As a campaigner for peace and pluralism, Ahmed is dismayed by the toxic lure of an Islamist doctrine that is supremacist, separatist, and hostile to secular Western values, and she calls for an urgent review of this ideology.
Israelis and Palestinians have a very similar narrative. The people of each group have moved from one country to another for a long time. Each people have been oppressed by others.
Human Rights Day has a unique significance for over half a million children educated daily in hundreds of United Nations schools across the Middle East.
Rubble. That's been the one constant for the Awajah family for as long as I've known them. Four months ago, their home was demolished by the Israeli military -- and it wasn't the first time that Kamal, Wafaa, and their children had been through this.
If the sharply contrasting views of students in Xian or Beijing and Hong Kong are any indication, Deng Xiaoping's ideal formulation of "one country, two systems" has morphed into another reality: one country, two dreams. George Chen writes that President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" competes with other narratives in today's China: the "get rich is glorious" story of Alibaba's Jack Ma and the democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong students. In a conversation with students after a lecture in Beijing, Amitai Etzioni detected a surprisingly aggressive patriotism, and even anti-Americanism, in college students he spoke with. WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles found similar sentiments when she talked with other students in Beijing as well as Xian. In contrast, WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan observes that the student-led umbrella protests in Hong Kong have become a "defining generational moment," not unlike the burst of freedom against authority in the 1960s in the West, that will trouble Beijing for a long time to come. (continued)
While all Israelis I spoke to agree the goal should be to realize a two-state solution, several Israelis told me that Muslims are not ready for democracy and that the two states will be very asymmetric.
Netanyahu's insistence on passing a bill that will define Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is as disgraceful as his denial that Israel is not an occupying power. If the bill were to pass now or in the future, it would blow up what's left of Israel's democracy and destroy rather than save the Jews' last haven for which they have yearned for centuries.
At the age of 8 I was given a vision. At the time, the message came across in a time-stood-still-moment, an inner knowing. Though it seemed the mission was special, I suspect that all of us, at one time or another, are similarly awakened to know why we are here and what our unique life purpose is.
As Pope Francis slammed Europe as "elderly and haggard" in an address this week in Strasbourg, the speaker of the Polish parliament, Radek Sikorski, warned in the WorldPost that Europe's starkest challenge is defending "a world of rules" against an aggressive Russia. Writing from the Vatican for our "Following Francis" series, Sébastien Maillard looks at the "holy ghostwriters" behind the pontiff's tweets and encyclicals. WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Istanbul on yet another retrograde move in Turkey's modern history taken by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who declared this week that men and women can't be equal. Though Erdogan still considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party a terrorist organization, Nazand Begikhani writes from Iraqi Kurdistan about how women from that party who have taken up arms to defend their fellow Kurds from the radically misogynist Islamic State are also advancing equal rights in their own society. This week, as the Israeli cabinet moved to define Israel as a "Jewish state," the French parliament, like other European parliaments of late, is voting on whether to recognize a Palestinian state. Writing from Paris, Bernard-Henri Lévy argues passionately that such a move, intended to enhance peace, will perpetuate war. (continued)
As it happened, Ali Khamenei, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan were all walking in one of the UN's corridors.
On the same day this week that President Obama announced a measure that could give legal protection to 5 million undocumented immigrants, massive protests raged across Mexico against the impunity and corruption that led to the horrific massacre of 43 students. From Mexico City, Sergio Sarmiento, Elena Poniatowska and Homero Aridjis chronicle the events and ponder what's next. Anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz examines the causes behind Mexico's corrosive impunity. Meanwhile, as Xin Chunying writes from Beijing, China is also seeking to establish the rule of law through steadily boosting the role of the National People's Congress. While stifling dissent, China's President Xi is taking on both "tigers and flies" in his no-holds-barred assault from the top down on corruption. Can China's effort succeed without active public engagement? Can Mexico learn from China and move from angry protest to systemic change? (continued)
Water is at the center of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that was further fueled by the violent events of the summer, and has left an estimated 1.2 million Palestinians with intermittent water supplies.
It takes a strong state, not (to paraphrase Hillary Clinton) a democratic village, to aggressively fight climate change. This is the inconvenient message emerging in the wake of the Xi-Obama deal on global warming announced in Beijing this week. Both leaders will pursue executive action to fulfill their pledges. As Kerry Brown writes, Xi's decision is binding within China because a long process of consultation and consensus building within the Communist Party stands behind it. What Obama can do is up for grabs. No sooner did the pledge escape his lips than the incoming Republican majority leaders in the U.S. Congress make their own pledge to block Obama by any means necessary. In The WorldPost this week, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim writes that the landmark Xi-Obama agreement is not only good for the environment, but also for the economy. Environmentalist Bill McKibben parses out "what the deal is, and what it isn't." (continued)
It remains to be seen what sort of response this petition elicits both in its favor, and in opposition; and whether it encourages comparable petitions at other institutions, academic or otherwise.
Leading Democrats in Washington have joined Republicans in claiming that the people killed and the dwellings destroyed from Israeli bombing and shelling were legitimate acts of self-defense against military targets and dismissing reports by reputable Israeli and international human rights groups saying otherwise.
Leave it to Netanyahu, however, to use the Gaza experience to justify the continuation of the occupation rather than working out airtight plans with the PA that would entail security measures to ensure that the West Bank does not become a staging ground for attacks on Israel.