The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders, Security, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively) The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. [more inside]
"We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore." -- a group of American imams visits Dauchau and Auschwitz.
What is a Spaniard?: Forcibly Crossing the Cross, the Crescent, and the Star
"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."
"At the appointed time, those children who were not presented voluntarily were seized by the officials and forced to the font.... In many cases, parents smothered their offspring in their farewell embrace. In others, they threw them into wells in order to save them from the disgrace of apostasy, and then killed themselves. Sometimes, even old men were dragged to the churches and forcibly baptized by over-zealous fanatics,... In all other cases, the unwilling neophytes, some mere babies, were distributed throughout the country, as far as possible from home, to be brought up in Christian surroundings."[more inside]
Israel vs. Palestine: Against the Wall is a six-part series on VBS.tv about the separation wall which divides Israel from the West Bank. [more inside]
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel says in its annual report that Israel has reached "new heights of racism". Embedded WMV video, article, and, typically for Ha'aretz, some very interesting reader comments. [more inside]
When Iranian paper Hamshahri (in Persian) launched a contest for Holocaust cartoons, an Israeli group responded in turn with a contest of their own for cartoons that make fun of Jews. Too bad it closed yesterday, or the Dutch branch of the AEL could submit theirs. (WARNING: some of the linked content may be offensive to readers' ethnicities, cultures, religions, or tastes.)
With several anti-Semitic incidents in the past week or two in Toronto, why would Toronto's York University suspend its local Hillel due to clashes over Israeli-Palestinian conflict debates in a hypocritical move that fails to address demonstration and violence-related offenses by Muslim groups? Sure it's Canada and no one cares, but should Canadian Jews start being afraid? (The second article may be one-sided, but the last line presents an ominous fact.)
The far right's success in setting the national agenda is provoking an identity crisis for Israel. Radical settlers are effectively in the driver's seat and are redefining Zionism in terms that threaten the future of a Jewish state. Meanwhile, demographics is a hotter issue than ever in Israel, as Israelis on the right and left struggle with the questions "Can Israel be a Jewish and democratic state? Is there any such animal?" [More inside.]
Catholics, Jews, Muslims - all three feel suddenly embattled and isolated [nyt reg req] "This is a rare moment in history, like a planetary alignment: three world religions simultaneously racked by crisis....this confluence is highly unusual but not without precedent... — from 800 to 200 B.C., a period of tremendous violence and upheaval on many continents.... We could use this suffering to create wonderful new religious systems, as the Buddha did, or we could retreat into the spiritual barbarism of hatred ." Perhaps Karl Marx was right that religion, like opium, results only in illusion and false hope.
Abigail Radoszkowicz meets Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, an iconoclastic Italian Moslem scholar who believes the Jewish right to the Land of Israel is inscribed in the Koran
Abigail Radoszkowicz meets Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, an iconoclastic Italian Moslem scholar who believes the Jewish right to the Land of Israel is inscribed in the Koran This piece suggests that in fact key parts of the Koran ignored in order to further a cause. The writer, oddly, Muslim and not Jewish/Israeli.
Clerk accused of inciting murders of "persons unknown" refused bail in the UK. Creating cassettes with titles like "No Peace with the Jews", this trial is one to watch and tread carefully with.
Whew! It's okay folks, no evidence found of desecration of Jewish remains at the Temple Mount. "It wasn't the Muslims who destroyed the Temple,'' [Archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov] noted acerbically. "It was Titus.''