Social media & global conflicts: #BinaryBattles

 A recent interview  about the social media wars published at the Tribune (with the international New York Times).

Social media & global conflicts: #BinaryBattles

War and conflict is no longer limited to battlefields. Every battle on the ground — whether it is for land, ideology or power — now has an equally strong and effective virtual dimension. In fact, even before you read this story, you may have seen hundreds of tweets, images and videos from the protests in Hong Kong. Some of you may have watched the Arab Spring unfold on Twitter as it happened, or winced in pain as your Facebook timeline flooded with updates or tweets from Gaza and Syria. This is an indication of the start of a digital battle in which each of us has a decisive role to play. View full post…

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share Humanitäre Diplomatie für Syrien im Stillen

Auf ihre Versammlung im vergangenen Mai hat die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO eine Resolution verabschiedet, die die „Verschlechterung der Gesundheitsbedingungen der syrischen Bevölkerung auf dem besetzten Golan als Ergebnis der unterdrückerischen Praktiken der israelischen Besatzung“ verurteilt. Die Resolution, Geistes Kind der syrischen und palästinensischen Delegierten, tat es anderen Versuchen gleich, Israel in internationalen und UN-angegliederten Institutionen zu verurteilen. Interessanterweise kam diese Verurteilung just zu dem Zeitpunkt, als eine weitere Gruppe verletzter Syrer die syrisch-israelische Grenze überquerte, um in einem Militärlazarett (oder Spital) behandelt zu werden, das aus eben diesem Grund auf dem Golan aufgestellt wurde. View full post…

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Textbook ‘incitement’ debate not over yet

israel palestine schoolbooks

Palestinian texts promote discord, not peace

 

“Victims of Our Own Narratives” was the title of a recent handout given to journalists filling two rooms — one in Jerusalem and the other at the Press Club in Washington, DC. Headlines were quick to follow stating that the problem of incitement in Israeli and Palestinian school textbooks is over. However, wishful thinking aside, it is not.

The “textbook incitement debate” deals with the claims that textbooks in both Israeli and Palestinian societies undermine the peace process and fail to encourage the struggling nations to find common ground. Putting this simply, it is about books that foster hate and struggle rather than tolerance and peace.

Recently – following three years of work – a new report by an Israeli-Palestinian research team claimed to have settled that debate. The self-proclaimed “definitive” report, commissioned by the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land and headed by YaleProfessor Bruce Wexler, studied Israeli and Palestinian textbooks and stated that there is no actual dehumanization or incitement in either curriculum and concluded that both sides need to improve their attitudes toward the other. View full post…

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The (unilateral) Way to Palestine

Jerusalem – Next week, unless another twist of history prevails, President Abu Mazen will become the fulfiller of an old dream: the establishment of a Palestinian state. It will be a triumphant moment for many, the end of an era and a reason to wave the thousands of Palestinian flags woven in recent weeks. The world has been entranced with this small piece of land that has triggered too much blood and attention. Finally, one would hope, all of that would come to an end. Or, will it be to another dead end?

A short review of history revels that the “unprecedented moment of Palestine” occurred three times already and that a recognized government of Palestine has already been in office. This, of course, did not help the Palestinian people who were dispersed in the region under the yoke of Egypt, Jordan and, later, Israel. This moment might not be different.

In September of 1948 –in the midst of the first Arab-Israeli war- the first All-Palestine Government was formed in Gaza. Its leader, the Jerusalem Mufti, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, unilaterally declared the independence of Palestine with Jerusalem its capital. The new state formed a government, issued passports but failed to gain recognition even amongst other Arab states. Nine years later, in 1959, the All-Palestine Government was annulled by no less than President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt who claimed that it failed to successfully advance the Palestinian cause. View full post…

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