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  • Article

    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...
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    Desire for 'Jewish state' fuels Israeli xenophobia

    Israeli Knesset member Danny Danon of the ruling Likud Party, who is chairperson of a xenophobic organisation called Deportation Now, recently spoke at a rally inciting the xenophobic riots in Tel Aviv. He said of foreigners, mainly African migrants and refugees: ‘The infiltrators are a national plague and we...
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    A non-member state: what's next?

    President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that if all attempts to return to the negotiating table fail then the Palestinian Authority will approach the UN General Assembly seeking recognition as a non-member state. He cited Switzerland and the Vatican State as examples of such states. Of course, if Palestine is...
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    Muslim Brotherhood urged to share power in Egypt

    The head of the Tunisian Islamist party and the brains behind a successful transitional coalition with two securalist parties has flown to Cairo to persuade the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to share power. The trip by Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of Ennahda, comes as Dr Mohamed Morsi, the...
  • Image of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip [4biaplatform/Twitter]
    Article

    Israel and the theory of the Other

    In 1896 Theodor Herzl wrote “The Jewish State”, a book that was to change the lives of Palestinians forever. Believing that Jews would always be subject to anti-Semitism whilst they formed a disparate community, or lived as minorities in other countries, Herzl proposed that they must have a land...
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    Syria on verge of civil war

    What started as an extension of the Arab Spring is pushing Syria to the verge of civil war. Bashar Al-Assad must stop deluding himself by blaming the frustration of the Syrian people on a foreign conspiracy. Indulging in such self-denial is what could eventually justify outside intervention. In addition,...
  • Headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt [File photo]
    Article

    What would a Muslim Brotherhood victory mean for Israel and Palestine?

    A 200km barricade being built along the Egypt-Israel border, originally designed to deter illegal immigrants and smugglers from entering Israel, has this week taken on a new significance. In the latest event to mark a decline in relations between the two countries, gunmen attacked construction workers building the security...
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    Religious groups are infiltrating secular politics in Israel

    Israel is possibly the only country in the world where the religious right has taken the initiative to infiltrate secular political parties in an apparent effort to increase their influence and grip on the state. This phenomenon has been attracting attention in the past three years because of its...
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    Egypt: Constitutional storm or military dominance?

    Now that the results of Egypt’s presidential elections have been declared, it is left to be seen exactly how much power the ruling junta will relinquish. With the proclamation of the complementary constitution just hours before the end of presidential elections and the dissolution of parliament, which for the...
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    Dear Khaled Meshaal - you promised their freedom

    I decided to address this open letter to you on a matter that haunts so many people in the wounded West Bank even though I and many others know that you are not responsible for this suffering. Nor have you created it, but it’s reached the point where a...
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    We will not serve with them...

    Following approval by the Israeli government of the recommendation submitted by the Plesnar Committee, and the committee’s subsequent disbanding, the struggle surrounding what has come to be known as “universal service” has entered a new phase. Based on Plesnar’s recommendations, it would appear that the prevailing trend is towards...
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    Killing African migrants

    The Israeli authorities have said that an unknown man was killed and another was wounded by border guards when the two tried to cross the border from the Sinai Peninsula. They were not armed. The Israelis have tried to conceal this crime through hiding the identity of both men;...
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    Was Arafat murdered?

    Most Palestinians, whether they supported their late leader Yasser Arafat or not, were in agreement that he did not die of natural causes. They believed he was murdered by Israel or its agents. But are Palestinians justified in blaming Israel for his death? French doctors treating Arafat did not...
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    Israel must take the blame for the repercussions of its policies

    Another week and another group of innocent people are killed in a terrorist attack. Five Israeli tourists are killed by a suicide bomber in a Bulgarian holiday resort; Israel promises a harsh response, and past evidence suggests that it will carry out its threats. The world sympathises with the...
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    Syria's chemical weapons and the path to global war

    The Chinese and Russian veto of a draft resolution proposed by Britain at the UN Security Council which would give the Syrian regime one and a half months to withdraw its heavy weapons from the cities or the Syrian crisis will come under Chapter VII of the UN Charter,...
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    Palestinians in the midst of the Syrian revolution

