Weekend Roundup: Queen Rania vs. Shimon Peres


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

Two icons of peace and conciliation in the Middle East, Queen Rania of Jordan and Israel’s outgoing president, Shimon Peres, are at bitter loggerheads in this week’s WorldPost. While Peres speaks of Israel’s “moral heritage” and the undisputed right to defend itself against Hamas missiles, Queen Rania pleads for a sense of common humanity to relieve Gaza from the Israeli siege that has turned that dispossessed sliver of land into “a modern day dystopia” and “the most tragic place to live on the planet.”

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the late King Hussein’s daughter, recalls her father’s letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu many years ago accusing him of seeking, even then, to overturn “all agreements signed with the Arabs.” Harvard’s Stephen Walt lays the blame for America’s “morally bankrupt” policies on Israel’s powerful U.S. lobby, AIPAC. Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor Aharon Appelfeld argues that “to solve the problem” with Hamas, Israel must be cruel. Liat Kornowski details daily life under the constant barrage of Hamas missiles into Israel when “you have 90 seconds to take shelter.”

Josef Olmert sees a new alliance between Israel and Egypt’s post-Morsi autocratic regime against Hamas.

WorldPost correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Gaza City that the death toll continues to rise from the Israeli assault that locals see as “collective punishment.”


In the other major event of the week, Ukrainian parliamentarian Olga Bielkova writes from Kiev of her revulsion over how the pro-Russian separatists handled the bodies and belongings of the Malaysian Flight 17 victims and her outrage over the downing of two Ukrainian military jets from Russian territory. Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s granddaughter, Nina Khrushcheva, recalls how the downing of a Korean Airlines flight nearly 31 years ago began the unraveling of the Soviet Union. She suggests the current crisis is a similar “tipping point” for Putin’s autocracy.

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warns that if Europe is unwilling to stand up to Vladimir Putin because of economic interests, it risks becoming a de-facto “satellite” of Russia. Writing from Moscow, Ivan Sukhov worries that if the “window to Europe” is “nailed shut” in retaliation against Putin’s actions, it will only consolidate the power of Russia’s hardcore nationalists.


As the refugee crisis continues on the U.S. border, Nicaragua’s most famous poet and former vice president, Sergio Ramirez, writes from Managua on the migrants flowing from his poor nation to neighboring Costa Rica to pursue their “American Dream.”

Writing from Ulan Bator, Battushig Batbold says that he wants his Mongolian compatriots to diversify the economy from mining to human resources and services.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). Sergio Munoz Bata is Contributing Editor-At-Large.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


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