West Bank

Why Satanism Is Now on the Center Stage in the Culture War

The religious right has often been looked down upon by many Americans involved in the political scene. For them, it shouldn’t exist. According to the secular liberal tradition, the public square is supposed to be value-neutral. Any religious intrusion into political matters is to be discouraged. The secular left is especially fearful of mixing politics [...]

Israel and Palestine Give the Two-State Solution Another Look

Direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine will resume on September 2 in Washington, D.C. The announcement of the talks has been greeted with a polite but skeptical nod from the media and a rolling of the eyes from experts in the realpolitik of international affairs. The assumption behind these dismissals is that peace talks [...]

Hebron: Jews and Muslims at the Patriarch’s Tomb

Hebron is off the beaten track for most pilgrims, though it's only 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem and the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Abraham's wife, Sarah. For centuries, Hebron was a predominately Palestinian city with a small but distinguished Jewish community. Several notable commentaries on the Torah were written there. But the killing [...]

The Last Gasp of the Two State Solution

Danny Seidemann is an Israeli attorney and the region's leading expert on land and property rights. An immigrant to Israel as a young man and a committed Zionist, Seidemann insisted to me today that the only real pro-Israel position is one that fully supports a two-state solution to the conflict with Palestinians. "There is still [...]

Bethlehem University Student Deported to Gaza in Handcuffs and Blindfold

Berlanty (Betty) Azzam was two months away from receiving her business degree at Bethlehem University. Anticipating life beyond college, she made the two-hour trip to Ramallah for a job interview, but on the way back she was asked for her papers at the "container" checkpoint. Azzam was detained by the Israeli military for five hours, [...]

Will Benedict XVI Challenge Palestinian and Israeli Extremism?

  An op-ed published in the New York Times on Tuesday by veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen Jr. lists four ways Pope Benedict XVI can "move things forward in the Middle East." He recommends the Holy Father endorse the two-state solution, call upon Palestinians to reject extremism, urge support for Holy Land Christians, and [...]

Ten Hard Facts Confronting Benedict XVI in the Holy Land

  The Holy Father, his entourage, and the international media are preparing to visit the Holy Land May 8-15. Pope Benedict XVI will undoubtedly encourage further peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But the prospect of a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict has become more remote, as the situation on the ground is constantly [...]

Palestinian Christians Look Toward the Papal Visit

    Palestinian Christians are wondering aloud whether the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land will bring greater media attention to their dwindling numbers. They fear that, at the top, the pope's agenda will be dominated by his continuing effort to smooth the ruffled feathers of Muslims (after his2006 Regensburg speech) [...]

Will History Repeat Itself in Gaza?

Israel's 13-day war in Gaza endeavors "to teach Hamas a lesson" and to defend southern Israel against its missiles. It's highly unlikely the Israeli bombing and ground attack -- which has resulted in nearly 700 dead, including 300 civilians -- will achieve these objectives. Why? Because it has been tried before, and it failed. In [...]

Why Are the Christians Leaving the Holy Land?

Catholics in the United States have been slow to grasp the problems facing Christians living in the Holy Land. Many Catholics don't even know they are there, or that they are Arab Christians. Most Americans equate Arabs with Muslims, in spite of the fact that Arabs were Christians long before they were Muslims. Arab Christian [...]