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  • Article

    A new constitutional statement to protect the state, the revolution and the new constitution

    Like millions of Egyptians, I have received a detailed copy of the new constitutional statement issued by President Mohammed Morsi. I have also received the bundle of decisions issued by Morsi to protect the Egyptian state, support and protect the revolution and undermine the continual stream of conspiracies planned...
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    Palestinian successes need to be turned into practical progress

    The history books will record November 2012 as the month in which the Palestinian people achieved three major victories which could change the power equations in the region: The important military victory against Israel’s “Operation Pillar of Defence” was represented by the success of missiles fired by the Palestinian...
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    A supreme Morsi mess

    EGYPTIAN democracy is alive and well. That is about the only positive observation on the current pro-Morsi and counter-demonstrations in major cities across the country. President Mohamed Morsi’s pronouncement on November 22 granting himself supreme powers instigated the current crisis. His far-reaching decrees came on the heels of a...
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    Egypt’s unnecessary battle

    Opposition to something like President Mohamed Morsi’s now-controversial constitutional declaration is an inherent right in a democracy. In any free country, authority needs to have a strong opposition, up to a point. Such opposition should not include trying to overthrow a democratically-elected President by using the judiciary and taking...
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    The cowardice at the heart of our relationship with Israel

    It is impossible to understand the modern Conservative Party without a grasp of the scale and profundity of its links to the state of Israel. The connection dates back at least as far the historic meeting between the great Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann and the Conservative prime minister A...
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    Israeli settlements, unsettling realities…

    A DAY after the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN, the right-wing Israeli government responded by adding 3,500 illegal Jewish-only homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel was blatantly defying more than two- thirds of the international community, which recognised Palestine as a...
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    The time is ripe for Palestinian reconciliation, again

    After the victory of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza against the Israeli offensive and the relative success at the United Nations, there is a positive atmosphere with regards to reconciliation; the time, surely, is ripe for it. However, when we ask questions about it, it looks as if we’re...
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    No one won by a knockout in Egypt’s referendum

    No one knows how the Egyptian opposition makes decisions or exactly what its leaders want. They apparently decided to remain on the streets while participating in the referendum at the weekend while previously, they had decided not to accept the referendum results – whether positive or negative. Nevertheless, the...
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    Fayyad calls for emergency Arab summit to rescue PA from financial crisis

    The Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, yesterday called for an emergency Arab summit to rescue the Palestinian Authority from financial distress which he said had left it unable to provide services to the Palestinian people, particularly in terms of its ability to pay the salaries of its...
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    New Israeli Herods and Christians

    I’m writing from Finland this week, where the omnipresence of snow and festive Christmas lights heralds another celebration of the birth of Jesus. In parallel, the descendants of the first Christians in Palestine – the “Living Stones” – are marking another year of abominable Israeli occupation. Indulged with indifference to...
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    Financial and political deadlock

    The crisis did not begin when Israel decided to transfer the tax revenue owed to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the Israeli Electricity Company instead, to pay for its arrears. Nor did it begin when the PA leadership decided to go to the United Nations to obtain non-member observer...
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    Why was the UGTT general strike in Tunis called off?

    There is a long history of struggle, domination by leftist Marxists, as well as recent disputes between the old guard and the outcomes of the revolution in Tunisia. The call for a general strike on December 13 by the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) caused a major stir...
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    Obama and the Israel Lobby

    The Israel Lobby is flexing its muscles against Barack Obama’s expected nominee to be the next Secretary of Defence. Frontrunner Chuck Hagel is co-chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board Committee. Hagel was a Republican Senator representing Nebraska from 1996 until his retirement in 2008 and was one...
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    Internationalising the issue of Palestinian prisoners

    The plight of Palestinian detainees being held by Israel has an important place in the general framework of the Palestinian national cause because it has affected a huge number of people. Almost 750,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel since the start of the occupation of the West Bank...
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    Syria: A Modern Humanitarian Failure

    The Syrian crisis marks not only one of the bloodiest modern revolutions, but also one of the most blatant humanitarian failures for the international community.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that more than 45,000 individuals have been killed in the conflict; the majority of whom were...
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    Key Strategic Trends for the Middle East in 2013

    It is difficult for the observer to forecast the course of events in our region. The ongoing changes in the Arab region and the Middle East are many. The outcomes of the Arab Spring and the region’s strategic volatility have made it even more difficult to guess the future....
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    Egypt’s challenges post-constitution referendum

    The Egyptian people have decided on the constitution, stability and giving the elected president the opportunity to establish a democratic system that can fulfil the goals of the revolution. Nevertheless, the outcome of the constitutional referendum must be studied carefully and interpreted correctly for the future. The lessons of...
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    Israel, E1, and the meaning of Bab Al-Shams

