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Middle East Near You

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  • Democracy in Palestine has to be made in America

    In democracies all over the world elections form the backbone of the state. International observers are used to ensure that elections in fledging democratic states are free and fair. Many people are looking forward to the results of the next Palestinian elections in order to prove that they are...
  • The coup set fire to Egypt but who will put it out?

    The coup leaders’ decision to take the bloody option in their confrontation against constitutional legitimacy will not defeat the Muslim Brotherhood; it will drag Egypt into a civil war. The consequences of that decision will be far-reaching and devastating. The first chapter of the civil war was Wednesday’s massacre;...
  • When will the coup’s media announce the suicide of President Morsi?

    “One thing leads to another”, the military coup leaders in Egypt have been hoping that this motto will fall into place since they ended the era of ‘coup free Africa’; decades earlier poorer countries in Africa had spent decades following coups with more coups. The first time this motto...
  • UN Secretary General seeks to appease Israel

    The latest meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on August 16 elicited very weak criticism of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine. The Israeli Embassy of New Zealand has published the statements of both leaders, indicating a general consensus of allowing...
  • Egyptian prisoners gassed to death in an increasingly grisly war

    These days, as the sun rises over Egypt it brings with it death, violence and arrests. On Sunday it brought with it an episode worse than your darkest nightmares. As a convoy of police trucks crossed the dusty streets of Cairo carrying some 600 prisoners (some Brotherhood some not),...
  • Pharaoh Al-Sisi – the Emperor with no clothes

    News that Egyptian courts have ordered the release of former president Hosni Mubarak demonstrated that the regime has removed its final fig leaf, the emperor revealed with no clothes. All other fig leaves covering the removal of former President Morsi have already been dropped – the unverified 22 million...
  • Political stupidity prevails

    The coup leaders lost their minds and their insight the day they conspired against legitimacy, captured the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, and carried out a bloody military coup on 3rd July. They are delusional to think that they could again subject the Egyptian people to humiliation and take them...
  • Western public oppose military intervention in Syria

    Last Wednesday opposition activists in Syria reported over 1,000 dead after a gruesome attack in which rockets with chemical weapons were launched into the Ghouta area of Damascus. Doctors Without Borders reported that they accommodated 3,600 patients in less than three hours of the attack in their hospitals in...
  • Russia protestations unlikely to impact on plans for Syria

    According to this morning’s newspapers, the US and UK are finalising plans for a military strike on Syria. The attack is a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime last Wednesday. According to medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres, three hospitals it supports in Damascus...
  • War clouds loom large over Syria

    With the west serious about an attack on Syria on the grounds that the regime used chemical weapons last week, the ongoing crisis has taken a dangerous turn. Although both sides are sticking to their respective positions, peaceful negotiations are the only real option. Following accusations by US Secretary...
  • The Arabs and the war on Syria

    Instead of rushing to judgement, the Arab League states meeting in Cairo this week should have waited for the report of the UN weapons inspectors before handing the reins over to international forces to strike Syria. Sadly, too many of them would like to see the “limited strike” turn...
  • Head of Egyptian Commerce joins Egypt’s ‘terror campaign’

    A leader of Egypt’s National Chamber of Commerce has joined the political and military attacks against the Muslim Brotherhood by labelling it a terrorist organisation. Ahmed El-Wakil, President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), adopted unusually strong language in calling the Muslim Brotherhood protests “a proactive ...
  • Gaza’s enemies come out of the woodwork

    Suddenly, blood no longer holds any weight between brothers and no one affiliates with the common thread of Arabism. Talk of an Arab army’s aggression towards Gaza is normalised and portrayed as an acceptable outcome in many Arab media outlets. In an era of Arab degradation, in which many...
  • Interim Prime Minister El-Beblawi glories in army brutality

    A noted news correspondent for ABC in America, Martha Raddatz, could not hide her distaste and surprise as she told viewers of the recent comments made by Hazem El-Beblawi, Egypt’s interim Prime Minister appointed by the coup leaders. He not only approved of the coup authorities’ brutality but also...
  • Yes, it is the same brutal hand

    Some people wonder whether there is a link between the Ghouta massacre in Damascus committed by the Assad regime and the massacre committed by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in the Rabaa Al-Adawiyya and Al-Nahda Squares. Yes, there is; it is the same brutal and cowardly hand that wants to violate...
  • Are the Palestinians paying the price for Egypt’s crisis?

