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    From Tunis to Cairo: who are these "new revolutionaries"?

    Who are the new revolutionaries filling the streets of Tunis, Cairo, Sana'a and other Arab cities? Where have they come from; to what social, cultural and political background do they belong? What are their aims and aspirations? What do we read into their slogans? These are important questions which,...
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    The Egyptian revolutionary spirit will not be crushed by a lacklustre British media

    A spirit of awakening has gripped the Egyptian people with unprecedented and previously unthinkable defiance and bravery. They have awoken from their slumber and have realised, at last, that they can forge their own destinies. They have found their voice and are uniting to use their freedom of expression...
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    The Muslim Brotherhood must not be ignored

    It is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main forces within the political opposition behind the people's revolution against the Egyptian regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Ever since the Nasser era, the military-backed regime has worked hard to suffocate and kill-off the popular – revivalist Islamist movement,...
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    The voice of the masses

    Egypt is back again as it once was when millions of Arabs used to turn to the radio to listen to the voice of the Egyptian masses.  Those days, our parents used to fix themselves in front of old radio sets to hear the magic words charged with freedom,...
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    Egyptian uprising causes American and Israeli fears

    The Egyptian uprising has caused a stir in the world's capitals. The most important signs of concern were in the United States where there has been unusual interest both in the media and in official circles. Washington has dealt with many popular uprisings in the past, especially in Eastern...
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    Education in East Jerusalem: A Prohibited Democratic Right

    Democracy is the calling of the future, and is almost the dividing line between first world and third world countries. It calls for the guarantee of rights and freedoms of all kinds, including the right to education, which is a basic human right for every individual in the world....
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    A call to unite the ranks

    On 15-16 October, 1991, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad spent more than 15 hours with James Baker, the then U.S. Secretary of State, discussing the terms and phrases which should be used in the Madrid peace process in order to express the Palestinian people's legitimate rights; he stressed that "East...
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    The negotiators made no effort to defend and uphold the right of return

    At a meeting with the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on 18 February 2008, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner commended the Palestinian approach on the refugee issue, describing it as "wise". This plaudit was only given after the Palestinian negotiators had confirmed their distinction between recognition of the right...
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    Winners and losers

    In order to get a flavour of the new order in Egypt, I recommend looking at Egyptian state television. Following the forced retirement of ex-President Hosni Mubarak the tone of the programmes and the variety of invited guests on discussions has undergone a distinct change. Who would have believed...
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    Extend the hand of friendship to Islamists and it will be welcomed

    More than a decade ago, a Gulf state's ambassador to the United Kingdom told me that he had asked a senior official in the British Foreign Office, "What do you want us to give you more than we already do? Our money is in your banks. Our children study...
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    The people want an end to American support for settlements

    The wave of liberation revolutions sweeping the Arab world has shown the world that the Arabs are alive and deserve freedom and prepared to fight and die for it. But the strangest thing about it is that the neo-conservatives are popping up their heads, which have been crowned by...
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    What are the implications of Middle East-North Africa unrest for the future of the Israel-Palestine peace process?

    In an interview for the BBC during an emergency tour of the Middle East earlier this month, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "Amid the opportunity for countries like Tunisia and Egypt, there is a legitimate fear that the Middle East peace process will lose further momentum and be...
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    The shape of times to come

    I was struck by the huge difference between the response to my article "No Room for Western Hypocrisy" in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper and the response of Western readers to the same article published in English in Gulf News. While some Arab responses were reactive in the extreme and gave...
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    Egypt: A Virtual Smoking Gun?

    On 12 January 2009, US Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman joined a group of Egyptian political bloggers from the Virtual Newsroom of the American University in Cairo. Is this the "virtual" smoking gun that indicates American collusion in the subsequent ouster of Hosni Mubarak?...
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    Egypt-Israeli relations continue to cool

    The success of the Egyptian revolution has cast a shadow of uncertainty over future relations between Israel and Egypt.  Even though it is too early to predict the course of events, there have been indications that relations between the two will be much cooler than under Hosni Mubarak. The...
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    Jalil: The Forgotten Refugee Camp

    EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE FROM MEMOBy Mahan AbedinSituated deep inside the Bekaa valley, a stone's throw away from the historic town of Baalbek, sits the Jalil Palestinian refugee camp, the most idiosyncratic of all the eleven Palestinian camps still inhabited in Lebanon. Poor, remote and subject to the harsh local weather,...
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    Windmills which can only be moved by the wind of change

    Ernesto Che Guevara once said, "revolutions are made by adventurers and manipulated by opportunists".  I recalled this statement while following up Western analyses of Arab revolutions.  I found that the thing which strikes Western strategic analysts is this sudden and dramatic change in the Arab mood, so they cannot...
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    Israel manipulates tragedy to advance its own harassment of Palestinians

