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Showing posts from August 20, 2014

How the Islamic State Became the Juggernaut It Is Today

How the Islamic State Became the Juggernaut It Is Today

It was
evident that Western governments had entirely
misread the situation in Iraq and Syria. For two
years Iraqi politicians had been warning anybody who
would listen to them that if the civil war in Syria
continued it would destabilise the fragile status
quo in Iraq. When Mosul fell everybody blamed Maliki,
who certainly had a lot to answer for, but the real
cause of the debacle in Iraq was the war across its
border. The revolt of the Syrian Sunni had caused a
similar explosion in Iraq. Maliki had treated the
Sunni provinces like a conquered country, but the
Iraqi Sunni would not have risen again without the
example and encouragement of their Syrian
counterparts. The ascendancy of ISIS that resulted
from its being able to act as the shock troops of a
general Sunni revolt may yet be reversible. But the

Gaza reminds us of Zionism's original sin | The Electronic Intifada

Gaza reminds us of Zionism's original sin | The Electronic Intifada

The morning after Lailat al-Qadr, the death toll in Gaza was approaching its first thousand.


Al-Qadr — the night before the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan
— is believed to be the night when the Quran was revealed to the
prophet Muhammad. I spent this special night with friends in the
occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after participating in the “48K March” for Gaza.


The march began in Ramallah and went to Qalandiya checkpoint. What began as a peaceful event with families bringing their children and even babies in strollers, ended with young Palestinians with gunshot wounds being rushed in ambulances to the local hospital.


Qalandiya crossing was fortified and air-tight, and the Israeli
soldiers stationed on top were shooting live ammunition at the crowd.

Palestinians in Israel beaten, arrested for Gaza support | The Electronic Intifada

Palestinians in Israel beaten, arrested for Gaza support | The Electronic Intifada

As a Palestinian political activist living in present-day Israel,
Tareq Yassin, 23, has grown accustomed to racist intimidation and
threats of violence.


Yassin, secretary of the left-wing Hadash political party’s student wing at the University of Haifa,
has been targeted for his activism time and again. Yet last month was
the first time he was subjected to vigilante violence by right-wing
Israelis.


He was punched in the head during a protest in solidarity with the
Gaza Strip, where Israel’s ongoing military offensive has killed more
than 2,000 Palestinians. “I was attacked by a group of Israeli
right-wing racists,” Yassin recalled.


Since Israel began its latest war on Gaza in early July, Palestinian
activists in Israel have told The Electronic Intifada that the political
climate has become even more frightening than usual as the country
spirals into a violently racist frenzy.