Gaza Strip

The Third Intifada
November 16, 2009

The Palestinian territories are descending into chaos, but many in Washington seem unconcerned. The Palestinians in the West Bank have too much to lose from a new uprising, some are arguing, given the recent moderate improvements in their daily lives. Others assert that the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, trained under American supervision, will prevent the Palestinians from making the mistakes of 1987 and 2000. Yet the dynamics of Palestinian politics indicate that a third intifada is likely to erupt in the near future.

Obama’s Window of Opportunity Turned Out to Be a Shuttered Gate--Self-shuttered, Actually
October 18, 2009

It could have been predicted. In fact, I predicted it here. So, more or less, did Jon Chait and Leon Wieseltier, with subtle differences ... and, from The Washington Post, Jackson Diehl and Jim Hoagland, Charles Krauthammer and George Will, as well. Plus a few more here and there. No one from the New York Times? Huh. What a surprise. The Times never saw the Holocaust.

Listen Up
September 11, 2009

One remarkable thing about watching the Middle East is how what’s celebrated as brilliant in Europe or America is errant nonsense. Writing such stuff makes people successful and gives them an audience of millions.

The Father of Palestine
February 13, 2008

‘I’ve never been to Ramallah before,” one of the White House correspondents says, gazing out at the cold gray mountains outside Jerusalem. The walls and ceilings of the buses provided for the press are lined with strips of old shag carpet, and it takes two skinny Third-World-person-sized seats to fit a single network cameraman accompanying President Bush on the first leg of his pilgrimage to the Middle East. The printed sign in Hebrew at the front of the bus reads hebron.

The wider war.
July 31, 2006

Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, a distinguished military fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 2002 to 2005. For years, we were told that the "root cause" of the Middle East's problems was the Israeli occupation of Arab lands--the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and southern Lebanon. Peace would come to the Middle East, according to this view, only when Israel finally retreated to its 1967 borders. The "root cause" theory always had plenty of holes.

Turkey Club
October 11, 2004

For more than a decade, you could take several things for granted in Turkey. Islamists normally had no role in government, the army was ultimately in charge of politics, and Ankara was a staunch ally of Israel. The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's popular prime minister, whose party was elected in 2002 in the biggest vote in recent Turkish history, changed the first two assumptions. Erdogan hails from an Islamic party that had pushed for the legalization of the headscarf and other blurrings of the line between mosque and state.

Politics by Other Means
March 22, 2004

A History of Modern Palestine:One Land, Two PeoplesBy Ilan Pappe (Cambridge University Press, 333 pp., $22) Ilan Pappe and I walked a stretch together in uneasy companionship, but we have now parted ways. In the late 1980s and early 1990s we belonged to a group dubbed the "New Historians" of Israel, which also included Avi Shlaim and Tom Segev. This group, contrary to the conspiratorial image projected by our critics, was never a close-knit or monolithic school of intellectuals who plotted together around the table at Friday-night meals. Some of us barely knew one another.

The Rejection
April 21, 2003

The Palestinian People: A History By Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S.

Does Poverty Cause Terrorism?
June 24, 2002

I. That investment in education is critical for economic growth, improved health, and social progress is beyond question. That poverty is a scourge that the international aid community and industrialized countries should work to eradicate is also beyond question. There is also no doubt that terrorism is a scourge of the contemporary world.

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