Making Sense of the Middle East

Reading news about the Middle East can be dispiriting. It’s hard
not to feel overwhelmed by all the accounts of occupying soldiers
destroying villages and killing children, and of young people
strapping bombs to their bodies to explode in public places.

One option is to bury your head in the sand. Another is to seek out
a wider range of outlooks. Several magazines and newsletters
provide deeper, broader, and less militaristic views of life in the

The comprehensive Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
includes perspectives from the European press, examines media bias,
runs statements by Israeli refuseniks and letters by prisoners, and
reports on diplomatic doings. A recent issue includes an article on
Arab women journalists and a selection of pointed political
cartoons. Subscriptions: $29 (9 issues) from 1902 18th St. NW,
Washington, DC 20009;

The Other Israel, newsletter of the Israeli Council for
Israeli-Palestinian Peace, is a longtime source of information
relating to Israeli citizen peace efforts. Whether it’s covering
the organized actions of peace groups Women in Black and Yesh Gvul
or conscientious individual stands, it offers heroic signs of
resistance. Subscriptions: $30 (6 issues)-$15 for students and
unemployed or retired people-from America-Israeli Council for
Israeli-Palestinian Peace, 224 Lake Dr., Kensington, CA 94708;

Challenge, ‘a magazine covering the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict,’ reports bimonthly from Israel and acts as a forum for
those who seek to go ‘beyond a primitive urge to annihilate.’
Recent issues have featured an interview with Israeli conscientious
objectors, a report on the Arab education crisis, and an interview
with Palestinian leader Hani Issawi. Subscriptions: $30 (6
issues) from Box 41199, Jaffa 61411, Israel;

The Middle East Report is published quarterly by the
nonprofit Middle East Research and Information Project. One recent
issue of the newsmagazine focused entirely on barriers to peace
between Palestine and Israel, but attention is also regularly given
to Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Subscriptions: $37 (4 issues)
Box 277, Hopewell, PA 16650;

Also worth noting: The Link, newsletter of Americans for
Middle East Understanding (subscriptions: $40 contribution for 6
issues from Room 245, 475 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10115;;
Minaret, ‘America’s source on Islam’ (subscriptions: $25
for 10 issues from 434 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020);
Mizna, a journal of prose, poetry, and art by Arab Americans
(subscriptions: $15 for 3 issues from Box 14294, Minneapolis, MN
; and
Tikkun, a progressive American Jewish magazine that often
covers the Middle East (subscriptions: $29 for 6 issues from Box
460926, Escondido, CA 92046).

This Just In
Z Magazine
, an ad-free independent monthly, recently celebrated
its 15th anniversary. Z covers world politics and culture, with
analysis and commentary by critical progressive thinkers such as
Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, and Michael Bronski.
Subscriptions: $30 (12 issues) from 18 Millfield St., Woods
Hole, MA 02543; $30;

Fourth Door Review is a noncommercial magazine aimed at
breaking down barriers ‘between ecology and technology, land art
and digital crafts, music and media.’ The latest issue (#5)
includes an interview with ‘cyberphilosopher’ Pierre Levy, as well
as articles on new music from Norway, ‘beehive’ buildings, and the
handmade paper industry in India. Subscriptions: $50 (3 issues)
from 68 Mt. Gilboa Rd., Westmoreland, NH 03467;

The Free Press Death Ship is a new publication agitating for
freedom of expression. Edited by Violet Jones (who also edits the
silk-screened zine Spunk), the first issue includes short reviews
of hundreds of small publications, from Disgruntled Postal Worker
to I Dreamed I Was Assertive. Subscriptions: free, but cash
donations welcomed, from Box 55336, Hayward, CA

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.