Continuing Conflict – Ramallah

Raja Shehadeh’s book When the Birds Stopped Singing was a pointed, passionate and heart-breaking book yet I found it incredibly informative about the perspectives of everyday Palestinians facing the aggression of the Israeli military and leadership.  It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in a literal war zone, with … Continue reading Continuing Conflict – Ramallah

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The Failure of the Oslo Accords of 1993

Any peace negotiation is entirely contingent on how willing each side is to compromise, negotiate and to follow through on their agreements.  In those terms, it seems that the Oslo Accord of 1993 was doomed to fail almost before it started.  From the very beginning, Prime Minister Netanyahu (who followed Yitzak Rabin who negotiated the … Continue reading The Failure of the Oslo Accords of 1993

Israeli Politics – In the Land of Israel

If one thing can be made clear from the book In the Land of Israel, it is that the people of Israel are divided on issues of politics, with opinions, support and political affiliations all over the board, depending on the person, the area, past experiences and hope for the future.  What was surprising to … Continue reading Israeli Politics – In the Land of Israel

Differing Objectives

After the first Gulf crisis, Secretary of State James Baker renewed his efforts to solve the Arab-Israeli dispute in 1991.[1]  The framework for settlements between Israel and their neighboring Arab Nation states had previously gained traction with Israeli assistance to Lebanon, as well as talks between Anwar al-Sadad of Egypt and Menachen Begin of Israel … Continue reading Differing Objectives

Political Institutions and the 1967 War

A lot of politics both regionally and international were taking place behind the scenes and out in the open, which led to the war of 1967.  Primarily, the Israeli government considered itself surrounded by hostile forces, and was bound and determined to defend itself against any perceived threats to her sovereignty and her independence.[1]  Backing … Continue reading Political Institutions and the 1967 War

The Peel Commission Report of 1937 and the Palestine Partition Proposition

From the beginning of the British mandate in Palestine following WWI, tensions between the growing Jewish population in Palestine and the indigenous Palestinian Arabs in the region had continued to grow.  The Arabs of Palestine distrusted the British mandate officials, in large part due to their perceived favoritism towards the Zionist claims for a Jewish … Continue reading The Peel Commission Report of 1937 and the Palestine Partition Proposition

Modern Zionism

The textbook defines Zionism as “a nationalist ideology that advocates the creation of a secure Jewish homeland in Palestine for the worldwide community of Jews in fulfillment of their historical and religious associations with the region.”[1]  While this definition is definitive and highlights the ideals that encompass modern Zionism, the definition that resonated more completely … Continue reading Modern Zionism

The Importance of Context in History

It’s easy to view current events in a vacuum – relating them to history and placing them in context is difficult work that takes more than just watching the news, and for people who are not historians-in-training, or interested in the subject, doing so requires a certain amount of effort and curiosity that is often … Continue reading The Importance of Context in History