    On Friday morning, only hours after a seemingly relentless storm let up, Palestinian activists snatched international headlines when they set up some 25 tents in the E1 area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and declared the establishment of the new Bab Al-Shams village, or “Gate to the Sun.” On...
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    The war on the Muslim Brotherhood divides the Gulf

    Anyone following the Gulf media, particularly in Saudi Arabia, will notice a vicious campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic movements in general, and Imams whose influence has grown thanks to social media. National security agencies cannot control or block such media as they do with newspapers and internet sites....
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    A tale of a city split into two

    I was born in the border city of Rafah between Egypt and Palestine. Rafah has a story of human suffering that people ought to know about. It was once a single city, but has now become two; one is Egyptian, where I was born, and the other Palestinian, where...
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    Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations and shifting the focus of blame

    Israel’s practice of targeted assassinations against Palestinians, an evolution of ‘focused foiling’ or ‘liquidations policy’ by Israel, remains a contentious issue in the discourse on human rights and international human rights law. Perceived in a wider context, it is possible to discern a trend in the global media which...
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    Is the right to have elections a gift from Israel?

    Many believe that the right for Palestinians to participate in elections as Israeli citizens is a gift from the Israeli state; something that the “forgiving democracy” of Zionist ideology has bestowed on them. This belief in Israeli generosity and fairness has been pushed by Zionists and the state itself...
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    An appraisal of the Cairo Palestinian Reconciliation Agreement

    Following a series of meetings held under Egyptian patronage and aimed at reviving the issue of reconciliation between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, Cairo has issued an official statement defining the terms of the new reconciliation agreement. The meetings were held at this juncture in an...
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    Palestine in the context of the Arab Spring

    Since the onset of the Arab Spring two years ago, with its public protests in the streets and squares of many Arab cities, it has become clear that there is a drastic change in the political awareness of ordinary people in the region. Historically-speaking, that change should not surprise...
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    The rise of the Tajamu Party: a response to Israel’s right-wing

    The outgoing Israeli government has stepped up the racism inherent in the system and is on the verge of passing distinctly apartheid laws. The law relating to so-called “admissions committees” could not even have been passed in the smallest European country against their weakest minorities, or, indeed, against Jews...
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    Israel after the elections

    Most public opinion polls predicted a landslide victory for the right wing in Israel’s recent elections given its secular and religious divisions. However, 48 hours before the start of the ballot, the electoral scene shifted and word of the decline of the Likud-Beiteinu Bloc, led by Benyamin Netanyahu and...
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    Megalomaniac versus monomaniacs in Syria

    SYRIAN President Bashar Al Assad has a penchant for blaming outside conspirators for the troubles in Syria. While plausible, he is mistaken in linking public demands for political reform with presumed plots against his country. His pompous speech three weeks ago on a political resolution for the carnage in...
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    Why is dialogue not accepted by Egypt’s opposition?

    Is the opposition in Egypt really interested in reaching a national consensus or not? This is the obvious question following recent statements from some opposition leaders signalling their refusal to get involved in, or imposing impossible conditions for, dialogue with the government. This suggests to me that the revolutionary...
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    Tahrir Square rapes… shame on ElBaradei and Sabahi

    The cases of harassment that occurred in Cairo during last year’s Eid al-Adha celebrations spiked the gallantry and honour of Dr Mohamed ElBaradei. They pushed him to send a scolding message over the internet, his favourite place after Austria, to the Egyptian people describing them as a barbaric. However,...
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    Desperate opposition drags Egypt from one crisis to another

    The desperate opposition groups in Egypt are dragging the country into a new crisis even before it has emerged from the previous one, which appears to be endless. It’s varying degrees of severity depend on internal opportunities or external pressures. As a result, Egypt is now wedged firmly between...
  • Image of an Israeli drone [file photo]
    Article

    Israeli attack on Syria sends indirect message to Iran

    Two American officials have claimed that the main target of the Israeli raid on Syria last Wednesday was a military convoy travelling towards Lebanon, but it hit a scientific research and study centre by accident instead. Images shown on Syrian television showed the damage done to some of the...
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    There are no short cuts in democracy

    Egypt is an experimental democracy in progress, but when the evolution of this process turns bloody it begs the question: is it worth it? An Egyptian tourist guide who has lost his job, or a businessman affected by ongoing street violence, would probably respond with a resounding no. This...
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    Egypt, Syria and Iraq face big dilemmas

    Egypt is facing a counter-revolution that is against all that came out of the elections which were, we were told, free and fair. The demonstrations are being used by a movement intending to overthrow the Egyptian government and President Mohamed Morsi. The movement is backed by funding from Arab...
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    The rise of Hamas

