WBEZ | Israel http://www.wbez.org/tags/israel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Muslims and Jews sing, talk and protest their way to interfaith cooperation http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/muslims-and-jews-sing-talk-and-protest-their-way-interfaith-cooperation-109452 <p><p>A program inside a theater on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side feels a little like a talent show, or maybe a family reunion. Performers step up from the audience to recite original poetry, do interpretative dance or sing.</p><p>The sound quality&rsquo;s spotty. The pacing&rsquo;s a little off. But this isn&rsquo;t about slick production values or seamless performances. The goal here is far more ambitious: to bridge the divide between Jews and Muslims in Chicago.</p><p>The show is called &ldquo;Café Finjan,&rdquo; after the Hebrew and Arabic words for a metal coffee pot. It showcases Muslim and Jewish poets, musicians, painters and more. It&rsquo;s one of several interfaith events that share the goal of getting Jews and Muslims to move past historical tensions and distrust so they can work together and help solve some of the city&rsquo;s urban problems.</p><p>But they&rsquo;re finding it&rsquo;s not always easy.</p><p>&ldquo;The paradigm that we&rsquo;re trying to create is that we have an interest in what kind of society we have here, even though we also have strong concerns and interests about what happens to our brothers and sisters, to our cousins and to our friends in other places in the world,&rdquo; said Asaf Bar-Tura, formerly of the <a href="http://www.jcua.org/">Jewish Council of Urban Affairs</a>. He spent five months with an interfaith team planning the café.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/iftar%202.jpg" style="float: right; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="Gerald Hankerson, the outreach coordinator for CAIR-Chicago [left], chats with JCUA board member Kalman Resnick [right], and several others." />He acknowledged those political differences over Palestine and Israel remain painful and deep.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a tension there,&rdquo; Bar-Tura said. &ldquo;But we can&rsquo;t overcome these tensions, we can&rsquo;t discuss the issues, without getting to know each other first. You don&rsquo;t dive into &lsquo;Oh, tell me what your ideology is.&rsquo; You first (say), &lsquo;Tell me about your family, tell me about what you do, what does your day look like, what do you want for your kids?&rsquo; And then we can get into these deeper discussions.&rdquo;</p><p>The <a href="http://jmcbi.org">JCUA started working closely with Muslim groups</a> more than a decade ago, after noticing rising Islamophobia following the Sept. 11 attacks. Their most popular event is &ldquo;Iftar in the Synagogue,&rdquo; where Jews and Muslims share a meal to break the fast during Ramadan. In just four years, attendance jumped from 90 people to more than 500.</p><p>&ldquo;We started this program to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters to say, &lsquo;We feel your pain, and we are going to help you fight against discrimination,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Judy Levey, JCUA&rsquo;s executive director. &ldquo;Because that&rsquo;s what we do. That&rsquo;s who we are.&rdquo;</p><p>The events are about more than poetry and hummus. The JCUA, the <a href="http://www.juf.org/cbr/">Chicago Board of Rabbis</a> and the <a href="http://www.ciogc.org/">Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago</a> sponsor periodic rabbi-imam dialogues. They&rsquo;ve discussed things like the role of Shariah law in a democracy and their shared dietary traditions.</p><p>Jewish and Muslim activists have lobbied to demand immigration reform, to stop foreclosures and to protest anti-Muslim bus ads. After a baby was fatally shot in Chicago last spring, they went together to her funeral. There&rsquo;s even been &nbsp;<a href="http://jcuanews.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/jewish-and-muslim-cyclists-will-ride-together-narrowing-the-distance-between-faiths/">Jewish-Muslim bike rides</a>.</p><p>Activists on both sides hope these events will lessen suspicion and lead to partnerships in the city they share and call home.</p><p>But some say the results are mixed.</p><p>&ldquo;Qualitatively, in some ways, I would say maybe they are better,&rdquo; said Aaron Cohen, the spokesman for the <a href="http://www.juf.org/">Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicag</a>o. &ldquo;Quantitatively, in terms of seeing vast numbers of people engaging, I wouldn&rsquo;t say that needle has moved much either way.&rdquo;</p><p>Cohen&rsquo;s a hopeful guy, and well-liked by Jewish and Muslim activists. He&rsquo;s been part of Jewish/Muslim dialogues, and he took an interfaith trip to Turkey.</p><p>But he says there are stumbling blocks to interfaith cooperation. Unlike the JCUA, the Federation won&rsquo;t formally work with the <a href="http://www.cairchicago.org/">Chicago office of the Council of American Islamic Relations</a>, a civil rights agency well regarded by the Muslim community. Cohen said that&rsquo;s because many were offended by anti-Semitic signs spotted at a CAIR rally a few years ago.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s crossing a very big red line,&rdquo; Cohen said, adding that statements demonizing Jews or Israel can&rsquo;t be tolerated. &ldquo;History delivers on our doors an awful lot of baggage, and we really need to make conscious choices about how much of that baggage we&rsquo;re going to schlep with us into the future.