My time with future leaders of Israel and Palestine leaves me with a somewhat pessimistic outlook, but there is reason for hope.
The U.S. has been at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for decades. However, some Palestinians I spoke with said that the U.S. is not the right party to mediate a two-state solution whereas Israelis has said it is.
When Malala Yousafzai collected her World's Children's Prize in Stockholm last month, she donated her prize money to help rebuild schools in Gaza.
Historians may look back and see 2014 as the tipping point when the world started falling apart instead of coming together. Visionary scientists remain enthusiastic that, thanks to converging new technologies from artificial intelligence to regenerative medicine, genetic synthesis and green energy, our civilization is on the threshold of a new and harmonious singularity. Yet, all around us the signs of splintering abound in revived nationalisms, ardent religious wars and the reappearance of geopolitical blocs. Even the global connectivity of the Internet once thought to embody a world spirit is balkanizing.
It took an insolent Hollywood comedy mocking the surreal character of North Korea's Kim Jong Un to awaken us to the dangers of a new code war, a war in which geopolitical and geo-cultural battles will be duked out in cyberspace. As Alec Ross, America's top digital diplomat when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, writes this week in The WorldPost, "the weaponization of code is the most significant development in warfare since the weaponization of fissile material." Other battles are also shaping up to determine the contours of our digital future. Lu Wei, China's Internet czar, makes his case for sovereign rule over cyberspace. Amy Chang examines how the Chinese campaign for "Internet sovereignty" will rupture the World Wide Web. (continued)
One minute, one camera, and one boy... is all it took to convey the tragedy of millions of childhoods lost to conflict in the Middle East.
The soft power of America's open society has once again come to the rescue of its hard power misadventures, this time by coming clean on the post-9/11 practice of torture. As China and several other countries intensify their crackdown on the Internet and open expression in general, the U.S. offers a lesson: honest criticism fortifies the legitimacy of government, not weakens it, because it assures an avenue for self-correction. In The WorldPost this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led the charge as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that released the controversial torture report, writes that "torture goes against the very soul of our country." Howard Fineman reports why Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican and POW during the Vietnam War, also believes torture is a "stain" on America's national honor -- and ineffective to boot. (continued)
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)