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Ramzy Baroud is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). He is a Ph.D. scholar at the University of Exeter's European Centre for Palestine Studies (ECPS).
Wednesday, October 19, 2016(4 comments)
Why is the Truth on Syria Difficult to Decipher?
The problem is not entirely that of media manipulation of facts, videos and images. The war in Syria has polarized the discourse like never before, and most of those who are invested in that conflict find themselves forced to take sides, thus, at times abandoning any reason or common sense. The truth on Syria is that, regardless of how the war ends, Syria has been destroyed and its future is bloody and bleak.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016(1 comments)
The Convoluted Discourse: Was The Women's Boat to Gaza an Existential Threat?
Needless to say, a group of women atop a small boat, carrying a symbolic amount of supplies to impoverished Gaza, were not about to take the Middle East's only nuclear power down. "The Israeli army then took over the boat. The women showed no resistance as they wanted to emphasize that their mission was peaceful. "Terrorists," indeed.
Friday, September 30, 2016 Ban Ki-moon's Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
When the UN chief is gone, he will be missed -- but certainly not by Palestinians in Gaza or refugees in Syria, or war victims in Afghanistan. But by the likes of Susan Rice, whose job was made very easy when all she needed to do was merely instruct the chief of the largest international organization on earth to do exactly as she wished and for him to gladly do so.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016(2 comments)
The Native American, the Palestinian: A Spirited Fight for Justice
Palestinians are losing their lives, land and olive trees as they stand up to Israeli tanks and bulldozers. Their reality is a replay of similar experiences faced -- and still being confronted -- by Native Americans. Well into the 21st century, the Native American-Palestinian struggle remains one and the same.
Thursday, September 8, 2016 Is Israel Pushing for a Palestinian Civil War?
Those powers that have imposed themselves as "peace brokers" and guardians of international law must understand that Israel is well-qualified to start fires, but almost never capable of putting them out. And Lieberman, of all people -- the Russian club bouncer-turned politician-turned defense minister -- must not be given free rein to color-code Palestinian communities, reward and punish as he pleases.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016(1 comments)
Punishing the Messenger: Israel's War on NGOs Takes a Worrying Turn
Working hand in hand with various western governments, Israel's official perception of the non-violent BDS movement is reaching the point of treating the civil society movement as if a criminal organization. BDS merely demands moral and legal accountably from western governments and corporations that contribute in any way to Israel's violations of human rights and international law.
Thursday, August 4, 2016 My Response to Bill Clinton: On (My) Liberty and (Your) America
Donald Trump wants to keep us out of the country altogether. But Bill Clinton, former president and husband of a Democratic presidential nominee, does not mind us staying, as long as we -- Muslims -- behave ourselves. Welcome to America where racial profiling is the country's most popular idea, and where citizenship is now conditioned on blind obedience.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 From Nice to the Middle East: The Only Way to Challenge ISIS
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US' misguided responses -- invading and destroying countries -- created the very haven that have espoused today's militancy and terror. It is hardly difficult to follow the thread of ISIS' formation, the deadliest of all such groups that mostly originated from "al-Qaeda" in Iraq, itself wrought by the US invasion.
Thursday, June 30, 2016 Will Brexit Help the Palestinian Cause in the EU?
While pressure must continue to be applied on Westminster to end its unconditional backing of Israel, a possibly friendlier EU without the staunchly pro-Israel Britain, may emerge. The UK's support for Israel in the Union, and backing of American steps in the same direction, has seriously hampered the EU's chances of being anything but a rubberstamp to US-UK policies not only in Palestine but also throughout the Middle East.
Saturday, June 25, 2016 Palestine's "Prayer for Rain": How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
For nearly five decades, Israel has been employing the same policies against Palestinians without much censure or meaningful action from the international community. The problem is reaching catastrophic proportions. This time, the tragedy cannot be brushed aside, for the lives and well-being of entire communities are at stake.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 Gaza: Resistance Through Poetry
True, the wars have devastated Gaza and the siege is severely diminishing its ability to develop the massive and promising human capital it has. But it has not disfigured its essence, or lessened its humanity. Gaza remains a place of poets, artists, dabka dancers and untamable spirits of utterly resilient and refreshingly stubborn people.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 The Reductionist View of an Intifada
The nature of the current uprising in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem is testament to a pent-up anger of an entire generation that grew up behind walls and checkpoints. They are fighting two separate enemies -- the occupation army and their own oppressive leadership.
