Category Archives:
Middle East

Corey Robin revisits Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

Roland Nikles on
Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt’s portrait of Adolph Eichmann is controversial to this day because it sees evil in his actions not in his underlying motivation; and Zionists are especially critical because they insist on the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe, as a basis for the necessity of the Jewish state

Kim Philby’s last straw

Philip Weiss on
Kim Philby

The Soviet spy Kim Philby escaped detection twice in the 1950s and what did him in in the end? He criticized Israel as a writer in Beirut for the Economist and the Observer, and an ardent Zionist informed on him to British authorities. And the American reviewers of a book that tells the story leave that angle out.

Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism

Addi Svarogic on
Sam Harris, from Wikimedia commons

Addi Svarogic looks at the recent heated email exchange occurred between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris. He writes, “The irony of New Atheists ignoring the material world and solely focusing on professed theological motivations perfectly illustrates their lack of analytical skills or – in the worst case scenario – a conscious effort on their part to muddy the waters.”

Zionism is tired

Philip Weiss on
James G. McDonald

Norman J.W. Goda, a University of Florida professor who shares a neoconservative patron with Marco Rubio, offers neocolonialist rationales for Israel’s creation at a NY talk. The Zionists had a vision for a modern state Palestinians would enjoy a good standard of living in, but it had to be a Jewish majority.

Israel’s state ideology tantamount to the ongoing Palestinian Nakba

Amjad Alqasis on
A Palestinian youth rides his bicycle next to Israel's "apartheid wall" on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Al Akhbar English)

On 15th of May Palestinians worldwide will commemorate the ongoing Palestinian Nakba. A symbol for this ongoing forcible displacement is the Israeli Annexation Wall, which is yet another tool deployed by Israel to continue the process of colonizing Mandate Palestine. Simply put, the Israeli endeavour aims at emptying Mandate Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants, including areas that lie today within the borders of Israel proper.

Photo essay: Continually displaced, Palestinian refugees spend Nakba day in Iraqi IDP camp

Abed Al Qaisi on
Ayhab Aldadeedi's family fled Haifa in 1948. Aldadeedi, born in Iraq, holds the documents showing his Palestinian refugee status. "Nakba, which Nakba? My whole life has been a string of catastrophes," he says. (Photo: Abed Al Qaisi)

Baharka IDP camp, Iraq, holds over 1,000 displaced Iraqi families. However in one small section, 18 Palestinian refugee families currently reside. Their displacement began 67 years ago with the Nakba, and has continued to 2015 – all the families have fled from ISIS within the last year. For some of the older Palestinian refugees this is their fifth refugee camp in their lifetime, for the younger generation it is their first. For all however, the plight of being a Palestinian refugee doesn’t appear to have an end in sight.

One month under ISIS: Starvation, typhoid and the burning of musical instruments in Yarmouk

Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief on
Yarmouk refugee camp, April 2015. (Phot: Jafra Foundation)

After two years of siege and nearly one-year of rampant starvation, fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) and an al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front, overran Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria on April 1st, 2015. The militants launched a surprise midnight attack and beheaded three Palestinians during their first raid. Today they control an estimated 80% of the camp. In this area arrests, killings, and even the burning of musical instruments—which are considered sinful under the austere salafi group’s interpretation of Islam—are common.

‘BirthWrong’ in the Cradle of Jewish Culture: Jews gather in southern Spain for tour that aims to repudiate Zionism

Max Blumenthal on
(Photo: Jewdas)

Max Blumenthal reports from ‘Birthwrong,’ a week-long tour of southern Spain meant to counter the pro-Israel indoctrination of the Birthright program. Blumenthal writes on his decision to join, “The trip seemed like the perfect way to repudiate a grim Jewish nationalist vision buttressed by the dual poles of Israel’s ethnocracy and the phantasmagoria of Auschwitz. Not only did it offer a potential escape hatch from Zionism, it presented a real alternative by re-centering Jewish identity around a vibrant diaspora tradition.”

Using the dead: the ‘NYT’ works with Israel to justify military service

Tzvia Thier on
Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the grave of Netanyahu's late brother Yoni at the Mt Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem last year

A New York Times article celebrating sacrifice in the Israeli army on the country’s memorial day was deeply disturbing to Tzvia Thier, who has personally experienced such loss. These soldiers died in vain, for a government dispensing terror. Journalists should not be celebrating that sacrifice.

Understanding the Jewish National Home

David Gerald Fincham on
Arthur Balfour, who as Britain's Foreign Secretary in 1917 issued the Balfour Declaration to Lord Rothschild

Palestine was too small to become the Jewish national home without harming the rights of non-Jews. The British and early Zionists understood this, and spoke of Palestine as a single state with perfect equality between Jew and Arab, the common home for two peoples. Is there hope for harmony and mutual respect even today?