Category Archives:
Middle East

Unravelling the false history of the Iranian nuclear program: An excerpt from ‘Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare’

Gareth Porter on

On Friday Just World Books published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare by Gareth Porter. The following exclusive excerpt is the introduction to the book. You can buy the book here.  In November 2013, the United States and five other states concluded a preliminary agreement with Iran on its nuclear program that

‘You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing’: State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate

Annie Robbins on

There was an amusing exchange today at the State Departments’ Daily Press Briefing the sums up the confused and contradictory U.S. policy towards Israeli settlements. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki dodged questions about Israel’s settlements, the boycott of Israeli goods, and the ‘framework agreement’, claiming both Israeli settlements and the boycotting of good produced in settlements are

The US charade in Egypt, Syria and Palestine

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. The Syrian talks went nowhere. As expected. Everyone knew they were show and tell. In Geneva, there was no breakthrough but there were accusations and yelling galore. Along with the fear of

Death toll rises in Yarmouk as siege and bombings continue

Allison Deger on

A week ago the world rejoiced when food trucks finally arrived to Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria to alleviate mass starvation, after nearly 200 days of siege and over 50 dead. Parcels of lentils, oil, sugar, rice and noodles were distributed. People gathered in the streets to cook a coffee-table-sized pot of soup. But an

On the 3rd anniversary of the democratic uprising, is there hope for Egypt?

James North on

The latest news from Egypt continues to depress.  Three years after masses of brave demonstrators filled Tahrir Square, the new military government continues to arrest thousands of innocent people — with the apparent support of a majority of Egyptians.  The security forces have also libeled the Muslim Brotherhood as “terrorist,” despite no evidence, outlawed the

Cracks in the alliance: Is there finally daylight between Israel and the US?

Jonathan Cook on

Things have come to a strange state of affairs when Washington regards Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, as the voice of moderation in the Israeli cabinet. While Lieberman has called the soon-to-be-unveiled US peace plan the best deal Israel is ever likely to get, and has repeatedly flattered its chief author, US secretary of

Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria

Omar Chaaban on

Let us suppose for the sake of argument that Syria’s Assad regime does enjoy a considerable amount of legitimacy, and that their concerns of an armed insurgency designed specifically to advance Western imperial interests are acceptable. Let us also accept, for one second, that the revolution in Syria is the main bastion of extremism and

While you were neutral about Yarmouk

Talal Alyan on

While you were insisting on neutrality about Yarmouk, the Syrian regime dropped barrel bombs on it. Mohammad Al Far. Husam Abo Ahmad. Mohammad Tafori. Mohammad Suhaib Al Qides. Ala’a Fri’j. These men are all dead. Mohammad Taha would later die too when he, along with a larger demonstration, approached a regime checkpoint in frustration after the carnage rained

Cornell SJP responds to the situation in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp

Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine on

The situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, the ghost capital of the Palestinian Shatat, is intolerable. Over the last several months, the camp’s remaining Palestinians have been closed off from without and deprived of food by government troops, invaded from within by the Saudi and Qatari-armed insurgents whom the siege seeks to contain.

Jon Stewart plays ‘Let’s break a deal’ with AIPAC

Annie Robbins on

Jon Stewart knocks it totally out of the ballpark in this recent episode of the Daily Show. He skewers AIPAC, congress and Israel over AIPAC’s proposed Iran sanctions legislation, and then some. He kills! Bonus a Lindsey Graham imitation to die for– and then a photo of all the senators threatening to vote for more Iran sanctions appears

Are the Palestinians the losers of the Arab Spring?

Abdalhadi Alijla on

Reading the news of Hassan Hassan’s murder, the Palestinian actor and comedian, in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp, was like a bombshell. Hassan and his wife were arrested by Al-Assad forces three months ago; his wife and son were released two days later. However, he was detained until his family was informed to issue a death

Simon Wiesenthal Center calls Falk, Walker, Waters, Blumenthal and ASA anti-Semites

Allison Deger and Philip Weiss on

You’d think it’s a parody but it isn’t. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which says it’s devoted to fighting anti-Semitism worldwide because of the Holocaust, has made a year-end list of the “Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs” for 2013 and (no surprise) the victors are a combination of actual anti-Semites and critics of Israeli policy. The American

American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy

Max Blumenthal on
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Despite its claims to be “committed to strengthening Palestinian-American relations” as “an independent voice for Palestine,” the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) has begun accepting funding from one of the most aggressive funders of anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic initiatives in the United States. A recently released 2011 Internal Revenue Service Form 990 information return revealed

The Cult in the Shadow War: An Interview with a former member of Mojahedin-e-Khalq

Richard Potter on

Masoud Banisadr was an active member of the controversial Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK, PMOI) for twenty years, serving as the organizations representative to the United Nations and to the United States during his tenure. The group is largely obscured from public discourse, or more recently veiled in headlines describing them as political dissidents or refugees.

Even when US drones hit the mark in Pakistan, they’re still counterproductive

Medea Benjamin on

“We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23, to a crowd of over 10,000 protesters who blocked the highway used by NATO

The false analogy of Syria and Palestine

Jonathan Cook on

As with many of those who express a view in the continuing debate about the wisdom of launching yet another “humanitarian intervention” in Syria, I have found myself under attack from those calling for more war. The charge against me and many like me is one of hypocrisy. So where are my double standards? I

(Updated) Senator Chuck Schumer promises more Iran sanctions, vows to ‘defeat’ Arab world and Palestinians

Alex Kane on

New York Senator Chuck Schumer was his usual hawkish self on Sunday evening.  In an address to the OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services gala, Schumer railed against the deal the Obama administration struck with Iran and vowed that Democrats and Republicans would work to pile on more economic pressure on the country. “Democrats and Republicans

The story behind the deal: Israel kept out of the loop as secret US/Iran meetings took place in Oman

Annie Robbins on

It’s a brand new day. As shares in Gulf markets climb, people are celebrating the historic deal around the world with a collective sigh of relief. U.S. mainstream media reports a “3-decade gridlock broken” and “game-changing rapprochement” it’s lots of doom and gloom over in Israel, they’re not taking any part in “the international celebration“. Details have emerged the U.S.

Neocon attack group uses health care debacle to say Obama can’t be trusted on Iran

Alex Kane on

The Emergency Committee for Israel is warning that President Barack Obama can’t keep promises–whether it’s on health care or Iran.  The neoconservative group’s latest video warns that the American people can’t trust the president, and that he’s the one marching towards a war with Iran. It’s the latest salvo from right-wingers seeking to scuttle a

Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ and the imagination of national security

Deepa Kumar on

The show Homeland began its third season with record-breaking ratings. The show’s creators Alex Ganza and Howard Gordon, who previously collaborated on the wildly popular series 24, seem to have worked out a successful narrative for the War on Terror during the Obama era. If 24 reflected the Bush administration’s cowboy, shoot-em-up (and torture them)