More Thoughts on Hezbollah - from Mark Perry

Curious about the strategy behind Mark Perry's meetings with Hezbollah, I sent him some follow-up emails. My basic query was whether in talking to Hezbollah, they may want to include some Israelis in the process, precisely because the Lebanese Shiites' actual enemy is their neighbor, not the United States. It seems to me that until Lebanese political figures are not just willing, but interested in speaking to Israelis who consider themselves Zionists, they are simply doing the same thing Israelis did to Palestinian groups for far too long (and are still doing with Hamas) which is basically live by denial.... Read more →

Hezbollah - An Alternative View from Mark Perry

In my last piece I mentioned Mark Perry, someone who co-directs Conflicts Forum, an organization of former diplomats and foreign service professionals that has been talking with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas to, in their words, "increase understanding between western policymakers and leaders of political Islam," working by principle of increased "understanding between western policymakers and the leaders of political Islam through a series of dialogues and exercises of 'mutual listening.'" It's a powerful mandate, though honestly, it seems to me that until it expands the dialogue to include the actual neighbors of Hezbollah and Hamas, specifically Zionist Israelis, Conflicts... Read more →

The Grand Guignol

If there's an artist who might understand how to capture the Israeli-Lebanon war it's French dramatist Antonin Artaud, known for his Theater of Cruelty, a company producing highly visual, wildly murderous stories, sometimes known as Grand Guignols. Dramas that were spectacularly bloody and horrific. Artaud's work was rooted in the following ideas: most human beings are incapable of understanding the violence that drives us, but once we see it externalized, we can finally process it, then act with compassion and grace. Artaud viewed his Grand Guignols as a spiritual effort to bring the most horrific of our psychic fears to... Read more →