Category Archives:
Middle East

British uproar at Trump policies doesn’t extend to Netanyahu, yet

Lydia Noon on

Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to meet United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May was not met with the uproar that Donald Trump’s planned state visit has already caused with UK-wide protests and a petition signed by over 1.8 million people, “but the popular resistance against Trump is increasing awareness of Palestine,” says chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hugh Lanning.

In Trump’s world, money talks, and Saudi Arabia gets a free pass

Medea Benjamin on

In Trump’s world where money talks, poor Yemenis are banned from entering the United States (and are killed back home) and Syrians fleeing violence are portrayed as terrorists, while Saudi princes who cling to power by torturing and beheading dissidents get safe passage to their luxury digs in Manhattan’s Trump Towers.

The Palestine Philharmonie — an orchestra is born in Bethlehem

Tom Suarez on

The Palestine Philharmonie aims to create a cultural entity, a “City of Music”, that will offer a variety of intercultural music-related activities and events, not least by establishing Palestine’s first permanent professional orchestra in Bethlehem.

The Quebec mosque shooting and the Zionist connection

Jonathan Ofir on

The Quebec mosque shooter who killed 6 Muslim worshipers appears to be a white-nationalist, with anti-Muslim and anti-immigration beliefs. He was also pro-Zionist. The media ought to mention the sympathy, because it is relevant to reaching an understanding of such actions.

Carded at Erez crossing

Alice Rothchild on

What the mainstream press leaves out: January 8 killings of four soldiers in Jerusalem were likely result of a young Palestinian man losing all hope as well as the ability to cope in an increasingly oppressive situation, targeting the people who have made his life a misery, writes Alice Rothchild.

Why the Personal Has Always Been Political: an Iranian-American reflects on the Trump executive order on refugees

Noushin Framke on

Noushin Framke was born in Iran in 1960 into a family where politics was ubiquitous and permeated every layer of life. Her father was a political prisoner under the last Shah’s regime; he had been rounded up with many writers and intellectuals after the 1953 CIA coup. Now, she reflects on President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from Iran and how a family that has always been obsessed with politics is coping.

Burying bad news in the killing fields of Yemen

Daniel Margrain on

Two years of Saudi-led coalition bombing of Yemen has culminated in a situation in which 18.8 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian aid. Britain and the U.S. are implicated in Saudi war crimes, but the western press has largely ignored the atrocities.

Yes, this is really apartheid

Alice Rothchild on

The Stop the Wall movement in Palestine began a dozen years ago and has transformed the international struggle: bringing people together based on human rights to end the occupation, end racial discrimination towards Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, and to support the right of return for refugees.

Umm al-Hiran and activism in the post-truth era

Maya Avis on

“I understood, firsthand, what it means to hold the monopoly of violence,” Maya Avis says of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians living in umm al-Hiran village in the Negev last week. What does it say when the only witnesses who count are Ashkenazi Jews?

I have been looking for a home since I came to this world

Tamam Abusalama on

Tamam Abusalama writes, “I have been looking for a home since I came to this world for almost 23 years. I know that this is the destiny of each Palestinian. To be honest, returning back to our origin village is a dream that we, Palestinians, are going to keep fighting for. Knowing what “home” feels like is also a dream.”

William Blum: the dissident and the style

Theodore Sayeed on

Since the end of World War 2, the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of them democratically-elected. And other sharp observations from a great wit of the left, William Blum.

The Perfect Storm: Civil rights in the era of Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas

Eve Spangler on

Eve Spangler just returned from a yearly human rights delegation to Israel/Palestine and says the best description of the emerging situation is this: a perfect storm is coming. All the most destructive forces are aligning to produce (possibly violent) change and uncertainty early in the Trump administration. She says younger Palestinians are beginning to prepare themselves for the civil rights struggle to come when Israel annexes the West Bank.

Before there was ‘fake news’ there was Judith Miller

Adam Horowitz on

Current theater critic and Fox News commentator Judith Miller is undoubtedly best known for her fact-free reporting on Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” for the New York Times that helped create the pretext for the 2003 war in Iraq. So it was rather odd yesterday when Miller criticized President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning by wondering, “How many people died because of Manning’s leak?” The quick answer is none, but the internet wasn’t going to let Miller off that easy.

Antisemitism and its useful idiots

Amitai Ben-Abba on

All over the world people who challenge Zionism are being accused of antisemitism. You might imagine the one group of dissidents who are safe from this kind of delegitimization is the Israeli Jews—they are not. This cruel irony, when exposed, may actually play a productive role in decoupling antisemitism and anti-Zionism. As actual antisemites take positions of power in the US government while maintaining a pro-Israel stance, the need to oppose the false accusations of antisemitism becomes ever more vital.

Almost 1 million Syrian children can’t go to school

Leila Rafei and Nisrine Makkouk on

In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.

How I got over the Milk-and-Honey-and-Chosen-People place

Menucha Sara, bat Eliyahu on

“Now who I do talk Hebrew to? Palestinians.” An American activist who grew up in the Orthodox Jewish community describes her long road from Zionism and a belief in Israel’s goodness to a dedication to human rights and anti-Zionism.

Remembering Revolutionary Yiddishland

Max Ajl on

Max Ajl reviews ‘Revolutionary Yiddishland’, by Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg, a history of European Jewish radicalism. Their oral history – a history from below – seeks to capture the lives of struggle of Jewish dissidents, communists, Bundists, working-class militants, martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Ajl writes, “As we lurch into another moment when more and more may feel the jackboot of the state, one can hope also the message of this book can inspire many to again look to that horizon to which the people of lost Yiddishland looked, too, and find something there worth struggling for.”

Getting away with murder: the Elor Azarya ‘manslaughter’ case

Jonathan Ofir on

Two Palestinian boys, 13, are charged by Israel with attempted murder for having knives and thinking about using them. But Israeli Sgt Elor Azarya is convicted of manslaughter for an execution, and for many in Israel is a national hero.