Near & Middle East

There are times that being a political commentator frustrates me. Today is an example. In the wake of the bombing attack in Bulgaria, which has thus far claimed the lives of 6 victims and, apparently, the bomber as well, I alternate between feelings of rage and sadness. Yet, cynics like Bibi Netanyahu feel compelled to capitalize on such tragedies in order to advance their war ambitions using the innocent victims of terror. He has no sense of decency, or remorse. (More…)

Eighteen months ago, we flooded public squares across the Middle East. We sought to situate ourselves against the old order, en-nizaam – the regime. En-nizaam meant more than just Hosni Mubarak and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. It referred to an entire way of doing things, one that mired the region in dysfunction when the old empires finally collapsed.  (More…)

I debated with myself about writing an article on the so-called “Levy Report,” a rightwing fantasy about Israel’s settlement project being legal under international law, which suggests that Israel retroactively recognize outposts that were set up contrary to Israeli law. (More…)

Shall I respond violently? No. The bloody mist that hangs above the ancient cities- Jalalabad, Quetta, Peshawar- reeks of vengeance. Shall I grieve endlessly? No. I am weary of perpetual sadness. I will not pout among clouds of opium like the ghosts of Khorramshahr. (More…)

Imagine you lived in an impoverished area with virtually no hope for the future. It’s a place where there is little work to be had and your family struggles every day to keep a roof over their heads and find some food to eat. (More…)

Forty-five years ago, the Six Day War completely changed the face of the Middle East. The effects of that war were numerous. It is a testimony to the significance of Israel’s victory that these effects are not only still felt this day, but most powerfully in Washington, DC. (More…)

“How are we going to control one million Arabs?” That was the question posed by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol almost exactly 45 years ago, when Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan. It never seemed to occur to anyone, as they scrambled to come up with an answer they never really found, just how disturbing that question really is. (More…)

Forty-five years ago today, Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser made the fateful decision to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This was the act of provocation that convinced Israel to go to war, although it would be some days before the actual decision was taken. (More…)

If you weren’t careful, you might have gotten whiplash from the sharp turns and flip-flops by Benjamin Netanyahu this week. Beginning with the puzzling decision to call for new elections, then backtracking on that and forming a government of national unity with the Kadima party and its new leader Shaul Mofaz, the Israeli political landscape has begun a process of change whose final shape is not yet certain. (More…)

With just one statement, Mahmoud Abbas demonstrated how far removed he is from the realities on the ground that his meagre “authority” administrates. “You (Benjamin Netanyahu) must also choose between settlements and peace, for those who want peace do not think of settlements,” he said. (More…)

It’s a refrain that has been heard for many years. It usually comes from supporters of draconian Israeli policies, a cynical question which lays blame for the occupation at the feet of Palestinians.The irony of the question lies in an ignorant view of who Nelson Mandela is, and how he became the face of post-apartheid South Africa. (More…)

Jews, rejoice! It’s a miracle! Israel has been saved once again from the menace of those who rise up in every generation to annihilate us! Over 1,000 activists were planning to fly to Israel and protest the occupation. Imagine the terror that would have wrought! Luckily, Benjamin Netanyahu saved us from another Holocaust! (More…)