Saturday, May 28, 2016 Time to End the "Hasbara": Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
After over two decades of the failure of the so-called "peace process," and the rapid increase in the colonization of the Occupied Territories in addition to the extreme violence used to achieve these ends, many Palestinians are waking up to the painful facts. There can be no freedom for the Palestinian people without unity and without resistance.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016(1 comments)
Roots of the Conflict: Palestine's Nakba in the Larger Arab "Catastrophe"
When Palestine -- which was promised by Britain as a national home for the Jews as early as November 1917 -- became Israel, hosting mostly Europeans settlers, the fate of the Arab region east of the Mediterranean was sealed as the ground for perpetual conflict and antagonism.
Saturday, May 14, 2016(2 comments)
A Palestinian Perspective on Britain's "Anti-Semitic" Controversy
By completely shutting the door on any form of criticism of Israel, Zionism, and the censure of its military behavior in the region coupled with the daily violence meted out against occupied Palestinians, Israel has expanded the definition of anti-Semitism to include whole countries, governments, international institutions and millions of independently thinking individuals the world over.
Friday, May 6, 2016 The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
When Nelson Mandela said, "We know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians," he was not trying to be cordial or diplomatic. He meant every word. Someday, we hope that a statue of Mandela, one that represents the spirit of Resistance in Palestine, will stand tall amid the people who championed his cause and loved him most.
Friday, April 22, 2016(1 comments)
At 80, Failed Abbas is Probed, Derided and Scapegoated
Israel's propensity to maintain its violent occupation cannot be blamed on Abbas. It is Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his right wing coalition that should be blamed squarely for the Occupation, the mistreatment and humiliation of Palestinians on a daily basis. However, such truth should not detract from Abbas' terrible legacy and ongoing misconduct.
Thursday, March 31, 2016 Intifada for Dummies: Why a Popular Uprising Is Yet to Take Off?
This might be the most difficult Intifada yet; for never before did Palestinians find themselves so leaderless, yet so ready to break free. The outcome of this tension, will not only define this whole generation, as it defined my generation of the 1987 Intifada, but it will define the future of Palestine altogether.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Federalism is a Pandora's Box; if Syria Succumbs to It, Others Will Follow
Considering how grisly the Syrian war has been in these past few years, federalism might not strike many as a dreadful possibility, but it is. Arab countries are historically an outcome of Western and foreign meddling that divided the region in accordance to strategic interests and convenience. That "divide and rule" mindset has never been vanquished; indeed, it has been strengthened under the American occupation of Iraq.
Friday, March 18, 2016 Why BDS Cannot Lose: A Moral Threshold to Combat Racism in Israel
The main objective behind BDS, an entirely non-violent movement that is championed by civil society across the globe, is not to punish ordinary Israelis, but to raise awareness of the suffering of Palestinians and to create a moral threshold that must be achieved if a just peace is ever to be realized.
Thursday, March 10, 2016(3 comments)
Politics Not as Usual: Is This the Age of American Fascism?
Even the Republican Party establishment is now dumbfounded by the Frankenstein monster it has itself created or, at least, allowed to be born. It is a Republican "civil war" as described by USA Today, and the panic over a Trump nomination is resurrecting old figures from their slumber, all trying to slow down the uncontrollable demagoguery that has afflicted their party.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016(3 comments)
Why we must transcend the Clinton-Sanders debate: The Middle East in US foreign policy
While US administrations change their tactics, infuse their doctrines and adapt to various political conditions, wherever they intervene in the world, massive, complex disasters follow. The country has also descended into a "state of nature" type of chaos, where extreme violence meted out by militant brutes and managed by western-backed politicians, have taken reign.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 "Good Labor - Bad Likud": Dispelling the Myth of "Democracy" within Israel's Political Establishment
Few, with good conscience, can claim that Netanyahu and his partners -- Moshe Yaalon, Naftali Bennet and Shaked, among others -- are icons of democracy, any democracy, however lacking. In fact, a new draft in the Knesset, which is in the process of becoming a law, proposes to punish any Israeli organization that dares question Israel's behavior and undemocratic practices.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Next onslaught in Gaza: Why the status quo is a precursor for war
It is difficult to imagine that another war is not looming. Israel's strategic, political and military tactics, as it stands today, will not allow Gaza to live with a minimal degree of dignity. On the other hand, the history of Gaza's resistance makes it impossible to imagine a scenario in which the Strip raises a white flag and awaits its allotted punishment.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 The Logic of Hunger Striking Palestinians: When Starvation Is a Weapon
The issue of hunger strikes should not be seen as a battle within Israeli jails, but as part and parcel of the Palestinian people's fight against military occupation. What all of these former hunger strikers seem to have in common is their insistence that their battles were never concerned with the freedom of individuals only, but of an entire group of desperate, oppressed and outraged people.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Why is Trauma Missing from Syria Refugee Debate?
