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    Eighty year-old doyen of Palestinian prisoners to be freed

    The Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange deal has forced the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to cross a number of red lines, of which one of great importance is the freeing of Palestinian prisoners who are citizens of the Zionist state. Successive Israeli governments have sought to include Palestinians from occupied East...
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    Saving Sergeant Shalit

    As a young soldier returns home to assuage the "righteous indignation" of a nation state, no longer "sensitive to its image of democracy", one can only agonise on the return of other soldiers and civilians of no blame apart from being under the yoke of Israel. They are...
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    Besieged Gaza paid the price for the release of the prisoners

    Without doubt, the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel is a huge achievement for the Palestinians. Ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in 2006 that he would not give in to Hamas and would not release any Palestinian prisoners. The entire population of Gaza was then besieged by...
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    Syria, Assad and the right-wing connection

    Since the very beginning of the Arab uprisings earlier this year, the leaders of dictatorial governments at the centre of the storms across the region have raised the spectre of "Islamists" in the struggle to stay in power. "We're the best you're going to get," is the message. Initially,...
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    Free, but confusing, Libya

    No one can deny that Gaddafi-free Libya has to be a better place in all respects, but a Libya protected by NATO troops and under UN trusteeship is not what we hoped for post-Colonel Nightmare. Replacing evil with evil was not on the agenda, nor was getting rid of...
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    Assad's flawed analysis and coded message to the West

    Bashar Al-Assad has given an "exclusive interview" to Britain's Sunday Telegraph, the first with the Western media since the beginning of the revolution in Syria. Ironically, this was shortly before more than 40 under-cover security men were killed on Friday and while the Arab League awaited a response from...
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    A war criminal's "special mission": avoid arrest

    The failure to uphold Britain's obligations towards universal jurisdiction were demonstrated this week when Tzipi Livni met with Foreign Secretary William Hague in London and managed to avoid arrest for alleged war crimes. Livni's previous, disrupted, visit to London in late 2009 was the catalyst for the British government's...
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    From Tunisia, to whom it may concern

    Events in Tunisia carry several important messages for us. When the results of the Tunisian election came through, many were surprised that the An-Nahda Party had done so well, taking 90 of the 217 seats in the Constituent Assembly, around 41%. Officials in the country had predicted a maximum...
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    The Russell Tribunal on Palestine can promote peace, truth and reconciliation

    The Israel-Palestine situation demands truth and reconciliation. We hope to aid that process. Opportunities to break seemingly intractable and deadlocked situations are rare – especially on a scale which has rapidly developed this year from the beleaguered cries of citizenry across North Africa and the Middle East. There is...
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    Territory of lies

    The Israeli-Occupied hearing on alleged Iranian terror In the wake of the much-heralded FBI sting that supposedly foiled a dastardly plot by Iran's Revolutionary Guard elite Qods Force – involving a bumbling, failed used-car salesman's botched attempt to hire a reportedly Mossad-trained Mexican drug cartel – to blow up...
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    Winning the Battle of UNESCO

    Israel wants to punish the Palestinians because they obtained full membership of UNESCO; the United States wants to punish UNESCO because it granted Palestine full membership. In the presence of such strategic allies, how can the state of Palestine ever come to fruition? And in the presence of such...
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    Goldstone walks alone on a bridge to nowhere

    Surely the New York Times would not dare turn down a piece from the new Richard Goldstone. He had already recast himself as the self-appointed guardian of Israel's world reputation. This, despite the fact that he had earlier been anointed as the distinguished jurist who admirably put aside his...
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    US aid for Egypt: between American vision and Egyptian pressure

    It is believed widely in Egypt that US aid to the country is a sign of Egyptian weakness, but the Americans see it differently. If Egypt wasn't important strategically, a world superpower wouldn't have given massive aid to Cairo for 30 years; the second highest levels of US aid...
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    More racist laws are on the way in Israel

    Israel's Knesset (parliament) is set to discuss a number of bills in its winter session which Palestinians regard as racist, continuing a policy of "unprecedented racist legislation in 1948 Palestine" aimed at undermining the very existence of Palestinians in their own land. As part of the "Judaisation" process, a...
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    Partners not guardians

    One of the dilemmas of Egyptian politics is that the feuding parties are acting as guardians and not partners, even though no one has given them a mandate to be either. The party of which we see and hear the most in the media is made up of the...
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    Ross's departure

    Dennis Ross has finally left the building. Since the Carter administration, Ross has played a crucial role in crafting Middle East policies that have prolonged and exacerbated the more than six-decade conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. His efforts contributed significantly to the growth in the number of Israeli settlers...
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    Letter from Tunisia

    As the Tunisian Constituent Assembly holds its first meeting to start the process of handing over authority to the civilian revolutionary forces, the people of Tunisia can claim success where the Egyptian revolution has failed to-date. I am talking about a meeting in which the election of a President...
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    Who will watch the watchdog?

    The pro-Israel NGO behind NATO's war on Libya is targeting Syria On December 2, the Geneva-based UN Watch welcomed that day's "strong condemnation" of Syria by a UN Human Rights Council emergency session, and its establishment of a special rapporteur to monitor the situation there following what it called...
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    Thank you Gingrich... your arrogance is needed

    After eighteen years of negotiations and conceding more than 80 per cent of historic Palestine, and signing the Oslo agreement (which added to the legitimacy of Israel and broke its Arab and international isolation), as well as renouncing armed struggle and considering it to be terrorism, we've seen recently...
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    The media consensus on Israel is collapsing

    Across the political spectrum, once-taboo criticism is now common With Hamas and Fatah meeting this week in Cairo, reconciliation between the rival Palestinian political parties is likely only a matter of time. Official U.S. policy holds that Hamas is only a terrorist entity, and any agreement between the two...
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    Political Islam and its supposed dangers

    In gaining the majority of votes in the Moroccan election, the Justice and Development Party has put the West on alert, as well as some of the more conservative Arab countries. Long-held fears have been revived by the sweeping success of political Islam across the Middle East-North Africa (MENA)...
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    Egypt's parliamentary elections in perspective

    It is sad that Egypt's first post-Mubarak elections – in which millions of Egyptians have cast their votes, reportedly with a 70% turnout – are being held under the continued rule of the military council, in order to choose a parliament with very limited powers. Initially, as per the...
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    The reconciliation train is back on track, but beware of further derailment

    The meeting in Cairo between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal can be best described as "an important step in the right direction", not least because reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas appears to be more likely. It has set the stage for dialogue which, it is hoped, will move beyond...
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    Tougher sanctions will make Iran stronger

    I felt very uneasy when Britain's ambassador to Iran claimed that the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran was state-supported. What does Dominick Chilcott not understand about people power? Hasn't he learnt from the Arab Spring that when angry people rebel it's impossible to stop them? To say...
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    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...