Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

All Stories Archive

  • Article

    The tragedy of the two-state solution

    It is fairly obvious that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is messing around with US President Barack Obama, when on the one hand he declares that he is interested in peace while on the other he is doing his utmost to thwart a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....
  • Article

    The economics of occupation in the West Bank

    By Dr. Abdel Sattar QassemThe Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 have suffered from an odd economic situation ever since, in stages summarised as follows: 1. The Israeli occupation authorities adopted two main principles until the establishment of the Palestinian Authority: a) The people were not exactly starved, as that would threaten...
  • Article

    Christians are massacred and Netanyahu gets a reward

    By Abdel Bari Atwan At a time when Israeli intelligence is accused of breaking Egyptian security through spy networks and the involvement of its agents in fuelling sectarian strife in Egypt, the authorities in Cairo are laying out the red carpet for Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister is...
  • Palestinian graffiti [file photo]
    Article

    Palestinians and another deadline… that is not sacred?

    The Palestinian leadership has begun to speak about this coming September as the month of the three appointments or deadlines; for the end of the year of negotiations approved by Washington, the Quartet and the international community; the end of the “two year” period designated by the caretaker government...
  • Article

    The Palestinian Authority and the problem of reform under Israeli occupation

    By Dr. Mohsen Mohammed SalehIs real reform of the Palestinian Authority possible or can reform only ever be a matter of “dancing to the Israeli occupation’s tune”? Can the types of reform be split and classified in such a way that some administrative, economic, educational and social reforms are...
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    Article

    Does President Abbas have the power to dissolve the Palestinian Authority?

    Just one week separates two recent statements by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, each of which contradicts the other. He hinted in his first statement to a “conditional acceptance” of a state with provisional borders; in his second statement he threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority, after “discovering” that it...
  • Article

    American exclusion of the European role… when will it end?

    By Ali Badwan European complaints about their exclusion from the current Middle East peace process have come rather late. For many years the United States effectively marginalized major international organizations from the course of events in the region, in return for a minimal role as donors to provide funds...
  • Article

    Lessons from British compassion

    By Mahmoud al-Mubarak The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, began his most recent visit to Israel with the great confidence and cold boldness that matches the history of his country and its faithful support for Zionist crimes and Occupation when he announced Britain’s intentions to change its domestic laws...
  • Article

    Umm al-Fahm and the final status solution

    By Abdul Hakim MufeedFollowing the march by right-wing Israelis in the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm this week, we need to pass more than a political eye over the situation. It is possible, of course, to regard the demonstration as simply a provocation by the extreme right-wing...
  • Article

    Palestinian refugees and direct negotiations

    By Ali Badwan Leaks from Washington and those involved in the inner circles of the peace negotiations suggest that the right of return for Palestinian refugees is on the point of being sacrificed. The US is insisting that anyone agreeing to negotiate with Israel must abandon this fundamental issue....
  • Article

    Arab League report reveals that Israel’s Wall is almost all built on occupied land

    Israel’s so-called “Separation Wall” is nearly all built on Palestinian land occupied by the Zionists state since 1967, according to a report produced by the Arab League. The more commonly-called Apartheid Wall is also “an overt violation of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice”, as well...
  • Article

    Land swap will obliterate the Palestinians’ case

    By Fahmi HoweidiThe basic principle in politics is to assume a lack of innocence surrounding any action, so we should treat with caution the visit of the Elders’ delegation to Gaza and the tour of the region. This group contains some of the most respected figures with worldwide reputations,...
  • Article

    “Palestinian “sales” season”

    By Abdul Bari Atwan On October 20, the Palestinian-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by Chief Editor Abdul-Bari Atwan: “It is difficult for us to understand this free concessions “surge” launched by the Palestinian Authority, its officials and president, and directly affecting the national principles. It is...
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File photo]
    Article

    Netanyahu’s Jewish Republic of Israel

    The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has started its latest session full of racism and hatred. It is scheduled to discuss a number of laws devoted to the country’s supposed “Jewish identity”. The first of these is the “citizenship law”, which is backed by the Netanyahu government with the support of...
  • Article

    Whoever sabotages the negotiations must be considering war

    By Bilal Al-Hassan The Arab kings and presidents whose latest summit was in Sirte had a very complex political situation on the agenda, requiring political decisions of a particularly complex kind. Given the nature of the issue in question, it is pertinent to ask if the rulers were prepared...
  • Article

    The experience of secret negotiations led to disastrous results

    By Dr Anis Mustafa Qasim This article addresses two problems facing the current negotiations: (I) the problem of what became known as the Palestinian division and (II) the problem of previous understandings with the Israeli side. We do not want to discuss the subject of negotiations per se, as...
  • Article

    Syria-Israel negotiations are in a deep sleep

    By Ali Badwan As the negotiations focus is fixed firmly on what is happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians, news is filtering through of some unexpected moves by the US administration to kick-start the long stalled Israel-Syria peace talks. Senator George Mitchell’s visit to Damascus to meet Syria’s...
  • Article

