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  • Article

    Voice of the Arab spring

    Al Jazeera is an enigma – although owned by an absolute monarch, it’s hailed as an independent voice in a region scarred by tyranny. Mehdi Hasan visits its headquarters in Doha to see if the praise is deserved. On Friday 11 February, thousands of Arabs spilled on to the...
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    Is Israel sowing the seeds of its own downfall?

    As Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the next US presidential election fall over themselves to prove how Israel-friendly they are to “Republican Jewish leaders”, the country closest to their heart – no, it’s not the USA – has demonstrated once again its contempt for due process and international...
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    When Clinton compares Israel's religious fundamentalism to Iran's "rule of the mullahs", the writing is on the wall for the "Jewish state"

    Israel is no longer “the only democracy” in the political desert of the Middle East; indeed, it never was. Any country which maintains a military occupation, builds illegal colonies and practices racism in the land of another doesn’t deserve to call itself democratic. Nevertheless, that’s the stereotypical image of...
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    Hamas continues to ply a difficult course

    The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has just celebrated its 24th anniversary in an unusually turbulent political climate in Palestine and the Arab world. Changes in the international arena include the rise of new powers accompanied by the decline of others; and Western Europe is mired in a financial and...
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    Will Islamists really fail in government?

    The new mantra against Islamist politicians is that they can succeed in opposition but fail in government; experience of holding the reins of power will, it is alleged, reveal the paucity of their skill in governance. The main question that comes to mind when we hear Islamists’ opponents singing...
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    Beware of the final scene

    Israel’s response to the political developments in the Arab world revolves around security. An increase in its military budget has been accompanied by substantial amendments to the country’s security strategy. Democracy in the Arab world is viewed by Israel as a serious threat to its security and even its...
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    A European attempt to do justice to the '48 Palestinians

    Mainstream media only ever addresses Israeli racism indirectly, if at all. An issue that has received less than its fair share of media coverage is the document prepared by European embassies in Israel asserting the “importance of regarding Israel’s treatment of its Arab population as a substantive issue, and...
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    Naher Al-Bared creeps back to normality

    They can take away our land; they can take away our rights; they can even take away our right to live; but we are Palestinians, and with God’s help, we will survive. The above statement encapsulates the spirit of Palestine and its people. The speaker was an elderly man...
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    Palestinians suffer as bad driving epidemic grips Israeli settlers

    A strange affliction seems to be affecting settlers in the West Bank. It seems that as soon as they are granted settler status (a badge of dishonour in the eyes of the rest of the world considering the illegal nature of all settlements) these individuals lose all ability to...
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    The final illusion has disappeared

    The Israeli Supreme Court has rejected petitions submitted by human rights organisations seeking a cancellation of the amendments to the Citizenship Act which will prevent the reunification of Palestinian families living on both sides of the Green (1948 Armistice) Line. Six judges voted against the petitions; five were in...
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    Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine

    OVER the past 64 years, Palestinians have tried armed struggle; we have tried negotiations; and we have tried peace conferences. Yet all we have seen is more Israeli settlements, more loss of lives and resources, and the emergence of a horrifying system of segregation. Khader Adnan, a Palestinian held...
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    Israel steps up campaign of arresting Palestinian parliamentarians

    Israel has finally done what it has waited almost a year and a half to do; in a raid contravening international law it arrested two members of the Palestinian Parliament who had been seeking refuge in the International Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem. We all knew it was...
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    Hamas, a movement of institutions, not individuals

    Hamas is a movement of institutions, with committees, laws and regulations which determine the status of each member. It is important to remember that before going into specifics about the Islamic Resistance Movement we should emphasise this point. And that when these committees decide on any issue in accordance...
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    Tunisians to launch campaign against normalization with Israel

    Ahmed Kahlaoui, leader of Tunisia’s National Committee to Support Arab Resistance to Normalization, has appealed for the awaited Tunisian constitution to include an article outlawing the normalization of relations with Israel. He asserted that the Committee would move to Pardo, set up a protest tent, and stage a sit-in...
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    Unsettled, unlawful, unresolved - Israeli settlers in a foreign land

    Violence, abuse, non-accountability, hate, such is communal living today within the occupied West Bank, where some 518,974 colonisers1 sit within “200”2 illegal settlements. Noam Chomsky, “The settlements cover over 42% of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), not counting the Jordon valley, which they are taking over”3 Estimates of colonisation...
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    Palestine-Israel negotiations are impossible

    There are no Palestine-Israel negotiations being held at the moment because Israeli preconditions kill them before they begin. The Palestinian side doesn’t have any alternative to offer instead of negotiations, which means that the issue will remain in limbo unless there is a change in the balance of power...
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    Morocco and the International Criminal Court: balancing national and international law

