Tag Archives: Palestine and Israel

If you’re wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here’s the answer

When Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel has both the Saudis and the Israelis demanding its closure, it must be doing something right. To bring Saudi head-choppers and Israeli occupiers into alliance is, after all, something of an achievement.

But don’t get too romantic about this. When the wealthiest Saudis fall ill, they have been known to fly into Tel Aviv on their private jets for treatment in Israel’s finest hospitals. And when Saudi and Israeli fighter-bombers take to the air, you can be sure they’re going to bomb Shiites – in Yemen or Syria respectively – rather than Sunnis.

And when King Salman – or rather Saudi Arabia’s whizz-kid Crown Prince Mohammad – points the finger at Iran as the greatest threat to Gulf security, you can be sure that Bibi Netanyahu will be doing exactly and precisely the same thing, replacing “Gulf security”, of course, with “Israeli security”. But it’s an odd business when the Saudis set the pace of media suppression only to be supported by that beacon of freedom, democracy, human rights and liberty known in song and legend as Israel, or the State of Israel or, as Bibi and his cabinet chums would have it, the Jewish State of Israel.

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Middle East


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My East in Venice 

When you get to the train station, turn left and you’ll find it. Directions in Venice are always convoluted, and directions given by a relative in Jaffa about a place in Venice create an even greater web. But that’s all my uncle told me about how I could find some family members in the city.

When I arrived at Venezia Santa Lucia train station, I went straight instead. I was drawn to the water, where the sunlight glistened like small fires. There, I could hear the ghosts of the Nakba—catastrophe—the mass exodus of Palestinians that occurred during the creation of Israel between 1947 and 1948. Some drowned, some were killed, some found refuge in places I’ll never discover.

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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in European Union, Middle East


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A question of justice

This April a number of Republican congressmen set up an Israel Victory Caucus in Washington (1). Its co-chair Bill Johnson said: ‘We believe Israel has been victorious in the war and that this reality must be recognised for any peace to be achieved between Israel and its neighbours.’ Historian Daniel Pipes added that ‘victory means imposing your will on your enemy.’ As if in response, hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners acted on a call from their best-known member, Marwan Barghouti, to go on hunger strike, their way of saying loud and clear that the Palestinians’ resistance continues and all ideas of their destruction are illusions.

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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Middle East



Gaza: Israel’s experiment on humans in a situation of extreme stress and deprivation

One of the biggest experiments involving human subjects ever conducted anywhere is taking place right before our eyes, and the world is silent.The project is at its peak and the world shows no interest. This experiment on human beings, unsanctioned by any of the international scientific institutions whose oversight is required by the Helsinki Declaration, seeks to examine human behaviour in situations of extreme stress and deprivation.The experimental group does not comprise just a few, nor dozens or hundreds, nor thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. The experimental population includes no fewer than two million human beings.

Source: Gaza: Israel’s experiment on humans in a situation of extreme stress and deprivation | Middle East Eye

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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Middle East



L’attacco silenzioso di Israele a Gaza

Israele e Gaza non si stanno affrontando in un’altra guerra né si stanno dirigendo verso un’altra “operazione” o un altro “round”. Questa terminologia è ingannevole e vuole addormentare quel che resta delle coscienze.Oggi si rischia un nuovo massacro nella Striscia di Gaza. Controllato, misurato, non di massa, ma comunque un massacro. Quando politici, funzionari e opinionisti israeliani parlano del “prossimo round”, stanno parlando del prossimo massacro.Nella Striscia non ci sarà una guerra, perché non c’è nessuno a Gaza che possa opporsi a uno degli eserciti meglio armati del mondo, anche se l’opinionista Alon Ben David, esperto di questioni militari, sostiene che Hamas può schierare quattro divisioni. E non ci sarà alcun atto di coraggio (israeliano) a Gaza, perché non c’è nulla di coraggioso nell’attaccare una popolazione indifesa. E, naturalmente, non ci sarà niente di morale né di giusto nell’attaccare una gabbia chiusa piena di prigionieri che non saprebbero neanche dove scappare, qualora potessero.

