ARI foreign policy expert Elan Journo went on Facebook Live yesterday to share his perspective on the Trump administration’s controversial announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the video, Journo evaluates the administration’s decision and considers the wider implications for America’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dizzyingly complicated. Tomorrow, June 12, Elan Journo — author of a new book on the conflict and America’s stake in it — looks at how intellectuals conceptualize and debate the issue, and spotlights the distinctive value of an Objectivist perspective on it.
Lately we've seen a whole flurry of articles — many of them overstated — about the influence of Ayn Rand on some of Trump's cabinet picks, and in that there's some (qualified) good news. Now comes this heartening news story: Israel's newspaper of record, Haaretz, reports that the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen in parliament reading a book by an Objectivist historian, the late John David Lewis.
When they read about a “wave of knife, gun and vehicular attacks targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians,” most people recognize it as murder or, broadly, terrorism. But in a fascinating report, the Washington Post underscores how “Palestinian society struggles with” how to describe such murderous assaults.
What do Palestinians think of Israel? What do they believe about the legitimacy and efficacy of violent attacks? Daniel Polisar, a political scientist, examined more than 330 opinion surveys, carried out by reputable polling organizations, to find answers. What he pieced together is profoundly unsettling. More so than you might have supposed.
To many Americans, the spate of random stabbings and car-ramming attacks in Israel, often carried out by young Palestinians, seems unfathomable. One significant reason such attacks are hard to understand is that a lot of Americans assume that basically everyone everywhere wants the same things: a good life for themselves, a bright future for their children. But that life-affirming orientation is far from universal. Yet that assumption has shaped the common view of the Palestinian cause. The result: it subverts our ability to understand what animates that cause.
Imagine you’re a foreign journalist in Israel, and one day, visiting Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, you observe this scene: men clad all in black stand in military formation, lifting their right arms in a Nazi-style salute. They stand with their boots on Israeli flags, draped on the ground. Nearby, actors play dead Israeli soldiers. Behind the first formation, another row of men carry banners of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The rally, in support of that jihadist group, draws hundreds of university students. Some of them return the Nazi-style salute. Al-Quds University, a mainstream institution, has had partnerships with Brandeis and Bard Universities.