Middle East

Thanks, Eugene, for the thoughtful reply.  I look forward to your subsequent posts and will leave a more substantive reply until then.  For now, I just wanted to offer a few thoughts. 1. I don't think anyone should feel "better" if removing the settlers qualified "only" as a crime against humanity, instead of as genocide.  Both are incredibly grave crimes, and...

First of all, welcome back!  I always enjoy your contributions to OJ (and your scholarship generally), even when I disagree with you.  So I hope you won't think me too ungracious a host if I raise some (pointed) questions about your most recent post.  I would be genuinely curious to hear your responses. I am, as I have pointed out ad...

Legend has it that the Danes undermined German efforts to persecute Jews in Denmark by acting in solidarity with them by wearing the yellow star. (And yes I know the story is apocryphal). We can't exactly do the same thing today for Iranians, but one small act of solidarity we can do is make it easier for Iranians to...

Saree Makdisi, a professor of comparative literature at UCLA and an old friend from the literature program at Duke, has a superb editorial in today's Los Angeles Times about the media's -- and thus our -- use of language concerning Israel and Palestine.  Here's a taste: In the U.S., discussion of Palestinian politicians and political movements often relies on a spectrum...

David Bernstein is back with another attack on Human Rights Watch.  This time, he's up in arms that an HRW official had the temerity to criticize Israel in Saudi Arabia during a fundraising dinner: A delegation from Human Rights Watch was recently in Saudi Arabia. To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi Law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals,...

Maybe it's too soon after finals for some of you, but for those still willing to undergo examination, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has a short on-line quiz on international humanitarian law (IHL).  You can access it here.  It's issued in concert with a major conference the Center is hosting later this week on Hamas, the Gaza War, and Accountability...

President Obama’s speech in Cairo was nothing short of remarkable. The issue of interfaith dialogue is dear to my heart, and his speech deserves to be studied and discussed far and wide. I cannot think of a more important message about the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world in American history. If you have...

I want to believe in the Human Rights Council, and I hope its new members -- including the US -- will improve things. But the HRC's "response" to the conflict in Sri Lanka is simply appalling. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the resolution the Council passed praising the Sri Lankan government, which reads like something out...

Deniz Aydiner wins the honors for one of the dumbest murderers ever. He was indicted for aggravated murder in 2003 and while the investigation was pending he returned to Turkey. The state of Oregon subsequently indicted him and sought to impose the death penalty. But Aydiner missed his wife so much that he just had to return...

I'm not particularly surprised, but I'm still disappointed. Israel's ostensible justification is that the UNHRC resolution that created the fact-finding mission is biased, because it only asked Goldstone to investigate Israeli war crimes. That was a ridiculous move on the UNHRC's part, to be sure -- but one of the very first things Goldstone did was to make...