May 20th, 2011

Two Narratives for Two Peoples
In Print by Hussein Ibish - The Jewish Daily Forward (Opinion) - May 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Many Jewish Israelis and their supporters have reacted with outrage to a New York Times Op-Ed on May 17 by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, particularly its invocation of the Palestinian historical narrative. Most troubling to them was Abbas’s description of how his family was “forced” to flee their home in what became Israel in 1948 — a word choice they feel implies that Abbas and his family were evicted by Jewish troops.

April 12th

What the “Israeli Peace Initiative” has to offer
In Print by Hussein Ibish - NOW Lebanon - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

On April 6, a group of prominent Israelis released the “Israeli Peace Initiative,” an answer to the Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab League in 2002. The biggest difference between the two documents is that one is official, formally adopted by a large group of states, and the other is a civil society initiative. This puts the two documents on significantly unequal footing. However, the new Israeli private initiative bears serious consideration, given the paucity of any other Israeli response to the API and the lack of diplomatic activity generally.

April 4th

Arabs yearn to move on
In Print by Hussein Ibish - Bitterlemons (Blog) - April 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Probably the most important clause in the Arab Peace Initiative, first adopted by the Arab League at the Beirut summit in 2002 and reaffirmed on several occasions including in 2007, is its commitment to "establish normal relations with Israel in the context of [a] comprehensive peace." This represented the culmination of decades of evolution of Arab thinking regarding relations with Israel, and the final repudiation of the Khartoum resolution of 1967, which insisted the Arabs would have "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it".

March 24th

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Conflict
In Print by Hussein Ibish - Foreign Policy (Opinion) - March 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The spread of conflict and violence across the Middle East is dampening widespread hopes of an "Arab Spring" that followed the peaceful ousters of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia. Anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain have taken on an increasingly bitter sectarian character, especially with the military intervention of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the uprising in Libya has degenerated into an all-out civil war compounded by an international no-fly zone intervention.

March 11th

The Myth of the Arab Street
In Print by Hussein Ibish - - March 11, 2011 - 1:00am

With the recent wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East, Western observers have had the chance to face up to an important realization: that the oldest of clichés about Middle Eastern politics, "the Arab street," is both a pernicious myth and a dynamic reality. For decades, Orientalist stereotypes about Arab culture and attitudes imbued this so-called street—a crude and monolithic metaphor for Arab public opinion and popular political sentiment—with almost uniformly negative connotations, which would then segue into dire warnings about the consequences of its eruption.

March 4th

Washington must not be a global policeman or dictators' patron
In Print by Ziad Asali - The Daily Star - March 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The current uprisings in the Arab world demand a reassessment of current policy by all countries, especially the United States. One expects heightened demands for democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and regular elections, as well as a commitment to the people of the Middle East that their rights and aspirations will be properly reflected. It would not be surprising if all these demands were packaged as part of an initiative to address the Palestinian-Israel conflict and the establishment of a state of Palestine.

February 25th

Stability not at cost of injustice
In Print by Ziad Asali - Arab News - February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

One would expect the usual demands for democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and regularly scheduled elections as well as a heightened commitment to the people of the region, that their rights and aspirations will be reflected in this new vision. Furthermore, it would not be surprising if all these were packaged as part of an initiative to address the Palestine-Israel conflict and a commitment to the establishment of a state of Palestine.

February 16th

To build Palestine, support the plan that will establish a state
In Print by Ziad Asali - The National (Opinion) - February 16, 2011 - 1:00am

For decades, little attention has been paid to what has actually been happening on the ground with regard to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The institution-building programme of the Palestinian Authority, which has been spearheaded by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is surrounded by a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding. This may be a function of the very nature of the programme: a political project that has its foundation in the technical aspects of building a nation.

February 15th

The Successes of Palestinian Authority Institution Building
In Print by Ziad Asali - The Huffington Post - February 15, 2011 - 1:00am

For decades, the political process simply meant negotiations about the often-repeated final status issues. Hopes were raised and then dashed in extended clusters of negotiations, numerous international conferences, TV appearances and commentaries by politicians and pundits that yielded no meaningful progress toward resolution of the conflict.

More Arab democracy, Palestinian this time
In Print by Hussein Ibish - NOW Lebanon - February 15, 2011 - 1:00am

In what is probably a long-overdue move, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has called for new local, presidential and parliamentary elections before September.

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