Following a long period of quiet, the Syrian city of Raqqa is once again being shelled — this time by Assad’s forces. Residents have been forced to flee the shelling, along with IS’s extremist agenda. An interview with a resident of the 'Islamic State.' By Elizabeth Tsurkov Raqqa, the capital of the “Islamic State” in northern Syria, for the past two months has been forced once again to deal with a devastating phenomenon — indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian Air Force. According to reports from the local coordinating committee, a Syrian air force bombing of a bakery on Saturday took the…Read More... | 10 Comments
My colleagues at 'Let Us Build Pakistan' and I have discovered various overlapping interests on certain issues and we occasionally cross-post material that we think our audiences would find relevant. Here is one such article I found interesting. Against the background of a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East, a Muslim writer calls for introspection. By Asif Zaidi The following book review in The Telegraph addresses two recently published books mainly defending British Muslims. A friend sent me the article, hoping that it will help me “see the light.” But I believe the review downplays some significant problems.…Read More... | 46 Comments
If the past is any gauge of what's to come, things are not looking good in the West Bank - neither for the Palestinians who remain under occupation there, nor for the three missing teenagers. From a Haaretz report: The Israel Defense Forces plans to arrest additional senior Hamas officials. Yesterday security forces arrested 65 key members of Hamas' political wing in an early-morning operation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Among those arrested were eight ministers of the Hamas government who reside in the West Bank, and 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The mayor of the town…Read More... | 17 Comments
On the holiday of Shavuot in 1941, Iraq's Jews experienced a pogrom that claimed over 180 lives and ended in mass looting. But there’s another story from the Farhud that often goes undiscussed: the bravery of Muslims during the crisis. "The Farhud" / Foreword By Orit Bashkin (translated by Asaf Shalev) Silently but not without some noise, a blessed thing is happening in Israel right now. The general category of “Mizrahiness” is falling apart into the stories of specific communities, cities, places, languages and memories: Iraq and Morocco, Aleppo and Oran, Ladino and Aramaic. All of them are asking to tell…Read More... | 16 Comments
When you believe your enemies hate you more than they love their children, as Golda Meir put it, there's no real deterrence against them; you have to keep bombing. Most people in the West, I’d say, think that if Israel gives up the occupation, it will be healed. It will no longer be a danger to others and itself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and additional proof of this came Monday night when Israeli jet bombers again struck Hezbollah in Lebanon. The attack was another reminder that even if Israel were to get out of the West Bank and adopt…Read More... | 56 Comments
Netanyahu did not take Israel's strategic interests into account in his latest confrontation with the United States. Will his decision cost him when it comes to the ballot box? Only time will tell. By Ilan Baruch Over the last several days, Prime Minister Netanyahu's sour face has peered over at us through the screen. While his mouth was busy berating the six powers and President Obama, his eyes betrayed exhaustion. Ever since Iranian President Rouhani appeared before the UN General Assembly on his "charm offensive" directed toward the West, Netanyahu has been leading a losing battle. Netanyahu's paradigm, which was based…Read More... | 3 Comments
More than 80 years after first immigrating to Israel, Kurdish Jews still maintain ties to their traditions and culture, as well as to their non-Jewish ethnic kin. The Israeli government has ignored efforts to preserve their language and music; but now, the younger generation is taking matters into its own hands. By Hagar Shezaf All liberty-deprived nations share one common feeling: a longing for home. The Kurdish nation, which lives primarily in the region situated between northwest Iran, northern Iraq, southeast Turkey and the northern corner of eastern Syria, is one of those same nations striving for independence and waging…Read More... | 6 Comments
Calls to define Jews from Arab countries as refugees were silenced in the past by Israeli governments. The change of policy has to do with the relatively new recognition that Israel will not be able to escape its responsibility for the Nakba. But leaders of the new campaign should first learn the history of their unfounded idea. By Yehouda Shenhav In the last three years, we have witnessed an intensive campaign aimed at winning political and legal recognition of Arab Jews as "refugees." The aim of this campaign is to create symmetry in public opinion between the Palestinian refugees and…Read More... | 18 Comments
Most Israelis do not back the Prime Minister and Defense Minister's call for a pre-emptive strike on Iran, but most won't do much to oppose it either. Here are some numbers and thoughts on why. Just one-quarter of the Jewish public (27 percent) in Israel supports a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran, according to a new Peace Index survey from August 7-8, focused mainly on Iran. Fully 61 percent of the 516 Jewish respondents are against such a strike, with over one-quarter strongly opposed - even a majority on the right is opposed (51 percent). If Prime Minister Netanyahu and…Read More... | 28 Comments
Mark Perry's report on a false flag operation is not only unverifiable, it displays naivety about American foreign policy and bolsters the ludicrous thesis that Israel is the mastermind behind American Middle East belligerence. By Rafael D. Frankel The “false flag” operation conducted by the Mossad, as described by Mark Perry in an article published just after another assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, is an affront to the United States if it is true. The Mossad certainly has no business posing as the CIA in order to recruit a Pakistan-based terrorist group to make hits on Iranian targets. But…Read More... | 18 Comments
The end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya proved that U.S. President Barack Obama’s doctrine of “leading from behind” was a success. But the Obama Doctrine is not only a new approach to war - it extends to foreign policy on the whole, and therefore has already begun to affect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict When U.S. President Barack Obama decided to let other nations take a leading role during the war in Libya, the criticism was quick to come from every corner. They claimed he was doing too little, that he didn’t consult, that he was scared of using the air…Read More... | 12 Comments
By Yael Lavie Nearly a decade ago, a few months before the US led operation (heck let's call it an invasion, shall we) commenced into Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein, I worked on a story about the US history of regime change as a modus operandi of foreign policy. At the time, working in NYC with Jim Wooten a former ABC NEWS correspondent and great journalist who had the "privilege" of covering the Vietnam War first hand, we set out to speak with historians and former US government officials during the Vietnam days. Our goal as journalists, before…Read More... | 4 Comments
Wikileaks, Anat Kamm and Bradley Manning expose the corrupting power of secrecy. The whistleblowing site Wikileaks published during the weekend some 392,000 classified military documents, which it received, in all likelihood, from a US army soldier, Bradley Manning, who is already on trial. The documents, published in tandem with the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel, caught the Pentagon with its pants down. They show that, in contrast to the Pentagon’s official lie, that it had no idea how many civilians were killed in Iraq, it had – and a rather accurate one; they expose American chief ally,…Read More... | 1 Comment
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There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo’ http://t.co/zu4xHbZW6N by @nsheizaf
RT @MikeOmerMan: Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar says he’s taking a “time out” from politics.
In Gaza, justice delayed is justice denied http://t.co/ZgeeYKjiUd
WATCH: Get arrested at a protest? There's an app for that http://t.co/FTrNnbtOz6 by @IsraelSocialTV, cc: @amnesty
RT @MikeOmerMan: Israeli settler group boasts rapid growth in West Bank http://t.co/aXkCzj5Qw2 via WaPo