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  • Article

    Arabs and the American myth

    I do not want the approval of the late great thinker, Mohammad Abed al-Jabri, in my use of the term 'Arab mind'. This term is problematic because it gives the assumption that there is one common 'mind' shared by all Arabs regardless of their ancestry and origin. However, one...
  • Article

    Teenagers face 25 years imprisonment for allegedly throwing stones

    Nema Shamlawi and her family were sleeping when over 15 armed and masked Israeli soldiers raided their home in the West Bank village of Hares, during the early hours of the morning. After searching the house and questioning her husband and sons they left, but not empty handed. Amidst...
  • Article

    Torturing the Palestinians will not create security

    When our friend made a statement calling for the Rafah crossing to be opened to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, he was faced with accusations of slander in a story in al-Ahram newspaper on October 10th, from so-called "politicians" who said that his statement indicated his ignorance of...
  • Article

    Despite the tunnel, Israel is far from being an innocent victim

    Israel announced on Sunday that it has discovered a tunnel under its border with the Gaza Strip. The end of the tunnel is about 300m inside occupied Palestine. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon immediately announced that the government had stopped delivery of all construction material to Gaza, claiming that...
  • Article

    Gaza blockade and the bitter harvest

    Israel imposed a stifling blockade on the Gaza Strip after the success of the Islamic Resistance Movement in the 2006 Palestinian elections; its grip was tightened in the summer of 2007. The blockade controls the flow of fuel and electricity as well as everyday items such as food, fresh...
  • Article

    As the Middle East's power blocs fracture, so do hopes of stability

    In the Middle East, long-established alliances are shifting dramatically. As one political leader in the region said to me recently: "The ground is shaking under our feet and we must keep all our options open." Three major events over the past three months have destabilised the old order: a...
  • Article

    The rise of gender selection among Middle Eastern couples

    Sex selection is a dirty phrase in Western countries, but Middle Eastern couples are jumping on fertility technology as changing attitudes make it easier and more acceptable to 'make it a boy'. Euphemistically called 'family balancing,' couples throughout the Middle East are turning to a technique called PGD, or...
  • Article

    Determined to ignore reality? Questions that the Iraqi Ministry of Health-WHO report didn't ask

    Iraq's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation have published a summary report of ex-post assessment of the prevalence of birth defects, still-births and miscarriages in the country obtained through a household survey. Before publication of the report, I criticised in the British Medical Journal (Rapid responses, September...
  • Article

    Israel disgruntled as Iran and the US move closer together

    Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has made no secret of his feelings about the apparent détente between Iran and the US. In a speech to the UN earlier this month he warned that Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" whose reformist words were a...
  • Article

    As negotiations get nowhere, the seeds of change must be sown in the West

    Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians are, we are told, getting nowhere. It's taken some people 20+ years to understand that simple fact, but there you go. Ever since Oslo gave Israel the green light to go ahead and build even more illegal settlements on Palestinian land, that which...
  • Article

    Former motel plays key role in rehabilitation of wounded fighters

    In a small motel room in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, within sight of the mountains of Syria, a former Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter sits with his legs crossed on his single bed, his urine drainage bag on the floor. This is no ordinary motel room; it...
  • Article

    Our revolutions will not prevail until we revolt against ourselves

    Careful scrutiny of opposition groups that have come to power or who are fighting to gain power reveals that they are often mirror images of the tyrants they replace. Arab opposition political parties are infected with the same diseases of the ruling regimes, with membership of some limited to...
  • Article

    Why Saudi Arabia rejected its seat in the UN Security Council

    Saudi Arabia has turned into a country of political surprises and shocks almost overnight. First its Foreign Minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, refused to give his speech at the UN General Assembly last month due to its "double standards"; and now his ministry has declined membership of the UN Security...
  • Article

    Hamas is going through a suffocating crisis but it's not weak and could still shuffle its cards

    No one, neither inside or outside the occupied territories, would argue over whether or not the Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, was living through a severe political and economic crisis. However, they would argue over how to resolve the crisis, at least partially if not completely. Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza's Prime...
  • Article

    Iran-US reconciliation is part of a bigger picture

    Change is happening in the Middle East, much more than is reflected in a fifteen minute phone call between Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. All the signs over the past three months, from the military coup...
  • Article

    Israel's latest stunt to keep settlement expansion away from critics

    Whilst peace talks between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are currently underway, internationally deemed illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to mushroom. Even if Netanyahu had agreed to Abbas' precondition of a "settlement freeze" and stopped issuing tenders for new settlement homes...
  • Article