    It appears that the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2006, has come out of the latest Israeli offensive in a greatly enhanced regional position. This has prompted questions about its ability to make the most of the diplomatic opportunities it has gained. Hamas’s...
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    The Impossible Reconciliation

    There is a swefeping tendency of conviction that the Palestinian division is a disaster for the Palestinian cause, struggle, and people. Some consider that reconciliation itself, regardless of its content, is the remedy for Palestinians and the way out of every crisis. Moreover, some become optimistic every time Mahmoud...
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    The definition of insanity

    WESTERN media is obsessed with presenting a positive spin on everything related to Israel, while trivialising good and accentuating negative news on Palestine. It’s admirably free in many aspects, but when it comes to discussing Israel the Western media loses its spark. Disingenuous news spin and Israeli pampering are...
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    Financing humanitarian and human rights abuses

    The popular dissemination that UNRWA provides ‘assistance and protection’ to Palestinian refugees helping them ‘to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight’ cannot be isolated from three important factors: Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, UN responses to Israeli atrocities and the mechanisms...
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    This is Not the Iraq We Know

    Last summer, on an exceptionally sunny London day, I was walking to my office and suddenly I was jolted from my thoughts by a voice calling my name. I turned around and saw a tall handsome man with a thick moustache loudly saying, “Mr Abdel Bari, may I have...
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    Israeli messages to the delegates holding talks in Cairo

    Israel has been sending messages confirming its intentions to undermine the merit of Palestinian elections and derail their national reconciliation efforts. The most prominent of these messages have been the threats to continue withholding tax revenue owed to the PA and its recent campaign of arrests against Hamas activists...
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    “The invention of the Jewish people”

    The Invention of the Jewish People was a book written by Shlomo Sand, an Israeli professor of history at the University of Tel Aviv. The author wasn’t probing a belief system, but Zionist fabrications of a spurious common lineage for people of the Jewish faith. Sand argues the implausibility...
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    The propaganda machine

    There is, today, nothing louder than the voices of sabotage, destruction, and incitement in the Egyptian media. There has been a determined attempt to aggravate the relationship between the regime and the army. In recent weeks, there have been rumours of complaint and anger amongst the armed forces, as...
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    Israel has to plan the war to end all war

    The Middle East is in a state of constant tension, spreading from country to country. The cause is often Israel and its policies, including the main focus of the next confrontation; it will either initiate a conflict or push another party to act as the trigger. Israel is studying...
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    From death row to prime minister

    While wearing his prison clothes and awaiting his execution in 1987, the man now charged with forming a new government in Tunisia could never have dreamt that his political career would take such a turn. Minister of the Interior Ali Al-Areed was pardoned by the then President Bourguiba only...
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    Salutations from Samer Al-Issawi

    Samer Al-Issawi has been on hunger strike for almost 220 days, and he is still determined to continue, making his protest the longest in history. As much as he embodies the determination of the Palestinians to defend their dignity and freedom, he also exposes the ruthlessness of the Israeli...
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    The Intifada and its Signals

    Since the last war on Gaza, the media has abounded with forecasts and the predicted signals of a third Intifada in Palestine, particularly in the West Bank. These expectations have mounted following the death of Palestinian prisoner, Arafat Jaradat, in an Israeli prison and the violent clashes that ensued...
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    The third intifada and the decisive year

    The Israeli military has warned about the outbreak of a “third intifada” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. I have also warned of this before now, as there have been several signs that this is a distinct possibility. First, the “peace process” and “two-state solution” have reached a...
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    How the Graffiti Boys ignited the Syrian Revolution

    “Ashaab yureed isqat annidham.” This phrase is ringing in the ears of tyrants and despots around the Arab world and means quite simply that the people want to bring down the regime. It is the enduring chant of the Arab Spring, so it’s hardly surprising that these are probably...
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    Palestine Spring in the making?

    A third Palestinian uprising is simmering slowly, fuelled by the denigrating policies of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. With the chances for a political resolution steadily diminishing, and lacking other options, the conditions are ripe for a new Palestinian Intifada. While the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly committed to a peaceful settlement,...
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    Livni is being used to polish Netanyahu’s image

    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was keen to draw attention to his success in incorporating the Movement Party, led by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in his latest coalition government. This keenness is not aimed at putting pressure on the other parties trying to impose further conditions on him...
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    Does reconciliation really need “temporary borders” which will threaten the Palestinian cause?

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s election coalition partner has said that it is “impossible” to solve the conflict with the Palestinians. “It is possible to manage it – and it is important to manage it – and to negotiate in order to reach a long-term transitional agreement,” claimed Avigdor Lieberman, who was...