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Israel has justified its assault on Gaza as entirely defensive, intended only to stop Hamas firing rockets on Israel's southern communities. Although that line has been repeated unwaveringly by officials since Israel launched its attack on 27 December, it bears no basis to reality. Rather, this is a war against the Palestinians of Gaza, and less directly those in the West Bank, designed primarily to crush their political rights and their hopes of statehood. ››read more
Editor's note: Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.
Israelis and their American supporters claim that Israel learned its lessons well from the disastrous 2006 Lebanon war and has devised a winning strategy for the present war against Hamas. Of course, when a ceasefire comes, Israel will declare victory. Don’t believe it. Israel has foolishly started another war it cannot win. ››read more
Editor's note: John J. Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and coauthor of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. This article was completed hours before Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire.
Prominent British-Jewish parliamentarian denounces Israeli exploitation of Holocaust, calls for arms embargo(source: Palestine News Network) January 17, 2009
London / PNN – A deputy in British Parliament’s Labor Party is among those who have linked the syndrome of victims becoming victimizers to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. ››read more
Editor's note: Watch Garald Kaufman's speech in the House of Commons on the YouTube at
This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. ››read more
Editor's note: Avi Shlaim is an Iraqi-born British historian who identifies ethnically as an Iraqi Jew. He served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s. He is now a professor of International relations at Oxford and in 2006 was elected fellow of the British Academy. Shlaim is considered a key member of a group of Israeli scholars known as the New Historians who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel.
The only constant in Palestinian lives for the last century of Zionist atrocities has been resistance to the Zionist project of erasing them from the face of the earth. While Zionism sought and recruited Arab and Palestinian collaborators since its inception in the hope of crushing Palestinian resistance, neither Israel nor any of its collaborators has been able to stop it. The lesson that Zionism has refused to learn, and still refuses to learn, is that the Palestinian yearning for freedom from the Zionist yoke cannot be extinguished no matter how barbaric Israel's crimes become. The Gaza Ghetto Uprising will mark both the latest chapter in Palestinian resistance to colonialism and the latest Israeli colonial brutality in a region whose peoples will never accept the legitimacy of a racist European colonial settlement in their midst. ››read more
Editor's note: Joseph Massad is associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University in New York.
Not to talk to Iran is an unrealistic option. It has not proved to be a viable one in the past and will not be in the future. The change in the White House will provide an unprecedented opportunity for the next president to talk to Iran; otherwise, every day that goes by Iran will spin more centrifuges and enrich more uranium that could be converted to a nuclear bomb. Nor would more sanctions work, as they have not in the past.
The IAEA has a failed report card with respect to Iraq, when in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq the world learned that the US used the IAEA's data to justify its illegal invasion. Is ElBaradei, who is stepping down next year, in a position to fully guarantee that none of his inspectors will cooperate with Iran's adversaries and pass on information deemed vital for those currently planning military action against Iran?
Using Afghanistan as a base for anti-Iran policies handicaps the U.S. in pressing for Pakistani cooperation, thus undermining one of the country’s most important strategic objectives. Of course, such recalibration will also require shifts in Iranian policy away from the path it has taken. Clearly abandoning any U.S. agenda of forcible regime change in Iran will make such a shift much more likely. ››read more
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the op-ed by former Sens. Daniel Coats and Charles Robb in the Washington Post today, entitled “Stopping a Nuclear Tehran.” It is the summary of a report issued last month by an organization called The Bipartisan Policy Center (at whose website you can find the full report), and it amounts to a roadmap to war with Iran to which a senior Middle East adviser in the Obama campaign — namely, Dennis Ross — has apparently signed on. ››read more
With only three months left in office, U.S. President George W. Bush appears increasingly determined to calm the international waters he so vigorously churned up, especially during his first term. ››read more
With George W. Bush's administration in its last year in office, the danger of a U.S. military attack on Iran still looms as a dangerous possibility. Widespread official government, military, and analytical sources, including the collective assessment of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, have debunked the various pretexts being asserted to justify such an attack. But the continuing, ideologically driven extremism in the White House means that the danger of a reckless, unilateral military attack remains, and such an attack could happen despite the consequences. ››read more
Dr. ElBaradei has said repeatedly that the IAEA is bound to "follow due process, which means I need to establish the veracity, consistency, and authenticity of any intelligence, and share it with the country of concern." But once again, in Iran's case this established procedure has not been followed. Iran has not even been presented with an analysis of the digital chain of custody of the documents, indicating their authenticity. Yet it is being pressed to respond to charges of doubtful legitimacy. ››read more
US president told Israeli prime minister he would not back attack on Iran, senior European diplomatic sources tell Guardian ››read more
nuclear weapons are not that useful. When we had a monopoly on them, it didn't prevent the Soviet Union from taking over Eastern Europe or risking war by cutting off our access to Berlin. They didn't help us win the Korean War or prevent us from losing in Vietnam. And these failures aren't because we're nice guys and a democracy. Nuclear weapons didn't prevent the Soviets from losing in Afghanistan, either. Nuclear weapons could not prevent the British or Russians from losing their empires.
The gutsy NIE of November 2007 stated that, contrary to what President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had been saying throughout 2007, the nuclear weapons-related portion of Iran's nuclear program had been stopped in the fall of 2003, and as of mid-2007 had probably not been restarted. The good news was that, at the insistence of our most senior military, who realize what a debacle it would be to attack Iran, the NIE judgments were made public. More good news: Fingar was not summarily fired.
The XV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran on 27-30 July 2008 issued a statement in support of Iran's nuclear programme, which has just been circulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). ››read more
We seek security for all concerned by affirming the right of all to security. While we lend no credibility to the prospect of an inevitable conflict, we nonetheless object to the hysteria promoted by the Iran-bashers who are now desperate in their repeated false starts to create another unnecessary war. The attempt to oblige Iran to comply with Security Council resolutions loses its legal, diplomatic and political force as the United States and Israel consistently ignore UN diplomacy and World Court decisions, relevant to the question of Palestine. We call upon all opposed to a military confrontation with Iran to write their governmental representatives demanding that the State of Israel subject its nuclear facilities to international inspection and sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) as has Iran, rather than issue threats of war. ››read more
When U.S. officials appeal to the Iranian people over the heads of its regime, they like to assume that Tehran's defiance on the nuclear issue reflects only the extremist position of an unrepresentative revolutionary leadership. Plainly, they haven't met Dr. Akbar Etemad, who ran the nuclear program of the Shah's regime, which was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The scientist who first launched Iran's nuclear technology program under a U.S.-backed regime in 1974 today urges the regime that stripped him of his job to reject any international demand that it halt uranium enrichment. ››read more
US policy on Iran seems to be softening, but the world must stay vigilant to avert the threat of war. The resolution in Congress for what amounts to a naval blockade of Iran is, in effect, an act of war. The EU and the international community should call for the military option to be ruled out, and for the US to drop its precondition and enter into direct, comprehensive negotiations with Iran. ››read more
The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a resolution (HR 362) that calls on the Bush administration to take strong action against Iran, including a naval blockade of its ports. A similar resolution is being considered by the Senate (SR 580). The two resolutions are supposedly non-binding. They also mention explicitly that they are not granting the Bush administration any authorization to stage military attacks on Iran. Their language, however, is warlike. In particular, a naval blockade of Iran's ports is certainly tantamount to a declaration of war. ››read more