Ahed Tamimi: The Mandela of Palestine?

Tikkun Inner Editorial Board member Mark LeVine recounts meeting Ahed Tamimi five years ago: “I texted my daughter, who was then about 8, a picture of Ahed, with the caption ‘This is the bravest girl I’ve ever met and I hope you grow up to be like her.'”

Why Security Council Resolution 2334 Matters a Lot More Than We Think

Those who long ago succumbed to cynicism and hopelessness when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can find many reasons to discount the importance of Security Council Resolution 2334, passed unanimously (14-0 with the U.S. as the only abstention) on December 23. It is certainly true that Israel will ignore and indeed work actively to undermine the Resolution just as it has ignored innumerable other resolutions demanding a halt to settlement construction or expansion. As one activist tweeted shortly after its passage, in all likelihood Israel will expand the seizure of Palestinian land and construction of settlements just to thumb its nose at the UN (and the departing President Obama) and to demonstrate the irrelevance of the UN when it comes to the Occupation. Observers looking for historical precedent will find it in the many other Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that Israel has ignored over the decades. As many journalists have pointed out, Obama has had the worst record of any recent President when it comes to Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel, vetoing every one that was put for a vote until last week.

Angry Jews on the Freedom Bus

“We have to change the way we talk about and relate to the State of Israel. And we have to do it now.”

So declared one of the almost dozen Jewish participants in the most recent Freedom Bus ride through Palestine. I recently traveled the length and breadth of the West Bank on the annual Freedom Bus trip sponsored by the Jenin Freedom Theatre, a cultural center and theater based in the Jenin refugee camp. Despite having spent more than two decades living in, working on, and writing about Palestine/Israel, I was struck by the intensity of traveling through frontline communities in the unending struggle over land in the West Bank. Reading a Haaretz headline declaring that “Israel authorizes record amount of West Bank land for settlement construction” is one thing; experiencing the realities of constant settlement expansion from the perspective of the residents whose lives are most directly and deleteriously impacted by it, is quite another.

Accounting for Egyptians’ Exuberance for Violence

It was very hard to come to grips with the fact that on the third anniversary of the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution, tens of thousands of Egyptians were chanting nationalist slogans while waving photos, placards, banners and posters of General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, exhibiting a kind of hero worship and cult of personality that was unimaginable in the Mubarak era.

American Mass Murder: A Toxic Cultural Brew

Whatever psychological diagnosis ultimately gets pinned to him, Holmes and the act that will forever define him—as he hoped it would—were the products of a peculiarly American set of cultural experiences, values, and motivation, which hold the key to understanding how and the United States seems to produce such a disproportionate number of people who engage in acts of seemingly senseless mass murder.