December 8, 2017

Ilan Manor discusses the public diplomacy challenges Israel faces following President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou

The global musical phenomenon of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou.

The Gaza blockade, which will reach its tenth year in June, makes it impossible for Palestinians living there to engage with Palestinians living in the remainder of the Palestinian territory – the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Things changed when Nawal heard of the ‘Virtual Majilis’, an online exchange platform run by UNICEF to help connect students in Gaza with students in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Over the past 10 years, many NGOs and human rights organisations on both sides of the Green Line, have started offering alternative tours of East Jerusalem, Palestine, and Israeli settlements inside the West Bank. These tours take tourists deep into conflict zones. They try to break negative stereotypes about Palestine as an unsafe place infested with terrorists by showing tourists the natural beauty, cultural wealth and hospitality of Palestine.

Performing on Sunday on the stage of the Ramat Gan theater in central Israel, Taiwanese art students showcased their country’s folk-inspired dance and culture, as part of a project initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. Before visiting Jerusalem yesterday, they performed their show in Jordan, and in the coming days will take the act to several Northern African states.

“But contrary to the cliche ‘the importance of the visit is the visit itself,'” he says, nearly quoting Peri verbatim, “it would seem that Sissi decided to open a public diplomatic channel with Israel, at the end of which he’s likely to invite Netanyahu for a visit to Cairo. Because Egypt and Israel have joint interests, only some of which are in the defense department.”

Israel's Prime Minister has agreed to 24-hour video surveillance at a disputed Jerusalem holy site -- a move that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said could be "a game-changer" to reduce regional bloodshed.