    Indicators of geopolitical shifts in the Middle East

    The impact of Turkish and Iranian rapprochement will cause the Gulf States to face pressure from Iran and complicate the situation in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These pressures and complexities may have been exacerbated by President Obama's recent moves. Taken together, the regional nightmare has been redoubled. Saudi Arabia,...
  • Article

    Israel prepares to renew cooperation with the UNHRC

    In March last year Israel became the first country ever to sever ties with the UN Human Rights Council. The decision came after the body decided to investigate Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It began in January 2012. Israel, which has long claimed that the UN treats it...
  • Article

    In Bab al-Hawa Hospital, doctors are dealing with injuries they only read about

    Today, they said, was a "quiet day". There was a child with shrapnel wedged in her neck, a man in the ICU with amputated limbs and an FSA fighter with gunshot wounds to his leg. The emergency room was filled with patients, and relatives searching for loved ones. The...
  • Article

    The GCC and Israel: an unlikely alliance?

    "Ahmadinejad (Iran's previous President) was a wolf in wolf's clothing. Rouhani (Iran's new President) is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community," said Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he stood in-front of the United...
  • Article

    Is Israel's strategic position improving in the Arab world?

    Nearly a year ago, I wrote a column discussing how many people considered Israel to be the biggest loser in the events of the Arab Spring. Have things now changed? Does Israel now have the biggest advantage? This type of introduction fills those who are opposed to the Arab...
  • Article

    What are the options for the Palestinian Authority?

    Twenty years after the Oslo Accords were signed, it can be concluded that they were, quite simply, 'Israeli'. From the very beginning, the consequences of Oslo have been radically different from how they were imagined by Palestinian minds. Perhaps this was part of the Israeli plan all along because...
  • Article

    Iraq is in a mess: that much is clear

    Since the US withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the country has slipped off the political and media agenda in the west. But bloodshed in the country is steadily mounting. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost since the US-led invasion in 2003; partly at the hands of the...
  • Article

    The Palestinian Authority's role in Judaising the West Bank

    The signs are that the Palestinian Authority is playing a key role in enhancing the settlement project in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem through its influential role in improving the security environment for the settlements, allowing these areas to attract new groups of Israelis. The PA's has partnered...
  • Article

    Hamas: the monster in court

    The level of absurdity in Egypt currently knows no limitations, and it is for this reason alone that I will mention only one particular absurdity that caught my attention. The Al-Ahram newspaper published a report on 25 October under the following headline: "Egyptian security forces discover a plan between...
  • News

    Dissolving the confusion between Egypt and Hamas

    We should not allow current events to distract us from Egypt's strategic constants and its ultimate interests, because while these events will fade away with time, the ultimate interests of Egypt will remain throughout history. When the components of the moment are interfering with the components of Egypt's strategic...
  • Article

    The Iraqi regime calls for help from the American administration

    In an article attributed to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and published in the New York Times on October 30th, al-Maliki urged the American administration to "be patient with him" and his regime. The article was published shortly before American President, Barack Obama, met al-Maliki, who, according to...
  • Article

    Egypt-Gaza tunnels: the lifeline under threat

    After the Arab-Israeli war in 1948-1949, the Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian military rule until Israel occupied it during the June 1967 "SixDay War". When Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Peace Treaty with Israel in 1979, the border city of Rafah was divided; part went...
  • Article

    The erosion of Saudi Arabia's image among its neighbours

    Saudi Arabia is home to Makkah and Medina, the two holiest sites in Islam. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Muslims complete the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah; one of the pillars of Islam. One of the Saudi King's titles is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques". Of course, Saudi...
  • Article

    There is nothing artificial about the crisis of occupation

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  • Article

    Israel and the PA raid Jenin refugee camp

    It is both strange and somewhat unbelievable that Palestinian Authority security services have "invaded" Jenin refugee camp, which is known for its steadfastness in the face of Israeli aggression in 2002 and has been likened to Stalingrad's famous resistance against the Nazis in World War II. The camp held...
  • Article

    Revolutionary change requires time and patience

    Lately, many people have become afraid of using words like "revolution", "change" or "historical transition" in regards to the events, developments, and conditions that the Arab world has been witnessing since December 2010. The frightened people I am referring to are those with good intentions, because those with bad...
  • Article

    Yes… Arafat was poisoned and Israel killed him, but what can we do?

    There are three countries in the world that possess the radioactive polonium used to assassinate the Palestinian president Yasser Arafat; the United States, Russia and Israel. The two superpowers had no direct benefit from committing this war crime. So, fingers are now pointed at Israel, the country that has...
  • Article

    Negotiations... What if?