Unlike common wisdom, exile for Palestinians is not specific in time or space, but a cyclical process that is experienced by every single Palestinian, even those who would declare that they have no intentions of returning to Palestine. Syrian refugees are now taking the first step towards their own journey of exile. Collective traumas do not magically end with the signing of political agreements.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Defined by Nakba and Exile: The Complex Reality of "Home" for Palestinians
The study of Palestinian exile, and the collective aspiration of the Palestinian people when it comes to their right of return is far more complex than a simple question that can be addressed based on a "Yes" or "No" answer. Nor is it a matter that is open for political negotiations.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 Palestine after Abbas: The Future of a People at Stake
The PA was the outcome of the now practically defunct Oslo "peace process," which was negotiated by Abbas and a few others in secret with Israel, at the behest of the late Palestinian Fatah leader, Yasser Arafat. The whole initiative was founded on secrecy and deceit and was signed without taking the Palestinian people into account.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 A Crushed Generation: Photography under Siege in Gaza
Old people, unlike the young, frustrated by their confinement and yet unable to channel their anger and energy, just sit outside their homes and gaze at the passerbys. They watch their misery unfold, as they have for decades. This time however, their hardship is not only the work of Israel, but that of their Arab "brothers" as well.
Friday, December 11, 2015 Open Rafah Now: Siege on Gaza is a Cruel and Political Failure
Although Gazans are still being referred to as "brothers," there is nothing brotherly in the way they are being treated -- 25,000 humanitarian cases are languishing in Gaza, waiting to be allowed access to treatment in Egypt or in other Arab and European countries. These ill Palestinians should not be used as political fodder in a turf war which is not of their making.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 Reclaiming Palestine: How Israeli Media Misread the Intifada
The Israeli argument is, as has always been the case, narrow-minded in its view of history, or it conveniently applies history to fit whatever political argument Israeli officials or mouthpieces deem handy. Just a few weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, absolved the Nazis from the idea behind the Holocaust and pinned the blame on the Palestinian Mufti instead.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015(1 comments)
Forget Daesh: Humanity is at Stake
Those who orchestrated the war on Iraq and those feeding the war in Syria and arming Israel cannot be vindicated. The crux of the matter: we either live in dignity together or continue to perish alone, warring tribes and grief-stricken nations. This is not just about indiscriminate bombing -- our humanity, in fact, the future of the human race is at stake.
Thursday, November 5, 2015(2 comments)
Co-Existence With Apartheid?
For J.K. Rowling, even non-violent acts of encountering Israel's ongoing massacres in Gaza and the military occupation in the West Bank are excessive. "Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory, and will not further peace," reads the letter she signed.
Saturday, October 31, 2015(1 comments)
Confronting the Obvious Truth: Palestinian Authority vs. the People
Established in 1994 as a transitional political body that would guide the process of Palestinian independence, the PA morphed to become a security arm that served as a first line of defense for the Israeli army, in addition to guarding its own interests. PA security forces have done a splendid job of cracking down on any dissent among Palestinians.
Monday, October 12, 2015(2 comments)
Of course, it is an intifada: This is what you must know
Palestinians are protesting because they experience daily humiliation and have to endure the unrelenting violence of occupation. Moreover, they feel a total sense of betrayal by their leadership, which is corrupt and co-opted. So they rebel, and attempt to mobilize and sustain their rebellion for as long as they can, because they have no horizon of hope outside their own action.
