These Honored Dead

The battle at Gettysburg took place 150 years ago: a blink of an eye in the millennia since Sinai. Such uncanny intimacy with the far past is what Jewish culture brings to American history.

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More about: American Civil War, American Jewish Heritage Month, American Jewish History, Gettysburg, July 4

 

The Arab World’s Waning Sympathy for the Palestinians

Aug. 29 2016

With turmoil and bloodshed gripping the Middle East, there are signs that Arab public opinion is beginning to reject the primacy of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. To Evelyn Gordon, this development could have important consequences:

[T]he Arab and Islamic world, which for years was at the forefront of pushing the notion that the Palestinian issue is the world’s number-one problem, is starting to get fed up with the Palestinians’ utter self-absorption at a time when so many Arabs and Muslims are suffering far worse. . . .

The Palestinian cause didn’t become a Western obsession by mere chance; it became a Western obsession in large part because the Arab and Islamic world spent decades relentlessly telling Westerners that this was the Middle East’s biggest problem. By now, this view has become entrenched dogma in the West, and it clearly won’t lose that position overnight. But as Arab and Islamic countries start downgrading the importance of the Palestinian issue, this will eventually have an impact on the West as well. . . .

In arguing that the Israel-Palestinian status quo is unsustainable, both the Israeli left and its American Jewish counterpart rely heavily on fears that the ongoing conflict is eroding Western support for Israel, and therefore that time is on the Palestinians’ side. But given the West’s growing and unhappy acquaintance with radical Islam, Israel’s improving status in other parts of the world, and the nascent change in Arab attitudes toward the Palestinian issue, it’s looking far more likely that time is on Israel’s side.

In the long run, these developments could also help solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict by convincing Palestinians that Israel isn’t likely to disappear, so negotiating a reasonable peace deal is their best option. But whether or not that ever happens, there’s no reason for Israel to feel pressured to make hasty concessions for fear of diplomatic isolation. . . . Israel can afford to wait.

Read more at Evelyn Gordon

More about: Arab World, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians, Peace Process