Category Archives:
Middle East

Rescuing atheism from Harris and Hitchens

Theodore Sayeed on
Sam Harris

In The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremism, author C J Werleman argues that an atheism that does battle only with imaginary spirits and ghosts to the neglect of pressing international issues of war and peace cheapens the legacy of the old free thinkers.

Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen wedding with US weapons, killing 131 civilians

Ben Norton on
Yemeni children sifting through rubble after a bombing early in the year

Photo: Getty Images / BBC

The Saudi-led, US-backed coalition killed 131 civilians, including at least 80 women, after bombing a wedding in Yemen on September 28. A representative of Doctors Without Borders said there was no military presence near the wedding. This attack marks the deadliest day in the war in Yemen, which has now gone on for over half a year.

The Obama administration needs to own up to the quagmire in Syria

Annie Robbins on
Screenshot: State Department spokesperson Admiral John Kirby Sept 21, 2015

The crisis in Syria is still in full throttle. President Obama pretends to be a powerless bystander in Syria when in fact US policy has played an important role in creating the quagmire now playing out. For example, the events of this past weekend present a microcosm of how US policy has failed and it’s time […]

The Republican candidates are fostering a dangerous culture of Islamophobia

Mondoweiss Editors on
Ben Carson

Ben Carson and Donald Trump are not alone – the Republican presidential field is composed of candidates who have encouraged religious hatred that is a direct contradiction to bedrock American values, including freedom of religion. –Hillary Clinton website details a dangerous trend.

Iranian president issues New Year greetings to Jews

James North and Philip Weiss on

If you’re an anti-semitic regime that wants to annihilate Israel, then why would your president be tweeting New Year’s greetings to the world’s Jews? In Hebrew, no less. May our shared Abrahamic roots deepen respect & bring peace & mutual understanding. L’Shanah Tovah. #RoshHashanah — Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) September 13, 2015 In a similar […]

Could Syria’s revolution have been different?

Charles Glass on
Syrian anti-regime protesters carry a picture of President Assad that reads, "Leave. We don't trust you. You will leave and we will stay because Syria is ours. Enough of injustice and killing," during a rally in the southern suburb of Maadamiya, Damascus, Syria in July 2011. (Photo: AP)

Read an excerpt from Charles Glass’s new book Syria Burning from Or Books. In it, Glass puts the failure of the Syria revolution into a broader historical context where the United States, with its European and Arab allies, have manipulated and subverted movements for change in the Middle East for decades.

Don’t trade a war on Palestinians for a war on Iran — Berman

Mondoweiss Editors on
Rabbi Joseph Berman of JVP

“Daylight” between the U.S. and Israel over Iran is bound to become a “deeper wedge” over the occupation in coming years as American politicians at last speak up, Rabbi Joseph Berman of Jewish Voice for Peace predicts

Germany comes face to face with ‘a Jew against Zionism’

Lillian Rosengarten on
Lillian Rosengarten

Diehard Zionists have sought to portray author Lillian Rosengarten’s tour of her birthplace, Germany, as anti-Semitic because she opposes the existence of a Jewish state. She has demonstrated that the charge is false.

A guide to the worst refugee crisis since WWII

Ben Norton on

The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. There are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an all-time high, as people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen are fleeing violence in their countries. Human rights organizations warn the Gulf states, Israel, Iran, and Russia—all of whom have taken zero refugees—along with the US, Canada, and Europe—which have taken few—are not doing enough. Ben Norton presents a guide to the refugee crisis and how every country you need to know about is responding.

The U.S. has responsibility for Syrian refugees because we started destructive wars

Roland Nikles on
Lorry in which 71 migrants died

What is the alternate history where Al Gore is elected President in 2000? What is the alternate history where the United States does not launch two destructive 10 year wars in the Middle East in 2003? How much of the current refugee problem in the Middle East and North Africa is traceable to our actions in these wars?

Rights Groups: 80% of Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid due to US-backed war

Ben Norton on
A Yemeni child in the rubble of homes destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes

Photo: AP / Hani Mohammed

21 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid, but the world is largely ignoring it, an officer for international human rights organization Save the Children warns in an op-ed in the Guardian. The Saudi-led, US-backed “war has left Yemen, already the poorest country in the region, mired in a humanitarian crisis,” writes Mark Kaye, humanitarian advocacy and communications manager for the NGO.

Ben and Jerry won’t tell you who’s trying to kill Iran Deal

Philip Weiss on
Ben & Jerry's peace and love brand

Ben and Jerry — Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield– are working for the Iran Deal against wobbly Democrats. Good for them. But when they condemn the “billionaires” who are trying to kill the deal, they purposely leave out the American Israel Public Affairs Committee– because Ben and Jerry’s have operations in Israel and sell ice cream in the occupied territories.

51 Christian faith leaders urge Congress to vote for Iran Deal

Mondoweiss Editors on
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands on January 14, 2015 with US State Secretary John Kerry in Geneva. (Photo: RICK WILKING/AFP/Getty Images)

51 Christian leaders representing dozens of denominations and Christian organizations sent a letter to Congress today, urging lawmakers to vote in favor of the Vienna agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program. The letter, signed by leaders from all the major streams of Christianity in the United States— Roman Catholic, evangelical, mainline Protestant and Orthodox, warns lawmakers that “rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place.”

4,500 killed in Yemen in 150 Days of Saudi-led bombing

Ben Norton on
Yemenis in the rubble of homes destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in capital city Sana'a.

CREDIT: Hani Mohammed / AP

Approximately 4,500 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began bombing 150 days ago, according to the UN. An average of 30 people have been killed in Yemen every single day since the beginning of the war on March 26, which pits a US-backed coalition of Middle Eastern nations and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and fighters loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.