Middle East

Gareth Higgins 05-19-2008

President Bush's remarks, made last week in Israel, suggesting that anyone who wishes to talk with a violent enemy is the contemporary equivalent of a Hitler appeaser, are so wide of the mark, patronizing, and simply untrue that they must be challenged.

The fact that he used the emotive context of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations as the background for these comments is an abuse of an already misused people. And implying that Sen. Obama wishes to appease terrorism is not [...]

Jim Wallis 05-14-2008

I recently joined many prominent Christian leaders in signing a joint declaration on Israel's 60th anniversary. The signers are too many to list here but they include church leaders, theologians, and the heads of international missions agencies who have an intimate knowledge of the region's history, theological significance, and present reality. (To name just a sampling: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director/CEO, [...]

Rachel Barenblat 05-12-2008

Dear Israel,

Wow, you're turning 60. Incredible. Happy birthday to you!

I feel a little bit like I'm showing up at your birthday party without a gift. The truth is, you and I don't really know each other. I know we're related, but we don't have much of a relationship. That's been my choice, I realize. I wasn't sure how to feel about you, so I turned my attention elsewhere for a while.

I get frustrated sometimes by how much attention we lavish on you. I [...]

04-23-2008

When approaching a conflict, any world statesperson would consider trying to break up the logjam. A Christian leader who has always stood for justice and human rights and who takes the issue of the sancity of life seriously has no choice but to try and see what he or she can do to stop the bloodshed. In a protracted conflict, adding new ideas from a high-profile figure can help shake up the status quo. While it is unlikely for an ex-president to be able to extract major concessions, what [...]

Jim Rice 04-01-2008
Christian-Muslim dialogue raises hope - and suspicion.
Barbara Slavin 04-01-2008

How many of your friends and neighbors know, as Barbara Slavin writes in Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, that during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini vetoed the use o

Jim Rice 03-26-2008

In the Washington Post and throughout the blogosphere, debates rage about the recent spate of violence between Palestinians and Israelis, each side condemning with righteous indignation the sins of the other and proclaiming their own side's innocence. In a recent Post letters section, for example, Yaffa Klugerman wrote, "I was shocked to read [the] assertion that the [...]

Cris Toffolo 03-21-2008

The Cost of War

We are told the war in Iraq is a necessary part of the "War on Terror" (WOT), and its goal is to bring democracy to the Middle East. Despite this rhetoric it is blatantly clear the US is pursuing its own interests at the cost of democracy in the region. This raises the level of [...]

Deanna Murshed 01-15-2008

I commend Pastor Nathan for the courage and commitment to truth required to publicly reconsider what has strangely become status quo in parts of the U.S. evangelical world - an almost "biblical immunity" and unconditional support granted to the modern nation state of Israel. I especially appreciated the way he offered a lens for even the most serious adherents of scriptural authority to [...]

Rich Nathan 01-14-2008

In November our friend Pastor Rich Nathan sent us this compelling sermon and we've been looking for a good time to post it ever since. The occasion of Bush's trip to the Middle East seems to be a good time for Christians to reflect on their relationship with the modern nation of Israel. You can click to read [...]

Rose Marie Berger 01-11-2008

Archbishop Elias Chacour, an Eastern-rite Palestinian Catholic bishop in the region of Galilee, is escorting President Bush on a tour of the Mount of the Beatitudes in Israel on Friday, Jan. 11. This date also marks the sixth year since the arrival of the first prisoners to the

Michael Sherrard 01-10-2008

President Bush is in Israel today, meeting with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and expressing optimism that a peace treaty could be signed by the conclusion of his term: "with proper help, the state of Palestine will emerge."



But even as he expresses support for a two-state solution, President Bush is hearing a lot from extremists in the religious right who [...]

Deanna Murshed 12-18-2007

So I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the latest progressive addition to the classic nativity scene: the separation wall.


Either way, I love it.


If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out Christian Peacemaker Teams' "No Way to the Inn" campaign. Or, to purchase your own little [...]

Ron Sider 12-10-2007

The Nov. 27 Annapolis meeting on Israel/Palestine has launched us into a momentous one-year process to seek a permanent peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors. What is at stake is whether after more than 50 years of ghastly conflict and widespread bloodshed, genuine peace can come to one of the most dangerous areas and most divisive problems in our world.


Important steps were [...]

Jim Wallis 11-27-2007

Leaders from some 50 countries and organizations, including 12 Arab nations, are meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, today to begin negotiations for a peace agreement in the Middle East. News reports tell of " restrained optimism" that the event could lead to a Palestinian state.


The op-ed page of [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Philip Rizk 11-06-2007

Gaza is a place isolated and unknown. Although the small coastal strip is all too often in the media spotlight, this can be a source just as much for generalization as information.


The murder of Rami Ayyad one month ago today was a source for such confusion concerning what would have brought about such a horrendous act and who would have carried it out. It is too simple to suspect that [...]

Administrator 08-28-2007

Here are some key quotes from a Christianity Today interview with "Beirut-based journalist Rami Khouri, a Palestinian-Jordanian Christian. ... An American citizen, he is editor-at-large of The Daily Star, the largest English-language newspaper in the Middle East. He is also director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of [...]

Administrator 08-06-2007

I first heard about the letter of the evangelical leaders through an e-mail from Professor Ron Sider, who used to teach at Messiah College, where I graduated. It was a gift from heaven after so many bad statements by evangelicals justifying killings, occupation, and the pillage of our land using [...]

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