Jerusalem, 6 October (ENI)--The Council of the Religious Institutions of the Holy Land has expressed "grave concern" over the 3 October burning by militant Israeli settlers of a mosque in the West Bank village of Beit Fajar near Bethlehem.
No one has anatomized the misadventures of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with greater historical perspective or critical acuity than Andrew Bacevich. He is among our indispensable intellectuals, all the more so now that the cartoonish figure of George W. Bush has been removed from the equation.
I travel to the Middle East at least once each year, often visiting
multiple countries. I belong to an evangelical-Muslim discussion group
which meets annually, and the participants include pious, brilliant,
generous Muslim scholars whom I count as my friends. When a topic like
"Islamophobic America" comes up, I share intense personal e-mails with
them. But I came away from my trip to the Middle East this past summer with some new concerns.
Mubarak Awad, a Greek Orthodox Catholic influenced by Quakers and Mennonites, could have become the Palestinian Gandhi. After his father was killed by Jewish freedom fighters in 1948, his mother taught her children to turn the other cheek. In 1983 Awad opened the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the aim of fomenting mass nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation. His peaceful efforts got him kicked out of the country in 1988. He now teaches nonviolence at American University. He remains optimistic about the prospects of nonviolent resistance in the Middle East, but fears the current conflict between Israel and Gaza is driving more people into the extremist camp (Newsweek, August 11).