From Palestinian Entity to Statehood, Bethlehem

By Thayer Hastings, B.A. program alumnus.

Insight from Bethlehem, West Bank/State of Palestine.

On the evening of November 29th, 2012 the Bethlehem streets became increasingly raucous as we continued to watch through the United Nations General Assembly on the upgrade of Palestine’s status from non-member “entity” to non-member “state.” By the time of the third post-vote speech, we couldn’t handle it anymore and took to the streets by car in order to survey the action. Festive, but not overly-so – traffic filled the roads, horns honked, youth hung from the windows with the Palestinian flag or the iconic kuffiyeh flapping in the wind.


December 6th, 2012|Categories: Middle East & North Africa|Tags: , , |

Sitting in the Betty White Café (that’s right!) in Tel Aviv

By Joel S. Migdal, Professor.

Insight from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Sitting in the Betty White Café (that’s right!) in Tel Aviv, I have come to the conclusion that Israel is a highly schizophrenic society.  I am a couple of blocks from the beach, where the evening sunsets over the Mediterranean are breathtaking.  And all around me people seem to be enjoying life to the fullest.  They sit in cafés and bars until all hours of the night, sometimes spilling out onto the street in the warm summer nights long after midnight.  The restaurants are full—and they are expensive.  Cultural events are packed.  World recession?  I don’t see it on the streets of downtown Tel Aviv.  At the old Tel Aviv port, now converted into a happening place of shops, shows, and bikinis, traffic jams to get in last until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.  This is Barcelona on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean.


July 18th, 2012|Categories: Middle East & North Africa|Tags: , , |