Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 08:50:09 AM EST
Hungary's new constitution is a grim development in a Europe where democracy has already been suspended in Greece and Italy.
Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 06:37:03 AM EST
In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the Palestinians an offer so reasonable and enlightened it made Ehud Barak's "generous offer" at Camp David look like the Treaty of Versailles. Bending over backwards to reach a peace settlement, Olmert offered the Palestinians a state on virtually all of the occupied territories. Alas, stubborn as always, Palestinian negotiators turned him down.
Wed Jul 8th, 2009 at 02:36:52 PM EST
When Gandhi's doctrine of non-violent resistance (satyagraha) is invoked in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, it is invariably as a propaganda weapon intended to undermine the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance and shift the blame for the continuing occupation on to its principal victims.
Leaving such dishonest rhetorical jabs aside, the question of whether any of Gandhi's teachings can be usefully applied in Palestine is a serious one that merits careful consideration. In a fascinating essay (and talk) based on an extensive reading of Gandhi's writings, Norman Finkelstein concludes that the application of satyagraha - that is, a mass campaign of non-violent civil resistance - could yield tangible results in the occupied territories.
Sat Jun 13th, 2009 at 03:36:49 PM EST
It is difficult to divine the basis for the mass of excited speculation surrounding this anticipated 'showdown' between the US and its most reliable client, which peaked with Obama's much-hyped speech in Cairo. Western commentators reacted to Obama's 'diplomatic and intellectual tour de force' of 'historic and moral importance' with rapture, praising his 'bold vision' for peace in the Middle East - if, in some cases, raising questions about his ability to realise it, given the intransigence of local parties.
Fri Dec 5th, 2008 at 07:44:08 PM EST
The recent record of the EU, and of Britain in particular, on the Israel/Palestine conflict has been awful, as I have discussed in detail elsewhere (see also Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit; chap. 5).
Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 06:55:05 PM EST
An 'explosive' Red Cross report leaked today documents the "devastating" effect Israel's siege is having on the population of Gaza. Heavy economic restrictions and a limited supply of basic goods are causing a "progressive deterioration in food security for up to 70 per cent of Gaza's population".
Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 09:55:01 AM EST
"What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on ...
"We will apply disproportionate force on it [the village] and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases...
"This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved".
Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 06:34:02 PM EST
A coalition of 21 prominent aid agencies, including the likes of Oxfam International, Save the Children UK, CAFOD, CARE International UK and Christian Aid, published a report (.pdf) this week condemning the failure of the 'Quartet' ( the EU, Russia and the UN, led by the U.S.) to achieve significant humanitarian or political progress in the occupied territories. They conclude that in five of the ten areas targeted for improvement by the Quartet, including the "three areas where progress is now most urgent" (settlements, restrictions on movement and access and ending the blockade of Gaza), "there has been either no progress or an actual deterioration in the situation."
Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 04:14:47 PM EST
The Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin has a long and distinguished record of service as an uncritical conduit for the more dubious MI6 propaganda tales (you may recall, for example, his daring exposé of the links between Saddam and 9/11 back in 2003). Earlier this month he was at it again, citing unidentified "nuclear experts" and "intelligence officials" to the effect that, according to the IAEA, a quantity of enriched uranium sufficient to produce "up to six atom bombs" has "disappeared from... [Iran's] main production facility at Isfahan."
Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 02:10:34 PM EST
Steve Clemons of The Washington Note recently interviewed Mustafa Barghouti, general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, about the reality of the much-vaunted "Annapolis process":
Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 09:51:55 AM EST
Whoever scheduled Gordon Brown's recent visit to Israel is surely out of a job. Brown's dreary, etiolated performance - appropriate for a political corpse - was rendered even flatter by its proximity to Barack Obama's headline-hogging whirlwind tour of Europe and the Middle East. Despite the differences in style, however, both politicians took to the podium in Israel with a similar message: one of support for the latter's rejectionist expansionism.
