israel

Commentary & Opinion
12:47 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Herbert London: The War With Palestinians

The “Palestinian cause” is once again on the front burner of U.N. deliberations because of the war between Israel and Hamas. Moreover, this cause has for decades formed the pan Arab solidarity rallying cry. Yet, remarkably, Arab states rather than rectify “the problem” exacerbate it with perpetual conflict that serves a political goal, but no practical purpose for the hapless constituents in the area.

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The Roundtable
9:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

8/18/14 Panel

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain, and College of St. Rose Communications Professor, Mary Alice Molgard.

Topics include:
Ferguson
Rick Perry
Governor Cuomo back from Israel
Schenectady Shelter scrutinized
Obama v. Media

New York News
11:18 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Campaign Cash For Israel Trip Kosher?

Credit C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

A member of a government reform group says it’s OK if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his campaign coffers to finance this week’s trip to Israel if the visit is for political, rather than government purposes.

Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says it’s preferable for Governor Cuomo to use funds from his $35 million  campaign fund to pay for his visit to Israel than for state taxpayers to foot the bill.  Horner says by using the campaign money, Cuomo is also signaling that the trip is more of a political event than official government business.

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World News
4:22 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

NY Gov Offers 'Total Solidarity' For Israel

New York's governor is visiting Israel, where he is expressing "total solidarity" with the country in the monthlong Gaza war.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, as Israeli and Palestinian delegations were engaged in talks in Egypt over a long-term cease-fire and new arrangements for Gaza.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:50 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Herb London: President Obama's Ramadan Speech

On the first day of Ramadan, June 28, President Obama delivered an address for the Muslim faithful in the United States. In this address he expressed sympathy for Gazans, especially those who have had Ramadan celebrations foiled by Israeli missiles.

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New York News
6:18 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Gov. Cuomo, NY Officials To Visit Israel Tuesday

Credit WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

As fighting there continues, Governor Andrew Cuomo and other top New York lawmakers fly off to Israel Tuesday for what's being described as a  “unity trip.”  

Cuomo said in a statement New York has a "special relationship" with Israel and that he's proud to be leading the bipartisan visit to "reaffirm our friendship and support."  Cuomo,  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein plan to meet with Israeli leaders and visit residents affected by the fighting.

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Congressional Corner
10:50 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Congressional Corner With Bill Owens

Credit photo provided

    Fighting between Israel and Hamas has distressed much of the world.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Bill Owens tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that there are no easy answers.

Commentary & Opinion
3:59 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Stephen Gottlieb: A Blessing On Both Their Houses

Listeners and readers of my commentary know that I have spoken out against what I believe is Israeli misbehavior. So I get flooded with one-sided petitions condemning Israeli behavior. To make myself completely clear, I see merit and fault on both sides. I will not sign one-sided petitions.

I am reminded of my conversation with a Palestinian student who argued with me that Palestinians have the right to kill Israelis, any Israelis, military or civilian, and they have no right to shoot back, only to accept their fate. I questioned him to make sure I was hearing him accurately. What he was making clear was the attitude, or brain-washing, that dehumanized the other side. That is the attitude we have to fight against. There is plenty of sin to go around, plenty of decent behavior to admire, but I will not participate in the dehumanization of either side to this controversy. And no just solution will result from seeing the crimes only on one side. Peace is universal and bilateral.

And that’s the problem. Public opinion works like a pendulum – it swings but it doesn’t stop. No doubt my commentary on the war in the Middle East is ineffective, not only because I am just one small voice among many, but because I am trying to stop the pendulum, even while believing it virtually impossible to do. I pray for leaders with the wisdom to bring this debacle to an end, but leaders are political and what they see is one-sided passion, not the cool calculation which might calm this situation down for the benefit of both sides.

There are repeated stories about some Israelis and some Palestinians coming together trying to humanize the other and bring a peaceful attitude. There are combined orchestras, movie and television productions, poetry and study groups, and individual people reaching out. But their efforts seem quixotic. The great mass of Israelis and Palestinians never get to know each other on human terms. That is partly the cultural consequence of a part of the world in which tolerance is seen as leaving each group to be educated by their own. Jews go to school with Jews, Palestinians with Palestinians, and there is no one in either set of schools to say this is libelous, that’s not true, it didn’t happen that way. So we get the same hyperbole that we get in any crowd, or mob. To be fair the Israeli press is much more open and much more contentious about these issues than our own and I believe than the Palestinian press. But the constituency of people, on both sides, who can see the other’s humanity and support peace, support it through adversity, is small.

I commented last week that whenever peace looms, someone kills someone on the other side and in the process kills peace as well. Of course we have negotiated peace while hostilities were still going on in various parts of the world. But in the Middle East everyone insists that the other lay down arms, and that the other is responsible for every weapon used, especially when there is discussion about peace. So it becomes possible for anyone and everyone to veto peace via political murder. It’s as if the Archduke of Austria is killed every week in the Middle East and the governments of Israel and Palestine see no alternative to renewed fighting – the murderers run both states.

Somehow, I don’t claim to know how, we have to develop a movement for peace, for mutual respect, not for taking sides.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:51 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Herbert London: Moral Equivalence In The Israeli War with Hamas?

The winds of moral equivalence in the Middle East are persistent. As the war between terrorists in Gaza and the Israeli government escalates, the media resists the idea of taking sides. CNN contends there are valid positions on both sides of the divide. Ethan Bonner, The New York Times correspondent contends the wall separating Gaza from Israel and Israel from the West Bank is the real impediment to peace.

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WAMC News
4:59 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Mass. U.S. Senator Markey Weighs In On Ukraine And Gaza

U.S. Senator Ed Markey accepting the Massachusetts' Democratic Party's nomination this June in Worcester.
Credit Jim Levulis / WAMC

A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine. It’s unclear if it was shot down as it was flying over an area wracked by separatist insurgency.

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