Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Hillary Clinton Gives Green Light for Israeli Attack on Gaza Flotilla []

In Americas (North), Middle East, World News on July 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

to quote manal “…bish”

In comments yesterday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to lay the ground – indeed almost provide a green light – for an Israeli military attack on the upcoming Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which will include the US Boat to Gaza.

Among the passengers aboard the American boat will be 87-year old Kindertransport survivor Hedy Epstein, and author and poet Alice Walker. In all it is expected that about 10 ships, carrying 1000 people from over 20 countries will take part.

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For American Students, Life Lessons in the Mideast [NY Times]

In Americas (North), Middle East, World News on August 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

William Zeman (shown in May), an American student studying in Cairo, also worked at the Daily News Egypt, an English-language newspaper.


AT first glance, they seem like typical American college students on their junior year abroad, swapping stories of language mishaps and cultural clashes, sharing sightseeing tips and travel deals. But these students are not studying at Oxford, the Sorbonne or an art institute in Florence.

Instead, they are attending theAmerican University in Cairo, studying Arabic, not French, and dealing with cultural, social and religious matters far more complex than those in Spain or Italy. And while their European counterparts might head to Heidelberg, Germany, for a weekend of beer drinking, these students visit places most Americans know only through news reports — the West Bank, Ethiopia and even northern Iraq. No “Sex and the City” jaunts to Abu Dhabi for this group.

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Palestinian Liberation Organization: History of a Revolution [Al Jazeera]

In Middle East, World News on June 4, 2010 at 12:08 am

I’ve been meaning to share this, in fact is was supposed to be one of my first posts, and in light of everything that’s happened recently, from the divestment debacle at Berkeley to last week’s attack, I figure there’s no better time like the present to share an important chunk of history.

enjoy the bittersweetness (but mostly bitter, almost putrid-ness) of truth.

check for episodes 2-6 after the jump.


Chronicling the PLO

In 1948 the state of Israel was proclaimed. Palestine was lost.
Sixteen years later, the Palestine Liberation Organisation or PLO was founded.

Made up of different factions, the PLO has been at the heart of the struggle to regain Palestine ever since.

This six-part series tells the story of the PLO, beginning with its creation in 1964 and ending with the death of Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader, in 2002 and subsequent Hamas victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections and ensuing Hamas-Fatah power struggle.

PLO: History of a Revolution features exclusive interviews with some of those who have been at the heart of the Palestinian armed struggle over the last 50 years, including the last interview Arafat gave in which he discussed the history of the movement and first-time interviews with key operatives of the notorious Black September Organisation.

Episode 1: Masters of Their Own Destiny

In 1964, Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Egyptian president, convened the first Arab summit. His aim was to lead an Arab response to the state of Israel. The Arab leaders voted to set up a body to organise the Palestinians in their diaspora.
Ahmad al-Shuqairy, a Palestinian diplomat, was chosen to head the newly-formed body. Al-Shuqairy wanted an organisation that would not just kowtow to Arab regimes.
Four months later, he convened the first Palestinian parliament in Jerusalem. There the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organisation was officially announced.

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Cynthia Mckinney Gaza Aid Ship Rammed by Israeli Patrol Boat 2008 [CNN]

In Americas (North), Middle East, World News on June 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Make no mistake, last week’s attack was no first time offense for Israel; the IDF is no stranger to attacking Palestinian aid ships. This first video is of former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney rattling off, in true Mckinney form, on CNN about what happened to her and the crew aboard her ship in 2008. The second video is an absolute MUST watch. If you aren’t a Mckinney supporter, you will be. No one goes harder than Mckinney, in a realm where it matters most. Makes me wish I knew who she was back in 08 when it was votin’ time. dddaaammmnn gina.


Israel and the World: Israel’s Siege Mentality [The Economist]

In Middle East, World News on June 3, 2010 at 11:30 pm

The government’s macho attitude is actually making Israel weaker.

THE lethal mishandling of Israel’s attack on a ship carrying humanitarian supplies that was trying to break the blockade of Gaza was bound to provoke outrage—and rightly so. The circumstances of the raid are murky and may well remain that way despite an inquiry (see article). But the impression received yet again by the watching world is that Israel resorts to violence too readily. More worryingly for Israel, the episode is accelerating a slide towards its own isolation. Once admired as a plucky David facing down an array of Arab Goliaths, Israel is now seen as the clumsy bully on the block.

Israel’s desire to stop the flotilla reaching Gaza was understandable, given its determination to maintain the blockade. Yet the Israelis also had a responsibility to conduct the operation safely. The campaigners knew that either way they would win. If they had got through, it would have been a triumphant breaching of the blockade. If forcibly stopped, with their cargo of medical equipment and humanitarian aid, they would be portrayed as victims—even if some, as the Israelis contend, brought clubs, knives and poles. As it was, disastrous planning by Israel’s soldiers led to a needless loss of life.

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The Day the World Became Gaza [Al Jazeera]

In Middle East, World News on June 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Since Israel’s invasion and massacre of over 1,400 people in Gaza 18 months ago, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, global civil society movements have stepped up their campaigns for justice and solidarity with Palestinians.

Governments, by contrast, carried on with business as usual, maintaining a complicit silence.

Israel’s lethal attack on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza may change that, spurring governments to follow the lead of their people and take unprecedented action to check Israel’s growing lawlessness.