    Most of the readings of and predictions for the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations anticipate that the two sides will reach a dead end. These predictions are largely based on pessimistic statements made by officials on both sides, as well as on the trends in Israeli public opinion. However, this pessimistic outlook...
  • Article

    Yasser Arafat: a farce in Ramallah

    At a packed conference in Ramallah today, the retired general Tawfik Tirawi, once head of the Palestinian Authority's feared West Bank intelligence, squarely pointed the finger at Israel for the assassination of Yasser Arafat. There are lots of reasons to suspect Israeli responsibility. The former Israeli prime minister Ariel...
  • Article

    A reading of the 'tunnel wars'

    Over the last few days, the two tunnels that link the Gaza Strip with the Occupied Territories and span the length of borders, have become well known. A lot of information has been revealed about these tunnels features and the main reasons why they have been designed as such....
  • Article

    Making the preservation of Palestinian memory a priority

    Yasser Arafat's assassination, confirmed by the Swiss report detailing the discovery of polonium in Arafat's exhumed remains, has been mired within a political debate in danger of ensuring further depletion of Palestinian right to memory. Proof of assassination after years of hypothesis regarding the subject should have led to...
  • Article

    Palestinian villages as "props" in Israel's military training

    A cemetery; usually a place for loss and remembrance; grief and commemoration. However in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, a cemetery is also a place for military training. The bodies that fill the graves are Palestinians; the soldiers partaking in the military training are Israelis serving in...
  • Article

    Reinforcing compromising discourse regarding Palestinian refugees

    An overview of the Fourth Committee's meeting during the 68th UN General Assembly regarding the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was mired within discrepancies and allegations, creating the detachment of Palestinians from their own historical narrative....
  • Article

    The condition of the Syrian opposition after Geneva II

    The Syrian political opposition has various viewpoints on the Geneva II conference. Some are eager to participate and see it as a turning point that will place the Syrian conflict on a new path. Others reject the notion of negotiating with the regime, which has acted horrendously towards its...
  • Article

    The last chance for the two-state solution

    The Palestinian cause is declining despite the negotiating process revived at the end of July. The eighth and most recent session of talks has just ended without making any significant or tangible progress. Israel continues to try to impose more demands and conditions on the Palestinians, most notably their...
  • Article

    On the shifting of positions in the region

    When you find a report titled "The story of the secret meeting in Beirut: Lines of communication restored between Damascus and Washington" in the pro-resistance newspaper Al-Akhbar, it means that the resistance party no longer views a relationship with Washington forbidden or wrong. When the "resistance and opposition" circles...
  • Article

    The dangers of drafting Christian Arabs into the Israeli army

    Israel's Druze and Circassian citizens have been drafted into the Israel Defence Forces since 1958. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to oversee the plan to draft into the IDF Christian Arab Israelis residing within the Green Line, specifically the Greek Orthodox community, despite the fact that...
  • Article

    One year later, Gaza journalists remember stories of resilience

    The memory of his shattered leg will never leave photojournalist Khader Al-Zahar. One year later, Al-Zahar, along with many Palestinian journalists, continues to live the days of Israel's November 2012 offensive. Al-Zahar was wounded in his leg when an Israeli aircraft missile hit the branch office of Al-Quds satellite...
  • Article

    How close are the Kingdom and Israel over Iran?

    The relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia is hardly characterised by friendly cooperation. The two countries do not have any diplomatic relations, and Saudi Arabia has always supported the Palestinian side in peace negotiations. But is that all changing in the face of a common enemy? The reports of...
  • Article

    The web of new relationships in the Middle East

    It seems like the first major fruit of the so-called Arab Spring has crystallised in a web of new relationships across the Middle East between Arab states and beyond the region to America and the West and Russia; even China is getting a look in. We can see increasing...
  • Article

    In defiance of internationalism - Israel's manipulation of humanitarian aid

    As Israel's heavily publicised humanitarian mission in the Philippines commenced, the IDF has been constantly updating its achievements in the ravaged land through a twitter account which briefly utilised the hashtag #IDFWithoutBorders, until activists exploited the irony implied within the chosen vocabulary, relating the implied lack of confines to...
  • Article

    Oslo Part II

    The so-called final status issues will not be affected by the course of the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, nor will they be affected by the results of the talks, or by whether they are destined to achieve anything during its nine month time frame. The time frame may even be...
  • Article

    Is Syria on the verge of a famine?

    Syria is facing the risk of a famine for the first time in its modern history. This is the conclusion reached by a study conducted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The question is: Why have matters been allowed to go so far...
  • Article

    Don't just resign, withdraw from the negotiations altogether

    The resignation of the Palestinian negotiating team reflects the crisis of the talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis. Close to twenty sessions since 30 July concentrated mainly on Israel's security needs; it knows how to run negotiations for its own best interests and is capable of blackmailing...