Commentary

The Stalemate in the Palestinian Political System

Abed Rabbo (L) was one of those closest to Mahmoud Abbas in his political circle.

By Majed Kaylai  The Palestinian political system is characterised by a statute of limitations due to the fact that the same factions have formed the ruling elite and the same tactics have been implemented for decades. At least, this is what can be said since the establishment of the Palestinian territories over the course of […]

‘Fortress Israel': The Ups and Downs of Arms Sales and Cyber Surveillance

Prime Minister Netanyahu's new favourite word is: 'cyber'.

By Shir Hever The military industry in Israel has had its ups and downs over the years. After the occupation of 1967 and the French arms embargo on Israel, massive state investments in arms production have turned the arms industry into one of Israel’s largest industrial sectors. The Israeli Ministry of Defence buys many of […]

Arms Sales to Israel: The UK Government Can’t Be Trusted

The core function of the Israeli military is to enforce its illegal occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Tamar Fleishman, PC)

By Ryvka Barnard Last week, the UK government announced the outcome of a review of military export licences whose legality had been called into question during Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip last summer. The outcome, which came 11 months after the review began, concluded that there is no risk that weapons being shipped from the […]

Palestinians: Battling for Freedom on Their Own

(Tamar Fleishman, Palestine Chronicle)

By Ghada Aqeel For all its horrors, the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza at this time last summer and the callous disregard exhibited by much of the international community to both the attack and the misery endured by Gazans living in rubble for the next year, did serve notice, again, to Palestinians that they are […]

The Bloody Cost of Apartheid: Israel Kills Twice in Two Days

By Ben White Israeli occupation forces have killed again: the victim this time was Falah Abu Maria, a 52-year-old father shot dead in Beit Ummar, a village in the southern West Bank. Abu Maria’s death came just a day after 21-year-old Muhammad ‘Alawna had been shot dead near Jenin. Israel has now killed 17 Palestinians […]

What, Really, is Netanyahu’s Game Plan for America?

So what, really, is Netanyahu's game plan for America?

By Alan Hart My headline question was provoked by Netanyahu’s response to the P5+1 agreement with Iran which he called “an historic mistake” and an editorial in The New York Times described as being “clearly in the best interests of the US and the other nations that drafted it and Israel.” (My emphasis added). The […]

Reviewing Trashy Hasbara against BDS

(Latuff)

By Vacy Vlazna Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The progressive path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis by Philip Mendes, Nick Dyrenfurth is a slipshod diatribe against the principled efforts of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It beggars belief that this silly book, riddled with hasbara and anti-arabsemitism, is written by academics with research […]

Israel’s Endless Misery for Gaza is No Policy at All

What's going on? Does Israel want Hamas weakened or strengthened? (Via Aljazeera)

By Jonathan Cook For those trying to read developments between Israel and Gaza over the past weeks, the picture has been unusually puzzling. A month ago European diplomats and Palestinian officials in the West Bank suggested that Israel and Hamas were taking “baby steps”, as one Palestinian analyst termed it, towards a truce. Then earlier […]

European Immigration and Greater Israel

Yarmouk - 'Another aspect of the plan, was to disperse the Palestinians away from their homeland on a permanent basis.' (IRIN)

By Roger Van Zwanenberg Can we connect the invasion of refugees into Europe, from across the Middle East and North Africa with Israeli Foreign Policy? It may seem like a long stretch, but I think we can. Even the most conservative analysts, wring their hands in dismay, when writing on US and EU Western policy […]

Secrecy in Sinai – an Unknown Human Toll

Destruction in the Sinai region. (IRIN, file)

By Mohannad Sabry – Cairo Ever since Islamic State-affiliated militants tried to take the town of Sheikh Zuwayed in North Sinai last week, the Egyptian media has talked of little else. “What mistakes were made?” “Where did they get their weapons from?” and “What can be done to rid the country of the scourge of […]

Shoot and Lie: Israeli Forces Are Killing Civilians with Impunity

By Ben White On Sunday, an undercover unit of Israel’s Border Police conducted an arrest raid in Shuafat refugee camp, an area of Occupied East Jerusalem locked behind the Separation Wall. Encountering resistance from local residents, the undercover forces requested assistance, and a large number of uniformed Israeli forces entered the camp. The police, in […]

10 Reasons Why We All should Boycott Israel in Solidarity with Palestinians

BDS campaigns have been initiated (and won!) by student groups.

