Tuesday, September 01 2015

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Commentary and Analysis

One more nail in the PLO’s coffin

MEMO commentary and analysisWhen the chairman of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) called a meeting of the body for 15-16 September the date reverberated darkly, for it was on 16 September 1982 that the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia, acting with the support of the Israeli army, perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinian refugees. The slaughter took place less than three weeks after Yasser Arafat and his PLO fighters were forced to abandon their Beirut headquarters and relocate to Tunis.

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Even if Blair is not befriending Hamas, look for a new beginning

Do Tony Blair's shuttle visits to Doha for meetings with the leadership of the Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas — mean that he is about to befriend the Palestinian group? The short answer is no, with a capital "N". They must not for one moment be interpreted as a change of heart or political conversion, not even in light of the fact that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. In this instance, it is all about the interests of those involved.

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What does the trial of Hissene Habré mean for Egyptians?

MEMO commentaryFrom 1982 until 1990, he ruled his sub-Saharan desert country with an iron fist. Twenty-five years after he was overthrown, the ex-president of Chad, Hissene Habré, is being tried before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. His trial undoubtedly marks a watershed moment for justice on the African continent.

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Why Jeremy Corbyn is a serious contender to lead Labour

MEMO CommentaryJeremy Corbyn's entry into the race to become the next leader of Britain's Labour Party was, initially, dismissed as a publicity stunt. With just over one month left before the poll takes place, he has emerged as the front runner and a serious contender for the job. In an attempt to stop the MP for Islington North, his Conservative detractors and sections of the media have thrown everything at him. Their latest scare tactic is to try to embarrass him over his position on Hamas.

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Netanyahu under pressure to repatriate captives held in Gaza

MEMO Commentary

Over the past ten months, Israel's right-wing government has maintained a news blackout about the disappearance of two of its citizens in the Gaza Strip. However, on the first anniversary of Israel's Operation Protective Edge offensive last summer, the lid has been lifted on the situation dramatically. Although we don't know if the two Israelis are dead or being held hostage, from now on their fate will, inescapably, be linked to that of thousands of Palestinians "disappeared" in Israeli jails.

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Sorry AIPAC, but Washington has given BDS a boost

MEMO CommentaryNothing that Israel does to stop the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign seems to be working, not even in Washington, where support for Israel is often taken for granted. President Barack Obama's decision to sign into law a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) renewal bill this week was, at first glance, a victory for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its die-hard backers in Congress; but a victory it was not.

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The politicisation of the judiciary is not confined to the Middle East

MEMO Commentary

Whenever the term "politicisation of the judiciary" is mentioned one immediately thinks of Iraq under Nouri Al-Maliki or Egypt under Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This dangerous, and sometimes deadly, disease is not, however, confined to the Middle East. It is spreading and now threatens the health and wellbeing of Western democracies.

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Speaking to the enemy, but why now?

MEMO CommentaryPalestinian and Egyptian media agencies reported this week that the outgoing Quartet Envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Khaled Meshaal in Doha recently. Since neither party has confirmed or denied the reports, it seems very likely that the two men did actually meet.

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