Following the deadly attack in Manchester, England, Donald Trump used “terrorism” to avoid confronting the complicated, compromised and messy reality in which we live, especially in the Middle East. For Trump, in all the speeches he made this week in the region, terror appeared to be the only cause of the problem, and its defeat would be sure to bring peace. Robert Cohen writes, “Trump’s narrative lacked understanding, substance, and integrity. And that went for terror in Manchester as well as the Middle East.”
Category Archives: Middle East
Carlos Latuff offers a synopsis of Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East.
Michael Lesher writes in ahead of “Jerusalem Day,” Israel’s celebration over occupying the eastern half of the city, “please do not expect any kind words from me over the latest attempt to distract newspaper readers from the advancing flood of Israeli apartheid–I mean, the spat over whether or not Donald Trump thinks the Western Wall is in Israel.”
A source with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) close to the Negotiation Affairs Department vehemently denied allegations made on Saturday, which stated that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was planning on proposing a deal that would give up 6.5 percent of Palestinian lands in negotiations during U.S. President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit on Tuesday.
The Jewish people have a centuries-long history of trauma, persecution, and exile as both victims and perpetrators. The Zionist project in Israel has further led to an endless series of violent conflicts. Consequently, war and trauma have further reinforced a state of collective PTSD within Israeli Jewish communities, which manifests in a persistent fear of annihilation even when threat sources are absent, abnormal defensive and aggressive reactivity and a susceptibility to fear reinstatement, i.e. persistent fear mongering and propaganda by Israeli politicians. The results of this collective PTSD is the victimization of other groups, most notably the Palestinian people.
Ahmed Kabariti reports from Gaza: “Among Palestinians residing in Gaza, the prevailing view of the electricity crisis is that the PA wants control inside of Gaza and is using energy to send a message to Hamas — give up control of Gaza, or you will pay the cost of chaos.”
“I have to acknowledge that I was also crying for the loss of my innocent past, a time when the story of Israel was simple, when I could count on the ultimate success of my heroic people” — the late Marty Federman, commenting on the movie Exodus in 2011, when he had an unblinking view of Israel’s human rights abuses.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is bullying the Church of Scotland, over its report on how to sensitively mark 100 years since the signing of the Balfour declaration.
Aida Qasim writes a poem inspired by the more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike who entered their 25th day of strike on May 11, 2017.
“Since its inception, the peace process is owned by the Israeli lobby,” Hanan Ashrawi says. And that process “became a tool for Israeli power and expansionism…cover for the occupation.”
Tikva Honig-Parnass challenges the widely accepted claim that the nature of Zionist settler colonization is unique: “The class analysis of the colonial group itself, reveals features of Zionism to be similar to those of other colonial projects, including apartheid South Africa, with which comparisons are often made. These projects seek to dispossess and subdue the indigenous people, and whenever needed, exploit their cheap labour for the benefit of capital. Capitalist class interests dominate the colonial states’ “peaceful resolution” of the conflicts with the colonized, aiming to retain the rule of capital and, in the globalized era, to enable economic neoliberalism.”
Phil Weiss remembers the writer Jean Stein, who perfected the art of letting interviewees hang themselves with their words. She sought out independent, radical, and ungovernable spirits, including Edward Said and others fighting for Palestinian rights. Stein died on Sunday at the age of 83.
What is meant by Palestine having, or having not, ‘existed’? Humans have lived and died in the region we call Palestine for about as long as our species has walked the earth, regardless of who had the biggest club, the grandest throne, or the most F16s. Palestine includes regions that are among the longest inhabited on earth.
Abbas does not represent Palestinian youth, say young writers in Gaza. “We, the people of Gaza, are the children, but the fighting couple, Hamas and Fatah, are not keeping us out of it. Instead, each is using us as a tool to pressure the other into giving up.”
Israeli socialists have long argued that the primary agent for change in Palestine is the Israeli-Jewish (Hebrew) working class which must be tempted into abandoning the advantages that it presently enjoys, or perceives that it enjoys, in a Zionist state based on Jewish supremacy. Tony Greenstein counters that until Zionism is defeated socialism will be off the agenda in Israel and the Middle East. Zionism and the idea of a Jewish nation are the guarantee against any unity between the Jewish and Arab working classes.
Zionist intention is to gather Jews from around the world to support and live in the “Jewish State,” using the idea of Jewish unsafety. I cannot be this Jew. As a refugee [from Nazi Germany], I identify with the homeless displaced Palestinians.
Duaa Ardat describes recent clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, “News reports said a battle had broken out between the Fatah movement and a mysterious extremist named Bilal Badr and his followers. Many people were fleeing the camp under the hail of the shelling; others were stuck in their homes, afraid of being hit by random shots. The Lebanese media call Ein El-Helweh the “zone without laws,” but it is home to more than 100,000 people (about half of whom are Palestinian).”
Sheren Khalel reports on the memorial ceremony 40 days after his killing that marked Basil al-Araj’s status as a “martyr” in his West Bank hometown of al-Walaja.
Steven Salaita writes: “Palestine isn’t the totality, or the crux, of today’s debates about speech and resistance on campus. There’s too much repression preceding Palestine, and now in existence alongside it, for that to be true. But Palestine deeply informs the substance of those debates, and by recovering this sunken reality we can better understand the disputes around free speech and academic freedom that generate so much attention.”
An honest press account of the Syrian war would still make Assad look like the war criminal he is, but the negative effects of our massive military aid to Assad opponents and the complexity of the war are ignored in favor of one sided moralizing with us as the good guys who haven’t intervened enough. Indeed, some liberals in the press prefer Trump to Obama in Syria.
Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta first met during a debate in Paris hosted by the United Nations, “years ago.” Since then the have maintained a correspondence, pieces of which have already been published by Avnery in his column.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Iran deal was “failed approach” the same day we learn Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Haifa Khalidi remembers the destruction of the Mughrabi Quarter in Jerusalem, June 11-12, 1967. “Two days and two nights. I remember the noise, the dust, the screams, the tears. The residents had two hours to collect their belongings and leave their houses forever.”
Last week Israeli PM Netanyahu announced that Israel would mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War in an illegal settlement, an official celebration of 50 years of occupation and human rights violations. The story has so far gotten no attention in the U.S.
President Donald Trump’s admission on Fox that he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria between bites of “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” makes it the second time he has launched a military attack during a meal.