By War on Want Ten years ago this week, over 170 Palestinian civil society organisations called upon people of conscience to build a movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its Apartheid policies. War on Want is proud to be a leading voice in building the international BDS movement. Here […]

Voting for Hilary Clinton? Red Lines versus Lesser of Evils

My overall sense is that the lesser of evils is still evil. (Via Indepedent)

By Richard Falk Assuming that the current prospects for presidential candidates hold firm, and Hilary Clinton is nominated by the Democrats and Jeb Bush, Rick Rubio, or Scott Walker win the Republican nomination, what should a conscientious citizen do when it comes to voting in November 2016? Of course, step one is to rule out […]

Authoritarians, Foreign Invaders and Wars Create Extremists

iraq_wall_zoriah

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusrah Front, AQAP, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and many other Radical militant organizations became the face of political Islam and they are projecting the worst image of Islam and its adherents. Their alleged heinous barbaric crimes against humanity and the principles of Islam handed ammunition to the enemies of Islam […]

Smarter Foreign Policies or Bigger Blowbacks?

There is no indication that the Obama administration has any diplomatic plan. (UN)

By Ralph Nader Are Washington’s relentless bombings and military immersions in sectarian battles within Arab and neighboring regions accelerating the spread of terrorist attacks? Yes. The recent rash of terror attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, Somalia, France, and other countries are tragic examples of the strategic failures of our government and its very heavy reliance on […]

Remembering ‘Independence Day': Covering White Supremacist Terrorism

(Facebook account of Dylann Roof)

By Jamil Khader Toward the end of his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of the Charleston terrorist attack, President Obama burst into singing the old-time favorite hymn, Amazing Grace. The President’s spontaneous crooning brought tears into the eyes of many people, including some of Obama’s fierce liberal critics, earning him […]

Israel’s Army of Spin-Doctors is Doomed to Defeat

Aftermath of Israeli raid on Gaza. (Ahmed Dalloul, UN)

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status. Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in […]

UN Report on War Crimes during Israel’s 51 Day Assault on Gaza

The report creates a profoundly false sense on the part readers as to equivalent responsibility for wrongful behavior by both Israel and Palestine. (IRIN)

By Richard Falk Exactly a year ago, for 51 days between July 7 and August 26 Israel carried out its third major military assault (2008-09; 2012; 2014) on Gaza in the past six years. This last one, code named Operation Protective Edge by Israeli Defense Forces, was the most vicious, killing 2,251 Palestinians, of which […]

Turkey’s Electoral Maelstrom

Erdoğan’s push for a constitutional shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system has failed. (Via Aljazeera)

By Richard Falk If I were Turkish, and not merely a sympathetic observer and part time resident, I would write an Open Letter to the opposition political parties that had separately and collectively achieved several goals in the June 7th elections: –repudiating Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s push for a constitutional shift from a parliamentary to a […]

On Intimidation and Counter-BDS Efforts

BDS takes its target as the construct and the institutions of the occupation, not Israeli individuals or Jewish people at all. (ActiveStills.org)

By Samah Jabr The Orange Affair The Orange affair here is not the ominous orange of the victims of Guantanamo or the Islamic state – it about the French telecommunication company Orange and its recent affair with Israel. After announcing in Cairo that Orange was suspending its contract with Israel’s Partner Company, the CEO of […]

Sisi’s Strategy behind the Sudden Opening of the Rafah Border Crossing

Rafah crossing. (Johnny Barber, Palestine Chronicle)

By Matthew Ayton The people of the economically immiserated Gaza Strip have been given a semblance of relief as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has announced that the Rafah crossing – Gaza’s lifeline with the outside world – will open more frequently. Sisi has observed Israel’s blockade on Gaza since his coming to power, and […]

Is BDS Replacing Iran as Israel’s Blackmail Card?

It can be said that the false charge of anti-Semitism is Zionism’s trump card. (Via Aljazeera)

By Alan Hart My headline question was provoked by an Uri Avnery article with the headline “BDS, the new enemy”. After noting that Netanyahu’s whole career has been based on fear mongering and in recent years his promotion of fear of a nuclear-armed Iran, Avnery wrote this: “But Netanyahu saw with growing anxiety that the […]

In Baghdad, Organized Destruction

(Jason Fudge, flickr -cc - Common Dreams)

By Cathy Breen Two days ago an email came from an Iraqi doctor in Baghdad in response to a brief greeting I sent for the month of Ramadan. “Thanks so much for remembering us…In fact we are the same if not worse. Our hearts are broken at the organized ruining of our country. We are […]

Khader Adnan: A Symbol of Palestinian Resistance

Khader Adnan is becoming an iconic symbol of man's and nations’ search for dignity. (Via Aljazera)

By Ghada Ageel The body of Khader Adnan is again on the line and the very life of this Palestinian political prisoner is in great danger. Adnan, who successfully carried out one of the longest hunger strikes in the history of the Palestinian prisoner’s movement, has launched yet another strike in protest against the renewal of […]

