AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

by Stephen M. Walt (source: Huffington Post) July 23, 2014

The official name for Israel's latest assault on Gaza is "Operation Protective Edge." A better name would be "Operation Déjà Vu." As it has on several prior occasions, Israel is using weapons provided by U.S. taxpayers to bombard the captive and impoverished Palestinians in Gaza, where the death toll now exceeds 500. As usual, the U.S. government is siding with Israel, even though most American leaders understand Israel instigated the latest round of violence, is not acting with restraint, and that its actions make Washington look callous and hypocritical in the eyes of most of the world. ››read more

An Old Man and a Young Man in Gaza

by Heathcote Williams (source: Stop the War Coalition) July 21, 2014

Old man protests Gaza

A bearded old man holds a placard:

"You take my water, burn my olive trees,
Destroy my house, take my job, steal my land,
Imprison my father, kill my mother,
Bombard my country, starve us all,
Humiliate us all, but I am to blame:
I shot a rocket back."
››read more

What Nelson Mandela said about Israel and the Palestinians

by Nelson Mandela (source: Keghart) July 21, 2014

In 2001, Nelson Mandela wrote to the US columnist Thomas Friedman an open letter about the state of Israel, which he believed was racist and organised on the basis of Apartheid policies. ››read more

Tens of thousands march in London to say, "Gaza, we will never forget you"

(source: Stop the War Coalition) July 20, 2014

"Why the double standard?" asked George Galloway MP, speaking at the demonstration."Why is the blood in Ukraine so much more noteworthy than the blood in Gaza?" ››read more

What Gaza’s Crisis Shows About Israel’s Ambitions and America’s Decline

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) July 20, 2014

As Israel’s military kills and injures hundreds of civilians in Gaza—whose population Israel is legally obligated to protect as an occupying power—people around the world, including in the United States, wonder why official Washington appears so indifferent to even the most graphic instances of “collateral damage.” ››read more

Why Jews oppose Israel's occupation of Palestine and attack on Gaza

by Barnaby Raine (source: Stop the War Coalition) July 19, 2014

Gaza ruinsGaza ruinsAS ISRAEL showers a condensed civilian population with bombs, the world shows its disgust. When thousands march in London this Saturday among them will be supporters of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and others. ››read more

Gaza needs more than condemnation

by Haidar Eid (source: The Electronic Intifada) July 18, 2014

The window of hope comes from the lessons we have learned from South Africa, where the ugly apartheid regime came under mounting pressure from outside. It is time for international civil society, as opposed to the ineffectual United Nations, to redouble their support for our struggle against apartheid in Palestine today. As Palestinians under Israeli siege, occupation and apartheid, we increasingly rely on international law and solidarity for our very survival. That solidarity is needed more than ever today.

The best way to honor those killed, injured and made homeless in Gaza is to raise your voices even louder and demand that governments impose sanctions against Israel. Now is the time to increase the number of universities and businesses that boycott Israel. Now is the time to demand divestment from more pension funds. Now is the time for more countries to cut all ties with Israel. ››read more

        Editor's note: Haidar Eid is an independent political commentator from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

The “Two-State Solution” Is Dead—Where Does the Palestinian Conflict Go From Here?

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) July 18, 2014

The two-state solution’s demise inevitably conditions long-term erosion in the perceived legitimacy of the current Israeli political order. The proposition that Israel cannot continue occupying Palestinians while claiming to be both Zionist and democratic is no longer predictive analysis. The U.S. government’s own demographic data show that the number of Arabs living under Israeli control—in “Green Line” Israel, Gaza, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the rest of the West Bank—already exceeds the number of Israeli Jews.

In other words, what we call the state of Israel is already a minority regime for the people it governs. In the context of the current Gaza campaign, Israeli officials’ descriptions of Hamas as a foreign threat that must be defended against are disingenuous. Hamas is a homegrown movement, born in 1988 in Gaza under Israeli occupation. Even with the 2005 closure of Israeli settlements there, Gaza remains under Israeli control. Thus, Hamas is not an “external” threat to Israel—it is an internal challenge to what the movement’s constituents see as an unjust and illegitimate political order still dictating their interactions with the world and exercising harsh and indiscriminate police powers over their daily lives. ››read more

Large Majority of Americans Favor Making a Deal with Iran on its Nuclear Program and on Facing ISIS

(source: World Public Opinion) July 16, 2014

As the clock runs out on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a new study of the American public finds that 61 percent favor making a deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This includes 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents.....The study also finds that 61 percent favor working together with Iran to deal with the situation in Iraq. ››read more

Isis Marches Further Into Syria Tipping the Balance of Power in the Civil War

by Patrick Cockburn (source: The Independent) July 16, 2014

While international attention has been focused on the situation in Gaza, the self-styled caliphate has been spreading deeper into the country armed with tanks and artillery seized in Iraq.....The opposition military forces not aligned with the Syrian government or Isis are being squeezed out of existence, making obsolete the US, British, Saudi and Turkish policy of backing groups hostile to both Assad and Isis. ››read more

