Friday, January 9, 2009

Gaza - podcasts on diplomacy and war

With the war raging on in Gaza (or Aza, as we say), you can pick up on the continuous stream of podcasts shedding their light on the problems in the Middle-East. Some specifically about the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, some more broader, but ultimately addressing this conflict as one of the most central destabilizing factors for the region and eventually the whole world.

The Council on Foreign Relations had a conversation with Tony Blair which was recently published in the UChannel Podcast (The Tony Blair talk on CFR video) Blair lays out the design for a diplomatic process that should improve the situation, which heavily leans on supporting true nation building for the Palestinians and on solving the paralyzing problem, which was also noted by Dennis Ross on UChannel (Anne is a Man's review). Ross called it the mutual disbelief. And though his and Blair's presentations are optimistic in the sense that they see possibilities for policy and diplomacy to solve the issues, taking away the disbelief proves to be crucial. As long as there is disbelief, that is a mutual conviction on the part of both the Palestinian as well as on the part of the Israeli populace that the other side is fundamentally not interested in any kind of arrangement, none of the proposed policies and diplomatic efforts have serious chance for success.

A short and instructive podcast from The Economist, analyzes the current situation and painfully shows how the leadership is failed to such an extent that none of the true players in the field have any weight left (bad news for the conception problem noted before). Two players are the Israeli and the Palestinian leadership, which both are paralyzed by internal power struggles and lack the clout, determination and legitimacy to push forward. Then there is the US that has been the only external power that has been influential enough to really make a difference, yet, the Bush administration has neglected the issue for 8 years and has by now lost also its power and legitimacy to act. Three lame ducks as speaker Yossi Mekelberg characterizes them.

More UChannel:
Kafka comes to America,
Lord Lawson and the alarmists,
Terror and Consent,
Nudge: improving decisions and behavior,
Hot, Flat and Crowded.

More from the Economist:
We want Obama,
Getting comfortable with Obama,
Democracy in America - podcast review,
Issues of Race,
The primary system.

More Israel:
Whither the Middle East,
Desiring Walls,
Gabriela Shalev,
UCLA Israel Studies,
The Arab-Israeli conflict.

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