A Vacuum Waiting for a Leader

Regional rivalries are the sea in which the Islamic State is swimming.

By Jeremy Salt “To achieved all that you have the power, ability or strength to do and to be unable to do more.” —  Cambridge Dictionaries Online definition of ‘to shoot your bolt.’ That the US and its allies are ultimately responsible for the rise of the so-called Islamic State is irrefutably true. They destroyed […]

Repairing Palestine’s political system Cannot Wait Any Longer

President Abbas must travel to Gaza and stay there. (Via Aljazeera/file)

By Sam Bahour Today, Palestinian political strategy is being driven in the total absence of a functioning political system. Israel’s forced fragmentation of our geographic reality mixed with internal political party divisions, disgust, despair and incompetence, the status quo tears apart Palestine’s societal fabric. If it remains on its current course, the train of national […]

Obama’s Admission Not Enough: US Spin on Middle East Violence Must Change

US must take responsibility for the mayhem it has inflicted in the Middle East. (White House)

By Ramzy Baroud Truly, US President Barack Obama’s recent call to address the root causes of violence, including that of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaeda was a step in the right direction, but it is still miles away from taking the least responsibility possible for the mayhem that has afflicted the Middle East […]

Israel’s New Asian Allies

Netanyahu is looking elsewhere for economic – and ultimately political – patrons. (Via Aljazeera/file)

By Jonathan Cook It was another difficult week for Israel. In Britain, 700 artists, including many household names, pledged a cultural boycott of Israel, and a leader of the Board of Deputies, the representative body of UK Jews, quit, saying he could no longer abide by its ban on criticizing Israel. Across the Atlantic, the […]

A Dragon on the Neighbor’s Land

I got up, put on my backpack. Looked up. Saw the devil’s work. Saw evil. (Tamar Fleishman, Palestine Chronicle)

By Mats Svensson I left Jerusalem early and drove south. Soon I had the wall on my left hand side. The wall is enormous where it confines Palestinians who were born in Bethlehem. As a foreigner, a tourist or diplomat, I can easily go in and out. If you are a Christian or Muslim Palestinian, […]

Naseer Aruri: Institution-builder, Teacher, Friend

Naseer Aruri was a leading Arab-American intellectual.

By Nadia Hijab There are those whose life and work touch the lives of tens of thousands, for decades. Naseer Aruri was one such man. The news of his passing on 10 February 2015 was quickly relayed from North America through Europe and to the Arab world, bringing shared sorrow and reflection on his manifold […]

UN Peace Coordinator Unwelcome by Palestinians

'Mladenov’s track record does not indicate there is cause for optimism.' (Twitter)

 By Nicola Nasser   The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) did not object to the appointment of new UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov, although he was described by Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, as “persona non grata” — not trusted by the Palestinians and nor qualified for the job.   […]

Dispatches From Lexington Prison: The Front Page Rule

McCain, blurted out: 'get out of here, you low-life scum..' (C-Span)

By Kathy Kelly After a week here in FMC Lexington Satellite camp, a federal prison in Kentucky, I started catching up on national and international news via back issues of USA Today available in the prison library, and an “In Brief” item, on p. 2A of the Jan. 30 weekend edition, caught my eye. It […]

It All Depends on Whose Symbols are Mocked: Lessons From Charlie Hebdo


By Kristoffer Larsson More than a month has passed since the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris. How should we understand this dreadful massacre? That if you insult a minority that then a few individuals within that group might come after you? Or is it perhaps much worse than that, as some will have us believe, […]

It’s Happening Again, and the World is Watching

'The world is watching.' (Tamar Fleishman/Palestine Chronicle)

By Mats Svensson Suddenly she asks: What is apartheid? She has probably heard me talking about apartheid a bit too much. I have started nagging. She is young. 14 years. I have only known her for less than a year. To her, apartheid never existed. She doesn’t have a clue. She couldn’t know. And if […]

Only Five Percent of Pledged Aid Reaches Gaza

Around 11,000 Gazans are still living in UN buildings, six months on from the conflict (UNRWA/File)

By Annie Slemrod Just over 5 percent of the money pledged to rebuild Gaza after last summer’s devastating 50-day war with Israel has been delivered, IRIN has learned. More than 2,000 Palestinians – the majority civilians – were killed during the conflict and around 100,000 homes were destroyed.  Six months since a ceasefire was agreed, […]

The Best of America: Kayla, Deah, Yusor, Razan

The best of America.

