Another long and hard week. However, a belated Eid Mubarak to all who celebrated! Revisiting this week, this blog has little to say that isn’t rooted in pessimism and sadness. However several fantastic op-eds have really captured how those who struggle with their support for Israel and their not mutually exclusive concern for human rights feel, including one below by Roger Cohen, and this piece by Ezra Klein:
I don’t equate support for Israel with support for the current policies of any particular Israeli government, any more than I equate support for America with support for the particular policies of President Bush or President Obama. My definition of being pro-Israel was always more basic, and, admittedly, more subjective: I want to see Israel succeed. I want to see it thrive. And that makes this moment in Israeli history painful to watch.
The state of Israel is supposed to make Jews safer. But Israel itself is terrifyingly vulnerable: it is home to 6 million Jews in a tiny sliver of land surrounded on all sides by enemies. Israel is a fortress built in hostile territory. Its survival, and its strength today, is something of a miracle. But the nightmares are easy to conjure: the Six-Day War ending another way, or a dirty bomb detonating in Tel Aviv.
Israel’s political ideals are similarly imperiled: it is a liberal democracy that intends to remain a Jewish state. The problem is that Jews might become a minority in the territory they control (though there’s disagreement about the demographic projections behind that fear), and even if they don’t, liberal democracies do not deprive millions of their native residents of a say in their government.
- Endorsed: Roger Cohen’s op-ed for NYT, Zionism and its Discontents:
This corrosive Israeli exercise in the control of another people, breeding the contempt of the powerful for the oppressed, is a betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.
- Strengthening indigenous rights helps to combat climate change.
- Democracy alone cannot bring peace.
- Don’t have children.
- Time to get scared: Giant craters are forming in Siberia...
- Lonely people are screwed.
- Anti-Semitic protests return to Germany.
- Opinion: Refugee children could build America’s future.
- The most prejudiced parts of the US aren’t where you would think.
- Children who read Harry Potter may be less prone to prejudice.
- Meanwhile in the US, the House is suing the president.
- The UN guidelines for Afghanistan’s vote audit were officially backed by Ghani and Abdullah this past weekend. There will be results by Aug. 25, says Karzai.
- Karzai’s cousin was killed by suicide bomber at a dinner party.
- Three members of Pakistan’s Ahmadi community were killed this week following accusations of blasphemy.
- Displaced by Pakistan’s military action against militants, Pashtun poets are reviving their craft.
- Pakistan needs a few good women.
- The army reigns supreme in Islamabad.
- Germany is sending aid to IDPs in northwest Pakistan.
- 100 police officers have been killed in Karachi in the past 200 days, according to a recent report.
- A bout of violence between Muslims and Sikhs began the week in India, leaving several people dead.
- A landslide triggered by monsoon rains appears to have washed away an entire village.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A Japanese high school student appears to have bludgeoned, strangled, and decapitated her friend.
- A glimmer of hope in Cambodia.
- Indonesia‘s economic outlook.
- Human Rights Watch thinks Thailand needs to seriously reconsider its current military situation.
- Navigating a path to justice in Burma.
- Civilians headed to Eid celebrations in the Philippines were killed by Islamic militants.
Europe & Eurasia:
- The US claims it has proof of Russian involvement in Eastern Ukraine.
- The US also says Russia violated a missile treaty.
- Erdogan’s antisemitism is causing waves in Turkey.
- Is Europe bankrolling Al Qaeda?
- How integrated are French Muslims?
- Scotland‘s independence vote is currently too close to call.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Keith Ellison’s Gaza op-ed. | As of Friday morning, the below is somewhat out-dated regarding Israel-Palestine: A cease-fire is currently in effect but already somewhat null and void given heavy exchanges of fire and the potential kidnapping of an IDF soldier.
- Following weeks of violence, Israel and Palestine began the week with a ceasefire temporarily in place, predominately to respect the occurrence of Eid al Fitr. However by Tuesday over 1100 Palestinians and over 50 Israelis had been killed. As of Wednesday, another UN-run school had been shelled.
- A war in search of an objective. | Political science after Gaza.
- Both Israel and Hamas stand accused of committing war crimes.
- Viewing Hamas as worse than Israel, Arab leaders are remaining silent. | Meet the head of Hamas.
- On Thursday Israel called up army reservists.
- Opinion: Al Jazeera’s Israel problem.
- More than 50 people were killed in clashes in Libya over the weekend. | Citizens are fighting back against Islamic militias.
- Iran and Hezbollah hope to make themselves present in Gaza. | Hezbollah has certainly made itself present in Iraq.
- ISIS is destroying cultural relics in Iraq.
- The Islamic State and Syrian Kurds are at war.
- As the deadly Ebola virus swallows West Africa, physicians are finding themselves accosted on all sides. The disease has claimed more and more lives, including a Liberian doctor, and two Americans have now been infected. The disease is spreading across Guinea and Sierra Leone. | It’s only a plane ride away.
- Liberia is closing its borders to contain Ebola.
- Boko Haram’s terrifying regional aspirations are taking root in Nigeria and its neighbors, following the kidnap of a Cameroonian official’s wife.
- Pentecostal Christianity in Rwanda.
- One split, two Sudans, and three years of independence.
- The death of independent media in Venezuela.
- Argentina is desperately attempting to avoid default. | As of Thursday, it failed in that effort.
- Indigenous Brazilians are seeing their way of life threatened on a daily basis.
- The majority of Americans think the children stranded at the border should be offered shelter, not deported.
- Virginia is for all lovers.
- The appeal of unhappy cities.
- Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic may remain open. | Massachusetts is moving to protect abortion clinics.
- The Southeastern US is rapidly urbanizing.
- The FDA is perpetuating homophobia.
- Eric Cantor has fully resigned from Congress.
- Australia has approved a $15.5 billion coal and railway project for an Indian company.
- An estimated 150 Australians have left their country of citizenship to fight in Syria.