By Ryan Torok, Jewish Journal
A social networking site recently featured Israelis, Palestinians and others chatting together online about the crisis in Libya and its implications for Israeli-Palestinian relations. Elsewhere on the site, a circulating letter of Jewish support for Egypt gathered signatures and a discussion forum featured photos of daily life in Gaza, which has prompted more than 200 comments.
Welcome to MEPEACE.org, where the goal is to mobilize moderates supportive of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Eyal Raviv, the site's founder and executive director, believes that peace starts with each of us - the "ME" in MEPEACE stands for "Middle East" as well as for the users themselves.
By Orit Arfa, Jewish Journal
In Kamran Pasha's new historical novel, "Shadow of the Swords" (Simon & Schuster: $16), a feisty, beautiful Jewish heroine named Miriam falls in love with the legendary Muslim sultan, Saladin, as he seeks to guard the Holy Land from the Third Crusades at the turn of the 12th century. If that doesn't sound racy enough, Miriam is the fictional niece of Maimonides (aka Rambam for Jews and Ibn Maimum for Muslims), who is also Saladin's trusted adviser and courtier.
If a story about an extramarital affair between the niece of a great Jewish thinker and the leader of the Muslim world were set in contemporary times, it would probably make Romeo and Juliet read like a fairy tale.
Blog by Ryan Torok, Jewish Journal
The event, a fundraiser for the nonprofit, Free Tunisia, also featured Egyptian and Tunisian speakers, who spoke about their countries histories and their revolutions - propelled by youth determined to oust their longtime autocrat leaders. Levantine Center co-founder Jordan Elgrably, whose recent opinion piece in Al Jazeera says, among other things, that "Israel should be integrated into the mosaic of the Middle East. It is time to end the conflict that began with the belief that Arabs and Jews are historic enemies," helped organize the event.
In "David and Fatima," the Montague and the Capulet clans become the Aziz and the Isaacs, setting the stage for a battle of the two faith.