By Basil Abdelkarim Among this new year’s countless tales of heartbreak and sorrow, two recent tragedies involving young Americans stand out. Last week, we learned that 26-year old humanitarian Kayla Mueller, held captive by ruthless ISIS extremists in Syria, had perished in captivity. Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, three young American Muslim students were […]

Parking Space Terrorism: Time for Action after Killing of Three US Muslims

Outrageous double standards must end, before more innocent lives are taken. (Twitter)

By Ramzy Baroud The murder of three American Muslims at a University of North Carolina condominium on Tuesday, 10 February, was no ordinary murder, nor is the criminal who killed them an ordinary thug. The context of the killings, the murder itself and the media and official responses to the horrific event is a testimony […]

Good Morning America, Bibi is Coming to Town

Joe Biden will be the most significant missing person in the House chamber on March 3. (C-SPAN/file)

By James M. Wall Good Morning America: Do you know who has stolen your Congress? In two weeks you could hear from one of the culprits. On March 3, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to what was once your United States Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak to the Congress and […]

Necrophobia: Chief Complaint: A Country Doctor’s Tales of Life in Galilee

Chief Complaint: A Country Doctor’s Tales of Life in Galilee.

By Hatim Kanaaneh, MD, MPH  The last short story in my forthcoming collection, Chief Complaint: A Country Doctor’s Tales of Life in Galilee, deals with memories and memorabilia of refugees from the village of Lubya. In preparation for the books launch this February 24 at The Center For Palestinian Studies, Columbia University, I decided to […]

Mending ‘Axis of Resistance': Hamas Goes Back to Square One

For Hamas the choices are stark, and equally difficult. (Via Aljazeera)

By Ramzy Baroud Despite its success in repelling Israeli military advances in Gaza, Hamas’s regional political manoeuvres of recent years are not bearing fruit. Jointly isolated by Israel and other Arab parties, unaided by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas, the Islamic Resistance Movement is once again facing difficult choices, and it seems to […]

Gaza: The Terrorist Feels No Shame

The terrorist strikes in the open. Four dead cousins on the Mediterranean shore.

By Mats Svensson It is crowded on the Gaza Strip. Very few playgrounds. Besides being crowded, it is also dangerous. Traps everywhere. Houses that were bombed to rubble during the last war have not been reconstructed. Children playing in the rubble get injured. Walls collapse, unexploded ordinances detonate when played with. Everything is missing to […]

Anti-Israelism vs. Anti-Semitism: The Truth We Should All Know

It was Israel's policies that guaranteed that the sleeping giant would not die in its sleep. (Latuff)

By Alan Hart Much is currently being written and broadcast about what a headline in the Wall Street Journal proclaimed to be The Return of Anti-Semitism (loathing and hatred of Jews). It was over an article by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain. According to him “An ancient hatred has been […]

An Apology from Muslims to Humanity – A Poem

Sorry for the architecture in Spain and Al-Hambra palace. (Ramzy Baroud)

By Amir Darwish We are sorry for everything that we done to contribute to humanity’s suffering Sorry for algebra and the letter X Sorry for all the words we throw at you; amber, candy, chemistry, cotton, giraffe, hazard, jar, jasmine, jumper, lemon, lime, lilac, oranges, sofa, scarlet, spinach, talisman, tangerine, tariff, traffic, tulips, mattress (yes […]

ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution – Book Review

This book clearly defines the major roles and events of a long developing story. (Verso)

Reviewed by Jim Miles (The Rise of the Islamic State – ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. Patrick Cockburn. Verso, London/New York, 2014/2015.) When observed from the mainstream media perspective, the rise of ISIS was an apparent ‘out of nowhere’ phenomenon. It only found prominence when they approached Irbil, the Kurdish ‘oil’ city where western […]

The Death of the Israeli Left

One cannot expect change to emerge from within Israeli society. (Tamar Fleishman/PC)

By Gideon Levy The Israeli left, if it has ever existed at all, is dead. The Israeli Peace Camp, the preferred way to designate the left in the Israeli context, breathed its last breath about 15 years ago and has never been resurrected. Two main factors led to its demise back then, but even in […]

Malak al-Khatib: Symbol of Palestinian Childhood Denied

This form of punishment denies Palestinian children a sense of belonging. (Tamar Fleishman/PC)

By Ghada Ageel Children are the most precious natural resource that communities and humanity have. The League of Nations Declaration of 1924 pledges, “Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” The Declaration stressed that children should have “by right” the means necessary for their normal development. The 1959 UN Declaration of […]

The Burning of Muaz Kasasbah: How Will Islamic State Explain This One?

IS has had ample opportunity to negotiate prisoner exchanges, but it didn't.

By Moazzam Begg  It’s not often that Fox News broadcasts material that exercises the grey matter, but in the case of downed Jordanian pilot Lietenant Muaz Kasasbeh who was horrifically burned alive by Islamic State (IS) this week, Rupert Murdoch’s notorious channel, more synonymous with embarrassing #FoxNewsFacts, has now outdone itself. In publishing the slickly […]

Palestine: The Truth Writ-large

A view from the sea at Jaffa looking east onto the city, 1898-1914. (Matson Collection)

By Clive Hambidge and Soraya Boyd Palestine. Just to think of Palestine is evocative. From the lush orange orchards to the laden olive groves, many examples could be provided to confirm the fact that prior to the creation of Israel, Palestinian society thrived in all areas of human endeavour. The splendour of Jaffa was aptly […]

US Loses Its Grip on Israel and Palestinians

Neanyahu is undermining Obama; but this could come at a high political cost.

