There are hundreds of thousands of apps available for smartphones and tablets, but none let me play lead peace negotiator for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. None let me play with border configurations, settler and refugee moves, housing, water distribution rights or police and military placements. I can’t even play with who gets to administer and guard Jerusalem holy sites. All I can download are a few anodyne Palestinian or Israeli apps primarily geared toward a boorish target demographic.
Why not a Gaza blockade app? There’s got to be a market to play something like Brick Breaker with the smuggling tunnels, now that the Egyptian” and Turkish Flotilla “springs” have sprung a leakier blockade. Why not build off of the bestselling iPhone Pocket God game to create different winning (and supremely enforceable) Palestinian and Israeli peace scenarios?
Continue reading “Gaming Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations” »
What more can be said about Netanyahu’s speech to Congress two weeks ago that has not already been said? It was careless, delusional, and at times, borderline repulsive; it made a mockery of the peace process, the plight of the Palestinian people, and those in the Israeli political establishment that still believe in the moral, legal and political need for the two-state solution.
Speaking to Congress, Netanyahu rejected the foundational underpinnings of any future peace settlement. Denied is a Palestinian state that is based on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as a capital city for both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Netanyahu went so far as to deny the very existence of the occupation; Israelis, don’t you know, are “natural” residents of the West Bank. But have no fear Palestine because he did, after all, promise to be “generous” when deciding on the size of the Palestinian state.
Continue reading “Time for a New ‘Honest’ Broker” »
Omar Dajani, Foreign Policy - “Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December/But the days grow short when you reach September/ When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame/ One hasn’t got time for the waiting game.” — Maxwell Anderson, September Song, 1938
In his speech on the Middle East Thursday, President Obama greeted the arrival of spring in the Arab world with enthusiasm. His prescriptions for achieving Arab-Israeli peace, however, leave the Palestinians once again stalled between seasons.[I] Although the President characterized the transformations sweeping the region as a “story of self-determination” and lauded the courage of Arab citizens who had “taken their future into their own hands,” he took a dim view of efforts to pursue international recognition of Palestinian statehood this fall. According to Obama, “Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state.” Instead of taking their future into their own hands, Obama suggested, Palestinians should continue down the path of negotiation with the Netanyahu government, however futile talks might seem.
Continue reading “September Song” »