Vali Nasr: Should the U.S. be involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Question: Should the U.S. be involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Vali Nasr: Well because historically it’s been involved for a very long time. It also is a major supporter of key Arab governments and Israel. It is not as if the United States has no role in the Arab-Israeli issue, and all of a sudden getting involved in mediation is a major step.

The United States provides military support to Israel, financial support to Israel. It also provides military support and financial support to Jordan, Egypt, Palestinian government, to other Arab governments. So the United States is part of the picture.

The only question is, does the United States use its participation to also get the protagonists together? Now there are benefits for the United States, because in terms of the perception in the Muslim world, the Palestinian issue matters. For whatever reason after 60 years, it has become the signature issue in American relations with the Middle East and the Muslim world. It is a corrosive issue.

I don’t think peace with a resolution will change larger issues in the Middle East, such as Iran’s power, such as U.S.’ other interests in the region. But it will have an enormous amount of symbolic value.

Let’s put it this way. Not trying at all was quite detrimental to American image, much more so than trying and failing.

Recorded on: Dec 3, 2007

Historically, the U.S. has been involved for a very long time.

Could muons point to new physics?

New data have set the particle physics community abuzz.

Credit: Stefano Garau / Adobe Stock and Trahko / Adobe Stock
13-8
  • The first question ever asked in Western philosophy, "What's the world made of?" continues to inspire high energy physicists.
  • New experimental results probing the magnetic properties of the muon, a heavier cousin of the electron, seem to indicate that new particles of nature may exist, potentially shedding light on the mystery of dark matter.
  • The results are a celebration of the human spirit and our insatiable curiosity to understand the world and our place in it.
Keep reading Show less
Credit: William Thomas Cain via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Benjamin Franklin wrote essays on a whole range of subjects, but one of his finest was on how to be a nice, likable person.
  • Franklin lists a whole series of common errors people make while in the company of others, like over-talking or storytelling.
  • His simple recipe for being good company is to be genuinely interested in others and to accept them for who they are.
Keep reading Show less

Weird science shows unseemly way beetles escape after being eaten

Certain water beetles can escape from frogs after being consumed.

Surprising Science
  • A Japanese scientist shows that some beetles can wiggle out of frog's butts after being eaten whole.
  • The research suggests the beetle can get out in as little as 7 minutes.
  • Most of the beetles swallowed in the experiment survived with no complications after being excreted.
Keep reading Show less

Our ancestors first developed humanlike brains 1.7 million years ago

A recent study analyzed the skulls of early Homo species to learn more about the evolution of primate brains.

Credit: M. Ponce de León and Ch.Zollikofer, UZH
Surprising Science
  • Using computed tomography, a team of researchers generated images of what the brains of early Homo species likely looked like.
  • The team then compared these images to the brains of great apes and modern humans.
  • The results suggest that Homo species developed humanlike brains about 1.7 million years ago and that this cognitive evolution occurred at the same time early Homo culture and technology were becoming more complex.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast