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Middle East

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History of Middle East Conflict
Israeli Wall

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  1. Islam
  2. Middle East
  3. Middle East Conflict - Why?
  4. Middle East Current Events Archives
  5. Muslim Rage
  6. Muslims Against Terrorism
  7. Terrorism
Materials
  1. Maps of the Middle East Maps (University of Texas)
      Provides maps of Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Jericho, Persian Gulf, Strait of Tiran, Palestinian Refugee Camps, Strait of Hormuz, Kurdish Lands, and more. 10-00

News
  1. -Middle East - News by Country (MiddleEastInfo.org)
      Provides news on the Middle East from each country in the Middle East.

  2. -Middle East Conflict (BBC News)
      Provides news on the Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

  3. -Middle East Conflict - Israeli View (Jerusaleum Post)
      Provides news from an Israeli perspective.

  4. -Middle East Conflict - News by Country (Al Bawaba)
      Provides news regarding the Middle East in general, as well as by country. 2-02

  5. -Middle East Conflict - Palestinian View (Palestine Daily)
      Provides news on the Middle East conflict from a Palestinian view.

  6. -Middle East News (BBC News)
      Provides news stories, features, and analysis of the news in the Middle East, with a heavy emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Papers
  1. -Essay - Amos Oz Sees Two Wars in the Middle East (Guardian Unlimited - Oz)
      Provides a view from the Jewish novelist, Amos Oz, that we must be clear to distinguish two wars. "Two Palestinian-Israeli wars have erupted in this region. One is the Palestinian nation's war for its freedom from occupation and for its right to independent statehood. Any decent person ought to support this cause. The second war is waged by fanatical Islam, from Iran to Gaza and from Lebanon to Ramallah, to destroy Israel and drive the Jews out of their land. Any decent person ought to abhor this cause."

      He concludes that Israel must withdraw from Palestinian territories for moral reasons. If withdrawal does not end the war with fanatics, then he argues that Israel can continue to fight the second war with full moral authority. 4-02

  2. Camp David Accords (U.S. Embassy)
      Provides a framework for peace between Egypt and Israel.

  3. Essay - Need for a Culture of Compromise (MideastWeb.org - Heggy)
      "A few years ago, I discovered that there is no equivalent in the Arabic language, classical or colloquial, for the English word 'compromise', which is most commonly translated into Arabic in the form of two words, literally meaning ‘halfway solution’."

      "As language is not merely a tool of communication but the depositary of a society’s cultural heritage, reflecting its way of thinking and the spirit in which it deals with things and with others, as well as the cultural trends which have shaped it, I realized that we were here before a phenomenon with cultural (and, consequently, political, economic and social) implications."

      Heggy argues that "compromise is the strongest product of nature, life and the march of civilizations and cultures, while a rigid refusal to consider the merits of anyone else’s opinion and to insist on obtaining all one’s demands runs counter to the logic of science, nature, humanity, culture and civilization." 11-02

  4. Essays and Dialogues for Peace in the Middle East (MideastWeb.org)
      Provides essays, dialogues, and news. The site was designed to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

  5. Hamas (BBC News - Westcott)
      "Hamas, the main Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories, was born soon after the previous intifada erupted in 1987."

      "The organisation opposes the Oslo peace process and its short-term aim is a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories."

      "Hamas does not recognise the right of Israel to exist. Its long-term aim is to establish an Islamic state on land originally mandated as Palestine - most of which has been contained within Israel's borders since its creation in 1948."

  6. Hamas - Who Are Hamas? (BBC - Asser)
      "Branded terrorists by Israel and western countries, Hamas is seen by its supporters as a legitimate fighting force defending Palestinians from a brutal military occupation."

  7. Six Issues that Divide Israel and the U.S. (Time.com)
      "While the Obama Administration remains steadfastly committed to Israel's security, its ideas on how to achieve that security differ markedly from those of the hawkish Netanyahu government." 05-09

  8. Women's Views - Voices from Behind the Veil (Christian Science Monitor - Gaouette)
      Provides an inside view on the experience of Muslim women in the Middle East. "They bridle at Western assumptions about the nature of Islam and a woman's place in it. Like their Afghan sisters, these women stress that culture shapes their lives as much as religion and if they have problems, the veil certainly isn't one of them. They want change, but on terms that suit their society. Most of all, they would like Westerners to stop rehashing old clichés about who they are." 3-02

Also Try
  1. Lessons on the Middle East
News
  1. -03-09-10 Israel Announces More Housing in East Jerusalem (Time.com)
      "This appears to be the diplomatic equivalent of an ambush. Vice President Biden, on a visit to Israel, spent the day talking up the close relationship between Israel and the United States."

      "Then Israel, playing not-quite gracious host, announced the construction of 1,600 new homes for Jews in the disputed territories of East Jerusalem, a move that kicks sand in the face of Obama Administration requests to stop such settlement expansion." 03-10

  2. -05-23-11 Obama Repeats Position on Israel (New York Times)
      "President Obama struck back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday, defending his stance that talks over a Palestinian state should be focused on Israel’s pre-1967 borders, along with negotiated land swaps, and challenging Israel to “make the hard choices” necessary to bring about a stable peace."

      "As Mr. Obama himself pointed out, his theme in the speech last Thursday was not extraordinary. American presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have consistently instructed their foreign policy aides to pursue an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians using the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps, as a basis for talks." 05-11

  3. -05-24-11 Israeli Prime Minister Repeats His Criteria for Peace (New York Times)
      "He said that to reach a deal, Palestinians must agree to live with a Jewish state that would include areas in the suburbs of Jerusalem and around Tel Aviv."

      "While some land where Israelis have settled would lie outside its final borders, he said, the borders would not be identical to those of 1967 and before, which he once again called indefensible. Palestinian refugees and their descendants, he said, would have to find their homes outside these borders, limiting their right of return to old homelands — long a sticking point."

      "Palestinian reaction to the speech came swiftly, and it was just as strongly negative as the reaction from Congress was favorable. In the West Bank, Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, called the speech 'a declaration of war against the Palestinians.' " 05-11

  4. -05-25-11 President Obama Speaks of Freedom in the Middle East (The Guardian)
      "In the face of these challenges, too many leaders in the [Middle East] region tried to direct their people's grievances elsewhere. The West was blamed as the source of all ills, a half century after the end of colonialism. Antagonism toward Israel became the only acceptable outlet for political expression. Divisions of tribe, ethnicity and religious sect were manipulated as a means of holding on to power, or taking it away from somebody else."

      "But the events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and diversion won't work anymore. Satellite television and the Internet provide a window into the wider world – a world of astonishing progress in places like India, Indonesia and Brazil. Cell phones and social networks allow young people to connect and organize like never before. A new generation has emerged. And their voices tell us that change cannot be denied." See video of speech under "Multimedia" above. 05-11

  5. -05-30-11 City Under Jerusalem ( CBS News)
      "Underneath the crowded alleys and holy sites of old Jerusalem, hundreds of people are snaking at any given moment through tunnels, vaulted medieval chambers and Roman sewers in a rapidly expanding subterranean city invisible from the streets above." 05-11

  6. -06-11-09 Illegal Israeli Settlers Furious at Obama (CBS News)
      "While the [Israeli] settlers have always known that new outposts [on Palestinian land] have been forbidden under various peace plans, and some have been forcefully demolished, successive Israeli governments, they insist, have always had a nod-and-wink understanding with the United States that building on existing settlements was tolerated. Washington denies any such deal."

      "Mr. Obama may not only have changed the rules of the game in these settlements, he may actually have changed the very nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Previous American presidents have called for a settlement freeze. The fear here is that this one may actually mean it." 06-09

  7. -07-05-09 Israeli Settlers Versus the Palestinians (Time.com)
      "While Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now Prime Minister, was negotiating with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1998, Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon got on Israeli radio and urged Israelis to settle more land fast. 'Grab the hilltops, and stake your claim,' he said. 'Everything we don't grab will go to them.' "

      "The Palestinians ('them') hate the settlements as a reminder of occupation, proof that if and when any agreement with Israel is forged, they will never get back the land they call theirs. The settlements have joined other intractable issues — like the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to villages their families left 60 years ago — that have stymied every effort to find peace in the Middle East for a generation. The Obama Administration says negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis can only proceed if Israel agrees to stop settling occupied land." 07-09

  8. -07-05-09 Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah (New York Times)
      "A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult."