    The Jewish identity of the State of Israel

    Does anyone else wonder why Benjamin Netanyahu is already insisting that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must include recognition by the latter that the state of Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people? By insisting on no ambiguity whatsoever, the Israeli prime minister has thrown...
  • Article

    Palestinian expert warns about repeating Oslo’s mistakes as direct talks are launched

    A Palestinian expert has warned of the danger of repeating the mistakes made by the Palestinian negotiators, especially concerning Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, in signing the Oslo Accords in 1993. The second round of direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians is now under way in Egypt’s...
  • Article

    Another snare for Saudi Arabia

    By Abdul Bari Atwan When, in an article published by the New York Times yesterday, the American journalist Thomas Friedman calls on the reigning Saudi monarch, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, to welcome Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Riyadh and personally hand Netanyahu the ‘peace initiative’ he launched...
  • Article

    Conspicuous Arab abstention from International Jerusalem Day

    Last week, Iran celebrated International Jerusalem Day with angry demonstrations marching in its various cities including the capital Tehran and was attended by hundreds of thousands, chanting anti-Zionist slogans and burning U.S. and Israeli flags. Arabs do not celebrate Jerusalem or International Jerusalem Day which was initiated by the...
  • Article

    Direct negotiations; a goal for Israelis …a means for Palestinians

    By Raghid el-Solh At the start of these direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, many questions were raised about the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, real position toward the negotiations and a political settlement between the Arabs and Israelis. By extension, similar questions were asked about the...
  • Article

    Your apology is not convincing

    By Abdel Bari Atwan It was right that the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad did apologize for the actions of elements within the security apparatus under his authority. They had attacked a gathering of representatives of PLO factions and independent national figures, and prevented them from participating in a...
  • Article

    Palestinian negotiators back to square one

    By Bilal Al-Hassan Palestinian acceptance of direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions is in effect a return to square one in the process of political settlement between the two parties. The point of departure is, undoubtedly, the Oslo agreement signed in 1993. Seventeen years of negotiations starting from the...
  • Article

    Resuming negotiations and the “carrot” of reassurances

    By Dr Ahmed Yusuf Ahmed The US administration has decided to commence direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians on 2nd September. The Palestinian Authority accepted the invitation on the basis that there will be American assurances regarding the negotiations. A question, however, arises about the development of...
  • Article

    The repressive Palestinian state

    A symposium planned by the Popular and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the People’s Party (formerly the Communist party) has been prohibited by the Palestinian Security Forces. The audacious move was made because the meeting provided a forum for opposition to the direct negotiations due to...
  • Article

    Why is Israel afraid of our cemeteries?

    By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban After demolishing all the houses of Al-Arakib, the Israeli occupation authorities razed the village cemetery, completely erasing the memory and history of this Palestinian village, as it has erased more than 500 other Palestinian villages since 1948. A few days later, the Israelis desecrated 150...
  • Article

    Palestinians in Israel complain to the United Nations

    By Mohamed Mohsen Watad – Umm al-Fahm A complaint is to be lodged with the human rights agencies of the UN about the intensification of house demolitions in the Negev desert region by the Israeli authorities. The demolitions are part of a wider range of land and housing abuses...
  • Article

    Palestinian Authority lowers the volume of call to prayer so as not to disturb Israeli settlers

    By Yasser Al-Za’atraPalestinians across the West Bank noticed it before the facts were revealed in the Israeli media: the volume of the call to prayer (azan) from mosques in the occupied territory has been turned down. Israel’s “Civil Administration” – which sounds better for PR purposes than “Occupation Authority”...
  • Article

    The concept of Israeli security and the illusion of peace

    By Prof Abdullah Al Ash’al The Arab Initiative’s mandate to hold direct negotiations with Israel which was the result of its Committee meeting on July 29th 2010 is bound to remain confused given its extreme gravity, and the fact that the Arab world is not convinced of this nihilistic...
  • Article

    Al-Arakib and villages in the Negev as part of Israel’s Judaisation scheme

    By Ali BadwanA few days ago, Israeli bulldozers destroyed forty houses in the Palestinian Beduin village of Al-Arakib north of the city of Beersheba in the Negev Desert. Around 300 people were displaced under the pretext of “building without a permit” in a village that is one of the...
  • Article

    A new scandal for the Palestinian Authority

    Al-Quds Opinion You would think that the half million Israeli settlers spread across the occupied West Bank would have little to complain about. After all, they enjoy control of almost half the land, water sources, swimming pools and private roads, with security provided by the Palestinian Security Forces. But...
  • Article

    The “moderate camp” provides a fig-leaf for direct negotiations

    By Fahmi Huwaidi As direct negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian Authority take centre stage we must declare publicly that it is the “moderate” Arab states which have provided the Israelis and Americans with the fig-leaf of cover to implement their plans on the Palestinian issue. The green light...
  • Article

    Jewish attitudes towards Israel are shifting

    By Adel LatifiIsrael depends on and has benefited greatly from the immense influence of Jewish elites in the west, particularly those who operate in lobbies such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC. These pressure groups give Israel unlimited support for its policies, even when they are in...
  • Article

