Commentary

Why is the Media Ignoring Israel’s Alliance with al-Qaeda?

Western intelligence agencies were aware, as far back as August 2012, that 'Islamic State' could arise.

Since January, I have been ploughing a lonely furrow in this column by covering what is certainly one of the most under-reported stories in the world right now: Israeli involvement in the war in Syria. Almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, Israel’s occupation forces in the Golan Heights have been in alliance with the Nusra […]

US Rebukes Israel while Showering It with Arms and Favors

Obama may signal verbally his disquiet with the current Israeli government, but he is not about to exact any real price from Israel. (WH)

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members’ zealotry with Israel’s need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident. The conundrum was laid out clearly by Tzipi Hotovely, a young political ally of Netanyahu’s recently appointed to oversee […]

Turkey and Syria: The War of Two Men against One

This is a wrong war morally, legally and politically.

By Jeremy Salt The next time Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media perhaps he should be asked precisely where the Turkish national interest lies in the destruction of Syria. In the name of bringing down the government in Damascus, Syria is being torn to pieces by groups armed, trained and financed by foreign governments. […]

The End of Hasbara? ‘NYT’ Readers Question US Support for Apartheid

New York Times headquarters. (Wikimedia)

The New York Times published a remarkable discussion yesterday. Alongside an article about Israel canceling a plan to segregate buses going to the West Bank so as to keep Palestinians off settlers’ buses, it published readers’ comments, and in both the editors’ selection and the readers’ selection, the comments were running against Israel. In fact, […]

Oslo Sowed the Seeds of an Intra-Palestinian Schism

The failure of the reconciliation government to end the split between Hamas and Fatah was inevitable. (via Aljazeera)

By Ghada Ageel On 23 April 2014 Palestinian factions led by Hamas and Fatah met at the home of then-Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and concluded the al-Shati agreement. Despite differences in ideology and political programmes as well as a shared understanding of the consequences – inevitable outside intervention, possible cuts in donors’ aid, and intensified […]

Introduction to Middle East Sectarian Wars

Can the Middle East people manage the daunting political challenges posed by sectarian wars waged by undemocratic regimes?

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan The actual religious requirements of Islam are quite simple, but no religion can lead society down a common path to worldly happiness or to the here-after heavens when the religious are at war with themselves. Today, the most rigid religious Islamic states in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran could […]

Dimona: Israel’s ‘Little Hiroshima’

A partial view of the Dimona nuclear power plant in the southern Israeli Negev desert. (Via Aljazeera)

By Richard Silverstein  In the early 1950s, after Israel had fought a desperate war of independence in which thousands of Israelis died to ensure the founding of the state, David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, decided the nation required an existential trump card to guarantee its survival. In 1955, he tasked his chief aide, […]

Breaking the Silence ‘Confessions’ Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Israeli occupation soldiers at Qalandiya checkpoint. (Tamar Fleishman, PC)

By Ghada Ageel and Rela Mazali The Israeli veterans’ group “Breaking the Silence” on 4 May uploaded a collection of testimonies describing Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer. These accounts, the group said, were given by more than 60 Israeli officers and soldiers who took part in the attack and disclose “systematic policies that were dictated […]

The House Belongs to Someone Else: The Lie Lives on!

The lie lives on through you and through your children. (Tamar Fleishman, PC)

By Mats Svensson She told me she longed to get away. Just for a few days. She had been invited to visit friends in Amman, only a few miles away. She only needed to drive down the mountain, down to the Jordan River. If it can be called a river. Once upon a time it […]

The Whole Truth about Israel in One Sentence

To say that Gideon Levy is courageous is an understatement. (Wikimedia)

By Alan Hart It was written by Gideon Levy, the conscience of Israeli journalism, in an article for Ha’aretz, and here it is: “The two-state solution is dead (it was never born); the Palestinian state will not arise; international law does not apply to Israel; the occupation will continue to crawl quickly to annexation, annexation […]

At Promise and Hope: Promoting Resilience in Palestinian Schools

In Palestine, children are at special risk, because the occupation erodes every aspect of Palestinian life. (ActiveStills.org)

By Samah Jabr Ali, 8, suffers from allergies which cause a frequent nasal discharge. Running out of tissues during class, he asked his classmates for some but the teacher scolded him. “You always have a snotty nose!” The teacher forbade other students from giving him tissues so that he would remember to bring his own. […]

The Nakba 67 Years on: Holding on Tight to Our Long Postponed Dreams

Palestinian refugees refuse to give up their demands for the right to return. (via Aljazeera)

By Ghada Ageel Sixty-seven years ago, Palestinians woke up to a tragedy that ravaged their hearts and distorted Palestinian life forever. Over 800,000 people, approximately half of the population of then-mandatory Palestine, were evicted from their homes and their ancestors’ lands. The horror was engraved on all of the faces; a language and reality they […]

Palestine Commemorates 67 years of Ongoing Nakba

The enormity of the 1948 tragedy and the gross injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people are yet to be officially recognised by the world's key powers.

