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A Ramadan snooze in the cool shade of the Omayyad Mosque.

A Visit to Damascus

November 1970 Damascus during Ramadan and while the latest Syrian coup was cooking was subdued. Yet it evoked an air of tense expectation. The outward calm concealed an intense struggle taking place between the civilian Baathist ideologists and the army officers who put and keep the Baath in power. A Ramadan snooze in the cool shade of the Omayyad Mosque. Daily affairs proceed at a pacific pace. At the Omayyad Mosque, the pious – young and old – gather for prayer. Some sit cross-legged reading Korans. A score surround a wise elder reciting. Several doze in the shadows of the arcade of arches, which form a grand chiaroscuro in the Mosque courtyard. Covered lanes at one of the main entrances of the souq, which covers acres in Damascus. In the lanes of the souq (market) stretching out from the Mosque like long, crooked fingers, the women even those in western dress – shop veiled in solemn black and wearing dark skirts below the knee. Military uniforms are the vogue for at least half the adult

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An Israeli Thinks About Palestine

October 1970 Rome, Italy – October 13, 1970. While hundreds of hostages sat steaming in skyjacked airplanes at Revolution Airfield, Jordan, and thousands of Palestinians and Jordanians partook in a nine day slaughter, several Middle East political analysts prepared addresses for the Middle East Institute Conference (Washington, D.C., October 2-3, 1970) on the theme, “Violence and Dialogue in the Middle East.” Participants agreed that indeed there is more violence than dialogue in the area. But more significantly, rehash of Arab-Israeli polemics was replaced by new ideas. Positions on both sides of the historical debate converged to some degree in a consensus that Palestine must be viewed in a new light. It was proof that neither Israeli nor Arab political opinion is static or monolithic. Uri Avnieri, member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), spoke, He represents his own one-man party named after the popular magazine he edits, HaOlam HaZeh (This World). He is a vocal critic of the official Israeli hard-line vis-a-vis the Arabs, particularly the Palestinians. And he is a self-proclaimed leader of that he

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