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LIVE BLOG: Parliamentary Debate: UK contribution to preventing conflict in Gaza

Parliamentary Debate: UK contribution to preventing conflict in Gaza

Michael McCann MP, vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, will be leading a parliamentary discussion on the British role in preventing conflict in Gaza.

Ben White, Jessica Purkiss and Yasmina Allouche will be live blogging this parliamentary session on February 25th, from 2.30pm GMT.

You can also watch the session live on


Censored voices of Israeli soldiers become uncensored in documentary 50 years later

Censored Voices 2015 video poster

Voices censored by the Israeli army for nearly 50 years can finally be heard in powerful documentary that recently premiered in the Sundance Film Festival.


Monthly Media Digest - April 2013

One of this month's biggest pieces of news was the resignation of Western backed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. There were widespread hunger strikes in Israeli prisons in protest against the death of an inmate suffering from cancer who had also faced medical neglect by the Israeli authorities, while hunger striker, Samer Issawi, ended his hunger strike following a deal struck with the same authorities.

Writing about the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman described it as "very bad news". Unelected Fayyad, you see, "was the 'Arab Spring' before there was an Arab Spring". This was a prime example of the conundrum facing Western liberals who want to export democracy but only if the right people win elections.


Inside the Muslim Brotherhood

Author: Hazem Kandil
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (21 Nov. 2014)
ISBN-10: 074568291X
Review by Emmanuela Eposti

In the 18 months since the Egyptian army swept (back) into power and forced out elected president Mohammed Morsi, there have been any number of speculations and conjectures as to why such events were able to take place. At the time, many liberals and leftists saw the army as riding a popular wave of anger and disillusionment against the Muslim Brotherhood, while Islamists were shocked and appalled at developments and staged sit-ins and protests to contest their removal from power. In the intervening period, as the military's steely grip tightens around Egyptian society, average Egyptians have found themselves caught in a binary between what they see as two equally unpalatable solutions: military dictatorship or Islamist state. Choose the former, and risk having your rights curtailed under the guise of the security state and being thrown in jail for simply acknowledging the status quo; choose the latter, and face an imposition of sharia law and possible allegations of the thought crime of "insulting Islam".


Poetry and exile at the British Museum

Mona SaudiMany artists have been inspired to paint after reading Mahmoud Darwish's poems. Three of Mona Saudi's reflections on his words, on display at the British Museum and entitled 'Homage to Mahmoud Darwish', depict rectangular, intertwined figures balanced on top of blocks, surrounded by lines of his poetry. The drawings were intended to be a gift for the poet's birthday in 2009 but he died in August 2008.


Najwa Najjar's West Bank thriller, Eyes of a Thief, is a predictable story with loose ends

 Khaled Abol Naga in a scene from 'Eyes of a Thief.'It's 2012 and Tarek, a water engineer from the West Bank, is guarding a dark secret from the Second Intifada. A flashback to 2002 reveals Tarek returning home one day to find Israeli soldiers surrounding his village. When he attempts to defy the army and run to fetch his wife and daughter he is shot. Wounded, he seeks shelter in a local church.


Monthly Media Digest - March 2013

This month, the two and a half years of rocky diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel following the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 appear to be coming to a close with Natanyahu finally offering an apology. Several NGO reports have revealed the systematic Israeli detention and abuse of Palestinian children. Obama's first visit to the Holy Land proves wholly underwhelming. And the long-time supporter of the Palestinians Cause, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, sadly loses his battle with cancer.

The month got off to a fiery start with the fall-out from Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remark equating Zionism with "a crime against humanity". He was duly rebuked by America's new Secretary of State, John Kerry who also had the task of "salvaging some chance of an improvement in ties between Turkey and Israel - the first a moderate Muslim-majority nation and important NATO ally and the other the principal United States ally in the Middle East". No mean task.


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