    It now seems possible that the already infamous "Itamar massacre" last week may not have been the work of a Palestinian but could have been the act of a disgruntled worker from Thailand who was furious after a dispute over unpaid wages. According to reports emerging today the Thai...
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    Turkey as a model for a new Middle East

    In the middle of the stupendous social change sweeping Arab shores, French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a landmark visit to Turkey. He has always refused to visit Turkey, and had declared publicly his opposition to "Muslim" Turkey joining "Christian" Europe, but he had to go on this one occasion...
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    Netanyahu's lebensraum

    During his tour of the Jordan valley a few days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told soldiers that the Israeli occupation army would have to maintain its presence along the Valley in any future peace arrangement with the Palestinians, as a safeguard against rocket attacks. The Jordan River...
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    While the world looks away, the occupation of Palestine goes on

    For anyone relying on the mainstream media for information about the rest of the world, the knowledge they receive builds up into a flavour-of-the-month approach to history. Correspondents flock to the latest flash point and, augmented by older, more experienced hacks now more used to reporting from the comfort...
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    Preliminary Historical Observations on the Arab Revolutions of 2011

    Towards the end of his long, eventful life, in 1402, the renowned Arab historian Ibn Khaldun was in Damascus. He left us a description of Taymur's siege of the city and of his meeting with the world conqueror. None of us is Ibn Khaldun, but any Arab historian today...
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    The Enduring Palestine Land Day

    For nearly three decades the Palestinian people had been brutalised and belittled. Then on 30 March 1976 they took a collective stand. They were not the nomadic nuisance denounced by the Western "Israeli" Alliance. They were a people with the same inalienable rights as any people. And they would...
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    Goldstone's scandalous vindication of Israel

    Israeli leaders are lauding a Washington Post op-ed by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone in which he sought to ameliorate the severity of war crimes and crimes against humanity attributed to the Israel Defence Forces in his 2009 UN Report. In the eponymous Report, Goldstone accused Israel of...
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    Goldstone has cracked under Zionist pressure, but UN Report still stands

    The UN's Goldstone Report into Israel's war against the people of Gaza has, since its publication in September 2009, been attacked and disputed by leading Zionist and pro-Israel campaigners from around the world. However, rather than disputing the claims contained therein, the attacks have focused primarily on the chairman...
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    Defending the indefensible

    Following Richard Goldstone's rather odd op-ed piece in the Washington Post, there is now a frantic campaign to overturn the UN's "Goldstone Report" into Israel's 2008/9 war against the people of Gaza. Leading the charge is a legion of columnists, public relations handlers, apologists and spin doctors intent on...
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    John Dugard: The General Assembly will refer the Goldstone report to the Security Council, despite Goldstone's op-ed

    The controversy surrounding Richard Goldstone's op-ed in the Washington Post last week sees no signs of abating.   One of the latest legal figures to weigh into the debate is Prof. John Dugard, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In an article for...
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    Palestinian reconciliation: is there light at the end of the tunnel?

    In a speech to the Jewish National Fund convention in Jerusalem late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a startling ultimatum to the Palestinian Authority: "Choose between the two, you can't have both. Choose peace with Israel, abandon Hamas." The statement was made following PA President Mahmoud...
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    Spotlight on Parliament: 8th April 2011

    Concerns over arms sales to Israel This week in the UK parliament, Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that Britain is supporting a proposal to the Quartet by Germany and France which would base peace negotiations on the 1967 borders, land swaps, a just settlement for refugees and Jerusalem as...
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    Rethink Strategy, Engage Hamas

    My previous criticism of Hamas has disregarded the conditions on which the conflict was based and convoluted relationship between Israel and Palestinians. The stagnation of peace negotiations and internal rivalry between Fatah and Hamas has generated uncertainty. Hamas has gone through a number of phases: paramilitary group, mass movement...
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    The future of Palestinians in Israel as it transforms into a religious state

    A new study published by Arnon Sofer, who is considered to be one of the foremost Israeli researchers in the field of demographics, has stirred up controversy among Israeli intellectuals and academics, particularly those who support secularism.  Sofer is the architect of the "Judaisation" plan and a proponent of...
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    Ahmad Obaidat: Corruption destroyed everything!

    In an interview for the Middle Eastern Studies Journal, former Jordanian Prime Minister, Ahmad Obeidat, has stated that the movement of political and social development being witnessed in some Arab countries would spread across the region and that the change would affect "the whole Arab world." He added that...
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    Netanyahu's latest gambit to thwart Palestinian statehood

    Apparently worried about the potential impact on Israel of ongoing Arab revolutions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to be contemplating a new "peace plan" that will throw the proverbial ball back into the Palestinians' court and ease international pressure on Israel to come to terms with Palestinian...
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    When will the world notice Israel's Palestinian prisoners?

