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Military options for MENA chaos will fail; it's time to root out the causes

MEMO Commentary by Dr Daud AbdullahIn the same way that the "Seventh Cavalry" was the staple means for American settlers in the Old West to be rescued in the movies, calls for a multinational intervention force have become the standard blueprint for dealing with the threats of "terror" and insurgency. Such calls are currently being heard in Somalia, Mali and the countries surrounding the Chad basin. Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al-Arabi believes that the Arab countries are desperately in need of such a force.


A perfect gift for Egypt's failing regime

MEMO CommentaryThe callous murder of 21 Copts in Libya over the weekend was a welcome gift to the military-led regime in Egypt. Like the senseless killings in Paris, it offered an opportunity for the government in Cairo to present itself as a deserving and credible partner in the great "war on terror".


Israeli war crime suspects may be able to run but they cannot hide

MEMO Commentary

The resignation of William Schabas from his post as head of the UN commission to investigate possible war crimes during Israel's 2014 onslaught on Gaza was always on the cards. From the time of his appointment in August last year, he has been subjected to a relentless campaign that questioned both his integrity and impartiality.


UNRWA and the next explosion of violence against Gaza

MEMO Commentary by Dr Daud AbdullahBy international donor standards $720 million is small change. Yet, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has only managed to procure $135 million from UN member states to assist the victims whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Israel during its 2014 war on the Gaza Strip. As a result, the agency has decided to suspend its cash assistance programme for repairs and rental subsidies to 66,000 families displaced by the war.


Mahmoud Abbas faces a creeping coup

MEMO Commentary by Dr Daud AbdullahThe search for a successor to President Mahmoud Abbas is getting nastier every day. His bitter rival, Mohamed Dahlan, has emerged as the front runner and favoured candidate. Regional governments, Israel included, have been rehabilitating the elusive fugitive from Palestinian justice. Reports that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Dahlan in Europe recently must be disturbing for Abbas. Increasing calls by Israeli officials for his resignation have led to heightened speculation that a creeping coup against Abbas is well underway.


The OIC visit to Jerusalem was an act by an organisation in disarray

MEMO CommentaryDesperate people often do desperate things. This is perhaps the only way to explain the visit to Jerusalem by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General, Iyad Madani. Although it was not the first ever undertaken by a serving OIC official this was viewed as a regrettable setback.


Has the Henry Jackson Society been trying to buy influence in parliament?

Henry Jackson Society logoThe news that the right-wing Henry Jackson Society has pulled funds for parliamentary groups rather than disclose who its own donors are will be no surprise to those who are concerned about the influence of lobbyists in Britain. Nor will Muslims be shocked by this; many have been on the receiving end of vicious anti-Islam propaganda produced by the charity and those associated with it. Muslim-run charities reacted with alarm at the appointment of the society's director, William Shawcross, as chair of the Charity Commission in 2012, "despite reservations among some MPs over his independence and experience". A subsequent sharp rise in the number of Muslim-run charities under investigation and "review" by the commission appears to justify concerns that the supposedly neutral charity regulator is now pursuing a right-wing, neoconservative agenda targeting Muslims. The regulator denies any bias of any kind.


Can the Cuban scenario be repeated in Palestine?

MEMO CommentaryWith the necessary political will, President Barack Obama's 17 December announcement that "it's time for a new approach" towards Cuba could be applied to Palestine. There is, indeed, a strong case to argue this point, given that the underlying issues in both cases are very similar.


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