Category Archives:
Middle East

David Grossman’s love letter to Israel, warts and all

Claire Paddock on
David Grossman, by Michael Lionstar

Israeli novelist David Grossman is a face of liberal Zionism around the world. Yet his 2008 novel To the End of the Land fails as a love letter to Israel; it is nationalistic and treats Arabs as animalistic

Golem and Big Brother

Abba Solomon on
Jeff Halper

Israel now is selling tested police technologies and methods to the world, an ironic development for a movement founded by members who knew well of the Czar’s and the Bolshevik secret police, and who feared the Cossack’s sword. A review of Jeff Halper’s new book.

In the ‘NYT,’ fear of Trump’s police state

Philip Weiss on
Timothy Egan

Israeli rage over the media’s treatment of Palestinian violence suggests that an understanding of the violence of the Israeli occupation is at last penetrating a wide U.S. audience

The only way to take on ISIS is to take on Wahhabi doctrine

Samer Abboud on
ISIS flag raised near Turkish Syrian border

Bombing campaigns are a simplistic and temporary response to ISIS’s spread; they don’t work and hurt civilians. The west must address the structural causes of ISIS’ rise, which include the Saudi support for a sectarian, conservative Wahhabi doctrine

Israel isn’t worried about ISIS

Philip Weiss on
Amos Yadlin

Israel isn’t that worried about ISIS. It’s far from the Israeli border and it has limited military capability. Israel’s real concern is a regional power struggle, in which Iran has more influence than Israel due to Russia’s support for the Assad government in Syria and for Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border.

Hillary Clinton equates ISIS and Hamas

Philip Weiss on
Hillary Clinton speaking at Council on Foreign Relations on Nov. 19, 2015

After Paris, Israel advocates say that the west is in the same war as Israel. Hillary Clinton equates ISIS and Hamas, while Netanyahu says radical Islamic “beasts” prowl the streets and the waterways of “our common civilization.”

ISIS as a fascist movement

Stephen Sheehi on
An image made available on a jihadist website during the summer of 2014 which shows Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants holding the organization's trademark flag in Iraq. (Photo: AFP)

Stephen Sheehi says ISIS has more in common with Western fascist ideologies and militant, extremist right-wing extremist organizations rather than as an outgrown of political Islam and legitimate political “Islamist” parties.

How do we mourn for the dead when empathy is a battleground

Mark Bou Mansour on
Examples of a filter Facebook users were able to add to their profiles to show solidarity with Paris following attacks by ISIS.

Mark Bou Mansour asks, “How do we reach a place where the very act of mourning, the grief you feel over the ruthless murder of your fellow humans, becomes a political act by which you subjugate and dehumanise yourself?”

Paris and Islamophobia

Raymond Wofsy on
14 Nov 2015, Paris, France --- Police officers patrol at Place du Trocadero near the Eifel tower in Paris, France, 14 November 2015. At least 120 people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris. PHOTO: MARIUS BECKER/DPA --- Image by © Marius Becker/dpa/Corbis

It feels hard to mourn in Paris for Raymond Wofsy because it is hard for him to separate the grief from French nationalism, colonialism, and Islamophobia.

Clinton’s Iraq — and Clinton’s Haiti

Philip Weiss on
Hillary Clinton

Even as Hillary Clinton explains her Iraq war vote as a “mistake,” the political corruption in Haiti that is sinking that country into violence also bears her stamp.

Today’s a day to grieve for Paris, not score political points

James North and Philip Weiss on
Paris victims, by Christian Hartmann of Reuters

Today’s a day to grieve for Paris, not score political points. Besides, if we were able to end the Israel Palestine conflict tomorrow and create a global regime of human rights, it wouldn’t end radicalization of some Muslims in France.

US and Israel rewrite history of UN resolution that declared Zionism is racism

Ben Norton on
Israeli Amb. Chaim Herzog ripping the text of GA Res. 3379 at the UN in 1975 (CREDIT: Screen capture of Israel archives video)

Forty years ago the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379 which declared “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” At the UN on November 11, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and Secretary of State John Kerry forcefully condemned the resolution on its anniversary. In his 2,500-word statement, Kerry mentioned Palestinians just once, Power did not mention Palestinians at all.

Incitement is not the problem– Ted Cruz using it is

Dorgham Abusalim on
Mahmoud Abbas quote at Ted Cruz's Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing last week

A Ted Cruz hearing on Palestinian incitement pillories Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Cruz must be running for president– so he leaves out all the Israeli incitement to violence

The Case for Parallel States: Excerpt from ‘One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States’

Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg on
A demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag as he looks over the wall during the weekly protest against the wall and the occupation in the West Bank village of Bil’in, January 4, 2012. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma/

Read an excerpt from the book “One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States” which details the findings of a half decade’s worth of joint research, discussions and debates in the areas of security, economics, diplomacy, international law, legal regimes and harmonization, and the role of religious and of culture more broadly in creating a new architecture for shared sovereignty yet politically independent life for both peoples on the same land.

Antipodean Update

John Salisbury on
John Salibury

John Salisbury sends up update from Australia regarding the country’s changing politics towards Israel and Palestine. Salisbury recently undertook a 330 kilometer walk from from Sydney to Canberra to highlight the injustice of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Coffee at Isaac Bashevis Singer Boulevard

Abba Solomon on
Lillian Rosengarten

Authors Lillian Rosengarten and Remi Kanazi are Americans who view Israel/Palestine– in her new autobiography and his new collection of poems– as two New Yorkers mourning their family’s ejection from a homeland. They refuse to be only the particular (Arab, Jew), refusing the scheme of the world as kin versus enemy.

Antony Loewenstein’s contempt for journalists

Philip Weiss on
Antony Loewenstein

Antony Loewenstein, author of Disaster Capitalism: “Journalism has the potential to be transformative, to inform and provoke. Too often I see reporters desperate to be close to power, whether ministers, minders. Insiders. Being embedded.”

Divine Violence?

Udi Aloni on
An angel under construction; the Christian-Palestinian cemetery, Jaffa.
(Photo: Udi Aloni)

In light of recent headlines filmmaker Udi Aloni reflects on violence in Israel/Palestine: “As an individual sovereign human being I oppose all violence. This is the reason why I’ve supported BDS, and I’ll never collaborate with violence, but when I think with the aid of Walter Benjamin I can say that the violence of the Israeli Jews is institutional violence that represents the Israeli will for hegemony and oppression, while the violence of the Palestinian Jerusalemites and citizens of the state is the violence of oppressed subterranean streams seeking a place to erupt and to utter a strong outcry against injustice and for justice.”

Israel gets away with it because it is a global arms supplier — Halper

Robert Cohen on
Jeff Halper

In Jeff Halper’s view, the elephant in the room of Israel’s immunity from criticism is the military-security connection. There’s no Jewish lobby in India or China, nor is Christian fundamentalist Zionism a political force in Thailand or Colombia. And what explains Saudi Arabia’s willingness to do business with Israel despite its long-standing criticism of the Jewish State?