The Middle East dispute
The dispute over Palestine has had a central role in global politics since the 1940's.
- A personal view of the Middle East conflict
- This conflict has endured for over 60 years. It matters because of the status of Jerusalem and because many see the conflict as a religious one. Achieving peace requires difficult concessions from both parties but a two state agreement is the only realistically acceptable solution. It is essential for Israel to avoid policies that would make a two state solution impossible.
- Review of "In Ishmael’s House – A History of Jews in Muslim Lands" by Martin Gilbert
Sir Martin Gilbert is an eminent historian and Winston Churchill's official biographer. He covers the period from the beginning of Islam to the end of the 20'th century. Under Muslim rulers, special rules applied to Jews (and Christians). Overall, Jews were better treated than Jews in Christian Europe, but periods of tolerance were interspersed with periods of persecution. In the 20'th century, the rise of Zionism led to increasing persecution of Jews by Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa, culminating in the expulsion of their Jewish populations.
- Advocating Israel to Muslims
- “How should supporters of Israel get its message across to Muslims?” I had to think about that question when speaking at an Israel advocacy event.
- An Israel for all Israelis
- Does Israel exist for all of its citizens, or only for the 80% who are Jewish? The Israeli national anthem is problematical for its non-Jewish citizens as is the new requirement that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state in any peace agreement.
- Interview given to Children of Peace
- I have been a friend of this charity for over a year. I recently gave them an interview which summarises my thoughts on the Middle East dispute.
- "The Road to Mecca" by Muhammad Asad
- Muhammad Asad was born as Leopold Weiss in Poland, but became one of the most famous Muslims of the twentieth century. This autobiography covers his first 32 years. It paints a vivid picture of his early life, recreates the Middle East of the 1920's, explains what brought him to Islam, and reflects upon the radical message of the Prophet (pbuh).
- “Old New Land (Altneuland)” by Theodor Herzl
- A novel by the founder of modern Zionism, setting out his utopian vision for the future of Palestine.
- Reflections on visiting Yad Vashem
- Yad Vashem is the most important centre documenting and commemorating the Jews who died during the Holocaust. I visited it at the beginning of 2010, and found it very moving.
- Is Israel criticised unfairly?
- Israelis often complain that their country is criticised while other countries which behave much worse are not, and that this is unfair.
- Anti-Semitism amongst Muslims – a personal view
- I feel strongly about anti-Semitism, but it grieves me most when find it amongst fellow Muslims because I believe that we should be "the best of people."
- Letter to Israeli ambassador about the Gaza flotilla and blockade
- There were been demonstrations in London about Israel's attack on 31 May 2010 on the flotilla carrying supplies to Gaza. I have never been on a demonstration, and prefer to work by other means. In that regard, I wrote an open letter to the Israeli ambassador in London
- Reflections on visiting Auschwitz
- I regard the Holocaust as the ultimate in human depravity. In 2009 with some other Muslims and Jews I visited Auschwitz, and wrote this afterwards to share how I felt about it.
- "The Israel lobby and US foreign policy" - a blueprint for British Muslims
- British Muslims often complain about the influence of the Israel lobby in the USA and the UK. However, for me the key message is that instead of complaining, we need to learn from their commitment to political engagement.
- Gaza and the need for peace now
- This was written the day after Israel started bombing Gaza at the end of 2008, before the ground invasion in January 2009. I was outraged, but decided to focus on the future and the urgent need for a permanent peace.
- "The Jewish State" by Theodor Herzl
- This short book was the founding text of modern Zionism. The seeds of the Middle East conflict can be found inside it.
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