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

by Patrick Cockburn (source: The Independent) July 14, 2014

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them." ››read more

Spoiler Alert: Iran Hawks Take Wing Against Nuclear Deal

by Jim Lobe (source: Lobelog) July 13, 2014

After a period of relative (and blissful) quiescence, the Iran hawks are springing back into action, preparing the groundwork for sabotaging any nuclear deal that may be reached by Iran and world powers by July 20 or shortly thereafter. While prospects for an agreement within that time frame remain uncertain — the most important sticking point by far appears to be the gap between US demands that Iran retain only a few thousand centrifuges and Iran’s insistence that it needs many more to meet its energy needs — the hawks (by which I mean the Israel lobby and its many allies in Congress) are taking no chances. ››read more

Ayatollah Khamenei Remarks Show Both Sides Maneuver on Enrichment

by Gareth Porter (source: Inter Press Service) July 13, 2014

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s comments on the nuclear talks Monday provided an unusual glimpse of diplomatic maneuvering by the U.S.-led coalition of five nuclear powers and Germany on the issue of enrichment capability to be allowed in a comprehensive agreement. ››read more

Demise of the “Peace Process”—and Rebutting the Myth of “Inclusion” as Panacea for Iraq

by Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Going to Tehran) July 11, 2014

“I think what you’re going to see over the next few weeks—you may see more or less violence. But what you’re really going to see, if the Palestinians can step up to what I call their ‘Nelson Mandela moment,’ is to proclaim ‘one state, one person, one vote,’ and to push in September, with the opening of the General Assembly here in New York at the UN, for a state to sign up to the International Criminal Court, bring the Israelis there, and have this adjudicated that way, and not rely any longer on the United States and Israel to come to their aid.” ››read more

Gaza’s Groundhog Day

by Matt Carr (source: Infernal Machine) July 10, 2014

Gaza destructionGaza destructionAfter nearly a month of trying, Netanyahu and his hawkish government have got their war, and once again the Palestinians of Gaza have borne the brunt of it. Last night Israel carried out 160 air strikes on the Gaza Strip, bringing Palestinian casualties to 25 dead and 70 wounded, including four women and three children. So far the IDF has attacked 440 targets in Gaza as part of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, and there is a lot worse to come, as Israel continues to mass troops for a ground invasion. ››read more

Iran Not Ready to Reach Nuclear Deal at Any Cost

(source: Iran Review) July 10, 2014

Iran says it is determined to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement with the six world powers, but "not at any cost."

“We are resolute that an accord be achieved but not at any cost. Meanwhile, we have declared readiness to continue the [nuclear] negotiations,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said. ››read more

U.N.: Islamic State executed imam of mosque where Baghdadi preached

by John Zarocostas (source: McClatchy) July 8, 2014

GENEVA -- The Islamic State’s executions of 13 Sunni Muslim clerics last month in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, were a move by the radical Sunni movement to silence moderate voices among Iraq’s Sunnis, and they deserve greater attention than they’ve received, the top United Nations expert on religious freedom said. ››read more

The Sledgehammer Worldview

by Noam Chomsky (source: Truth-Out) July 8, 2014

The front page should display the words of the Nuremberg judgment of prominent Nazis - words that must be repeated until they penetrate general consciousness: Aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

And alongside these words should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States, Robert Jackson: "The record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."

The U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq was a textbook example of aggression. Apologists invoke noble intentions, which would be irrelevant even if the pleas were sustainable. ››read more

Iran's Message: We Can Make History

by Javad Zarif (source: YouTube) July 3, 2014

"In the next three weeks, we have a unique opportunity to make history: To forge a comprehensive agreement over Iran's nuclear energy program; and to end an unnecessary crisis that has distracted us from addressing together our common challenges, such as the horrifying events of past few weeks in Iraq.

"We could have resolved the nuclear issue in 2005. But then, people didn't believe me when I said that Iranians are allergic to pressure."
››read more

Who Speaks for the People of Mosul?

by Zahra Al-Rikabi (source: The Platform) July 2, 2014

My name is Zahra and I am Iraqi. I have faith that the post-Saddam Hussein nation-building project will survive the current crisis. I have faith that my hopes for a democratic and prosperous Iraq reflect the wishes of the majority of the people of Iraq. I have faith that the voices of the people of Mosul will eventually rise above those who seek to ruthlessly hijack them. But at the end of the day, I can only really speak for myself. ››read more

        Editor's note: Zahra Al-Rikabi is a barrister practising from Brick Court Chambers, where she specialises in public international law, administrative law and human rights. She has a BA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University and an LLM in Public International Law from LSE. She can be followed on Twitter @zahra_alrikabi.