The blunt, unsparing language — among the toughest diplomats recall ever being aimed at Israel — lays bare a frustrating reality for the Obama administration: the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has largely dismissed diplomatic efforts by the United States to end the violence in Gaza, leaving American officials to seethe on the sidelines about what they regard as disrespectful treatment.
Hollywood celebrities on both sides of the political aisle are alternately supporting – and condemning – Israel's month-long military operation in theGaza Strip as the death toll climbs to more than 1,700 Palestinian and 67 Israeli casualties.
The Turkish Prime Ministry released a report outlining Turkey's humanitarian aid to Gaza and Iraq that amounted to over $8 million. The country's state-run aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are spearheading efforts to help victims of Israel's constant bombings in the Gaza Strip and people displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) offensive in Iraq.
As the deaths in Gaza from targeted Israeli bombings steadily mount, international public opinion appears to be turning against Israel. A large demonstration of slogan-shouting angry activists holding placards condemning Israel was yesterday outside the Israeli Embassy on High Street Kensington.
Last night, Netanyahu continued his policy of minimizing risk as he signaled the end of Operation Protective Edge. This time, however, the dangers facing him are immeasurable: if the rocket fire on the south continues even after IDF forces withdraw from the Strip, he is likely to be held responsible for national humiliation, which would cause him to lose support from within his coalition, his party, and ultimately, the Prime Minister’s Office as well.
Maysoon Khatib's Facebook page is usually devoted to fun-filled images and anecdotes detailing her sometimes harried life as a mother of four children. But lately, the Kentucky woman's social media posts have taken a somber turn. Instead of snapshots of her kids at summer camp, Khatib is sharing urgent messages about the destruction thousands of miles away in Gaza.
More and more people take to Twitter to share their experiences and emotions. On the week starting Monday 28 July 2014, Gaza is bombarded by Israel. One Gaza resident calls it "the worst night in this war". Residents in Israel have their own problems as they face rocket attacks from Gaza. Sirens go off throughout the night, forcing many Israelis to flee to bomb shelters.
Cultural diplomacy can help challenge misconceptions and reconcile differences that underlie conflicts. Although its potential has thus far been ignored in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the time is ripe to experiment with additional diplomatic tools. Diplomacy comes in two tracks.