Category Archives:
Middle East

On Tisha B’Av, we must mourn our complicity

Marc H. Ellis on

Marc Ellis writes, “Tisha B’Av is upon us, a fast day for Jews, commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem. With the accumulation of events of destruction in Jewish history, though, Tisha B’Av has become a time to mourn subsequent calamities that befell the Jewish people. Through most of our history, mourning occurred in a context where most Jews lived on the margins of power or suffered under it. Today Jewish mourning takes place within the context of Jewish empowerment. Like mourning, Jewish empowerment is complex and entangled. Still, one things is abundantly clear: Jewish power, enabled by our mourning on Tisha B’Av, is oppressing the Palestinian people.”

Jew and Israeli: Solomon Schechter and Shlomo Sand

Abba Solomon on

American educator Solomon Schecter accepted Zionism as a bulwark against Jewish assimilation in the west. The twin menaces were acceptance of Jews and hostility toward them. Zionism still serves this purpose. The Israeli State ensures that its Jewish citizens are “safely hated.”

Rabbi Rosen’s final mourning

Marc H. Ellis on

With Tisha B’Av upon us, Rabbi Brant Rosen has released his contemporary take on the Biblical Book of Lamentations – Lamentation for a New Diaspora. Marc Ellis writes, “Rabbi Rosen’s lamentation is poetic, strong and dark. Trauma is the global name of the game. The ravages of mass culture, industrialization, militarism and climate change have taken their toll. The New Diaspora, the community of refugees and exiles of every stripe who gather to protest the coming global catastrophe, are themselves scattered and without hope.”

Sorry, American Jews, you don’t have a birthright

Yossi Gurvitz on

When American Jews take a position on Israel based on it calling itself a Jewish state, they are playing Israel’s game: claiming Jews are a nation, and therefore that their voice counts more than non-Jews who live in Israel, giving strength to illiberal forces in that land. American Jews should express themselves as liberals, and form coalitions of others in and out of Israel on that basis.

The Spirit of ’68 Lives On: Zionism as racism, and the network of lies

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi on

Part two in a series where Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi examines a federal complaint filed against her, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the San Francisco State University by the Lawfare Project, a self-described “legal arm for the pro-Israel community” whose executive director affirmed that its objective is to “make the enemy pay.”

Church leaders must be willing to pay a price for Palestinian solidarity

Robert Cohen on

The Church around the world has failed the Palestinian church. Year after year of soft solidarity has failed to improve Palestinian conditions. No calling out of who has the power, who remains silent. Solidarity must become stronger, and church groups must be willing to fall out with Jewish friends.

Wonder Woman is a hero only the military-industrial complex could create

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook finds contemporary parallels to interventionist wars in the hit film ‘Wonder Woman’: “this much-praised Gil Gadot vehicle–seemingly about a peace-loving superhero, Wonder Woman, from the DC Comics stable–is actually carefully purposed propaganda designed to force-feed aggressive western military intervention, dressed up as humanitarianism, to unsuspecting audiences.”

When Kafka met Orwell: Arrest by algorithm

Yossi Gurvitz on

Israeli security services responded to Palestinian knife attacks by surveilling social media and using an algorithm to predict who will commit violence. On this basis more than 400 Palestinians have been detained without having committed any criminal act.

US foreign policy in the Middle East

Katie Miranda on

The U.S. is fighting ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the Taliban around the Middle East while continuing to water their roots.

Dutch citizen files suit against Israeli commanders for attack on family home during 2014 Gaza war

Allard de Rooi on

Ismail Zeyada, a Dutch citizen of Palestinian origin, has started a civil lawsuit holding two Israeli commanders responsible for the attack at his family home in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Six of Ziada’s family members were killed in the July 2014 attack: his mother (70), three of his brothers, his sister-in-law and a 12-year old nephew. Zeyada’s attorney, well-known human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, says, “You can’t bomb a house inhabited by civilians. Deliberately killing six of them, without necessity, is considered a war crime.”

Nationwide ‘rally against Sharia law’ reflects violent surge of Islamophobia since Trump election

Roqayah Chamseddine on

On June 10, leading anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, whose founder, Brigitte Gabriel once described Muslims as being a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society”, initiated a nationwide ‘rally against Sharia law’. Most anti-Sharia protesters were met with fierce opposition, but further organized action will be required to squash the violent surge of anti-Muslim sentiment that’s grown ever more ominous since the election of Donald Trump.

Intersectional feminism: Wonder Woman, Palestinians, Wakanda and Zionism

Jaime Omar Yassin on

Is it possible to openly call for the death of women in a neighboring state, to support a political and economic regime that without a doubt contributes to their subjugation both at the hands of Israel, and in Palestinian society, and still be a feminist? If so, that Gal Gadot is champion of feminism.

Interrogating the Qatar rift

Richard Falk on

The abrupt announcement that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, the Maldive Islands, and the eastern government in divided Libya have broken all economic and political ties with Qatar has given rise to a tsunami of conjecture, wild speculation, and most of all, to wishful thinking and doomsday worries. Richard Falk untangles the threads of the story so far what it could mean for U.S. foreign policy in the region.

The failure of Ponzi scheme diplomacy: A review of Nathan Thrall’s ‘The Only Language They Understand’

Eamon Murphy on

Eamon Murphy reviews Nathan Thrall’s new book The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine: “Just what should be done remains vague, in Thrall’s book and in discussion generally, in large part because the U.S. role is exempted from realistic analysis. If, as Thrall contends, only force—understood to include popular pressure and economic sanctions, as well as violence—has a record of drawing concessions from the parties, then the question is, who will force the U.S. to stop perpetuating the conflict, its policy for the last 50 years? Until some tectonic shift in global power, the only possible answer is us. But writing too polite to name the enemy, or too enmeshed in the establishment to recognize it, seems unlikely to bring about the necessary change in consciousness.”

New website sets Zionist myths vs. the historical record

Tom Suarez on

Tom Suarez introduces, a website of declassified Mandate-era documents held by the British government that served as primary sources for his book ‘State of Terror.’ After facing a coordinated effort to silence him following the publication of his book Suarez writes, “the site is intended to make the Zionist creation myth do battle with the historical record itself, not with me. Its sampling of documents demonstrate that I am merely the messenger — and more importantly, it is my hope that it will whet the appetite of others to pursue this neglected area that is absolutely vital to ending the misery in Israel-Palestine, and indeed in the greater Middle East.”