Brief synopsis: The most puzzling aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be that after 65 years of violence, enmity and suffering, it remains unresolved when coexistence is inevitable and a two-state solution remains the only viable option.
The vast majority of Israeli Arabs are reconciled with the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and even exhibit a degree of patriotism, according to a poll released Thursday.
Israel's navy is reportedly cooperating with its Lebanese counterpart to prevent foreign ships from approaching Israeli waters.
By the time this article is published on May 19, President Barack Obama will be putting the final touches on his policy speech on the Middle East, scheduled for the same day. Many see it as an important speech, for it could signal a dramatic shift in U.S. policy in the wake of the Arab uprisings, the demise of bin Laden and the resignation May 13 of George Mitchell. For Israel, though, the crucial test is whether Obama will take bold steps toward a lasting peace in the Middle East or merely express his displeasure with the now-stalled “peace process.”
While the world media was buzzing on May 15 about the Arab demonstrations marking the “Nakba” (catastrophe) of 1948, I was listening to a commencement address by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at Pomona College in which he lamented, among other things, America’s inability to reduce its addiction to oil. At one point, Chu spoke eloquently about a future in which electric cars would be mass-produced, and how this might ignite an environmental revolution that could “save the planet.”
The U.S. State Department confirmed that Israel arrested an American citizen, reportedly during a Nakba Day protest. A State Department statement on Tuesday in response to a query from a journalist during the daily briefing the day before only would confirm that Israeli authorities had arrested a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. embassy warned Americans to avoid demonstrations this weekend marking "Nakba Day," when Palestinians and Israeli Arabs mark commemorate their losses in Israel's Independence War.
The head of Israel's military, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, toured the West Bank to view preparations for Nakba Day. The military expects major Palestinian demonstrations on May 15 for Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, referring to the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
Two Israeli human rights groups have petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to overturn the so-called Nakba Law. The law, passed in March, enables the state to fine local communities and other state-funded groups for holding events that mark what the Arab community calls the Nakba, which means catastrophe, referring to the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. Fines, deducted from a group's operating budget, could equal up to three times the event's sponsorship cost; repeat violations would double the fines.
Israeli Arab leaders threatened to “revolt” after Israel’s education chief said the word Nakba would be removed from their classrooms.
Palestinians have an official term for whathappened to them when Israel gained its independence 50 years ago:"Nakba," or, in English, "Calamity." In the failed Arab attack on theJews in 1948, some 600,000 Arabs fled the land or, in tens ofthousands of cases, were expelled.