Policy & Politics

Einat Wilf / www.wilf.org
02-Jun-2014 | Einat Wilf

Welcome to Einat Wilf’s new Fathom column. A former MK and now a roving global ambassador for Israel and Zionism, she will send a quarterly dispatch from life at ‘the front.’ In this inaugural column she highlights the importance of delegations to Israel as the best tool to help people think in more nuanced ways about Israel.

Václav Havel / The Václav Havel Library
02-Jun-2014 | Ladan Boroumand

Ladan Boroumand is the cofounder and research director of The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF), an NGO dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran. In this essay she reflects on the inspirational legacy for human rights advocates of Václav Havel (1936-2011) – the antitotalitarian dissident and playwright, the last president of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the first president of the Czech Republic (1992-2003). Following the essay is a case study – the poet Hashem Sha’baninejad was hanged by the Iranian regime in January 2014 for ‘waging war against God’ – produced by Omid, the Foundation’s online memorial to every single known person executed or extra-judicially killed by the Islamic Republic.

Children in Haiti benefit from aid given by IsraAID, an Israeli humanitarian organisation
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
02-Jun-2014 | Gidi Grinstein and Daphna Kaufman

Today, the geopolitical world is flattening at an unprecedented pace. Many more players across nations are interconnecting in all areas of society. International affairs are no exception: non-governmental organisations (NGOs), corporations, and individuals are connecting across borders more than ever before, setting agendas and driving the way resources are allocated. In this reality, the capacity of an emerging global leadership class to catalyse change is often more potent than that of governments.

Female Asayish (Kurdish Security Force) members, Kobani City / Jonathan Spyer
02-Jun-2014 | Jonathan Spyer

The Syrian Civil War is now grinding on into its fourth year. Over 150,000 people have died, and tens more are being killed every day in the ongoing fighting. Millions have lost their homes. Many will almost certainly never return to them. This is by far the greatest disaster to have hit the Levant in…

A view of the settlement of Maale Adumim and the E1 area of Jerusalem, 2 November 2011  Mahmoud illean / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images
03-Jun-2014 | David Newman

One reason for the foundering of the recent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was the failure of the parties to agree the line of the border separating Israel and a Palestinian state. David Newman examines the history of the border question, the key factors involved in reaching agreement, and brings to light challenging new proposals for ‘extra-territorial exclaves’, that may have to be considered for a two-state solution to remain viable.

Religious Zionists are sometimes called ‘Kippot sruggot’ after the knitted or crocheted skullcaps worn by many National-Religious men. Man wears knitted skullcap or kippa as he prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City     Yaakov Naumi / Flash90
03-Jun-2014 | Ofer Zalzberg

The Middle East Peace Process has often marginalised the voice of the ‘National-Religious,’ or ‘Religious Zionist’ Jews. Ofer Zalzberg argues that this has been a mistake. Drawing on the fruits of a major report produced by the International Crisis Group, he sets out why it is vital to include religious Zionism in the quest for peace, and how its support or at least its acquiescence might be secured.

almagor-hassassian
12-Jun-2014 | Manuel Hassassian and Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PLO) have been negotiating peace since 1993. The present reports are not optimistic. To build genuine peace, it is essential to have trust, good will and mutual security. We believe that if there is a will, there is a way. Peace is a precious commodity and therefore requires a high…

TG landscape
12-Jun-2014 | Toby Greene

Though it contains much that can be challenged, the joint paper by Professor Manuel Hassassian and Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor published in Fathom is welcome for two reasons: first the support shown for the parallel recognition of Israel’s Jewish character alongside recognition of a Palestinian state; and second, the positive approach shown to breaking the deadlock through…

Gianni Vattimo Alberto Novi/Flickr
24-Jul-2014 | Gabriel Noah Brahm

A leading European philosopher has declared for killing ‘Zionists’ and arming Hamas. Gabriel Brahm asks what it all means.

lancet final
13-Aug-2014 | David Stone

There is no place for either political extremism or selective compassion on the pages of a prestigious medical journal. Manduca et al have performed a disservice both to your readers and the victims on both sides of the conflict by their inflammatory language and blatant bias. Their one-sided condemnation of Israel and implicit approval of Hamas’s resort to violence merely fan the flames of conflict and contribute nothing to the search for peace.

Anti-Israel Protest London
22-Sep-2014 | Cary Nelson

As the fall semester begins, we are sure to see a renewal of anti-Israel activism on many college campuses, especially behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The collapse of the Kerry peace initiative and the summer war in Gaza have raised the temperature in an already fiery debate. The group leading these efforts, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) this summer issued updated guidelines. The new guidelines are alarming. The old rules were already the source of the most far reaching, comprehensive, and invasive academic boycott recommendations; the new ones extend themselves into virtually every element of higher education worldwide.

Female Asayish (Kurdish Security Force) members, Kobani City / Jonathan Spyer
13-Oct-2014 | Jonathan Spyer

Seeing Syria, and increasingly Iraq, as wars between central governments taking on insurgencies challenging the nature of their rule, is increasingly a redundant way to see this conflict. I would suggest that a better frame for seeing both conflicts is as a single sectarian war taking place across borders in Iraq, Syria, and increasingly Lebanon. One can see alliances (coherent or less coherent) stretching across these borders, constituting a single war on various fronts.

Summer 2014
Issue 6
Summer 2014
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Fathom is published quarterly by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).