January 23, 2006
On Sunday, January 8, it is raining hard at the Muqata, the former Ramallah headquarters—and now the burial place—of Yasir Arafat. The courtyard has become a building site. The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is constructing a vast mausoleum and mosque around Arafat's tomb, which now stands on a muddy island, unreachable by the trickle of visitors. A short ride away, Arafat's old nemesis, Ariel Sharon, lies in a medically induced coma at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
December 24, 2005
Last week I attended a screening of Munich in Washington. The evening included testimonials to the film's cinematic power from former Clinton officials Mike McCurry and Dennis Ross, both serving as consultants to the movie's rollout, plus more praise from Princeton Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter and Foreign Policy Editor-In-Chief Moisés Naím.
December 12, 2005
In September, the world watched the ringleader of the July 7 London terrorist attack, his voice inflected with a West Yorkshire accent, preach jihad in English. Al Jazeera aired the communiqu? of 30-year-old Mohammad Sidique Khan, which Khan recorded to explain why he helped murder over 50 of his fellow Britons on a bus and in the Underground. "Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment, and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight," Khan declared. "We are at war. I am a soldier.
October 10, 2005
In January 2006, a court in Northern Virginia will hear a case in which, for the first time, the federal government has charged two private citizens with leaking state secrets. CBS News first reported the highly classified investigation that led to this prosecution on the eve of the Republican National Convention. On August 27, 2004, Lesley Stahl told her viewers that, in a "full-fledged espionage investigation," the FBI would soon "roll up" a "suspected mole" who had funneled Pentagon policy deliberations concerning Iran to Israel.
September 05, 2005
Even faced with the idea of Greater Palestine, it is impossible not to rejoice in the defeat of the idea of Greater Israel. It was always a foul idea, morally and strategically. It promoted the immediate ecstasy of the few above the eventual safety of the many; it introduced the toxins of messianism and mysticism into the politics of a great modern democracy; it preferred chosenness to human rights; it subordinated laws to visions, and the Jewish state to the Jewish millennium; it worshiped soil in a primitive, almost unJewish way.
True Crime: A Different Way of Thinking about Homicide
August 10, 2005
The murder of large numbers of innocent people in a very short time span has become an infuriating and regular feature of contemporary life. Recently, such murders have been carried out by radical Islamists in Israel, Iraq, England, and Egypt. Last month we marked the tenth anniversary of the massacres at Srebenica, and just over a year ago, the tenth anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. Yet there is another kind of killing that receives far less attention as a distinct historical phenomenon.
July 25, 2005
DAY TRADER When Brit Hume departed ABC News for Fox News back in 1996, he eagerly anticipated that his new network home would provide “freedom on the air to report and analyze in a way I’ve yearned to do.” Yes, years of confining himself to relatively cogent, tasteful commentary had left Hume pining for an outlet for his other thoughts—the irrelevant, the ideological, the inane.
Pass the Fault
July 04, 2005
Ticket lines for movies are rare in Israel, and rarer still for features that have already been showing for five weeks, and unprecedented for a German production centered on the character of Adolf Hitler.
Jerusalem Dispatch: True Colors
February 14, 2005
Imagine the likelihood of thousands of American students, intellectuals, and Hollywood celebrities marching in support of George W. Bush, and you will begin to appreciate the marvel of the Israeli leftists now rallying around Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Reviled for engineering the Lebanon war, for masterminding the settlement movement, for opposing every attempt at reconciliation with the Palestinians, and as the personification of Israeli militarism and anti-Arab racism, Sharon today is viewed by many leftists as the settlers' bete noire and Israel's foremost champion of peace.
February 07, 2005
Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture By Daniel Libeskind (Riverhead, 288 pp., $27.95) I. 'The most conspicuous thing about memorials is precisely that one does not notice them," Robert Musil famously wrote. We can walk along a street every day for months, getting to know each crack in the sidewalk, and yet be astonished one day to discover a plaque announcing that "from eighteen-hundred-something to eighteen-hundred-something-else the unforgettable Someone-or-other lived and worked here." Yet memorials, Musil continues, must not be allowed to fade into the background, because t