This week has seen an upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians. In 24 hours, 79 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Arsen Ostrovsky asks, "My country is under attack, do you care?" The responses to his piece have been disturbing. Israel's occupation of Palestine is wrong. But a denunciation of illegal-Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians need not be prefaced by a resuscitation of each ill that Israel has inflicted on Palestinians. Victimhood must be inclusive.
In the face of international condemnation of Iran's destructive pursuit of nuclear weapons and its repeated calls for Israel's destruction, filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau reports that Iran's atomic ambitions are for "defensive" purposes only, serving as an effective "deterrent" against Israeli "aggression" and belligerence. That is at least the way Trudeau framed the second instalment of his three-part documentary that aired on CBC's The National on October 14.
I was one of the lucky few who was invited to attend a rare opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was in Toronto for an exclusive speaking engagement as part of an ongoing speakers series. Annan answered our questions which covered various hot button topics including the ways towards a successful society, Iran, Romney and China. Here is what he said.
Water is an invaluable commodity in the Middle East. Due to the region's scarcity of this vital natural resource, water can be used to perpetuate conflict, fuel wars, and even procure peace. Contrary to claims made by Dr. Shaddad Attili, the Minister of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), in his Huffington Post Canada commentary, Israel exports volumes of water to the West Bank greatly in excess of what the Oslo Accords had mandated.
Politics is to religion, like oil is to water, they just don't mix. Recently, UNESCO politicized religion by labelling Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity as an endangered world heritage site, despite the fact that the UN's own experts investigating the state of the Church's premises concluded that the building is not in any urgent danger and that PA hype is just hot political air.
If there's one rule every one of the scores of broadcast journalists I've ever coached -- in Canada or overseas -- agrees with (at least in theory) it's this: the best broadcaster talks to one person, and only one person, at a time. And shares information with that person. Here some ideas on anchoring.
In what can only be described as an act straight from the "theatre of the absurd," comes news that Syria is running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. That Syria is able to even nominate for the UNHRC in the first place, let alone be in a strong position to win a seat, is reflective of the endemic problem with the body -- the fact that observance of human rights is no barrier to becoming a member.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reorganized his governing coalition and canceled a call for elections less than a day after his cabinet agreed to hold them early this September. For Canada, this is welcomed news. Any shift in Israel's government would pose a challenge for this country's Israel policy, which often confuses support for Netanyahu with support for Israel.
One of the great myths perpetuated by the media is that Israel stands alone, isolated in the international arena. On the domestic front here in Canada, members of our municipal, provincial, and federal political parties have proudly declared that they are Israel's BFFs. Indeed, much of the same is expected next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres arrives here in Canada.
Those self-styled liberals who accuse right-wingers of having "taken possession" of the word "Zionism" are trying to equate Liberalism with a one-sided criticism of Israel. As if to be a true liberal, one must basically put the blame solely on the Jewish State for the current situation in the Middle East. I refuse.
In a massive defeat for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' campaign to delegitimize Israel, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that Palestine is not a "state" and it therefore does not have jurisdiction to investigate alleged "war crimes" committed by Israel in the "territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002."
This is a space for both Israeli and Arab students to coexist at school and at home. The conversations at Project Harmony in Jerusalem usually start organically because, after all, the campers were born into the conflict: sixty years of failed peace treaties, losses on both sides, destruction of lives and heartbreaking stories.
Recently the Jerusalem District Court issued a long-awaited ruling: What remains of Lifta, the last undestroyed Palestinian village, will stay untouched. It was on a visit last June to Lifta where I encountered a random mix of individuals, one that represented to me the fissures of conflict while revealing some possible compromises.
Recently on Palestinian state television, viewers could watch praise being bestowed on the convicted perpetrators of the random murder of three members of the Fogel family, in a nighttime attack on their West Bank home. The terrorists were referred to as "heroes." So far, I haven't found any newspaper outside of Israel that reported on Palestinian television's praise of the terrorists.