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MiddleEast

How the 1967 war changed the shape of Israel

THE SIX-DAY WAR increased Israel’s territory threefold. The “borders of Auschwitz” were gone; the vulnerable nine-mile narrow waist acquired a thick cuirass with the mountains of the West Bank. Israel soon annexed East Jerusalem with some surrounding land; it did the same with the Golan Heights in 1981.

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, borders, political, Middle East.

Source: www.economist.com

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why [Updated]

“After four-plus years of fighting, Syria’s war has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. And, though it started as a civil war, it’s become much more than that. It’s a proxy war that has divided much of the Middle East, and has drawn in both Russia and the United States. To understand how Syria got to this place, it helps to start at the beginning and watch it unfold.”

Source: www.youtube.com

Over a year ago I posted a previous version of this video highlighting the complexities behind the Syrian war.  Much has happened since then and this updated version adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  

 

TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

Hijab: Veiled in Controversy

Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, most notably expressed in women’s clothing that covers most of the body.

Source: www.nationalgeographic.org

What is the geography of the hijab?  Covering one’s head pre-dates Islam in the Middle East but many associate this practice strictly with Islam and only for women. Read this article (with teaching tips and supplemental resources) for more context on this cultural and religious practice.

Tags: Islam, perspective, religion, culture, National Geographic.

Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas

The president is expected to sign his new, more limited rule Monday.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

It’s hard to discuss this topic in detail without a partisan political views.  Underneath all of those opinions are geographic perspective about how the world works as well as geographical imaginations on how things should operate. 

 

Tags: migrationrefugees, war, political, terrorism, ISISMiddle East, conflict.

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs

 

Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth; researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.” That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.

 

Tags: drought, water, environment, Israeltechnology, Middle East.

Source: www.scientificamerican.com

Israeli settlements, explained

Both sides claim the West Bank as legitimately belonging to them. Over time, and especially as Israeli politics has shifted rightward, the settler movement has become an institutionalized part of Israeli society. Support comes in the form of building permits, public investment, and even incentives for Israelis to move into the West Bank. While peace talks remain frozen, the settlements continue to grow, making any possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank faint.”

Source: www.youtube.com

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, but since the U.S. has always vetoed sanctions in the UN security council, Israel had never been formally reprimanded.  Just last week, a UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.” 

Questions to Ponder: What is the two-state solution?  Who favors this plan?  What are some reasons why the two-state solution is so difficult to achieve?

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, territoriality, political, Middle East.

Video: Step Into a Refugee Camp

The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is one of the largest Syrian camps in the world. In the fall, we visited the camp live with our audience. Here’s what we heard from the refugees and from you.

Source: www.nytimes.com

If you want to humanize the massive refugee crisis, and have lives and stories to connect to statistics, this 11 minute video shows what life is like in a refugee camp, and goes into the hopes, dreams, and life stories of the refugees. 

 

TagsMiddleEast, Jordan, Syria, political, refugees.

Amid ISIS and Syria, Let’s Not Forget The Quest for Peace In Israel/Palestine

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has rarely been so far from finding a resolution. Since the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas during the summer of 2014, the desire to seek peace has been diminishing, and instead growing tensions have prevailed, punctuated by stabbings and car-ramming attacks by the Palestinians, and violent acts including arson by the settlers. Yet, the climate has rarely been so favorable to a resolution of the conflict. The chaos that is sweeping the Middle East has been a game-changer in relation to Israel and the Arab countries.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Many Palestinians and Israeli are fearful of a possible breakout of ISIS out of Syria and into Gaza and the West Bank. According to the authors of the op-ed, Europe needs to come together and provide leadership and a plan to enforce so that these issues do not reoccur. The last 17 years have been filled with failed attempts but breaking this cycle of violence is not impossible. 

 

Tagsop-ed, Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, Middle East.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that powerfully divides the international community.  Of those living within the state of Israel, Pew Research data shows that they are often deeply divided based on religious affiliation. Not surprisingly, those divisions extend into how they view the peace process, West Bank settlements and U.S. support.  Although the conflict is portrayed as a battle between religious groups, it can be more fairly assessed as two nationalistic groups competing for land.  Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has sided with the Palestinians, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have defended Israel.   In the United Nation’s Security Council, the United States’ veto power has been use to strike down resolutions that would condemn Israeli settlement in the militarily occupied lands of the West Bank.  The 2016 UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”

 

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, and the UN has condemned them, but since the U.S. has always vetoed this, Israel has never been formally reprimanded.  Earlier this week, the U.S. abstained from the vote, and the many see the U.S. position as hypocritical, (Secretary of State John Kerry strongly defended the position).

 

Some highly partisan supporters of Israel do not see Israel’s actions as the problem, primarily because Israel’s neighbors have traditionally not recognized its right to exist, and attacked it many times.  Therefore, they see Israel’s actions as necessary for the security of Israel, and do not see Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as illegal since Palestine isn’t a state that was ever legally accepted. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, political, Middle East.

Source: geographyeducation.org

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