A trawler left Sweden on its way to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip 5,000 nautical miles away. The Marianne of Gothenburg departed on Sunday evening and is the first ship in the Freedom Flotilla III to leave for Gaza, according to the website of the Ship to Gaza Sweden campaign.

Fears of a third intifada could mar the vital Christmas tourism season in Israel and the Palestinian territories, delivering a second blow to an industry still reeling from the summer Gaza war, say officials and venue operators on both sides.

The Palestinian president will ask donor countries for $4 billion for Gaza reconstruction after a summer war between Israel and Hamas damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and more than 5,000 businesses, according to a report Mahmoud Abbas is to present to a pledging conference this month.

After surging during a 50-day war with Israel, Hamas' popularity among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank has fallen back and is now nearly even with support for the more moderate Fatah party, a new poll shows. 

Australian Rules also requires good communication and teamwork—skills often not abundant in the Middle East. The Palestinians chatter to each other in Arabic, while the Israelis often rely on Hebrew or English. When discussing tactics in the dressing room, there's an interpreter.

March 17, 2011

To publish or not to publish? That was the question asked in Israel again and again this week ever since the brutal massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar last Friday night. To respect the dead and conceal the pictures or distribute the horrific images in the hope that the West won't be able to look the other way from yet another brutal attack by Palestinian terrorists.

A conference that opened in Sderot Monday, called 'Gaza-Sderot', brought a number of Palestinian residents of the Strip to the nearby southern town, where they stayed the night. The delegation was meant to include 30 people, but only 15 succeeded in gaining entry into Israel after fervent security measures.

...I conducted some fascinating interviews with various representatives of the Kurdish and Palestinian movements on how national movements conduct public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy. This is the first article of a series based on my interviews, and deals with the public diplomacy of the Kurdish people as conducted by the American-Kurdish Information Network.