Sat Apr 19th, 2008 at 08:32:17 AM EST
Sat Mar 15th, 2008 at 05:48:35 PM EST
I've just returned home from the World Against War demo today in London. It was a fantastic event, with an excellent turnout (between 10-40,000, according to the BBC) and a great atmosphere. The march was called to mark five years since the invasion of Iraq, although Israel's recent crimes in Gaza were definitely on everyone's mind - which is excellent, of course. The march was convened by the Stop the War Coalition around three basic demands: troops out from Afghanistan and Iraq, no attack on Iran and an end to the siege of Gaza. On all three, as Tony Benn was sure to remind us, the marchers spoke for the majority of British and world public opinion.
Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 06:19:34 PM EST
Three Palestinian children aged 10, 12 and 14 were killed this evening in an Israeli air-strike in northern Gaza, bringing today's Palestinian death toll to 12. Five members of Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades were killed this morning in two targeted assassinations in Gaza, while this afternoon two Palestinian farmers were killed by Israeli tank fire.
In retaliation for the killing of its activists, Hamas fired at least 30 Qassam rockets into Israel, killing a student in Sderot and wounding several others. Olmert indicated that the campaign of assassinations will continue, declaring that "no one in Hamas, not the low-level officials nor the highest echelon, will be immune against this war." To prove his sincerity, Israeli jets bombed the Hamas Interior Ministry (again), killing a six-month old baby and wounding at least 14 bystanders.
Thu Feb 14th, 2008 at 06:40:09 PM EST
I refer, of course, to the recent encounter between President Bush's derrière and Matt Frei, butt-kisser extraordinaire. Not for Frei are half-measures and almost-there's, like standard BBC reporting which, while undoubtedly deferrential to power, typically affects at least a pretense of concern about 'balance' and 'impartiality'. No: Frei is content with nothing less than total and utter servility to power, and by God no amount of ethical standards or (perish the thought!) residual journalistic integrity will stand in his way.
Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 05:54:18 AM EST
There is a debate currently raging in official Israeli circles on how to deal with the Qassam rockets from Gaza. At the dovish end of the spectrum, we have Vice Premier Haim Ramon, former Minister of Justice, arguing against a full-scale military assault on the grounds that it "would cost many IDF casualties" and advocating instead that Israel collectively punish the entire population of Gaza by reducing their supply of electricity, necessary for the operation of such luxuries as hospitals and sewage treatment facilities. "If they fire a rocket, then there should be no electricity, or water or fuel'' that day, he said.
Mon Jan 28th, 2008 at 01:17:14 PM EST
I think this BBC piece on Chavez, published today, is a useful illustration of how an apparently objective article, which seems perfectly impartial at first glance, is in fact skewed both by its acceptance of the terminology of power and by what it leaves out - that is, what it chooses not to tell you.
Sat Jan 26th, 2008 at 03:51:22 PM EST
Over half the population of the Gaza Strip has left for Egypt in the past three days, a stark illustration of the extent of the deprivation imposed on them by the Israeli government and the "international community". When Palestinians smashed through the wall separating Gaza from Egypt earlier this week, liberating themselves from Israel's brutal siege, the reactions around the world were quite interesting. Far from expressing joy and exhilaration at the sight of hundreds of thousands of starved Palestinians flooding out of the Gaza prison camp, enjoying what for many of them was the first taste of freedom in their lives, one could instead sense a tangible whiff of fear and even panic underlying much commentary on the breakout.
Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 06:51:48 AM EST
Suppose I were to argue that, given Israel's numerous and gross war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, the international community should impose sanctions on Israel of such severity that 80% of the Israeli population would be reduced to reliance upon UN food aid for mere survival, and over 65% of Israeli households would be forced to live in 'deep poverty' (i.e. on less than $474 per month). The blockade would be so tight that only 41% of Israel's food import needs would be met, and supplies of 91 out of 416 essential drugs and about a third of essential medical supplies (including most children's antibiotics) would run out.
Diary rescue by Migeru
Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:53:42 AM EST
Hugo Chavez' defeat in the recent Venezuelan referendum on a package of 69 proposed reforms to the constitution was probably a healthy development for the revolution, although that will largely depend upon how the government deals with it.
Originally posted on December 5 - Diary rescue by Migeru