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth For 20 years, the White House stood guard over the peace process, reserving for itself the role of stewarding Israel and the Palestinians to a resolution of their conflict. Like some Godfather, the US expected unquestioning loyalty. But Washington’s primacy in the relationship with both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships […]

When the Other Isn’t Perceived as Human Everything is Possible

(Tamar Fleishman/Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman – Qalandiya The ambulance was detained for about six hours and in it was a resident of Gaza, who had been discharged from a hospital in Nablus after over going heart surgery. For six hours the ambulance had waited on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint for someone to solve the bureaucratic […]

The Democrats’ Israel Problem

It is well known that Clinton supports the Israeli occupation and its policies against Palestinians. (Via Aljazeera)

By Mike Kuhlenbeck Palestine has been granted membership into the International Criminal Court. After the first of April, this monumental step will allow Palestinian officials to bring charges against Israel for its numerous crimes, including the “Operation Protective Edge” bombing campaign launched on July 7, 2014 against the Gaza strip, slaughtering more than 2,300 Palestinians […]

Vilification of Muslims: Alliance of Christian, Jewish and Hindu Fundamentalists

'Exterminate the Muslims!' - Settler graffiti on a Palestinian house in Hebron (Christian Peacemaker Teams)

By Deepak Tripathi The recent attacks at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine’s office and a Jewish store near Paris have sparked another round of explosive debate about Islam and Muslims. The actions of Cherif and Said Kouachi were condemned. How the two brothers born and raised in France became radicalised was discussed in newspapers and […]

The ‘Great War’ of Sinai: How to Lose a ‘War on Terror’

Violence cannot resolve what are fundamentally political and socio-economic problems. (Via Press TV)

By Ramzy Baroud The Sinai Peninsula has moved from the margins of the Egyptian body politic to the uncontested centre, as Egypt’s strong man – President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi – finds himself greatly undercut by the rise of an insurgency that seems to be growing stronger with time. Another series of deadly and coordinated attacks, […]

Palestinian Move is Welcome, But the Leadership is Not Trustworthy

The present Palestinian leadership is not trust-worthy. (Via Aljazeera)

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan Since it has control of the occupied lands and in view of the realities in the occupied territory, time has been on Israel’s side to accomplish its century long project of colonizing all historic Palestine and deliberate strangulation of the indigenous Population without giving any thought to the ethical side of […]

The Free Zone | Blog

  • March 1, 2015

    Netanyahu's Speech and the End of the Israel Lobby

    he lobby’s power is waning because the post-traumatic period is coming to an end and Jews are no longer monolithic on Israel. The ideas of Jewish nationalism and separation are as discredited by the Israeli experiment as Communism was by the Soviet one. Young Jews are bridling, David Remnick is bridling, Benjamin Wittes is bridling. David Rothkopf is bridling. We are going to see a jailbreak from the idea of the necessity of a Jewish state inside the... More →
  • March 1, 2015

    Palestine's Billion-Dollar City Can Finally Open

    However, some say that the project, lauded as a sign of Palestinian potential, masks the reality on the ground in the West Bank and gives the impression that Palestinians can live in economic prosperity despite the presence of an Israeli military occupation. - “The project creates this illusion that there is this happy space in Palestine that is independent of the military occupation which governs many aspects of Palestinian life,” says Yousef Munayyer,... More →
  • March 1, 2015

    Netanyahu, His Pants on Fire, Brings Torch to Washington

    But it appears the Obama administration’s irritation with Netanyahu’s congressional gambit has hit the breaking point. On Tuesday, Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was blunt about how Netanyahu’s speech will hurt U.S.-Israeli ties: “It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship.” - A few days earlier, Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said that Israel, in its criticism of the Iranian negotiations, has been “cherry-picking... More →
  • March 1, 2015

    Fidel's Comments on Israel Should Be Heeded

    Of all the comments penned about Israel's atrocities inflicted on the people of Gaza, Fidel Castro's reflection published in Granma, the newsletter of the Cuban Communist Party, is of utmost significance. Weaving an account of imperial violence as a force necessitating resistance, the legendary Castro's discussion of Palestine and the genocide inflicted upon Palestinians should be read with particular attention within the internationalist context that has,... More →
  • February 26, 2015

    Photos & Video: Banksy Back in Palestine

    British street artist Banksy has returned to Palestine to create another series of works, following his famous 2005 series painted on the West Bank barrier wall. -... More →
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