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/iftar%203.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="The annual Iftar in the Synagogue event drew more than 500 people this year." />&ldquo;Obviously, we can&rsquo;t control every single individual in a massive rally,&rdquo; said Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of Chicago&rsquo;s CAIR chapter. &ldquo;However, the facts are that when we saw the sign, we removed it as organizers, because it does not mesh with our values.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We stand against anti-Semitism,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Rehab said he believes his strong critique of Israeli policy, not the signs, is the real issue &ndash; which federation leaders deny.</p><p>Rehab said he thinks some federation leaders are out of touch with younger Jews:</p><p>&ldquo;Especially the new generation, it&rsquo;s not intuitive for these young men and women to look at each other through a fence, or see each other as enemies or rivals,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Because they do have a shared common culture; they share the same appreciation for music, for movies. They were born and brought up here.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite the challenges, Rehab is hopeful. He believes more Jewish and Muslim youth want to work together, and that cooperation is the wave of the future.</p><p>That seemed to be the case back at Café Finjan. Muslim girls wearing headscarves nodded along with a klezmer band. Gray-haired Jewish activists applauded warmly for a student who recited a poem about being a Pokemon master and a Muslim</p><p>One of the attendees, software developer Najim Yaqubie, is Muslim. He said he and his best friend &ndash; who&rsquo;s Jewish -- care more about their friendship than politics.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re both human, we&rsquo;re both American, we&rsquo;re both young and we&rsquo;re just trying to have some fun,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t matter who or where you&rsquo;re from.&rdquo;</p></p> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 17:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/muslims-and-jews-sing-talk-and-protest-their-way-interfaith-cooperation-109452 Palestinians and Jews both lay claim to Mandela’s legacy http://www.wbez.org/news/palestinians-and-jews-both-lay-claim-mandela%E2%80%99s-legacy-109375 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 11.25.41 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As memorials continue for Nelson Mandela this week, many groups are claiming Mandela as a champion of their cause, including Palestinians and Jews. Mandela&rsquo;s support for national self-determination garnered the appreciation and support of both sides in the intractable Middle East conflict. But while they share a common hero, they take away different lessons from his struggle.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We do consider Nelson Mandela to be our leader,&rdquo; said Hatem Abudayyeh, a Palestinian-American and the Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a sort of replication of that anti-apartheid movement in Palestine and across the world for those that are doing Palestine advocacy and Palestine support work.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Abudayyeh points to the <a href="http://www.bdsmovement.net/">Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement</a>, started in 2005 by supporters of the Palestinian cause. The campaign aims to build international economic and political pressure against Israel, to secure withdrawal of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories and a dismantling of the wall that separates Israel from the West Bank, among other demands. &ldquo;That is something that we learned from the anti-apartheid movement and that we&rsquo;re incorporating into our own movement,&rdquo; said Abudayyeh. An international divestment campaign helped to formally bring South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid era to an end in 1991.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Israel is your apartheid, pariah state, just like South Africa was your apartheid, pariah state in the &lsquo;70s and &lsquo;80s and during the movement,&rdquo; said Abudayyeh.</p><p dir="ltr">Other high-profile figures have compared Palestinian conditions to that of black South Africans under apartheid &mdash; and found themselves at the center of significant controversy as a result. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter sparked a fierce debate with the 2006 publication of his book, &ldquo;Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.&rdquo; South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a similar comparison. Mandela himself, however, never publicly used the word &ldquo;apartheid&rdquo; when speaking of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Arafat is a comrade in arms, and we treat him as such.&rdquo; Mandela famously said of Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat in 1990. During an interview with ABC&rsquo;s Ted Koppel on Nightline, Mandela defended this position, even when Koppel pressed him to consider whether it could alienate American Jews from his cause in South Africa.