    Palestinian Prisoners' Day was observed on April 17th with a series of events and functions across the West Bank and Gaza. Its commemoration this year stressed how important the issue of the prisoners held by Israel is for Palestinians, even though this matter is almost completely ignored by the...
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    The Sting of the Scorpion... Egypt's Darkest Corner was the forerunner to Guantanamo

    "Welcome to Tora Land", declared the headline on a magazine rack which caught my eye as I was swept along during the rush hour inside Cairo's chaotic railway station. The boldness of the declaration on the glossy front page confirms two things. The first is that the people of...
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    The Syrian regime must change, or it will be changed

    It is with a heavy heart that I am writing about the saddening situation in Syria, the country often described as the beating heart of Arabdom. The scenes of the ongoing wanton killings in the streets of Syria are revolting and repulsive to say the very least. They provoke even the...
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    Gaza is still the issue, despite the Arab revolutions

    The revolutions taking place across the Arab world have taken the spotlight away from an ongoing issue which Israel would like the world to forget: the siege of Gaza, which has now been in place for four years. In May last year, Israel's murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla caused worldwide...
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    The price of freedom

    Yvonne Ridley in Benghazi A few short weeks ago I stood on a public platform in London and slammed proposals for Western military intervention in Libya. In my mind, the hasty scramble to get involved by the Americans, French and British lacked strategy and a clear goal; it appeared...
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    "September entitlements" between reality and illusion

    There has been a flourish of diplomatic activity by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in preparation for what has become known as the "September entitlements", accompanied by statements from his Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, on the completion of state institution building and the readiness of Palestinians to assume responsibility for...
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    America's pyrrhic victory over Bin-Laden

    The killing of al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin-Laden by US special forces in Pakistan is likely to have more of a short-term psychological impact than concrete long-lasting political ramifications. While Bin-Laden's death will generate a lot of satisfaction in Washington, the low-intensity war between the America and al-Qaeda will most probably intensify...
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    The Cairo Agreement and Palestinian statehood

    After protests calling for the removal of dictatorial regimes broke out across the Arab world, Palestinians echoed them with their own protests.  However, they were not calling for the removal of any government but rather they wanted the two largest Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, which had been in...
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    Morocco's Vision Forward

    The fatal terrorist bombing of a tourist cafe in Marrakech that took the lives of 16 people makes it more urgent for Morocco to implement its vision, which is a new social contract.  In a rapidly transforming North Africa and Middle East whose people are demanding broad-based socio-economic development...
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    What next after Palestinian reconciliation?

    The consensus on the Egyptian working paper for Palestinian reconciliation is an important step towards unity. The Fatah-Hamas agreement is certainly a great accomplishment by Egypt's military leadership because it has been desired for years. The question now is whether or not the agreement will also be a prelude...
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    Israel's mendacious Prime Minister

    Israel's Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, has been stirring-up Western governments, including Britain's, against the reconciliation agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas. Although the agreement brings to an end four years of bitterness between the two largest Palestinian political groups, it has caused Israeli leaders to lose their normal composure....
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    Israel and the Sabotage of the Palestinian Agreement

    The Israeli response to the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah has been hysterical.  Senior Israeli officials have abandoned the most basic requirements of decorum, issuing coarse threats to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has imposed a choice on Abbas between reconciliation with Hamas and...
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    Relations between Egypt and Israel in the wake of the revolution

    In the wake of the revolution, there are real indications that Egypt's foreign policy has a new source and purpose. The appointment of Dr Nabil El-Arabi, who is known for his patriotism and competence; discussions about a review of Egypt's position on a number of international agreements   such as...
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    Egypt and Hamas - a historic moment

    With the signing of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement in Cairo on 4th May, Egypt recorded a historic development in its relationship with the Palestinian cause. The most prominent chapter of this development will no doubt be the about-turn in relations with the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. During the Mubarak...
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    Where are the Arab billions?

    "Arab oil is not more important than Arab blood." These are the memorable words of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, uttered soon after the outbreak of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war in an effort to push the West, especially the United States, to put pressure on Israel to...
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    Egypt's Second Grassroots Resurgence

    The Egyptian people must still yet overturn an overbearing force that has marginalized them for generations: top-down government control of budgets and local development.  Egypt's central government administration consumes the far majority of public resources, allocating just 15 percent for local administration spending, which is less than half of...
  • Palestinian woman holds a key, symbolising the right to her home from 1948, during the 68th anniversary of the 'Nakba' in Ramallah, West Bank
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    On the anniversary of the Nakba, demands for the right of return grow louder

    The sixty-third anniversary of the Nakba witnessed a number of important events set up by Palestinian refugees in Arab countries surrounding Palestine, in the Diaspora, and inside the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, including Jerusalem. Even Israel – that part of Palestine occupied in 1948 – witnessed marches...