      " 'This crack in the clerical establishment, and the fact they are siding with the people and Moussavi, in my view is the most historic crack in the 30 years of the Islamic republic,' said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. 'Remember, they are going against an election verified and sanctified by Khamenei.' " 07-09

  9. -07-19-09 Israel Snubs U.S. Call to Halt Settlements (CBS News)
      "Israel on Sunday rejected a U.S. demand to suspend a planned housing project in east Jerusalem, threatening to further complicate an unusually tense standoff with its strongest ally over settlement construction."

      "The international community considers Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem to be settlements and an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Israel does not regard them as settlements because it annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 after capturing it in June of that year." 07-09

  10. -09-09-09 Study: Majority Killed in Gaza War Were Civilians (Time.com)
      "Well over half of nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, a leading Israeli human rights groups said Wednesday, challenging Israel's claim that most of the dead were militants."

      "The Israeli rights group B'Tselem on Wednesday published figures it said were compiled in months of research, including visits to families of victims. It said 1,387 Gazans were killed, including 773 civilians and 330 combatants. Thirteen Israelis also died, including four civilians." 09-09

  11. -09-26-10 Israelis Drop Restrictions on Building Settlements in Palestinian Territory (ABC News)
      "In Revava, a settlement deep in the West Bank [of Palestinian territory], about 2,000 activists released 2,000 balloons in the blue and white of the Israeli flag at sundown Sunday. The balloons were meant to symbolize the 2,000 apartments that [Israeli] settlers say are ready to be built immediately."

      " 'Today it's over and we will do everything we can to make sure it never happens again,' settler leader Dani Dayan told the crowd. 'We return with new energy and a new determination to populate this land.' "

      "It was unclear what how the official end of the slowdown would affect construction. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already signaled future [Israeli] settlement construction [in Palestinian territory] will be kept to a minimum, in contrast to relatively unfettered housing activity of past Israeli governments." 09-10

  12. -10-04-10 Obama and the Current Middle East Crisis (Time.com)
      "The Administration appears to have overestimated what can be achieved by having the two sides in the same room, given the obvious gulf between their expectations and bottom lines. The Palestinians had to be strong-armed into showing up at all, believing that Netanyahu's refusal to implement the complete settlement freeze demanded last year by the Obama Administration simply confirmed their suspicion that he has no intention of concluding a credible peace deal. Netanyahu is happy to talk, but on his own terms, and is under no domestic political pressure to cut a deal with the Palestinians. Rather than generating momentum toward a self-sustaining process, the current talks appear to see both sides going through the motions in order to strengthen their case in their own negotiations with Washington. And over the past decade, that's a negotiation in which the Israelis have fared far better than the Palestinians." 10-10

  13. -10-17-10 The Controversy in Jerusalem (CBS News)
      "Jerusalem is one of the holiest cities on Earth, for Jews, for Muslims and for Christians. It is also one of the most difficult issues at the negotiating table as Palestinians and Israelis struggle to continue the peace talks."

      There is an inconvenient truth for Israelis, however: "biblical Jerusalem is not located in the western half of the city. It's right under the densely populated Arab neighborhood of Silwan. And according to the Clinton parameters, Silwan should be part of a Palestinian state."

      "To remedy that, organizations that move Jewish settlers into Arab areas have infiltrated Silwan." 10-10

  14. -12-14-11 Post-War Iraq: A Shiite Nation (MSNBC News)
      "Regardless of President Bush’s intent in waging this war, what it wound up doing is replacing a dictator with a Shiite-run state that is close to Iran. This could not have been the plan." 12-11

  15. Who Are Iran's Revolutionary Guards? (MSNBC News)
      "Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was founded in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to defend the regime against internal and external threats, but has since expanded far beyond its original mandate. Today the guard has evolved into a socio-military-political-economic force with influence reaching deep into Iran's power structure."