Friday, October 9, 2015(2 comments)
Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People's Narrative
The tragedy in Syria is that the war fought in the name of the Syrian people has little to do with the rights of the Syrian people; and the voices of Syrians are either entirely neglected or used and manipulated to achieve specific political ends. And when it is all said and done, the media jackals are likely to fan the flame of some other conflict in some other place.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 Israel's High-Stake Game in Al-Aqsa and Why Netanyahu May Prevail
Over the years, the strategic settlement growth was complemented by the religiously-motivated expansion, championed by a vibrant movement, exemplified in the founding of Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) in 1974. Its mission was to settle legions of fundamentalists on the West Bank. Little has changed since then, save the fact that the current Israeli administration is a government of settlers.
Monday, September 14, 2015(1 comments)
How Yarmouk came about: Israel's role in the Syrian refugee crisis
Israel, whose economy is the strongest in the region, has been the most tight-fisted in terms of offering shelter to Syrian refugees. This is a double sin considering that even Syria's Palestinian refugees, who were expelled from their own homes in Palestine, were also left homeless.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015(2 comments)
Palestine's Crisis of Leadership: Did Abbas Destroy Palestinian Democracy?
The crisis of leadership throughout Palestinian history did not start with Mahmoud Abbas and will, regrettably, be unlikely to end with his departure. Although Abbas has, perhaps, done more damage to the credibility of the Palestinian leadership than any other leader in the past, he is also a by-product of a process of political fraud that started much earlier than his expired Presidency.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015(4 comments)
"Islamic State" Pretence and the Upcoming Wars in Libya
It is becoming clearer that Libya, once a sovereign and relatively wealthy nation, is becoming a mere playground for a massive geopolitical game and large economic interests and ambitions... with Arab and Western powers scheming to ensure a larger share of Libya's economic wealth and strategic value. The crisis in that country is likely to escalate, if not worsen, as history has amply shown.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015(1 comments)
Shifting Priorities: The Rise and Fall of Arab Revolutionary Discourse
Strange how intellectual discussion concerning the so-called "Arab Spring" has almost entirely shifted in recent years - from one concerning freedom, justice, democracy and rights in general, into a political wrangle between various antagonist camps.
The people, who revolted across various Arab countries are now marginalized in this discussion, and are only used as fodders -- killers and victims ...
Sunday, August 2, 2015 The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Israel's impunity is encouraged by many factors, including US-Western backing and the lack of international will to hold Israel -- Government, army and settlers -- accountable for their crimes. But that impunity is also encouraged by the Palestinian leadership itself, which lives in a massive political and economic bubble in Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on "IS"
It is the lack of political prospects, and the smothering of any attempt at freedom and fair economic opportunity, that lead to extremist violence in the first place. As long as this reality remains intact, "IS" will tragically find new recruits, latch on to local militant groups, and continue to expand into new borders -- and even darker horizons.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 Middle East Reporting: The Need for Honest Journalism
It is a sad era where many journalists are for sale at the moment, ready to lend their pens to the highest bidder. The story presented to the world has, at times, nothing at all to do with the reality on the ground, but it is simply a mosaic of stereotype, hearsay, and babblings from privileged officials who have no understanding of the plight of their people.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 The Good, Bad and Uncertain about Recognizing "Palestine"
There has been a seismic shift in international consensus regarding Palestine, where many countries in the southern and northern hemispheres seem to ultimately agree that it is time to liberate the fate of Palestine from American hegemony. In the long run, and considering the growing rebalancing of global powers, for Palestinians, this is a good start.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Nakba and the Question of "Palestinian Strategy"
The Nakba, or Catastrophe, was an earth-shattering experience for the entirety of the Palestinian collective. Rarely before was a society almost entirely displaced in a relatively short period of time with such brutality and violence, followed by every possible attempt at erasing every piece of evidence, every link, every claim, every memory that the refugees affiliated with their homeland.
