In Stalin's Soviet Union, mention of the great dictator's name in any mass meeting could trigger a standing ovation. This became a problem. In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells the story of a party meeting during which Stalin's name is mentioned. Immediately every functionary on the dais and every person in the hall rose to his or her feet and started clapping. And clapping. And clapping. And clapping. Afterall, who would stop clapping first? Who would reveal less enthusiasm for the Great Leader than everyone else. And so, as the story goes, the applause continued for more than 11 minutes. Finally, one factory director on the dais stopped and sat down. Immediately everyone else stopped, and the meeting resumed. That night the factory director was arrested. After his interrogation he was given ten years in the Gulag and reminded: "Don't ever be the first to stop clapping!"
The Israeli-Palestinian 'Peace Process': Trapped in a Nash Equilibrium
- 01 April 2014
- Prof. Ian S. Lustick
S is for Sanctions
- 01 March 2014
- Hugh Lanning
It is often forgotten that BDS is a three letter word. To achieve real success and a free Palestine we need to make progress on every front: B, D and S. Unfortunately, life never follows neat lines but, hopefully, BDS is a linear progression, getting stronger all the time. In the UK we are doing well, going from B to D, but next we need to get to S and S is for Sanctions.
The journey of refugees hosted by a small nation with a big heart
- 06 February 2014
- Ninette Kelley
The Syrian refugee crisis has evolved into one of the most dramatic human tragedies of our times. Over four million Syrians have been displaced within Syria and more than two million have fled the country and been registered with UNHCR throughout the region. One quarter of the Syrian population has been displaced and today over 40 per cent of Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance, whether in exile or within the country.
Countries neighbouring Syria are facing extraordinary challenges. In Lebanon alone, close to a million Syrians have registered with UNHCR and the government estimates that an additional half a million Syrians are residing in the country. The numbers rise by over 11,000 registered refugees every week and projections suggest that there may be over one and a half million Syrian refugees in Lebanon by the end of year. This is in addition to 270,000 Palestinian refugees resident in Lebanon prior to the crisis and, according to UNRWA 51,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria are also currently in the country.
An act of the state
- 01 January 2014
- Dr Bashir M. Nafi
There is nothing new in saying that the Egyptians are divided. They were divided before the fall of Mubarak and continued to be so after his fall; before the election of Mohamed Morsi as the first post-revolution president, and are still so after the military coup that forced him out of office on July 3. The army's move to bring Morsi down was no doubt carried out in an astounding manifestation of this division, and the failure of the Egyptian political forces to find common ground during the two and half years after the January 25 Revolution. However, it will be highly simplistic to assume that the overthrow of the first ever freely-elected president of the republic was the outcome of political opposition to his rule. What worked assiduously and tirelessly to undermine Morsi's presidency was the Egyptian state. Once the state felt that the president was about to consolidate his position, it decided to remove him. The exacerbation of political division in the country was only a convenient moment for the state machinery to reassert its control over post-revolutionary Egypt.
Time to bury the two-state solution forever
- 01 December 2013
- Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
Israel is a de facto, not a de jure, entity. The League of Nations' "mandate" given to Britain to turn Palestine into a "Jewish homeland" was as baseless in law and morality as was its successor, the United Nations' partition plan of November 1947, because the UN charter does not give that body any right to divide countries and create new ones. Even that dubious partition plan was later suspended and a high-level UN representative, Count Bernadotte of Sweden, was despatched to Palestine in 1948 to try to find an amicable diplomatic solution; he was murdered in broad daylight by Jewish terrorists in Jerusalem on 17 September, 1948. Thereafter, the UN abandoned its efforts to find an amicable and just solution to the Palestinian problem.