Category Archives:
Middle East

Controversy ignites as Joint Arab List member joins Gaza flotilla

Kate on
The Marianne of Gothenburg is preparing to set sail for Gaza (Photo: Joran Fagerlund)

AFP reports: An announcement by a [Palestinian] lawmaker that he plans to join a pro-Palestinian flotilla seeking to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza caused outrage Monday among the country’s political class. Basel Ghattas, an Israeli MP with the Joint Arab List, sparked controversy after he announced he would join other parliamentarians and public figures from around the world in the latest attempt to reach Gaza by ship later this month.

‘You have to go’

Alice Bach on
Confederate flag at South Carolina statehouse

This week saw two acts of terror committed within two historic Christian churches. While most Americans know about the Charleston tragedy unfolding on TV, another act of racist violence was taking place in the church of the multiplication, on the Sea of Galilee, the site of Jesus’s miracle of multiplying two fish and five loaves to feed 5,000 people

Lego state

Sarah Carr on
Entering the West Bank, by Sarah Carr

After being repeatedly asked to name her father’s father (Edmund) at an Israeli checkpoint, writer Sarah Carr was confronted by a soldier: You want the bad news or the good news first? “Just a dickhead toying with someone he knows is powerless, or a dark commentary on his society?” she asks

Anti-Israel Blacklist or Human Rights Protest?: How the media misreported a teacher union’s request in Brazil

Jeremiah Haber on
The entrance to the Federal University of Santa Maria (FUSM).

A story reported last week by Inside Higher Education read like a McCarthyist nightmare: A Brazilian university administrator urgently requested “names of Israeli students and teachers” in order to comply with a request from “pro-Palestinian groups”. But anybody who could take the time for a little internet research could easily find out there was a somewhat different story.

Building solidarity between Korea and Palestine

Zavi Kang Engles on
PM Netanyahu met with South Korean Deputy PM and Minister of Education Hwang Woo-yea on Wednesday afternoon, April 29. (Photo: Haim Zach/ GPO)

Zavi Kang Engles writes: As a Korean-American concerned about the influence of the United States on other countries, I’ve begun to wonder something — do Korean people have more in common with Israelis, as the official story would have us believe, or with Palestinians?

From Germany, With Hypocrisy: Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits the Gaza Strip

Emran Feroz on
Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, center, talks during a press conference at fishermen's port in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, June 1, 2015. (Photo: AP Photo/Dawod Abu Elkas)

On Monday, Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Gaza Strip and “expressed harsh criticism”, as German media outlets put it, after witnessing the destruction of Israel’s last attack in summer 2014. “Life in Gaza is unbearable”, Steinmeier said, adding that the status quo is unsustainable. After hearing such news, one might think that this politician is a bold truth teller and critic of the occupation, a remarkable role for a German Secretary of State. But a closer look shows that Steinmeier has behaved with just as much hypocrisy as many other European politicians who support Israel without reservation. In fact, he may be an even greater enabler of apartheid than any of his peers.

Turning Lebanon into Gaza — Israel’s hole card against Iran deal?

Philip Weiss on
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 14:  Former CIA national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia Paul Pillar testifies before the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affiars  on Captiol Hill November 14, 2007 in Washington, DC. The hearing was titled "Regional and Global Consequences of U.S. Military Action in Iran" and was the third in a serise, "Iran: Realities, Options, and Consequences." All the witnesses that testified were uniform in their belief that attacking Iran would be detrimental to American security and foreign policy.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dore Gold likens Lebanon to Gaza, and suggests Israel will have to “cut the grass” there this summer; war with Hezbollah could be Israel’s hole card on the Iran deal, as US legislators are sure to side with Israel, maybe with the help of the New York Times

Corey Robin revisits Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

Roland Nikles on
Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt’s portrait of Adolph Eichmann is controversial to this day because it sees evil in his actions not in his underlying motivation; and Zionists are especially critical because they insist on the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe, as a basis for the necessity of the Jewish state

Kim Philby’s last straw

Philip Weiss on
Kim Philby

The Soviet spy Kim Philby escaped detection twice in the 1950s and what did him in in the end? He criticized Israel as a writer in Beirut for the Economist and the Observer, and an ardent Zionist informed on him to British authorities. And the American reviewers of a book that tells the story leave that angle out.

Sam Harris and the dangers of false atheism

Addi Svarogic on
Sam Harris, from Wikimedia commons

Addi Svarogic looks at the recent heated email exchange occurred between Noam Chomsky and Sam Harris. He writes, “The irony of New Atheists ignoring the material world and solely focusing on professed theological motivations perfectly illustrates their lack of analytical skills or – in the worst case scenario – a conscious effort on their part to muddy the waters.”