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Sunday, July 23, 2017

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Egypt's Election: "We've never here been before"

"It is important to remember, though, that while all this drama is playing out, Egyptians are facing a major challenge lurking in the shadows that could upset an already precariously perched applecart. And that is the state of the country's economy. It they are responsible, leaders across the spectrum will push aside differences born of self-interest and act quickly to consolidate the power of the new president and the effectiveness of the new government so that the economic crisis can be addressed as a national priority. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. After all, we've never been here before."


Netanyahu creates a big new Government to do nothing but survive

"He has, if he wishes, the numbers within and still outside of his coalition to make peace. But sadly, the Israeli pundits who know him best also have it right, he is a maneuverer who uses his wiles to promote paralysis in order to avoid peace at all cost. The best evidence is that his response to the court decision to evacuate the illagal settlement is to propose new legislation to "legalize" what is illegal. So do not hold your breath expecting big things, either bad or good, from this big new government. That was not what brought it into being. Expect, instead, business as usual."


NYPD Surveillance Revisited

"It is not clear to me how anyone could review the NYPD materials and conclude that the tactics of massive surveillance and ethnic and religious profiling employed have not crossed that line or that they have in any way contributed to making New Yorkers "safe.” What they have done is waste precious law enforcement resources. And as an exercise in heavy-handed police power, they have compromised the very security and basic rights of New York's large Arab immigrant communities."


A Battered Romney Wins: On to November

"A battered Romney held on a short leash by his party's right wing should be good news for President Obama, but with the electorate as deeply divided as it is, national polls are telling a different story. The President, it appears, may also have trouble re-energizing parts of his base and convincing some independent voters. As a result, most polls show this Obama-Romney match-up may be as close and as bitterly contested as any in recent history."


Activists who talk like zionists continue to betray Palestine

Whether or not [Ali] Abuminah wants to admit it, [Gilad] Atzmon and he are on the same side, but such dogmatic hostility suggests strongly that the motive for the attack goes deeper than a squabble over activist orthodoxy.


A Resilient Arab American Community

"There are those who say that while Arab civilization had a great past, it has no present or future. They also question whether Arab immigrants to America have made any contribution to the U.S. In response to this slight to Arab culture, the Gibran awards recognized the work of the Arab Thought Foundation—an example of an Arab institution that promotes learning, cultural pride, and self-reflection. The Arab Thought Foundation is a center for the dissemination of learning and a beacon of enlightenment."


Should America be involved in Democracy Promotion in the Arab World?

"In the end, we have too little knowledge about the history, culture, and people of the region to play a constructive role in transforming their societies. Our mistake in Afghanistan and Iraq was not just that we believed that we could use force to create a democratic order. It was that we assumed that we could play any constructive role in changing countries and peoples about whom about whom we knew so very little in the first place. This was true for our failed wars, and it is also true for our efforts at democracy promotion."


The Politics of Palestine

"Some actively support two states; others are advocating a democratic one-state solution. But where they are united is in a refusal to accept the current state of affairs, be it the oppressive system that has been imposed on the occupied lands, the dysfunctional politics of Washington, or the interference and crippling paralysis that has stymied Palestinian action. They imagine a just solution, and know that it will only be achieved if they organize to secure the power that will be required to make change real. They need to make what they imagine real."


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