List of Middle East governments critical of Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza

What did you expect? [Read more...]

New song: Jolly good tyrants

Guest contribution by Brian Mayer

To the tune of “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”:

(Instructions: Open this YouTube instrumental in another internet tab and sing along using these more appropriate lyrics.)

For Ben-Ali is deposed now,
Gaddafi is totally hosed now,
Mubarak has got orange clothes now,
That nobody can deny!

Assad is on his way out now,
Bahrainis can protest and shout now,
Saleh has lost all his clout now,
That nobody can deny!

The Middle East has arisen,
From torture and malice and prison,
The people are free of derision,
Which nobody can deny!

Brian Mayer

MSM: ‘Bomb blast, shooting in Norway has Islamic feel to it’

From the very surprised and seemingly disappointed Guardian:

“Targeting government offices and the Labour party camp point to political agenda behind attacks rather than Islamist terrorism”.

A gunman dressed as a police officer shot and killed upwards of 80 people at a Labour Party youth camp on the small island of Utøya just hours after a car bomb killed seven individuals in Oslo’s government district. Police arrested a 32-year old Anders Behring Breivik, “who happens to be conservative Christian who enjoys classical music and the video game World of Warcraft“, in connection with the pair of attacks.

The news is still unfolding, and more is being revealed by the minute. But one thing is for certain: your local news program is more concerned with finding a hidden link to an “Islamist” group than with the actual devastation rattling the streets of Norway. [Read more...]

Discuss: Bin Laden and the Arab Spring

2011: The Arab revolutions, Osama’s reported death, Egypt opening the Rafah border crossing without Israeli approval. Times are changing in the Middle East. So when do you think the next U.S. invasion will be, if there is to be one? What is the likelihood of retaliation from abroad? How will this affect the United States’ position in the Middle East and its role as a mediator within the occupied Palestinian territories? Will the United States finally dig its way out of the region or has the Middle East not yet ‘proven’ itself?

‘Responsible Israel’ requests more military aid to stabilize the region

In light of the recent, awe-inspiring revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa catalyzed by a collective resentment of corrupt dictatorship regimes, the Israeli government has found yet another opportunity to capitalize financially. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the following:

It might be wise to invest another $20 billion to upgrade the security of Israel for the next generation or so….A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region.

Israel Considers Military ‘Upgrade’, by Richard Boudreaux and Bill Spindle, Wall Street Journal

In the most objective sense, any assessment of the Israeli military’s most recent incursions in the Gaza Strip or of the government’s financial and legal support of illegal settlements will conclude that the general concept of responsibility is not one of Israel’s priorities. Providing Israel with military aid in the form of physical weaponry or a lump sum check legitimizes further systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and finances the forceful and undoubtedly violent colonization of the Occupied Territories. I am certain the average American taxpayer would prefer to see his or her hard-earned money put towards something more productive.

Every aspect of the Arab revolutions is admirable and I, along with any other true proponent of representative democracy, welcome the changes with open arms. But since the first day of the Tunisian revolution, I’ve been wary of Israel’s military action, particularly in the Gaza Strip. With the world’s focus shifted to the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and now Tripoli, there has been less stringent coverage of the occupation.

I recently spoke to a university student in Gaza City who told me that air raids have become a daily – and even nightly – occurrence. Living conditions continue to reach all-time lows. While Prime Minister Netanyahu feigns interest in a new era of governance in the Middle East, his very own government enforces a strangling siege intended to push Gaza to the “brink of collapse,” as revealed by a Wikileaks cable and confirmed by various Israeli officials. This is the source of turbulence in the region and American investment in Israel’s military isn’t going to improve or even stabilize the current situation. [Read more...]

American-Israeli discontent with Egypt’s Revolution and the rest of the Middle East

Four weeks have passed since the beginning of the people’s revolution in Egypt and while much of the world celebrates the fall of a dictator and his brutal regime by protesting neighboring dictators in the Arab world, the United States and Israel together stand knee deep in a pool of misconception and disappointment.

January 25 marked the first day of protests in Egypt. Calling for an end to government corruption, police brutality, and violations against social and civil liberties, the crowds of protestors quickly grew in both size and power until finally, on February 11, after almost three weeks of braving state-sponsored intimidation and incitement, Hosni Mubarak waived his office of presidency and fled Cairo. Egypt took its first step toward true democracy and other countries quickly followed suit.

Like many others, I naïvely expected the United States to champion the Egyptian people for their impassioned determination to peacefully bring about democratic reform to a country in which the self-chosen president selfishly amassed $70 billion in personal assets while half of the population lived hungrily on less than $2 a day. But even at the onset of the revolution, the Obama administration made its stance clear: Vice President Biden declared his trust in Mubarak, Hillary Clinton implicitly urged the protestors to reconsider, and President Obama himself failed to support or even acknowledge what conservative news sources managed to frame as the looming threat of democracy in an Arab country. [Read more...]

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