Category Archives: Middle East

More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times

Would the Times ever write that “Jews who have settled in the West Bank claim the whole of the British mandate of Palestine as land granted by Yahweh, which cannot be ceded.” No? Well then why does Erlanger talk about Allah’s promises to Muslims and Mohammed double crossing a truce in the 7th century to explain Hamas today? Orientalism, alive and kickin!

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Middle East | 64 Comments

Palestinian refugees displaced again as they flee Islamic State in Iraq

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 checkpoints, and the sky for Iraqi Government military jets. The Abu Khalil’s have lived as refugees in Iraq since their family fled Palestine in 1948 during Israel’s war of independence, which forcibly displaced over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and into the life of a refugee. Today, like many Palestinians in Iraq, Abu Khalil and his family find themselves fleeing for their lives yet again. Over 300 Palestinians have recently fled the city of Mosul, which was taken over early June by The Islamic State formerly known as the Islamic State of of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), an offshoot of the Islamic militant group Al Qaeda. “In my mind I don’t think I will ever come back to Mosul,” Abu Khalil told Mondoweiss. Above, Palestinian Ambassador Nazmi Hazouri to Kurdistan speaks to Palestinian residents of Iraq and Kurdistan about the current situations in Gaza and Iraq.

Posted in Iraq, Israel/Palestine | Tagged | 27 Comments

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

Overnight three rockets struck Israel from southern Lebanon, marking the second instance of crossfire between the Mediterranean states over the weekend and since the beginning of the military offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Posted in Gaza, Israeli Government, Middle East | Tagged | 14 Comments

Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that’s the only truth

I know what it feels like to hear the bomb as it drops down wondering if it’s going to hit our house next. To those of you who don’t know, we in Lebanon have lived three major wars with Israel, in 1993, 1996 and 2006 not to mention the daily brutalities that Israeli soldiers committed at check points and villages as they conquered various parts of Lebanon from 1982 till 2000. Those scenes are being repeated now in Gaza and the West Bank. Every day Israelis are bombing and killing Palestinian civilians most of whom are children and women.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Middle East | 20 Comments

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

The Office of Legal Counsel memo justifying the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaki claims that federal statutes prohibiting murder do not apply to CIA officers, who operated the drone that killed Aulaki. To bolster the claim, the memo cites a Cold War-era Justice Department memo that argues for the legality of CIA actions in the context of one of the most controversial acts of the Reagan years: the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors in April 1984, which killed several people.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 4 Comments

Fire Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column on the catastrophe in Iraq, titled “5 Principles for Iraq,” is dishonest, pedestrian, and poorly written. Isn’t it time he lost his job?

Posted in Iraq, Middle East | 58 Comments

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

We protesters against the Iraq war were wrong: we did not see just how bad it would be. But Israel’s American neocon boosters got exactly what they wanted– a “clean break” from the historic power struggle in the region, through destabilization of Arab capitals.

Posted in Iraq, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 59 Comments

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

Here is how history might have unfolded in an alternate universe in which the U.S. never invaded Iraq. 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 of mass destruction. “What if the U.N. inspections have actually worked, Mr. President?” he asked. “It would be a disaster if we invade and then can’t find anything.”

Posted in Iraq, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East | 25 Comments

Interminable Nakba: Syrian Palestinians return to the unknown

Like other Syrians, Syrian Palestinians are collateral damage to both the Syrian regime’s bombing and the international approach that chooses to manage the disintegration of Syria. The crisis of Al-Yarmuk has unearthed trans-generational memories of the 1948 Nakba, kept alive by the obduracy of second- and third-generation refugees now witnessing their camps – their neighborhoods – disappear like those of their grandparents.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Nakba, syria | Tagged | 5 Comments

The latest page in Israel’s divide and conquer playbook: enlisting Palestinian Christians

Israel’s attempt to divide non-Jewish minorities within Israel is intensifying. The latest manifestation of the drive is the Israeli military’s announcement last month that all potential Palestinian Christian recruits would receive voluntary enlistment notices. Coupled with recent legislation that would formally divide and label Christians and Muslims on a labor representation committee, the steps point to how Israeli officials are trying to enshrine and harden sectarian differences within the Palestinian community. Above, Palestinian Christian soldiers are pictured at an event in Nazareth.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, On the ground reports | 35 Comments

3 weeks in Beirut, 5 days in jail and a 90 day travel ban: The saga of journalist Majd Kayyal

“Beirut is the most important place for us as a Palestinian, more than Jerusalem,” Majd Kayyal says following his release from Israeli prison on April 17th for traveling to Lebanon to attend a writers’ conference. But he’s still under the thumb of the Israel’s security service, subject to four years imprisonment for visiting an “enemy” state. Alex Kane and Allison Deger interviewed Kayyal in his native Haifa, the first extended conversation with a foreign media outlet.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East | Tagged | 19 Comments

Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center

Jordan Elgrably argues for the creation of a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center in Los Angeles.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 8 Comments

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel have a new book out that explores the intersection of Islamophobia and Israel—and the ways that the U.S. “war on terror” impacts both.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 5 Comments

In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests

As U.S. brokered negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders nearly fell apart last week, in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority was busy cracking down on a Salafi group attempting to stage protests against the talks. Two weekends in a row, after evening prayers at a central Ramallah mosque dozens of Palestinian Authority riot police and undercover security services conducted mass arrests of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a marginal Islamic group that seeks the ouster of both the PA and Israel.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, Occupation, On the ground reports, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Former Israeli general: failed peace talks won’t lead to doom

Amos Yadlin is very comfortable with Israel’s regional situation. In a conversation with New York Times journalist Ethan Bronner, the former Israeli general predicted that the peace talks with the Palestinians would fail. “The chance of Kerry succeeding is like my chance to win the lottery if I didn’t buy a ticket,” he said, but dismissed predictions of doom if that came to pass, suggesting that Israel can cope with pressure and that the country should unilaterally withdraw to the line drawn by the West Bank separation barrier. Yadlin was also sanguine about the Arab Spring’s impact on Israel, saying that Arab countries are focused internally and that Egypt’s military regime is preferable to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Posted in Arab Spring, Egypt, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 43 Comments

‘The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead

The theory of the ‘clash of civilizations,’ promulgated by the late Samuel Huntington (above) and once widely taken seriously, has been destroyed by events of the past few years in The Middle East

Posted in Arab Spring, Egypt, Middle East, syria | 107 Comments

U.S. intel analysts doubt Israeli claim that captured weapons were headed to Gaza

Remember the massive Israeli photo ops earlier this month during the grand unveiling of “advanced” weapons bound for “terrorist organizations” in Gaza? Well, Reuters is reporting some US analysts don’t think it was headed to Gaza.

Posted in Egypt, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Policy in the Middle East | 58 Comments

Lockerbie: 25 years of geopolitics over truth

A Libyan was convicted of the mass murder in the crash of Pan Am 103 25 years ago, killing 270 people, including villagers in Lockerbie, Scotland. But according to an Al Jazeera documentary that aired in the US last week, he was innocent; and the case served geopolitical aims. David Samel reports on the surprising supporters of the theory that Iran, Syria, and a Palestinian group might have been behind the crash.

Posted in Middle East, US Politics | 30 Comments

Detained, Deported, but not Deterred: Report from CodePink’s Int’l Women’s Day delegation to Gaza

The youngest American in CODEPINK’s International Women’s Day Delegation bound for Gaza recounts her 22 hours detained in the Egyptian airport.

Posted in Activism, Egypt, Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 9 Comments

Journalist David Sheen delivers blistering indictment on Israel’s racist war on African migrants

The Israeli journalist David Sheen has brought the reality of Israel’s war on African migrants to American audiences over the past three weeks. The details he presents are downright devastating, documenting how a state founded to protect refugees has become a state systematically targeting refugees for indefinite imprisonment and deportation. As Sheen notes, at the root of these policies is the driving ethos in Israel of maintaining Jewish supremacy in the face of so-called demographic threats, whether they be Palestinian or African.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | Comments Off

Why I didn’t make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day

Medea Benjamin shares her harrowing story of being detained in Egypt while on her way to mark International Women’s Day in Gaza.

Posted in Activism, Egypt, Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 50 Comments

Open letter from NYC Iranians to Mayor de Blasio: When you stand by AIPAC, you do not stand by us

Letter from Iranians in NYC calling on Mayor de Blasio to cut ties with AIPAC.

Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 7 Comments

Notes from the cells

Nine women wait in a holding cell at the Cairo airport awaiting their deportation, after they tried to join a women’s delegation to Gaza. What do we have in common? writes Felice Gelman, above left. An interest in calling attention to the terrible plight the women of Gaza face particularly in the face of the tightening siege. The UN has cautioned an humanitarian disaster is imminent. And Israel, Egypt and the US all have their reasons for blockading the strip.

Posted in Activism, Egypt, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Anti-Defamation League exploits fear of Muslims to undermine anti-gay bill

The Anti-Defamation League’s latest dance with Islamophobia emerged in Arizona in the midst of a debate on a bill enshrining the rights of business owners to deny service to gays and lesbians. The ADL used specter of Muslims using the legislation to discriminate against non-Muslims to help kill the legislation.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | 26 Comments

Reflections of an Iraqi in Palestine

Nessma Eman Bashi reflects on her recent trip to the West Bank.

Posted in Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 19 Comments