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Commentary and Analysis

Segregated buses may be off the Israeli agenda, but there’s a long way to go for real equality

Dr Daud Abdullah

The name Rosa Parks is one that is forever enshrined in the annals of Afro-American history. She was the courageous woman who refused to give up her seat for a white man on an Alabama bus in December 1955. For her action she was arrested and charged with civil disobedience. The rest, as they say, is history, including a 381-day boycott of the Alabama bus system and the birth of the civil rights movement that brought the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr to prominence.

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Reconciliation is meaningless without participation

MEMO Commentary by Dr Daud AbdullahWhen former US President Jimmy Carter offered to mediate between Fatah and Hamas two weeks ago, few observers expressed much optimism. While one of the parties, Hamas, welcomed the initiative, the other, Fatah, chose to send mixed signals that gave no reason to be hopeful.

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Cameron back in No 10 looks like bad news for Middle East peace

Image of David Cameron addressing British and international media earlier this morning outside Downing StreetThe closest fought UK General Election for many years has produced an unexpected victory for David Cameron and the Conservative Party. With predictions of a hung parliament built around Westminster fears of a tartan invasion by Scottish National Party MPs, the result of a clearly failing first-past-the-post electoral system is likely to fuel calls for electoral reform. Millions of votes for minority parties were, to all intents and purposes, wasted. This, though, is not the only negative aspect of the poll. It is bad news all round for peace in the Middle East, and the first to feel the effects will be Britain's 2-million Muslim citizens.

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Important lessons from the Birzeit University elections

MEMO Commentary by Dr Daud AbdullahThe conduct of public opinion polls may not be as well-entrenched in the Middle East as it is in the west but there are no doubt other credible means to gauge the public mood of which, in Palestine, university elections are one. This week the pro-Hamas "Wafa" bloc of candidates swept to success in the polls at Birzeit University in a manner that brings to mind the 2006 parliamentary elections, which Hamas won hands down across the occupied Palestinian territories. The big question now is whether PA President Mahmoud Abbas will go to the polls with presidential and legislative council elections as he has been promising for some time.

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Veolia had no choice but to call time on its Israeli contracts

Veolia logoThe decision by Veolia to end its operations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories sends a strong signal to similar multinationals that profiteering from Israel's occupation industry is a risky business. It can only be a matter of time before they will also have to choose between small profits from Israel and potentially colossal global losses. This is a victory for the effectiveness of the worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign; without BDS, Veolia would still be conducting business for the benefit of the Israeli occupation authorities in Palestine.

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Post-ICC accession, reconciliation must top the Palestinian agenda

MEMO commentary

Now that Palestine has formally become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), its political forces can no longer afford to delay national reconciliation. It has been overdue for far too long. The same courage and political will that was used to pursue membership of the ICC must now be deployed to forge an all-inclusive national unity and consensus.

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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.

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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".

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