Category Archives:
Middle East

End of lockstep US Jewish support for Israel is a triumph not a tragedy

Philip Weiss on
Chemi Shalev

Many Jewish voices are lamenting the tragic division of the US Jewish community over the Iran Deal. The historic division is over a critical question, the US national interest versus Israel’s, and it signals the day when the many Jews who support BDS will at last get a hearing in synagogues and community centers

Pittsburgh Jews say Obama will allow ‘Second Holocaust’ while Israel’s ambassador openly lobbies Capitol Hill

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu and Dermer during Iraq war runup

The politics of the Iran Deal have been a largely-Jewish affair. Sticking with the theme, Pittsburgh Jews accuse Obama of allowing a Second Holocaust, Israel’s ambassador openly works against the administration that welcomed him by lobbying the Hill, and Paul Pillar of the National Interest says that Israel’s machinations here are fostering “disgust.”

Kerry’s stirring speech in Cuba was jammed with Iran echoes

Philip Weiss on
John Kerry greets Cubans across the street from US Embassay, August 14, 2015

John Kerry’s speech in Cuba last week said that the Cuban people will forge their own destiny, the U.S. cannot determine that. But we can’t be prisoners of history, and the Pope is encouraging us. All these lessons go for Iran too. Kerry surely intended the echo.

Someone Else’s Normal: The Dawabshe tragedy and picturing Palestine

Juliana Farha on
Photo of the Dawabshe family

Juliana Farha writes from London about the murder of 18 month old Ali Dawabshe: “It’s a world in which Conservative MPs queue up to prevent academic debate about Israeli policy, and Tory Prime Ministers defend the slaughter of unarmed Gazan civilians sheltering in UN schools by the same forces that have maintained an eight year siege against those same civilians. These people are unashamed by their unconditional support for a regime that made the death of this toddler and his parents entirely predictable, if not inevitable. Indeed, they split linguistic and moral hairs in order to justify their shrewd indifference. They tell themselves and each other that this hell on earth is someone else’s normal.”

Former Iranian political prisoners urge U.S. support for Iran Deal

Mondoweiss Editors on
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands on January 14, 2015 with US State Secretary John Kerry in Geneva. (Photo: RICK WILKING/AFP/Getty Images)

Former political prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran write in support of the Iran Deal: “We believe this agreement would reinforce peace and stability in the Middle East and the world. It will help develop and foster a relationship between both the Iranian and American people that will strongly benefit the interests of both nations. Furthermore, such an agreement will help counter the spread of terrorism within the region and around the world.”

Understanding the Partition plan

David Gerald Fincham on
Partition plan, UN 1947, with '49 armistice delineated

Mandate Palestine aimed to allow Jews and Arabs to live alongside one another. Its failure led to the idea of Partition. Now Partition has also failed. Scholar David Gerald Fincham considers the impractical nature of creating two sovereign states in the territory and the need for a federal solution combining certain national functions.

Greek Syriza-led government makes military deal with Israel that only US has made

Ben Norton on
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon speaks with Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos at Israel's Defense Ministry.
(Photo: Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Defense Ministry)

Greece’s ruling ostensibly left-wing Syriza party signed a “status of forces” accord with Israel on July 19. The Jerusalem Post explains that the agreement “offers legal defense to both militaries while training in the other’s country.” Only one other country in the world has signed such an accord with Israel; that country is the US, which calls its uncritical support of Israel the “special relationship.”

The global arms race between the US and China is devastating Africa and the Middle East

Antony Loewenstein on

The global arms race has never been more lucrative. America and China are engaged in unprecedented levels of spending around the world to influence and shape global affairs. The effects are devastating on civilians but Washington and Beijing insists they’re “stabilizing” nations. It’s one of the deadliest myths of the 21st century.

Netanyahu bluffed an attack on Iran, and Jeffrey Goldberg helped out

Philip Weiss on
Shibley Telhami

Shibley Telhami says that Netanyahu got the nuclear deal with Iran because he tried to play Obama in 2011-2012 to believe that Israel was about to attack Iran. Netanyahu wanted to hurt Obama in the election and get the Americans to attack Iran. Jeffrey Goldberg piece played right into the strategy.

The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality

Yakov Rabkin on
John Kerry on crutches

Racism surely played a role in western misconceptions of Iran’s plans. Iran is somehow deemed inferior to Western powers, which are thought to be rational and responsible in spite of their record of two world wars and innumerable colonial wars, including recent unwarranted attacks on Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries.

Cycling4Gaza heads to the Hague

Annie Robbins on
Screen shot: Cycling4Gaza, credit Kareem Salman

In 5 days, Cycling4Gaza is cycling 300km from Alkamaar, Netherlands to the International Criminal Court at the Hague for their 2015 cycle. C4G is dedicated to raising $286,000 to support the launch and running of the newly launched Pediatric Mental Health Project in Gaza for a year.