Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

As Salaita’s case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on ‘civility’

Philip Weiss on
Steven Salaita with his son

There have been several developments in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university is obviously concerned that Salaita is becoming a cause celebre. Yesterday it issued two long statements describing Salaita’s alleged infraction as a violation of “civility.” Salaita is now without a job, a home, and health insurance.

With ‘anger grounded in law,’ Muslim group sues US gov’t over arbitrary ‘terror watchlist’

Annie Robbins on

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a lawsuit against the US government yesterday (pdf) on behalf of several Muslim-Americans challenging the legality of government policy regarding the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), also known as the “Terrorist Watchlist” of “known or suspected terrorists,” arguing that they have been wrongly ensnared in a federal system that is free

When the smoke clears in Gaza

Robin D. G. Kelley on

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” –Nelson Mandela Israel’s illegal, genocidal war on the people of Gaza has the characteristics of a massive tsunami. Waged with even greater ferocity than Operation Cast Lead or any other assault since the Nakba of 1948 or the 1967 War, its

Israel shells another UN school– and even the US is ‘appalled’

Annie Robbins on

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream As scenes of carnage fill the screen with news of another grotesque Israeli attack on a UN school this morning the thought crossed my mind, “This could not be, so soon after, it must be old footage.” But no, it is all too real and has happened again. Ten

Cease-fire breaks down: Israeli shelling kills 50 after reported capture of soldier

Alex Kane on

The cease-fire that was supposed to go into effect this morning in Gaza has completely broken down. There are conflicting reports as to who was the first who broke it: Israel or Palestinian militants, who are said to have captured a soldier. The U.S. and Israel are blaming Hamas, though the militant group pointed the finger

The threat of sanctions worked against Israel in 1956 — and it can work again

Jinan Bastaki on

In 1957, President Eisenhower addressed the US public: “Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own withdrawal? If we agreed that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back

Assault on Gaza fuels surge of civil disobedience in protest of Israeli actions

Alex Kane on

When Israel pounded the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, activists across North America occupied Israeli consulate buildings in protest of Operation Cast Lead, which killed an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians. Now, as the death toll reaches Cast Lead-like levels, with over 1,000 Palestinians slain by Israeli forces, activists are once again ramping

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel’s assault on Gaza is ‘state terrorism’ and should be referred to the International Criminal Court

Alex Kane on

Israel’s assault on Gaza constitutes “state terrorism” and the state should be referred to the International Criminal Court, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Hanan Ashrawi charged in an interview Friday. “When you target civilians, this is terrorism, but it is state terrorism, because it is taken as a result of political decisions giving orders to

U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza

Alex Kane on

The U.S. has cast the sole vote against establishing an investigation by the United Nations into war crimes committed in Gaza. Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 29-1, with 17 abstentions, to establish an inquiry. The United States was the only no vote. The European nations on the council all abstained. In a statement,

Video: ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation’ — John Kerry caught criticizing Israel on hot mic during Sunday news show

Adam Horowitz on

Today, John Kerry made the rounds of the Sunday morning news shows following the Israeli massacre in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shuja’iyeh which killed 63 Palestinians. Although Kerry defended Israel’s actions on air, he was caught with a hot mic off air telling an aide, ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” Fox host Chris Wallace asks

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

Rémi Brulin on

On September 30, 2011, Anwar al-Aulaki, a radical Islamist cleric and an American citizen, was killed in a targeted drone strike in Yemen. Among the many legal questions raised by such an act, a most important and intriguing one relates to the legal status of certain CIA activities given the existence of 18 USC 119,

The world was right about Iraq– though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

Matthew Taylor on

In most circumstances, “We told you so” is a classless statement. But in this case, it’s justified. In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions of us marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a

Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn’t invade Iraq

James North on

[Here is an alternative history of Iraq that we posted 4 years ago, revised in light of recent events.] Historians would later record how Secretary of State Colin Powell prevailed in a key Cabinet meeting in early 2003, when he refused to go before the United Nations because he lacked proof that Iraq had weapons