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It would be a grave mistake for us to consider our attitude toward Yasser Arafat on the basis of the interests of the Jewish community,&rdquo; Mandela explained. &ldquo;We sympathize with the struggles of the Jewish people and their persecution right down the years. In fact, we have been very much influenced by lack of racialism amongst Jewish communities.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mandela noted that many white leaders in the African National Congress party were Jewish, and that his first job as a lawyer was with a Jewish firm. For many Jews, Mandela&rsquo;s support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination did not mean he was against Israel.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There was no contradiction for Mandela of his also embracing Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people,&rdquo; says Aaron Cohen of the Jewish United Fund in Chicago. &ldquo;He supported Israel&rsquo;s right to exist as a Jewish state.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Cohen says comparisons between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa are false, and that they attempt to delegitimize Israel&rsquo;s right to exist. While Mandela reportedly called Israel a &ldquo;terrorist state&rdquo; in 1990 for offering military and arms support to South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid government, Cohen said that criticism was borne out of Mandela&rsquo;s belief that all people have a right to self-determination. It did not mean that Mandela was anti-Israel.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When he became president of South Africa, Mandela went out of his way to also assure Israel and the Jewish world that he supported Israel&rsquo;s safe and secure existence in the Middle East,&rdquo; said Cohen, &ldquo;and that furthermore, the Arab world should do the same.&rdquo;</p><p>Cohen says instead of being mired in the past, Mandela felt Israelis and Palestinians could resolve their differences if they simply looked to the future. The two sides may draw very different lessons from Mandela&rsquo;s legacy, but as they prepare for Mandela&rsquo;s burial this Sunday, they&rsquo;ll mourn together.</p><p><br /><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 18:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/palestinians-and-jews-both-lay-claim-mandela%E2%80%99s-legacy-109375 Chicago Global Artist: Tel Aviv photographer and sculptor Assaf Evron http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-10/chicago-global-artist-tel-aviv-photographer-and-sculptor-assaf-evron <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/img_5342%20copy.jpg" style="float: right; height: 331px; width: 350px;" title="Artist Assaf Evron (Photo by Rea Ben-David)" />Israeli artist <a href="http://www.assafevron.com/">Assaf Evron</a>&rsquo;s arrival in Chicago came about largely by chance.</div><p dir="ltr">He said he wanted to do his MFA in the United States, but he was trying to avoid going to New York, the &ldquo;default Israeli artist thing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">While doing a residency in Richmond, Va., he made a trip to see friends here in Chicago, saw the city and the School of the Art Institute, and was sold.</p><p dir="ltr">Three years later, Evron has not one but two shows opening this weekend. He&rsquo;s the latest artist to produce a bumper sticker for the mobile art exhibition <a href="https://www.facebook.com/trunkshowtrunkshow">Trunk Show</a>. And he has a sculpture in <a href="http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibitions/ema-study-in-midwestern-appropriationem">A Study in Midwestern Appropriation</a>, a new group show opening Sunday at the Hyde Park Art Center.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, Evron says moving from Tel Aviv to Chicago was a challenge, one he likens to &ldquo;moving from sixth gear to third gear.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At the beginning I think it was kind of boredom, but boredom in the good way,&rdquo; said Evron. &ldquo;Because boredom makes you dig deeper, and be more creative, and create new excitement.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Evron said the biggest excitement came from the sense of distance he felt in Chicago. In part that was due to the changed physical landscape, one he didn&rsquo;t feel entirely comfortable photographing.</p><blockquote><strong>Like what you&rsquo;re reading? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/donate" target="_blank">Help support WBEZ by making a donation today.</a></strong></blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Because I&rsquo;m a foreigner I don&rsquo;t have the intimacy with the environment,&rdquo; said Evron. &ldquo;So I started to develop a studio practice, which opened so many different directions for me.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">That move in turn allowed Evron to feel liberated from what he&rsquo;d done before.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In Israel I was very much doing photographic work,&rdquo; said Evron. &ldquo;Here I could break expectations and make more sculptural and conceptual work.