Asylum Seekers: Fortress Europe with Israeli Guns

The Israeli government built the 'Holot' incarceration facility to hold thousands of African refugees. (ActiveStills.org)

By Shir Hever The EU has recently adopted a plan to use extreme measures to restrict the flow of asylum-seekers from Africa and the Middle East, who cross the Mediterranean in a desperate attempt to save themselves and their families from war and famine. According to a Wikileaks-revealed document, the EU has decided to sabotage […]

Shadings of Zionism

Soft bi-nationalists are not yet ready to include all Palestinians in the proposed state. (ActiveStills.org)

By Blake Alcott Last year liberal Zionists launched efforts to get international recognition for a tiny state called Palestine. The US-brokered peace talks that terminated in mid-2014 were the last of many attempts to get Israelis and Palestinians to agree to two states, and its failure prodded European parliaments, with the connivance of the Palestinian […]

Win for Academic Freedom: Steven Salaita Awarded Back-to-back Victories against University that Fired Him

Steven Salita. (Via Twitter)

The first part of June has awarded back-to-back victories to a professor who last year was dismissed from his post at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nearly a year ago Steven Salaita was fired for posting some tweets that were considered by some to be beyond the pale of proper academic discourse; the context […]

The Imperative of Palestinian Liberation

The increasing activities of solidarity with Palestine represents an important step in the right direction. (ActiveStills.org)

By Atef Alshaer Before 1948, there was no country, nation-state, in historic Palestine called Israel. Israel founded itself by the conquest and exclusion of others, the Palestinians, the rightful owners of Palestine. This is the most basic fact that is often forgotten or ignored altogether among the supporters of Israel. Palestine as a name and […]

Israel’s Race to Economic (and Moral) Bankruptcy

Ideological blinkers imposed by Zionism could push them to pursue the benefits of the occupation even more aggressively. (Activestills.org)

By Jonathan Cook Two recent reports suggest that Israel could face catastrophic consequences if it fails to end the mistreatment of Palestinians under its rule, whether in the occupied territories or in Israel itself. The Rand Corporation’s research shows that Israel could lose $250 billion over the next decade if it fails to make peace […]

Is the Middle East America’s to Lose?

This idea of the West 'losing' a country should be banished from the 21st century political imaginary. (Zoriah.net)

By Richard Falk I was appalled by the embedded colonialism of a recent issue of The Economist [June 6-12, 2015], boldly proclaiming its mood of geopolitical angst on its cover titling its featured story “Losing the Middle East.” Any glimmer of doubt about the intent of the magazine’s editors is removed by displaying a somewhat […]

The Free Zone | Blog

  • July 30, 2015

    Israel Moves to Legalize Gitmo-style Force-feeding of Hunger Strikers

    The Israeli parliament has passed a bill that allows the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who resort to hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention without charge. The national medical association said the procedure amounts to torture. - The 120-seat Knesset approved the controversial bill, with 46 legislators in favor and 40 against it. Called “Law to prevent harm caused by hunger strikes,” it... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Hamas Rejects Fatah's Demand to Hand over Rule of Gaza

    Hamas officials on Wednesday rejected demands by Fatah leadership to hand over rule of the Gaza Strip and called for an "uprising" against Palestinian Authority security forces. - Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad had said on Sunday that Hamas "foiled" efforts towards a unity government, and that the group must hand over rule of the Gaza Strip as a condition for forming the new government. - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Resistance and BDS Only Way to Change Israeli Settlement Policies: Zoabi

    Arab Member of the Knesset Hanin Zoabi said yesterday that the Palestinian resistance and international prosecution of Israeli crimes can only change the Israeli settlement policies, Arab48.com reported. - Zoabi's remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the construction of 500 new settlement units in the illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and 300 others in Beit El settlement... More →
  • July 29, 2015

    Barghouti is Likely to Become President if Abbas Doesn't Run

    Results of a recent poll revealed that imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian Marwan Barghouti is likely to become Palestinian Authority (PA) president if current President Mahmoud Abbas does not run for presidency, Qudsnet.com reported yesterday. - The poll, which was conducted on Monday by the Arab World Institute for Research and Development (AWRAD), showed that Abbas would get 38 per cent of the votes compared to... More →
  • July 29, 2015

    Palestinian Girl Reduced to Tears by Merkel Speaks Out

    The 14-year-old Palestinian girl with cerebral palsy who hit the headlines after Angela Merkel explained Germany’s tough asylum policy toward refugees in camps, reducing her to tears, said she hopes that Israel disappears and there will be only Palestine. - “My hope is that at some time, [Israel] is no longer there, but only Palestine,” Reem Sahwil told German Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “This country should... More →
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