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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Monday, November 02, 2009
US Words Thwart Middle East Peace
Two loud wake-up calls came in from the Middle East over the weekend. The next voice you hear will be from the U.S. House of Representatives, which will vote this week (perhaps as soon as Tuesday) on H.R. 867, an AIPAC-sponsored resolution denouncing the Goldstone Report. That's the UN fact-finding mission accusing Israel as well as Hamas of war crimes in Israel's attack on Gaza last December.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Politics Sparks Religious Conflict in Jerusalem
Arabs revere it as the "Noble Sanctuary." Jews revere it as the "Temple Mount." Everyone worries about it -- or should worry about it -- as a potential flashpoint for renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009
Obama's Israel-Palestine Gamble
President Barack Obama boasts that he's a good poker player. On Middle East policy, he seems to be betting all his chips on a high-stakes gamble. It's not clear yet, though, whether the gamble is working or what the ultimate outcome will be.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009
Diplomatic Suckerhood: Why Israel Is Fighting Toward its Own Demise
Israeli Jews are deeply worried about their nation’s image around the world, and with good reason. Military occupation is never a pretty sight, especially when the occupiers have been there for 42 years, steadily taking over the occupied people’s lands as the whole world watches on television and the internet. It’s not surprising that Israel gets so little sympathy when it complains about its image problem—which only makes many Israelis worry more about their public image.
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Hamas Getting on Board Peace Train
The most important developments in the Middle East peace process are often the ones that get the least notice in America's mass media. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Washington this week got a bit of notice, even though there wasn't much news to report. In a joint statement Barak and U.S. envoy George Mitchell said "they had discussed the full range of issues ... constructive and would soon continue," blah, blah, blah.
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Friday, June 26, 2009
Palestinian Violence Overstated, Jewish Violence Understated
The Israel Project hired pollster Stanley Greenberg to test American opinion on the Middle East conflict -- and got a big surprise. In September 2008, 69% of Americans called themselves pro-Israel. Now, it's only 49%. In September, the same 69% wanted the U.S. to side with Israel; now, only 44%.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Israeli Leader Reveals Why Israeli Shuns Negotiation
Israeli government officials are experts at finding excuses to avoid negotiating with Palestinians. Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Moshe Ya'alon, pulled out an old one the other day: "There is no partner on the Palestinian side, we just give, and we get nothing."
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009
'Palestinians' without 'Palestine'
"Obama welcomes Netanyahu acceptance of Palestinian state," the headlines blared. Well, at least that's settled. With the U.S. president having shown the Israeli prime minister who is boss, both are headed toward the same long-term goal of a two-state solution - or so it seems.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Annotate This: Obama's Speech on National Security
I hate to admit it, but I've been suckered by the Obama administration. A few weeks ago the secretary of State announced, in effect, that the "war on terror" was over. From now on, the mass media informed us, the United States would be fighting only "overseas contingency operations." There was so much buzz about the end of the war that I was moved to write a column , do radio interviews, the whole bit. Very exciting!
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Monday, May 18, 2009
CIA Briefs Obama for Talk with Netanyahu
Here's the CIA's briefing memo for President Obama, in preparation for his talk with Benjamin Netanyahu -- in my fantasy. If the CIA was really giving the president the information he needs, it would read something like this: Mr. President: The Israeli Prime Minister will tell you that he wants the Palestinians to have their own state. He'll also give you a laundry list of reasons why it can't happen yet, and not for a long time. You should ignore all that subterfuge and focus on what really matters -- what Netanyahu is thinking but not saying.
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