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Weekend Roundup: Queen Rania vs. Shimon Peres

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QUEEN RANIA POPE
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Two icons of peace and conciliation in the Middle East, Queen Rania of Jordan and Israel's outgoing president, Shimon Peres, are at bitter loggerheads in this week's WorldPost. While Peres speaks of Israel's "moral heritage" and the undisputed right to defend itself against Hamas missiles, Queen Rania pleads for a sense of common humanity to relieve Gaza from the Israeli siege that has turned that dispossessed sliver of land into "a modern day dystopia" and "the most tragic place to live on the planet."

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the late King Hussein's daughter, recalls her father's letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu many years ago accusing him of seeking, even then, to overturn "all agreements signed with the Arabs." Harvard's Stephen Walt lays the blame for America's "morally bankrupt" policies on Israel's powerful U.S. lobby, AIPAC. Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor Aharon Appelfeld argues that "to solve the problem" with Hamas, Israel must be cruel. Liat Kornowski details daily life under the constant barrage of Hamas missiles into Israel when "you have 90 seconds to take shelter."

Josef Olmert sees a new alliance between Israel and Egypt's post-Morsi autocratic regime against Hamas.

WorldPost correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Gaza City that the death toll continues to rise from the Israeli assault that locals see as "collective punishment."

UKRAINE; CLOSING RUSSIA'S 'WINDOW TO EUROPE'

In the other major event of the week, Ukrainian parliamentarian Olga Bielkova writes from Kiev of her revulsion over how the pro-Russian separatists handled the bodies and belongings of the Malaysian Flight 17 victims and her outrage over the downing of two Ukrainian military jets from Russian territory. Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's granddaughter, Nina Khrushcheva, recalls how the downing of a Korean Airlines flight nearly 31 years ago began the unraveling of the Soviet Union. She suggests the current crisis is a similar "tipping point" for Putin's autocracy.

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warns that if Europe is unwilling to stand up to Vladimir Putin because of economic interests, it risks becoming a de-facto "satellite" of Russia. Writing from Moscow, Ivan Sukhov worries that if the "window to Europe" is "nailed shut" in retaliation against Putin's actions, it will only consolidate the power of Russia's hardcore nationalists.

COSTA RICA IS NICARAGUA'S 'AMERICAN DREAM'; ITALY TAKES OVER EU

As the refugee crisis continues on the U.S. border, Nicaragua's most famous poet and former vice president, Sergio Ramirez, writes from Managua on the migrants flowing from his poor nation to neighboring Costa Rica to pursue their "American Dream."

As Italy takes over the rotating chair of the European Union, political scientist Fabrizio Tassinari writes from Copenhagen about upstart Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's chances for changing Europe.

MUSIC AND THE MIND; NON-ROBOTS IN NORTH KOREA; MONGOLIAN GENIUS

In a conversation with WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio discusses the central role of art and music in understanding the human mind. This week, "The Other Hundred" series peeks into North Korea with a surprising look at the daily life of people "who are not the robots they are often portrayed as."

Writing from Ulan Bator, Battushig Batbold says that he wants his Mongolian compatriots to diversify the economy from mining to human resources and services.

WHO WE ARE

EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost's 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost's World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). Sergio Munoz Bata is Contributing Editor-At-Large.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the "whole mind" way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council -- as well as regular contributors -- to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.

MISSION STATEMENT

The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.