By Dr. Mosheer Amer On 15 May every year, the Palestinian people all over the world commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”. The Palestinians mourn and remember the massive expulsion and forcible displacement from their homes, villages and towns by Zionist militias in a systematic drive to create an exclusively Jewish state in […]

The Nakba: A Crime Watched, Ignored and Remembered

Steadfastness of the Palestinians is like the age-old olive trees.

By Ilan Pappe The 15th of May is usually a trigger for a journey back in time. And for an unfathomable reason each such journey conjures up a different aspect of the Nakba. This year, more than anything else, I am preoccupied with the continued apathy and indifference of the Western political elite and media […]

Israel Seeks in Nepal to Whitewash Its Crimes in Gaza

Israel's humanitarian double standards do not apply only to the tiny enclave. (APA via Aljazeera)

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to congratulate Israeli soldiers on their relief efforts in Nepal, where an earthquake late last month claimed many thousands of lives. “These are the true faces of Israel,” he said of a 260-strong team that arrived to pull survivors from the rubble, treat […]

The Nakba: Israel’s Catastrophe

It is a case of eternal love, of an unbreakable bond. (Naji al-Ali)

By Vacy Vlazna “By military force, the Jewish forces conquered 78% of Palestine in 1948 and depopulated 675 towns and villages, leaving only 15% of its Palestinian citizens under the rule of the Jewish forces. This area of Palestine was called Israel.” — Salman Abu Sitta The Palestinian Nakba is a catastrophe for the Jewish […]

Gaza: Children in Crisis

The most common symptoms among children are anxiety and fear. (via Aljazeera)

By Hilary Wise Mona Samouni was 10-years-old when she lost her home, her parents and 19 other relatives, after they were crushed before her eyes in one of the bombing raids of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009. In an award-winning film, she speaks of her past experiences with an almost eerie detachment, as if she […]

NZ Super-annuitants Profit from Gaza Children’s Agony

Israeli weapons leveled entire Palestinian neighborhoods. (Activestills.org)

By Vacy Vlazna The shocking decision by the government-owned New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF) to NOT divest from Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), manufacturer of white phos-phorus, blatantly violates the NZSF Responsibilities: “ethical investment including policies, standards and procedures for avoiding prejudice to New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community” and Standards […]

Will Britain’s Election Make any Difference for Palestine?

British Prime Minister David Cameron meets former President of Israel Shimon Peres. (Via Aljazeera/file)

By David Cronin Support for Israel has been hardwired into Britain’s ruling elite. Both of the two parties vying to form – or more realistically, dominate – the next government bear responsibility for the suffering inflicted on the Palestinians. In 1917, the Conservatives’ Arthur James Balfour made a formal commitment, as foreign secretary, towards ensuring that […]

Forget Gaza Now, Please Remember Yarmouk

'Yarmouk was beyond inhumane.'

By Shafiq Morton My headline is meant to be provocative. If you get p***** off, good. It’s because I’m equally p***** by what is currently called “Palestinian solidarity”.  For so many years “Palestinian solidarity” has remained one-dimensional and fixated on the West Bank and Gaza – as important as they may be. But there is a […]

Israel, the Bomb and Western Double-think

Demona nuclear reactor - Israel is awash with nuclear and probably chemical weapons but is totally unaccountable.

By Hilary Wise While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to rant and posture about the existential threat of Iran – maybe, one day – possessing nuclear weapons, Israel is taking delivery of the latest of its state-of-the-art German submarines, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The cost of the submarines is heavily subsidized by the […]

Hamas and the ‘State of Gaza’

Former Hamas Prime Ministers in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

By Fahmi Shurrab Many reports have recently surfaced that Hamas intended to establish an independent and sovereign state in Gaza. It was also reported extensively in Fatah’s media that Hamas seems to be working towards establishing an independent state of its own in the Gaza Strip. Actually, nobody doubts that Hamas still has a powerful […]

Commemorating the Nakba at a Grim Time

I hope for a time when the refugees will return home.

