Reading from the blog: Sykes-Picot: A Century of Conspiratorial, Fatal Games
CROSSPOST: Professor Kamel Hawwash
The Balfour Declaration is a letter from the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The critical part of this short letter said: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
This was a prime example of colonial arrogance by which Britain, which was not then in occupation of Palestine, promised the Zionist Federation, which did not represent all Jews, without the consent of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the Palestinians, to facilitate the creation of a homeland for Jews in Palestine. The letter was dated 2 November 1917.
CROSSPOST: Dr Hatem Bazian
Three of Edward Said’s books are as timely today as the day they were published almost 40 years ago: Orientalism (1978), The Question of Palestine (1979), and Covering Islam (1981). The three constitute Said’s trilogy that focused on literary and artistic representation in the service of empire, colonial dispossession, and the media shaping and reproducing Orientalist tropes. Said’s contributions are an invaluable source for anyone attempting to deconstruct the ebbs and flows of events and development in the Arab and Muslim worlds. At the same time, the three books offer a strong critique of Western policies and public discourse that purport to cover the “East” as a separate and mysterious place filled with irrationality.
Observing the daily events in the Arab and Muslim worlds, one is at a loss to comprehend the sheer destruction and the snuffing out of hope faced by a multitude of peoples – 1.4 billion, to be precise. Said’s writing intuitively de-constructed the racialized lens used by Western academics, press, and policymakers to justify their continued disregard of the needs and well-being of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
CROSSPOST: Nadia Elia
Last week, millions of Palestinians around the world commemorated the 68th anniversary of Al Nakba, the catastrophe that befell Palestine, without which the Jewish state could not have come into being.
Palestinian refugees in the Naqab desert, in Gaza, in the West Bank, and in a number of refugee camps in neighbouring Arab countries held symbolic “return marches” in a determined assertion that we are not surrendering our Right of Return. The “March of Return” in the Naqab was especially significant, as it was held in defiance of Israel’s ban on any commemoration of Al Nakba.
Image Source: Middle East Eye
Crosspost: CJ Werleman
Last week UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem an “affront” to not only the international community but also to Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.
What does this mean for those who pay scant attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Not much.
Not much because typically most casual observers of the conflict, particularly in the West, are befuddled by pro-Israel propaganda (hasbara) that by design is meant to mislead and confuse, and there’s hardly a more misleading word in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lexicon than the word “settlements”.
Crosspost: Jamal Juma
The past few days in Palestine have evoked images of the First Intifada. Burning tyres in the streets, youth wrapped in Palestinian scarves throwing stones, and Israeli military confronting them with tear gas, sound grenades and live ammunition. Entire Palestinian villages are under siege. Clashes are spreading like wild fire across Jerusalem and Palestinian areas on both sides of the Green Line.
The root causes for this rebellion are the same as ever: the Israeli regime of occupation, apartheid and colonialism makes Palestinians’ lives unbearable. However, there are fundamental differences between now and then, and the actions of Israel’s new settler militia will determine when, not if, a full scale Intifada will explode.
We have an “imposition of an interpretation of religion” (Maajid Nawaz’s definition of “extremism”) in the justification for the creation of Israel, but no ” Jewish extremism” label is heard.
We have violence erupting thanks to “millenials” stealing land and justifying it through Biblical texts, but no label of “violent extremism” is applied.
We have people joining them from the West, but no Jewish mothers are compelled by the State to spy on their children, no teachers are referring Jewish children to PREVENT Officers to be deradicalised for supporting the Zionist entity, and Jewish practices shared with these “extremists” are not being derided in the media, mocked in public “debates”, and attacked by government officials as “extremist”.
Extremism: a political term to manufacture an enemy for the State.