Papers
  1. -Israel Strikes Civilian Targets in the Palestinian Territory (New York Times)
      "Israeli warplanes struck more than 70 targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Tuesday morning, including a stadium, five mosques and the home of a late Hamas military chief, reports the Associated Press."

      "Some 584 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed during the conflict. The U.N. estimates that 75% of Palestinian deaths are of civilians, with scores of women and children among them." 07-14

  2. A Country-by-Country Look at Protests in the Middle East as of 2011 (New York Times)
      Provides "the latest news on the protest movements and uprisings shaking countries across the Middle East and northern Africa." 02-11

  3. A Tale of Love and Darkness: A Memoir (CurledUp.com)
      "Both provocative and poignant, this memoir of a childhood in Jerusalem will amuse, perplex, and sadden."

      Editor's Note: Tells the "Jewish story." A translation has been paid for by a Palestinian to help heal the hatred between the Jewish and the Palestinian people. 03-10

  4. Chinese Mainstream Carries News of Iranian Protests (MSNBC News)
      "So it comes as a surprise to see that China’s mainstream media coverage of the post-election crisis in Iran has been fairly thorough. The protests and resulting bloodshed were reported all week in newspapers and on Web sites, with vivid videos and pictures."

      "The coverage included a healthy dose of analysis by Middle East experts, discussing the election results and the growing protests. But they did not say much about the events’ influence on China, despite the fact China is Iran’s biggest oil trading partner, as well as Iran’s biggest business partner in Asia." 06-09

  5. Middle East History (Avalon Project at the Yale Law School)
      Provides a history of the Middle East going back to 4000bce.

  6. More Massive Protests Planned in Iran (MSNBC News)
      "Iranian protesters planned to flood the streets of Tehran in the tens of thousands Thursday after opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi defied a government crackdown and called for another day of demonstrations against what he has denounced as a rigged election." 06-09

  7. Neda of Iran (Awesome Library)
      Provides the picture of the young woman purported to be the person shot to death by Iranian military as she attended a protest. She has become the "face" of the protests of election irregularities in Iran. Note: This is an earlier portrait picture of Neda, not the video depicting her death. 06-09

  8. Neda: An Iconic Image to Inspire (CNN News)
      " 'Every revolution needs icons and symbols -- an image that embodies a sense of universality of blight and at the same time innocence,' said Roya Hakakian of Connecticut, a writer, poet and journalist who was born and raised in Iran. 'The image of Neda does both.' "

  9. Official Report: More Votes than Voters in 50 Iranian Cities (WorldPress.com)
      "Shocking admission of election fraud from Iran’s Guardian Council: in at least 50 cities more votes were recorded in the reported tally than there where eligible voters." 06-09

  10. Quiz: Differences Between Sunnis and Shiites (Christian Science Monitor)
      Provides a quiz. 08-14

  11. Supreme Leader of Iran Warns of Violence (MSNBC News)
      "Taking an unequivocal stand against days of mass protests, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly warned opposition supporters on Friday to stay off the streets and raised the prospect of violence if their defiant, vast demonstrations continued."

      "Prime Minister Gordon Brown stepped up his public criticism."

      " 'We are with others, including the whole of the European Union unanimously today, in condemning the use of violence, in condemning media suppression,' he told a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels. He said it was up to Iran to show the world that the elections were fair and that 'the repression and the brutality that we have seen in these last few days is not something that is going to be repeated.' " 06-09

  12. True Power in Iran (Time.com)
      "Despite the convulsions in Tehran's streets in the aftermath of a disputed presidential election, Iranians — and the smart folks in Washington — know that Iran's presidency is not the seat of executive power. Unelected mullahs hold veto power over the decisions of the elected government, and their Supreme Leader, currently Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, must approve all political policies and make the key foreign policy and security decisions. No one can run for president without the approval of the clerics, and they routinely narrow the field to those deemed acceptable within the parameters of the Islamic Revolution."

      "Yet Khamenei has now done something extraordinary to the regime's democratic apparatus. Even though Iran's Electoral Commission allows three days to hear challenges before presenting results to Khamenei for approval, the Supreme Leader rushed to put his seal of approval on the outcome, and warned all political factions to refrain from challenging it." 06-09

       
       


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