from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on his on-again-off-again relationship with truth.
Jeff Mandell asks the questions about Israeli-identified peaceniks that we've all been asking. In response, there are Jews who are moderate the way we discusses, but the organized Jewish community is stifiling debate, as they did with the 108 Rabbinical Students for a Just Peace. During Oslo, it was legitimate to be to the right of the government, rejective peace. Now, its not legitimate to be left of the government and working for peace.
:: Friday, May 24, 2002 ::
Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech seems awfully appropriate these days. The full speech can be found here.
Saving the World Through Music, Part 2: Tev Aviv's "Rave Against the Occupation".
Saving the World Through Music, Part 1: Bono ends world poverty.
Timothy Noah points out how the latest terrorist threats really served George Bush's interests. Perhaps someone will soon figure out how the attack on Afghanistan serves the interests of oil company Unocal who wanted to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. Think that oil doesn't play a role? Then why did Bush appoint a Unocal executive to be the American represntative to the new Afghan government?
If you thought Bill Clinton was wrong for screwing one woman, here's a story about the Senate Judiciary Committee screwing women across the country.
A statement from Rabbinical Students for a Just Peace. My girlfriend can't wait to join them in a few years. It's good to hear peace-talk from the next generation of Jewish leaders. I just hope they're willing to speak out for what's right and encourage discussion, in a way this generation of leaders isn't.
An Israeli man gets 10 years for trying to murder three Arabs and his lawyer tries to defend him by claiming the Arabs are "enemies of the state." Maybe they should throw the lawyer in jail as well.
It's not often that I'll support any sort of killing, but thank God for this. I wonder what made him so sure it was a bomber?
:: Tuesday, May 21, 2002 ::
If anyone has two extra tickets to Bonnaroo, let me know.
Arrgh! I just spent 10 minutes explaining the complex politics in Israel's Labor party and the system crashed!! Read this article, instead. The one interesting possible scenario is if Beilin, Burg, or both join a new peace coaliton party with Meretz and Democratic Choice. Polls have them getting 20 seats in Knesset, making them the second largest party, behind Likud. Labor would fall to fourth, after Shas. Ah, how the mighty have fallen...
In what could prove to be a major blow to the Israeli government, the ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and UTJ voted against their own coalition's emergency economic bill. While the economics aren't that interesting, it does mean that Sharon kicked both parties out of the coalition, leaving him with only 60 members in the 120 member Knesset. That means, for once, that power is in Labor's hands, if they can get their own act together. But Likud beward, Ehud Barak learned how difficult Shas can be when it decides to make trouble.
:: Monday, May 20, 2002 ::
As a student of sociology myself, I find discussions like this fascinating. I'm glad to be at Brandeis, with an almost exclusive focus on the sort of qualitative sociology that the article talks about. Here's a link to a page about Dr. Gordie Fellman, my sociology advisor and chair of the Peace & Conflict Studies program.
Abercrombie & Fitch follows up it racist line of t-shirts with a pedophilic line of underwear. You can suspect that most parents in Boston won't be buying these.
At the same time that America talks so much about moderate forces in the Arab world, it would probably be too much to ask the Bushies to help this activist out.
Viva El Presidente Carter!
Good article by Jo-Ann Mort about how non-Jewish support for Israel has changed from progressives who believed in helping the oppressed Jews to fundamentalists who believe Israel will hasten the second coming of Jesus. She suggests that most Jews would be uncomfortable with this support, if they really knew what it was about. She also makes a good point about how conservative Republicans are using this to get liberal American Jews to support a backwards domestic agenda.
Its been a year since Jim Jeffords saved the country from a GOP trifecta. Take a few minutes to say thanks.
A writer for the Dallas Observer, that city's alternative weekly, is being sued after she published a piece of satire as a news item. Apparently, after writing a story about a 7th grader who was arrested for telling too scary a halloween story in class, she wrote a satiric one about a first grader being arrested for doing a book report on Where the Wild Things Are. Read the article- you won't believe it either.
I've always felt that people who say world peace isn't possible are very similar to those who would have said, 150 years ago, that watching moving pictures on a screen is impossible - just because we haven't figured it out yet, doesn't mean we can't. Cal-Berkeley takes a big step in order to start figuring out how with their new Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being.
:: Sunday, May 19, 2002 ::
Here's a question for the discussion board: Why is the Bush administration so afraid of a public probe of 9/11?
Happy East Timor Independance Day!
Dick Cheney says that it's "almost certain" there's going to be another terrorist attack. If this is Cheney admitting that there's no way to defeat terrorism by military means, then I'm glad he's come to agree with us peaceniks. I doubt it'll stop them from using terror as an excuse to assert American military and economic might across the world.