Nissim Dahan's Blog (61)

Green Industrial Zones: A New Model for the Middle East


The following conversation took place between me, myself and I; three people I happen to know quite well:


What is your answer for the Middle East?

I would use Arab and Western capital and knowhow to build a Green Industrial Zone in Rafah, Gaza; where Gaza, Egypt and Israel converge, and where 300,000 Jews, Christians and Muslims would show up to work on a daily basis.

Why Rafah in particular? Isn’t that a…


Added by Nissim Dahan on January 18, 2012 at 7:16pm — No Comments

Gandhi, King and Mandela

Some of the strongmen of the Middle East are no longer in the picture, but who, and what, will come to replace them?

Yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Egypt is a case in point. Certainly, there was a sense of hope written on the faces of Egyptians who voted, as perhaps a first step in reclaiming their country. But who did they vote for? Undoubtedly, the Muslim Brotherhood will garner a strong position in the new government. But does that necessarily mean an end to democracy even…


Added by Nissim Dahan on November 29, 2011 at 11:59pm — No Comments

You're Also Right

My friend, Sagi Melamed, wrote this article. As you read it ask youreself this: How do you promote the cause of peace when both sides to a conflict believe they're right?

You’re Also Right

Sagi Melamed

There is a well-known story about a rabbi who was called upon to settle a dispute between two of his followers. The first man poured out his complaints to the rabbi, and when he finished, the rabbi said, “You’re right.” Then it was the second one’s turn. When he… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on November 3, 2011 at 4:56pm — No Comments

Two Hints That Peace May Be Possible

In this increasingly hostile world of ours, it is only natural to search for even the slightest hint that peace may be possible. As I watched the news last night, two such hints came into sharp focus right before my eyes. The first is Iran’s recent attempt to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. And the second is the imminent, God willing, release by Hamas of Gilad Shalit, a captive Israeli soldier, in exchange for the release of approximately 1000 Palestinian prisoners being held in…


Added by Nissim Dahan on October 13, 2011 at 12:00am — 26 Comments

So It's Freedom You Want?

People the world over cry out for “freedom,” but how often do we sit down and think about what it really means to be free?

Over the years, different people the world over embraced different interpretations of “freedom.”

Janice Joplin used to sing of freedom as “…nothing left to lose.” Is that what it means to be free? Or is that the state of mind that is needed to put everything on the line, and to venture forth in search of freedom?

The framers of the U.S.… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on September 25, 2011 at 10:30pm — 23 Comments

9/11 and The Arab Spring

In this ambiguous world of ours it is often difficult to find moral clarity, even when it comes to seemingly black and white issues like 9/11 and the Arab Spring. And the question arises therefore: How do we bring moral clarity to a world that is mired in confusion and chaos?

The Taliban were not exactly a friendly bunch when they ran things in Afghanistan. They made life difficult for the people with their distorted version of Islam. They kept women covered up and hidden away in…


Added by Nissim Dahan on September 11, 2011 at 11:00pm — 14 Comments

Are Turkey and Israel Kissing Cousins Again?

Relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained to the breaking point, ever since nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara tried to run Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and were killed by Israeli naval commandos in May of last year. In the years preceding this incident, relations between the two countries were relatively good, including strategic cooperation, tourism, economic cooperation, and the like. But since the Mavi Marmara affair, any attempt at rapprochement by Israel was met… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on August 11, 2011 at 11:16pm — 19 Comments

A Day at the Beach

A friend of mine brought to my attention a recent article by Ethan Bronner in The New York Times, Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach. The article describes a group of Israeli women who engage in civil disobedience by sneaking into Israel groups of Palestinian women to enjoy a day at the beach. The Israeli women, who call themselves We Will Not Obey, are willing to break the law to send the message that in their opinion, the occupation, with its attendent… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on July 28, 2011 at 7:31pm — No Comments

Is the Boycott Law Good for Israel?

In the Wild, Wild West, American settlers used to “circle the wagons” when their wagon train came under attack. Some of Israel’s lawmakers are doing something similar in our time.

Faced with a barrage of international criticisms, and with a concerted campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state, and with mounting calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, some lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to pass laws which are intended to stem the tide of widespread condemnation of Israel’s… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on July 17, 2011 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Happy Birthday America

Granted, I may be somewhat biased in this regard, but to my mind at least, the United States of America is the greatest country on earth, and probably the greatest country that ever was, and unfortunately, every once in a while, it comes time to prove it. This is such a time.