    Statements by Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi that Palestinian refugees in Syria are guests “who lack manners”, when considered with those of Buthaina Shaaban, a presidential adviser, who accuses Palestinians in a refugee camp in Lattakia of being behind the violence in their area, are part of an...
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    Israel implementing "transfer" policy against Palestinians occupied West Bank, alleges PLO

    A report prepared by the PLO’s National Bureau for Defending Lands and Resisting Settlement has revealed that Israel is implementing policies that aim at the Judaisation of the most prominent Palestinian areas with strategic importance in any future peace negotiations. Such policies include the “transfer” of the Palestinian population....
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    First respect Muslims in America, then you can talk about Copts' rights

    Officials in Washington act as if Egypt is under a US mandate ruled by an American High Commissioner who receives his orders direct from Capitol Hill. Such is my conclusion at the way that US officials issue provocative directives about internal Egyptian affairs. The US administration is still unable...
  • Image of Israeli occupation forces arresting a Palestinian youth
    Article

    Reconciling identity with military service: Israel's factions

    On a warm summer evening in Jerusalem, hundreds of young soldiers gather in the plaza facing the Wailing Wall. They could be teenagers anywhere in the world only they are dressed in olive green and have huge black guns strapped across their shoulders. Posing for photographs it is the...
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    US veto for sale

    Pre-empting Mitt Romney’s campaign visit to Israel, President Barack Obama last Friday signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Co-operation Act of 2012. The bill was drafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and co-sponsored by Israeli firsters Barbara Boxer and Howard Berman, of the US Senate and...
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    Call for disengagement between peace and complicity with Israel

    Post-revolutionary Egypt should make a distinction between the peace treaty with Israel on the one hand, and partnership and complicity with it against the Palestinians on the other. We understand the first through necessity but consider the second a disgrace that should be disowned. When Gaza’s Prime Minister, Ismail...
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    Stormy dialogue on Jordanian reform which excludes Palestinian component

    A stormy media and political debate has taken place in Jordan after Al-Quds Al-Arabi’ published what is perhaps the first letter sent to King Abdullah II on behalf of his Palestinian citizens. The letter from Palestinian representatives in Jordan addressed the head of state directly, in a friendly and...
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    Incarcerated in Israel

    Palestinians tortured and isolated Detention without trial, the presumption of guilt, denial of family visits, solitary confinement, torture, violent interrogation and denial of access to appropriate health care; such is the Israeli judicial system and prison confinement experienced by Palestinian men, women and, indeed, children. Currently there are, according...
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    The effects of the revolution on Syria's Palestinian refugee camps

    None of the Palestinian families in the Yarmouk refugee camp was expecting 21 to be killed and dozens of wounded as they broke their fast earlier in this month of Ramadan, but the mortar shells which hit them were not entirely unexpected either. After all, the camp and neighbouring...
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    Salam Fayyad and his exclusive election theory

    We were afraid that the Palestinian leadership would neglect the right of Palestinians in the diaspora to elect their representatives to the Palestinian National Council. Now we are also afraid that the current leadership will even ignore the right of Palestinians inside Palestine to choose their president and representatives...
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    Churches' uprising against Israel

    While Arabs are busy with revolutions and internal wars, and are largely absent from what is happening in Palestine and Jerusalem with Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the local population, American and European civil society is taking action against the Israeli occupation. One particular sector which has become very active...
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    By way of deception

    WESTERN and Israeli media are full of purported leaks giving details of the joint efforts by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Ehud Barak to enlist reluctant military chiefs to their plan to attack Iran. All this is hogwash. Israel has no intention to move against...
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    Morsi in Beijing and Tehran

    It is an exaggeration to say that President Mohamed Morsi’s proposed visits to China and Iran are a turning point, but we hope so. They could pave the way for a qualitative shift in Egypt’s international relations and foreign policy, presenting an opportunity for a positive impact if the...
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    Morsi makes maiden speech to the Non-Aligned Movement

    In his maiden speech to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at its summit in Tehran, Egypt’s President Muhammed Morsi said humanity is witnessing one of the most important periods in its modern history. He suggested that the beginning of the revolution started several years ago, coming to fruition on 25...