:: Stage Left ::International politics from the "decent Left".
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:: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 ::
Betting tip: Keep your eye on West Bank Fatah leader Hussein a-Sheikh. If Israel wants a democratic Palestinian leadership that still has street credibility, this may be the guy.
Why is the Israeli Defense Minister negotiating security cooperation with the PA if they really are an organization that sponsors terror? Maybe he realizes that Israel needs to deal with the non-rejectionist Palestinian leadership and that Sharon's "there is no partner" claim is merely propaganda.
There was an suggestion by Akiva Eldar in his weekly "People and Politics" column in Ha'aretz (that has since disappeared from the website) that jailed Tanim leader Marwan Barghouti now believes in a cease-fire and was ready to sign the declaration that was to be published last week before Israel's bombing raid in Gaza. The interesting thing was Eldar's claim that Barghouti, if released, plans to lead a non-violent movement against the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. If I understand directly, the evidence for this claim comes from European diplomats working with Palestinians. While there had been suggestions in the past the Barghouti is the Palestinian Nelson Mandela (a much more likely option that a Palestinian Mahatma Gandhi), this seems to be the most blatant.
While we know that technology was the driving factor in both the domestic (tech stocks, productivity gains via internet) and international (better shipping, better communications) aspects of the '90s boom economy, I wonder if anyone can find a viable connection between the economic problems here in America and the ones being faced internationally, specifically in Latin America? Are our woes and their merely coincidence or there is there something underlying them both?
:: Monday, August 05, 2002 ::
Is this Robert Reich profile from the Boston Globe positive or negative?
Ha'aretz explains some of my problems with Gush Shalom's "war crimes" campaign, though they miss that Ariel Sharon request that the Attorney General investigate them is much more problematic in a democracy.
The American consulate in Jerusalem (which deals with the Palestinians, as opposed to the embassy in Tel Aviv which deals with Israelis) is thinking of moving some of its operations from East to West Jerusalem. This probably only interests me since I'm thinking of joining the Foriegn Service diplomatic corps after college and there's no place I'd rather be than Jerusalem.
A Palestinian investigator for B'Tselem, who monitors human rights in the occupied territories, was arrested for spying for Israel since 1996. While, as B'Tselem says, "[his] guilt can only be proved in a court, in a fair trial, to which every accused is entitled," this can't have been a smart move. If the Palestinians lose faith in B'Tselem and their wonderful work defending human rights, they will have lost one of their most respected Israeli allies and one of the only mainstream groups to put pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian human rights.
This one also scares me, not only because I used to hang out around the Damascus Gate, but because I had assumed that in Palestinian areas one could be safe from the randomness of anti-Israel violence, especially if one was with Palestinians.
While I don't think Gush Shalom's tactics of gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes are the most effective (or even the most appropriate) tactics, I don't think that its criminal as PM Sharon apparently does.