from The Great Debate:

Bergdahl prisoner exchange: Weighing the blood on a terrorist’s hands

By Amos Guiora
June 5, 2014

amos -- top

President Barack Obama’s decision to release five detainees from Guantanamo in exchange for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has provoked much opposition and criticism. The military, however, has an over-arching obligation to ensure the safe return of all personnel.

from Photographers' Blog:

Meeting Mrs. Arafat

November 29, 2012

Sliema, Malta

By Darrin Zammit Lupi

With the body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat being exhumed as part of an investigation into whether he was murdered eight years ago, it was pretty clear that we were going to need some reaction from his widow Suha, who has lived in Malta for the past few years. A journalist from The Times, the local paper I also work for, and I fixed an appointment to meet her at her apartment in the seaside town of Sliema, a short drive from the capital Valletta. Coincidentally it's only some hundred or so meters away from the spot where Fathi Shaqaqi, the founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, was assassinated by Israeli Mossad agents in 1995.

from FaithWorld:

Israel targets top rabbis for anti-Arab incitement backing “King’s Doctrine”

July 3, 2011

(Israeli policemen, mounted on horses, try to control a group of right-wing Israeli protesters during clashes at a protest in Jerusalem June 27, 2011, against the arrest earlier on Monday of their Rabbi Dov Lior/Ronen Zvulun )

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – The choice

May 19, 2011

President Barack Obama wants the "Arab spring" to bloom.

And that means having choice. The United States supports "the right to choose your own leaders -- whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus, Sanaa or Tehran," he said in a much awaited Middle East speech.

from FaithWorld:

Jerusalem bishop appeals Israel’s residency denial

March 31, 2011

jerusalem

( Jerusalem, September 14, 2010/Darren Whiteside )

Jerusalem's Anglican bishop, a Palestinian, is engaged in a legal battle with Israel over its refusal to extend his residency permit. An Anglican official, who declined to be named, said Israel's Interior Ministry had written to Bishop Suheil Dawani and accused him of improper land dealings on behalf of the church and the Palestinian Authority, allegations he denies. A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry declined to comment, citing an upcoming court hearing.

from FaithWorld:

Exorcisms and charlatans flourish in impoverished Gaza

March 11, 2011

gaza koran

(A man reads a Koran in Gaza, 3 Dec 2010/Suhaib Salem)

The shabby room in a one-story house in suburban Gaza was shrouded in darkness, and only the mutterings of a bearded exorcist broke the silence. A man lay stretched on a grubby mattress, writhing, as the faith healer recited Koranic verses to chase away an evil spirit. "Get out, you demon," the exorcist, who calls himself Sheikh Ali, threatened the spirit. "Get out or I will burn you."

from FaithWorld:

Palestinians ask U.N. recognition for Bethlehem’s Nativity Church

February 7, 2011

nativity

(An Armenian priest in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, January 18, 2008/Nayef Hashlamoun)

from FaithWorld:

Amid row with Israel, Turkish officials attend Istanbul Holocaust Day

January 31, 2011

turkey

Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva and Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu light a candle at Neve Shalom Synagogue to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day/Murad Sezer

from FaithWorld:

European far right courts Israel in stepped-up anti-Islam drive

December 20, 2010

street prayers (Photo: Muslims pray in the street during Friday prayers near an overcrowded mosque in the Rue des Poissoniers  in Paris on December 17, 2010/Charles Platiau)

Far-right political parties in Europe are stepping up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and forging ties across borders, even going so far as to visit Israel to hail the Jewish state as a bulwark against militant Islam.

from FaithWorld:

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Christmas season Bethlehem

December 17, 2010

bethlehem 1 (Photo: A decorated Christmas tree next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, December 15, 2010/Ammar Awad)

The birthplace of Jesus is hardly an easy "weekend getaway" spot, but for a taste of how today's Holy Land feels, this hospitable Palestinian town draped over the steep hilltops outside Jerusalem is an essential place to visit.