May 2008

Israelis are Talking to Hamas

by mgopin on May 26, 2008 · 2 comments

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First published in Middle East Online

2008-05-26,

WASHINGTON—There are Israeli Jews who have been talking to Hamas for years, especially Rabbi Menahem Frohman. In fact, there are more Israeli Jews, official and un-official, who would be talking not only to Hamas, but also to Syria and Iran were the White House not pressuring them against dialogue with enemies of Israel. This is unprecedented: a third party, supposedly mediating for peace, that forbids two parties from talking to each other.

Sober intelligence analysts at the highest levels in Israel have been arguing the virtue of negotiation and a process of offers and counter-offers—not because they are nonviolence activists, but because they are realists seeking the path of least resistance to a more stable and safe Middle East. They have every intention of confronting the military threat from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, but through a subtle combination of approaches, not the least

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A Mufti, A Christian and A Rabbi

by mgopin on May 19, 2008 · 7 comments

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In the West, A Mufti, a Christian and a Rabbi is often how a good interfaith joke begins. But I live inside this reality. I am a rabbi and my Syrian colleague, Hind Kabawat, is a Christian Arab. We have worked for four years with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, in both Damascus and Aleppo. [Note: this has been moved down.] The three of us, along with many others of courage, have put on public events in Syria for four years that no one thought possible. No one believed Protestant, Catholic, Sunni, Shiâa, and Jewish clerics would sit together at a table, in front of cameras, working out the foundations of a tolerant civil society and making commitments to peace in the heart of Syria. We did this not only in the shadow of American neo-conservative efforts to attack Syria but also surrounded by militants in …

{ 7 comments }

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