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The works in both of Evron&rsquo;s shows this weekend reflect that shift. For Midwestern Appropriation, Evron re-made a wall ornament that&rsquo;s on display in the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. The three-triangle stone design of the original is supposed to signify the pyramids. But Evron turned to something a little closer to hand, &nbsp;<a href="http://www.deckerhomeservices.com/Split_faced_block.htm">common split-face block</a>, a material familiar to anyone who witnessed Chicago&rsquo;s condo explosion in the early oughts.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/_MG_9459s.jpg" style="height: 237px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="View of an Assaf Evron installation at Sullivan Galleries in May 2013. (Photo courtesy Assaf Evron)" />Trunk Show involved something more formal. Each month curators Raven Falquez Munsell and Jesse Malmed ask one artist to design a bumper sticker for their 1999 Ford Taurus. Evron said doing something political or reactive, the typical terrain of the bumper sticker, didn&rsquo;t feel right in Chicago. So he created an abstract design, using <a href="http://vectips.com/tutorials/creating-halftone-effects/">halftone gradients</a>, that plays with the resemblance between the Taurus car symbol and the planet Saturn.</div><p dir="ltr">Though politics remain at a distance in Evron&rsquo;s work, he says they&rsquo;re not completely absent, if only because of the way he reflects on and engages the specific materials and context of the place he works in.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Art about the Occupation it&rsquo;s not very interesting to me,&rdquo; said Evron. &ldquo;But the political discussion of a place is in your work whether you want it or not, because that&rsquo;s the environment in which it is made.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Evron said he&rsquo;s not finished working in Chicago, even though he completed his MFA this year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Chicago has been a great influence on my work,&rdquo; said Evron. &ldquo;I want to use this momentum to generate as much work as I can.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/trunkshowtrunkshow">Trunk Show</a> is in Chicago&rsquo;s Eckart Park Sunday from 1-3 p.m.</p><p><a href="http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibitions/ema-study-in-midwestern-appropriationem">A Study in Midwestern Appropriation</a> opens at the Hyde Park Art Center Sunday from 3-5 p.m.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-hosts the WBEZ podcasts <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels</a> and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/strangebrews">Strange Brews</a>. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 10:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-10/chicago-global-artist-tel-aviv-photographer-and-sculptor-assaf-evron Middle East politics and an eviction plan for Israeli Bedouins http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-03/middle-east-politics-and-eviction-plan-israeli-bedouins-108593 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP183170799576.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Professor John Mearsheimer explains how U.S. intervention in Syria could impact the Middle East. John Schmidt takes us inside H-Day in Sweden. Plus, proposed development plans in Israel call for the mass eviction of Arab Bedouins.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F108684661&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/politics-in-the-mideast-and-bedouins-of-israel-fac/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/politics-in-the-mideast-and-bedouins-of-israel-fac.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/politics-in-the-mideast-and-bedouins-of-israel-fac" target="_blank">View the story "Middle East politics and an eviction plan for Israeli Bedouins" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-03/middle-east-politics-and-eviction-plan-israeli-bedouins-108593 On the ground in Israel, intervention in Syria and a modern spin on ancient artifacts http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-08-30/ground-israel-intervention-syria-and-modern-spin-ancient-artifacts <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP560039805754.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Israelis have inundated gas mask distribution centers this week to prepare for potential retaliation should the United States intervene militarily in Syria. We&#39;ll find out about a photography installation that brings together modern figures and ancient artifacts.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F108042277&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/on-the-ground-in-israel-intervention-in-syria-and/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/on-the-ground-in-israel-intervention-in-syria-and.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/on-the-ground-in-israel-intervention-in-syria-and" target="_blank">View the story "On the ground in Israel, intervention in Syria and a modern spin on ancient artifacts" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 11:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-08-30/ground-israel-intervention-syria-and-modern-spin-ancient-artifacts Morning Shift: Getting the band back together http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-08/morning-shift-getting-band-back-together-108333 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/microphone-Flickr- ceratosaurrr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For this week&#39;s &quot;Music Thursday&quot;, Richard Steele and Sound Opinions&#39; Robin Linn play tunes from some of their favorite bands who reunited and brought the hits (and misses) back to the fans.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-39.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-39" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Getting the band back together" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-08/morning-shift-getting-band-back-together-108333 Police brutality in Puerto Rico and the Mideast peace process http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-22/police-brutality-puerto-rico-and-mideast-peace-process-108132 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP68352310109.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Shafqat Munir explains the significance of Ghulam Azam&#39;s conviction for war crimes and looks at what&#39;s next for Bangladesh. The ACLU&#39;s William Ramirez tells us about police brutality in Puerto Rico. Natan Sachs weighs in on what&#39;s needed for Mideast peace talks.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F102153321&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/police-brutality-in-puerto-rico-and-the-mideast-pe.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/police-brutality-in-puerto-rico-and-the-mideast-pe" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Police brutality in Puerto Rico and the Mideast peace process" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-22/police-brutality-puerto-rico-and-mideast-peace-process-108132 Five countries that will be mentioned during tonight’s debate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-countries-will-be-mentioned-during-tonight%E2%80%99s-debate-103298 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6564_AP164381960866-scr.jpg" style="height: 362px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="President Barack Obama stretches to shakes hands with supporters after speaking about the choice facing women in the upcoming election. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p><strong>1. Libya</strong><br /><br />Duh. Mitt Romney&rsquo;s had two chances to go at President Barack Obama on this issue, where there&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/explanation-for-benghazi-attack-under-scrutiny.html?hp">enough haze for him to make some hay</a>, but has blown both. Which means that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-obama-vulnerabilities-debate-102828">if there&rsquo;s one issue</a>, one question, that the Romney debate prep team has been hammering, it&rsquo;s this one. I know everybody was blown away by Obama&rsquo;s answer last time, but he missed an opportunity to poke back at Republicans, and particularly at Romney&rsquo;s VP choice Paul Ryan, all of whom <a href="http://www.drudge.com/news/161889/gop-cut-embassy-security-funding">voted against more funding for embassy security</a>, not just in Libya, but all over the world. C&rsquo;mon.<br /><br /><strong>2. Iran</strong><br /><br />Iran suddenly says it&rsquo;s <a href="http://swampland.time.com/2012/10/22/the-real-foreign-policy-issue-war-with-iran/">willing to talk</a>, but is just waiting for the elections to know who the chat will be with. Obama says nothing&rsquo;s new on our end and, of course, we talk. Romney says Obama&rsquo;s weak, weak, weak, but can&rsquo;t seem to say what he&rsquo;d do different. If Obama doesn&rsquo;t turn this around and make it seem like Romney wants to bomb Tehran tomorrow, it&rsquo;ll be another missed opportunity -- especially to bring back <a href="http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2012/10/18/will-obama-paint-mitt-as-warmonger/">women voters, who are particularly anti-war</a>.<br /><br /><strong>3. Israel</strong><br /><br />The men don&rsquo;t differ much on actual Israel policy, except for the fact that Romney has pretty much said<a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/1022/1224325542216.html"> he&rsquo;ll back Israel on a unilateral strike against Iran</a> if Israel feels threatened. This one isn&rsquo;t actually a Middle East concern -- this is all about Florida, where Romney looks poised to win, <a href="http://www.politico.com/p/2012-election/polls/president">leading in most polls</a>. He&rsquo;s hoping seniors in Florida forget his Medicare policies and vote ethno-religiously.<br /><br /><strong>4. Cuba</strong><br /><br />The biggest strawman in American politics, Cuba was mentioned a handful of times at the GOP convention and will come back for two reasons: one, rumors were hot all last week that Fidel Castro was on ice and, two, <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82695.html">Florida</a>. Never mind that the pendulum is swinging away from hard right politics in the Cuban-American community as those who were born and/or raised in the U.S. come of age. And never mind that the Latino group that has the power to swing the state is now the Puerto Ricans in Orange and Osceola counties. Never mind, too, that most Puerto Ricans don&rsquo;t give a twit about a Cuba and that the only real question is whether they&rsquo;re going to show up at the polls -- in Florida, Puerto Ricans have numbers, even on registration, but blow it on attendance -- but nobody can keep themselves, it seems, from playing the useless Cuba card.