Category Archives:
Middle East

ISIS wants us to come in and bomb Arabs (Rouhani and Matthews agree)

Philip Weiss on
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Last week the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said at the U.N. that ISIS wants the U.S. back in Iraq: They also have a single goal: the destruction of civilization, giving rise to Islamophobia and creating a fertile ground for further intervention of foreign forces in our region. Last night Chris Matthews said the same thing: Is

Modi and Netanyahu’s NY bromance

Philip Weiss on
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The Israeli and Indian prime ministers went out of their way to have a meeting in NY yesterday, reflecting an Indian shift from support for Palestinian aspirations to support for Israel. The third side of the triangle is the U.S., which forgives Narendra Modi his part in a Muslim massacre and never had a problem with Netanyahu’s recent massacre in Gaza

Why is the United Nations doing business with G4S, notorious prison supplier?

Kali Rubaii for Friends of Sabeel—North America on
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In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. There was a G4S logo on the gate attendant’s shirt. And G4S all over the compound. Why is the British company that serves Israeli prisons a UN contractor?

When does ‘Unsustainable’ become ‘Unconscionable’?

Marc H. Ellis on
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The deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in the sea fleeing Gaza ought to be acknowledged around the world as evidence that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands is not just “unsustainable” — Obama’s mantra — but “unconscionable.”

Homegrown jihadis and the limits of the Israel lobby

Maggie Sager on
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Israel’s calculation of “Liberalism for us, oppression for our enemies” mirrors Western attitudes. The Israel lobby is not needed to sway western governments to support the Jewish state, Maggie Sager argues at Mondo

After war, children in Gaza return to school

Kate on
The girl in this photo didn't wear the school uniform; she wore the last dress her mother bought for her - she lost all her family. (Photo: Mohammed Zeyara/Facebook)

The AP reports: Some half million Gaza children made a delayed return to school on Sunday after a devastating 50-day war with Israel that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings

ISIS, 9/11, and the terrorism time loop

Deepa Kumar on
President Barack Obama delivers a prime time address from the White House to discuss the US strategy to counter ISIS, Sept. 10, 2014 (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

As we mark another anniversary of the attacks in 2001, it seems as if little has changed. We appear to be caught in a time loop where history keeps repeating itself again and again. If it was al Qaeda in 2001 that represented the pinnacle of all things evil that animated the US invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq, today its al Qaeda’s evil twin Islamic State that is prompting air strikes in Iraq and upcoming airstrikes on Syria as well. Virtually absent in the media circus around ISIS is an honest discussion of how the US War on Terror, rather than halting the growth of violent Islamist groups, actually fosters fundamentalism

ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state

Jonathan Cook on
Shmuley Boteach image for his New York Times ad, which he says the paper  insisted he change.

Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS, or Islamic State, as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth. The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws (sharia). Given that Muslims are now to be found in every corner of the globe, the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination. Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago. ISIS aims to sweep away Palestine and every other Arab state in the region

The best U.S. ‘strategy’ to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states

Philip Weiss on
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Barack Obama is working on his strategy to combat the radical Islamist group ISIS. How about upholding a core principle of democracy, the separation of church and state? We would affirm that principle not by sending drones and special forces to Syria but by opposing the idea of a Jewish state in Israel and Palestine.

It’s ‘bomb or bombing’ in Iran inside of a year, Israeli leader tells US pol

Philip Weiss on
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The leader of the Democratic congressional campaign committee, Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island, has published a journal of his visit to Israel August 3-9. You’d think the congressman has more important things to do than write up his breathless meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu amid “a cauldron of pressure,” but the congressman is a major

Palestinian refugees displaced again as they flee Islamic State in Iraq

Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery on
Palestinian Ambassador Nazmi Hazouri to Kurdistan speaks to Palestinian residents of Iraq and Kurdistan about the current situations in Gaza and Iraq. (Photo: Abed Al Qaisi)

Qasi Mustafa Abu Khalil and his family packed all of their belongings into one car and fled their home in the middle of the night. They were too nervous to look back as they left Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq—all eyes were glued on the road for Islamic State (IS) checkpoints, and the

Gaza war spreads as rockets are launched into Israel from southern Lebanon

Allison Deger on

Overnight three rockets struck Israel from southern Lebanon, marking the second instance of crossfire between the Mediterranean states since the beginning of the military offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip. The rockets landed in Nahariya, a beachside community ten kilometers from the Lebanese border. Lebanese officials and a United Nations monitoring group have combed the

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

Rémi Brulin on

On September 30, 2011, Anwar al-Aulaki, a radical Islamist cleric and an American citizen, was killed in a targeted drone strike in Yemen. Among the many legal questions raised by such an act, a most important and intriguing one relates to the legal status of certain CIA activities given the existence of 18 USC 119,

Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq

James North on

[Here is an alternative history of Iraq that we posted 4 years ago, revised in light of recent events.] Historians would later record how Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons

Interminable Nakba: Syrian Palestinians return to the unknown

Ahmad Diab on

Before it was a refugee camp, Al-Yarmuk was long known as the battle that consolidated Syria under Arab rule after the landmark defeat of the Byzantine Empire in 636 C.E. From now on, however, it will symbolize a different event. Al-Yarmuk now stands between Tel Al-Za’tar – the Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut that was