Tag Archives: politics

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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The Supreme Court’s Ideology: More Money, Less Voting

The Supreme Court’s Ideology: More Money, Less Voting

“Now we have McCutcheon v. FEC, where the Court, in yet another controversial 5-4 opinionwritten by Roberts, struck down the limits on how much an individual can contribute to candidates, parties and political action committees. So instead of an individual donor being allowed to give $117,000 to campaigns, parties and PACs in an election cycle (the aggregate limit in 2012), they can now give up to $3.5 million, Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports. 

The Court’s conservative majority believes that the First Amendment gives wealthy donors and powerful corporations the carte blanche right to buy an election but that the Fifteenth Amendment does not give Americans the right to vote free of racial discrimination.”

 

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Homophobia: Africa’s new apartheid

Homophobia: Africa’s new apartheid

“The construction of sin and categorical notions of sexuality over the past four centuries on the continent are inextricably linked to colonialism, the Church and the ambitions of the state. And ‘independence’ from the colonial powers, as it came, was a shame, for it often did little to inspire independent thought. If anything, the struggle for gay rights in so many African countries today tells us about a continent still battling the demons of colonialism, a continent that is still in the process of negotiating an identity – as articulated, again, through the lens of the colonial master. Among the greatest challenges many African democracies face today are the continued existence of one-party states and the lack of strong civil institutions.”

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Can Iraq be saved?

Can Iraq be saved?

“Oil money pours in abundance to both the government budgetary allocations and the coffers of the feuding factions. The money allows the parties to guarantee funds to buy off opponents, and it helps maintain prosperity and supports a massive internal security apparatus. Iraq is experiencing what is called ‘conflict resources‘, a complex phenomenon which argues that while revenues from resources extracted in conflict zones may delay or stop the collapse of the state, it perpetuates the fighting. In other words, Iraq might be able to survive the chaos as long as oil prices remain high. Yet, there is no guarantee that different dynamics would not leave it in a freefall. “

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2013 elections show Latinos and young voters can’t be pinned down

2013 elections show Latinos and young voters can’t be pinned down

“Thus, it seems to me that last night’s elections are confirming the trends we’re seeing nationally in at least two respects: Democrats may very well have loads of success in future elections, but they cannot count on any sort of permanent support from Latino and young voters. These groups have shown a willingness to abandon President Obama and Democrats and vote like the rest of the electorate under the right circumstances, as manifested in New Jersey and Virginia in 2013.”

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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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