Thursday, April 23, 2015(3 comments)
Stuck in Area A: How We Were Duped into Disowning the Palestinians
When Palestinians are starved, beheaded or blown to smithereens in Yarmouk, we stand puzzled. We offer sympathy, tears and little action. We cannot even articulate a coherent discourse, aside from pulling out UN Resolution 194 from some dusty archive to talk about the Right of Return, and how the suffering in Yarmouk is ultimately Israel's responsibility.
Sunday, April 12, 2015(1 comments)
My missing family in Syria: Naming and shaming in Yarmouk
It behoves us all to take a moment to hang our heads in silence, but also shame, over what has befallen Yarmouk, as we stood, watching, bickering and doing nothing. But we ought to remember that there are still 18,000 trapped in Yarmouk and organize on their behalf so that, even if it is untimely, we need do something. Anything.
Thursday, April 9, 2015(2 comments)
The Collapse of the Obama Doctrine: Yemen War as an Opportunity?
the US -- which is playing both parties against one another -- is only interested in the region for economic and strategic reasons. While the tragic situation in Yemen has been a ground for lamentation at the cross-the-board-failure, it might also present an opportunity at political compromise, starting in Yemen, but extending elsewhere.
Monday, March 30, 2015(3 comments)
Eight urgent "musts" needed for Palestinians to defeat Apartheid
Waiting on Israeli society to change from within is a colossal waste of time. But what are Palestinians and the supporters of a just peace in Palestine and Israel to do? They are left between two options: either a perpetual fight for justice or unending humiliation and servitude.
Saturday, March 21, 2015(2 comments)
Netanyahu the mythbuster: "Special relationship" no more
Netanyahu's antics are increasingly denying the US administration a prolonged, tired and failed discourse pertaining to the peace process, Israeli security, democracy and so on, leaving the White House with two stark choices: to follow the lead of a racist and obsessive Netanyahu (as many Republicans and Democrats have already done) or to part ways.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 Re-imagining the IS Debate -- "Islamic State" as a Western Phenomenon?
Not only is IS to a degree an alien movement in the larger body politic of the Middle East, it also seems to be a partly western phenomenon, a hideous offspring resulting from western neocolonial adventures in the region, coupled with alienation and demonization of Muslim communities in western societies.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015(1 comments)
The Arab intellectual is resting, not dead
The great cultures that have survived prolonged fights against brutal dictators and foreign dominance for generations, yet still gave birth to some of the most brilliant intellectuals, novelists and poets of all time are capable of redeeming themselves. It is only a matter of time, and perhaps, initiative.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Obama's Admission Not Enough: US Spin on Middle East Violence Must Change
America's mainstream intellectuals and journalists refuse to accept the most prevalent truth about the roots of the current crisis; that military intervention is not a virtue, that war begets chaos and violence, that military invasion is not a harbinger of a stable democracy, but invites desperately violent polices predicated on winning, regardless of the cost.
Monday, February 16, 2015(1 comments)
Parking space terrorism: Time for action after killing of three US Muslims
Hicks, we are told, killed the students "execution style" because of a dispute over parking spaces. The same way that Chris Kyle -- "The American Sniper" -- made 164 confirmed "kills," killing "savages" because that's what national heroes do. And US wars and sanctions on Iraq killed, starved and wounded millions to bring democracy to the Arabs.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Mending "axis of resistance": Hamas goes back to square one
The Islamic Resistance Movement is once again facing difficult choices, and it seems to be choosing a cautious return to its old camp of Iran and Hezbollah. The maneuver this time is particularly risky. For Hamas and Palestinian resistance in Gaza, it is a mere matter of survival.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015(1 comments)
Dear Syria: From One Refugee to Another
Political division may, at times, dominate Palestinian society, but we will always be united by the fact that we are refugees with a common cause: going home. While, for the Palestinians of Yarmouk near Damascus, being a refugee is a matter of life and death -- often by starvation -- for the larger Palestinian collective, the meaning of the word has become more involved: it has been etched onto our skin forever.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Lessons that Hollande Failed to Learn from W. Bush
Like drugs, a warlord is dependent on war and can only be sustained and validated by it. Hollande is a warlord in the western sense, what Americans refer to as "a war president." But as Bush's notorious legacy has proven, while war-induced fear and vain patriotism may keep a leader in office long enough, the terrible consequences of unchecked violence shall be felt for many years to come.