    The internationalisation of the Palestinian cause is the solution

    By Hani al-Masri We are witnessing numerous attempts to pressurise the Palestinians to move straight to direct negotiations with Israel, despite the absence of any significant progress due to the intransigence of the Israeli government and the failure of all previous efforts to reach a peaceful agreement. Much of...
  • Article

    Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiations

    By Abdel Halim Qandil There is no rational explanation for Palestinian Authority officials to continue in negotiations with the Israelis, whether direct or indirect, because there is no benefit for the Palestinians in what is clearly a miserable process. The benefits for the Israelis are obvious, as they give...
  • Article

    Netanyahu in Egypt, but not Assad

    By Fahmi Huwaidi Although it is humbling to read that Netanyahu is coming to Egypt, two questions arise: are relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv entirely divorced from Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian Territories? And is the pan-Arab conflict going to be more difficult to solve than the...
  • Article

    “A free press for a new century”

    By Dr. Bouthaina ShaabanThe above title is actually a subtitle of a book by Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University with the full title of Uninhibited, Robust and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century (Oxford University Press). It was a good coincidence for me to read...
  • Article

    Demands to lift the Israeli blockade of the West Bank

    By Bilal Al-Hassan The United States is basically a self-appointed leader of the “peace process” between the Palestinians and Israel. It also happens to be the world’s remaining superpower. As such, one would expect its allies, especially its pampered ally Israel, to listen when it speaks, but that is...
  • Article

    Zionist national security and the gap between intelligence and the media

    Israeli research and study centres, as well as the Zionist lobby, are working overtime studying Israel’s opponents in the Middle East, primarily Syria, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas. Some leaked reports have confirmed that many Israeli experts are engaged on looking at the causes of the decline in...
  • Article

    Turkey is paying the price on our behalf

    By Fahmi Howeidi Turkey now has to pay the political price for its solidarity with the Palestinian people, even perhaps a coup, the warning signs for which have already appeared across the Middle East. All of this comes in the wake of the Marvi Marmara incident, with repercussions and...
  • Article

    Hamas MPs in Jerusalem: From Detention to Deportation

    By Yasser Za’atra What can the President, the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestinian Legislative Council do for the former Hamas minister and three parliamentarians who Israel has decided to deport from Jerusalem? Apart from timid condemnations that will not change a thing – nothing of course. When the Israeli...
  • Article

    Lifting the blockade: the vision and calculations

    By Dr. Ahmad Youssef Indeed, all things do come to an end. The blood of the martyrs aboard the Marmara ship was not spilled in vain. It was a wakeup call to the world and opened their eyes to the injustice and criminality exercised by the rogue occupation forces...
  • Palestinians wave a national flag and an Egyptian flag as they take part in a rally calling on Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing, outside the crossing in the southern Gaza Strip September 16, 2013 [Eyad Al Baba / ApaImages]
    Article

    The battle of the siege, border crossings and reconciliation starts now

    The recent calls across the world for the siege on Gaza to be eased, if not lifted, are welcomed by most people but not, it seems, those in power in Ramallah and Cairo. Reports from the West Bank and Egypt suggest that concerns exist about lifting the siege and...
  • Article

    The real face of Israel is exposed, and it is tainted by racism

    By Bilal Al-Hassan Even though the Freedom Flotilla was not allowed to reach Gaza as planned, the mission was far from unsuccessful. The situation in Gaza has been put back on the international agenda, with many countries around the world calling for the immoral and illegal Israeli siege to...
  • Article

    Another victory for Gaza and justice

    By Fahmi HuwaidiThe Muslim and Arab world must thank the organisers of the Freedom Flotilla for waking us out of our coma and reminding us that the situation in Gaza is unacceptable and has been for far too long. The scandalous attack and hijacking of the humanitarian flotilla has...
  • Article

    Israeli Minister calls for Arab MP’s immunity to be revoked for her “treason”

    In an escalation of Israel’s official aggression against the Palestinians who stayed on after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and their leaders, Israel’s Interior Minister has submitted a request to the Attorney General for the parliamentary immunity of Haneen Zoubi, MP, to be revoked. Eli...
  • Article

    Abbas pilgrimage to Washington is postponed

    The view of “Al-Quds”US President Barack Obama has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an official visit to Washington on the 1 June. The date for a similar visit by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has still to be decided. A White House spokesman said that the Netanyahu...
  • Article

    Boycotting settlement products: a serious policy or playing for time?

    By Hani Al-Masri The Palestinian Authority’s campaign to boycott products made or grown on illegal Israeli settlements deserves support. It is an important economic and national move, and an indication that Palestinians could once again act as one people which might – just might – encourage others to deal...
  • Image of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]
    Article

    The art of making a leader: Fayyad as a model

    Whenever the topic of the Palestinian Authority arises, few people talk about the institution itself, or the PLO or its President. The main topic for discussion is Salam Fayyad and his “genius” attempt to build the institutions of state while under Israeli occupation but with a view to ending...