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Reza Aslan: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict About Land, Not Identity

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Published on Aug 9, 2010

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/07/21/Debate_Futu...

Reza Aslan discusses the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arguing the clash is not based on identity or religion, but rather on land and resources. Aslan says a two-state solution is likely impossible, and diplomatic efforts should be focused on negotiating a one-state solution that provides Palestinian autonomy.

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In June 2009, President Obama called for 'a new beginning' in relations between the United States and Muslim world. One year later, with no sign of an Israel-Palestine peace deal, a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, and an ongoing nuclear standoff with Iran, has the "new beginning" stalled? Is the process of engagement a long-term one? Should the current strategy be sustained?

What can politicians do to re-build trust among these communities? How much impact do foreign policy decisions actually have on individuals' perceptions of Muslim-West relations? What is the role of media in shaping public opinion? How significant is the role of the Arab-Israeli conflict in widening the gap between communities in the US, Europe and the so-called "Muslim world"? Is progress on the Middle East front a sine qua non for the improvement of Muslim-West relations? - United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Reza Aslan is a writer and scholar of religions. Born in Iran, Aslan is currently a research associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy. He was a visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Iowa and the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction at the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

A frequent commentator on television, radio, and in print, Aslan is a graduate of Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of Iowa. He is the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War: Why We're Losing the War on Terror.

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