<br /><br /><strong>5. China</strong><br /><br />Romney will continue to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/22/world/asia/grant-china-us-election-scapegoat/index.html">accuse the Chinese</a> of being currency manipulators (they are) but offer no plan. And Obama, with an opportunity here to make Romney squirm about the Chinese factory with virtual <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/leaked-video-shows-romney-recalling-china-trip-20120916">slave women workers</a>&nbsp;that Bain may or may not have bought while Romney was at the helm, will probably not mention it. But he should.</p></p> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/five-countries-will-be-mentioned-during-tonight%E2%80%99s-debate-103298 Opposites detract: Romney-style http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer/2012-06/opposites-detract-romney-style-100228 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Romney%20AP.jpg" title="(AP/file)" /></div><p><em>&ldquo;Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney&nbsp;has said he will do &lsquo;the opposite&rsquo; of Barack Obama&nbsp;when it comes to Israel.&rdquo; &mdash;&nbsp;</em>The Guardian<em>, June 17</em></p><p><strong>Below, Mitt Romney elaborates on what he meant:</strong></p><p>That&rsquo;s right, my fellow-but-poorer Americans, the very opposite of what Barack Obama has done!</p><p>When the president says he supports Israel, I will say, well . . . &nbsp;I will also say I support Israel but in a way that is somehow the opposite.</p><p>When the president says it&rsquo;s unacceptable for Iran to get nuclear weapons, I will again say the same thing but in a wholly opposite manner. &ldquo;Iran in weapons nuclear against am I,&rdquo; for example.</p><p>Here in the U.S., Barack Obama does little to support the Israeli people. Yet when he actually goes to Israel, he cowers and lets them dictate everything he does, including reading words from right to left.</p><p>That is not the way we in America read, and when I&rsquo;m in Israel, I will always read left to right!</p><p>Indeed, I will not bend to the will of any foreign countries the way Barack Obama does.</p><p>We&rsquo;ve seen the president bow before foreign leaders. Literally bow! When I&rsquo;m around foreign leaders, I will do the opposite, jumping high into the air as I stand before them, perhaps on a pogo stick.</p><p>Here at home, we&rsquo;ve seen the president kowtow to the pro-environment, pro-gay-rights and pro-union lobbies. When I&rsquo;m president, I will never kowtow to these lobbies &mdash; only to completely different ones.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, rest assured, I will be the opposite of Barack Obama in every conceivable way.</p><p>Where he is weak, I will be strong.</p><p>Where he is opaque, I will be transparent.</p><p>Where he is fake, I will be real.</p><p>Where he is clockwise, I will be counterclockwise.</p><p>Where he owns no book of antonyms, I will bring my copy to the White House.</p><p>The president rammed through a health care bill that only pinkos in Massachusetts could support. It mandated health insurance for everybody! Including, unbelievably, people who are very ill.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will propose a new health-care bill that mandates that nobody in this country can have health insurance except for people in Congress.</p><p>The president recently granted what amounts to amnesty for at least 700,000 illegal immigrants.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will personally carry all 700,000 of those people across the border &mdash;&nbsp;on the roof of my car if necessary. (Sorry, the person putting words in my mouth here couldn&rsquo;t resist.)</p><p>The president would like to raise your taxes. When I&rsquo;m president, I will do the opposite and lower my taxes.</p><p>The president would like to regulate your business. When I am president, I will deregulate the businesses that will take over your business.</p><p>The president has never once placated the wackos on the extreme religious right.</p><p>When I&rsquo;m president, I will . . . um, let&rsquo;s move on.</p><p>Look, the president leading our country down a path to ruin. Elect me as your president and I will take this country off the path, rent us a private luxury jet and get us to ruin a whole lot quicker!&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer/2012-06/opposites-detract-romney-style-100228 Worldview 4.26.12 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-04-26/worldview-42612-98571 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IRAQACTORS10457.sJPG_900_540_0_95_1_50_50.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Turkey is working to block official attempts by Israel to attend the NATO summit. Chicago-area businessman and Turkey scholar <a href="http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/boards/dic/members/celebi.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Mehmet Celebi</a> tells <em>Worldview</em> what’s behind the diplomatic tensions. Also, in Iraqi Kurdistan, a student Shakespeare troupe is becoming internationally recognized for performing the Bard’s plays in their original tongue. <em>Worldview</em> speaks with troupe director Peter Friedrich and actor Ahmad Muhammad Taha about Shakespeare’s role in Iraq. And Rob Cahill teamed up with Chicago bird conservationists to protect the winter home of birds that migrate through Chicago by reforesting a section of a Guatemalan cloud forest. Rob tells <em>Worldview</em> about his group, <a href="http://www.cloudforestconservation.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Community Cloud Forest Conservation</a>.</p></p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-04-26/worldview-42612-98571