Category Archives: Islam & Muslims

Dyer on the “Pause”; West Bank Eruption? A Left-Wing Jew & the War

#1 – Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

22 November 2023

Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

By Gwynne Dyer – Author, Historian & Independent Journalist

There are really three parties to the ‘pause’ – nobody is officially using the word ‘Author, Historian & Independent Journalistceasefire’ – that brings at least a temporary end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Two of the three parties, Hamas and the United States, would very much like it to turn into a permanent ceasefire, but Israel emphatically does not.

Continue reading Dyer on the “Pause”; West Bank Eruption? A Left-Wing Jew & the War

Giving Thanks for Those Defying Hell & Sowing Hope — “From the River To The Sea”

A sun low in the sky can be seen among beige apartment buildings with terraces.
Credit…Photographs by Ofir Berman for The New York Times

New York Times
OPINION – THOMAS  L. FRIEDMAN

#1 – The Rescuers

Rahat, Israel, a Bedouin town in the Negev Desert.Credit…CreditPhotographs by Ofir Berman for The New York Times

Opinion Columnist, reporting from Rahat, Israel

I confess that as a longtime observer of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I aggressively avoid both the “From the river to the sea” activists on the pro-Palestinian left and the similarly partisan zealots on the “Greater Israel” Zionist right — not just because I find their exclusivist visions for the future abhorrent but also because the reporter in me finds them so blind to the complexities of the present.

Continue reading Giving Thanks for Those Defying Hell & Sowing Hope — “From the River To The Sea”

More Melancholy Wisdom on Israeli-Hamas War Myths

[NOTE: I agree with just about all that Nick Kristof says here. But his roster of myths  is incomplete. He overlooks a fourth “myth” that gets in the way of his humane insight and hope like the piles of rubble that mark this war on every front. More on that below.]

New York Times:

What We Get Wrong About Israel and Gaza
Nov. 15, 2023

By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist

With the bilateral slaughter in the Middle East unleashing poisons that are worsening hatred worldwide, let me outline what I see as three myths inflaming the debate:

The first myth is that in the conflict in the Middle East there is right on one side and wrong on the other (even if people disagree about which is which).

Life isn’t that neat. The tragedy of the Middle East is that this is a clash of right versus right. That does not excuse Hamas’s massacre and savagery or Israel’s leveling of entire neighborhoods in Gaza, but underlying the conflict are certain legitimate aspirations that deserve to be fulfilled. Continue reading More Melancholy Wisdom on Israeli-Hamas War Myths

On Israel/Hamas: Many Conflicting “Truths”, Or Convictions

Friends,

Kudos this week to the Christian Century (CC) magazine, for its statement on the Hamas/Israeli war.  They were not quick to run to the pundit barricades; when Hamas attacked, despite their shock, they grabbed their knees and kept them from jerking. They thought and struggled about it; their struggle likely continues.

And their considered editorial answer was –for me at least — clarifying. In sum, they said: the situation is complex as hell. (That’s my paraphrase.) More precisely:

From “Bearing Witness to Multiple Stories” (11/6/2023):

“Every conflict involves competing stories, but often one story clearly embodies far more truth than the other. Not in this case. Each of the two stories sketched out here [Palestinian & Israeli] is factually sound, historically informed, and morally compelling. Both stories are true.

And they are heartbreaking and tragic. Both are stories of people who love the land and deserve to live there in peace. Peace has long been stymied by political missteps, cycles of violence, and interventions by those who can only see one story’s truth. For US Christians, bearing witness to this conflict begins with recognizing that it contains more than one true story.”

Continue reading On Israel/Hamas: Many Conflicting “Truths”, Or Convictions

The Mounting Math of Massacres

Israel-Gaza: A Question of Numbers

Gwynne Dyer

Being the Heritage Minister is not the summit of achievement in Israeli politics, but it is a cabinet position, and Amihai Eliyahu, the current occupant, really should watch what he says. When Radio Kol Berama asked him whether an atomic bomb should be dropped on Gaza, he should not have replied “This is one of the possibilities.”

Continue reading The Mounting Math of Massacres