Israel & Palestine

Israel's Democracy Hypocrisy

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2011 |

On American campuses, Israel feuds are nothing new. But the City University of New York's decision to deny playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree—and now perhaps reinstate it—is cutting-edge. It is cutting-edge because the debate over Kushner's degree is, at heart, a debate over whether people who want Israel to be a secular rather than a Jewish state can be tolerated in public life. That's a debate that Americans, and particularly American Jews, haven't had since the 1940s. But it's returning in a big way.

Post-Mitchell, the Air of Resignation on Israel-Palestine Might Linger

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2011 |

On hearing the announcement of Senator George Mitchell's resignation as special envoy for Middle East peace, I skype-messaged the news to a friend in Israel known for her biting sarcasm. Her response was quick in coming and did not disappoint: "Mitchell is still the envoy, who knew?"

There's been quite a lot happening in the Middle East recently, and the Israeli-Palestinian equation has not been left untouched. Yet the special envoy for Middle East peace has not been to the Middle East since mid-December.

ROOM FOR DEBATE: Obama's Arab-Israeli Options

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2011 |

Anyone imagining that the “Arab Spring” proved that Israel-Palestine to be of marginal regional significance should quickly remove those blinkers. From last Sunday’s regionwide nakba protests, to Egypt’s rapidly shifting foreign policy, to the testimony of U.S. military commanders, it is clear that Palestinian statelessness is a defining issue and key prism through which America is viewed.

An Israeli Process of Reconciliation

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
May 6, 2011 |

The Palestinian factions have reached a power-sharing deal - albeit a fragile one. Regional developments helped, affecting the calculations of both Fatah and Hamas. The role of post-Mubarak Egypt and its emerging independent regional policy cannot be underestimated. Israel's current government, though, is key to the glue binding Fatah and Hamas together. While the peace process has long been moribund, the Netanyahu government's refusal to indulge in the make-believe of possible progress rendered obsolete even Fatah's well-honed capacity to suspend disbelief.

How Hamas-Fatah Unity Could Break Middle East Deadlock

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
April 29, 2011 |

For the better part of 20 years, the policies of Fatah (the leading faction within the Palestine Liberation Organisation) have been predictable to the point of tedium. This week in Cairo, in agreeing to a unity and power-sharing deal with Hamas, Fatah surprised. Yes, Palestinian national reconciliation has been tried before, fleetingly and unenthusiastically, following a Saudi-brokered arrangement in spring 2007, and it may again unravel.

Rula Jebreal Discusses the Film 'Miral'

April 5, 2011

On March 29, the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force hosted the Washington premiere of the film "Miral." Following the screening, Academy Award-nominated director Julian Schnabel and author Rula Jebreal, upon whose autobiographical novel the film is based, engaged in a discussion with Amjad Atallah and Daniel Levy of the New Americ

Abbas and Fayyad Must Resign Too

  • By
  • Fadi Elsalameen,
  • New America Foundation
February 17, 2011 |

After two decades of failed political moves, the Palestinian Authority represented by its top leadership are hoping to avoid the inevitable: paying a heavy price for corruption of all kinds, alienating the Palestinian people, and failing to negotiate an end to Israel’s occupation.

Threatened and undermined by the Al Jazeera-Guardian Palestine Papers leak, and dismayed by wrongly siding with Egypt’s ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, the Palestinian Authority is employing desperate political maneuvers.

Israel's Options After Mubarak

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
February 14, 2011 |

After almost thirty years, President Hosni Mubarak is gone.

For the people of Egypt and especially those with the courage to have taken to the streets it is no doubt a day that is impossible to put into words. For the rest of us, a day of awe, celebration and inspiration.

Some, however, have probably not summoned up too broad a smile today – the other non-democratic regimes of the Middle East for instance. Interestingly, Israel too belongs on that list of the "not-exactly-thrilled".

Egypt Unrest Could Improve Israel Ties

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
February 11, 2011 |

Despite the fluidity and uncertainty surrounding the political situation in Egypt, one thing seems clear: Egypt and indeed the Middle East will not be the same after January 2011. This will apply even if those in Israel and elsewhere who are pushing for continued military, as opposed to civilian control, and for "democracy with exceptions" -- i.e., Islamists not allowed -- manage to carry the day. (One hopes they will not .) Those governing Egypt will henceforth have to be more responsive to the public will.

America, Welcome to the Era of Arab Democracy

  • By
  • Amjad Atallah,
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
February 10, 2011 |

Across the Middle East, and most dramatically in Egypt, Arab publics are embracing the most fundamental of American values freedom and democracy. Yet America is being viewed with suspicion not so much as an inspiration for, or ally of, freedoms march.

It does not have to be this way, but first America will have to abandon its defensive crouch and clearly embrace this change as an historic opportunity.

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