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We were supposed to have learned the lessons of the Iraq war. That's what Britain's Chilcot inquiry is meant to be all about. But the signs from the Middle East are that it could be happening all over again. The US is escalating the military build-up in the Gulf, officials revealed this week, boosting its naval presence and supplying tens of billions of dollars' worth of new weapons systems to allied Arab states. ››read more
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People in Iran sent their first wishes to new U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.
Speaking on the streets of Tehran, individuals said they hoped the change of administration in Washington would bring about a new foreign policy towards Iran. ››read more
Editor's note: Click here to watch the video.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today agreed to open an investigation into Israeli war crimes during their ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip. The vote was pressed by the Palestinian observer to the council. ››read more
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
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."
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
"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
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
AS 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
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’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
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
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 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
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
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
“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
After 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