    Despite the poor living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Egyptians living in Palestine are, it is alleged, compiling lists of people they believe are “infringing” on the Egyptian state. This list, claims a report in the Middle East News Agency (MENA), includes ordinary people, the government...
  • The illusion of peace negotiations

    The continuation of peace talks between Israel and Palestine are being portrayed as a failure by both sides. Despite the apparently shared sentiment by Israeli and Palestinian alike, any assumption of equality within the shared viewpoint is erroneous and should be dispelled. We need to clarify attempts to justify...
  • The failure of Oslo the result of bad faith

    Today marks the 20-year anniversary of the Oslo Accords, the 1993 attempt to set up a framework that would end the Israel-Palestine conflict. It was the first time that a face-to-face agreement had been reached between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). The hesitant handshake between...
  • Fear for Sinai, not fear of Sinai

    Pictures released yesterday from Sinai showed the deployment of armoured vehicles and an army bulldozer destroying one of the tunnels to Gaza. We have also read reports about the Apache helicopters that continue to bomb terrorist cells, the destruction of the weapons storage dumps in Sheikh Zuwaid and Rafah,...
  • Coup-backed thugs “attack supporters and opponents” alike

    The murder of Khaled Dumian, a member of the supreme council of Egypt’s Social Democratic Party, and his cousin in Sahel Selim in Asyut by thugs recruited by the army tells us a lot about the internal security situation in Egypt. A gang led by a renowned thug murdered...
  • Supporting ‘peace’, legitimising Zionism

    An interview with Angela Merkel in Jewish Voice From Germany serves as an illuminating albeit expected insight into diplomatic efforts to elevate Israel into further immunity. Through a discussion of Israeli security, Zionist legitimacy, peace through ‘a viable two-state solution’ and Jewish self-determination, Merkel effectively eliminated all traces of...
  • Despite the rhetoric, Iran and the US are unlikely to become close allies

    For years, the relationship between America and Iran has been characterised by mutual distrust and outright hostility. During Barack Obama’s presidency, the decade-long tension over Iran’s nuclear programme has escalated. The US and its allies have imposed sanctions and even made veiled threats of using force, over fears that...
  • What next after the UN report on the chemical weapon attack?

    The UN report into the Gouta chemical weapons massacre does not shine favourably on Russia and Syria. Much to their chagrin, the publication of the report coincided with the Security Council’s debate on the interpretation of the controversial Lavrov-Kerry agreement. The debate discussed whether the Russia-US agreement should lead...
  • Between a freeze on settlements and a freeze on negotiations

    Lest it be forgotten, let us remind ourselves that the Palestinians do not have a state or even a quasi-state; we live under military occupation. Israeli murders and attacks are a daily occurrence and remind us of our position; the world needs to take note. Despite daily violations of...
  • The Islamists after the Egyptian coup

    Some Arab circles which backed the coup in Egypt are quoted as saying that what has happened is a step towards wiping out the Muslim Brotherhood in the region, adding that this will happen to all Islamic political forces. The truth of the matter is that success breeds success...
  • J Street or AIPAC, the message remains the same

    The power of lobby groups in Washington has been well-documented. Whether their interest is in oil, tobacco, or international affairs, these unelected bodies have significant power over both parties and individual politicians. Perhaps one of the most well-known lobbying groups is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which...
  • It existed under a ban and yet it survived and spread while its executioners went to the junkyards

    The Muslim Brotherhood, which was dissolved this week due to the issuance of a coup court injunction, is 85 years old (est. 1928). During this time it lived under a 51-year ban, thus only living 34 years without being banned. Moreover, even during its years of freedom, it was...
  • Insights into imperialism: Obama’s UNGA speech

    Obama’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly was replete with imperialist references based upon the mainstream interpretation of history. Commencing with a glorification of the UN within a context which supports US foreign policy, Obama asserted that ‘as a result of this work and cooperation with allies and...
  • Abbas and the right of return

    Ahead of Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations today, 100 US Jewish leaders wrote to the Palestinian president urging him to announce publicly that he is giving up the “right to return” to his home. The letter was sent by the Israel Policy Forum to President Abbas and...
  • Iran’s diplomatic offensive puts Israel in awkward spot

    On Thursday 26 September, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met in New York. It was part of a wider meeting between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany (the so-called “five plus one” group)....
  • The same criminals from Daraa Syria to Dalja Egypt

    The most recent actions carried out by the coup in Egypt involve raiding Egyptian cities and villages with tanks armed with cannons in order to protect the planes flying above them, following the example of Bashar Al-Assad’s army in Syria. Al-Assad started with Daraa, the first city that revolted...
  • Al Aqsa Intifada – pleas, remembrance and resistance

    The Al Aqsa intifada was marked with escalating rhetoric of resistance by Hamas, overshadowing the attempt by Abbas to address violations embedded within the conflict since the Oslo agreements. Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank commemorated the anniversary of the second intifada, triggered by Ariel Sharon’s visit in...
  • Netanyahu risks isolation on the world stage

    The last few weeks have seen a softening of rhetoric between the leaders of Iran and the USA. The new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has been on something of charm offensive, promising that his country does not want to make a nuclear bomb, and insisting that he is committed...
  • For the coup to succeed Al-Sisi must ban the Brotherhood from hearts and minds

