Israeli Ambassador to the United State, Michael Oren

‘If the Government Can Survive One Week, It’ll Survive a Month’: An Interview with Michael Oren

In a Moment Zoominar on Tuesday, historian and former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, who also served as a member of Israel’s 20th Knesset, spoke about Israel's new government. Watch the complete zoominar here. Can you give us a brief overview of this new coalition government? There are eight parties in this coalition. Naftali Bennett will be Prime Minister for two years; after that Yair Lapid, the centrist, will take over. The eight parties include, on the left, Meretz and Labor, and on the right, Gideon Sa'ar’s party, New Hope, as well as Naftali Bennett’s Yamina (“Rightwards”) party. And also in the coalition is the Blue and White party of Benny Gantz, the former Chief of Staff of the army and my former military attache at Washington. I know Benny quite well. We've had...

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Jo Kent Katz discusses ancestral trauma

Jo Kent Katz on the Continuing Impact of Ancestral Trauma

It takes a lot for me to trust that someone knows about, or cares about, the survival of my people. And I need to hear it, and I need to hear it several times, in order to quell the fear that I have inside of me that says that they don’t care, they don’t have our backs, and that we could all just be annihilated and that would be better according to whoever they are.

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Simon Henderson Q&A: Qatar’s Outsized Role in the Middle East

"Qatar does not support Hamas, Qatar supports the Palestinians,” Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah declared in a CNN interview that aired this week. Yet some questions remain. The small Middle Eastern country--which now-former Israeli president Shimon Peres recently called “the world’s largest funder of terror”--has been singled out for playing an outsized role in many of the region's current conflicts, including the war between Israel and Gaza. Simon Henderson, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and director of the Institute's Gulf and Energy Policy Program, answers a few questions about the country's involvement with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and more. Why did Qatar reportedly give Hamas $400 million in 2012? The 2012 visit to Gaza by the then-emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first real evidence that Qatar had decided to support Hamas in preference...

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#bringbackourboys image

Internet Round-Up: Who Does #BringBackOurBoys Really Help?

International shock and anger resounded after last week’s kidnapping of three Israeli youths in the West Bank, widely attributed to Hamas and deemed a “despicable terrorist act” by John Kerry. The flames of outrage have been fueled by a growing social media campaign known by the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys, launched by the University of Haifa Ambassadors in reference to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign that brought attention the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by terror group Boko Haram. The campaign has helped the Israeli kidnapping gain a similar viral awareness, with the hashtag receiving up to 2,800 Tweets per hour and the Facebook page up to 98,000 likes as of Wednesday. And its message -- “Children deserve life without being kidnapped by terrorists,” in the words of Ambassadors Network founder David Gurevich -- seems fairly hard to criticize. But, perhaps predictably, the campaign has still...

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Opinion: Gilad Shalit’s Negotiator, Gershon Baskin

On October 18 we mark two years from the remarkable day when the world waited with great anticipation to see Gilad Shalit stride from captivity into freedom, back onto Israeli soil and reunited with his family. Earlier this month, Shalit began his first term as a university student at the Interdisciplinary College Herzliya, studying economics and sustainability. Over the past year he has spoken to Jewish communities around the world, thanking them for their support while fundraising for Israel. Shalit has announced through his Facebook page that he has a girlfriend and that he is very happy. But recall for a moment where we were just a few short months before Oct. 18, 2011. On April 17, as the Shalit family was preparing to spend a fifth Passover with Gilad in Hamas captivity, headlines splashed throughout Israeli proclaiming...

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No Gaga Here: Extreme Summer Camps in the Middle East

By Rebecca Borison While I grew up at a Jewish summer camp playing Gaga, kids growing up in slightly (read: very) different areas than me are partaking in slightly (read: very) different activities in summer camp. The Times of Israel recently published two separate articles on Extreme Summer Camps. The first article discusses a Hamas-run Gaza summer camp, where “activities include walking on knives, cleaning beaches and experiencing life as a security prisoner in an Israeli jail.” Five days later, the Times of Israel released a second article about a right-wing camp in Ramat Migron, where the girls learn “self-defense techniques, how to construct temporary dwellings and basic agriculture.” So we have two camps representing the extremes of Israelis and Palestinians. But let’s take a closer look at these camps. We’ll start with camp “We will live honorably”...

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Now What? How Israel Should Respond to Palestinian Unity

By Sophie Taylor In light of the recent upheaval in the Middle East, Moment’s Niv Elis spoke to 16 experts on what the changes mean for Israel and how it should move forward in light of those changes. While the range of thinkers expounded upon many different scenarios, none could predict what happened next; today, the opposing Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo and proclaimed a unity deal, complicating peace efforts for Israel and the United States. Here are what a few of the thinkers in our roundup have had to say about the newest development: Aaron David Miller, who argued in Moment that Israel lacks a coherent strategy in the face of dramatic change, writes in Business Week:  "This peace at home will guarantee greater political conflict with both Israel and the U.S. and, if Palestinians...

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This Week's Links

By Michelle Albert Woody Allen speaks to NPR about his newest movie, the difference between life and fiction, and what he's like off camera. While religious hatred dominates the headlines, a rabbi reminds us that peaceful interfaith exchanges are, in reality, more widespread. Moment columnist Gershom Gorenberg traces racism across Jewish lines, in both America and Israel. An American Al-Qaeda member reveals his Jewish background. Hamas reportedly prevented an assassination attempt on former president Jimmy Carter during his trip to the West Bank. Tel Aviv hosts a wedding for five gay couples. How Jewish is your summer camp? This graph tells all. The best way to make zombies even scarier? Make them Nazis. The Bible is on Twitter.

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Hamas on Offensive in Gaza

By Jeremy Gillick As the Israeli election enters its final stretch (polls close at 10 P.M. Israel time), with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni surprisingly ahead in preliminary exit polls, Hamas continues its brutal crackdown on Fatah in the Gaza Strip. According to a report issued today by Amnesty International, since Israel's attack on Gaza began in late December, "Hamas forces and militias in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel, as well as opponents and critics." Amnesty claims that over twenty men have been killed by Hamas--both "collaborators" and members of Fatah--and "scores of others have been shot in the legs, kneecapped or inflicted with other injuries intended to cause permanent disability, subjected to severe beatings which...

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