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How AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Runs Our Nations Capital

In Americas (North), History, Middle East, World News on April 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Jonathan Kessler’s quote 3 minutes and 56 seconds (3:56) to 4 minutes 15 seconds in (4:15), i find pretty disgusting; worse, terrifying. wow. sad that so many of the students, these “future leaders,” were willing to travel on an all expense paid trip funded by and listen to hours of seminars hosted by a group whose ideals they probably know nothing about, urging them to chose sides on an issue so complicated and important and of which they are most likely oblivious. i was at the UC Berkeley senate meeting when the bill to divest from companies funding crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli Defense Forces was passed. the student body president has since vetoed the bill. i guess AIPAC really does run the nation.

thanks for the heads up Huda.


Video shows ‘US attack’ on Iraqis [Al Jazeera]

In Middle East, World News on April 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

One of the internet’s biggest sources of classified government information has released video of what it says is a US helicopter firing at civilians in Iraq.

WikiLeaks, a website that publishes anonymously sourced documents,released what it called previously unseen footage on Monday.

It said the footage filmed from a helicopter cockpit shows a missile strike and shooting on a crowded square in a Baghdad neighbourhood in July 2007.

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Non-Violence in Palestine []

In Middle East, Miscellaneous, World News on March 24, 2010 at 12:39 am

I stumbled upon this blog, rather this post, a couple weeks ago while I was signing in to my own. Thought it was interesting so of course, I had to share.



Last night I had a very interesting conversation with a friend about the use of non-violence in the Palestinian resistance.  My friend, whose father was an active member of the non-violent movement in the US, believed that the Palestinians who used any form of violence against Israel – from throwing stones to launching missiles – were undermining the Palestinian cause.  By his own admission, my friend is not an active follower of the conflict and was basing his opinions more on his father’s activities and his recollections of the resistance movement in South Africa, thus his opinions reveal a lot about popular American opinion.

Our conversation reminded me a post by our friends over at Blogging the Casbah where Abu G wrote about his experiences at Palestinian protests.  Palestinian stones were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.  There was a nice little debate about the symbolic nature of stone throwing – to summarize, throwing a stone does little damage but physically demonstrates a rejection of Israeli occupation.  One commenter noted that Palestinians have branded themselves as “stone-throwers who occasionally explode themselves on checkpoints.”  Similarly, my friend last night made the acute observation that, in the minds of Americans, one Palestinian throwing stones forces the entire population into that stereotype.

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The Irvine 11

In Americas (North), Middle East, World News on February 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Micheal Oren, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, was recently invited to UC Irvine for a speaking engagement. During his speech eleven members of Students for Justice in Palestine stood up to protest the unjust actions of the state of Israel against the Palestinian people.

This is difficult. Not only is the Arab/Israeli conflict one of the most complex and divisive of our time, if not ever, but this situation in particular has started a lot of debate. Some, while in support of the cause, disagree with the disruptive manner in which “the Irvine 11” decided to go about their protest, others feel their disrespect is totally justified as it is nothing in comparison to the heinous acts committed against the Palestinian people.

What struck me most about the video though is how angry and truly hateful everyone is toward each other. I’ve never seen so much pure HATE in peoples faces, its incredible, sad, pathetic and just really gives me no hope for the future of this planet.

(thanks for the heads up on this Hanna and Huda)

this is gross so no fun friday this week just the promise of more coverage soon to come.


Read more about and from the Irvine 11, the University actions against them and how you can support the students and their cause at

“Shaving for Pakistan”

In Middle East, World News on December 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

…k well…aside from the fact that he kinda sounds like a kid who forgot to take his ADHD medicine (which I can sympathize with since I too often sound this way) + the fact that he managed to seemingly grow and lose facial hair as the video progressed+ the fact that he refers to Afghanistan as “crazypants Afghanistan” + the fact that he references nerdfighter soldiers (or something like that) AND ends the video w a personal convo to someone named Hank…. yeah well aside from all that the videos not too bad lol.


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about ““Shaving for Pakistan”“, posted with vodpod

“Karzai in His Own Words” from Al Jazeera

In Middle East, Uncategorized, World News on November 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Currently serving his second term, Hamid Karzai is the president of Afghanistan. A runoff was scheduled between Karzai and his opponent Abdullah Abdullah after Karzai’s victory in the recent August Afghan elections was nullified due to the discovery of fraudulent ballots in his name. However, Abdullah dropped out of the race, the runoff was never held and Karzai has been reinstated.


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Click here to see part two.

On December 5, 2001, Hamid Karzai was elected as chairman of the interim government of Afghanistan.

Although many Afghans knew little about Karzai at the time, he was already well known within the international community.

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Timeline: Gaza Crisis [Al Jazeera]

In Middle East, World News on October 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Around 1,300 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its assault on December 27 [AFP]June 19: An Egyptian-brokered six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas comes into force.

November 5: Israel closes all of its crossings with Gaza.

December 14:
Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal announces the six-month ceasefire with Israel will not be extended.

December 19: Six-month ceasefire between Hamas and Israel officially expires.

December 21: Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, says that her primary goal if she wins Israeli elections, will be to overthrow Hamas.

December 27: Israel begins assault on Gaza, codenamed “Operation Cast Lead”, by launching air raids that kill more than 225 Palestinians.

One Israeli is killed and six others wounded in missile attacks by Palestinian fighters. Read the rest of this entry »