Category Archives: Palestine

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

A Cautionary Tale and an Inspiration? The “Life of Quaker Service” of Annice carter

Finishing the new book Annice Carter’s Life of Quaker Service, my first query was: What if Annice Carter had ever learned to make bagels? Could that have changed history in the Middle East?

Annice in Middle Eastern dress.

She had the training and experience. With her college degree in Home Economics, cooking, including for large groups, was one of her many skills. And she was well aware of the implications of food for building community in diverse cultural settings.

Besides being a cook, Annice was a teacher, then Jill-of-(almost) all-trades, and later Principal of the Friends Girls School in Ramallah Palestine (started by New England Friends in the 1880s, and established as an elite  school for Palestinian students).

Continue reading A Cautionary Tale and an Inspiration? The “Life of Quaker Service” of Annice carter

Gwynne Dyer: Three Wars — Any Victories?

Wars have stolen our attention from a looming climate catastrophe

We’re still in the game, with a slim chance of holding global warming below a catastrophic level through the rest of the century, Gwynne Dyer writes.

By Gwynne Dyer –
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

You would think that all human energies would be focused on avoiding a potential climate calamity, including those of Russians, Ukrainians, Israelis and Palestinians. Especially the Israelis and Palestinians, whose disputed homeland would become uninhabitable by the end of the century in most “runaway” scenarios,

With practically all the media bandwidth for non-local news taken up by two tribal territorial struggles that would not have seemed out of place in the 15th century AD — or indeed the 15 century BC — you may have missed the latest release from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

That would be a pity, because it’s a lot more important than Gaza and Donetsk. The IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook is the best one-stop guide to where we are now in the attempt to keep global warming below a disastrous level.

Continue reading Gwynne Dyer: Three Wars — Any Victories?

Gwynne Dyer: The End of Israeli Democracy?

[NOTE: Gwynne Dyer make an important, and unnerving point in the column below: the changes in Israel’s judicial structure & policy voted in the Israeli Knesset last week were supported by a rightwing coalition that does numerically represent the current majority of the Israeli voting public.

Public opinion in Israel was once much more supportive of the previous legal structure. But a combination of events and political struggle swung many voters to the right. This evolution was vividly described by a distinguished American-born Israeli journalist, Larry Derfner, in his excellent and depressing 2017 book, No Country for a Jewish Liberal. This passage from my review sums up his outlook:

In Israel, Derfner grimly laments,

“We are in a post-political era in this country. The central, overriding political fact of national life, the occupation, is no longer a subject for discussion. As far as the public and the major parties are concerned, it’s settled (in more ways than one).”

Continue reading Gwynne Dyer: The End of Israeli Democracy?

Gwynne Dyer: The West Bank. Again.

Gwynne Dyer is a UK-based Canadian journalist and historian who writes about international affairs.

OPINION: The two-day Israeli military incursion into the Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank (12 Palestinians killed, one Israeli dead) seems at first glance like just another example of ‘mowing the lawn’. That’s what the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) call these periodic futile raids they make to kill some Palestinian fighters.

They know perfectly well that the raids achieve nothing except to bring in more young recruits for the Palestinian resistance movement-of-the-month: Lion’s Den, the Jenin Brigades or whatever’s next. But they’re IDF soldiers and they have to look like they’re doing something about the ‘terrorist threat’, so out come the lawn-mowers. Continue reading Gwynne Dyer: The West Bank. Again.