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Sykes-Picot

  • Three generations after the Nakba, still struggling to define home

    For Madlaine Ahmad, born and raised in Doha to Palestinian parents with Jordanian citizenship, the answer to 'where are you from?' is never simple, and always seems to be wrong. By Madlaine Ahmad I changed my Facebook profile picture the other day. It was a photo of a fair woman covered in gold and henna. It would have been clear to anyone from bilad al-sham (the Levant) that she was from the Gulf region, where women dress up a certain way. “How beautiful,” one person remarked. The comment that followed, by a Palestinian friend, surprised me: “Women are beautiful, but…

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  • Palestinians deserve more than Mahmoud Abbas

    At the Fatah Congress this week, Abbas’s followers seem to have affirmed a choice Oslo’s signatories made more than two decades ago: that livelihoods matter more than liberation. Palestinians deserve an alternative to this status quo. In Hisham Sharabi’s 1988 book, Neopatriarchy, the late Palestinian intellectual posits “a theory of distorted change in the Arab world,” one in which “the paternal will is the absolute will.” When it comes to politics, this paternalism is easy to miss, Sharabi argued, because it uses “external trappings,” like elections, to give the illusion of consensus—all while relying on familiar patterns of “ritual and…

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  • The colonialist skeletons in Israel’s closet

    Modern believers in the meaning, importance and necessity of Israel as a safe home for Jews had best come to terms with its less-than-organic birth — it did not magically appear on the sands of an empty landscape. By David Sarna Galdi A day before the Paris peace summit last month, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, tried to delegitimize the French plan by comparing it to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. “One hundred years ago, two officials by the name of Mark Sykes and Francois-Georges Picot tried to dictate a new order in the Middle East,” Gold…

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  • What Liberman's remarks about Sykes-Picot mean

    Israel’s Foreign Minister exposes Israel’s imperialist ambitions, own ignorance Our grotesquerie of a foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, announced during the weekend that Syria is not a partner for peace. This did not draw much attention; we have become inured to Liberman’s provocation, and following Liberman’s appearance in the UN, when he pronounced his party’s platform to be Israel’s policy without being rebuked by PM Netanyahu, he would have to work hard indeed in order to get himself a headline in this category. But actually, Liberman did provide a headline; it’s just that the Israeli media missed it. As Didi Remez…

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