Category Archives:
Middle East

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?

Miracle baby Mohammed escapes ISIS

Mondoweiss Editors on
Mohammed, by UNRWa

The UN Relief and Works Agency sent along this first picture of escapees from Yarmouk since ISIS entered the refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. UNRWA reports “6-week old Mohammed is the youngest civilian to have fled Yarmouk since ISIS entered. He was taken to Tadamon [in Damascus] by his mother on 4th April […]

Future of Yarmouk unclear as PLO abandons aid convoy to besieged refugee camp

Allison Deger on
ISIS fighter holds flag inside of Yarmouk refugee camp, Syria. (Photo: Hamshaq/International Business Times)

This week a horrific scene unfolded in Syria as a besieged Palestinian refugee camp fell under attack by ISIS and al-Nusra Front, another extremist Salafi group. When the fighters gained control of Yarmouk in Damascus, harrowing reports circulated of ISIS’s iconic beheadings and executions. This time it was Palestinian refugees who were victim and amid the chaos 18,000 Palestinians and Syrians were stranded and starving behind ISIS sharpshooters. In response, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank announced they were planning to coordinate a major convoy that would truck humanitarian aid inside of Yarmouk. Then yesterday, the Palestinian officials reversed their decision.

Yarmouk-based NGO chronicles week of ISIS attacks on the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria

Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief on
Funeral of two killed by shelling inside of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, April 2015. (Photo: Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief)

On April 1, 2015 armed groups belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched an attack on Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, , which is the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. The Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief which operates on the ground in Yarmouk compiled this timeline of the attack from people who witnessed the unfolding events first hand.

The epic season of spinning Iran deal begins!

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu demands Iran recognize Israel

The opposition to Obama’s Iran deal is flailing. The neoconservatives say that he is Neville Chamberlain trusting the Nazis, and a bad golfer. But Obama has the center and the left, Trita Parsi says. Though maybe not the New York Times.

How Obama won on Iran

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu in Congress.

Obama won the Iran deal by assembling a centrist-liberal coalition over the last eight weeks of Netanyahu blunders. That group includes Hillary Clinton, J Street, the New York Times, Chris Matthews, Jonathan Chait– many of whom supported the Iraq war.


Philip Weiss on
Kerry in Lausanne

Reports from Lausanne are that Iran and the P5+1 are inching toward a vague agreement with details to be worked out in the next 3 months, and Congress doing its utmost to nitpick the deal in weeks to come

NFL and AIPAC to team up to polish their brands together

Mondoweiss Editors on
Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Call it a Hail Mary or a Passover miracle, or both, but two of the biggest brands in the country are hooking up in a joint p.r. effort to try and polish up their distressed images. NFL and AIPAC will launch an ad campaign showing all the good things they do for Americans.

Netanyahu to stage hunger strike against world peace

Adam Horowitz on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in happier times. (Photo: The Old New Republic)

In a last ditch effort to block an impending nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced today, April 1, he will immediately begin an open-ended hunger strike against world peace.

Day before deadline, Iran negotiations coming ‘down to the wire’ and Netanyahu still hopes to play spoiler

Eamon Murphy on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mitch McConnell, in Jerusalem on Sunday. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

With one day left before the deadline for an agreement on the contours of an Iranian nuclear deal, negotiations look set to go “down to the wire”, in the White House’s phrase – or possibly past it. The possible deal’s most prominent critic is staying on the offensive. “The emerging agreement in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price to pay for aggression – on the contrary, Iran gets a prize for its aggression,” Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday.

Netanyahu says US is part of new ‘axis’!

Philip Weiss on
John McCain

Today in his effort to counter the Iran deal, Netanyahu called the US part of the “Axis,” a naked reference to Nazi Germany and its allies in World War 2. “The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity and it must be stopped.”

White House will go after AIPAC next — Newsweek

Philip Weiss on
AIPAC logo

As the Iran talks go to the wire, we can only marvel at the political fireworks we are seeing. Newsweek follows up on the the Wall Street Journal report that Israel was spying on the US talks and leaking details to friendly members of congress. “I’m betting there are going to be some willing leakers now about stories such as AIPAC’s operations against Congress,” a former US intelligence operative predicts.

[1]-[2]-[6]-[20]: A regional strategy for sustainable peace for Israel/Palestine

Johan Galtung on
The separation wall, 2007. (Photo: Filippo Minelli/Flickr)

Prof. Johan Galtung proposes a region-wide solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “A genuine approach to peace would exclude all talk of the USA as a dispassionate honest “broker” and engage in Israel & Palestine negotiations by honestly: Pointing out that USA & Israel are in alignment on almost everything but the settlements, and working on how to integrate Israel into a regional community with its five Arab border states and the states bordering on the latter.”

Israel spying scandal comes to light one week before Iran negotiation deadline

Eamon Murphy on
Obama and Netanyahu

With less than a week before the March 31 deadline to finalize the outlines of a nuclear deal, the relative positions of Iran and the Western powers are coming into focus. Israel sees its regional nuclear monopoly hanging in the balance and has sent a national security delegation to Paris to influence the negotiations. Meanwhile, the nascent U.S.-Israel breach continues to widen, as anonymous White House sources accuse Benjamin Netanyahu of using information obtained through espionage to lobby Congress against a deal.

Netanyahu and the unraveling of the British Jewish consensus

Robert Cohen on
Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Cameron

Robert Cohen writes: In Britain, if you are a pro-Israel lobby group like We Believe in Israel, or BICOM or the Zionist Federation you have a tricky time ahead. If you are leading our religious or communal bodies from the United Synagogue to Liberal Judaism and of course the Board of Deputies, then you are now in a very serious fix. Here’s why. Bibi is back and this time he’s telling the truth. Expect to see turmoil in the ranks of the Jewish establishment, some soul searching among the rank and file and a clear fracturing of publicly voiced Jewish opinions on Israel. And about time too.