Religion

Behind the War with Boko Haram

The Nigerian and U.S. flags carried together in parade on the campus of the American University of NIgeria in Yola, celebrating AUN’s tenth anniversary. (Photo credit: Don North)

Exclusive: Last April, much of the world was horrified when the Boko Haram rebels of northern Nigeria kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls and vowed to marry them off. But the violence in Africa’s richest country has a complex back story of religion, ignorance, corruption and injustice, as Don North explains.

Christians Who Ignore the Real Jesus

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many American Christians see themselves as devout followers of the theological Jesus but don’t want to know much about the historical Jesus, the nonviolent radical who called on his followers to resist social injustice, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The Battle for Palestine — Part Three

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (Photo credit: Jim Wallace of the Smithsonian Institution)

Special Report: For nearly seven decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fed into growing Mideast extremism, now including hyper-violent Islamic fundamentalism. But does this tortured history offer any hope for a peaceful future, asks ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk in the last of a three-part series.

The Battle for Palestine — Part Two

David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister

Special Report: After the Holocaust, Europe acquiesced to the Zionist settlement of Palestine and turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing that cleared Arabs from the land, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk describes in the second of a three-part series.

The Battle for Palestine

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

From the Archive: You can’t understand the worsening Mideast violence without knowing the modern history of Palestine, a story that begins with European anti-Semitism causing Zionists to claim Palestine for the Jews and to expel the Arabs, wrote retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk in the first of three parts.

Making Iran the Ultimate Enemy

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

The determination of U.S. neocons and Israeli politicians to make Iran and its allies the great evils in the Middle East has prevented any rational U.S. policy toward the region, even to the point of facilitating possible victories by Sunni extremists in Syria and Iraq, as Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi explains.

More Neocon Hypocrisy in the Mideast

Dennis Ross, who has served as a senior U.S. emissary in the Middle East.

America’s neocons are now advancing their “regime change” goals in the Mideast by tarring “enemies,” like Syria’s largely secular government, as “Islamist” while shielding “friends” like Saudi Arabia despite its intense religiosity, yet one more double standard, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Cheney’s Dangerous Mideast Nostrums

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Is Israel Bad for the Jews?

A scene from inside Berlin's Holocaust memorial.

Israel’s new plan for appropriating nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land for more Jewish housing underscores the trend toward accelerated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, a strategy that is stirring revulsion in much of the world and tarnishing the noble principles of Judaism, as Lawrence Davidson observes.

Why Israel Is Bad for the Jews

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu

Among the harm that hardline Israeli policies have inflicted on Judaism is the erosion of the traditional Jewish tolerance toward dissent, now virtually forbidden if it involves criticizing Israel, as Danny Schechter learned when he asserted that “Israel is bad for the Jews.”