On October 2, the Israel Student Association at George Mason University hosted a fundraiser in the North Plaza on the Fairfax campus in support of refugees effected by the conflict in Syria.
While one election cycle came to an end in the United States with the recent inauguration of President Obama, a different election came and went in the Middle East. You may be taken aback by that statement.
During the past several weeks, the wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa has continued to spread. The United States cannot predict whether the series of protests ultimately will result in the strengthening of its alliances, or in the disintegration of its relationships in the region.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood before the UN General Assembly and said, “The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists.” He called Zionists an “acquisitive and invasive people.”
The GMU Law School hosted an event called “Separate is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine” last week. The very title of the event speaks volumes as to the falsehood of its premise, and the guests for the event were an unfortunate selection.
“Zo ha-medina shelanu,” they said in Hebrew. “It’s our state.” We were standing on a cliff at Rosh ha-Nikra, a scenic Mediterranean overlook on the Israeli side of the Israeli-Lebanese border. I had struck up a conversation with three Muslim Arab Israelis, and we were talking about what had brought us to this particular spot.
Wherever Yossi Olmert goes, security is tight. “When I went to Atlanta last month, they insisted I travel with 50 policemen and dogs,” he said. “Do I look so bad to you?” he asked at the start of his speech Monday night, hosted by the Caravan for Democracy in Taylor.
As the Hizbullah-Israel war wound down last week, pundits were quick to label winners and losers. Some said Hizbullah won because it survived, bombed Israel with 4,000 rockets, and earned the applause of the Arab “street.”
While the world talks of new opportunities to re-launch peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis following Yasser Arafat’s death, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sponsored an event on Monday on “bi-nationalism.”
The conflict between Arabs and Jews is riddled by narratives from both sides. As the cycle of viewpoints and letters from last week show, the feelings of animosity and the charged rhetoric are still prevalent.