Hamas has reduced the Palestinian cause from one where Palestinians deserve a viable State to live on like any other nation, to a series of pity quarrels and disputes over side issues.
This is what I imagine imperial courts in the Ottoman Empire served to visitors and guests.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made public and explicit this week, and for the first time, the Israeli positions that reject the two-state solution, that is, the establishment of the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
To hear the State Department tell it, the fact that our Secretary of State was forced to go through a metal detector before being allowed to meet with Egypt's president does not matter very much. But with all due respect, it does matter.
The war between Hamas and Israel has exposed the folly of both sides. Hamas' long-standing objective to destroy Israel has come back to haunt it, which may eventually spell its own demise. Conversely, Prime Minister Netanyahu's unwillingness to end the occupation and the blockade has also shown the folly of his policy. The sad irony is that Hamas' leaders know that they will never be able to seriously threaten Israel existentially, and every time they challenge Israel, they subject the Palestinians in Gaza to the horror of war, destruction, and death. Similarly, Netanyahu does not recognize that continuing the occupation and the blockade is unsustainable and there is no such thing as secure borders in the age of rockets, regardless of how fortified they may be.
In November 2012 Mohammed Morsi's Egypt was a vocal supporter of Hamas. Now, less than 20 months later, Egypt's current leadership classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization that ought to be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Bahrain finds itself in an increasingly untenable position. If it misplays its hand, or events in the region outpace the government's ability to manage domestic politics, the Bahraini government could find itself facing a dire crisis in the near future.
With rockets targeting all of Israel's major cities for the first time in history, everyone here seems to agree that it's time for a paradigm shift -- that the goals of this conflict should amount to more than just buying time with deterrence before a fourth round of even deadlier violence.
An important precedent was set yesterday; the largest Arab country all but giving its blessing to an Israeli military strike against other Arabs. A change of major proportions which is a new element in Middle East politics.
The Palestinians of Gaza are guilty of that new post-Cold War misdemeanor: voting while Muslim. The punishment for this crime has been eight years of economic hardship, international isolation, and periodic Israeli bombardments.
At a time when hundreds of rockets are fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza against Israel -- threatening population centers, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv -- criticizing Israel's occupation of the West Bank would seem inappropriate at best. Many Israelis justify the continuing occupation in light of the intensifying violence. They argue that Israel cannot allow the West Bank to become under any circumstances like Gaza -- a staging ground for rocket attacks that could cause unimaginable death and destruction. The repeated acts of violence emanating from Gaza and the relative calm in the occupied West Bank are used to "validate" this claim. In reality, the occupation itself is the root cause behind the unending Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the current deadly flare-up between Israel and Hamas.
As a country, we have continued to lose standing throughout the world as a legitimate voice for human rights, as a responsible member of a community of nations, as an arbiter of peace, or as a party protective of the planet. We have seen our standing reduced from a beacon of freedom to a beacon of financial self-interest.
As negotiations move forward on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a wide range of German elected and civic leaders are in disbelief that the U.S. remains serious about including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
The difference between Protestantism and Catholicism is not much, at least to an outside observer, just as the gap between Shia and Sunni Islam does not appear that wide. But to many within, the gulfs are wide and unbridgeable, oftentimes enough to spark internecine wars.
The relevant question for those of us among the 5 percent of the world's population with U.S. citizenship is: What will the people and policymakers in the United States do to help stop the killing in Israel/Palestine?
"Where are you from?" is a question I can never quite answer without using the phrase "Then I moved to..." five times. A single place that I can call 'home' has never existed -- the world, and its countless cultures, is where I find solace.