Category Archives: Middle East

Juan Cole: John Kerry acknowledges Israeli apartheid and 5 ways he is understating it

Juan Cole: John Kerry acknowledges Israeli apartheid and 5 ways he is understating it

“Israel itself was ethnically cleansed of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, and was designated ‘Jewish,’ such that the expelled Palestinians (now millions strong) were denied the right to return to their homes.  Some 70% of the residents of the Gaza Strip are from southern Israel, and cannot return to their nearby homes in cities such as Sderot, where Israelis have settled Ethiopians and Thai guest workers.  In the Palestinian West Bank, some 600,000 Israeli squatters have usurped significant amounts of land from Palestinians, for which they paid nothing to the original owners, and their squatter settlements are off-limits to Palestinians, who cannot live in them.”

 

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Obama will never end the War on Terror

Obama will never end the War on Terror

“What began as one horrific attack 13 years ago and a simple, 60-word Authorization for the Use of Military Force three days later has morphed all but unnoticed into a war with no name or parameters—against an enemy that the government will no longer even officially identify, on battlefields that didn’t exist when the measure hurriedly passed Congress.

And as the Yemen strike suggests, the war hardly appears to be winding down. Nor do U.S. forces seem to be getting much better at avoiding “collateral damage.” The grave but very real danger is that this strangest of wars will never end, certainly not before the expiration of Obama’s second term. And his successors may be left with nearly the entire unresolved mess: an open-ended war authorization and inchoate rules for drone and special operations, the promised-but-never-carried-through closing of Guantánamo Bay, and a National Security Agency that’s still not sure whom or what it can spy on.”

 
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The destructive foreign policy myth that America just won’t quit

The destructive foreign policy myth that America just won’t quit

“Silence about U.S.-Israel relations is, to a large degree, hardwired into Beltway culture. As George Perkovich, director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told the Washington Post, ‘It’s like all things having to do with Israel and the United States. If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel, you protect Israel.’

This is regrettable, as Washington’s politically invisible military aid to Israel is not just an impediment to lasting peace, but also a strategic and security liability. As General David Petraeus, then head of U.S. Central Command, testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2010, the failure to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians makes Washington’s other foreign policy objectives in the region more difficult to achieve. It also, he pointed out, foments anti-American hatred and fuels al-Qaeda and other violent groups.”

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More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

“But reports of civilian casualties began to emerge. As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. At least nine civilians died, most of them from one family. There was one survivor, 14-year-old Fahim Qureshi, but with horrific injuries including shrapnel wounds in his stomach, a fractured skull and a lost eye, he was as much a victim as his dead relatives.”

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Turkey in crisis: understanding the Erdogan/Gulen split

Turkey in crisis: understanding the Erdogan/Gulen split

“In 2002, when the AKP Party came to power in Turkey, it was considered a new form of Islamic government. It was a marriage, some said, of neoliberalism and Islam. And this was going to be the alternative to the Iranian or even the al-Qaeda model. Turkey was headed, sooner or later, everyone thought, into the European Union. Certainly many forces on both sides within Turkey and Europe wanted it. Of course, there were many opponents. But it was a system, a government, an economy that was fully integrated into global capitalism, and increasingly with success.”

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Israeli Minister Apologizes For Insulting Kerry

CBS DC

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli newspaper quoted the defense minister Tuesday as deriding U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Mideast peace efforts as naive and foolhardy, triggering an angry response from Washington and rekindling simmering tensions with Israel’s closest and most important ally.

The quotes appeared ahead of another visit by Kerry, who is expected in the region in the coming weeks to deliver his ideas on a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry has already submitted to Israel a series of proposals for ensuring Israel’s security as part of a future peace deal.

In the comments published by the Yediot Ahronot daily, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” and dismissed Kerry’s security plan as worthless.

“The only thing that might save us is if John Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us be,” Yaalon was quoted as saying.

Related: Lieberman: Obama Lacks…

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Ariel Sharon: enemy of peace

Ariel Sharon: enemy of peace

“His premiership, much like his history before that, was characterised by destruction and violations of international law. He presided over the single most significant period of Israeli settlement expansion, illegal under international law, since the Begin era. In addition to the construction of Israeli settlements, he oversaw the wide-scale punitive destruction of Palestinian homes. It was under his tenure as prime minister that the policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis was established. This policy was decried by Human Rights Watch andAmnesty International as collective punishment: illegal under international law.”

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10 American Muslim women you should know

10 American Muslim women you should know

“In this snapshot of our exhibition of North American Muslim women, you’ll find a diverse group of women who’ve been able to move beyond the belittling stereotypes about Muslim women and are, instead, using their personal relationship to their faith in a positive way to actually shift the national conversation about Islam. In the process, they are transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways.”

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Why deconstructing Zionism is important

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/12/here-why-deconstructing-zionism-important-201312863538927197.html

“To deconstruct Zionism is, therefore, to demand justice for its victims – not only for the Palestinians, who are suffering from it, but also for the anti-Zionist Jews, ‘erased’ from the officially consecrated account of Zionist history. By deconstructing its ideology, we shed light on the context it strives to repress and on the violence it legitimises with a mix of theological or metaphysical reasoning and affective appeals to historical guilt for the undeniably horrific persecution of Jewish people in Europe and elsewhere.”

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Syria and our educational system: A discussion with Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Lawrence Davidson and Ilan Pappé

Syria and our educational system: A discussion with Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Lawrence Davidson and Ilan Pappé

PAPPÉ: While in the American academia the knowledge production on the Middle East in general and Syria in particular has been considerably transformed in recent years, the dissemination of these more updated views fails to reach the conventional educational system. For two main reasons: Politics can still subdue and censor views that are not endorsed ideologically, and academics have still not learned how to write openly, directly and, one should say, courageously about these issues.”

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