Most of the time, the world outside America consisted of three Is and (toward the end) a single C: the threat of a nuclear Iran, the need to stand with Israel, the wisdom of going into Iraq nearly a decade ago and of maintaining a troop presence there now, and finally the menace of job-stealing, currency-manipulating China. Europe surfaced just once, and then only in a list of regions where the US had strong alliances, alongside Africa and Asia. India, home to a billion people and a rising power, was mentioned not at all.
Jonathan Freedland, America Forgets the World
Zena el Khalil, After the Occupation

In 1982, the Israeli army officially took control of the entire South Lebanon region and decided the village of Zena el Khalil’s grandfather was a strategic military point. He had to stop construction on his house in order to accommodate the army. “The occupiers finished building the home my Grandpa started. Except, instead of providing rooms for a growing family, they built interrogation booths, holding cells, torture rooms, and of course, bureaucratic offices. Right next to our oak tree. Right on top of the very same building they had blown up only a few years before.” Eighteen years later, Zena and her family would finally return home.

Photo: Lebanon, August, 2006 (Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos)

Zena el Khalil, After the Occupation

In 1982, the Israeli army officially took control of the entire South Lebanon region and decided the village of Zena el Khalil’s grandfather was a strategic military point. He had to stop construction on his house in order to accommodate the army. “The occupiers finished building the home my Grandpa started. Except, instead of providing rooms for a growing family, they built interrogation booths, holding cells, torture rooms, and of course, bureaucratic offices. Right next to our oak tree. Right on top of the very same building they had blown up only a few years before.” Eighteen years later, Zena and her family would finally return home.

Photo: Lebanon, August, 2006 (Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos)

William Pfaff

The terrorist shootings in Toulouse and Montauban in France last week were, among other things, another episode in the war that for nearly a half century has been going on between Zionism and the Palestinians, in which Western Europe and the United States have suffered much collateral damage. The night before he was killed in a police raid, Mohammed Merah—the radicalized French-Algerian who shot and killed three French soldiers and grievously wounded a fourth, and then killed three children and a teacher at a Jewish school—told police that his murder of the children and the father of two of them (a rabbi who taught religion at the school) was a spontaneous decision; he was actually setting out to kill more soldiers. But Merah said he felt shooting them was justified as revenge for the killing of Palestine children by the March 24 Israeli airstrike on Gaza—a strike that was retaliation for previous rocket attacks on southern Israel from Gaza, which themselves were claimed as retaliation for an Israeli “targeted killing” of March 14 in reprisal for previous rocketing from Gaza. To borrow a phrase, so it goes.

Dimi Reider, Israel: The Knesset vs. Democracy

This should be a year in which Israeli democracy is much on display. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been reconfirmed as head of the right-leaning Likud Party, seems to be pushing for early national elections; while candidates to lead the centrist Kadima Party, the main opposition party, are now campaigning for their March 27 primary. But even as the country prepares for its most important democratic exercise, a far-reaching series of laws now pending or already passed by the Knesset suggests Israel is moving in an alarmingly anti-democratic direction.

(Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Dimi Reider, Israel: The Knesset vs. Democracy

This should be a year in which Israeli democracy is much on display. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been reconfirmed as head of the right-leaning Likud Party, seems to be pushing for early national elections; while candidates to lead the centrist Kadima Party, the main opposition party, are now campaigning for their March 27 primary. But even as the country prepares for its most important democratic exercise, a far-reaching series of laws now pending or already passed by the Knesset suggests Israel is moving in an alarmingly anti-democratic direction.

(Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Richard Goldstone’s much-discussed retraction of key findings in his committee’s report on the 2009 Gaza war has produced in Israel a predictable burst of self-congratulation. From the prime minister on down, the message from the Israeli government is a defiant “We told you so!” spoken from the always-privileged vantage point of an innocent victim wrongly accused. Along with this, we have an updated Israeli version of the Prodigal Son; Goldstone, a South African former judge and liberal Zionist of the old school, has supposedly come (rather shamefacedly) back home.

David Shulman, Goldstone’s Retreat?

Photo: Richard Goldstone, Gaza City, June 3, 2009 (Ashraf Amra/AP Photo)

Richard Goldstone’s much-discussed retraction of key findings in his committee’s report on the 2009 Gaza war has produced in Israel a predictable burst of self-congratulation. From the prime minister on down, the message from the Israeli government is a defiant “We told you so!” spoken from the always-privileged vantage point of an innocent victim wrongly accused. Along with this, we have an updated Israeli version of the Prodigal Son; Goldstone, a South African former judge and liberal Zionist of the old school, has supposedly come (rather shamefacedly) back home.

David Shulman, Goldstone’s Retreat?

Photo: Richard Goldstone, Gaza City, June 3, 2009 (Ashraf Amra/AP Photo)

“For the last two or three years, we’ve been seeing a very consistent trend of younger Israelis becoming increasingly right-wing,” Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion analyst, told me. Last year, Scheindlin carried out a survey on behalf of the Kulanana Shared Citizenship Initiative that showed eroding support for democratic values among Israeli youth, at least insofar as the rights of non-Jews go. One question in the survey asked whether there should be “Equal access to state resources, equal opportunities [for] all citizens.” Among Jewish respondents between the ages of 16-29, a mere 43 percent agreed.

Eyal Press, Young Israelis: A Turn to the Right?

Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

“For the last two or three years, we’ve been seeing a very consistent trend of younger Israelis becoming increasingly right-wing,” Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion analyst, told me. Last year, Scheindlin carried out a survey on behalf of the Kulanana Shared Citizenship Initiative that showed eroding support for democratic values among Israeli youth, at least insofar as the rights of non-Jews go. One question in the survey asked whether there should be “Equal access to state resources, equal opportunities [for] all citizens.” Among Jewish respondents between the ages of 16-29, a mere 43 percent agreed.

Eyal Press, Young Israelis: A Turn to the Right?

Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images