Smoke rises over the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, as rebels fight the Assad regime. (Photo: Reuters)
Liberal American Jews, Tzipi Livni, and the Israeli Consensus
Evelyn Gordon of Commentary Magazine chides liberal American Jews for a stance on settlements that is at odds with even Israel's most dovish politicians.
After all, if the settlement blocs will be part of Israel under any agreement, then so will E-1–which ... is precisely why every peace plan every proposed, including former President Bill Clinton’s, in fact assigned E-1 to Israel. Indeed, the annexation documents for E-1 were signed by the patron saint of the peace process himself, Yitzhak Rabin, less than a year after he signed the Oslo Accords. Like everyone else who has seriously studied this issue, Rabin concluded both that it was vital for Israel’s security and–contrary to the widespread misconception today–that it would in no way preclude a viable and contiguous Palestinian state
Can the Muslim Brotherhood Be Trusted?
Steve Coll of the New Yorker asks whether Egypt's new rulers are truly committed to democracy, or see it as a way of seizing power.
Cairo this week seems a little like St. Petersburg in 1917: A revolution long incubated by clandestine organizers—some of them radical and violent, others more pragmatic and accommodating—may be defining itself for the longer run. Is the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamist party within a larger Egyptian nationalist and democratic front, one that includes Christians and secularists? Is it capable of sharing authority and building consensus with its opponents? Or will it only act opportunistically to secure its own control over the country and enforce the Islamic principles at the center of its ideology, leading it to pursue a form of religious dictatorship?
The Land of Topless Minarets and Headless Little Girls
Writing in Foreign Policy, Amal Hanano pays tribute to her home town of Aleppo as it bears the brunt of the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Today, the Citadel is no longer a stage for impressing visitors. It is no longer a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. It has reclaimed its original purpose -- a fortress in an active battle between Syrian sons, a site to be occupied and captured once more. The ancient nails and iron horseshoes that once adorned the indestructible doors are now twisted and the wooden planks are broken. The castle's narrow slits, once used for archers, now hide sniper nests. The limestone, untouched for centuries, is riddled with fresh bullet holes, and the newly repaved street below is bloodied with fallen victims, corpses that sometimes rot for days before they can be reclaimed. As activist Sami from Aleppo says, "We are watching remains become remains."
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