Asaf Romirowsky
Asaf Romirowsky
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Failed Religious Diplomacy at the Birth of Israel

March 31, 2014  •  The National Interest

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief (New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe. A note from the authors introduces the book:

Before the UN launched it seemingly permanent relief effort for Palestinian refugees in 1950, UNRWA, it oversaw another, smaller program called United Nations Relief for Palestinian Refugees (UNRPR). In 1948 and 1949 aid was administered for the UN by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the League of Red Cross Societies.

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Why would Kings College entertain BDS?

March 25, 2014  •  The Times of Israel

For nearly twenty years, under the leadership of Middle East historian Efraim Karsh and his Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme, Kings College London was a beacon of light with respect to the study of Israel and the Middle East. King's has a superior reputation as one of Britain's foremost research and teaching institutions and the third-oldest university in the United Kingdom, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829.

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It's always 'Groundhog Day' with the Israeli-Palestinian 'peace process'

March 19, 2014  •  The Washinton Examiner

The 1993 movie "Groundhog Day," in which the character played by Bill Murray relives the same day over and over again, is an apt description of official Palestinian attitudes toward Israel and the peace process.

The repeated Palestinian rejection of Israeli overtures raises the stakes and draws ever more attention to seducing the Palestinians to participate in talks. The "peace process" movie plays like a repeating loop, with new scenes punctuated by years and shifts in the political winds but without progress. The fatigue associated with this demand for peace circumvents any historical knowledge of the Middle East.

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The Politics of the Palestinian Right of Return

February 24, 2014  •  Forbes

US-backed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are entering a critical period. With reports suggesting Israeli acceptance of the 1967 lines and land swaps, what about Palestinian concessions? Two issues are paramount: the 'right of return' and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently stated, "Let me put it simply: the right of return is a personal decision. What does this mean? That neither the PA, nor the state, nor the PLO, nor Abu-Mazen [Abbas], nor any Palestinian or Arab leader has the right to deprive someone from his right to return."

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The 'big tent' to nowhere

February 23, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

More and more, we hear from faculty and students about the need to have an "open tent" or a "big tent," of ideas and opinions specifically, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the nature of public discourse demands expressing a multitudes of ideas and opinions, the kind of openness espoused by this big tent idea is in fact myopic and limiting in its own narrow scope. The notion is sold as a non-binding position, when in reality those that sell it are simply uncomfortable or unwilling to take a firm position.

The big tent thus gives the impression of openness, but actually only caters to left-of-center views.

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Asaf Romirowsky's Book

Cover of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief

Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief

by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe
Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 268 pp. $100
December 18, 2013

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