Clinging to Hope in the Middle East

Thursday, 4 July 2013 | buzz

Jennifer LoewensteinAccording to Loewenstein, “The Hamas party ‘governs’ Gaza the way that prisoners run their own prison. They have the freedom only within the prison – which is what Gaza is.” Jennifer joined the Buzz to discuss what is going on in the Middle East currently. Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Palestine declared independence in 1988, though it still hasn’t really become an independent nation. Although Gaza is technically free of Israeli rule, the Palestinian city of Hebron is governed by the Israeli authorities. The people in Gaza are stuck in the present and don’t even talk about independence. Jennifer believes, “There is hope for Palestine and it lies in the Palestinians. The people of Gaza cling onto whatever little or big pieces of hope that they can find. When you give up hope, life gets that much harder to continue.”

Meanwhile in Egypt the turmoil is still unwinding. Military officials removed the country’s first democratically elected President, Mohammed Morsi. The officials also suspended their constitution and placed an interim President in charge. The removal of President Mohammed Morsi and other actions by the military caused an outbreak of protests. Millions and millions of people stormed the streets protesting for and against Morsi and the military. To assist Egypt, Obama requested a $1.5 billion dollar package, which includes $1.3 billion in aid. However if it turns out that removing Mohammed Morsi was a coup, the United States has no other choice but to cut their financial assistance to Egypt.

Listen to the entire interview with our host Gilman Halsted:

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