    The judiciary which now takes its orders from General Al-Sisi and his coup leader cronies has issued a ruling to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood; that sums up all that has occurred in Egypt since the brutal military coup on July 3rd. After thousands of the group’s members and supporters...
  • Iran and Israel trade accusations about spying

    Tensions between Israel and Iran are a given, but have been in the news this week. This was because of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations, in which he warned that the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. But Netanyahu’s...
  • Abbas simplifies the ramifications of Israel’s occupation

    In a meeting with Israeli Labour MKs held in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas simplified the ramifications of Israel’s illegal occupation in light of the peace negotiations, expressing optimism and stating that “The period of nine months is enough to reach an agreement. All the...
  • Has the PA exhausted all other options besides negotiations?

    Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the on-going negotiations with the Palestinians have achieved nothing and are in the same place as when they began. This was also confirmed by the senior Palestinian negotiator after the first round of meetings, but despite this, the negotiations continue at...
  • Tunisia triumphs over the coup plotters

    With the beginning of the national dialogue sessions last Saturday, Tunisia has triumphed over those who have planned, conspired and tried desperately to help coup forces inside and outside the country to recreate on home soil the treacherous military takeover in Egypt. The Tunisian people who supported their Islamic...
  • Netanyahu demands Palestinians agree upon manipulation of history

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again insisted that Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and relinquish the right to return. During a speech at Bar-Ilan University, Netanyahu outlined his perception of the impossibility of a two state solution, stating that even recognition from Palestinians would not be sufficient...
  • Can the coup last without more oppression?

    It has been 100 days since a military coup ousted Egypt’s first civilian elected president, Mohammed Morsi on July 3. We don’t know how much Morsi knows about the coup or if he had any inkling of it beforehand, what he did and so on, as he and his...
  • Re-targeting the Islamic bloc

    The Israeli occupation is describing its open campaign against students associated with the Islamic bloc in West Bank universities as the “cutting the grass” operation. The expression seems clear enough when one observes the harsh blows dealt to those supporting the Islamic bloc, before, during, or after any of...
  • From a kidnapper to a kidnapped leader

    Out of all the Arab Spring countries, Libya may be the most likely to succeed, even after the kidnapping, or detainment of their Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. Life is based on relativity, and the chaotic situation in Libya today is the fruit of four decades of systematic destruction of...
  • Netanyahu and Peres prioritise security of the “Jewish state”

    The Knesset’s opening session was characterised by a series of regurgitated arguments which portray Israel’s self-imposed superiority in the Middle East. Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres attempted to frame the usual recriminations within the recently changed scenario incorporating the peace negotiations and the new Iranian leadership. Invoking threats and...
  • Egypt before and after the coup

    Global regard for Egypt has changed. Once known as the “Mother of the World”, the label is now used more in mockery than respect. This symbolises the extent to which our beloved country has changed since the brutal military coup at the beginning of July. After just one year...
  • Manipulating the dynamics of domination at the UN

    In his recent speech to the UN Security Council, Israel’s Permanent Representative, Ron Prosor, attempted to manipulate perception of the turmoil assailing the Middle East by expounding upon Israel’s definition of freedom. Invoking discourse acceptable to imperialism, the speech commenced with a vivid distinction between nations upon the grounds...
  • If more evidence were to emerge of Israeli involvement in spying the damage could be huge

    Ever since whistle-blower Edward Snowden leaked documents pertaining to the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) programme of mass surveillance, the revelations and diplomatic rifts just keep coming. Last week, there was outrage in France and Germany after it emerged that the US had monitored millions of phone calls made...
  • Netanyahu demands absolute acquiescence from Palestinians

    “We want to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians … we will insist on the vital interests of the State of Israel, first of all security.” Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments provide more than an indication of how security concerns, provoked by Israel’s belligerent occupation, will continue to provide...
  • Israel defines release of Palestinian prisoners as commitment to peace

    At the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Israeli ambassador Eviatar Manor stated that the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails defines the Jewish state’s attitude towards peace. “Their release, I believe, illustrates Israel’s determination to reach an agreement with our Palestinian neighbours that will, once and for...
  • University students leave coup-organisers quaking in their boots

    As expected, students have revived the momentum of the revolution in Egypt. Students have been the fuel for revolutions throughout history and so the coup-organisers feared the start of a new school year after the summer vacation and the return of students to their schools and universities, especially al-Azhar...
  • Morsi’s trial: The time to divide Al Aqsa Mosque?

    As Egypt and the Arab nations are preoccupied with the start of the trial for President Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected Arab president who was deposed by a military coup only one year after taking office, Israel is taking advantage of the situation and started discussing a draft...