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Israel

Erielle Reshef reports from an Iron Dome missile defense site in Ashkelon during a 2012 rocket barrage.
Erielle Reshef / Facebook

Editor's Note: This conversation originally aired Sept. 13, 2013.

Between 2010 and 2012, Oklahoma City native Erielle Reshef reported twice from Gaza during instances of cross-border violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Men at the Awarta checkpoint in the West Bank show their stomachs to prove they're not carrying explosives, October 1, 2006.
Michael Loadenthal / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

There’s been little progress on achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians since the 1993 talks in Oslo ended in a memorable handshake between the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Yasser Arafat.

University of Central Oklahoma political scientist Husam Mohamad argues U.S. support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more of a shift in rhetoric rather than actual power.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
James Emery / Flickr

This week, Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss news from the Middle East and what it means for U.S. interests in the region. Landis is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Suzette Grillot talks with Joshua Landis about three stories he’s following in the Middle East: Inspectors in Syria have found traces of banned military chemicals, new opportunities for France as the U.S. relationship with the region becomes strained, and the Vatican’s recognition of the Palestinian state.

Then Suzette is joined by Kate Schecter. She’s the CEO of the Oklahoma City-based nongovernmental organization World Neighbors. Her interest in internationalism started when she was a child growing up in places like Hong Kong and Moscow.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise are in Washington, D.C. this week, and discuss some of the comments they've been hearing about U.S-Iranian nuclear talks, and the implications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reelection.

Then, a conversation with Texas A&M University political scientist Mohammad Tabaar about international sources of Iran's domestic politics. He argues Iran is actually one of the most pro-American countries in the Muslim World.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Washington this week says about a possible shift in U.S./Middle East alliances. Many traditional U.S. allies are worried Washington might shift toward Iran and away from Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Later, Landis and Rebecca Cruise talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon Wood. He compares this decade’s uprisings in the Arab World to what he calls an “Atlantic Spring” that started in 1776.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 23, 2014, before the two sat down to discuss a possible cease-fire to stop Israel's fight with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
U.S. Department of State

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address before Congress on Tuesday, urging President Obama not to craft a nuclear deal with Iran.

The domestic politics of the speech have been widely discussed, but the speech has raised issues of shifting U.S. alliances with Middle East countries.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss tensions between Israel and the United States ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress next week, and European nations that are working to develop a more unified energy policy.

Then, a conversation with art historian Maya Stanfield-Mazzi. She studies pre-Colombian art in the Andes, and says the work of South America’s Inca culture was abstract, without a clear narrative.

Samer Shehata joins Suzette Grillot to talk about democratic developments in Egypt, and how the conviction of journalists and questions about the fairness of May’s elections have affected the country’s relations with the United States.

Later, a conversation about police cooperation and Europe’s internal security policy with Canisius College political scientist John Occhipinti.

U.S. Department of State / Flickr Public Domain

It’s been almost 13 months since the coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. Since then, there’s been a great deal of violence that accompanied the transition leading to the inauguration of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on June 8.

It’s been a busy month for U.S. foreign policy, and Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talk about how the United States has responded to multiple crises - from the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, to the situation in Gaza.

Later, a conversation with Venezuelan poet Arturo Gutierrez-Plaza about the literature of Latin America. His work explores the small scenes of everyday life.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the escalating situation between Israel and Palestine, both the real and potential impact of host nation Brazil’s loss this week in the World Cup.

Then a conversation with national security analyst Linda Robinson about her book One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare. She spent two years in Afghanistan joining U.S. Special Forces on combat missions, while still knowing when to stay out of the way.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot focus on the aggression in the east of Ukraine, and the well as the historical importance of Ukraine in Russian history. They also discuss how the war in Syria has affected the country’s ancient history and cultural heritage.

And later, a conversation with Israeli scholar Zaki Shalom. He says the Arab Spring has shifted focus away from the Middle East’s more long-standing discord.

Pete Souza / The White House

Israel’s nuclear capabilities and its relationship with the United States can be controversial and problematic during Middle East negotiations, but Zaki Shalom, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies and a researcher at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the study of Israel and Zionism, says Israel is an example of stability and development in the region.

Doctors in Israel say that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "already critical medical condition is deteriorating further as key bodily organs continue to decline," The Associated Press writes.

Dr. Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, told reporters that members of the 85-year-old Sharon's family are by his bedside, the AP adds.

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