By Samah Jabr Sixty-seven years after the massive expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and lands, the scene in Palestine is grimmer than ever. We observe for example that following almost a year of meetings, the US-backed talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel fell apart last April. What followed that summer was an escalation […]

Europe’s Feeble Efforts to ‘Punish’ Israel

Labeling might give consumers useful information to target settlements goods but, it would barely dent Israel’s economy.

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad. Some 16 European foreign ministers sent a letter to […]

Saving Palestine’s Children under The Arms Trade Treaty

To boost Israeli arms sales, Palestinian families have suffered three onslaughts of ‘systematic genocide’ wars in 6 years.

By Vacy Vlazna Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) released this month a comprehensive and heartbreaking report, OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE: A WAR WAGED ON GAZA’S CHILDREN. Detailing: that places that should have provided children with shelter and safety were not immune from attacks by Israeli forces. Missiles fired from Israeli drones and warplanes, artillery shelling, […]

EU Israel-Palestine Policy is Out of Touch with Reality

Lieberman: 'I have a suggestion for them on how to label, They can label all products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights with a yellow star.'

By Alan Hart In a letter calling on EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to promote and implement a 2012 plan to mark produce and products for the European market place from the Israeli occupied West Bank, 16 EU foreign ministers stated that what they are requesting is “an important step in the full implementation […]

Arabs Only Hate Colonialism, Not the West Way of Life

Arabs  only hate the West colonialism and imperialism and its support of the Arab tyrants.  (Zoriah.net)

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan Most of the Arab nation-states are relatively new, left over from the era of Anglo-French imperialists following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Only Egypt has had earlier experience as an empire with its own cultural entity under Muhammad Ali. Others were invented by the British and the French colonialists as […]

Voting Palestine: A Resolution Germany Owes History

The boot of Israeli occupation was never, ever removed from the neck of Palestinians. (Supplied)

By Sam Bahour One way or another, Germany’s Bundestag is about to make history with the upcoming vote on the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood. A positive vote for Palestine would finally strengthen the European Union’s weakest link in contributing to Middle East Peace. A negative vote for Palestinian statehood would leave the Palestinians with […]

Freedom of Speech under Threat in UK Universities

What the Zionist lobby fears most is free speech. (via Aljazeera)

By Hilary Wise The cancellation of Southampton University’s conference on Israel and the law, despite a last-ditch legal battle by the organizers, has sparked widespread condemnation. Entitled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism”, the conference had gathered distinguished legal experts and historians from Britain, Israel, Palestine, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, the […]

For the Conference on the Israel Lobby – Press Blackout at the Press Club

Jeffrey Blankfort - Are there Israel lobby gatekeepers and damage control squads on the Left?

By Ralph Nader Following the heavy coverage of AIPAC’s (the virulently pro-Israeli government lobby) multi-day annual Washington convention in March, the mainstream media might have been interested for once in covering alternative viewpoints like those discussed at the April 10th conference “The Israel Lobby: Is it Good for the US? Is it Good for Israel?”. […]

The Free Zone | Blog

  • May 30, 2015

    StandWithUs Invests Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Ongoing Anti-BDS Lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-Op

    On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products. - The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an... More →
  • May 30, 2015

    Rivlin: Academic Boycotts against Israel Are First-rate Strategic Threat

    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” - During a discussion of the issue at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th... More →
  • May 30, 2015

    The Untold Story of Israeli Military Exports to South Sudan

    We now know that Israel sold weapons to Rwanda in the 1990s as genocide was being committed throughout the country. The details of these dealings are still being kept secret and an appeal (Hebrew) to make them public is currently being examined in the High Court of Justice. No lessons, it seems, were learned from that affair. - For the last 18 months a bloody civil war has been raging in another African country, South... More →
  • May 30, 2015

    Why is the Media Ignoring Israel's Alliance with al-Qaeda?

    Since January, I have been ploughing a lonely furrow in this column by covering what is certainly one of the most under-reported stories in the world right now: Israeli involvement in the war in Syria. - Almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, Israel's occupation forces in the Golan Heights have been in alliance with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's official franchise in Syria. This alliance certainly includes logistical... More →
  • May 26, 2015

    Israel Cries Foul over FIFA Suspension Talk

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter is trying to broker a deal between the Palestinian and Israel football associations ahead of this week's FIFA World Congress at which the Palestinians have called for a vote to suspend Israel. - Blatter met with both associations, as well as Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, during a visit to the region in hopes of finding a way to ease the tension. FIFA is the international soccer... More →
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