Posts tagged "israel"
A Stranger in Jerusalem

A Stranger in Jerusalem

I had come to Jerusalem to remember my grandmother’s life and mourn my marriage’s demise. As I made my way to the Wailing Wall, a shopkeeper stopped me with a question.

New Direction for Israel?

New Direction for Israel?

Dare we dream? After seeing his conservative party alliance shrink from forty-two to thirty-one seats in last month's elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now trying to put together a parliamentary majority. Did these losses chasten him? Will they lead to a real change in his policies? He has certainly made a splash with his first move. His selection of long-time political foe Tzipi Livni as justice minister and, more importantly, as head of the government's official negotiating team (should negotiations ever resume) with the Palestinians, is being praised by some as a potentially important shift and dismissed by others as window dressing. By no means am I now deeply optimistic about the prospects for peace. But at least I'm less pessimistic than I was before the elections. At this point, that's real progress.

The Center Cannot Hold

The Center Cannot Hold

The stories now featured on the site touch on many issues, but one theme they have in common is the role that religion plays in driving people to get passionately involved politics and activism — and how difficult it is to find secular ways to kindle the same fire. In Saving Souls, Benjamin Gottlieb profiles an enterprising humanitarian group that is busily educating poor children in Delhi's slums. But the work of COI and other evangelical Christian groups continues to draw controversy in India, a once-colonized nation now booming economically and working mightily to assert its own cultural identity. In Losing Zion, Rob York reviews the book The Crisis of Zionism, which argues that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dying, ruined by extremism in Israel and the apathy of the liberal American Jews who could help bring about a broad-based peace movement.

Religious groups have been almost unmatched in their ability to train activists and build social movements. In America, the most obvious recent example is the pro-life movement and the cultural warriors it has drawn from the pews of evangelical, Catholic, and other congregations. But the civil rights movement, too, acquired its power and breadth by filling the streets with churchgoing protesters, and filling its rhetoric with the biblical language of freedom, struggle, and redemption.

Losing Zion

Losing Zion

Conservative inflexibility and liberal apathy have endangered the dream of a democratic, secure Jewish state, a prominent American Zionist argues in a new book. But for all his ideas to salvage the two-state solution, Peter Beinart seems really to be documenting its demise.

Surfing for peace

"God will surf with the devil, if the waves are good…When a surfer sees another surfer with a board, he can't help but say something that brings them together."

Security stress

An aggravating experience in Israeli airport security raises questions about its potential conflict with other areas of concern.