The problems which sit stubbornly at America’s doorstep are numerous and overwhelming: a huge debt burden that threatens future generations, a slow economy that is slow to rebound, high unemployment, two wars… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on July 5, 2011 at 10:03pm — No Comments

A New Model for the Middle East

The Mubarak model is out. The extremists, however, are ready, willing and able to put their model in place. It is important, therefore, for those who seek freedom to put a new model on the table, one that inspires a sense of hope, one that competes effectively for hearts and minds, and one that points to the possibility of peace, prosperity and freedom, on the Arab street, in the Muslim world, and in the world as a whole.

And what will this new model look like? It will look like a… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on June 3, 2011 at 11:48pm — 1 Comment

Palestine: How Will She Come Into Being?

The recent agreement in April between Fatah and Hamas has paved the way for Palestinians to act unilaterally, this coming September, to ask the U.N. to declare a Palestinian State on the basis of the 1967 borders. By some estimates, Palestinians will receive 140 votes in favor, when only 128 votes will be needed. The only real question that remains is: Will a Palestinian State come into being unilaterally, or as a result of a last minute negotiated settlement between Israel and… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on May 16, 2011 at 2:03am — No Comments

The Means to an End

Every once in a while we come to believe that the ends justify the means. But most of the time we scramble to find the means to a given end. And if we don’t find the right means, then the end we seek will not be found, no matter how justified it is.

There is no question in my mind that much of what is happening on the Arab street can be explained as the fervent wish of some very well-intentioned people to shake off the oppressive yoke of the past, and to open the door to a brighter… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on April 28, 2011 at 12:01am — No Comments

Extremism Knows No Bounds

It seems, at times, that there are no limits to extremism. I guess that’s why they call it “extremism.”

The recent murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, age 36, comes to mind, although there are numerous examples to be found in all the nooks and crannies of the Middle East. Vittorio was an Italian activist and journalist, who chose to live in Gaza since 2008, and who championed the rights of Palestinians for the last several years. He was abducted quite recently by a radical Islamic group… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on April 20, 2011 at 3:02am — No Comments

Yes or No to Peace?

Peace between Israel and Palestine is becoming even more important now than ever before. There are, however, forces at work which are pushing the peace process forward, and others which are holding it back.

Both Netanyahu and Abbas are coming under considerable pressure to show some measure of progress on the peace front. Abbas has expressed his intent to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders, in September 2011. Presumably, if such recognition were to be… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on April 6, 2011 at 10:57pm — No Comments

Half Measures with No Clear Vision in Sight

Where is the vision? Where are we heading? And how do we get there?

For some reason, when it comes to the Middle East, people the world over seem to content themselves with half measures and short-sighted thinking. We feel good about doing something, anything for that matter, even if it has little bearing on the problem at hand, or no chance of bringing about a long term solution.

Take, as an example, the current military campaign in Libya, which is being undertaken by… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on March 24, 2011 at 11:15pm — No Comments

Doing Justice to the Martyrs

It’s one thing to bring about a revolution; it’s quite another to bring about revolutionary change.

There are people dying, even as we speak, on the streets of the Middle East. Mohammed Bouazizi of Tunisia set himself on fire, and in one fell swoop, set the entire region ablaze. But to what end?

Like Martin Luther King, the man on the street has a dream. And his dream is not all that difficult to fathom. He wants the dignity of a decent job, and the freedom to live his life as… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on March 4, 2011 at 11:22pm — No Comments

The Head of State vs. The Man on the Street

Mohammed Bouazizi was an educated young man, from Sidi Abu Zeid, a small town in Tunisia, who entered the job market that had no jobs. To support his mother and sister, he undertook, without a license, to sell vegetables on the street. When the authorities confiscated his vegetable cart, insulted him, and refused to hear his grievances, he proceeded to set himself on fire, and in due course, to set the entire Middle East ablaze.

What does Mohammed’s act of self-immolation mean? It… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on February 13, 2011 at 11:45pm — No Comments

Billionaires for Peace



Added by Nissim Dahan on October 25, 2010 at 5:01am — No Comments

This Time Around, Can We Tip The Balance In Favor Of Peace?

On the eve of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, we should ask ourselves if this time around we will find a way to work together to tip the balance in favor of peace. Some may say that we’ve been down this road before; been there, done that. And as we all know, peace has remained an illusory dream at best. But I would not give up so easily. This time around, there may be a good chance to cut a deal, not because the key players love one another, God forbid, but because they face… Continue

Added by Nissim Dahan on August 23, 2010 at 4:14am — No Comments


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