Despite last week’s promise by President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN, there appears to be no “unity government” yet in the Palestinian territories. We update the internal disputes there and in Israel after the bombing of Lebanon. Can the US still be an “honest broker?” Would progress reduce anti-Americanism around the world? Plus, the Pope appeals to Muslims to work with Christians and Jews toward peace, and the New Orleans Superdome is back in business.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats today that Christians and Muslims must work together against intolerance and violence. He made clear he was responding to Muslim outrage over a speech he made earlier this month at the University of Regensburg in Germany.
Last week UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the Israeli-Palestinian issue "carries a powerful symbolic and emotional charge... like no other conflict in the world." There was a sense of optimism, when President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians would form a "unity government" to negotiate the end of the economic and political blockade imposed by Israel and the western powers. But with Hamas and Fatah bitterly divided over recognizing Israel's right to exist, there may be no "unity government" with which to negotiate. We update the Palestinians' internal struggles and look at the mood in Israel after the bombing of Lebanon. We also get some history of the Israeli-Palestinian issue and why it's the source of so much anti-Americanism around the world.
Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research
Yossi Alpher, Israeli consultant and author
Jim Gelvin, University of California, Los Angeles
Graham Usher, Freelance journalist
Clayton Swisher, Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute
Thirteen months ago the Superdome was the central focus of the horrors brought by Hurricane Katrina, and it became symbolic of spectacular failure at all levels of government. Katrina ripped part of the roof off the Superdome, which was then filled with refugees. There was a shooting and a suicide, bodies stored in a refrigerator, and nobody allowed inside without a biohazard suit. Tonight, the New Orleans Saints will play their first home game of the year and--for the first time in team history--all the season tickets have been sold.
Mike Detillier, NFL analyst and sports commentator for WWL Radio