Source: L’attacco silenzioso di Israele a Gaza – Gideon Levy – Internazionale

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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Middle East



If Israel were smart

My last visit to Gaza had been in May 2014, just before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, an assault that resulted in the deaths of more than two thousand Gazans – combatants and civilians – and the destruction of eighteen thousand homes. When I went back less than three years later the changes were evident everywhere. But two things struck me particularly: the now devastating impact of Gaza’s decade-long isolation from the rest of the world, and the sense that an increasing number of people are reaching the limit of what they can endure.

Gaza is in a state of humanitarian shock, due primarily to Israel’s blockade, supported by the US, the EU and Egypt and now entering its 11th year. Historically a place of trade and commerce, Gaza has relatively little production left, and the economy is now largely dependent on consumption. Although a recent easing of Israeli restrictions has led to a slight increase in agricultural exports to the West Bank and Israel – long Gaza’s principal markets – they are not nearly enough to boost its weakened productive sectors. Gaza’s debility, carefully planned and successfully executed, has left almost half the labour force without any means to earn a living. Unemployment – especially youth unemployment – is the defining feature of life. It now hovers around 42 per cent (it has been higher), but for young people (between the ages of 15 and 29) it stands at 60 per cent. Everyone is consumed by the need to find a job or some way of earning money. ‘Salaries control people’s minds,’ one resident said.

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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Middle East



Lebanon’s efficient security services are stepping up their watch over Islamist supporters in Beirut and beyond

Until this Wednesday, the sound of mortar and rifle fire has echoed across the streets of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. As usual, the world has ignored it on the grounds that Palestinians have been fighting Palestinians yet again in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon. And so they have.

Palestinian secular factions have been fighting Islamist groups. The camp lies just to the east of the centre of Sidon and is the usual warren of poverty and concrete huts and filthy apartment blocks, ironically called Ein el-Helweh – which means the “sweet well” or “sweet spring”.

Few noticed that this latest series of battles was set off shortly after an official visit to Lebanon by Mahmoud Abbas, the doddering old Palestinian president who long ago lost his legal electoral mandate in the occupied West Bank but who remarked before he left Beirut that Palestinians were dedicated to crushing “terrorism”.

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Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Middle East


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Theresa May wants British people to feel ‘pride’ in the Balfour Declaration. What exactly is there to be proud of?

Theresa May told us that Britain will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this summer with “pride”. This was predictable. A British prime minister who would fawn to the head-chopping Arab autocrats of the Gulf in the hope of selling them more missiles – and then hold the hand of the insane new anti-Muslim president of the United States – was bound, I suppose, to feel “pride” in the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.

As a woman who has set her heart against immigrants, it was also inevitable that May would display her most venal characteristics to foreigners – to wealthy Arab potentates, and to an American president whose momentary love of Britain might produce a life-saving post-Brexit trade agreement. It was to an audience of British lobbyists for Israel a couple of months ago that she expressed her “pride” in a century-old declaration which created millions of refugees. But to burnish the 1917 document which promised Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine but which would ultimately create that very refugee population – refugees being the target of her own anti-immigration policies – is little short of iniquitous.

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Posted by on March 7, 2017 in Europe, Middle East


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Israel’s settlement law: From occupation to annexation 

On March 2012, Yaakov Kats, one of the extremists of the already extreme-right “National Unity” party, had a simple idea.

In order to solve the problem of settlements and outposts that had been built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank without official Israeli authorisation, a law should be enacted that would allow Israel to confiscate these lands from their owners.

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Posted by on February 25, 2017 in Middle East



Donald Trump’s abandonment of the two-state solution descended into dark comedy very quickly

It was almost as funny to listen to the “experts” on US channels trying to summarise Donald Trump’s ravings on the Middle East as it was to listen to his original gobbledegook at his press conference with Bibi Netanyahu.

Unable to understand what the President’s inanities actually meant, the lads and lasses of the satellite channels were telling us that he was not as committed as his predecessor to the “two-state” solution but might favour a “one-state” solution – yet wasn’t ruling out a “two-state” solution. Oh yes, and he’d like Bibi to “hold back” on settlements. Most of the “experts” chose to leave out the pathetic Trump addendum – “for a little bit” – because they had no more idea than Trump what this actually meant.

Source: Donald Trump’s abandonment of the two-state solution descended into dark comedy very quickly

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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Middle East