Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of"American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea."

Articles by this author

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Friday, September 03, 2010
Skeptics Could Doom Mideast Peace Talks to Fail
It's easy to be skeptical about the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that have just begun. It might even be just a little bit fun. Skepticism puts you in with the in crowd - the swelling chorus of progressive pundits who predict that the talks are bound to fail, because Israel wants them to fail. Predicting failure gives you a chance to recount all the Israeli policies that block the path to peace: expanding settlements, maintaining military occupation in the West Bank, economically strangling Gaza, stirring up the fuel that keeps Fatah and Hamas split, and on and on.
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Monday, July 12, 2010
The Hypocrisy of Preaching Nonviolence to Palestinians
Nicholas Kristof is in Palestine, though like all mass media journalists he calls it "the West Bank." He has just discovered that many Palestinians are resisting the Israeli occupation nonviolently, though scholars of nonviolence started writing about the Palestinian resistance over 20 years ago. So Kristof is "waiting for Gandhi," as the title of his latest New York Times column puts it, or at least a "Palestinian version of Martin Luther King Jr."
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Friday, May 28, 2010
Gaza Flotilla: This is What Smart Strategy Looks Like
The flotilla of ships currently on its way to Gaza, loaded with relief supplies, is not big news in the U.S., yet. But it's making headlines in Israel and causing plenty of concern there. So this seems like an especially good time to continue the conversation about strategy among those of us working for a just peace between Israel and Palestine.
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Monday, May 17, 2010
How Many US Progressives Please the Right-Wing Israel Lobby
I was rather baffled by many of the comments to a column I posted last week. I offered what I thought was a modest and quite harmless suggestion: You should urge your representative in Congress to sign the Kind-Delahunt letter, which calls on the president to make strong efforts to move Israelis and Palestinians toward a two-state solution.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010
Israel Provocation Gives US Leaders a Chance to Be Strong and Right
Advocates of Middle East peace are circulating a letter in the U.S. House of Representatives, urging President Obama to "continue your strong efforts to bring U.S. leadership to bear in moving the parties toward a negotiated two-state solution." The key word is "strong." It's easy enough to say we want peace and a two-state solution. To take the steps necessary to make it happen, including putting serious pressure on Israel, is something else again. That's what it means for a leader to be strong.
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Friday, May 07, 2010
Blood or Treasure? Obama’s Crucial Choice in the Middle East
Writing about U.S. Middle East policy used to be a boring job. You'd start out with "The U.S. supports Israel's stand on..." and then just fill in the details. No longer. Many pundits claim to smell the winds of policy change blowing from the White House. Every word about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the president or his advisors is now parsed by journalists like so many soothsayers studying oracle bones.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Why AIPAC Feels 'Like Shit'
I just ran across a couple of noteworthy quotes from members of AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful organization in the much-dreaded "Israel lobby" -- which began its annual meeting in Washington on Monday:
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Pentagon Tells Obama to Press Israel for Peace
Israeli relations are worse now than they've been in 35 years, according to Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. And you've got to wonder why.
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Monday, January 18, 2010
Martin Luther King's Legacy and Israel's Future: Stepping Beyond Fear
Every year, apologists for Israel's occupation of Palestine eagerly await Martin Luther King Day. Then they trot out these words, spoken by Dr. King shortly before his death: "When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews; you are talking anti-Semitism."
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Monday, January 11, 2010
Israel Giving Gas Masks to Babies
There’s good news for the children of Israel. Every one of them will soon be getting candy, for free, from their government. Are the Israelis returning to the socialist spirit of their founding fathers? Not quite.
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