    It has been twelve years since Morocco became a signatory to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. During this time, Morocco has continued to move forward in its...
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    We ask you to arm Gaza too

    News about Israel’s latest killing spree against the people of the Gaza Strip has only occupied a small amount of airtime in the news bulletins of Arab TV stations. This is a source of great anger, especially when those channels are in Arab Spring countries seeking to restore dignity...
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    Old Israel and the new Middle East

    Two opposing phenomena are interacting in the Middle East; the first is Israel, moving back to the past with its policies, laws and ideology, looking ever more like a “typical” Middle East country: closed, exclusive, violent, and culturally and religiously rigid. The second phenomenon is the effort made by...
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    Pressures on Hamas and the Exit from Syria

    Before clashes broke out in Syria, the head of the Hamas Movement’s Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, contacted the Syrian leadership and offered clear and frank advice regarding the need for political reform. He warned the regime that the wave of demand for reform sweeping the region would not stop...
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    An apology to the Syrian people

    We owe the Syrian people an apology for every day that they were slaughtered before our eyes during the past eleven months. The Arab people have let them down and have watched on from the side-lines as if the “the heart of Arabism” has become surrounded by Arabs with...
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    Keeping Gaza in the dark

    Efforts to keep the Gaza Strip in the dark, including its many hospitals, homes and street lights, is immoral and inhumane and constitutes collective punishment against the Palestinians. It also shows complete casual disregard by the Israelis for the Arabs who can see this crime against their brothers taking...
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    The problem with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is not Sharia

    Western media simplistically cast the divide between revolutionaries and the Brotherhood in secular-Islamist terms Secularism is not my cause and sharia is not my fear but I am one of those Egyptians who are critical of the Muslim Brotherhood movement – one who made a point of not voting...
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    The new WMD is Israel: a weapon of mass deception

    We are living in momentous times, with political changes sweeping across the Middle East and Western countries pushing democratic values as the panacea for all human ills. This is deceptive, as actions often contradict the hype. At the centre of this stands the state of Israel, which alone among...
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    Homes destroyed, land stolen, lives shattered

    Criminal demolition in the OPTs Within the catalogue of criminality that is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the destruction of Palestinian homes must rank as one of the most cynical and heinous. “Some 90,000 people are currently reported to be at risk of displacement as a...
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    Calling all friends of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa

    Palestinians have been putting their bodies and lives on the line against repeated Israeli aggression in the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Sometimes they have succeeded in pushing back the hordes of illegal Jewish settlers and the Israeli soldiers protecting them; sometimes they...
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    A united, democratic nation with equal rights for all

    AS A FORMER legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team, I spent more than six years working toward a “two-state” solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During that period, we held countless negotiation sessions, examined scores of proposals, met with hundreds of diplomats and even went house-to-house campaigning for the...
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    Why did the voters say yes to the Muslim Brotherhood?

    The election results in Egypt which have favoured the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice Party” are reflected across the Arab Spring countries; the Islamic movement has come of political age. This has upset the remaining secularists to the extent that a phobia of the Brotherhood has surfaced in Arab...
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    There can be no election without Jerusalem and Hamas

    It looks as if Israel intends to put many obstacles in the way of the proposed Palestinian election, not least that it does not want polling stations in Jerusalem – “the eternal capital of the unified state for Jews only” and it does not want Hamas to participate, directly or...
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    Religion and politics in Syria

    Many politicians and journalists are fearful of the future which can be facing the religious minorities in Syria following the revolution. Very often, these fears are expressed in the context of justifying the hesitancy of the US and the international community to arm the Free Syrian Army. It is...
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    Islamists and Palestine after the Arab Spring

    There is no doubt about Islamists’ commitment to the Palestinian cause, regardless of their ideological classifications, or whether they are in government or opposition. Nevertheless, a number of statements attributed to them in recent months – some accurately – cast doubt on that commitment, even given that some were distorted and...
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    Confined cruelty: Israeli treatment of Palestinian minors

    The innocence of childhood is precious, to be cared for gently and nurtured, allowing the child, whose future we are building, to develop happily and safely in an atmosphere of love and peace. For many Palestinian children their childhood is lived in fear with the threat of violence and...
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    Talking points and tensions

    Three representatives of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party spoke in the Palace of Westminster recently where they were able to explain their plans and political vision. Invited by the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), the FJP members were Fatema AbuZeid, an elected representative of the Constituent...
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    Arab revolutions through Israeli eyes

    Israeli researchers have been preoccupied from the very first days of the Arab revolutions to analyse the possible consequences for Israel; the Israeli establishment has not disguised its fear of the revolutions’ success. Perhaps the most important conference to discuss the revolutions was that organised by the Israeli National...
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    Islamists and governance: challenges and opportunities

    Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, Islam has been largely absent from political activity in the Muslim world. The decline of the Ottomans coincided with the fragmentation of the region by the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and this continued until very recently, with religion being...
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    When Beilin calls on Abbas to hand over the PA to Netanyahu, we should listen

    Yossi Beilin is a smart man – he told us so himself – and because of that, he is quite certain that the Netanyahu government will not accept the four Palestinian demands of (1) the cessation of settlement activity; (2) adopting the 4th June 1967 border as a reference; (3)...
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    New victory for Sheikh Raed Salah, the Sentinel of Al-Aqsa

    Sheikh Raed Salah’s legal victory against the British government’s decision to deport him from the UK represents one more example of the battles he has been fighting for years against the Israelis and their supporters inside and outside historic Palestine. The Upper Immigration Tribunal’s decision emphasises the independence of...
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    Simon Wiesenthal Centre's respect for dead Gentiles appears to be limited

    It is interesting to note that a recent robust defence of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s planned “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem uses an attack on the credibility of Sheikh Raed Salah as part of the argument. Sheikh Raed Salah, wrote the Centre’s Director of Public Relations in a letter...
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    Solitary confinement and administrative detention

    Administrative detention provides a vehicle for the arrest of Palestinians where there is no genuine reason for them to be taken into custody, even under Israel’s draconian military occupation. Nobody sees the “evidence” provided by intelligence officers apart from the Israeli judge. The lawyers acting for the detainee can’t...
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    Maintaining Israel's demographic majority, but at what cost?

    In America, the Jewish community’s Anti-Defamation League (ADL) promotes racial integration, equality and multiculturalism within American society. The ADL and other Jewish organisations work closely at local levels with school administrators across the US to educate young children about the virtues of tolerance and multiculturalism. As a promoter of...
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    Libya and the ICC: in the pursuit of justice?

    The ongoing post-conflict reconstruction process in Libya is reigniting a crucial debate among transitional justice advocates about the role that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can play in delivering justice and redress to victims of grave crimes. In the midst of the February 2011 revolution, the ICC opened an...
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    Egypt's new role in the future of Palestine

    Recently, millions of Egyptians crowded round TV sets in Cairo to watch two presidential candidates debate their country’s future. For citizens more used to having a political system imposed on them than joining in the discussion, they seem to have adapted quickly. Cheers and applause broke out as the...
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    Lifting the Veil of Secrecy

    Judicial Review of Administrative Detentions in the Israeli Supreme Court, by Shiri Krebs Vanderbilt Journal of Transitional Law, Vol. 45, No. 3, May 2012 Shiri Krebs is currently a JSD candidate at Stanford Law School in the USA; between 2006 and 2010 she served as a legal advisor on...
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    If I was Egyptian, I would vote for Al-Banna's successor

    Everyone is waiting anxiously for the outcome of the first round of the Egyptian presidential election. It might be a decisive vote in terms of such elections in Egypt; if one of the candidates receives more than 50 per cent of the votes, he will be President. So who...
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    Is Egypt about to become another Algeria?

    Democracy, to paraphrase writer and comedian Alexei Sayle, allows you to march up and down the street and elect new dictators every few years. Here in the West, we see this played out regularly as our “elected dictators” ignore mass demonstrations and insist that we can remove them through...
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    Between money keeper and policy maker

    Once again Muhammad Rashid has returned to the forefront of the political scene, first through programmes on satellite television under the title “political memory”, and second through the Palestinian Authority’s request for Interpol to arrest the man on charges of corruption. That request has been ignored, perhaps because the...
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    Nuclear irony is lost on the West

    It is ironic that Western nations seeking to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions are the same countries which sold nuclear technology to Tehran in the first place. Iran has worked with the US and Western nations since the 1950s to develop its nuclear energy capabilities. In 1975, German conglomerates Kraftwerk...
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    The Muslim Brotherhood must reassure everyone

    Revolutionary Egypt is at a crossroads, with the revolution itself under threat, requiring all factions to reconsider their positions, especially the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamic group must be alert, ready to mobilise its supporters and prepared for self-denial. Let’s not forget, though, that Egypt is on the coat-tails of...
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    Fatah and Hamas reconciliation still misses the main issues in the national struggle

    From a strategic point of view, the reform of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the most important issue for the parties to Palestinian reconciliation. However, it is the least important concern for both the parties and observers. All discussions focus on forming a national unity government headed by...
  • Jerusalemites go about daily life before the Six Day War of 1967 in 'Zahrat Al-Madain'
    Article

    The real story of the Six-Day War

    Last Tuesday was the 45th anniversary of the outbreak of a war between Egypt and Israel that reshaped the Middle East. At 7.30am, on 5 June, 1967, 200 Israeli fighter jets took off in a massive surprise attack, neutralising Egypt’s air force on the ground before troops advanced to...