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Guest Writers

Peace should be enforced before negotiated: It's time for a paradigm shift in EU policies towards the Israel-Palestine conflict

Dr Dimitris BourisOver the past few decades, the European Union has been instrumental in setting up the parameters upon which the so-called Middle East Peace Process was funded and in "feeding" the international community with ideas on what would constitute a fair solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.1

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Fundamental rifts: power, wealth and inequality in the Arab world

Dr Adam HaniehOver four years since mass uprisings ousted sclerotic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these movements lie in tatters. Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more within and across borders. In the pivotal case of Egypt, military rule has returned through the violent crushing of protests, the arrests of an estimated 40,000 people and the rebuilding of the repressive structures of the Mubarak era. Elsewhere, autocratic governments look more secure in their rule today than they have for many years.

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Turkey and the development of democracy in the Middle East

Yasar YakisThe evolution of democracy in the Middle East in its contemporary sense has gone through various stages. The first was the Ottoman period. With the exception of Iran and Morocco, almost all Middle Eastern countries were part of the Ottoman State for centuries. It is reasonable to say, therefore, that both democracy and the absence thereof must have been at comparable levels across the region for centuries, though some areas may have experienced better democracy than others.

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Palestine and the British trade unions

Stephen BellMEMO's important book "The Battle for Public Opinion in Europe" analysed changing perspectives in Europe towards the Palestinian struggle. A look at the trade unions in Britain reveals that a similar process is underway. Given that these bodies are the largest social movement in the country, with approximately 7 million members, the change is not unimportant.

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Accountability is an essential part of the peace process, not an obstacle

Toby M. CadmanIt has emerged that US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the Palestinian Authority, possibly even used the threat of sanctions, not to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. If true, this would be the first time that a state has been threatened with sanctions in order not to apply the rule of law. I stress that this is an allegation and has not been confirmed; nonetheless, it would represent a deeply disturbing development in the long and bitter Palestinian conflict. The US must support the rule of law and not circumvent it in its own interests. It must also recognise that it is in Israel's best interest for the rule of law to be applied without discrimination and for a politically and economical stable Palestine to emerge from the peace process. Terrorism thrives on poverty and oppression, not stability and democracy.

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