Monday, November 30 2015

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Tiffany’s supplier funds IDF unit accused of war crimes: jewellery industry awash with blood diamonds

DiamondsThe hypocrisy and double standards that permeate the jewellery industry when it comes to blood diamonds is laid bare when one examines the ethical credential of Tiffany’s diamonds, one of the world’s most prestigious jewellers.


Turkey’s Justice and Development Party deserved its win even if many are unhappy

File photo of Ahmet Davutoglu addressing AK Parti supporters after their election win on November 1, 2015I do not recall a single election in any democratic country during the past ten years that created so much media discourse and aroused so much debate around the world as the recent poll in Turkey did; the exception may be Barack Obama's first bid to be president. The difference, of course, was that the 2008 US presidential election was a historic vote on whether or not the US was likely to have an American of African origins in the White House while racism was still rife across US society. In Turkey, it was not an issue of black nominee versus white, nor was there a new party or one with an odd political agenda. The election focused on whether the Justice and Development Party could win, given that it had thus far won in every single national or local election and in every referendum since 2002. So, the question was whether it could rise again after its minor slip in this year’s June election and could once again form a government on its own. However, the debate over the November poll took a mostly different path. Instead of finding the result of the June election surprising - because despite the defeat incurred by the Justice and Development Party (JDP) it continued to possess the biggest parliamentary bloc - those who wanted it to be defeated again were taken aback by its success in the second election this year that brought it back to government on its own.


Fanon in Palestine part 3: The institutions of capitulation

Franz FanonIn part two, the historical development of the Palestinian National Movement (PNM) was traced, from its break with the paternalist hold of the Arab world, through the years of Sumud, to the historic compromise of the Oslo Accords. Through recognising Israel at the Madrid Conference, the PNM had achieved recognition, but on behalf of its colonial oppressor and the broader hegemonic ideals of the contemporary international system. Through recognising Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) had also granted tacit approval to the former’s founding principles of ethnic cleansing and land maximisation. Oslo and its accompanying Paris Protocols entrenched the socioeconomic dynamics of a settler-colonial project, enshrining the Palestinian Authority (PA) as its outsourced management. In order to conceptualise how Oslo birthed the institutions of capitulation which play a large role in upholding the infrastructure of occupation, land expropriation and displacement, it is important to turn again to how Frantz Fanon forewarned about the development of neo-colonialism after independence.


Syriza's U-turn on Israel is now complete

Alexis Tsipras with Benjamin NetanyahuSyriza was a popular leftist political party which was swept to power in Greek elections on its promise to end years of IMF-and EU-imposed austerity.

By now, though, the party's leadership has sold out its principles, implementing the very same austerity it was elected to oppose, even after a massive "No" vote in a summer referendum on a new bailout that came with further severe austerity conditions.


Cameron is letting oil-rich Gulf bullies dictate his foreign policy

Mohamed Morsi

Of all the things the government might wish to encourage around the world, now more than ever, democracy and its accompanying dignities should be high on the list. And certainly there was praise in Downing Street when four years ago, amid jubilation and a stunningly high turnout, the Arab spring brought free and fair elections to Egypt. This was a distant cry from the present-day horrors of Islamic State and its visitations of violence across borders: surely the polling booths were no threat to western city streets.The Muslim Brotherhood-inspired government that followed this festival of voting showed its inexperience and did too little to build broader support, particularly with liberals. Yet it easily avoided the criminal abuses of power and violence that have characterised military dictatorship in Egypt since Gamal Abdel Nasser – and it had the considerable merit of being elected, in a region where that was a remarkable distinction. So it was no surprise that senior members of the ruling Freedom and Justice party were lauded guests in London, even visiting Chequers to break bread with David Cameron in his country home.


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